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Archive for September 14th, 2009|Daily archive page

Warnings as storm forms

In Vietnam Weather on September 14, 2009 at 12:15 pm

A tropical low pressure zone has intensified into the eighth storm of the year in the northeast of the East Sea on September 13, the national weather bureau said.

The national weather bureau’s direction forecast of the 8th storm this year

The winds near the storm’s eye were at Level 8, from 62 to 74 kilometers per hour.

In the next 24 hours, the storm is expected to move west-northwest with a speed of 15 to 20 kilometers an hour and will continue to intensify.

The eastern and northern parts of the East Sea will be heavily affected, with rough waves and strong winds expected.

The storm has come soon after the seventh storm of the year, Mujigae, was downgraded to a low tropical depression.

Due to preparations to cope with the Mujigae, there was not as much damage as there could have been, the Central Steering Board for Storm and Flood Prevention and Control said.

In Nam Dinh Province, a female official has gone missing while she was on duty with eight others on a motorboat that capsized due to large waves on the Red River.

Le Thanh Hai, deputy director of the center, said that tropical low pressure zones and storms continuously developing in the East Sea is one example of the affects of the El Nino phenomenon.

Source: SGGP

Market remains bullish over upbeat sentiment

In Vietnam Stock Market on September 14, 2009 at 12:15 pm

The Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange moved up for the third straight session over speculation on third quarter earnings results remaining healthy.

VN-Index, the measure of 174 stocks on the bourse, moved up 8.6 points, 1.57 percent, to close at 556.59. Of the index members, 92 stocks advanced, 59 dropped, and 23 were unchanged.

Trading volume accounted to 65.5 million shares worth VND2.85 trillion.

“Information about dividend plans and third-quarter earnings results released by listed firms will continue to drive market sentiment this week,” Bao Viet Securities Co. said in a report, adding that it expects the VN-Index to fluctuate between 525 and 560 points this week.

The Southern Rubber Industry Joint Stock Company (CSM), known as Casumina, gained 4.6 percent to close at VND91,000. The rubber maker announced on the exchange’s website that its estimated third-quarter pretax profits reached VND241 billion, equivalent to 105.14 percent of its 2009 target.

Casumina also announced that Nguyen Thi Ngan, sister of supervisory board member Nguyen Thi Le, will start selling her entire holdings of 947 shares tomorrow.

Ba Ria – Vung Tau House Development Joint Stock Company (HDC), known as Hodeco, was also among the gainers, rising 1.57 percent to VND64,500.

The company planned to sell 201,130 shares it had bought back earlier to boost its working capital, according to a statement on the exchange’s website. The sales will start on September 18.

Dong Do Marine Joint Stock Company (DDM) lost marginally 0.63 percent to VND15,900. Deputy general director Nguyen Thanh Tinh sold 22,700 shares to cut his holdings to 45,400 this month, according to a statement on the bourse’s website.

Cables and Telecommunications Material Joint Stock Company (SAM) surged by the five percent daily limit to close at VND33,900. The firm also announced on the exchange’s website that it would sell two million shares it had bought back, on- and off-market, in a bid to raise capital for investment projects this year.

At the smaller bourse in Hanoi, the HNX-Index advanced 2.65 points, 1.57 percent, to close at 171.83.

The UPCoM-Index of the unlisted stock slipped 0.42 point, 0.67 percent, to close at 62.64 as of 11 am.

Source: SGGP

Vietnam swine-flu death toll rises to 6

In Vietnam Health on September 14, 2009 at 12:14 pm

The Ministry of Health confirmed Sept. 13 the sixth A/H1N1 flu death in the country, that of a 19-year-old girl in Cho Lach District in the southern province of Ben Tre. 

Students with swine flu being examined at HCMC’s Pham Ngoc Thach Hospital. Vietnam announced its sixth death from the disease on September 13.

The girl fell ill on September 3 with symptoms like tiredness and breathing difficulty. She bought some medicines herself and took them but made no recovery. 
Her family admitted her to the Cu Lao Minh General Hospital on September 5.
Two days later she developed a fever and doctors treated her with Tamiflu.
On September 11 tests done by Ho Chi Minh’ s Pasteur Institute showed her to have swine flu.
She died on September 12.
Her death followed three others in HCMC and one each in the southern provinces of Dong Nai and Khanh Hoa.

On September 13 alone 220 more A/H1N1 cases were reported, 150 in the south, 35 in the north, 24 in the central region, and 11 in the Central Highlands.

