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Archive for September 22nd, 2008|Daily archive page

Thailand’s conflicting parties meet in Indonesia

In Uncategorized on September 22, 2008 at 12:50 pm

– Representatives of the two conflicting parties in Southern Thailand have hold talks for the first time in Indonesia to discuss ways to solve their problem, local media reported.

The two-day talks, began on September 20 at the Bogor Palace outside Jakarta, were mediated by Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla, the Antara news agency reported.

The Bogor meeting was arranged following a visit by then Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej to Jakarta early this year, according to news reports.

Thailand’s restive south has been troubled with insurgency-related violence which has claimed more than 3,000 lives since it resumed in early 2004.-

Vietnam on alert for tropical storm Hagupit

In Uncategorized on September 22, 2008 at 12:49 pm

Vietnam is on alert regarding tropical storm Hagupit after the Meteorological Forecasting Centre reported a large area in the north-east of the East Sea was experiencing turbulent waters and gusts between 118 and 149 km per hour.

On September 21, Hagupit was close to Luzon in the northern Philippines . In the next 24-48 hours, it is predicted to continue its west northwest trajectory at 20 km per hour.

Flood and storm rescue boards in all cities and provinces are required to take immediate measures to deal with this strong, fast-moving storm, according to an urgent message sent out on September 21 by the Flood and Storm Control Central Steering Committee.

Relevant authorities are to be informed of all sea vessels’ locations in order to keep owners informed of Hagupit’s movement and evacuate ships from endangered areas. Authorities are also asked to have rescue teams and equipment ready.

Tropical Hagupit formed in the western Pacific Ocean and is set to become the 16 th typhoon of this year’s typhoon season, according to the weather forecasting centre.-

MSG-maker charged with 10 violations

In Uncategorized on September 22, 2008 at 12:40 pm

DONG NAI — Dong Nai Province-based monosodium glutamate (MSG) maker Vedan Viet Nam has been charged with 10 violations of environmental and water resource regulations as well as evading waste water fee payments for the past 14 years totalling VND91.8 billion (US$ 5.74 million).

Luong Duy Hanh, director of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE) ‘ s Environment Protection Department, announced the violations at a press briefing last Friday where the Taiwanese-invested company agreed to sign a report admitting the offences.

A ministry report accuses Vedan factories producing starch, MSG and lysine dumped 50 to 5,000 cu.m of untreated waste water a day, ten times more than the permitted level.

Jurisdiction of the case would be transferred to MNRE for a proposed administrative fine of VND127-130 million, said Hanh.

Pending ministry approval, inspectors may propose the Dong Nai Province People’s Committee suspend Vedan Viet Nam’s operations, he added.

Criminal charges would also be pressed against the company’s illegal construction of a covert wastewater system, Hanh said.

MNRE deputy minister Tran Hong Ha said the further inspections are underway and a decision on prosecution will be announced after assembling sufficient evidence.

For its part, Vedan Viet Nam vice board chairman K.H.Yang admitted the company’s many infractions when dumping untreated wastewater into the Thi Vai River and gave it apologies to the public and society.

He said Vedan Viet Nam had already lowered output by 10-20 per cent.

Yang asked his company be allowed to continue operations while seeking solutions to tackle the environmental repercussions.

He said wastewater treatment system would be expanded by mid-October at the latest and there would be more equipment to handle any subsequent environmental pollution. —

Viet Nam waltzes in at Under-21 tourney

In Uncategorized on September 22, 2008 at 12:39 pm

Group hug: Captain Nguyen Van Khai (right) celebrates with his teammates after scoring in the match against Malaysia in the International Under-21 Football Tournament in Hue City last Saturday. Viet Nam won 4-2. — VNA/VNS Photo Quoc Khanh

HA NOI — Viet Nam got off to a good start at the International Under-21 Football Tournament when they crushed Malaysia 4-2 in the Group A opener at Hue City’s Tu Do Stadium on Saturday.

Nguyen Duc Thien opened the score just six minutes into the game as he converted Duc Tai’s cross in a rapid attack.

However, Malaysia shocked the more than 10,000 fans at the central city stadium just one minute later.

Ahmad Fakri Bin Saarani, worked well with Kavichelva to weave his way through the Vietnamese defence, and headed the ball past Nguyen Thanh Nam to level the score.

The hosts took control of the game shortly after with short and low passes, while the visitors made defence errors and in the 18th minute, captain Nguyen Van Khai scored after Mohd Faisai failed to clear the ball and Khai got past him to net the ball with a close range shot at the far corner. Four minutes later the Malaysian captain Ahmad also missed the ball close to goal when he tried to block a freekick from Vietnamese Huynh Phuc Hiep.

Duc Thien, who had a good showing, made no mistake to rocket the ball into the net, beating goalie Muhamad Zamir Bin Selemat and helping Viet Nam to a 3-1 lead.

In the 29th minute Vivenkandanthan Kavichelvan found a way in after a lob was left undefended and he headed the ball into the empty goal. Malaysia almost scored a few minutes later but Saarani’s freekick hit the bar five minutes before half-time.

