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January, 1, 2017

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Parties, fireworks ring in 2017
The China news staff and agencies

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwanese welcomed the new year with countdown parties and fireworks shows held overnight across the island.

The biggest party took place at Taipei Civic Square near the Taipei 101 skyscraper, where hundreds of thousands of revelers were entertained by pop stars including A-Lin and Wu Bai (伍佰).

The highlight of the night was a fireworks display lasting 238 seconds at the Taipei 101.

A total of 20,000 fireworks were set off at the stroke of midnight, along with an unprecedented light show comprising 800 lights and special effects around the iconic tower.

Now in its 13th year, the Taipei 101 fireworks display is the most-watched New Year event in Taiwan, attracting huge crowds of onlookers keen to take part in the countdown and to enjoy the unique atmosphere of New Year's Eve in the capital.

Celebrations n Central Taiwan included an event at Janfusun Fancy World amusement park in Yunlin and one at Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium,. Revelers in Southern Taiwan celebrated at E-Da World and Dream Mall in Kaohsiung.

Traffic control measures were adopted to cope with the tremendous migration of revelers.

The Taipei MRT advised passengers against trying to catch MRT trains at the City Hall and Taipei 101 World Trade Center stations after the celebrations, as these two stops at the party's epicenter would be heavily congested.

 Passengers were advised to walk to other nearby stations.

MRT Ready for 3 Million

The Taipei MRT was expecting record ridership of over 3 million passengers during the 24-hour period straddling the New Year's Eve countdown celebrations.

No figures were available as of press time for the 24 hours from 6 a.m. on New Year's Eve to 6 a.m. on New Year's Day, but the Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation said that as of 4 p.m. on Saturday, the number of passengers had already broken the 1 million mark.

The firm later said that ridership had notched up a significant increase after 7 p.m.

During last year's New Year's Eve countdown celebrations, the MRT transported about 3.02 million passengers in a 24-hour period — a record volume that represented an annual increase of 66,000 people.

This year, the MRT offered 42-hour nonstop service from 6 a.m. on Dec. 31 to 11:59 p.m. Jan. 1, with the exception of Xiaobitan and Xinbeitou stations. Service on the Maokong Gondola was also extended to 2 a.m. Sunday morning.

MRT trains were dispatched at shorter intervals and some of the trains did not stop at select stations. Bicycles were not allowed to be carried onto the trains after 3 p.m.

 Extra personnel were deployed at all major stations to help and direct passengers during the peak hours before and after the countdown event, the metro company said.

Taipei Rapid Transit also dispatched its 16-member "Chao Tien Tuan," a chorus whose job was to sing at major stations to ease the anxiety and impatience of passengers caught in the thick crowds. The singers also handed out small gifts.

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Why are Abe and Obama so afraid of an apology?
By Daniel J. Bauer

We'll start at the top of the picture. I will cast several of the verbs in the present, not the past (time) tense. One reason for doing so is that readers should sense these scenes as actually occurring in the present, not in the past.

There are reasons that I hope this may happen.

Thus, in a photograph on page 1 of a newspaper last week, we first note a man called the president of the United States, looking very solemn. (He won't be the president much longer, which may be relevant. The two of them must get this done now while they can.)

The "while they can." Well, the president is standing beside a gentleman who appears to be of Asian extraction. Oh, I see. The man next to the president is Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan.

They appear to be equals. They are for example dressed the same. They wear impeccably tailored, dark western business suits. Both are in white shirts. Their ties are both dark blue, knotted at the collar.

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Mardi Gras krewe honors actress with parade
By Rebecca Santana, AP

NEW ORLEANS -- Their hair wrapped in side buns, wielding lightsabers and dressed as everything from Wookiees to stormtroopers, thousands of people turned out to honor Carrie Fisher, the actress famous for her iconic role as Princess Leia in the "Star Wars" movies.

Fisher, whose tough-talking princess defied Empire generals while tossing off one-liners like "into the garbage chute, flyboy," died Tuesday. In New Orleans, where death is marked by both mourning and merriment, the Mardi Gras group called the Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus on Friday organized a parade in honor of the woman they consider royalty.

"This is a public demonstration of our love for Princess Leia," said Brooke Ethridge, one of the founders of the Leijorettes, a dancing group made up of fans who dress like Princess Leia. "Our first instinct was to hit the streets and parade and celebrate Princess Leia and Carrie Fisher."

Chewbacchus is dedicated to all things sci-fi and fantasy related and has always drawn inspiration from the "Star Wars" movies. The group's logo features the head of Chewbacca, the furry Wookiee who was Han Solo's close friend and co-pilot.

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Bilingual News
〈2017跨年〉人潮即錢潮 超商雙雄信義區重點門市備戰
The China Post news staff , 記者王莞甯/鉅亨網

根據網路市調,跨年夜民眾最愛外出參與跨年晚會和欣賞煙火秀,人潮就是錢潮,超商雙雄特定門市備貨量大增,統一超 (2912-TW) 表示,7-ELEVEN 針對熱門景點周邊超過 150 家門市進行備戰,相關商品平均增 2-3 背;全家 (5903-TW) 則在信義區周邊店舖增加 10 倍人力。

  統一超指出,7-ELEVEN 掌握全台跨年熱門景點,包括各縣市政府、台北美麗華、南投清境農場、高雄夢時代、高雄義大世界等周邊超過 150 家門市皆備戰,其中,101 周邊含信義區、松山區近 40 家 7-ELEVEN 門市預估將湧入大量人潮。

  因此,針對熱門的跨年商品結構如關東煮、蒸煮玉米、CITY CAFE、御飯糰、三明治、罐裝飲品、包裝零食、巧克力、iseLect 隨手包、保暖隨身用品、口罩、濕紙巾、娛樂用品 (如撲克牌、骰子)、能量飲和保健食品等,相關商品備貨量增加 2-3 倍。

  全家指出,為因應這波人潮,信義區周邊店舖增加 10 倍人力,並增設收銀機、夯番薯機、咖啡機、關東煮機等熟食機台,尤其夯番薯、甜玉米及零食餅乾備貨逾 10 倍,關東煮、水與飲料備貨更多達 20 倍。

  全家說明,去 (2015) 年跨年夜單日,Fami 霜淇淋銷售成長近 7 倍,美式咖啡成長超過 4 倍、關東煮和點心零食成長 2 倍以上,口香糖、糖果也有 3 成以上亮眼表現,推測是跨年結伴效應湧現,帶動相關商品業績成長。

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