The total number of A/H1N1 cases in Vietnam has gone up to 4,464, of which 3,350 people have been discharged from hospitals.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization in Vietnam announced that a total of 3,200 people have died of the disease worldwide.

Source: SGGP

Vietnamese photographers win international awards

In Vietnam Culture on September 14, 2009 at 12:14 pm

Three Vietnamese photographers won awards at the 2008-09 Nikon Photo Contest International which attracted more than 51,000 entries from 153 countries and regions.

The photo titled “Accompany” by Tran Thi Minh Hoa

Tran Minh Ngoc of the central province of Khanh Hoa won for Salt Harvest, Tran Thi Minh Hoa of HCM City for Accompany, and Do Huu Tuan of the southern province of Binh Thuan for Dawn at sea.

The 32nd contest attracted more than 51,000 entries from 18,033 applicants in 153 countries and regions. There was a 10 percent increase in application entries compared to the last event

Cave of hope by Maung Maung Gyi of Myanmar won the Grand Prize, At the heart of the Kaszuby forest by Kacper Kowalski of Poland got the NIKKOR 75th Anniversary Award, Quarrel by Zsolt Kudich of Hungary took the 1st Prize in the “Free” subject category, and Friends by Peter Allinson of USA won the 1st Prize in the “My Planet” category.

The contest was open from September 1 to November 30, 2008.

The Nikon Photo Contest International, regarded as one of the world’s top photo contests, has been held every two years by the Japanese company since 1969.

Source: SGGP

Vietnamese film wins award at Venice Film Festival

In Vietnam Culture on September 14, 2009 at 12:14 pm

A Vietnamese film, “Choi voi” (Lonely), by director Bui Thac Chuyen has won the Fipresci International Critics Prize at the 66th Venice Film Festival.

Director Bui Thac Chuyen, actresses Hai Yen (L) and Pham Linh Dan (R) attend the Venice Film Festival.

The official screening of the film at the festival attracted more than 1,500 people, said a member of the Vietnamese delegation.

Attending the film festival were director Bui Thac Chuyen, actresses Hai Yen and Pham Linh Dan, officials from the Department of Movies and producers from home and abroad.

Film critic Ngo Phuong Lan said that the Fipresci Prize has been one of the most honorable awards from critics for more than 50 years.

Choi voi will travel around the world to participate at other international film fests in Toronto, Busan, London, Fukuoka and Bangkok before screening in Vietnam, said Bich Phuong, director of BHD, a leading TV-movie production and distribution company in Vietnam and the film’s national and international distributor.

Vietnamese film-lovers can enjoy “Choi voi” (Lonely) after the Tet holidays 2010.

Top prizes at the Venice Film Festival 2009 were:

Golden Lion for Best Film: Lebanon by Samuel Maoz (Israel)

Silver Lion for Best Director: Shirin Neshat (Iran) for Zanan Bedone Mardan (Women Without Men).

Special Jury Prize: Soul Kitchen by Fatih Akin (Germany)

Coppa Volpi for Best Actor: Colin Firth (UK) in A Single Man by Tom Ford (US)

Coppa Volpi for Best Actress:  Ksenia Rappoport (Russia) in La doppia ora by Giuseppe Capotondi (Italy).

Related article:
Vietnamese film to compete in Venice Film Festival

Source: SGGP

Railroad plan on track after PM approval

In Vietnam Travel on September 14, 2009 at 12:13 pm

An overall plan for developing the railroad network in Vietnam between 2020 and 2030 has recently been approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.

 A north-south train in Vietnam

By the end of 2020, the rail sector will meet passenger transport demand of 13 percent and commodity transport 14 percent.

Railway transport of passengers in urban areas will meet 20 percent of Hanoi and HCM City’s public demand.

Projects to build metro systems in Hanoi and HCM city are scheduled to be completed by 2030.

A number of other rail projects include the North – South high speed railway, Central Highland railroad and a railroad that links coastal provinces in the Red River Delta with those in the Mekong Delta will basically finish by 2030.

Under the plan, total estimated funds needed for construction between 2010 and 2020 will be VND1,335 trillion. 

Source: SGGP

Ha Long Bay rises up natural wonder chart

In Vietnam Travel on September 14, 2009 at 12:13 pm

Ha Long Bay, Quang Ninh Province, September 14 has risen to 4th in the global vote for new seven natural wonders of the world, an idea by NewOpenWorld, after falling to 27th at the beginning of September.

Ha Long Bay

Jeju Island, Republic of Korea, is currently first, followed by second and third placed Yushan Mountain, Taiwan, and the Sundarbans mangrove forest, Bangladesh and India.

