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Archive for November 5th, 2009|Daily archive page

Market rises as cheap stocks go on sale

In Uncategorized on November 5, 2009 at 10:16 am

Vietnam’s benchmark VN-Index surged Thursday after three losing days in a row after investors realized stocks were cheap enough to buy.

The index, which tracks 180 companies and four mutual funds on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange, rose 18.01 points, 3.35 percent, to close 555.54. Trading dropped, with 57.3 million shares worth VND2.5 trillion (US$140 million) changed hands.

Many companies on the city bourse have dropped around 30 percent compared to the record high prices of the year, drawing investors to return.

On the index, gains outnumbered declines by 176 to 7 and two were unchanged.

Masan Group (MSN), a HCM City-based food processor, marked its first trading day on the Southern market as the biggest winner, selling at VND43,200.

Cadovimex Seafood Import Export Processing Joint Stock Co. (CAD), based in the Mekong Delta province of Ca Mau, came next, followed by Phuoc Hoa Rubber Joint Stock Co. (PHR) in Binh Duong Province neighboring HCMC.

Vietnam Export Import Bank, or Eximbank (EIB,) returned to the spot of most active shares with 2.98 million shares traded on the city bourse.

Saigon Commercial Bank, or Sacombank (STB), followed with nearly 2.75 million shares changing hands and the city based-Thanh Cong Garment and Textile Group (TCM) with nearly 2.7 million shares.

Saigon Securities’ fund unit, known as SSI Vision Fund, has cut its stake in the Southern Seed Corp. (SSC), a Vietnamese producer of crop seeds for farmers, to 10.9 percent from 12.08 percent, according to a statement on the exchange’s website.

Meanwhile, Lam Son Sugar Joint Stock Co. (LSS), a sugar and industrial alcohol producer, plans to build two resorts in the northern province of Thanh Hoa, where the company is based, CEO and chairman Le Van Tam told Bloomberg Wednesday. He did not give a timeframe for the construction of the projects.

The green was also seen on the Northern market, as the HNX-Index gained 5.28 points, 2.85 percent, to close at 190.27. Nearly 32.2 million shares were traded at VND1.33 trillion.

UPCoM-Index closed at 71.52, up 0.95 points, 1.35 percent, over Wednesday. A total of 62,996 shares were traded at VND1.41 billion.

On the global market, US stocks were led by growth in health care orders and prices while jobs data boosted hopes for the US government’s monthly jobs report Friday.

Stocks were also taking their cues from the dollar, which has been weakening against the euro since the opening bell.    

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People’s health threatened as climate changes, say experts

In Uncategorized on November 5, 2009 at 10:15 am

The conference is held by Vietnam and Hungary to share experiences in the fight against climate change and newly appeared diseases on November 4-5 in Hanoi. (Photo: VNA)

Scientists, at a conference held in Hanoi November 4-5, said climate change would affect around ten percent of Vietnam’s population due to flooding, cause a loss of ten percent in the county’s gross domestic product and bring several fatal infectious diseases.

According to the World Health Organization, 2.4 percent of all diarrhea cases around the world, and six percent of malaria cases in low and average-income countries would be caused by climate change.

Health Minister Nguyen Quoc Trieu said climate change threatened people’s health, especially poor people in Vietnam.

Tens of thousands of people contracted digestive diseases, including cholera, typhoid and diarrhea every year.

The minister said some fatal diseases have also appeared recently like SARS, A/ H5N1 influenza (bird flu) and H1N1 influenza (swine flu).

In addition, the number of people contracting existing epidemic diseases, such as dengue fever and malaria, were increasing year by year.

The country had 30,000 cases of dengue fever in 2000, but it rose to 80,000 cases this year.

Climate change is also expected to widely spread zoonotic diseases, diseases transmitted from animals to humans.

The conference was held by Vietnam and Hungary to share experiences in the fight against climate change and newly appeared diseases.

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City to implement family doctor, nutrition projects

In Uncategorized on November 5, 2009 at 10:14 am

Ho Chi Minh City’s Department of Health (DoH) will conduct two projects on family doctors and nutrition for children.

The DoH and Belgium’s Liège University November 4 held a meeting to discuss a family doctor cooperation project to provide better care and ease the current overload at the city’s major hospitals.

Under the project, three family medical clinics will be established in the Preventive Health Departments in districts 1, 8 and Cu Chi.