In the second half Viet Nam regrouped to control the ball and slow down the pace.

Their strategy kept Saarani and Kavichelva at bay and created a chance for the Vietnamese, who were awarded a spot kick in the 67th minute when Duc Tai, broke through the Malaysian defence and was tackled by Mahalli Bin Jasuli in the penalty box.

Captain Khai converted the opportunity and took his team to a 4-2 lead.

The win helped Viet Nam take three more points, and they will now meet Thailand in the last match on Wednesday.

In another game in group B played last Saturday, Iran thrashed Singapore 6-0.

According to the organising committee, the International Under-21 Football Tournament has been recognised by the Asian Football Confederation as a new international championship for younger players in the region, and has drawn teams from Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar, Iran and Viet Nam, to compete in a two group round robin for the championship.

The two top teams will take semi-final berths on Friday and the final will be played on Sunday.

The winner will pocket a cash prize of US$10,000. —

Tsonga tramples Heineken Stars

In Uncategorized on September 22, 2008 at 12:38 pm

HA NOI — Australian Open runner-up Jo Wilfried Tsonga beat Robin Sederling of Sweden 2-1 (7-6, 1-6, 10-4) in the finals of the Heineken Stars exhibition tournament last Saturday.

Ranked 17th in the world, Tsonga took the US$40,000 cash prize after a fierce performance at the packed HCM City Military Zone 7 Gymnasium.

Tsonga, who beat German’s Nicolas Kiefer 6-4, 6-4 in the semi-final last Friday, started the game well but was sweating by the end of his first set win over the Swede 7-6 (9/7).

Sederling, ranked 24th in the world, came from behind to tie the final 1-1 after an easy 6-1 win in the second set.

During the third tie-break set, Sederling managed to hold the score at 3-3 before Tsonga cruised to win 10-4.

Sederling nabbed a $20,000 prize, while semi-final losers Tomas Berdych and Nicolas Kiefer took $10,000 each.

The tournament, featuring four stars competing in knock-out format with the two winners taking final berths, was held for the second time in HCM City.

Two years ago, Spain’s Carlos Moya, once the top-ranked tennis player in the world, was among four foreign stars to play at the tournament, along with German Nicolas Kiefer, Rainer Schuettler and former world number one Juan Carlos Ferrero. —

City urges Can Gio to focus on poor

In Uncategorized on September 22, 2008 at 12:37 pm

HCM CITY — HCM City authorities have instructed the People’s Committee of the coastal district of Can Gio to improve people’s living standards.

During the mid-term conference of the Can Gio Party Committee on Friday, Le Hoang Quan, chairman of the HCM City People’s Committee, suggested the committee revamp its economic structure to other sectors to gradually replace shrimp breeding.

Construction of roads to hamlets and villages was essential to facilitating trade activities and bettering people’s lives, he said.

Quan called on local officials to focus on improving residents’ living conditions in both physical and spiritual aspects.

The district must find ways to ensure all its residents have clean water and electricty and all households escape poverty by 2010.

He also expressed his appreciation for efforts made by the population and Party Committee of Can Gio District in overcoming difficulties to develop socio-economic conditions.

The growth rate of the district’s industrial and services sectors are 10 and 15 per cent, respectively, higher than the 2005-2006 period, according to the Can Gio District Party Committee.

The district has largely succeeded in transforming the focus of its economic structure from agriculture to other sectors, including tourism and seafood breeding and processing.

However, Quan reminded the district that targets set by a resolution of the municipal Party Committee to improve infrastructure and people’s livelihoods as well as modernise its economic basis had not been reached.

The number of poor households and school drop out rates were still high, he said.

Construction on local road systems had been delayed many times and several households still had no access to clean water or electricity, he said. —

Ministry decides to stop sale of ethanol-blended petrol

In Uncategorized on September 22, 2008 at 12:37 pm

HA NOI — Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Cam Tu issued a decision on Saturday to stop the sale of petrol mixed with ethanol a week after it began its trial sale at two petrol stations in Ha Noi.

According to the deputy minister, the move was aimed at protecting consumer rights since Viet Nam had not yet set standards for ethanol-petrol blends. “Petrol is a commodity that must meet the State standards and regulations before it is sold widely to the public,” he said.

Tu said that the ministry’s Science and Technology Department had permitted the trial sale of ethanol blended petrol through March 2009. However, the ministry later found that this petrol blend had yet to undergo sufficient testing.

The petrol, therefore, failed to meet essential requirements for widespread public sale and the decision to pull it from the market was necessary to prevent negative consequences, Tu said.

Testing of ethanol blended petrol had been permitted in 50 Ha Noi Taxi Association cabs, but if the two petrol stations, on Thai Thinh Street in Dong Da District and Hoang Quoc Viet Street in Cau Giay District, were found selling blended petrol to other customers they would be fined, the deputy minister said.

