‘Green market’ planned
Environmentally minded organizations are setting up a “green market” of 60 booths over the weekend to encourage sustainable consumption ahead of Earth Day. Visitors to the two-day market will be able to purchase organic food products and meet the local farmers who grew them, while eco-artists will show how to make household goods using recycled materials, according to the Taiwan Environmental Information Association. The event at the Nanmen Park campus of National Taiwan Museum will also include discussions and activities to brainstorm better methods of development, especially in terms of construction, energy use and transportation, the organizer said. The market is just one event in a larger campaign for this year’s Earth Day theme of green cities, which will run through early June and is expected to involve 15,000 participants, it added. Earth Day falls on Tuesday next week.
Job-matching service lauded
An online job-matching platform being promoted by the National Immigration Agency for employers and new immigrants has effectively addressed the shortage of workers in rural areas, National Immigration Agency Director-General Hsieh Li-kung (謝立功) said. The new service is an extension of previous services the agency began offering in rural areas in 2010, including sending representatives into less populated regions to help new immigrants extend their visas or collect certificates. As part of the new service, the agency has teamed up with a human resources company to set up a Web site that helps new immigrants find employment. The site has received 178,357 visits and helped 4,933 immigrants connect with 3,701 jobs, representing a success rate of 75.02 percent, Hsieh said.
New ship launched
The Coast Guard Administration (CGA) launched a 3,000-tonne patrol and rescue vessel in Kaohsiung yesterday. The Kaohsiung (CG-129) entered the water in a ceremony at the Jong Shyn Shipbuilding Co shipyard. It is the second 3,000-tonne coast guard vessel launched recently. The Yilan, launched in January, is scheduled to begin service in June after extensive sea trials. CGA Deputy Minister Yu Ming-hsi (尤明錫) said the Kaohsiung is expected to begin service in November, after trials. It is to patrol waters to the south of the nation, including the South China Sea, to protect Taiwanese fishermen operating in the region, Yu said. The Yilan and Kaohsiung are the coast guard’s largest ships. They are 119m long, 15.2m wide and 8.2m tall.
Leaked HTC pic spurs arrest
A local man has been arrested and referred for possible prosecution in relation to a leaked image of HTC Corp’s new flagship smartphone — the One M8 — a month before its March 25 debut, police said yesterday. Police launched an investigation into the case in February after receiving a report from HTC, which discovered photos of the new phone on the Mobile01 Web site. Police later traced the photos to a 35-year-old New Taipei City resident who allegedly posted the pictures on the site without the company’s authorization. A computer and mobile phone containing the photos were seized from the suspect’s home during a raid on Tuesday, police said. The man is under investigation for allegedly violating the Copyright Act (著作權法) and the Trade Secrets Act (營業秘密法). The latter carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of up to NT$10 million (US$331,240).
Chinese degree pool widened
The Ministry of Education announced yesterday that it now recognizes diplomas issued by 18 more Chinese institutions of higher education, bringing the total number of recognized schools to 129. The new additions cover 15 specialized colleges, as well as three research institutes: the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. The nation’s policy recognizes diplomas issued on or after Sept. 3, 2010, by designated schools in China. For Taiwanese citizens who obtained diplomas from now-recognized Chinese institutions before that date, but after 1992, an examination is required to certify academic qualifications.
Rapture of the raptors
Today is to mark the beginning of a series of events centered on birds of prey to coincide with the peak of their migration season, offering a rare look at gray-faced buzzards and Chinese sparrowhawks. Among the events will be guided birdwatching tours in the North Coast and Guanyinshan National Scenic Area on today, tomorrow and April 27, as well as on May 4, the Tourism Bureau said. Peak raptor migration season begins after the spring equinox later this month, when frequent rainfall forces them to land or fly low, making it a good opportunity for bird watchers, the bureau said. The season is likely to last into May, according to the Taipei-based Chinese Wild Bird Federation, which said that Guanyinshan (觀音山) in New Taipei City, Baguashan (八卦山) in Changhua County and of Kenting (墾丁) in Pingtung County are among the best places to see aerial predators.
ATTACKED: The patrol cutter, accompanied by two other vessels, was clearing illegal fishing nets when the fishing boats rammed it. Repairs are expected to cost NT$1.2m Taiwan’s newest Coast Guard Administration (CGA) patrol vessel was damaged after being rammed by Chinese fishing boats near Kinmen County. It was the second confrontation this month in which shots were fired to repel Chinese fishing boats. Chen Chien-wen (陳建文), chief of the coast guard’s Offshore Flotilla No. 9 unit for Kinmen County, said that on Monday a dozen Chinese fishing boats entered Taiwan’s territorial waters near Little Kinmen (小金門), also known as Lieyu (烈嶼), close to the coast of China’s Fujian Province. “We are happy to report that no coast guard personnel were hurt in the incident, but the new CGA
Each local government must implement disease prevention policies based on its own considerations, so they cannot be identical, Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊) said yesterday. Her remarks were in response to questions about why Taipei did not follow New Taipei City in closing all public sports centers, activity centers and museums for 14 days, starting on Friday. New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) made the sudden announcement to close those areas at the opening of a public sports center on Thursday to reduce gatherings of people in confined spaces and to prevent the spread of COVID-19, as a person confirmed
ADEQUATE COVERAGE: New Taipei City, which has more than 9,500 people under home quarantine, said it would add another 450 rooms at its disease prevention hotels The Taipei City Government has added a fourth designated disease prevention hotel, allowing people under 14-day home quarantine to isolate themselves from NT$5,000 per day, it said yesterday. The Taipei Department of Information and Tourism launched the first disease prevention hotel on Feb. 21 to accommodate travelers without a place to stay during mandatory home isolation or quarantine, and for people who want to separate themselves from their family members or roommates during quarantine. The department said that as of yesterday, more than 120 travelers have stayed at one of the city’s three disease prevention hotels, and their 178 rooms are nearly
MISINFORMATION: The 100,000 masks given to ally Paraguay were bought in other Latin American nations, not made in Taiwan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Taiwan has not yet reached a point where it can export masks to diplomatic allies amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday, dismissing as misinformation online reports that it gave away masks to curry favor with a diplomatic ally. “Taiwan provides med-ical aid to diplomatic allies based upon specific circumstances,” Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said, adding that the supplements donated by Taiwan were all purchased locally in allied countries, in accordance with their needs. “The time is not yet ripe” for Taiwan to export medical supplies, such as surgical masks, to diplomatic allies, until