The Philippines says thanks
Philippine President Benigno Aquino III is grateful for Taiwan’s assistance with post-disaster relief efforts, a Filipino official said on Wednesday. “Aquino has praised Taiwan as a friend in need,” the official said. Taiwan has donated US$200,000 in cash and airlifted about 100 tonnes of relief supplies, worth US$1.8 million, to help survivors of Typhoon Haiyan, which battered the central Philippines on Nov. 8. Manila Economic and Cultural Office chairman Amadeo Perez Jr on Wednesday in Taipei also expressed his heartfelt thanks. The Philippines’ gratitude for Taiwan is difficult to express by words, he said, adding that his nation will respond to the goodwill of Taiwan’s authorities and people in a humble way. An EVA Airways plane on Wednesday flew 90 cases of tents and food supplies to Manila and a navy vessel will soon transport more supplies. The air force has already made 12 flights with relief goods on its C-130 cargo planes.
Outdoor broadcast in Taipei
A typhoon threat forced the cancellation of Cloud Gate Dance Theatre’s (雲門舞集) annual outdoor performance in Liberty Square at the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial in July, but the company will make it up to disappointed Taipei fans tonight with a live broadcast of the premiere of founder Lin Hwai-min’s (林懷民) newest work, Rice (稻禾). To mark its 40th anniversary, Cloud Gate has organized a broadcast of the sold-out performance at the National Theater, which begins at 7:45pm, to two large screens erected in the plaza behind the theater for the thousands of people who are expected to pack the square. The outside audience will also be invited to help raise two massive red banners, which have been inscribed with propitious blessings for favorable weather, peace and prosperity (風調雨順 ， 國泰民安) The broadcast will also be aired in the municipal cultural centers Miaoli, Changhua, Nantou, Yunlin, Pingtung and Yilan counties, as well as Hsinchu City, and will be available to viewers on outlying islands via an Internet feed. Chunghwa’s emome site and Public Television Service’s high-definition channel.
Officials to head to APEC
Officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Economic Affairs are preparing for APEC’s Informal Senior Officials’ Meeting next month in Beijing. Delegates at the meeting will discuss regional economic growth and integration, as well as the agenda for the next year’s APEC summit, Department of International Organizations director-general Tom Chou (周台竹) said yesterday. The organization’s summit next year will be held in Beijing.
Team studies earthquakes
Five researchers from Taiwanese universities are joining counterparts in India on a 10-year earthquake research project in the Himalayas. The project is being sponsored by the National Science Council and carried out in collaboration with Kumaun University of India. The five-member team will also travel across the Gangetic Plain while conducting research on several major faults lines. Team member Chang Chung-pai (張中白), an earth science professor, said they will collect and analyze data. Other team members are Chyi Shyh-jeng (齊士崢) from National Kaohsiung Normal University, Yang Chin-yi (顏君毅) from National Dong Hwa University, Ching Kuo-en (景國恩) from National Cheng Kung University and Akano Yhokha, who is studying for her doctorate at National Central University.
Krispy Kreme offers treats
Sweets lovers are in for a treat, as Krispy Kreme Taiwan is to offer free doughnuts this and next weekend. The company is holding two events in Taipei on Saturday and on Dec. 1 to cook up enthusiasm ahead of the grand opening of its first Taiwanese store on Dec. 12, according to Krispy Kreme Taiwan’s Facebook page. Krispy Kreme said it plans to give away 2,000 dozen starting at 1pm on Saturday, but did not give more details for the Dec. 1 event. The new store is in a cinema area in Taipei’s Xinyi District (信義). US-based Krispy Kreme Doughnuts is looking to fill the hole left by US doughnut chain Dunkin’ Donuts, which pulled out of Taiwan in February. The company’s main competition locally will be Japanese chain Mister Donut, which has more than 50 stores across the nation.
Endangered plants get boost
The nation has established a standard operating procedure (SOP) for reproducing its wild endangered plants, said Chang Li-hui, an assistant researcher at the Council of Agriculture’s Endemic Species Research Institute. The extinction of any species not only represents the problems the particular species is facing, but indicates changes in the food chain, which may affect the whole ecosystem, Chang said. Taiwan has 163 wild plant species that are classified as “critically endangered,” Chang said, citing a survey by the institute last year. There are fewer than 250 plants in each of those 163 species, she said, adding that the situation may have worsened since Typhoon Tembin struck eastern Taiwan in August last year. A five-member team that includes Chang will conduct further evaluation and try to reproduce a certain orchid first, before other endangered plants, she said.