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Archive for November 19th, 2009|Daily archive page

Empowering women key to combating climate change

In Vietnam Environment on November 19, 2009 at 11:32 am

International climate change agreements and national policies are more likely to succeed in the long run if they take into account population dynamics, relations between the sexes, and women’s well-being and access to services and opportunities, according to The State of World Population 2009, launched on November 19, 2009  by the United Nations in Vietnam and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE).

“Climate policies that fail to take people, especially women, into account will neither make climate change manageable nor shield anyone from the potentially disastrous impacts,” says Bruce Campbell, United Nations Population Fund Representative in Vietnam.

Over the past 100 years, the temperature of the earth’s surface has risen 0.74 degrees Celsius. This seemingly small increase has already been linked to more severe and frequent storms, extended droughts, melting glaciers and rising sea levels, all of which are taking a toll on lives and livelihoods, especially in developing countries. Southeast Asia is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change with its extensive, heavily populated coastlines, large agricultural sectors and large numbers of people living in poverty.

According to climate change scenarios for Vietnam, which were recently launched by MONRE, the average temperature in Vietnam will rise 2.3 degrees Celsius above the average level of the 1980-1999 period, and the sea level will rise by at least 0.75 meters by the end of the 21st century. Also according to these scenarios, about 76,000 square kilometers of the Mekong Delta, which makes up more than 20 percent of the total delta area, will be flooded.

“The consequences of climate change are very serious and will have negative impacts on the country’s poverty reduction goals as well as the Millennium Development Goals and sustainable development,” says Mr. Nguyen Van Duc, vice minister of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE).

The impacts of climate change, which include rising sea levels in low-lying coastal areas as well as severe droughts and floods, also suggest that an increasing number of people will migrate in the future for mainly environmental reasons. While no reliable figure exists, it is estimated that 25 million people worldwide are already displaced by environmental changes.

“Where women have access to education, livelihoods, voluntary family planning and other health services, they have healthier families and are empowered to better cope with the impacts of climate change,” concludes Campbell. However, the advantages of increasing women’s educational attainment go well beyond influencing the climate, since investing in women also contributes to development and the eradication of poverty.

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Crowds hail teachers at annual ceremony

In Vietnam Education on November 19, 2009 at 11:31 am

The city Party Committee’s Standing Deputy Secretary Nguyen Van Dua (second, R) and Sai Gon Giai Phong ( first , R ) Chief Editor Tran The Tuyen hand out Vo Truong Toan Prizes to teachers at the Opera House in Ho Chi Minh City on November 18 (Photo: SGGP)

Cheers erupted at the Ho Chi Minh Opera House on November 18 as 30 local teachers were honored with the prestigious 2009-2010 Vo Truong Toan Prize for excellence in education.

Throngs of beaming teachers and students filled the hall for the occasion including some eager students who arrived before the Opera House had even opened.

After waiting patiently, they rushed inside to secure a prime location from which to view their “strict, yet fair” teacher Le Thi Nhung. Calling out continuously, the students cheered on their teacher throughout the event.

Staff and students from junior high school Nguyen Huu Tho in District 7, including teacher Kim Loan, arrived late due to traffic congestion. They sat on the floor to watch their beloved colleague and teacher accept her award. Before she arrived, teachers watching the sold-out event on TV phoned continuously to ask why Ms. Loan was not on stage.

Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Hua Ngoc Thuan spoke highly of the teachers who overcome daily hardships to devote their lives to teaching. Ms. Truong Thi Thanh from Vang Anh Preschool in District 8 has taught tirelessly for 21 years despite the many challenges of the career.

Local songwriter Nguyen Van Ty composed a song about the plight of such teachers as many spend up to 12 hours at school each day for very little pay. At home, some teachers spend their rare free moments building toys for the students from scraps.

Veteran Nguyen Van Dung has been teaching for 20 years fighting the “enemy of illiteracy” while blind teacher Nguyen Van Thanh instructs at the special Nguyen Dinh Chieu School for the blind.

Students from the Nguyen Dinh Chieu school for the blind lined up to enter the Opera House in HCM City on November 18 (Photo: SGGP)

Le Van Hong from the Le Hong Phong school for gifted students said he would offer his award to the Learning Encouragement Association in the Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre.

Meanwhile math teacher Luong Anh Van of secondary school Nguyen Gia Thieu in Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Binh District said that teaching is like an invaluable spiritual medicine for him to overcome the difficulties of life and disease.

Teacher Nguyen Van Thanh said he was overjoyed when his students, who have severe mobility problems, arrived at the Opera House to congratulate him. His wife and six-month-old baby watched Thanh receive his award on television in HCMC’s Cu Chi District.

Attending the ceremony, Prudential Vietnam CEO Jack Howell said that while he has been in Vietnam for only a short time, he commends the country for its reverence of teachers. 