In addition, another two will be based at private infirmaries Viet Gia in Nguyen Van Thu Street, District 1, and Thanh Cong in Truong Chinh Street, Tan Binh District.

These medical clinics will be equipped with medics and work under typical hospital mechanisms.

According to surveys, family doctors can treat 70 to 80 percent of normal diseases and contribute to easing the current overload at the city’s central hospitals, especially as Vietnam has fewer hospital beds than other countries in the region.

The DoH and Save the Children Alliance on the same day worked on a nutrition project for children.

The project will run in 15 provinces until 2013 and cost US$150,000 to $200,000 per province.

The new initiative is dedicated to reducing the high undernutrition and mortality rate caused by sub-optimal infant and young child feeding practices, as well as cutting the two percent rate of children suffering from malnutrition.

The project also aims to increase the proportion of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a child’s life.

Vietnam, currently one of 20 nations in the world, has a high rate of undernourished children and only 17 percent of babies are breastfed in the first six months of life.

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New factors increase swine flu deaths

In Uncategorized on November 5, 2009 at 10:13 am

Vietnam health officials are concerned about the combination of virus H5N1 (avian flu) and H1N1 (swine flu) developing into more lethal forms, and a rise in cases of dengue fever and swine flu.

The National Steering Board for Human Flu Prevention announced the news at a meeting on November 4 in Hanoi.

Dr. Nguyen Huy Nga, head of the Preventive Health and Environment Department, said the outbreaks of avian flu in some northern provinces have caused a possible risk of combination between the H1N1 and H5N1 virus into lethal forms.

Meantime, Dr. Nguyen Van Kinh, head of the Hanoi-based National Institute of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, was concerned about two patients who contracted both swine flu and dengue fever.

He warned people to visit hospital if they experience fever.

Nguyen Tran Hien, director of the Central Institute of Hygiene Epidemiology, announced that the World Health Organization promised to provide Vietnam around 10 million swine flu vaccines. It is expected to receive 1.2 million doses in the middle of December.

The Ministry of Health plans to provide the vaccines to pregnant women, people with chronic diseases and frontline medical workers.

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Hung Vuong tower design contest ends

In Uncategorized on November 5, 2009 at 10:12 am

The award ceremony of the first ever Hung Vuong tower design contest was held in Hanoi November 4.

Hung Kings Temple historical site in the nothern province of Phu Tho.

Three A Prizes were given to architects Doan Duc Viet and Nguyen Manh Tuan, architect Pham Son Tung and his colleagues, and architect Le Trung Hieu of Vietnam Work Architecture.

Launched one year ago, the organizers, including the People’s Committee of Phu Tho Province and Vietnam Architect Association, received 18 designs for the historical Hung Kings Temple site.

Following the success of the first contest, the second competition was initiated on the same occasion, said Nguyen Tien Khoi, chairman of the organization committee.

The Hung Vuong tower is to be built on Mom Ga Hill, three kilometers from the Hung Kings Temple site, where relics from the Hung Kings period are kept. The hill, itself, is the best place to view the historical site and its surroundings.


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US show to offer glimpse of Vietnam culture

In Vietnam Culture on November 5, 2009 at 10:12 am

Vietnamese culture will be on show in San Francisco, the US, on November 15 and 16 through a program titled “Meet Vietnam.”

The show will feature photo and painting exhibitions, a display of Vietnamese handicrafts, music and art performances, an ao dai fashion show, and seminars on Vietnamese education and tourism-aviation.

There will also be a forum on investment and trade in Vietnam, a seminar on Information Technology and high-tech industrial zones, and a discussion about the investment potential in HCM City, Da Nang, and Can Tho, all of which will be attended by both Vietnamese and American businesses.

The show is meant to promote the country and its people and help the Vietnamese community in California state get up to speed about their home country and look for business opportunities at home.


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Mrs. World contestants arrive in Vietnam

In Vietnam Culture on November 5, 2009 at 10:11 am

Nearly 40 contestants for the final round of the Mrs. World 2009 pageant, held in Vietnam this year, took part in various activities in Ho Chi Minh City November 4.

