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Archive for April 5th, 2010|Daily archive page

Eight airlines to introduce 100 interesting things in Ho Chi Minh City

In Uncategorized on April 5, 2010 at 3:45 pm




Eight airlines to introduce 100 interesting things in Ho Chi Minh City


QĐND – Monday, April 05, 2010, 21:50 (GMT+7)

Eight international airlines with routes to Ho Chi Minh City have agreed to project video clips introducing Ho Chi Minh City’s 100 interesting sights on its flights to Ho Chi Minh City, according to La Quoc Khanh, the deputy head of the Municipal Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.


The airlines participating in this project are Air France, United Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways and Eva Air.


The 3.5 minute video clip starts in the morning and tourists will be guided and introduced to the typical sites found in Ho Chi Minh City.


Ho Chi Minh City’s 100 interesting things is the result of voting by in which inbound and outbound tourists from Ho Chi Minh City for the best restaurants, hotels, dishes, shopping centers, landscapes, café, festivals, tourism events, souvenirs and entertainment sites.


Source: TT


Translated by Mai Huong


Source: QDND

Hanoi to shut off 50 percent of street lamps

In Uncategorized on April 5, 2010 at 3:43 pm




Hanoi to shut off 50 percent of street lamps


QĐND – Monday, April 05, 2010, 21:50 (GMT+7)

Hanoi will shut off half of the city’s street lamps between April and June to conserve power heading into the summer months of peak consumption, the Hanoi Power Co announced on April 3.


Billboard owners and operators will also be required to reduce power consumption and turn off power after 10pm, the company said. Major power users would also be required to adjust production schedules to reduce demand duding peak hours.


A representative of the company said that water levels in major reservoirs continue to decrease threatening shortages of hydroelectric power later in the summer.


Source: VNA


Source: QDND

Vietnam committed to sustainable use of Mekong River resources

In Uncategorized on April 5, 2010 at 3:43 pm




Vietnam committed to sustainable use of Mekong River resources


QĐND – Monday, April 05, 2010, 21:50 (GMT+7)

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has affirmed Vietnam’s strong commitment to working closely with other countries in the MekongRiver Basin to use and protect the river’s resources effectively and sustainably.


Vietnam attaches great importance to cooperation within the MekongRiver basin and take an active, responsible and constructive part in all activities of the Mekong River Commission (MRC), said Mr Dung at a MRC summit in Huahin, Thailand, on April 5. The event was also attended by the Prime Ministers of Thailand, Laos and Cambodia.


Mr Dung acknowledged the 1995 agreement to establish the MRC provided a strategic vision and basic principles for the equitable and proper use of water and other resources in the MekongRiver basin. It also identified the specific areas of cooperation and regulations concerning common development activities in the region.


Over the past 15 years, he said, the agreement has testified to the common trend of cooperation among nations living in the basin and has received positive support from the international community.


The PM said the MekongRiver basin now faces numerous challenges. The rapid and dynamic development of the basin is mounting pressure on natural resources, including water, along with the unforeseeable impact of climate change and environmental pollution.


He welcomed the vision and priority orientations set in the joint statement of the summit, which look to sustainable development in the MekongRiver basin. He stressed the need to better manage water resources and draft scenarios on climate change for the basin to work out a common plan of action for the four countries. He urged them to finalise legal frameworks and provide a specific coordination mechanism for implementing agreements on the use of water and increasing the quality of water while enhancing the commission’s capacity building in terms of staff, organisation and equipment.


He welcomed China’s recent decision to provide hydro-meteorological statistics during the dry season to help regional countries come up with more accurate assessments of water flows in the river. He expressed his hope that China and Myanmar – the two dialogue partners of the MRC – would consider joining the commission to work together with other regional countries to use water in the river in a sustainable and responsible manner for the sake of common prosperity.


Vietnam hopes to continue to receive financial and technical assistance to carry out priority activities set in the joint statement of the summit and the MekongRiver basin development strategy for the 2011-2015 period, said Mr Dung. 


He said the MekongRiver plays an important role in Vietnam’s socio-economic development, as the Mekong River Delta is the country’s largest rice granary and produces other main farm produce and seafood, helping ensure food security for not only Vietnam but also other countries in the region and the world.


