The average temperature in Taiwan for the first half of this year was the highest since 1950, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said yesterday. The bureau said that the average temperature from January to July was 23.95oC, 0.97oC higher than the average for the period. The CWB warned that temperatures would remain high for the next few days, with afternoon thundershowers expected. Meanwhile, a typhoon has been forming in the Pacific, the bureau said. Typhoon Phanfone, the 13th typhoon reported in the Pacific this year, will not pose a threat to Taiwan as it was traveling in a northwestern direction
A delegation of 26 opposition lawmakers are slated to leave for a trip to the US on Aug 31 in the hope of gaining first-hand knowledge of Washington's attitude toward Taiwan and China. KMT Legislator John Chang (章孝嚴) will lead the delegation. He said members plan to exchange views with members of the US Congress, think tanks and officials responsible for Asia-Pacific security affairs. Chang said the tour will provide an opportunity for lawmakers to discuss the state of cross-strait relations in the wake of President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) "one country on each side" of the Strait statement. "Our visit
The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) is drafting a bill that would prohibit police officers from working undercover and restrict undercover work to customs officers, agents of the MOJ's Investigation Bureau and investigators from the Securities and Futures Commission. The military police will also be empowered to operate undercover, but only with the express approval of its commander-in-chief. The MOJ announced its plans at a press conference yesterday. If the Statute of Undercover Investigations (臥底偵查法) is passed, it will be the first law in Taiwan to regulate undercover law-enforcement operations. Vice Minister of Justice Yen Da-ho (顏大和) added that undercover work
An earthquake measuring 5.1 on the open-ended Richter scale rattled northeastern Taiwan at 7:28am yesterday, with no damage or injuries reported, according to the Central Weather Bureau (CWB). The epicenter of the temblor was located about 18.1km east of Nanao, Ilan County, at a depth of 20.1km beneath the surface of the sea, CWB seismologists said. The quake had an intensity of 3 in the coastal township of Nanao and of 2 in Ilan City and Ilan County. The quake had an intensity of 2 in Taipei City in the north and Hualien County in the east, and of 1
Taiwanese nationals intent on travelling to Eastern Europe should avoid flood-stricken areas in the region, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. As the flood threat appeared to ease in the waterlogged Czech Republic and across most of Europe, the foreign ministry yesterday issued a travel warning to Taiwanese nationals intent on traveling in Eastern Europe. The government has decided to donate US$100,000 in humanitarian aid to the Czech government to help with reconstruction. President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and Premier Yu Shih-kun have already sent telegrams to Czech President Vaclav Havel and Czech Premier Vladimir Spidla to express their concern
Chinese democracy activist Wang Dan (王丹) yesterday visited Lee Ying-yuan (李應元), the DPP's candidate for Taipei mayor, to exchange views on the promotion of democracy. Saying that human rights are universal values and democracy is a common language, Lee affirmed democracy activists' efforts in pushing for human rights and democratization in China and expressed the hope that Wang can go back to China one day and run for Beijing mayor. Asked for his views on cross-strait issues, Wang said that since Taiwan has experienced economic growth and democratic reforms, it should look ahead and use its goodwill while announcing its
Guatemalan Culture and Sport Minister Otilia Ines de Coti visited Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday to discuss exchange visits by aboriginal artists of both countries. The Taipei City Government signed an agreement with the Guatemala City Government two years ago when Ma visited the Central American country, under the terms of which both sides agreed to exchange artists on sabbaticals. Lung Ying-tai (龍應台), director of the Cultural Affairs Bureau of the Taipei City Government, said that some Guatemalan writers spent a month in Taipei under the agreement and added that the two cities will continue to make further artistic
China's protest against Taiwan's latest UN bid is groundless, spokeswoman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Katharine Chang (張小月) said yesterday. "China claims it represents the people of Taiwan, but the reality is Taiwan is not part of China," Chang said. "Taiwan is a sovereign state with its government, its own territory as well as its 23 million people." Chang made the remarks after China's UN ambassador, Wang Yingfan (王英凡), wrote to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Monday. Wang said in the letter that the recent proposal from Taipei's allies to urge the UN to consider Taiwan's entry into the
In a move to promote the "whole nation learning English" campaign, Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday joined two foreigners in demonstrating English tongue-twisters, to the delight and applause of onlookers. Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corp (HSBC), Public Television Service (PTS) and Studio Classroom held a news conference yesterday during to announced that HSBC is donating NT$3 million (US$88,000) and DVDs to sponsor PTS's "learning English through watching PTS" program. The program will then be made into DVDs and donated to 68 public and private junior high schools in Taipei. Ma attended the news conference to accept the donation.
President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) expressed hope yesterday that the 2007 World University Games could be held in Taiwan. He made the comment when he met with the president of the International University Sports Federation, George E. Killian. Chen told Killian that Taiwan has the required conditions and ability to host the world universiade. He thanked Killian for his group's support of Taiwan's participation in events it organizes. Killian has been in Taiwan since last weekend to attend the ninth World University Golf Championship being held in Taoyuan. Killian assured Chen that the process to select the host nation for the
Ruben Arosemena Valdez, president of the Legislative Assembly of Panama, and his wife are leading a 11-member parliamentary delegation that begins a five-day visit to Taiwan today, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release yesterday. The Panamanian delegation will meet President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), Legislative Yuan speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) and Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Michael Kau (高英茂). They will also visit several cultural and economic establishments around the nation before wrapping up their trip on Aug. 18th, the ministry's press release said.