“The decision to temporarily stop the sale of petrol mixed with ethanol will not affect much of the testing process of the Petrochemical and Bio-fuel Joint Stock Company, which is in charge of blending A92 petrol with 5 percent of ethanol petrol,” said head of the company’s sales department Le Thanh Thai.

The mixture would be tested in the taxis through December 15; the company would then report the results to the Ministry of Industry and Trade before asking the Government to approve the petrol’s public sale, he said.

“The blending of 5-10 per cent of ethanol into petrol is a method to increase petrol’s burning index. The petrol mixed with five percent of ethanol was analysed by the national lab on petrochemical technology and by the Viet Nam Academy of Science and Technology to define its commercial petrol standard,” said Thai.

More than 20,000 litres of ethanol-blended petrol was sold in six days, before it was pulled off the market. —

Experts condemn food mixing scare

In Uncategorized on September 22, 2008 at 12:36 pm

HA NOI— Health specialists have condemned rumours that some types of food, when mixed together, can kill diners.

The experts said the food scare was not based on scientifically sound information, which allegedly came from the Central Hygiene and Epidemiology Institute and the Bach Mai General Hospital’s Anti-toxic Centre. The centre and hospital have denied that they were the source of the misleading warning.

Initially, the ‘warning’ was issued in leaflets, before being featured by at the end of August in a newspaper, including a published notice urging housewives to paste the article on the wall in their kitchens.

The article said that some types of food, such as turtle and amaranth or tomatoes with potatoes, and liver with bean sprouts, would cause death or cancer when they were eaten together.

However, the deputy director of Anti-toxic Centre Nguyen Kim Son, said the centre did not provide warnings about combinations of food.

Son said the centre had received many patients suffering from food poisoning.

“But most of these cases were caused by tainted, unhygienic, and half-cooked food,” he said.

Son said the main culprits behind food poisoning were contaminated water and foods contaminated by pesticides and chemicals.

Commenting on the food scare on combinations of foods, Son said the warning didn’t have any scientific foundation.

“We want relevant offices to investigate where this warning came from,” he said.

Head of the Food Hygiene and Safety Department, Dr. Nguyen Cong Khan, strongly condemned the warning, saying it had caused public confusion.

He also cited popular misconceptions such as that pregnant women should eat less foods with protein as a way to aid child birth, as their babies would be lighter than usual.

Nutritional science, meanwhile, has proved that pregnant women need a suitable nutritional regimen to help ensure the foetus health and growth.

Khan added that nutritional science did not note any dangerous food combinations.

“It has only been able to prove which substances in foods may increase or reduce absorption by the body,” said Khan.

Many online forums, blogs and newspapers which run the article on food combinations attributed the false warning to Suc khoe va Doi song (Health and Life) newspaper.

However, according to the managing editor of the newspaper, To Quang Trung, the newspaper did not published the article as some web sites had claimed. —

Vocational schools change to meet demand

In Uncategorized on September 22, 2008 at 12:36 pm

A vocational school in the central highland province of Kon Tum. Established in 2002, it has so far trained over 300 students in jobs related to industrial electricity, automobile technology, mechanics and information technology. — VNA/VNS Photo Tran Le Lam

HCM CITY – Vocational training schools in HCM City are expanding their curricula and facilities to provide more market-oriented training, officials say.

“Training a qualified workforce who are able to meet the society’s requirements is a decisive factor in our school’s development; and the training programme needs to address learners’ needs directly,” says Ngo Van Hai, the principal of the HCM City Industrial Secondary School.

The school has this year built practical labs for two new subjects: electronics engineering and business management in the services sector.

The school has just opened a new branch in Go Vap District with a playground, a gymnasium, and an area for defense and security education. It is also planning to build a dormitory which can host 1,000 students, says Hai.

He notes that over VND14 billion (US$845,000) has been invested in building new classrooms for students this academic year.

The Nguyen Huu Canh Technical School has also made additional investments in improving teaching facilities and reforming the teaching programme.

School officials say they have also spent VND1.5 billion (US$90,000) on building a practical lab on CAD (Computer-Aided Design) /CAM (Computer-Aided Manufacturing) /CNC (Computer Numerical Control) sector; and mechantronics – the field combining electronics and mechanics.

In previous years, students were only taught repair and maintenance of electric and electronic products. This year, they will be trained in mechantronics to apply automation in production.

The Transport and Public Works Secondary School has this year invested more than VND5 billion (US$300,000) on two laboratories in transport engineering and offers internships in operating various machinery including sixty tonne tractors, concrete-compress machines, universal CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation) machines and machines for measuring viscosity.

“In order to meet the diverse demands of students enrolling in the school, we are restructuring our management,” says Nguyen Hai Thanh, staff of the training department at Nguyen Huu Canh School.

The school’s Faculty of General Education will now be the Basic Sciences Department, he says.

This year, the city’s 34 vocational training schools and centres will enroll over 32,500 students.

According to the Ministry of Training and Education, 500 vocational schools and institutions across the country will enroll about 420,000 students, an increase of 100,000 over the last academic year. —