He pointed out the fact that Vietnam, especially the Mekong River Delta, has faced a prolonged drought and severe salt intrusion, having a substantial impact on farming and the lives of millions of farmers.


Vietnam will work closely with other countries to realise the vision of the summit and fully implement the MRC agreement to boost cooperation with strategic partners so as to build a river of solidarity, friendship, cooperation, development and integration, he said.


The Prime Ministers of Thailand, Laos and Cambodia all showed their strong commitments to boosting cooperation and sustainable development, effectively using, protecting and managing water and other resources in the MekongRiver basin. They agreed with the Hua Hin statement which looks at the achievements, opportunities and challenges as well as visions of the MRC in expanding cooperation between the commission and its international dialogue partners.


To address urgent challenges in the basin, the four leaders pledged to promote cooperation to minimise human and property losses caused by floods, consider the sustainability of hydro-power development and effectively manage water resources for agricultural development. They said it is necessary to adopt measures against climate change to reduce risks of hunger, poverty and food security imbalance within vulnerable communities, manage the degradation of water quality, preserve rare species of aquatic resources in the basin and minimise the risks in developing waterway transport in the region.


They all expressed their hope that the commission will ratify and implement the basin development strategy based on the proper management of water resources, and intensify efforts to protect residents from the risks of floods, droughts and rising sea levels, including the establishment of forecast and early warning systems in the whole basin.


They proposed that the commission support an international legal framework to encourage trade and waterway transport, study and deal with threats to the livelihood of local residents due to climate change, supervise and employ measures to improve the quality of water in priority areas of the basin, and efficiently use water and other resources, wetlands and forests in the basin in a sustainable manner.
Source: VOV


Source: QDND

Power shortage and countermeasures

In Uncategorized on April 5, 2010 at 3:42 pm




Power shortage and countermeasures


QĐND – Monday, April 05, 2010, 21:50 (GMT+7)

Severe droughts since the second half of 2009 have exerted a negative impact on the water accumulation in reservoirs, lowering the water levels and preventing hydro-power plants from generating nearly one billion more kWh of electricity.


The drought situation has been forecast to remain, putting more pressure on the demand for water in agriculture and demand for electricity as the economy is recovering. In the first three months of 2010, the demand for electricity surged by nearly 22 percent; the figure for the whole year is predicted to stand at 18 percent.


In the face of a serious power shortage in the coming months, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has asked ministries, sectors and localities to make a comprehensive effort to ensure enough electricity for production in the dry season of 2010.


In his instruction dated April 5, Mr Dung requested the Ministry of Industry and Trade lead the Electricity of Vietnam Group (EVN) and other related units to monitor the supplies of electricity regularly and balance power output between the northern, central and southern power grids. He also told them to consider hydro-meteorological situations in each region to work out the optimal use for power supplies. In addition, the ministry will scrutinize power projects to accelerate their construction.


EVN has been asked to coordinate with units from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the National Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting Centre to effectively use water resources for electricity generation. It will also buy more electricity from independent power plants and from abroad, and try to activate a number of generators in several power plants in the north and central regions.


PM Dung also asked Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PVN) to work with its partners to ensure sufficient gas for electricity production under signed contracts.


As for provinces and centrally-run cities, they have been required to implement measures to save electricity. The Ministry of Information and Communications will launch campaigns to raise public awareness of this issue.


Source: VOV


Source: QDND

Lending a helping hand to Agent Orange victims

In Uncategorized on April 5, 2010 at 3:40 pm




Lending a helping hand to Agent Orange victims


QĐND – Monday, April 05, 2010, 21:53 (GMT+7)

A seminar was held in Quang Ngai province on April 5 to discuss the consequences of Agent Orange/Dioxin on the environment and people’s health.


This was part of a project carried out by the Hanoi Public Medicine University in coordination with the Quang Ngai provincial Department for Health to provide assistance to victims of toxic chemicals sprayed by US troops during the war in Vietnam.


In his report, Professor-Doctor Le Ngoc Trong, an adviser in the project, described the US’s chemical warfare in Vietnam was the cruelest in human history.


He said that during the war, the US forces sprayed 72 million litres of toxic chemicals over 2,600 million hectares of land and forest, accounting for more than 10 percent of southern Vietnam.


Participants at the seminar also discussed measures for rehabilitation of Agent Orange victims.


