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.
COSTLY TECH FAILURE: More than 25,000 files for nearly 8,000 students from 81 schools were lost when system administrators updated a server, the Ministry of Education said The academic records of 7,854 high-school students have been lost due to a hard-drive failure, the Ministry of Education said yesterday. The records were being stored at National Chi Nan University, which was commissioned by the ministry’s K-12 Education Administration to host a computer server of student portfolios that universities could access to evaluate their applications. Under a program introduced in 2019 for high-school students starting that year, students are to create portfolios to be used for university applications, which include their grades, extracurricular activities and other information related to their character and achievements. System administrators discovered that files were missing when rebooting
921 EARTHQUAKE: The magnitude 7.3 quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged The Central Weather Bureau yesterday received about 50,000 views on Facebook after it posted the data that it collected on Sept. 21, 1999, when the nation was devastated by a magnitude 7.3 earthquake. The data showed that the 921 Earthquake hit the nation at 1:47am, with the epicenter being 7km southwest of the bureau’s quake detection center in Nantou County’s Yuchi Township (魚池) at a depth of 8km. The quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged, with the cost of the damage estimated at NT$300 billion (US$10.8 billion at the current
CONFUSING RESULTS: A New Taipei City worker tested positive for COVID-19 in a rapid test and a PCR test, but negative in a traditional nucleic acid test, the CECC said Travelers from Bangladesh, Brazil and Peru are no longer required to quarantine at a government center, and from Saturday can choose to quarantine at hotels, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. The three nations are no longer considered “key high-risk countries,” as their COVID-19 case numbers have continued to fall, the CECC said, adding that no travelers from these countries have been confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 in the past two months. The revised classification would allow travelers from the three countries to choose where they stay during their mandatory 14-day quarantine, although they would be required to pay
‘TECHNICALITY’: The full moon was at 7:55am, but the Taipei Astronomical Museum said it technically remained a ‘real’ full moon when it rose again at night The Mid-Autumn Festival had a “real” full moon, the first time the astronomical categorization has fallen on the day of the festival since 2013, the Taipei Astronomical Museum said yesterday. The festival, which falls on the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar — which this year was yesterday — does not always coincide with an exact full moon, the museum said. A full moon occurs when the Earth is between the sun and the moon — or, more precisely, when the ecliptic longitudes of the sun and the moon differ by 180° — which has a cycle of