Wheelchair team departs
Taiwan’s wheelchair tennis players took off yesterday for the 2011 Peace Cup in Japan, an important chance for them to earn ranking points for next year’s Paralympic Games, the Taipei Wheelchair Tennis Association (TWTA) said. The US$15,000 ITF 2 Series tournament will take place from today until Sunday in Hiroshima Regional Park. The tournament will offer more ranking points than the Taipei Open played from Sept. 29 through Oct. 2 in Taiwan, where Taiwanese players won two events and were finalists in two others. Women’s players Lu Chia-yi (呂嘉儀) and Wu Yi-shan (吳宜珊), ranked 45th and 39th in the world respectively, took the top two spots in the women’s singles and reached the finals of the doubles at the Taipei Open, and the TWTA said the two could qualify early for next year’s Paralympics with good performances in Japan. The Taipei Open was an ITF 3 Series event, one notch below the ITF 2 rating for the Peace Open.
Bike rentals expanded
The Taipei City Government said yesterday that its YouBike rental system in Xinyi District (信義) has expanded its services to infrequent riders to help boost its usage rate. The new service will now require no basic minimum rental period, deposit or membership registration, and commuters will only have to pay the regular fee of NT$10 per 15 minutes, the city government said. However, the city’s Department of Transportation said those who wish to use the service still have to get their Easycards registered at the YouBike service center or submit an online form. YouBike, which has 11 rental stations and 500 bicycles, was launched in 2009 as part of efforts to promote the city as an eco-friendly international metropolis. Its satisfaction rate has reached almost 80 percent among its users, the city said.
Academy Web site launched
Officials yesterday unveiled a Web site and plans for the establishment of “Taiwan Academy” centers in the US to promote Taiwan’s culture and language. The initiative will help let the world know about Taiwan’s achievements, Minister without Portfolio Ovid Tzeng (曾志朗) said. “We can tell the world how we reached where we are and how we plan to go global,” he said. The Web site allows users to access Taiwanese studies and Chinese learning resources, as well as images and descriptions of Taiwan’s paintings, calligraphy and antiquities. It also showcases the nation’s flora and fauna and provides links to e-books and online magazines that introduce Taiwan. The government will open three Taiwan Academies in New York, Los Angeles and Houston tomorrow. The centers will feature a variety of exhibitions, conferences, film screenings and cultural activities as well as offer scholarships worth more than NT$640 million (US$21.06 million) each year to academics and students interested in studying Taiwan and Sinology.
E-services to be improved
Taiwan is planning to implement a new stage of its e-government project within five years that will integrate government information and services, a top official said yesterday. The fourth phase of the program is expected to be carried out between next year and 2016 with a budget of nearly NT$8.5 billion, the official said at the 45th annual conference of the International Council for Information Technology in Government Administration in Taipei. The conference has attracted government information technology agencies from 17 countries.
‘CROCODILE TEARS’: The Taiwan Statebuilding Party said the Kaohsiung mayor was only apologizing after a poll revealed that 45% of the city’s residents favored a recall Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) at a city council session yesterday apologized for taking three months off last year to campaign for January’s presidential election. Han said that he was now prioritizing municipal affairs and was focused primarily on preventing the spread of COVID-19. He was “doing two days’ work each day” to make up for time lost, he said. Han on May 5 attended a city council session for the first time in 201 days, giving a report on pandemic response measures. At yesterday’s session, Han said the Kaohsiung City Government would be injecting NT$50 million (US$1.67 million) into the
Taipei City Councilor Wu Pei-yi (吳沛憶) on Saturday urged the Taipei Department of Cultural Affairs to designate the Japanese colonial-era Showa Building (昭和樓) a cultural heritage site to protect it from being demolished. Wu made the remarks after the department on Tuesday last week visited the building to evaluate it for preservation, a standard procedure before a public building that is more than 50 years old is razed. The Showa Building, on Zhongxiao E Road Sec 2, was a rare kind of office building when it was constructed in 1942, Wu said. The three-story building was built with reinforced concrete and has European-style
A proposal by the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) to permanently ban sitting in Taipei Railway Station’s main hall has received a mixed reaction online, with some social media users vowing to launch a sit-in at the station. Gatherings at the hall have been prohibited since Feb. 29 in accordance with the Central Epidemic Command Center’s policy of reducing crowd sizes in public places. A Facebook user organizing the sit-in said that the hall is a public space and there is no legitimate reason to ban sitting on the floor. He said he suspected that the proposal was made due to business considerations and
Chinese over-the-top (OTT) service provider iQiyi cannot register as a provider in Taiwan after the Mainland Affairs Council declared it to be an illegal service, the National Communications Commission (NCC) said yesterday. Both iQiyi and WeTV were deemed to be illegal Chinese OTT operators in an interdepartmental meeting on Friday last week, officials said, adding that this prohibits them from marketing their services in Taiwan or seeking subscribers. The government plans to block a local server that iQiyi has been using to transmit content to domestic audiences, which would disrupt its content transmission. OTT Entertainment Ltd, which is enlisted by iQiyi to