Cold front approaches
A continental cold air mass is forecast to envelop Taiwan next week, sending temperatures to below 10°C in some areas on New Year’s Eve, National Central University adjunct associate professor of atmospheric sciences Wu Der-rong (吳德榮) said yesterday. With the arrival on Wednesday of the first cold front this winter, the mercury is expected to plunge to as low as 8°C to 10°C in some parts of the country at night as the system intensifies, Wu said. Temperatures would fall across Taiwan, with the coldest weather forecast for New Year’s Eve on Thursday, he said. Citing data from the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, Wu said that the temperature in the Taipei metropolitan area on Thursday would be about 7°C, while in some low-lying parts of the city the mercury is likely to plunge to 5°C. Residents in northern Taiwan would see a temporary break in the wet weather on Saturday next week, Wu said, adding that the following day, a cloud system from the south would bring rain to many parts of the country.
Age amendment passed
The Legislative Yuan yesterday passed amendments to the Civil Code, officially lowering the age of majority from 20 to 18. The new regulations would be effective from Jan. 1, 2023. Modern technology allows young people to develop self-awareness, and mental and physical maturity faster than before, the Ministry of Justice said, adding that it has answered public expectations and proposed the amendment to make 18 the new age of majority. With the rule change, people aged 18 would be allowed to freely marry or divorce, while they can get engaged at age 17. The amendments removed Article 981 of the Civil Code, which states that minors must obtain the permission of their legal guardians to marry.
Nitori announces recall
Nitori Taiwan, a retailer of Japanese furniture and home accessories, on Thursday announced a voluntary recall of nine types of diatomaceous bath mats and coasters due to possibly excessive levels of asbestos. In a notice on its Web site, Nitori said that people who purchased the products can take them to a Nitori store for a full refund, with or without a receipt. The nine affected products were made in China, and 2.41 million of them have been sold globally, the company said. It has removed an additional 54 items from its shelves, pending testing for asbestos — a carcinogen, Nitori said. People who have items confirmed as containing asbestos or that are being tested for the substance should double-wrap them in plastic until they can be returned or are deemed safe, the company said. Products that are worn or broken pose the greatest danger, as this can allow asbestos particles to be released into the air, the company said.
Volcano drill scheduled
Residents of Hutian Borough (湖田) in Taipei’s Beitou District (北投) on Tuesday are to receive a test warning on their mobile phones as authorities run a drill for a volcanic eruption to upgrade the national disaster warning network, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said yesterday. Residents of Hutian are to receive a text messages reading: “Drill, Volcanic Info, CWB 02_2349 1181,” between 10am and 10:30am, depending on their telecommunications provider, the bureau said. If the messages are delivered smoothly, the bureau would apply to have the volcano warning system included in the Public Warning System, it said.
China’s Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hong Kong has asked foreign consulates in Hong Kong to submit details of their local staff, which is more proof that the “one country, two systems” model no longer exists, a Taiwanese academic said. The office sent letters dated Monday last week to consulates in the territory, giving them one month to submit the information it requires. The move followed Beijing’s attempt to obtain floor plans for all properties used by foreign missions in Hong Kong last year, which raised concerns among diplomats that the information could be used for
‘ABNORMITY’: News of the military exercises on the coast of the Chinese province facing Taiwan were made public by the Ministry of National Defense on Thursday Taiwan’s military yesterday said it has detected the Chinese military initiating a round of exercises at a bay area in coastal Fujian Province, which faces Taiwan, since early yesterday morning and it has been closely monitoring the drills. The exercises being conducted at Fujian’s Dacheng Bay featured an undisclosed number of People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) warplanes, warships and ground troops, the Ministry of National Defense said in a press statement. The ministry did not disclose what kind of military exercises are being conducted there and for how long they would be happening, but it did say that it has been closely watching
Recent movements by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) have been “highly unusual,” but the military maintains a grasp of the situation, Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) said on Friday, after the military for the first time said it was monitoring troop movements in China’s Dacheng Bay (大埕灣). The minister gave the remarks to reporters before appearing at the legislature on the first day of its new session. The Ministry of National Defense on Thursday evening released an air force surveillance photograph of a PLA Shaanxi Y-8 anti-submarine aircraft, and said it was monitoring the PLA Rocket Force and ground
Noting that researchers have found that 85 China-based blogs and accounts were spreading a conspiracy theory that a US “meteorological weapon” had caused recent fires in Hawaii, political observers in Taiwan said the nation also needs to be vigilant of Beijing employing similar disinformation campaigns against Taiwan. The untrue content concerning Hawaii was written in 15 languages and disseminated across a myriad of platforms including Facebook, YouTube and X, a report published in Gizmodo said, citing NewsGuard, an online news content ranker. The effort represented the most expansive Chinese informational operation to be uncovered by NewsGuard to date, Gizmodo said. The conspiracy theory