‘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.
PILLAGING PENGHU: A 7,539-tonne Chinese ship found mining sand in the Formosa Banks area was escorted by several CGA ships to a Kaohsiung harbor The Coast Guard Administration (CGA) yesterday announced that it had dispatched ships to intercept Chinese dredging vessels operating in the nation’s territorial waters near Penghu and detained 10 crew members, who were transported to Kaohsiung. A coast guard patrol discovered more than 20 dredging vessels in an area known as the Formosa Banks, 46 nautical miles (85km) southwest of Penghu County’s Cimei islet (七美) at about 5am on Wednesday. The agency responded by dispatching two patrol boats, the 3,000-tonne Kaohsiung and the 500-tonne Penghu, along with two frigates, to intercept the Chinese vessels, while an airborne observation unit was used to monitor
‘HONEYMOON’ IS OVER: A political science professor said that the Tsai administration’s popularity peaked after it successfully contained COVID-19, but is waning President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) and Premier Su Tseng-chang’s (蘇貞昌) approval ratings fell significantly this month in the wake of the government’s handling of the distribution of relief funds and stimulus coupons to people and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, a poll released yesterday by the New Power Party (NPP) showed. The poll showed that 68 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with Tsai’s performance, down 8.9 percentage points from last month, while 21 percent said they disapproved of her performance. Her approval among respondents aged 20 to 29 fell 14.7 percentage points, the largest decrease when compared with other age
CAUTION: The CECC would first observe how the nation fares after easing domestic restrictions and wait for the pandemic to further subside before making its next move The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that relaxing domestic restrictions and border controls simultaneously might complicate efforts to reopen the nation, amid discussions about Taiwan’s exclusion by other countries in their first lists of tourists. The center hopes for there to be a period of observation following the easing of domestic restrictions, before it decides what to do next, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, told a daily news briefing in Taipei. Chen was responding to a question about the reasoning behind the central government’s decision not to allow foreign students into the
Taiwan respects other countries’ decisions not to include it in their first lists of tourists allowed entry when they reopen their borders, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. The Yomiuri Shimbun on Sunday reported that the Japanese government was considering reopening the country to tourists from Thailand, Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand first. Greece on Friday announced that from June 15, it would allow visitors from 29 countries, including Australia, China, the Czech Republic, Japan, Israel, New Zealand, South Korea and Germany. Japan has not yet finalized its visitor list, but the ministry has conveyed its hope that Tokyo would