Contestants of the Mrs. World 2009 beauty contest offer gifts to children at Thi Nghe Orphanage and Disabled Children’s Center in Binh Thanh District on November 4. (Photo: An Dung)

The women had a meeting with the city’s leaders and visited Reunification Palace, Ben Thanh Market and the Gia Gia Gemstone Center, where many craftsman with disabilities work.

They also presented more than 500 gifts to the Thi Nghe Orphanage and Disabled Children’s’ Center in Binh Thanh District.

“I think it is not only beauty queens, everyone should be interested in disadvantaged children. People on the Earth should give their special love to children,” said Kelly Pittman Mrs. Georgia 2009 .

The contestants will travel to Ba Ria-Vung Tau on November 5 and visit the province’s Martyrs Cemetery and pay tribute at the statue of heroine Vo Thi Sau.

They will also visit the Minh Dam revolutionary base, which was used during the anti-French colonialist and anti-American imperialist resistance wars, as well as paying a visit to a school for deaf children.

The opening ceremony of the final round of the Mrs. World 2009 pageant will be held at Imperial Hotel in Vung Tau City on November 7.

Canadian TV star, Alan Thicke is to be master of ceremonies, which will take place at Multi-sport Stadium on November 22 and be broadcast on various channels including VTV4, VTV 9 and Star World.

Vietnam is represented by Mrs. Vietnam 2009, Hoang Thi Yen, and the first runner-up, Nguyen Thi Thu Ha.  They will compete with nearly 70 women for the title.

The remaining contestants will arrive in Vietnam over the next few days.

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Japan’s NEC offers eyewear translator

In Uncategorized on November 5, 2009 at 10:11 am

An NEC employee displays the automatic translation system Tele Scouter at the company’s high-tech exhibition in Tokyo on November 5, 2009. (AFP photo)

TOKYO, Nov 5, 2009 (AFP) – Most eyewear improves vision or cuts through solar glare, but a new gadget from Japan may soon sharpen linguistic skills and cut down language barriers instead, inventors said Thursday.

High-tech company NEC has come up with a device that it says will allow users to communicate with people of different languages.

Shaped like a pair of eye-glasses, but without the lenses, the computer-assisted Tele Scouter would use an imaging device to project almost real-time translations directly onto the user’s retina.

The text — provided instantly through voice recognition and translation programmes — would effectively provide movie-like ‘subtitles’ during a conversation between two people wearing the glasses.

“You can keep the conversation flowing,” NEC market development official Takayuki Omino told AFP at a Tokyo exposition where the device was on display.

“This could also be used for talks involving confidential information,” negating the need for a human translator, said Omino.

Each user’s spoken words would be picked up by a microphone, translated, and be instantly available for the counterpart in both visual text and as audio delivered through headphones.

Users can still see their conversation partner’s face because the text is projected onto only part of the retina — the first time such technology is used in a commercial product, according to NEC.

The company plans to launch the Tele Scouter in Japan in November next year, although initially without the translation mode.

NEC says the device can have other uses aside from translation.

For example, it could be useful for salespeople if it is linked with a camera, face-recognition software and a store’s client database by instantly providing them with a customer’s purchase history.

“It’s best if you know the customer personally for individual sales pitches, but that can be difficult at big stores,” Omino said. “This device can be a weapon for salespeople on the floor.”

The model for sales staff and for translations is to be launched in 2011, Omino said.

A set intended for companies with 30 eyewear units would sell at 7.5 million yen (83,300 dollars), plus the cost of any customised software application.

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Indonesian president demands action in wiretap scandal

In Uncategorized on November 5, 2009 at 10:10 am

JAKARTA, Nov 5, 2009 (AFP) – Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Thursday demanded the suspension of top police and prosecutors mentioned in wiretap recordings exposing an alleged plot to frame anti-graft investigators.

But the suspensions of chief detective Susno Duadji and Deputy Attorney General Abdul Hakim Ritonga may not be enough to calm public anger over the scandal, amid calls for the police chief and attorney general to resign.

Two Indonesian protesters wear masks featuring images of Chandra Hamzah and Bibit Samad Riyanto, to support the two officials of the Corruption Eradication Commission in Jakarta Nov. 5 (AFP photo)

“I’ve advised the police chief and the attorney general to suspend those whose names were mentioned in the tape recordings and discharge them from their duties,” Yudhoyono told a cabinet meeting.

Yudhoyono has been under mounting pressure to take action after the secret recordings captured senior police and prosecutors discussing ways to apparently frame two deputy chairman of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).

