Typhoon may be brewing
A tropical depression near the Spratly Islands (Nansha Islands, 南沙群島) in the South China Sea may develop into a typhoon within 24 hours, the Central Weather Bureau said yesterday. If the storm develops, it will be the season’s ninth typhoon and will be named Jebi, which means “swallow” in Korean, the bureau said. As of yesterday morning, the tropical depression was centered about 1,000km southwest of Pingtung County’s Oluanpi (鵝鑾鼻), forecasters said. The depression is moving toward Hainan Province in China, the bureau said. If the system develops into a typhoon it is not expected to affect Taiwan directly, the bureau said.
Lotto winner scoops billions
A Super Lotto jackpot of NT$2.36 billion (US$78.8 million), the biggest prize in the nation’s lottery history, on Thursday went to a single winner in Taoyuan County, the Taiwan Lottery Co (TLC) announced. The previous record was NT$1.97 billion, shared by two winners on Oct. 30, 2008 TLC said. Since its launch on Jan. 22, 2008, Super Lotto has given out 37 first prizes to 43 winners, with each obtaining NT$630 million on average, TLC said. According to an analysis by TLC, 66 percent of the winners who have won more than NT$5 million are men, with the majority (32 percent) falling within the 50-59 age group. The company also examined the winners according to their facial features, which are an important facet of Chinese fortune-telling. It was found that most of the winners have an oval face shape, thick eyebrows, double eyelids, high-bridged noses and thick lips. Meanwhile, those born in the Year of the Dog or under the Virgo horoscope sign, as well as those with the O blood type, had a higher chance of winning, according to the lottery company.
CAL launches new route
China Airlines (CAL), the nation’s largest air carrier, launched direct flights from Greater Tainan to Hong Kong on Thursday, establishing the first such route from Tainan Airport. CAL said it hopes to offer a more convenient service to Tainan residents traveling to China, as previously they had to go to Kao-hsiung to catch flights, the airline said. The new direct flights are scheduled three times a week — on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday — on Boeing 737-800 aircraft. CAL currently operates 156 round-trip flights per week to Hong Kong — 88 from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, 40 from Kaohsiung International Airport and 28 from Taichung Airport.
Minister to visit Japan
Minister of the Interior Lee Hong-yuan (李鴻源) is to visit Japan next week to learn more about how nuclear energy is used for the country’s development, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. Lee is to meet with officials from Japanese regulatory agencies for nuclear power, Department of East Asian and Pacific Affairs deputy director-general Su Chii-cherng (蘇啟誠) said. Lee’s trip comes amid a heated debate on whether the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s (新北市) Gongliao District (貢寮) should be made operational. A proposal to hold a national referendum on the fate of the plant has been sent to the legislature. The legislature went into recess on May 31 and was slated to reconvene in September. After a two-week-long extra session concluded on June 27, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus decided to call another extra session from July 29 to Aug. 9 to push through the referendum on the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, as well as the controversial cross-strait service trade agreement.