Snow falls on Yushan
The nation’s highest peak, Yushan (玉山), yesterday received its first snowfall this winter, with the arrival of northeasterly winds which brought abundant moisture, the Central Weather Bureau said. The temperature on Yushan dropped to about 0°C yesterday morning, before rain and snow began to fall at 11:25am, followed by sleet and more snow at noon, the bureau said.
New Year schedule unveiled
The Taipei MRT system is to run continuously for 42 hours from Dec. 31 to Jan. 1 to provide a travel option for people celebrating the New Year, Taipei Rapid Transit Corp said on Thursday. The MRT is to start operating at 6am on New Year’s Eve and continue until midnight on New Year’s Day, with the exception of Xiaobitan and Xinbeitou MRT stations, the company said. In addition, from 5pm on Dec. 31, all trains running on the Red Line from Tamsui and Beitou are to continue to Xiangshan MRT Station, as it is a popular spot for viewing the Taipei 101 New Year fireworks. Bicycles are to be allowed on the MRT from 10am to 4pm on Dec. 31, while YouBike bicycle rental services are to be suspended in control areas near Taipei City Hall after 5pm, the company said. Services on the Maokong Gondola are also to be extended for New Year’s Eve, with the last carriage departing at 2am on Jan. 1.
Pan video goes viral
A video of Pingtung County Commissioner Pan Men-an (潘孟安) eating a banana taken from a bunch of bananas taped to a wall with duct tape has gone viral on social media. The Democratic Progressive Party politician was copying a similar stunt that swept international media last week, when David Datuna ate a banana displayed at Miami’s Art Basel that had just been sold by Perrotin, an international art gallery, for US$120,000. In the video the commissioner said that his bunch of bananas grown in Pingtung was bigger and more impressive than the Miami version, and that it was also a valuable piece of art. Pan took a banana from the bunch and ate it, saying: “Not only can they be admired [as a work of art], they are also delicious.” The video posted on Thursday had garnered more than 500 comments and been shared by more than 600 users on Facebook.
China’s allure waning
China remained the No. 1 destination for Taiwanese heading overseas to work last year, although the number dropped to its lowest level since 2008, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics said. Last year, 404,000 Taiwanese were working in China (including Hong Kong and Macau), accounting for 54.9 percent of all Taiwanese working overseas, government data showed. The number is the lowest since 2008 and marks the fifth consecutive annual fall, the agency said. The previous year, 405,000 Taiwanese were working in China. The agency attributed the continued decline to the US-China trade dispute, which compelled many Taiwanese firms based in China to return to avoid punitive US tariffs. The cost of running a business in China has significantly increased over the past several years due to gradual salary increases and stricter environmental protection laws, the agency said. Overall, 737,000 Taiwanese were working overseas last year, an increase of 1,000 from the previous year, it said. The second-largest destination was Southeast Asian nations (112,000, or 15.2 percent), followed by the US (95,000, or 12.9 percent), it added.
CLEAR BEFORE LEAVING: Two baby boys and a woman in her 30s tested negative before departing for Japan, but tests taken after their arrival came back postive Three Taiwanese tested positive for COVID-19 when they arrived in Japan earlier this month, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday as it reported a new imported case. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), head of the center, said that one of the three cases in Japan is a Taiwanese baby under the age of one, whose parents work in Japan. The infant came to Taiwan with his parents in January, and the parents paid for the family’s COVID-19 tests on Oct. 10 ahead of their planned return to Japan on Monday last week, he said. The boy and his
‘BACKED BY ENEMY’: CTi News is one of the few channels promoting unification, the New Party chairman said, while pro-Taiwan groups called it a propaganda outlet Pan-blue camp supporters yesterday lodged a protest at the National Communications Commission (NCC) against what they say is a possible move by the government to shut down CTi News, adding that politics should not interfere with freedom of the press. Protesters included representatives from the New Party, the Blue Sky Action Alliance, the 333 Political Party Alliance and other pan-blue groups. “We stand here today because CTi News is one of the few media outlets in Taiwan that is still willing to give groups supporting unification with China a voice. If the news channel is gone, there would only be
NEW YEAR’S EVE: Examples from South Korea and Japan show that 15 local COVID-19 infections could emerge in a short period if measures are not taken The Taipei City Government would cancel its New Year’s Eve Party and all large events if 15 or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 are reported in the city within a week, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said yesterday. Addressing the Taipei Cross Border E-Commerce Annual Convention, Ko said the COVID-19 pandemic has brought many uncertainties to society, and that e-commerce is on a path of no return and would continue to grow. Many countries have not effectively controlled their COVID-19 outbreaks, and although Taiwan implements strict border controls and there have been few inbound passengers, the pandemic is unlikely to end soon,
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday accused CTi News of trying to mislead the public by publishing a half-page advert claiming that the party interfered in the National Communications Commission’s (NCC) review of its application for a license renewal. CTi News is distorting the commission’s review process by painting it as a political conflict and turning it into a smear campaign against the DPP, party spokeswoman Yen Juo-fang (顏若芳) said. “The NCC is an independent body, which carries out reviews and makes decisions based on its members’ professional expertise, as well as regulations and legal requirements governing media operations,” Yen said. “We condemn