Year’s biggest moon coming
The biggest and brightest full moon of the year will appear early tomorrow morning, the Taipei Astronomical Museum said yesterday. The moon is to reach its closest proximity to Earth this year at 1:43am, when it will be 357,000km away, the museum said. If there are good weather conditions, stargazers will be able to see the moon easily at any point between 5:59pm today and 5:41am tomorrow, it said. Compared with other full moons this year, today’s moon will be about 30 percent brighter than usual, museum researcher Chang Kuei-lan (張桂蘭) said. However, it will be difficult to notice this moon’s difference in size compared with other full moons in just one observation, Chang said. She suggested that to to get a better sense of the difference, astronomy buffs should look at images of other full moons throughout the year as a basis for comparison.
Starbucks opens in Kinmen
Starbucks opened its first store in Kinmen yesterday, in a bid to establish its franchise on the nation’s outlying islands after two failed previous attempts. The outlet is the US coffeeshop chain’s only store on the islands, but its 317th outlet nationwide. To mark the opening of the store at the Wind Lion Plaza next to Kinmen Airport, Starbucks unveiled three commemorative mugs and take-away cups displaying the county’s architecture, including the Guningtou Battle Museum and swallow-tail roofs that are a unique Fujianese architectural feature. The new outlet is also selling a limited number of Kinmen Wind Lion postcards. Starbucks previously operated two stores in Penghu, but they closed shortly after opening. A day earlier in Kinmen, President Chain Store Corp, which operates the nation’s 7-Eleven convenience stores, inaugurated its 17th outlet in the county.
Shen exits Taipei race
Less than two months after announcing his decision to run in the Nov. 29 Taipei mayoral election, former legislator Shen Fu-hsiung (沈富雄) on Friday announced that he is dropping out of the race. Shen broke the news in a mass message broadcast on the social networking app Line. The independent candidate said he is “terminating my campaign with immediate effect” due to a knee injury and a lack of momentum for his mayoral bid. Although he is well-liked in some circles for his reputation as an outspoken and fair-minded politician, opinion polls have consistently shown the 74-year-old commanding support rates of just 8 percent to 15 percent, trailing the two main contenders, independent Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) and the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) Sean Lien (連勝文).
Thailand waives visa fees
Taiwanese visitors to Thailand will not have to pay for tourist visas starting from yesterday until Nov. 8, the Thailand Trade and Economic Office in Taipei announced on Friday. The normal price of a tourist visa for Thailand is NT$1,200 for Taiwanese passport-holders. Thailand is a top travel destination for Taiwanese and the fee waiver is expected to benefit more than 30,000 travelers per month during the three-month period, according to the Thai Tourism Authority. The authority advised Taiwanese travelers that they will still need to apply for visas at the Thailand Trade and Economic Office in Taipei during the fee-waiver period, adding that fees for business visas and temporary residence permits are still in place.
Proposed legislation in the US outlines three conditions in which Washington would be authorized to protect Taiwan were China to invade, a report said yesterday. US Representative Ted Yoho this month said he would introduce a Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act, which would authorize US military force if China were to invade Taiwan-controlled areas, including its outlying islands. According to a version of the bill obtained by the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the sister paper of the Taipei Times), the bill lists three conditions in which a US president would be authorized to use military force to protect Taiwan: If China uses military force
The Supreme Court on Tuesday found four men guilty of attempted murder in the 2017 stabbing of Spanish surfer Ignacio Prio on a Pingtung County beach in the final ruling in the case, sentencing them to three-and-a-half to six years in prison. The defendants had appealed their convictions for attempted murder in the first and second rulings, which had also led to prison sentences ranging from three-and-a-half years to six years. The then-42-year-old Prio went to Jialeshui Beach (佳樂水) near Kenting (墾丁) on March 31, 2017, was attacked after he asked four men to remove their fishing lines from an area
Two new commuter trains are scheduled to be launched in January next year, the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) said yesterday. The acquisition of EMU-900 commuter train cars is part of the railway operator’s plan to replace 589 train cars that have been in operation for more than three decades. The agency has also placed orders to buy 600 intercity train cars. The first batch of 20 EMU-900 cars is to be delivered to the nation in September, although delivery might be delayed until October due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency said. The batch would be formed into two trains of 10
‘IMMORAL, INSINCERE’: Huang Kun-huei said that Ma was ‘distorting history’ in claiming that Lee Teng-hui laid the foundation for the so-called ‘1992 consensus’ Former Presidential Office secretary-general Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) on Saturday rejected former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) claim that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had been a proponent of Beijing’s “one China” principle. Lee, who served as president from 1988 to 2000, died in Taipei on Thursday last week. After visiting the Taipei Guest House on Saturday to pay his respects to Lee, Ma posted on Facebook that “28 years ago on this day” Lee hosted a session of the now-defunct National Unification Council, during which he passed a resolution on the “one China” principle. That resolution became the basis of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s