Singles on the rise
Taiwan recorded a growing number of single men and women, with more than 69 percent of men and 53 percent of women unmarried in the 25-to-34 age group at the end of last year, according to a report released by the -Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics yesterday. The figures show that the single rate for the 25 to 34 age group has grown 17.3 percentage points for men and 19.2 percentage points for women compared with 10 years ago. In a further sign of demographic and cultural shifts, the widowed rate has increased in the last decade to 17.1 percent, while the divorced rate has grown to 9.2 percent. The only demographic that saw an improvement in the marriage rate was for males over age 50. The report said the number of unmarried men in this category has decreased over the last 10 years. Still, single rates for other age groups of both genders have increased significantly.
Novelist Musso to visit
French popular novelist Guillaume Musso, who has sold more than 8 million books worldwide, is set to visit Taiwan from May 26 to May 29. Musso, who pens romantic stories as well as suspenseful tales, has captured readers’ attention with his words of healing. His first novel, Afterwards, was published in 2004. Musso will be at book--signing events in Taipei and Taichung, where he will meet fans face to face. Taipei’s book signing event is scheduled for May 28 at Eslite bookstore in Xinyi District (信義). Taichung’s will be held on May 29 at 77 Read Club.
Carbon labels encouraged
The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) launched a program yesterday to encourage the food industry to attach carbon labels on products in an effort to promote low-carbon diets. EPA officials said that about 80 percent of office workers eat out and Taiwanese consume about 5 billion lunchboxes every year. If customers were to choose products according to carbon labels, it would help reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, the EPA said. About 100,000 food providers such as restaurants and bakeries have been invited to take part in the program. Using the average lunchbox as an example, the carbon calculation would need to include the processes of production, transport, sale, storage, usage and recycling, the officials said.
Shen loses lawsuit
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Minister Stephen Shen (沈世宏) lost a lawsuit on Wednesday against two Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) politicians whom he had accused of damaging his reputation by alleging he had shirked responsibility when confronted with issues and thus was “unqualified for the job.” Taipei District Court ruled that former DPP legislator Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) and DPP spokesman Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦) had not damaged Shen’s reputation when they made remarks in connection to the EPA’s handling of air pollution issues and Shen’s comments on the former DPP government’s oil price policy. The two said Shen must have been “sleeping when questions arose” about air pollution and Shen had tried to “blame the previous government when confronted with issues.” The court said Tsai and Cheng were commenting on issues “that are open to public discussion” and their remarks were not “too biased or intolerable.” The ruling can be appealed.