Also attending the ceremony was the city Party Committee’s Standing Deputy Secretary Nguyen Van Dua, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Hua Ngoc Thuan Do Quoc Anh, manager of the HCMC office of Ministry of Education and Training, and Huynh Cong Minh, director of HCM City’s Department of Education and Training.

Related articles:
Teachers honored for dedication through adversity

SGGP to confer Vo Truong Toan Prize on 30 teachers

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Local, foreign, Thai golfers to tee for charity

In Vietnam Society on November 19, 2009 at 11:31 am

The Thai National Day Golf Charity 2009 in Ho Chi Minh City, also to celebrate the Thai King’s birthday, will be held on Dec. 5 and part of the proceeds will be presented to a local charity, the organizers announced Thursday.

More than 100 players of Vietnam, Thailand and other nationalities are expected to compete in the fundraising event at the Vietnam Golf and Country Club in District 9, according to the organizers.

Thailand’s Consulate General in the city and the Thai Business Association (Vietnam) will organize the event in association with the Thai Trade Center and the Tourism Authority of Thailand, HCMC Office.

(L-R) Thai Business Association (Vietnam) president Preechachai Chauychoo, Thai Consul General Somchai Powcharoen and Pichai Raktashina, Tourism Authority of Thailand director, HCMC, act the panel at Thursday’s press briefing (Photo: Tuong Thuy)

Dec. 5 is the 82nd birthday of the King of Thailand, His Majesty Bhumibol Adulyadej, and also the Thai National Day, Thai Consul General Somchai Powcharoen told Thursday’s press briefing at the Thai Consulate General.

“All of us, Thai citizens both living in Thailand and other countries will organize celebrations to commemorate His Majesty Birthday and will organize activities in order to donate proceeds to the Royal Project Foundation under the Royal Patronage of His Majesty as well as to public charity organizations,” he said.

“All proceeds from this golf event will be divided into two parts for donation. The first will be presented to the foundation and the second will be donated to charity organizations of Vietnam.”

This year’s second part of donation will go to the HCMC Association for Support of Handicapped and Orphans will receive, said Thai Business Association (Vietnam) president Preechachai Chauychoo.

He said the organizers expect to collect at least US$5,000 for the charity.

Donations will be presented to the local charity during the award dinner party at the Thai Consulate General on the same day. The party is also the reception to celebrate the King’s birthday.

Vietnamese saxophonist Tran Manh Tuan will join a jazz band from Thailand in a show at the reception, said Mr. Pichai Raktashina, Tourism Authority of Thailand director, HCM City Office. He added the Thai King loves jazz and composes some pieces.

As for the golfers, the hole-in-one prize is a Mercedes Benz E300 sedan. Other prizes include Best Gross, Nearest to the Pin, Longest and Accurate Drive.

Thai paint manufacturer 4 Oranges is the main sponsor in the charity golf event.

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Former Liverpool, MU stars in Hanoi for Masters Vietnam

In Vietnam Sports on November 19, 2009 at 9:58 am

Andy Cole, who won the 1999 Treble with English Premier League club Manchester United, and other former stars of the club and Liverpool arrived in Hanoi Wednesday to play two friendly matches with former Vietnamese stars on Nov. 19 and 20.

Andy Cole (L) at Noi Bai Airport, Hanoi on Nov. 18, 2009 (Photo: Vietnam Football Federation)

Cole, Vivian Anderson, Ronny Johnsen, and David May, together with Steve Mcmanaman, John Barners and Jason McAteer, who used to play for Liverpool, will play local ex-stars at the My Dinh National Stadium in the Masters Vietnam 2009 exhibition competition.

Former Liverpool star Steve Mcmanaman (R)gives his signature to Vietnamese fans at Noi Bai Airport, Hanoi on Nov. 18, 2009 (Photo: Vietnam Football Federation)

The former internationals shared time for a party and photos with Vietnamese fans on the Wednesday evening.

Thirty-one former Vietnamese players gathered in the capital Tuesday to prepare for the two games – with Manchester United ex-stars on Thursday and former Liverpool stars Friday. Both matches will start at 6 pm.

Britain’s Masters Football Cup had earlier said they would bring two English Premier League referees, Dermott Gallagher and John Underhill, to Hanoi to officiate the matches.

All the former internationals will leave Vietnam for Malaysia on Nov. 21.

Andy Cole was a very famous striker of Manchester United and won the FA Cup, English Premier League and European Champions League in 1999 with his club. He formed a striker partnership with Dwight Yorke from Trinidad and Tobago. Manchester United’s treble winning side of 1999 was founded on the duo’s breathtaking striker partnership.

