Stargazers on Tuesday are to have a chance to see Jupiter at its brightest, when it moves closest to Earth, the Taipei Astronomical Museum said. The opposition of Jupiter, which occurs when Earth comes between the sun and the largest planet in the solar system, would offer the best view of Jupiter this year, and observation conditions should be ideal days before and after the opposition, the museum said. Jupiter is easy to locate, as it rises at dusk from the southeast and descends at dawn to the southwest, it said. During the event, Jupiter could brighten to a magnitude of minus-2.8, which is about the brightness of a new moon, it said. The magnitude scale measures the brightness of a celestial body as seen from Earth and its value falls as an object becomes brighter.
Pork exports resume
Taiwanese pork on Friday arrived in Macau for the first time in 24 years after the nation was declared a foot-and-mouth disease (FMD)-free zone where vaccination is not practiced, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said. The 550kg shipment, delivered on a StarLux Airlines flight, was a trial batch consisting mainly of refrigerated pork and frozen meat, COA Deputy Minister Huang Chin-cheng (黃金城) said. Casino operators in Macau have placed orders with COA-partnered Taiwanese hog farmers for the refrigerated meat of about 200 pigs per week, Huang said. The shipment to Macau came just weeks after the World Organization for Animal Health last month declared Taiwan, including the outlying counties of Penghu and Lienchiang, an FMD-free zone.
No injuries in derailment
The derailment of a Tzuchiang Limited Express train on Friday evening caused delays for 20,234 passengers, the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) said yesterday. No one was injured. Normal service resumed yesterday morning. Northbound Train No. 140, which was to travel from Changhua County to Keelung, was not carrying any passengers when it derailed at 6:10pm at Changhua Station, as it was about to be dispatched, the TRA said. The derailment damaged some of the tracks, and as a result all TRA trains in both directions were forced to travel on one track, delaying 59 trains for a combined 2,921 minutes, it said. The TRA said it fixed the problem overnight, and all services returned to normal at 4:30am yesterday. The cause of the incident is under investigation, it added.
Leaders plan twin-city forum
The annual twin-city forum between Taipei and Shanghai is this year to be held by videoconference amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said on Wednesday. The two sides are in talks to choose a videoconferencing platform to use, as each side has expressed concerns, Ko said, adding: “Taiwan cannot use Huawei and China cannot use Google, so we are still figuring out how to resolve the issue.” Ko did not give a date for the meeting as preparations are still being made. The forum was launched in 2010 by then-Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), with each city taking turns hosting it, usually in July or August. Last year the forum was hosted by Shanghai on July 4. The event has served as a platform for cross-strait exchanges that focus on cultural and economic matters without touching on sovereignty issues.
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,
NEW CASE REPORTED: A man who returned from South Africa on a flight with the nation’s 460th and 461st cases has now tested positive for the disease The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that there is no need to test all arrivals to the nation for COVID-19, a policy the Executive Yuan supports. The center reported one new imported case, bringing the nation’s tally of confirmed cases to 477. The new case is a Taiwanese man in his 60s who on July 25 returned from South Africa, said Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is also the CECC’s spokesman. The man had returned to Taiwan on the same flight as cases Nos. 460 and 461, reported on July 27, Chuang said. On July 24,