Cold weather on the way
A cold surge of wintery weather will hit the nation on Friday night, with temperatures in the north likely to fall as low as 9?C, the Central Weather Bureau said yesterday. The bureau said the first strong continental cold air mass would arrive tomorrow and be at its strongest between Friday night and Saturday morning, with the mercury dropping to 9?C. The bureau predicted a low of 11?C for Taipei, though it cautioned that the forecast could be revised downward in the coming days. Temperatures yesterday rose slightly to between 20?C and 21?C in the north and between 23?C and 24?C in central and southern areas, while nighttime temperatures ranged between 17?C and 20?C, the bureau said.
Speech club seeks members
The recently formed Taiwan Student Speaking Association is seeking more students interested in practicing their English-language speaking skills. The association meets at every other Monday from 6pm to 7pm at the e-cafe on the third floor of the National Taipei College of Business’ administration building in Taipei (No. 321, Jinan Rd Sec. 1). Students give short speeches of about 20 minutes, preferably in English, but Mandarin is acceptable, and then take questions from the audience. The group’s next meeting is on Monday, before taking an extended break for the New Year and Lunar New Year holiday period until March. Potential speakers and listeners are encouraged to attend. Admission is free. For more information, contact David at email@example.com or 0955-091-717, or Ina at firstname.lastname@example.org
Plane swap with US planned
The US will give Taiwan a vintage B-26 Invader that will become part of a museum display, in return for an F-5E warplane and an F-5F, military sources said on Monday. The B-26 is scheduled to arrive at Kaohsiung Harbor on Jan. 9 and will be put on display at an air force museum in Greater Kaohsiung after being decorated with the decals once used by the “Black Bats” squadron, the sources said. The “Black Bats” operated from 1958 until 1974 on clandestine military intelligence-gathering missions.
Alishan stamps to be issued
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Alishan Forest Railway, Chunghwa Post Co will issue commemorative sheets of postage stamps and hold a Dec. 25 issuing ceremony at Pei-men Station in Chiayi City. Alishan is a popular mountain resort and tourist attraction among both local and foreign visitors. According to the Chunghwa Post, the stamps, in NT$5 and NT$25 denominations, will feature the narrow-gauge mountain railway and the trains that run on it. The sheets will also bear a gold emblem on the left top corner to mark the 100 years of the forest railway.
Some personnel can’t vote
About 13,000 military personnel will not be able to return to their residences to cast their ballots in the Jan. 14 elections because they will be unable to leave their posts, Ministry of National Defense spokesperson Colonel David Lo (羅紹和) said yesterday. The number represents 6 percent of the nation’s military forces, Lo said. The military has outlined a plan of personnel rotations for the elections, Lo added, saying that the rotation will take place at noon on Jan. 14 to allow as many essential personnel to cast their votes as possible.
‘EFFECTIVE DETERRENCE’: If the Biden administration suspends arms sales to Taiwan, the military could still ready a nimble fighting force for defense, an analyst said The “US Strategic Framework for the Indo-Pacific” last week sparked debate among analysts after US President Donald Trump declassified the document 20 years ahead of schedule. Trump on Tuesday last week released the document that had governed US strategic action in the region since the US leader approved its use in 2018. The document, which outlines US priorities in the region, emphasizes the importance of defending Taiwan against military aggression and facilitating the country’s development of asymmetric strategies and capabilities. The overall directive of the document is for the US to prevent China from establishing sustained air and sea dominance inside the first
ALLEVIATING FEARS: The CECC would only announce public places where it is difficult to identify everyone there at the same time as the couple, minister Chen said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced six places where two locally infected COVID-19 cases had visited between Thursday last week and Sunday, urging people who had been at the places at the same time to monitor their health. The couple, cases 838, a doctor, and 839, his nurse girlfriend, were reported by the center on Tuesday. The doctor had treated a patient with COVID-19 last week before he began suffering symptoms on Friday, while the nurse began suffering symptoms on Saturday. They work in the same hospital in northern Taiwan, but the nurse had not worked with COVID-19 patients, so
SECOND RULING: Israeli-American Oren Shlomo Mayer refused to sign a court transcript, complained about the court translator and said the trial had been unfair The High Court yesterday upheld New Taipei City District Court’s verdicts on four men convicted last year in connection with the 2018 murder and dismemberment of a Canadian citizen on the banks of the Sindian River (新店溪). It found American-Israeli Oren Shlomo Mayer and American Ewart Odane Bent guilty of homicide and the abandonment and destruction of a corpse, with Mayer sentenced to life in prison and Bent given a term of 12 years and six months, for the death of Sanjay Ryan Ramgahan, whose body parts were found in a riverside park under Zhongzheng Bridge in New Taipei’s Yonghe
A lawyer and a prosecutor yesterday castigated what they called a lenient ruling by the High Court on Luo Wen-shan (羅文山), whose prison sentence was reduced to two years, which he does not need to serve, after he was convicted for receiving illegal political donations from China to meddle in Taiwan’s elections. Investigators found that Luo, who retired from the army with the rank of lieutenant general, had accepted NT$8.38 million (US$294,604 at the current exchange rate) under the guise of political contributions from Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference member Xu Zhiming (許智明) and people in Hong Kong from 2008 to