Expo trial run attracts 17,000
About 17,000 people visited the trial run of the Yunlin Agriculture Expo yesterday, the opening of its two-day rehearsal. The three-month expo is scheduled to open on Dec. 25. It is one of the biggest exhibitions of agricultural products in Taiwan. The trial run, which is taking place in Yunlin County’s Huwei Township (虎尾), has attracted large crowds to its six display areas, which cover carbon sequestration, a “happy farm,” agriculture-related products, food and fashion, along with a “creative zone.” Some visitors praised the organizers for applying environmental friendly materials to its buildings, while others said better arrangements are needed. There were also complaints that traffic control near the venue was too tight, with some visitors complaining that damaged facilities, withering plants and the lack of road signs made the trip less pleasant. In response, Yunlin County Commissioner Su Chih-fen (蘇治芬) said her team would make improvements before the expo opens.
TV personality divorces
Popular TV personality Belle Yu (于美人) signed a divorce settlement agreement on Friday, concluding her 16-year marriage with James Wang. After six months of tumult, which made the headlines of Chinese-language media outlets, Yu and Wang agreed to a settlement, following nearly six hours of negotiations in court. Yu was reported by her lawyer as describing the whole process as “a misunderstanding that has been resolved and merry parting.” The 48-year-old celebrity and her husband both quashed suits against each other and agreed not to divide their property, leaving only one issue unresolved — the legal guardianship of their children, according to sources. The family quarrel came as a shock to many, as Yu had maintained an impression of success in both her professional and personal lives. Yu and Wang married in 1997 and gave birth to boy-girl twins three years later.
Cycling most popular sport
Cycling surpassed baseball as the most the nation’s popular sport this year based on the frequency the names of different sports “popped up” on the Internet, according to a recent study released by OpView cloud monitoring platform. The finding was based on a computer screening of 2.01 million netizen posts on sports during the period between January last year and November this year. Using content analysis and automated semantic analysis, computers picked out the 10 most popular sports nationwide from discussions on more than 5,000 social networking Web sites including blogs, forums and Facebook, OpView said. The other nine most popular sports or types of exercise of the year are baseball, running, working out, basketball, swimming, hiking, dancing, soccer and yoga in that order.
AIT official appointed
Joseph Donovan Jr, a US career diplomat who is to become managing director of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) early next year, said on Wednesday that he will do his best to advance Taiwan-US ties. Donovan is to be in charge of day-to-day operations at the AIT headquarters in Washington after incumbent AIT Managing Director Barbara Schrage retires in the first half of next month. Donovan is familiar with Taiwan-US engagement as he once served as acting deputy director and chief of the political section at the AIT Taipei Office and director of the AIT Kaohsiung Office.