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Archive for May 4th, 2010|Daily archive page

Saigontourist receives 2,000 maritime tourists

In Uncategorized on May 4, 2010 at 4:32 pm

Saigontourist receives 2,000 maritime tourists

QĐND – Tuesday, May 04, 2010, 21:7 (GMT+7)

On May 4, the Saigon Travel Service Company (Saigontourist) welcomed over 2,000 overseas tourists and crew abroad the cruise liner Costa Romantica.

The visitors, mostly from Italy, Spain, the UK and Germany, will explore popular tourist spots in Ho Chi Minh City and My Tho city in the Mekong Delta, including Ben Thanh market and Tan Thach fishing port and also have the chance to enjoy the local cuisine.

Later the same day, the ship will depart from HCM City and sail on to Tien Sa port in the central coastal city of Da Nang on May 6 to tour the city itself as well as Hoi An, My Son and Hue.

Saigontourist expects to receive more than 30,000 visitors by sea, most of them from Europe , in the first five months of this year.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Tourists numbers jump during holiday

In Uncategorized on May 4, 2010 at 4:31 pm

Tourists numbers jump during holiday

QĐND – Tuesday, May 04, 2010, 21:7 (GMT+7)

The number of visitors attracted to popular and well known Vietnamese tourist spots rose sharply during the Liberation Day holiday period, from April 30 to May 3.

Around 500,000 tourists flocked to Ha Long Bay, a world natural heritage, to attend the 2010 Ha Long Tourism Festival (Carnival Ha Long), resulting in hotels, restaurants and tourist services becoming overloaded. The average price of accommodation increased by as much as two or five times, with some even ten times more expensive, compared to normal.

More than 500 boats that service the tourist trade in Ha Long Bay ran at full capacity, carrying almost 5,000 visitors per day.

It was a similar scenario in Sa Pa in the northern mountainous province of Lao Cai , where around 15,000 tourists made the journey to enjoy the 2010 “In the Clouds” Festival.

According to the Culture and Eco-Tourism Centre at Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, the number of visitors to the Phong Nha-Ke Bang caves in the central province of Quang Binh reached over 19,000, a record figure for the park since it opened.

Lao Bao and Khe Sanh, two new destinations in the central province of Quang Tri , also attracted nearly 50,000 tourists over the April 30-May 1 holiday. Everyday, between 5,000 and 6,000 people from across the country and Laos and Thailand visited the areas to go sightseeing at the former US war battlefield as well as to shop at border trade centres.

The central province of Quang Nam , which is home to two world cultural heritages, Hoi An Ancient Town and the My Son Sanctuary, saw a sudden rise in the number of visitors with more than 3,000 rooms in 82 hotels and guesthouses being booked weeks in advance.

Other destinations such as Sam Son in Thanh Hoa province, Cua Lo in Nghe An province and the ancient capital of Hue also received their largest-ever number of tourists over the four-day holiday period.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Viettel offers roaming to 118 countries, territories

In Uncategorized on May 4, 2010 at 4:31 pm

Viettel offers roaming to 118 countries, territories

QĐND – Tuesday, May 04, 2010, 21:7 (GMT+7)

Military-run telecom Viettel has offered international roaming to 118 countries and territories after signing a cooperation agreement with 250 international telecoms.

SMS will be free, and foreign subscribers roaming within Viettel’s network will be provided with such services as SMS, GPRS and 3G.

In addition, subscribers who use Unitel and Metfone within Cambodia will be offered a 70-80 percent discount.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Government boosts island economies

In Uncategorized on May 4, 2010 at 4:31 pm

Government boosts island economies

QĐND – Tuesday, May 04, 2010, 21:7 (GMT+7)

On April 28 the Government approved a ten year master-plan for island economies, to increase their annual growth rate to 14-15 percent by 2020.

The scheme calls for an estimated investment of 162.5 trillion VND (over 8.5 billion USD) to increase their contributions to the national economy to 0.5 percent, up from the current 0.2 percent.

The sum, including 51.8 trillion VND (nearly 2.75 billion USD) for the 2010-15 period, will be invested in ports, roads, electricity and water supply systems, communications and general social infrastructure.