Six Russian beluga whales arrived in Taiwan yesterday to join the collection of the National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium in Pingtung County. They will be the first belugas to be exhibited in Taiwan. A Russian expert on whales accompanied the belugas on their journey from Russia to Taiwan. The six belugas purchased by the museum are all two years old, weigh between 500kg and 700kg each and are between 2.6m and 3.2m long. Beluga whales inhabit coastal and estuarine areas in Arctic and subarctic regions. They are recognizable by their white color, prominent blunt head, stout body shape
Jorge Tarud Daccarett, president of the Commission of Foreign Relations of the Chamber of Deputies of Chile, arrived in Taipei yesterday afternoon for a five-day visit, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release. Accompanied by his wife, Tarud will call on Legislative Yuan Vice President Chiang Ping-kun (江丙坤), Secretary-General to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Thomas Cheng (鄭天授), Government Information Office Deputy Director-General Frederic Chang (張平男) and other government officials, the ministry said. The Taruds will also visit several cultural and economic establishments around the country before wrapping up their trip to Taiwan on Aug. 16, the
The Magazine Business Association of Taipei will organize a show to allow domestic magazine publishers to show their publications in Beijing and Shanghai in mid-October, an association spokesman said yesterday. On display at the week-long exhibitions will be some 500 magazines in various categories, including information and mass communications, social sciences and humanities, business and commerce, natural sciences, computer and information technologies, language learning, fashion, travel and entertainment. In recent years, many domestic publishers have sought to expand to China, a market with tremendous potential for Chinese-language publications.
A German wind power development company is interested in the Hsinchu County Government's wind energy development projects and is willing to invest NT$2.5 billion in wind power generation systems in coastal regions of the county, a company spokesman said yesterday. The spokesman said that InfraVest GmbH in the past year has conducted on-site wind-speed measurements and several European financial institutions have agreed in principle to support the investment projects. Hsinchu County Commissioner Cheng Yung-chin (鄭永金) is scheduled to visit InfraVest's wind power generation facilities in Germany in September, according to the spokesman. An important alternative source of energy, wind power
Taiwanese students in Chinese universities suggested yesterday that students who wish to study in China should follow formal examination channels to ensure they obtain valid degree certificates upon graduation. Chen Cheng-teng (陳正騰), secretary-general of the Taiwanese Students Association in China, warned students yesterday in a seminar that they should not believe domestic agencies' claims that they can help students gain admission to famous universities. Chen said that those who fall prey to the agencies often end up in "unknown universities." The association held a seminar yesterday aimed at helping undergraduate and graduate school freshmen accepted by Chinese universities this year
A group of female students participating in an English language summer program in the US arranged by Taiwan International Education Center (TIE) claimed at a press conference yesterday that conditions differed widely from those described in the contract. One of the girls said she had to spend her nights in an armchair throughout the stay. They said some members of some of the host families had criminal records, and one of the girls alleged that she barely escaped being sexually assaulted by the husband in the family she was staying with. DPP lawmakers Wei Ming-ku (魏明谷) and Kuo Cheng-liang (郭正亮)
The Hinet 2002 Cyber-games contest entered the finals yesterday. The competition, which cost NT$40 million, is the largest scale of its kind ever held in Taiwan. In line with the finals, set to last three days until tomorrow, an exhibition of the latest versions of cyber-games is being held on the sixth floor of the Shin-Kong Mitsukoshi Department Store located in the Hsinyi district. The games have attracted 80,000 contestants since they opened to the public on June 7. Over 6,000 people took part in the preliminary for the Web section, 30,000 people for the family section, 6,000 for the
Tao Pai-chuan (陶百川), former national policy advisor to the president as well as a Control Yuan member, passed away yesterday afternoon at a hospital due to organ failure. Tao died at the age of 101. He received a "Propitious Clouds" medal of honor, which is usually received by ministers, from President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) on Aug 5, to recognize his contribution to Taiwan. The Presidential Office issued a news release yesterday saying that the president and vice president mourned over Tao's death. They praised Tao's contributions to democracy, justice and human rights. Born in China's Shaohsing, Chechiang Province in 1902,
Vice President Annette Lu received William Alford, the visiting associate dean for the Graduate Program and International Legal Studies at Harvard Law School, yesterday. Lu, who received a master's degree in law from Harvard Law School in 1977, thanked Alford's long-standing concern over Taiwan's human rights record and his efforts to force Taiwan to harmonize its human rights protection regulations with international human rights conventions by bringing pressure from international human rights organizations to bear on Taiwan. Lu praised the Harvard Alumni Club of the Republic of China for facilitating academic cooperation between Harvard and local universities, adding that she,