Showers to continue
Temperatures rose nationwide yesterday with the western part of the country seeing highs of more than 30?C before midday. However, a front that moved in late yesterday is expected to bring temperatures down to about 26?C in the north today, the Central Weather Bureau said. Brief showers or thunder showers are forecast for northern areas after yesterday’s weather front, the bureau said, adding that another front that is arriving tomorrow is expected to bring more extensive precipitation. Yesterday morning, a high of 32?C was recorded in Greater Taipei, followed by 31.9?C in Chiayi County. The warm temperatures followed Friday’s highs of 32.3?C in Taipei and 31.4?C in Keelung and Hsinchu cities. They are the highest temperatures experienced in those areas so far this year.
Sculpture set for Yuanlin
The Yuanlin train station in Changhua County is to feature a sculpture designed by famed avant-garde Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama as part of the station’s landscaping work, which is due for completion in June next year. The sculpture called Let’s Go and See Our Boyfriends in High Heels is to cost NT$6 million (US$196,200) and be set up in a plaza in front of the new, elevated train station, Railway Reconstruction Bureau officials said. It will make Yuanlin the first train station to feature a Kusama sculpture, which is to be installed along with three other major public artworks that are to be added around the station by January 2016 at a total cost of NT$17 million, officials said. The 3.98km elevated section of railway crossing Yuanlin Township is scheduled to open in October this year.
Garlic exports to rise
The Agriculture and Food Agency said yesterday that it plans to increase exports of garlic to 8,000 tonnes this year in an attempt to lower the domestic supply and stabilize prices. It said garlic output destined for export has surpassed the production target of 5,000 tonnes because of the cooler weather. The surplus will be sold overseas to help local garlic growers ride out the financial impact. The price of garlic in Yunlin County, the major garlic-growing region, has sunk to NT$10 per kilogram, NT$13 to NT$15 down from the same period last year, local news reported. The Yunlin County Government has initiated a program for exporters to register their export volumes, in which they purchase garlic cheaper than the original farm price and finish exporting it within one month, the agency said. The measure will remain in place until May 15.
Fisherman back after 5 years
A Taiwanese captain who was imprisoned on a charge of illegal fishing in Tanzania was released on Friday after five years of efforts by his family and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The foreign ministry said in a news release that Hsu Ching-tai (許清泰) was arrested for fishing illegally in Tanzanian waters in 2009, and sentenced to 20 years in prison as a result. Over the past five years, Hsu’s family and the ministry have made extensive efforts to appeal the case on Hsu’s behalf. The Court of Appeal of Tanzania announced his release on Friday. Taiwan’s representative office in South Africa will arrange for the fisherman’s early return to Taiwan, the ministry said.