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Archive for December 8th, 2008|Daily archive page

US, Japanese, RoK nuke negotiators met in Beijing

In Uncategorized on December 8, 2008 at 4:47 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – Top nuclear negotiators from the United States, Japan and the Republic of Korea (RoK) met on December 7 on the eve of six-party talks on denuclearization of the Korean peninsula in a bid to prepare for the next round of the six-party talks.

According to Kyodo News, all three nuke negotiators reaffirmed their commitment to try to set in writing methods for verifying nuclear information supplied by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

The verification issue will be a main task for the upcoming meeting involving the RoK, the DPRK, the US, China, Japan and Russia, which is slated for December 8 in Beijing.

In their talks in Beijing, the six countries will also try to set timelines for finishing the disablement of DPRK’s key nuclear facility and completing the delivery of energy assistance promised in return.

Under the terms of a key six-party deal reached last year, the DPRK is disabling facilities at its Yongbyon nuclear complex.

In return for the disablement work and the submitting of a list of its nuclear programmes, the DPRK has been promised energy aid worth a total of 1 million tonnes of heavy oil.

The three negotiation leaders met for the second time in less than a week, following their meeting in Tokyo on December 3.-

Four dead in Kuala Lumpur’s suburban landslide

In Uncategorized on December 8, 2008 at 4:43 pm

Kuala Lumpur (VNA) – A serious landslide happening on the dawn of December 6 in Antarabangsa, the suburban area of Kuala Lumpur killed four and left one buried underground and thousand injured, local media reported.

The landslide occurred after days of heavy rains in the area, which is prone to slippages. In 2006 four people were killed and 43 homes destroyed in a nearby suburb.

The tragedy comes 5 days short of anniversary of 1993 landslide which caused a 12-storey
condominium tower, the Highland Towers, to collapse, killing 48 people.

Earth and boulders covered 14 bungalows and blocked the only access road near the top of Bukit Antarabangsa, trapping at least 2,000 residents

Police ordered 3,000 to 5,000 residents living nearby to evacuate their homes. They will be allowed to return home after the Malaysian Institute of Public Works (Ikram) has confirmed that the area is safe.-

Environmental pollution raises alarm

In Uncategorized on December 8, 2008 at 4:42 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – A recent survey conducted by the Industry Policy Research Institute has forecast that environmental pollution in Vietnam will be four or five times higher than current levels by 2010.

Unless prompt measures are taken, total losses to the Vietnamese economy as a result of environmental pollution could be as much as 0.3 percent of the nation’s GDP by 2010 and 1.2 percent by 2020, the institute’s director Phan Dang Tuat has warned.

According to the survey, which was carried out in 18 economic branches and sectors, current urban area planning fails to incorporate waste treatment systems, resulting in alarming pollution levels in cities and industrial parks, with numerous businesses seriously flouting environmental management regulations.

It is estimated that 119 out of the country’s total of 183 industrial parks do not have dedicated waste treatment systems. In addition, in urban areas, only 60-70 percent of solid waste is collected and processed.

Widespread illegal mining of the country’s natural resources is another major cause of environmental pollution and waste.

According to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, in the first half of this year, over 1,000 incidents of illegal coal exploitation and collection were discovered and dealt with.

Despite the issuance of legal documents detailing sanctions for violations of environmental regulations and the establishment of an environmental police force, it will take some time to assess and address the impact of pollution on the environment, according to the institute.

The survey also revealed that Vietnam needs approximately 7.6 billion USD for environmental protection by 2020, focusing on the largest-polluting industry, steel, as well as other industries considered to be major culprits, including beer and alcohol, seafood, paper, garments and textiles, construction, mechanical engineering, transport, power and health care.-

International Volunteer Day honours helpers in Viet Nam

In Uncategorized on December 8, 2008 at 4:20 pm

An exhibition of Vietnamese photos taken by Volunteer Service Overseas (VSO) celebrates International Volunteer Day. This event was held yesterday by the Ho Chi Minh Youth Union and United Nations Volunteers in Ha Noi. — VNA/VNS Photo Dinh Tran

HCM CITY — Hundreds of local and foreign volunteers packed Hoang Van Thu Park in HCM City last Saturday to celebrate volunteerism on the occasion of the International Volunteer Day (December 5).

The event attracted the participation of non-governmental organisations and charity associations that have extensive experience working with volunteers.

The organisations, whose activities range from fighting AIDS to helping disadvantaged children, acknowledged volunteers’ valuable contributions.

The park, located near the airport, looked like a colourful campsite, with many tents set up representing participating organisations. Festive activities, including dancing, singing and mime performances as well as games and quizzes, were part of the event.

In each tent, the volunteers demonstrated their work and craft products made by the disadvantaged were on display.

Le Vu Chau Giang, a final-year student who has volunteered for Saigon Children’s Charity and Education for Development, said her involvement in project co-ordinating, translating, event organising and fund-raising had helped broaden her skills.

“Volunteer work helped me build up my confidence, enlarge my network and raise my awareness about the well-being of the community,” Giang said.

She said it had played a role in earning her a place in the International Conference for Youth next year in Dubai.

Le Thi Khanh, 77 years old and affectionately called Ngoai (grandma), said the Women’s Charity Association at 186 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, District 3 had an enormous need for local and foreign volunteers to teach and play with disadvantaged children in the fields of English, computers, arts, singing, dancing and academic subjects.

Nguyen Thi Thuy Trang of Operation Smile Vietnam, who recruits volunteers to take care of children who have had surgery, said commitment was essential for a volunteer.

Kirsten Theuns, country director for the non-profit group Education for Development (EFD), which organised the event, agreed that high commitment was more important than fluent English or other skills.

“The EFD is set up by volunteers and they play a crucial role in our achieving the missions. We really appreciate their work,” said Kirsten.

In Ha Noi on Sunday, thousands of Vietnamese and international volunteers attended a ceremony organised by the UN Volunteer Programme and the Youth Union.

Speaking at the ceremony, Secretary of the Youth Union Nguyen Dac Vinh said the union launched a nationwide campaign targeting young volunteers in 2000. Since then, the campaign has continuously developed and attracted participation from many young people who had made great contributions to the country. Specific areas volunteers have worked on are local economic development, elliminating hunger and poverty, as well as culture, education and healthcare activities.

International Volunteer Day was set up by the UN General Assembly in 1985 to assist volunteers and volunteer organisations at the local, national and international levels to reach the UN’s Millenium Development Goals, which aim to reduce poverty and hunger around the world. —


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