Photographer wins awards
Taiwanese photographer Tzeng Chin-fa (曾進發) won nine awards, including two golds, at the Moscow International Foto Awards on Monday. Tzeng, from Miaoli County, on Tuesday said that a photograph of his 90-year-old mother using an old sewing machine won a gold award in the people and culture category. The image was part of his series Traditional Cultural Skills In Disappearance, which also features people preparing traditional food, weaving and performing a traditional face-threading treatment. His other gold-winning photo was of a couple, dressed in wedding outfits, standing at the foot of Mount Fuji in Japan. Tzeng also won five silver and two bronze awards at the contest. Last year, he won 28 prizes at the awards, the most among Taiwanese competitors.
Passport ranks 31st
Taiwan’s passport ranked 31st on a list of the world’s most “powerful” passports, offering its holders visa-free access to 146 destinations, according to the Henley Passport Index for the third quarter issued on Wednesday. Taiwan moved up one spot from the second quarter, the latest survey by British consulting firm Henley & Partners showed. The index includes 199 passports and 227 travel destinations. The passports were ranked based on the number of destinations to which they give holders visa-free access. Taiwan shared 31st with Mauritius and Saint Lucia. Japan remained No. 1 for the fourth consecutive year, with holders of its passport having access to 193 destinations without a visa, followed by Singapore with access to 192 locations, and South Korea and Germany tied at third with 191, the survey showed.
Fukuhara finalizes divorce
Japanese table tennis star Ai Fukuhara and her Taiwanese husband, table tennis player Chiang Hung-chieh (江宏傑), on Thursday formally announced their divorce, bringing an end to their four-year marriage. In a statement released by their management company, HIM International Music, the pair said they had finalized divorce proceedings and agreed to joint custody of their two children. The high-profile couple, both 32, married in Tokyo in 2016. They have a three-year-old daughter and a two-year-old son. Fukuhara, a two-time Olympic medal winner, retired from competitive table tennis in 2018 following the birth of her daughter. She was Japan’s top female table tennis player and at one point ranked world No. 4.
Institute signs MOU
The Institute for National Defense and Security Research signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with a Czech think tank to strengthen exchanges and cooperation on research in security and national defense, it said on Wednesday. The institute, established by the Ministry of National Defense, said in a statement that it signed the MOU on June 30 in a virtual ceremony with the Czech Republic’s European Values Center for Security Policy (EVC). Representatives from the two think tanks who attended the ceremony included institute chief executive Lin Chen-wei (林成蔚) and deputy chief executives Po Hung-hui (柏鴻輝) and Ou Hsi-fu (歐錫富), as well as EVC director Jakub Janda and Richard Kraemer, head of its Taiwan office that is to open in Taipei, the statement said. Janda said that Taiwan and the Czech Republic have common values of democracy, and the EVC would share European perspectives with the institute to deepen bilateral cooperation.
Liya Chu (朱如茵), whose parents are New York-based Taiwanese restaurateurs, has been crowned the champion of US television cooking competition MasterChef Junior, after wowing the judges, including celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, with a feast of fusion cuisine. In the finale of the show’s eighth season, broadcast on Thursday, Chu walked away with US$100,000 after serving a spread of spiced duck breast with scallion pancakes and miso eggplant, followed by coconut pandan panna cotta with a passion fruit coulis and sesame tuille. Chu, who was 10 years old at the time of filming three years ago, faced off against then-11-year-old Grayson Price from
A university student has gained the spotlight for an interactive map he designed detailing all of China’s military bases and installations throughout the Indo-Pacific region. Soochow University music student Joseph Wen (溫約瑟), who calls himself an amateur military enthusiast, said he created the map to “help people better understand the cross-strait situation.” Wen originally posted the map online on June 14 last year, but it gained greater attention after he mentioned it during an appearance on a China Television talk show. On the show, Wen said he had gathered information on the locations from publicly available Web sites, as
RISK FACTORS: ‘We hope people can cooperate and endure it ... it is possibly the very important last mile,’ Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung said Taiwan’s COVID-19 restrictions and mask regulations are to remain the same next month, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. The center reported 42,112 new local COVID-19 cases and 85 deaths, saying that the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients has dropped to a new low this month. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC, said that the center is keeping COVID-19 restrictions and mask regulations the same due to the local virus situation, and an increase in the number of imported cases of the new Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 of SARS-CoV-2, among other risk factors. Easing
GLOBAL STRATEGY: Indo-Pacific alliances need reinforcement to prevent Chinese occupation of Taiwan, which would threaten Japan, Hawaii and Australia, Pompeo said The US should officially recognize Taiwan as a free, independent nation and establish official diplomatic ties, former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo told an event at the Hudson Institute in Washington on Friday. Every US president since Harry Truman has considered Taiwan’s existence to be of utmost importance to US national security, Pompeo said. Taiwan is a principal US partner in technology and economic matters, and if China were to capture Taiwan’s semiconductor supply chain, it would severely hamper the US economy, Pompeo said. Should China occupy Taiwan, it would severely weaken US influence in the Indo-Pacific region and its surrounding areas,