Doctor Tran Trong Hai from the Hanoi Public Medicine University raised a project on functional rehabilitation for Agent Orange victims from 2008 to 2010 in Thai Binh, Quang Ngai and Dong Nai provinces, at a total cost of VND25 billion.


According to recent statistics from the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, Quang Ngai now has 16,000 people with disabilities suffering Agent Orange infection. The province and relevant agencies have mobilised tens of millions of Vietnam dong, built nearly 300 charity houses and provided free healthcare services for about 5,000 local Agent Orange victims. At present, more than 4,000 families of Agent Orange victims are still living below the poverty line.


Source: VOV


Source: QDND

Art programme held to mark World Day of Bomb and Mine Prevention

In Uncategorized on April 5, 2010 at 3:35 pm




Art programme held to mark World Day of Bomb and Mine Prevention


QĐND – Monday, April 05, 2010, 21:53 (GMT+7)

An art exchange programme entitled ‘Address the legacy of bombs and mines for a peaceful life’ was held yesterday in Hanoi on the occasion of the World Day of Bomb and Mine Prevention (April 4).


Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan and Lieutenant-general Nguyen Tuan Dung who is Deputy Head of the Political General Department of the Vietnam People’s Army attended the programme.


The programme brought together the victims of bombs and mines, heroes of the people’s armed forces, soldiers and those who are directly involved in mine and bomb clearance activities in Vietnam.


During the exchange, participants pointed out the real situation and consequence of unexploded bombs and mines which have caused bad impacts on the people’s lives and the socio-economic development of Vietnam – one of 70 countries most contaminated with unexploded bombs and mines.


It is proposed that the dissemination of information and education on such issue should be step up. Additionally, all sectors, industries, businesses, donors, international organisations are called on to join hands to help the country handle with bombs and mines consequence.


At the exchange, an amount of VND 50 million and 200 wheelchairs were presented to bomb victims and the disabled in the central region and Central Highlands.


The programme was jointly organised by the People’s Army Newspaper, High Command of Engineers and Vietnam Multimedia Corporation (VTC).


Source: nhandan


Source: QDND

Doubts arise over Styrofoam safety conclusion

In Uncategorized on April 5, 2010 at 11:43 am

After the National Institute for Testing Food Hygiene and Safety recently announced that polystyrene foam food packages produced in Vietnam don’t pose a health threat, the public has expressed doubts over the findings.

The public has expressed doubts over the findings polystyrene foam food packages produced in Vietnam don’t pose a health threat

Some have suggested that the institute only carried out the tests as a way of placating the public after Hong Kong’s International Food Packaging Association announced that half of all food containers manufactured in China, including paper, plastic and styrofoam ones, contained large amounts of carcinogens.

The Vietnamese food-testing institute carried out the tests on 51 package samples – manufactured domestically – from roadside eateries in Hanoi and reported that the products were safe.

Popular public opinion is that the institute tested an inappropriately small sample size, as thousands of small-scale Vietnamese and foreign companies manufacture take-away food packages that are used abundantly in local markets.

Moreover, the country’s Quality Assurance and Testing Center III said that only foreign-made foam food packages are regularly subjected to safety testing. This has fuelled public suspicion that the tests on local products were merely carried out to quell public anxiety.

Experts are advising people not to use styrofoam packages to contain hot food.

Vu Tan Canh, a polymer and composite engineer from the Vietnam Institute of Science and Technology, said the main material used in styrofoam boxes is polystyrene, one of the most widely used plastics.

When exposed to hot substances, polystyrene can release toxins that can damage the liver and cause several diseases, Canh said.

Related articles:
Health ministry to investigate polystyrene food containers

Tests find foam food packages safe in Vietnam: official

Source: SGGP

‘Dancing with the Stars’ coming to Vietnam

In Uncategorized on April 5, 2010 at 11:41 am

World-famous TV series “Dancing with the Stars” is set to debut in Vietnam April 11 with eight episodes.

Vietnamese “Dancing with the Stars” contestants pose during a press conference on April 2 in Ho Chi Minh City(Photo: Cat Tien Sa Media)The US reality show is based on the British series “Strictly Come Dancing,” where celebrities partner-up with professional dancers and compete against each other in weekly elimination rounds to determine a winner. The format has now been licensed to more than 30 countries.
 
