Sea warning likely today
A sea warning is likely to be issued today as a tropical storm southeast of Taiwan approaches, the Central Weather Bureau said yesterday. The Tropical Storm Hagupit, which was 750km east of the nation’s southern tip at 2pm yesterday, was moving at 20km per hour in a northwesterly direction, the bureau said. The Hagupit storm might cause surging waves starting today, the bureau said. Tropical Storm Sinlaku, which formed yesterday afternoon south of China’s Hainan Island, is not expected to affect Taiwan, but would move toward southeast China and Vietnam over the next few days, forecasters said.
Chinese dredgers detained
The Coast Guard Administration yesterday said that it arrested eight Chinese crew members aboard a China-registered vessel that was caught dredging sea sand in waters around the Penghu archipelago. The Hai Sheng 877 was intercepted at about 5am on Thursday after it was spotted illegally operating 56 nautical miles (104km) southwest of Cimei Township (七美). Coast guard personnel seized nearly 600 tonnes of sea sand. The crew members were turned over to the Ciaotou District Prosecutors’ Office in Kaohsiung pending further investigation. The coast guard said that from January to this month, its personnel chased 2,988 Chinese dredging vessels found to be operating illegally in Taiwanese waters.
Miaobei festival scheduled
A festival featuring top orchestras and theater groups from across the country is to be held in Miaoli County for the first time in October to promote the appreciation of culture in the area. The Miaobei Arts Festival — scheduled for Oct. 2 to Dec. 20 at the Miaobei Arts Center — aims to attract locals and visitors from across the country to visit Miaoli, center artistic director Lin Chia-ying (林佳瑩) said. Some of the groups that are to perform include the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Taipei Symphony Orchestra, the Godot Theatre Company and the Shining Youth League of Tang Mei Yun Taiwanese Opera Company, Lin added. Information on performance times and scheduling can be found on the Miaobei Art Center’s Web site.
VR projects go to Venice
Two local virtual reality (VR) projects — Great Hoax: The Moon Landing and Jiou Jia (Home) — have been included in the “Venice VR Expanded” section of this year’s Venice Film Festival. The two projects would be among 44 immersive works from 24 countries to be presented online during the 77th Venice International Film Festival, held Sept. 2 to 12. The comedy Great Hoax: The Moon Landing, by Taiwanese film director John Hsu (徐漢強) has been shortlisted for an award with 30 other immersive projects. The 17-minute film, a collaboration with Argentinian VR, film and animation studio 3dar, allows the viewer to play an astronaut faking a moon landing, while listening to the directions of a film director. Jiou Jia (Home), a collaboration by Taiwanese director Hsu Chih-yen (許智彥) and Funique VR Studio, was selected to be presented in the out-of-competition section with eight other works. The 18-minute film portrays a summer afternoon when various family members return to the family property to visit their grandmother.
Proposed legislation in the US outlines three conditions in which Washington would be authorized to protect Taiwan were China to invade, a report said yesterday. US Representative Ted Yoho this month said he would introduce a Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act, which would authorize US military force if China were to invade Taiwan-controlled areas, including its outlying islands. According to a version of the bill obtained by the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the sister paper of the Taipei Times), the bill lists three conditions in which a US president would be authorized to use military force to protect Taiwan: If China uses military force
Two new commuter trains are scheduled to be launched in January next year, the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) said yesterday. The acquisition of EMU-900 commuter train cars is part of the railway operator’s plan to replace 589 train cars that have been in operation for more than three decades. The agency has also placed orders to buy 600 intercity train cars. The first batch of 20 EMU-900 cars is to be delivered to the nation in September, although delivery might be delayed until October due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency said. The batch would be formed into two trains of 10
The Supreme Court on Tuesday found four men guilty of attempted murder in the 2017 stabbing of Spanish surfer Ignacio Prio on a Pingtung County beach in the final ruling in the case, sentencing them to three-and-a-half to six years in prison. The defendants had appealed their convictions for attempted murder in the first and second rulings, which had also led to prison sentences ranging from three-and-a-half years to six years. The then-42-year-old Prio went to Jialeshui Beach (佳樂水) near Kenting (墾丁) on March 31, 2017, was attacked after he asked four men to remove their fishing lines from an area
MEDICINAL HERB: The FRIL protein extracted from hyacinth beans helped laboratory mice survive H1N1 infection and effectively neutralized the coronavirus A protein isolated from hyacinth beans, a medicinal herb known for centuries, has been found to restrict the activities of SARS-CoV-2 and influenza viruses in laboratory experiments, a team of Academia Sinica researchers said yesterday. The beans’ curative effect is documented in the 16th-century Chinese medicine classic Compendium of Materia Medica (本草綱目) and they are also a food source in some countries, the Genomics Research Center’s Chemical Biology Division Director Alex Ma (馬徹) told a news conference in Taipei. Center senior research specialist Jan Jia-tsrong (詹家琮) experimented with up to 500 medicinal herbs to see if they could restrict influenza viruses and