Along with this financial investment, the Government has also pledged to take steps to complete legal frameworks, develop human resources, speed up the application of scientific and technical advances and increase feasibility surveys and scientific research.

The islands’ master-plan focuses on Phu Quoc island in the south-western province of Kien Giang, Con Dao in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Van Don and Co To- Thanh Lan islands in the northern province of Quang Ninh, Cat Ba-Cat Hai in Haiphong and Ly Son and Phu Quy in the respective central provinces of Quang Ngai and Binh Thuan.

“The scheme will target islands located in a favourable geographic position and with great economic potential, to create breakthroughs in marine and island economy development, helping boost the national economy,” emphasised the Prime Minister in decision 568/QD-TTg.

It is also aimed at turning them into bases strong enough to defend the nation.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Thailand’s universities to present 200 scholarships to Vietnam

In Uncategorized on May 4, 2010 at 4:30 pm

Thailand’s universities to present 200 scholarships to Vietnam

QĐND – Tuesday, May 04, 2010, 21:2 (GMT+7)

Universities in Thailand will offer 200 bachelors, masters and PhD scholarships to Vietnamese students, said Phiniti Ratananukul, Vice General Secretary of Thailand’s Tertiary Education Committee.

A press conference has been held to announce the 6th Thailand Education Exhibition to be launched from May 8th to 9th at the Melia hotel in Hanoi.

Representatives from 37 Thai universities and 156 educational officials will take part in the upcoming event, which includes many activities such as seminars and exchanges between Thai and Vietnamese officials in the education sector.

According to Phiniti Ratananukul, at present, more than 1,000 Vietnamese students are studying in Thai universities. The number of Vietnamese students is expected to be increase after the Thai education exhibition.

Source: Tienphong

Translated by Duy Minh

Source: QDND

Sa Pa ethnic kids lead to language invention

In Uncategorized on May 4, 2010 at 4:30 pm

Sa Pa ethnic kids lead to language invention

QĐND – Tuesday, May 04, 2010, 21:2 (GMT+7)

When PhD graduate in Plasma Physics Doan Ha Thang saw seven-year-old ethnic children speaking up to six languages to foreign tourists in Sa Pa , he realised the unlimited learning potential of young students.

Thang, 36, had long been pondering how to help Vietnamese labourers improve their foreign language skills to find jobs overseas.

Now, after nearly 14 months of research and development, he and his colleagues of the Vietnam Institute of Physics’ Centre have invented an English language teaching machine with advanced technology.

One of the strong points of the machine is that it can give a mark to learners and assess their ability.

The IOPT-Home teacher is four times the size of a pen. It is accompanied by a book which follows the Ministry of Education and Training English text book and uses the latest code and voice treatment technologies.

Piloted in two secondary schools in Hanoi and receiving good feedback, the machine was now available through the Education Publishing House, Thang said.

Trung Vuong Secondary High School English teacher Nguyen Thi Bich Hong said the machine was “convenient and user-friendly”.

Thang Long Secondary High School sixth-grade student Tran Hoai Nam said he did not feel ashamed mispronouncing or making another mistakes when he trialed the machine.

Hoang Thuy Nga, mother of a sixth grade student, said she would buy the machine.

Thang has received large orders from the Education Publishing House and Hanoi International Manpower Supply and Trade Company Limited and is expecting an enthusiastic response from the public.

He is now planning to develop software for other languages, such as Japanese, Chinese and Malaysian.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Hired attendants boost wedding festivities

In Uncategorized on May 4, 2010 at 4:30 pm

Hired attendants boost wedding festivities

QĐND – Tuesday, May 04, 2010, 21:2 (GMT+7)

A group of beautiful girls in red ao dai (traditional long dresses) and gentlemen in lounge suits carrying trap (tray or basket) above their heads to a bride’s house in Hanoi ‘s Kim Nguu street, attract the attention of both local and foreign guests.

The an hoi, or engagement day of Nguyen Phuong Linh and F. Daniel in Hai Ba Trung District was full of happiness thanks to the help of the seven tray carrying couples.

Most of guests at Linh’s engagement enjoyed the young people’s behaviour and their efforts to keep the guests occupied.

“According to Vietnamese tradition, these tray carriers are supposed to make engagements more interesting,” Daniel said.