Standing at bottom of the list are Fundy Bay, Canada, and the Grand Canyon, the US.

At the 2009 East Asia Tourist Forum in Republic of Korea’s Gangwon Province on September 8, Quang Ninh Province officials called on international friends to vote for Ha Long Bay.

Related articles:
Ha Long Bay slides to 27th in ‘natural wonders’ list

Source: SGGP

German rivals spar, but no killer punch in TV debate

In World on September 14, 2009 at 12:12 pm

German Chancellor Angela Merkel‘s beleaguered challenger performed better than expected in a TV debate two weeks before elections but failed to land a knock-out punch, the press said Monday.

Trailing by a double-digit margin in the polls, Social Democrat (SPD) rival Frank-Walter Steinmeier needed a clear victory in Sunday’s debate but struggled to set himself apart from Merkel, his boss for the past four years.

Despite sparring on a national minimum wage and nuclear power, the debate devolved into a dry exchange of views, prompting one of the four moderators to complain at one point: “This is not a duel, this is a duet.”

While the owlish Steinmeier, who is also foreign minister, was snappier and tougher than usual, the dailies said he failed to deliver the soundbite that might be a game-changer before the September 27 poll.

“So who won? Frank-Walter Steinmeier was definitely better than his own supporters expected — a bit feistier, which a challenger has to be, but not polemical, more statesmanlike than aggressive, likeable,” the centre-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung said.

“But no, Sunday night will not be decisive for the election.”

A poll for ARD public television — one of four channels to broadcast the 90-minute debate dubbed as a “duel” with an expected one-third of the electorate watching — showed 43 percent of viewers thought Steinmeier had won versus 42 percent for Merkel.

But when asked who they would prefer to see as chancellor, 53 percent were for Merkel against just 38 percent for Steinmeier — albeit a narrower margin than before the debate.

Journalists follow the TV election debate between German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU), on screen.

The conservative Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung said Steinmeier had “surprised friend and foe” with a spirited performance.

But the centre-left Berliner Zeitung said Merkel had had far less to prove.

“Merkel gave him no chance to sharpen his profile,” it said.

“She only managed for a few moments to go on the attack. He was unable — and seems fundamentally unable — to muster the necessary brutality and ruthlessness when it comes to the last four years of governing together.”

One of the journalists posing questions described the candidates during the debate as “like an old married couple,” trying in vain to get them to lock horns.

Both praised the work of the left-right “grand coalition“, with Steinmeier saying: “We have achieved a lot together” and Merkel agreeing they had “worked well together.”

But Merkel said she could restore the strength of Europe’s biggest economy if she could link up with her favoured partners, the pro-business Free Democrats.

“We can continue decisively on this path but preferably with a new government,” she said.

Asked why he did not think Merkel should be re-elected as chancellor, Steinmeier said: “Because there is a better alternative, namely me.”

They clashed on nuclear power, with Merkel seeking to undo plans set in motion by her SPD predecessor Gerhard Schroeder to mothball all the country’s reactors by about 2020.

Merkel said the plants should stay open as a “bridge technology until renewable, affordable energy makes a transition possible.”

Steinmeier, however, called nuclear energy dangerous.

“That is the wrong way to go,” he said of Merkel’s plan. “We must maintain the phase-out of nuclear power.”

Both tried to claim credit for the recent state-brokered rescue of carmaker Opel and lower unemployment.

And they differed over Steinmeier’s call for a national minimum wage, which Merkel said would be a job killer, touting instead sector-wide pay deals.

Political scientist Gerd Langguth of the University of Bonn said the nature of the loveless “grand coalition” kept the debate tepid.

“Merkel and Steinmeier actually just neutralised each other,” he told the Passauer Neue Presse, predicting that smaller opposition parties would be the real winners of the lacklustre “duel”.

Source: SGGP

US drone strike kills four in Pakistan: officials

In World on September 14, 2009 at 12:12 pm

 A US drone missile attack Monday killed four militants in a remote Pakistani tribal town bordering Afghanistan, officials said.

The missile targeted a militant vehicle in Toori Khel village in North Waziristan region, they said.

“Four militants were killed,” a local government official said, requesting anonymity. He added the number of wounded was not immediately known.

A security official, however, said four people were wounded.

He said “two of the militants killed in the vehicle were believed to be foreigners” but details were not immediately available.

The word “foreigners” is official jargon in Pakistan for Al-Qaeda militants.

