The lyrical voice of Tu Ying-hui (杜瑩慧) from Taiwan floated through the air of the East Railway Station in Paris yesterday as she read a poem in Chinese in front of a crowd of book-lovers sitting on a corner at the station, one of 18 major railway stations in cities around France that have joined in the annual Reading Festival. \nTu works for Taiwan's Council for Cultural Affairs, and her job is to encourage residents nationwide to read. In order to study France's efforts in promoting reading, Tu came to Paris to participate in the 16th Reading Festival that kicked off Friday around the country and will last for three days. She read a poem by Taiwanese poet Chen Yi-chi (陳義芝) to the onlookers, while Tang Shu-chuan (唐淑娟), a staff member of Taitung City Government's Department of Cultural Affairs, read a verse of Tang poetry. \nTu said that various activities related to the reading festival have not only been held at schools, libraries and bookstores around France, but also in public spaces, such as railway stations and street corners, and even at some hospitals and prisons. \nShe said that it is difficult for efforts at promoting reading to bear fruit in a short period of time, but added that through the organizing of colorful and interesting activities, like the annual Reading Festival in France, people can be drawn to experience the joy of reading. France has held the annual Reading Festival for the past 16 years, while the festival activity at the railway stations has been held for the last seven years. \nThe 2004 festival has a "bookstore" theme, with organizers arranging an activity called "sleepless in bookstores," inviting the public to remain late in bookstores that stay open until midnight or around the clock during the festival. \nAccording to the French Ministry of Cultural Affairs, the reading festival has so far been introduced to 91 countries around the world.
A DUAL SYSTEM: Under the proposed plan, farmers would also benefit from a subsidy for aging farmers, which would increase their monthly pension payments The Executive Yuan yesterday unveiled a bill for a proposed farmers’ pension fund, which, if passed by the Legislative Yuan, could raise farmers’ monthly pension payments to NT$26,000. The system would be based on the labor pension model, meaning that farmers and the government would allocate an equal amount of money into a dedicated fund every month, Department of Farmers’ Service Director-General Chen Chun-yen (陳俊言) told a news conference in Taipei. The proposal was born from President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) policy to better protect farmers and out of discussions at the National Agricultural Conference to improve the financial security of retired farmers,
MUTUAL SERVICES: Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je said that the cities might conduct a trial of mask dispenser machines and would not allow their borders hamper medical treatment Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) and New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) yesterday pledged at an annual meeting of the cities’ leaders to provide mutual medical services and further collaboration on COVID-19 prevention, denying that their prevention strategies are inconsistent, despite media reports. Disease prevention should be predicated on the “best preparations for worst-case scenarios,” and the New Taipei City Government has followed the All-out Defense Mobilization Readiness Act (全民防衛動員準備法) in taking precautions allowing it to act decisively if a city lockdown is ordered by the central government, Hou, a former police officer, said on Wednesday. Ko, a physician and
CONFUSION: NTHU was told by the Hsinchu Public Health Bureau to not delay disease prevention efforts, but the university’s case had not yet been announced by the CECC The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that it would set guidelines for other agencies about disclosing information concerning confirmed cases, after some schools expressed confusion regarding interagency communication. Academia Sinica, National Chengchi University and National Tsing Hua University (NTHU) have issued announcements to clarify their quarantine measures for confirmed cases. Asked if the center provides guidelines about information disclosure, Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), the CECC’s spokesman, on Friday advised institutions to check with the CECC before revealing any information beyond what it has announced, citing its smooth collaboration with Academia Sinica as a good example. After
Food delivery orders last month rose 50 percent from January and four times from a year earlier, as people avoided eating out amid the COVID-19 pandemic, food delivery operator Deliveroo said in a press release on Tuesday. While the outbreak has hurt the restaurant industry, changes in spending habits as people stayed at home more has benefited food delivery platforms — an important service that has helped sustain the business of restaurants. Deliveroo said it has enhanced disease-prevention measures, including dispensing sanitizers and imported masks to its more than 1,000 food deliverers, to safeguard the health of its couriers, staff at