CWB issues cold warnings
The Central Weather Bureau (CWB) has issued warnings for cold temperatures in 20 cities and counties, with a strong continental cold front to linger until at least early this morning. An “orange” alert was issued for New Taipei City, Taoyuan, Taichung, Chiayi City and Tainan, as well as Hsinchu, Miaoli, Changhua, Nantou, Yunlin, Chiayi and Yilan counties, warning of temperatures of below 6°C last night into this morning. The CWB also issued a “yellow” alert, saying temperatures of below 10°C were expected in Keelung, Taipei, Hsinchu and Kaohsiung, as well as Pingtung, Hualien, Taitung and Kinmen counties. In November last year, the bureau adopted a color-coded alert system to warn of low temperatures across Taiwan, with “yellow,” “orange” and “red” warnings denoting “cold,” “very cold” and “frigid” temperatures respectively in non-mountainous areas.
Visa program extended
Taiwan and North Macedonia have agreed to extend their bilateral visa-free programs for five years through March 31, 2025, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. Passport holders from both sides can visit each other’s territory without a visa for up to 90 days within an 180-day period, the ministry said in a statement, adding that information has been updated on the Web site of each nation’s foreign ministry. However, the privilege only applies to Republic of China passport holders whose document contains their national ID number, the Taiwanese ministry said. Having the ID number means the passport holder is a Taiwanese national and has household registration in Taiwan, which guarantees their civil and political rights, it said.
Ministry thanks US senator
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday thanked US Senator Marco Rubio for urging the US to fully implement the Taiwan Travel Act, negotiate a bilateral trade agreement and increase military support for Taiwan. In an opinion piece published in the Washington Examiner on Thursday, Rubio said that Beijing would likely redouble its efforts to isolate Taiwan in the run-up to the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party’s founding next year. Ship visits and face-to-face meetings between senior military and government officials are opportunities for US engagement, while the US should “fully implement the Taiwan Travel Act,” he wrote. The ministry said in a statement that the nation would continue working with the US administration and the US Congress with a pragmatic attitude, and steadily deepen bilateral partnerships around the world.
Fire dog carer sought
The Taipei Fire Department is to accept applications to take care of its rescue dog, a five-year-old German shepherd named Humble, until Feb 17. Applicants should live on the first floor of a building with open space of at least 10m2, with Taipei residents preferred, the department said. The dog’s food is to be paid for by the department, it said, adding that if veterinarian services are required, the carer should inform the department first, but if there is an emergency, the carer can seek help first and apply for reimbursement from the department afterward on provision of medical certificates. Since 2015, six of its retired rescue dogs have been adopted by animal lovers, the department said.
Taiwan does not exclude the possibility of having formal diplomatic relations with countries that also have formal ties with China, regardless of Beijing’s stance, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said on Sunday. There was speculation in 2012 that Honduras was attempting to have simultaneous diplomatic relations with Taiwan and China, an idea that then-minister of foreign affairs David Lin (林永樂) rejected. Honduras severed formal ties with Taiwan on Sunday morning after establishing diplomatic relations with Beijing. President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration has taken a more practical approach to relations with like-minded countries since assuming government in 2016. Previous administrations took the
Seven senior faculty members, including the principal, of a high school in Taichung were temporarily suspended from their jobs on Friday, pending an investigation by the Taichung Education Bureau into alleged bullying and abuse that led to the suicide of a student last month. The city’s education officials were too slow to suspend those involved, the student’s father told a news conference on Wednesday, at which Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chang Liao Wan-chien (張廖萬堅) and members of the Humanistic Education Foundation were also present. The boy had been a good student and a high achiever during elementary and junior-high, and had
Taiwan would have established formal relations with Argentina long ago if not for China’s interference, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexander Yui told US-based Spanish-language online news outlet Infobae in an interview published on Tuesday. Beijing has left behind a string of unfulfilled promises in Latin America, including pledges to build the Grand Nicaragua Canal and airports, docks, ports and industrial zones in El Salvador, he said. Meanwhile, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Mexico and other countries enjoy pragmatic and improving relations with Taiwan based on cooperation on the economy, culture, technology and science, he said. While Taiwan is “happy to live and let live,”
WASHED ASHORE: Of the 16 bodies discovered along Taiwan’s west coast this month, two were Vietnamese and five were Taiwanese, coast guard officials said Minister of Justice Tsai Ching-hsiang (蔡清祥) said that he has instructed prosecutors and maritime authorities to launch investigations after 16 bodies were found along Taiwan’s west coast this month, amid speculation that they were victims of smuggling or human trafficking rings. Coast Guard Administration (CGA) officials said the bodies, most of which had washed ashore, were found by coast guard personnel and local residents along the coastline from Keelung to Kaohsiung. Thirteen of the bodies are male and three are female, the CGA said, adding that items found on the bodies indicate that two of the men were Vietnamese, while three men