TAIPEI, Taiwan – Taiwan said 27 Chinese aircraft entered its air defense buffer zone Sunday, the latest in a long series of incursions as part of Beijing's pressure on the self-ruled island.
The Defense Ministry said Taiwan scrambled combat aircraft to “warn” the Chinese planes to leave. It also deployed missile systems to monitor them.
Over the past year, the frequency of Chinese incursions has increased, with about 150 aircraft over a period of four days.
China claims democratically ruled Taiwan as its own territory, to be brought under its control by force if necessary. It refuses to recognize the island's government and has increasingly sought to isolate the independence-leaning administration of President Tsai Ing-wen.
Storm darkens Scotland, N. England
Tens of thousands of people in Scotland and northern England remained without power Sunday after a storm brought sleet, subzero temperatures and disruptions across much of the U.K.
Icy gusts caused power cuts around the border between Scotland and England, with Northern Powergrid saying it recorded 1,100 instances of damage requiring significant repairs. It said it was trying to restore service to 40,000 customers, while the SP Energy Networks said 21,000 customers remained without power Sunday.
“The storm was well forecasted and despite being prepared, Storm Arwen resulted in damage of a scale and intensity not seen for 15 years,” said Rod Gardner, Northern Powergrid's major incident manager.
Climate-resistant potatoes studied
University of Maine researchers are trying to produce potatoes that can better withstand warming temperatures as the climate changes.
Warming temperatures and an extended growing season can lead to quality problems and disease, Gregory Porter, a professor of crop ecology and management, told the Bangor Daily News.
“Potatoes don't tolerate flooding or wet conditions for long without having other quality problems,” Porter said. “If we want potatoes to be continued to be produced successfully in Maine, we need to be able to produce varieties that can be resistant to change.”
7.5 earthquake rattles northern Peru
An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.5 struck northern Peru early Sunday, damaging some buildings and blocking several roads with rubble.
While the quake was extremely strong, it was relatively deep – measured at 70 miles – which usually reduces the possibility of damage and casualties. The quake occurred at 5:52 a.m. and its epicenter was in the Amazon region.
'Encanto' tops sluggish box office
Even a new Walt Disney Co. animated film with a score by Lin-Manuel Miranda failed to light up the box office over the normally strong Thanksgiving weekend, a sign consumers are still cautious about going to cinemas.
“Encanto,” a musical about a family in Colombia with magical powers, generated an estimated $40.3 million in ticket sales over the five-day holiday weekend, Disney said Sunday. Forecasts for the weekend ranged from a low of $35 million to $56.4 million.
Sony Group Corp.'s “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” made $35.3 million in its second weekend. “House of Gucci,” a new drama starring Adam Driver, Lady Gaga and Al Pacino, opened with $21.8 million, according to its distributor.