Two spoonbills return to wild
Two black-faced spoonbills suffering from botulism at the Chiku Wetland in Tainan early this year were set free yesterday by the Tainan County Government after recovering. The two were among 17 sick birds that were found at the Chiku conservation area early this year, county government sources said, adding that another 15 of the endangered birds were set free Feb. 18 after receiving treatment. Seventy-three black-faced spoonbills that migrated from the Korean Peninsula and northeastern China between early December and early February to spend the winter at the Chiku Wetland have died of botulism. Tainan County Magistrate Su Huan-chih (蘇煥智), who presided over a ceremony to set the two birds free, said Tainan County Hall will organize an international seminar on black-faced spoonbills in April. Su vowed to strengthen the management of the main habitat of black-faced spoonbills.
Chinese vessels collide
Two Chinese cargo ships have collided near an outlying Taiwanese island, causing one vessel to sink and killing at least three of its crewmen, Taiwanese police said yesterday. The Haugang 508 sank after colliding with the Runda 402 Saturday night in rough waters near Tungyin island, which is close to China's southeastern coast, police said. Taiwanese patrol boats rescued four sailors and were still searching for three missing sailors from the sunken ship, they said. A Chinese patrol boat has also joined the rescue effort, they said.
Gods say no to rail line
The nation's high-speed railway has hit a snag. The obstacle? A temple and its 300-year-old camphor tree. Rail engineers had planned for the line from Taipei in the north to Kaohsiung in the south to cross three temples. Railway officials may have informed those at the temple of the coming demolition, but they forgot to ask the most important figures -- the temple gods. The railway appeared to be in the good graces of the first two temple gods -- Taoist monks threw divination blocks to ask the gods whether the temple could be relocated. The gods assented. Unfortunately, the last temple god proved to be more stubborn. The divination blocks gave a resounding "no" to the idea of relocation. Unable to trump the temple god, and in their desire to maintain cultural relics, the rail officials conceded defeat and agreed to have the line skirt the temple and its venerable tree.
■ Nuclear power
Former DPP head to fast
Former DPP chairman Lin I-hsiung (林義雄) will stage an hours-long fast in front of the Executive Yuan today to protest the government's failure to hold a referendum on the fate of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant. Lin, along with a group of anti-nuclear activists, plan to stage the fast from afternoon through late night. Premier Yu Shyi-kun has designated Cabinet Secretary-General Liu Shih-fang (劉世芳) to receive the petitioners and discuss the issue with Lin. Reiterating that a nation without nuclear power has been a common goal for the DPP and opposition parties, Cabinet spokesman Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said the timing of a referendum on the fate of the plant needs further study and that the government will not rule out the possibility of holding a"consultative referendum" before laws governing a vote on the nuclear issue are enacted.
A Keelung high school on Saturday night apologized for using a picture containing a Chinese flag on the cover of the senior yearbook, adding that it has recalled the books and pledged to provide students new ones before graduation on Thursday. Of 309 Affiliated Keelung Maritime Senior High School of National Taiwan Ocean University graduates, 248 had purchased the yearbook. Some students said that the printer committed an outrageous error in including the picture, while others said that nobody would notice such a small flag on the cover. Other students said that they cared more about the photographs of classmates and what was
GOING INTERNATIONAL: Rakuten Girls squad leader Ula Shen said she was surprised that baseball fans outside of Taiwan not only knew of them, but also knew their names Major League Baseball’s (MLB) Oakland Athletics on Saturday hosted its first Taiwanese Heritage Day event at the Oakland Coliseum with a performance by Taiwanese cheerleading squad the Rakuten Girls and a video message from Vice President William Lai (賴清德). The Rakuten Girls, who are the cheerleaders for the CPBL’s Rakuten Monkeys, performed in front of a crowd of more than 2,000 people, followed by a prerecorded address by Lai about Taiwan’s baseball culture and democratic spirit. Taiwanese pitcher Sha Tzu-chen (沙子宸), who was signed by the Athletics earlier this year, was also present. Mizuki Lin (林襄), considered a “baseball cheerleading goddess” by Taiwanese
WAY OF THE RUKAI: ‘Values deemed worthy often exist amid discomfort, so when people go against the flow, nature becomes entwined with our lives,’ a student said “Run, don’t walk” after your dreams, Nvidia cofounder and chief executive officer Jensen Huang (黃仁勳) told National Taiwan University (NTU) graduates yesterday, as several major universities held in-person graduation ceremonies for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic. “What will you create? Whatever it is, run after it. Run, don’t walk. Remember, either you’re running for food, or you are running from becoming food. Oftentimes, you can’t tell which. Either way, run,” he said. Huang was one of several tech executives addressing graduating students at Taiwanese universities. National Chengchi University held two ceremonies, with alumnus Patrick Pan (潘先國), who is head of Taiwan
A 14-legged giant isopod is the highlight of a new dish at a ramen restaurant in Taipei and it has people lining up — both for pictures and for a bite from this bowl of noodles. Since “The Ramen Boy” launched the limited-edition noodle bowl on Monday last week, declaring in a social media post that it had “finally got this dream ingredient,” more than 100 people have joined a waiting list to dine at the restaurant. “It is so attractive because of its appearance — it looks very cute,” said the 37-year-old owner of the restaurant, who wanted to be