Titled “Buoc nhay hoan vu,” the Vietnamese version will see the participation of eight local celebrities from different entertainment fields.
 
The famous personalities include singers Siu Black, Doan Trang and Quang Vinh; actors and actresses Ngo Thanh Van, Luong Manh Hai and Minh Beo; Mister International 2008 Ngo Tien Doan; and Miss International Beauty 2009 Vu Thi Hoang Diep. 
 
The eight stars will receive one month of instruction from foreign choreographers and then pair up with dance masters from the US and Bulgaria to learn dance routines.
 
In the Vietnamese version, a group of judges known as the “Fantasic four,” including movie directors Quang Dung and Le Hoang, and dance masters Chi Anh and Khanh Thi, will critique the celebrities’ performances and give feedback on how they can improve.
 
Singer Thanh Thao will host the show, in her debut as an MC, along with seasoned host Thanh Bach.
 
Speaking to SGGP (English Edition) about the kick-off of the series, Miss International Beauty 2009 Diep said, “My initial feeling about the contest is excitement. In preparation for launching my singing career in the future, learning to dance is also an important part. However, I have not had enough time to practice until I participated in the series.
 

Miss International Beauty 2009 Vu Thi Hoang Diep in a dance with her partner “The actual practice is totally different than what I had imagined. From what I saw on TV, I thought dancing would be easy, but it’s not. Remembering all the moves from a type of dance is hard. It’s also 10 times harder since I have to remember 10 different dances. Sequence, music, body positioning – you have to combine all of these in order to present a beautiful, flawless performance,” she added.
 
When asked her opinion of her foreign partner, Diep said, “I like my partner a lot. He’s cute, kind, humorous and very patient. I bet we will be one of the last teams standing.”
 
The series will be broadcast every Sunday from 8pm to 9:30pm on channel VTV3 from April 11 to June 20. It is produced by Vietnam Television Station, Cat Tien Sa Media and Vfresh Co.  
 
Local organizers hope the series will enjoy the same popularity here as it has in other countries around the globe. 

Source: SGGP

My Hoa Commune moving forward after Can Tho bridge tragedy

In Uncategorized on April 5, 2010 at 11:40 am

Ahead of the Can Tho Bridge’s inauguration in three weeks to connect the two provinces of Vinh Long and Can Tho, SGGP reporters visited Vinh Long’s My Hoa Commune to meet local residents whose relatives were killed in the collapse of the bridge over two years ago when it was under construction.


On September 26, 2007, a 90-meter section of an approach ramp, 30 meters above ground, collapsed. At the time, around 250 engineers and laborers were working on and under the span when it fell, killing 54 people and injuring about 80 more.


With support from local authorities and each other, the families say they are coping the best they can to carry on after the tragic loss.


Overcoming grief, hardship


Binh Minh District’s My Hoa Commune resident Le Van Mai, whose son was killed in the incident, said, “My large family is poor, so in the past we had to take every odd job we could just to make ends meet, from digging, to paddy-cutting, to masonry.


“Tan was my eldest son. He was very dutiful and hard working. He expected to make enough money to build a house for us in our old age. But [now] his dream will never come true,” said Mr. Mai.


On the day of the accident, Mr. Mai says he suggested that Tan stay home as he was ill. But devoted to earning a living for his family, Tan went off to work anyway, never to return.


After Tan’s death, local authorities and social agencies gave a great deal of support to his family.


They were offered a house and VND500 million (US$26,300), with which they bought 1,000 square meters of land to grow pomelo and 5,000 square meters of land for rice cultivation.


Their hard work and investments are now paying off and they are even able to save money for the future. All three of Tan’s siblings have performed well in school, with the youngest winning a VND50 million scholarship.

My Hoa Commune resident Le Van Mai tends to his pomelo garden. His eldest son, Tan, was killed in 2007 in the Can Tho Bridge collapse. (Photo: SGGP)

“Now that the Can Tho Bridge is about to open, I am very happy since the bridge will help develop the Mekong Delta region. However, the bridge also reminds me of the loss of my son,” said Mr. Mai.


“Every evening for the past several days, my wife has asked me to come to the bridge. She cries often as she recalls our son; and I silently take her hand and return home.”


