The lyrical voice of Tu Ying-hui (杜瑩慧) from Taiwan floated through the air of the East Railway Station in Paris yesterday as she read a poem in Chinese in front of a crowd of book-lovers sitting on a corner at the station, one of 18 major railway stations in cities around France that have joined in the annual Reading Festival. \nTu works for Taiwan's Council for Cultural Affairs, and her job is to encourage residents nationwide to read. In order to study France's efforts in promoting reading, Tu came to Paris to participate in the 16th Reading Festival that kicked off Friday around the country and will last for three days. She read a poem by Taiwanese poet Chen Yi-chi (陳義芝) to the onlookers, while Tang Shu-chuan (唐淑娟), a staff member of Taitung City Government's Department of Cultural Affairs, read a verse of Tang poetry. \nTu said that various activities related to the reading festival have not only been held at schools, libraries and bookstores around France, but also in public spaces, such as railway stations and street corners, and even at some hospitals and prisons. \nShe said that it is difficult for efforts at promoting reading to bear fruit in a short period of time, but added that through the organizing of colorful and interesting activities, like the annual Reading Festival in France, people can be drawn to experience the joy of reading. France has held the annual Reading Festival for the past 16 years, while the festival activity at the railway stations has been held for the last seven years. \nThe 2004 festival has a "bookstore" theme, with organizers arranging an activity called "sleepless in bookstores," inviting the public to remain late in bookstores that stay open until midnight or around the clock during the festival. \nAccording to the French Ministry of Cultural Affairs, the reading festival has so far been introduced to 91 countries around the world.
Food delivery provider Foodpanda had 564 consumer disputes from January to last month and failed to attend many mediation sessions with local governments nationwide, the Executive Yuan’s Consumer Protection Committee said. In a news release earlier this month, the committee said that it investigated consumer complaints and mediations for Foodpanda and rival Uber Eats during the period, when the number of delivery orders jumped due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Uber Eats had 80 consumer disputes, the committee said. Of Foodpanda’s consumer disputes, 368 resulted from delivery drivers canceling orders after customers could not be reached, 108 were related to the quality or quantity
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
Passengers arriving at Taoyuan International Airport will find that most entrances to both terminals have been sealed off as part of its COVID-19 prevention efforts. Follow the signs and directions posted on the doors to find the nearest entry point. The airport has installed infrared cameras and thermometer guns at all open entrances, and all persons with a temperature of over 37.5 degrees Celsius are prohibited from entering the terminal. In addition, staff will take the temperature of those checking in to their flights in advance at Airport MRT stations A1 and A3. In accordance with the Centers of Disease