“The missile was fired from a US drone,” he said.

Monday’s drone strike was the third within a week in North Waziristan, where militants linked to Taliban and Al-Qaeda are said to have sanctuaries.

At least three militants were killed in a similar attack in the area last Tuesday.

Last Monday a strike targeting a madrassa (Islamic seminary) and an adjoining house killed five people.

Washington alleges Al-Qaeda and Taliban rebels who fled Afghanistan after the 2001 US-led invasion are holed up in Pakistan’s semi-autonomous tribal belt.

The US military does not, as a rule, confirm drone attacks, but its armed forces and the Central Intelligence Agency operating in neighbouring Afghanistan are the only forces that deploy pilotless drones in the region.

A US drone attack on August 5 in neighbouring tribal district of South Waziristan killed Pakistan’s feared Taliban warlord Baitullah Mehsud.

Pakistan’s previous government accused Mehsud of masterminding the 2007 assassination of ex-prime minister Benazir Bhutto and a string of other attacks that have killed hundreds of people here over the last two years.

Islamabad publicly opposes suspected US missile strikes, saying they violate its territorial sovereignty and deepen resentment among the populace. Since August 2008, nearly 60 such strikes have killed more than 550 people.

However some analysts and observers believe that the government tacitly supports the attacks, as it shares the US goal of eliminating Mehsud’s network.

Pakistan in April launched a punishing military offensive against the Taliban in the northwest, targeting the rebels in the districts of Swat, Buner and Lower Dir after militants advanced towards Islamabad.

The military claimed to have cleared the area of Taliban and vowed to turn their attention to the mountainous tribal belt along the border where Mehsud and his Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) have thrived since 2007.

Source: SGGP

Palau President confirms country to take 4 Uighurs

In World on September 14, 2009 at 12:12 pm

At least four Chinese Muslims detained at Guantanamo Bay will be transferred to the Pacific island nation of Palau, President Johnson Toribiong said.

The government received confirmation Friday from the United States government that the Uighurs would be temporarily resettled in Palau, Toribiong said in comments seen by AFP Monday.

“Four Uighurs are confirmed to temporarily settle in Palau,” Toribiong said.

The president did not give any other details of the move, including the likely timing of the Uighurs’ shift from the controversial detention camp in Cuba.

He had earlier said the transfer was expected to occur before January.

The lawyer for some of the 13 Chinese Muslims held at Guantanamo said Friday that two of the detainees expected to be transferred next month.

“Two of my clients have accepted offers” to relocate to Palau, lawyer George Clarke said, noting that they could leave the US “war on terror” prison in mid-October.

A US military issued photo shows Chinese Uighur detainees trying to talk to visiting members of the media at Guantanamo Bay US Naval Base in Cuba

He said others among the 13 Chinese Uighurs remaining at Guantanamo had accepted the offer but did not give details.

Uighurs are a minority Muslim and Turkic-speaking group in China’s northwest.

The detainees were part of a group of 22 Uighurs living in a camp in Afghanistan when the US-led invasion of the country began in October 2001, in the wake of the September 11 attacks.

They said they had fled to Afghanistan to escape persecution in their vast home region of Xinjiang.

The US cleared them of any wrongdoing four years ago, but they remained in legal limbo, with Washington unwilling to send them back to China, despite Beijing’s demands.

China wanted the detainees returned home to be tried, saying they belonged to the separatist East Turkestan Islamic Movement. But US officials refused to extradite the Uighurs because of fears they could face torture.

Beijing is restricted in how much direct pressure it can place on Palau, as the two do not have diplomatic relations.

Four of the original group of detainees were flown to Bermuda in June from Guantanamo, where some 229 “war on terror” suspects are still held. Another five were released to Albania in 2006.

US President Barack Obama has promised to shut down Guantanamo by January, and Washington has been pushing for other countries to accept inmates with no charges against them.

Toribiong announced in June that his country, with a population of around 21,000 people, had agreed in principle to provide a temporary home for the Uighur detainees.

He has denied any link between agreeing to accept the detainees and negotiations over future US aid to Palau, saying the decision was made as a “humanitarian gesture”.

In June many Palauans expressed uneasiness about the former detainees resettling in their tiny country, which only has a smattering of Muslim inhabitants.

Some were worried that the detainees had been linked with “terrorism”, even though the US had cleared them of any wrongdoing.

Made up nearly of 600 islands, of which only nine are inhabited, Palau lies about 800 kilometres (500 miles) east of the Philippines, and was administered by the US until independence in 1994.

Source: SGGP


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