Attorney General Hendarman Supandji, who has ignored repeated calls to resign over corruption within his department, told reporters that Ritonga had informed him of his intention to step down in light of the recordings.

“He met me yesterday to say he was going to resign and this morning he will submit a written statement to me,” he said.

National police chief Bambang Hendarso Danuri, who has been a strong supporter of his chief detective even after he emerged as a key player in the alleged plot against the KPK, said Duadji would also resign.

“We can’t just sack him. He’ll resign for sure … ” he told reporters.

The KPK tapes were played in a nationally televised session of the Constitutional Court on Tuesday, six days after the two KPK officials, Chandra Hamzah and Bibit Samad Riyanto, were arrested by police on corruption charges.

The tapes sparked protests across the country amid widespread public sympathy for the KPK and outrage at rampant corruption within the police force and the Attorney General’s Office.

The KPK has made enemies across the spectrum of Indonesian government and administration for its successful corruption prosecutions and its far-reaching powers to wiretap suspects and probe their bank accounts.

But it has strong support among the public in a country that ranks 126th out of 180 on Transparency International’s corruption perceptions index for 2008, alongside Honduras and Libya.

Members of a “fact-finding team” appointed by Yudhoyono on Monday to look into the conduct of the police surrounding the arrests of the anti-graft commissioners said they were already talking about quitting.

“I’m facing a wall with the police, the prosecutors and the country’s apparatus,” team chairman Adnan Buyung Nasution, an independent lawyer and former democracy activist, told AFP.

Another team member, political analyst and Paramadina University rector Anies Baswedan, added: “The team will discuss whether to quit today. If our recommendations are not followed, yes, I will quit”.

The team has demanded the resignations of Duadji and Ritonga and the ongoing detention of Anggodo Widjojo, the brother of a KPK suspect whose taped phone calls to police and prosecutors were played in court on Tuesday.

University of Indonesia political analyst Arbi Sanit said the Indonesian people expected more than the resignations of the chief detective and deputy chief prosecutor.

“It’s not enough that only Susno and Ritonga resign, the national police chief and attorney general should also resign if they still want to be respected,” he told AFP.

“After they resign, all of them need to be prosecuted legally.”

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Australia rules out Afghan troop boost: report

In Uncategorized on November 5, 2009 at 10:09 am

SYDNEY, Nov 5, 2009 (AFP) – Australia has ruled out sending extra troops to Afghanistan, despite US and NATO calls for reinforcements to shore up the campaign against a resurgent Taliban, a report said Thursday.

Defence Minister John Faulkner told US officials Australia had decided against boosting its 1,550-strong troop commitment to the strife-torn nation beyond the 450 extra soldiers it sent earlier this year.

“There is a very clear understanding and appreciation of the fact that Australia increased the number of troops to Afghanistan very significantly on April 29 this year,” Faulkner said, according to public broadcaster ABC.

“I’ve certainly indicated to those I’ve spoken to here in the United States over the last couple of days this number is right,” he added.

(FILES) In this picture taken on October 28, 2009, Afghan National Army keeps watch as smoke rises from The United Nations Bekhtar Guesthouse in Kabul on October 28, 2009, where UN staff were killed following an attack (AFP photo)

Faulkner, on an official visit to Washington, met with congressional members, military commanders and his American counterpart, Defence Secretary Robert Gates.

Faulkner said US authorities “well understood that Australia uniquely has responsibilities in its own area of the world,” and appreciated Australia’s commitment — the ninth-biggest contingent of foreign troops.

Last month he said Australia was planning to complete the operation in the “shortest time-frame possible” once it had fulfilled its responsibilities training the Afghan National Army in the southern province of Uruzgan.

“My own personal view is that we will not prevail in Afghanistan unless we win the hearts and minds of the Afghan people,” he said, urging re-elected President Hamid Karzai make good on vows to crack down on corruption and improve governance.

“I think the challenge for the international community is to ensure that Mr Karzai does deliver in terms of that commitment,” he said.

General Stanley McChrystal, Afghanistan’s top US and NATO commander, has warned that the war could be lost within a year without extra resources to fight the Islamists, who were driven from power by the 2001 US-led invasion.

President Barack Obama is currently considering a large boost in US troop numbers in the face of growing public opposition in the United States.

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