Vietnam’s My Dinh National Stadium was also the place where Brazil’s Olympic, inspired by two-time FIFA player of the year Ronaldinho and under coach Carlos Dunga, played Vietnam’s national squad early August last year in a warm-up for their 2008 Olympics campaign in China.

Manchester United ex-players: Fraser Digby (Gk), Viv Anderson (C), Ronny Johnsen, Russell Beardsmore, David May, Lee Martin, Paul Parker, Clayton Blackmore, Andy Cole, Simon Davies, Jesper Blomqvist, Ian Walker (Gk), Paul Wood, Tommy Mooney, Peter Davenport, Mark Todd

Liverpool list: Paul Jones (Gk), Don Hutchison, Richard Sneekes, Michael Thomas, Mark Wright, Jimmy Carter, Mark Walters, Jason McAteer, John Barnes (c), Steve Mcmanaman, Craig Hignett, Sasa Ilic (Gk), Georges Santos, Alan Wright, Carl Bradshaw, Ugo Ehiogu, John Durnin

(List provided by the Vietnam Football Federation)

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Market up as steam returns

In Vietnam Stock Market on November 19, 2009 at 9:58 am

Vietnam’s VN-Index, a measure of 186 companies, including one newly listed one, and four mutual funds on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange, rose 1.23 percent Wednesday as investors put more confidence in stocks.

The benchmark added 6.75 points to finish at 553.83, the highest since November 6. Trade volume increased to 51.7 million shares worth nearly VND2.9 trillion (US$162.3 million), below VND3 trillion for eight days in a row.

Stocks stayed in the red for almost the first half of the session before more money was poured in. After-the-bell announcement saw 104 advancers while 55 shares dropped and 27 were unchanged.

The industrial refrigeration company Searefico (SRF) in HCM City was the biggest winner gaining 4.96 percent to VND40,200.

Other big gainers included the Dry Cell & Storage Battery Joint Stock Co. or Pinaco (PAC), Vietnam’s largest battery maker also in the city, and Lam Son Sugar Joint Stock Corp. (LSS) in northern Thanh Hoa Province. Both closed up 4.95 percent.

Hanoi-based real estate investor LICOGI 16 Joint Stock Co. (LCG) topped the list of most active stocks in volume as having more than 2.87 million shares traded on the city bourse. The company added 4.92 percent to VND96,000.

The Vietnam Export Import Bank or Eximbank (EIB) was next with around 2.54 million shares traded at VND25,000, down 1.19 percent. The unchanged Saigon Commercial Bank or Sacombank which closed at VND27,000 followed with 1.93 million shares.

Vincom Joint Stock Co. (VIC), Vietnam’s second-biggest listed property company, dropped 1.82 percent to VND110,000 after robust growth of 3.7 percent on Tuesday. The real-estate developer has raised $100 million by selling convertible bonds on the Singapore Stock Exchange, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be named because the person is not authorized to discuss the matter.

Refrigeration Electrical Engineering Joint Stock Co. (REE), a maker of air conditioners and electrical appliances, dropped 0.98 percent to VND51,000 after adding 3.4 percent on Tuesday. The company said pretax profit in the 10 months through end-October reached VND417 billion ($23 million), beating the full-year target of VND250 billion, according to a statement filed on the exchange’s website.

Duc Thanh Wood Processing Joint Stock Co. (GDT VN), which manufactures, distributes and exports furniture for interior decoration, rose 2.17 percent to VND36,800 on the second day of trading on the exchange. The listing increased the number of companies on the exchange to 182.

Hanoi’s HNX-Index rose 2.5 points, or 1.37 percent, on its 1,000th trading day to close at 185.17. Around 26.2 million shares worth VND1.1 trillion changed hands.

US stocks finished an erratic session mixed Tuesday as higher commodity prices lifted energy and materials shares. Major stock indexes had their third straight advance, reaching new 13-month highs. Stocks had zigzagged for much of the day on mixed news from retailers and industrial production.

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ACB, insurer Prevoir assure consumption borrowers

In Vietnam Banking Finance on November 19, 2009 at 9:58 am

Unidentified representatives of Asia Commercial Bank and Prevoir Vietnam shake hands after signing their deal on Nov. 12 (Filed photo)

Asia Commercial Bank (ACB) and life insurer Prevoir Vietnam signed a deal Nov. 12 to provide insurance service for those who borrow money with mortgage at the bank for consumption purposes.

The Ho Chi Minh City-based bank plans to make this product available at all branches and transaction offices in the city late this month.

The product is designed for customers aging from 20 to 60. In a case of death or being disabled permanently for any reason, Prevoir Vietnam will pay all the debt to the bank for that customer.

ACB and Prevoir Vietnam has cooperated in introducing different kinds of assurance for the bank’s customers since 2005. So far, more than 12,000 of ACB customers have got insurance coverage from Prevoir Vietnam.

