Heavy rain, storms ahead
The weather will likely be unstable in the coming days because of the influence of a strong weather front, the Central Weather Bureau said yesterday. Heavy rain, thunderstorms and even isolated hailstorms are expected across the nation, but the bureau said the scale and intensity of the rainfall and storms were still hard to predict. The impact of the front should be most pronounced over the weekend, forecasters said, but the rainy weather could continue to Tuesday nationwide. Temperatures will range between 17°C and 25°C in the north and between 20°C and 29°C in the south throughout next week, the bureau said.
Macedonia visa waiver ends
Effective today, Taiwanese heading to Macedonia are obliged to obtain a visa in advance because the one-year visa waiver treatment for Republic of China passport holders expires today, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. The Southeastern European country granted Taiwanese visa-free status for one year, from April 1 last year. Yaser Cheng (鄭泰祥), deputy director-general of the ministry’s Department of European Affairs, said the ministry would urge Macedonia to reinstate the privilege. Cheng said some other countries that had enjoyed visa-free entry to Macedonia on a one-year basis that expired earlier this year failed to see the treatment extended either, including Azerbaijan, Russia and Ukraine. The expiration of the privilege was a result of Macedonia’s visa regimes and had nothing to do with visa-related irregularities involving Taiwanese, he said. Taiwan does not grant nationals of Macedonia visa-free status or landing visa privileges, the Bureau of Consular Affairs said.
Research vessel arrives
A German research ship arrived in Greater Kaohsiung yesterday to join Taiwanese researchers in exploring for gas hydrates in the waters off the nation’s southwestern coast. The Sonne docked at Kaohsiung Port, where local experts led by National Taiwan University oceanography professor Saulwood Lin (林曉武) and researchers from the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences in Germany shared ideas on the potential energy source. The Sonne, carrying 25 scientists and equipment that utilizes video imaging to identify gas hydrates in the sea, is to embark on a one-month mission today. Interest in this new energy source comes at a time when the nation is debating its energy future. There are mounting demands for the abolition of nuclear power, which currently provides nearly 20 percent of the nation’s electricity. Studies have pointed to the possibility of widespread gas hydrate reserves in the waters off the southwestern coast, which could be enough to supply the nation for more than 50 years.
Vendors unsure of origins
Sixty percent of restaurants and 42 percent of packaged food vendors do not identify the origins of the beef they use, the Consumers’ Foundation said. The restaurants, food vendors and shops surveyed lacked clear understanding of the origin of the meat on their menu or at the door to their business, while packaged food vendors did not display cards or attach labels to indicate the source of their beef, the foundation said. The labeling and display of the origin of beef products was made compulsory in September last year.