Sun, Aug 10, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Nerws Quick Take

Staff writer, with Agencies

ASTRONOMY

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.

BUSINESS

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.

POLITICS

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).

TOURISM

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.

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