Local illustrators honored
Eight Taiwanese graphic illustrators were among 77 selected to participate in the 55th Illustrators Exhibition to be held online during the Bologna Children’s Book Fair in June, the Taiwan Creative Content Agency said on Thursday. This year, 3,235 participants from 68 countries and regions submitted work for the exhibition, with 226 illustrators selected in the first round, including 24 Taiwanese. In the second and final round, 77 illustrators were selected, including eight Taiwanese, the agency said. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the exhibition is to be held online from June 14 to 17, it added. To help promote the illustrators, the agency said that it would team up with the Animation and Visual Effects Association to produce animated short films introducing each one.
Taipei dog park launched
On Wednesday, Taipei opened its latest dog park at a fenced-off grassy area inside Guting Riverside Park (古亭河濱公園), next to the shores of the Sindian River (新店溪). The city’s eighth dog park, it totals 703m2, complete with a wash basin, a dispenser of bags for dog droppings and benches for the dogs’ human companions, Taipei City Animal Protection Office officials told the opening event. Officially designated the “Guting Dog Off-Leash Area,” the park cost NT$1.8 million (US$64,826), and was built with mixed playing areas for large and small dogs, Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊) said.
Blue Cave safely seen via VR
The Penghu County Government has launched a virtual reality (VR) experience that gives people the opportunity to stay in the safe environment of the Penghu Marine Geopark in Magong City while enjoying the potentially treacherous “Blue Cave.” Located on the coast of the uninhabited Siji Islet (西吉嶼), the Blue Cave was created by natural erosion and is part of the South Penghu Marine National Park, the county’s Tourism Department said. Because of accidents involving visitors to the cave being swept away by unpredictable sea currents, all visitors are now required to apply for a permit to go to the islet, the department said. Given the difficulty of visiting the islet, the county government designed a VR Blue Cave experience in part of the geopark’s visitor center that is decorated with images and lights to recreate the cave’s surroundings, it said.
Zoo has leopard cat kittens
A rescued leopard cat kept at the Taipei Zoo gave birth to three kittens on Tuesday, the first such births for the zoo in 20 years, zoo officials said. Leopard cat Ping Ping (平平) gave birth at 5:43pm, 6pm and 6:20pm, officials said, adding that mating behavior was recorded in December last year between Ping Ping and Hsiao Yu (小魚), another rescued leopard cat kept at the zoo. To keep Ping Ping calm and fully rested, she has been separated from the kittens, whose sex remains undetermined, zoo spokesman Eric Tsao (曹先紹) said. Kittens continue growing away from their mother after 45 days, become independent at six months and reach sexual maturity at one-and-a-half years, Tsao said. Visitors would be allowed to see the kittens after they are 45 days old, at the earliest, he said, adding that the public would have the chance to vote on names for the felines. Ping Ping previously gave birth to An An (安安), but that cat died when it was released into the wild and ate a poisoned mouse, Tsao said.
TENSE SITUATION: If the storm does not bring rain, Taiwan might have to wait until next month amid water scarcity in the center and south, an expert said Typhoon Surigae is to bring rain to the nation’s east coast and mountainous areas in central and southern Taiwan from Wednesday to Friday, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said yesterday. As of 2pm yesterday, the typhoon’s center was 1,170km southeast of Oluanpi (鵝鑾鼻), Taiwan’s southernmost tip. The radius of the storm was 280km, and it was moving northwest at 9kph, with a maximum wind speed of 198kph. The bureau forecasts that the storm would switch to a northerly direction when approaching the east coast of Luzon Island in the Philippines on Wednesday, CWB forecaster Lin Ding-yi (林定宜) said, adding that Surigae would
INTERNATIONAL WEED DAY: Advocates are to hold a demonstration to push for the decriminalization of marijuana and allowing its use for treatment of certain conditions It is time for Taiwanese society to examine the medical benefits of cannabis, in line with the international trend to lift restrictions on and decriminalize the use of marijuana, two legislators said yesterday, ahead of tomorrow’s “Rally for Equal Rights for Cannabis” in Taipei. Taiwan is one of a few countries holding a “420 International Weed Day” event — which usually takes place around the April 20 weekend — as most nations have canceled it this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, said organizer Green Sensation, which is composed of doctors, lawyers and entertainers, among others. The group released a
SEEKING CLARITY: Some members of the US delegation asked KMT legislators in a meeting to address their party’s position on the so-called ‘1992 consensus,’ sources said A US delegation tasked by US President Joe Biden to reaffirm the country’s commitment to its partnership with Taiwan yesterday wrapped up a three-day visit to Taipei. Former US senator Chris Dodd, former US deputy secretaries of state Richard Armitage and James Steinberg, and US Department of State Office of Taiwan Coordination Director Dan Biers departed at 11:20am on a private jet. The members of the delegation, all friends of Biden, arrived on Wednesday and met with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and other government officials. During the three-day visit, the delegation also met with six members of the Legislative
‘AN EXCUSE’: The intent of Beijing’s incursions was ‘intimidation and coercion,’ a senior US official said, adding that China was using the US to justify its actions Chinese carrier drills and stepped-up incursions into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone in the past few weeks are meant to send a message to Washington to stand down and back off, security sources in Taipei said. The increased activity — which China, unusually, described as “combat drills” on Wednesday — has raised alarm in both Taipei and Washington, although security officials do not see it as a sign of an imminent attack. Rather, at least some of the exercises are practicing “access denial” maneuvers to prevent foreign forces from coming to Taipei’s defense in a war, one official familiar with Taiwan’s security