Another bridge worker, Nguyen Van Tung, was also killed in the collapse. He is survived by his wife Ngo Thi Tot.


After offering incense to her husband’s altar, she said, “Initially, I thought I could never overcome the greatest loss of my life. My husband worked very hard to make money to repay a bank loan of VND10 million that we took out to grow pomelo.


“Only thanks to the support of our neighbors and local authorities have my children and I been able to survive,” she said.


Her eldest daughter, aged 24, has received free vocational training and is now working in Vinh Long City. Her younger brother, who earlier had to drop out of school to work, has now been able to return to his grade 12 studies thanks to financial support from the community.


Ms. Tot’s youngest daughter, a grade 7 student, has also earned a VND40 million scholarship.
  
Asked about her future plans, Ms. Tot said, “I still love my deceased husband very much. I will not remarry. I have VND400 million in the bank, donated by the community, and enough to pay for my children’s future. I still grow pomelo every day and our current life is secure.”


Community support


Nguyen Huu Luc, deputy chairman of My Hoa Commune People’s Committee, said, “Thirty-four people from the commune died and 41 were injured in the bridge collapse. To date, with support from the local authorities and community, all families of the victims have been provided for and have used the funds efficiently.”


Many victims’ families were once in poverty but now they are financially much better off, he said.


More than 60 students, who are children or siblings of the victims, have been granted scholarships and many businesses have pledged to employ them when they graduate from school.


The number of poor families in My Hoa has now been reduced to 119 and all victims’ families have been offered VND100-200 million. Local agencies have ensured that the money is spent wisely.


“Farmers here now cultivate pomelo very well, with products that meet export standards accounting for 40 percent of total production. The leaders of Vinh Long Province have also promised to help local farmers grow pomelo according to international standards to boost exports,” said Tran Van Sang, chairman of the My Hoa Nam Roi Pomelo Cooperative.


Land prices here have increased 2-3 times from those three years ago, with land for pomelo-growing surging to VND70-120 million ($3,680-6,315) per 1,000 square meters, and land near main traffic routes rising to VND200-400 million per 1,000 square meters.


To improve the lives of residents and businesses in the community, traffic infrastructure in My Hoa Commune has also been developed. Around 25 km of roads and many small bridges in 10 hamlets have been built, along with a 2km road connecting the commune with the Binh Minh Industrial Park. 


Taking advantage of the Can Tho Bridge, three eco-tourism centers are also under construction in My Hoa to attract tourists in the future.


Although they will continue to grieve the loss of their loved ones, in the wake of the bridge tragedy, locals say My Hoa is slowly but surely moving forward.

Source: SGGP

Doubts arise over Styrofoam safety conclusion

In Uncategorized on April 5, 2010 at 11:40 am

After the National Institute for Testing Food Hygiene and Safety recently announced that polystyrene foam food packages produced in Vietnam don’t pose a health threat, the public has expressed doubts over the findings.

The public has expressed doubts over the findings polystyrene foam food packages produced in Vietnam don’t pose a health threat

Some have suggested that the institute only carried out the tests as a way of placating the public after Hong Kong’s International Food Packaging Association announced that half of all food containers manufactured in China, including paper, plastic and styrofoam ones, contained large amounts of carcinogens.

The Vietnamese food-testing institute carried out the tests on 51 package samples – manufactured domestically – from roadside eateries in Hanoi and reported that the products were safe.

Popular public opinion is that the institute tested an inappropriately small sample size, as thousands of small-scale Vietnamese and foreign companies manufacture take-away food packages that are used abundantly in local markets.

Moreover, the country’s Quality Assurance and Testing Center III said that only foreign-made foam food packages are regularly subjected to safety testing. This has fuelled public suspicion that the tests on local products were merely carried out to quell public anxiety.

Experts are advising people not to use styrofoam packages to contain hot food.

Vu Tan Canh, a polymer and composite engineer from the Vietnam Institute of Science and Technology, said the main material used in styrofoam boxes is polystyrene, one of the most widely used plastics.

When exposed to hot substances, polystyrene can release toxins that can damage the liver and cause several diseases, Canh said.

Related articles:
Health ministry to investigate polystyrene food containers

Tests find foam food packages safe in Vietnam: official

Source: SGGP