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Heartbeat Vietnam saves 14 children

In Vietnam Health on November 19, 2009 at 9:57 am

The VinaCapital Foundation and members of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (CanCham) November 17 visited four of 14 children who received lifesaving heart surgery with funds raised from CanCham’s annual charity golf tournament.  

Dr. Hung (L, standing) of Tam Duc Heart Hospital and CanCham executive director Patrick Wolfe with children receiving heart surgery(Photo: Courtesy of VCF)

The operations took place last week and the children are now recuperating in Ho Chi Minh City’s Tam Duc Hospital.

Visiting the children were Mr. Patrick Wolfe, CanCham’s executive director, and Mr. Cory Vo, CanCham secretary of the Board of Directors. 

The CanCham Campaign for Heartbeat Vietnam is now in its second year and has raised over US$8,000 through the annual golf tournament and donations from the 200-strong CanCham membership base.

“We were thrilled to visit the children and see first-hand the results of our campaign with Heartbeat Vietnam,” Mr. Wolfe said.

Heartbeat Vietnam, a program of the VinaCapital Foundation (VCF), has provided almost 1,200 heart operations since 2006 for children across Vietnam, as well as helping to improve cardiac and pediatric care in Vietnam via a telemedicine training series, equipment donations, and support for province-level pediatric outreach centers.  Donations made to Heartbeat Vietnam are matched 100 percent by the VinaCapital Group.  

The VinaCapital Foundation (VCF) was founded in 2006 to help alleviate poverty and improve the status of the poor in Vietnam; improve medical institutions, capacity, and access to quality medical care for poor patients in Vietnam; and to support programs that will build business knowledge and business leadership across the country to increase opportunities for investment and sustain economic development in Vietnam. 

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UN agency to provide Vietnam swine-flu vaccine

In Vietnam Health on November 19, 2009 at 9:57 am

The World Health Organization will provide Vietnam 1.2 million doses of swine-flu vaccines but procedures to import the vaccines have not been completed, the National Steering Committee for A/H1N1 Prevention said November 18.

A student with swine flu being treated at Pham Ngoc Thach hospital in HCMC. WHO has agreed to provide Vietnam 1.2 million doses of vaccine against the disease (Photo: SGGP)

Dr Duong Quoc Cuong, head of the Medicine Management Department, said the Ministry of Health does not know the name of the vaccine that WHO would provide or who manufactures it but plans to buy a further 500,000 doses for high-risk groups after testing them.

However, Vietnam is familiar with four out of the five global A/H1N1 vaccine producers licensed by WHO.

The Preventive Health and Environment Department said 66 cases of swine flu were recorded in the country in the last week, with a 23-year-old woman from the southern province of Binh Phuoc succumbing to the disease.

The total tally in Vietnam is 10,866 infections and 42 deaths.

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Hanoi to host ‘Vietnam – our fatherland’ music festival

In Vietnam Culture on November 19, 2009 at 9:57 am

A three-day music festival aimed at tightening the ties between Vietnamese people all over the world will be held from November 22-24 in Hanoi, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on November 17.

The “Vietnam que huong toi” music festival (Vietnam – our fatherland) will showcase top local artists, including composer Nguyen Thien Dao, conductor Le Phi Phi, and pianist Ton Nu Nguyet Minh along with other overseas Vietnamese artists.

The money raised from the festival will be distributed to the Children Sponsorship Fund and the Fund for Community Support of the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese.

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Vietnam’s ‘Stereo Man’ to be performed in Cambodia

In Vietnam Culture on November 19, 2009 at 9:56 am

A local play titled “Stereo Man” performed by actors of Hanoi’s Youth Theater, will be presented during the Mekong Arts and Media Festival 2009 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia from November 23 to 27.

           A scene in the play “Stereo man”

Through body language, the play explores the feelings and aspirations of an HIV-infected man while examining social issues, gender, sex, HIV/AIDS, homoeroticism and violence.

The play was first performed by Youth Theater actors, including Nhu Lai, Hoai Nam, Cong Dung and Hoang Tung, in the 2007 Mekong Experimental Theater Festival.

The performance made an impression on Ms. Lea L. Espallardo, director of the Philippines Educational Theater, and dancer & choreographer Agnes Locsin who then enhanced the play adding new messages.

More than 50 performances of “Stereo Man” have been presented for free at universities and colleges throughout the country, as well as in Thailand and India.

The Mekong Arts and Media Festival 2009 held by the Philippines Educational Theater Association (PETA) features a series of cultural events to mark its activities in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, China and the Greater Mekong Subregion over the past three years.

“We’ve learnt many useful things from foreign colleagues in the festival, which will give us creativity in our forthcoming projects,” said actor Hoang Tung.

This year’s event focuses on social issues including gender, sex, HIV/AIDS and family violence.

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