Minister cites islands’ value
Minister of the Interior Lee Hong-yuan (李鴻源) expressed hope that the Pratas Islands (東沙群島, Dongsha Islands) in the South China Sea could be developed as a marine research center. Coral cover near the islands has been increasing and the atoll provides habitats for a wide variety of marine species, so they have a high conservation value, Lee said during a recent inspection of the Dongsha Atoll National Park. The islands are also suitable for large-scale research, Lee said, adding that he hopes to promote the islands as a marine research center. Marine National Park Headquarters director Yang Mo-lin (楊模麟) said that the Dongsha atoll park and the National Science Council last year jointly launched marine science and ecological studies on the islands, which have attracted Russian and French academics to the islands for similar studies.
Three Taiwanese jailed
Three Taiwanese were sentenced to life imprisonment in Indonesia for selling drugs, the Criminal Investigation Bureau said on Tuesday. Yueh Ying-tsung (岳瀛宗), a bureau official stationed in Indonesia, said the three, surnamed Chen (陳), Huang (黃) and Yeh (葉), were convicted by the Indonesian Supreme Court of selling amphetamine, a class-A drug. According to Indonesian media Republika Online, Artidjo Alkostar, a director at the Supreme Court, said the three were sentenced to 18 years in prison during earlier trials in the district and high courts. Artidjo said the Supreme Court decided to increase their sentences because they had also been producing methamphetamine. Yueh said there are currently more than 30 Taiwanese incarcerated in Jakarta and in Central Java for involvement in drug dealing.
Ben-Shahar to visit, lecture
Israeli author and lecturer Tal Ben-Shahar, who gained fame for the courses on positive psychology he taught at Harvard University, will give a speech in Taipei on June 18, the CommonWealth Magazine Group said yesterday. Ben-Shahar will address company managers, teachers and other professionals on the topic of positive leadership and will give another speech to a general audience on how to lead a happy life, the company said. The main focus of his visit will be to promote the Chinese version of his new book, Choose the Life You Want: 101 Ways to Create Your Own Road to Happiness. His two speeches will be given at the Civil Service Development Institute in Taipei. Ben-Shahar taught the largest course at Harvard, “Positive Psychology” and the third-largest, “The Psychology of Leadership,” which drew hundreds of students. He now teaches at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel, and works as a consultant to Fortune 500 companies.
Cold front could bring rain
The nation could have an increasing chance of rain and thunderstorms from tomorrow as a cold front approaches, the Central Weather Bureau said yesterday. The unstable weather could be most significant in northern and eastern Taiwan between tomorrow and Saturday, although the rain should ease from Tuesday next week, forecasters said. Daily high temperatures nationwide could drop by 4oC to 6oC over the weekend, the bureau said. The mercury in the north is expected to range between 18oC and 26oC, while the south could see temperatures ranging between 22oC and 27oC.