Marathon has military theme
This year’s Kinmen Marathon weekend, which tomorrow is to culminate in half and full marathons, has a military theme, with army vehicles leading the runners and bringing up the rear, the Kinmen County Government said. The annual event, which expects to attract more than 8,000 runners from 19 countries this year, is to open with a 5km run today, and concludes with an 11.2km run and the marathons tomorrow, the municipality said. Samuel Mungara Kamiti of Kenya, last year’s men’s marathon champion, and Chen Ping-feng (陳秉豐) of Taiwan, last year’s men’s half-marathon winner, would be back this year to defend their titles, it said. The Kinmen Defense Command has thrown its support behind the event and would deploy light tactical wheeled vehicles to lead the runs and have military trucks follow the runners to pick up participants who are too slow or drop out, it added.
Tuesday to see supermoon
Tuesday night, on the day of the Lantern Festival, is to see the biggest full moon of the year, the Taipei Astronomical Museum said on Thursday, adding that it would be a supermoon — when a full moon coincides with the celestial body’s closest approach to Earth in its monthly orbit. The moon will rise at about 5:29pm and be at its fullest at 11:54pm, museum assistant researcher Lee Chin (李瑾) said. It is the first time since 1900 that a supermoon will rise during the Lantern Festival and the next occurrence would not be until 2081, the museum said. Three full moons this year are categorized as supermoons, but Tuesday’s will be biggest, as the moon will be at its closest point to Earth this year, it said.
Marshalls’ envoy meets Tsai
New Marshallese Ambassador to Taiwan Neijon Rema Edwards yesterday presented her credentials to President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who welcomed Edwards and said that Taiwan is willing to work in various areas to establish a closer relationship with the Pacific ally and help create a path to sustainable development. Tsai said she is delighted at the progress in relations between Taiwan and the Marshall Islands over the past two years and hopes that ties between the nations would continue to expand. Marshallese President Hilda Heine has given strong support to Taiwan’s attempts at international participation and can see Taiwan’s determination to be a part of the international community, Tsai said. Edwards succeeds Frederick Muller, who served as ambassador to Taiwan from 2015 to last year. Taiwan and the Marshall Islands established diplomatic relations in 1998.
Ministry apologizes over flag
The Ministry of Labor on Thursday apologized for placing the Philippine national flag upside-down on two advertisements at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. In a statement, the ministry said that the error was made on two light boxes in the airport’s arrival area that were advertising the official labor consultation hotline. The picture of the Philippine flag showed the blue and red stripes upside down, which indicates a state of war, the ministry said, apologizing to the Philippines for the error. The advertisements have since been replaced. The royal blue stripe on the upper half of the Philippine national flag symbolizes peace, truth and justice, but if the flag is turned upside down with the scarlet stripe for patriotism and valor on top, it suggests that the country is in a state of war, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
PILLAGING PENGHU: A 7,539-tonne Chinese ship found mining sand in the Formosa Banks area was escorted by several CGA ships to a Kaohsiung harbor The Coast Guard Administration (CGA) yesterday announced that it had dispatched ships to intercept Chinese dredging vessels operating in the nation’s territorial waters near Penghu and detained 10 crew members, who were transported to Kaohsiung. A coast guard patrol discovered more than 20 dredging vessels in an area known as the Formosa Banks, 46 nautical miles (85km) southwest of Penghu County’s Cimei islet (七美) at about 5am on Wednesday. The agency responded by dispatching two patrol boats, the 3,000-tonne Kaohsiung and the 500-tonne Penghu, along with two frigates, to intercept the Chinese vessels, while an airborne observation unit was used to monitor
‘HONEYMOON’ IS OVER: A political science professor said that the Tsai administration’s popularity peaked after it successfully contained COVID-19, but is waning President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) and Premier Su Tseng-chang’s (蘇貞昌) approval ratings fell significantly this month in the wake of the government’s handling of the distribution of relief funds and stimulus coupons to people and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, a poll released yesterday by the New Power Party (NPP) showed. The poll showed that 68 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with Tsai’s performance, down 8.9 percentage points from last month, while 21 percent said they disapproved of her performance. Her approval among respondents aged 20 to 29 fell 14.7 percentage points, the largest decrease when compared with other age
CAUTION: The CECC would first observe how the nation fares after easing domestic restrictions and wait for the pandemic to further subside before making its next move The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that relaxing domestic restrictions and border controls simultaneously might complicate efforts to reopen the nation, amid discussions about Taiwan’s exclusion by other countries in their first lists of tourists. The center hopes for there to be a period of observation following the easing of domestic restrictions, before it decides what to do next, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, told a daily news briefing in Taipei. Chen was responding to a question about the reasoning behind the central government’s decision not to allow foreign students into the
Taiwan respects other countries’ decisions not to include it in their first lists of tourists allowed entry when they reopen their borders, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. The Yomiuri Shimbun on Sunday reported that the Japanese government was considering reopening the country to tourists from Thailand, Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand first. Greece on Friday announced that from June 15, it would allow visitors from 29 countries, including Australia, China, the Czech Republic, Japan, Israel, New Zealand, South Korea and Germany. Japan has not yet finalized its visitor list, but the ministry has conveyed its hope that Tokyo would