One foreign guest said, “They told me about Vietnamese wedding traditions in such great detail, it sounded like they’d been coached,” the guest said.

In the past, tray carriers were relatives of the bride’s family but things have been changed in more modern times as students have helped provide a ‘carrier-for-hire’ service, earning them some cash for their studies.

In the past, it was very hard to hire a tray carrying group because unmarried young girls were often not allowed by their parents to carry trays to a stranger’s engagement party because they believed that their girls would find it hard to find a husband, said an elderly woman.

The tradition has been handed down from generation to generation in Vietnam . The trays carry the groom’s gifts to the family of his bride, including tea, tobacco, fruits and cakes such as green beans or yellow-coloured wedding pastry.

Bui Anh Tho, a student of the Academy of Journalism and Communication, said “I like this job because it only takes me a few hours but I earn about 150,000 VND -200,000 VND (7.9-10.5 USD) to go towards my university expenses.”

Tho added, however, that wearing “ao dai”, particularly during the wedding season which often falls in winter, could cause her cold.

“Despite all that I really enjoy it,” Tho said.

Like Tho, Nguyen Thanh Phuong from the Hanoi Open University said, “This job brings me valuable experiences, such as learning how to organise an engagement party, plus it gives me the chance to make friends with students from other universities, allowing us to exchange views on all sorts of things.”

Phuong said carrying tray is an easy job but her group had been given some short training by experienced women on how to carry them correctly so as not to let the trays fall down.

“The boys have to carry the larger and heavier trays on the way from the groom’s to the bride’s house often on foot,” said Phuong.

She has had four-year experience of carrying trays for friends and relatives. She emphasises that doing this job, you have to wake up very early and always be ready.

She revealed that reason this job attracts youngsters is that they can easily earn money within a few hours compared to doing something more difficult such as teaching.

“After the engagement, the bride’s family will give me ‘lucky’ money of 50,000 VND or more; but for a professional carrier, the average salary could reach 2 million VND per month when they carry for ten wedding parties,” Phuong said.

She added that during the wedding season she earned some 1.5 million VND per month to support her living and her study.

“But the most important thing is that I could help reducing my poor parents’ pressure from being sent money for me every month.”

She said she liked this job because it was flexible and far more interesting than working as a tutor, plus she enjoyed the added perk of showing off in an ao dai. Being asked about the superstition that a girl acting as a tray carrier could face a lot of difficulties in finding a husband, Phuong said she has found a boyfriend at a recent engagement party while working as a casket carrier.

Thanh Quynh, an owner of a wedding service centre in Hanoi’s Truong Dinh Street , said she and her boyfriend have run the service for almost five years. They have a tray-carrying group of 200 members, mostly are students.

“I usually take charge of 100 female members while my boyfriend looks after the 100 men. We arrange our service depending on student timetable availability. If they’re all busy with exams or private business, he can ask his friends to be instead,” said Quynh.

“We often read CVs before we let them work officially, but now youngsters come to us through friends and relatives,” she added.

There are many wedding centres like Thanh Quynh on the central Hanoian street of Hang Than, which provide tray couples. The average salary of a tray carrier is about 500,000 VND (26.3 USD) per party.

Apart from the tray carrying, services for wedding parties and funeral ceremonies in Vietnam include cooking, bridal gowns and groom suits for lease, photography, car rental, and professional mourners.

However this service boom, and the increased spending on wedding services haven’t escaped criticism. Rich families in urban cities often organise huge parties for their children’s weddings ceremonies, and are accused of wasting money.

Cultural authorities have for years urged local people to preserve the country’s cultural values and avoid dissolute customs that contribute to the moral corruption of the people. The public were instead asked to opt for traditional weddings, which typically cost just a few million dong.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Red River region’s young people honour Uncle Ho

In Uncategorized on May 4, 2010 at 4:30 pm

Red River region’s young people honour Uncle Ho

QĐND – Tuesday, May 04, 2010, 21:2 (GMT+7)

A festival for exceptional young people from the movement to “follow Uncle Ho’s advice” in the Red River Delta will be held in Hanoi from May 7-9, said the Secretary of Hanoi’s Youth Union, Ngo Duy Hieu.

Hieu told the media on May 4 that the festival is an important event for young people and will mark the 120 th anniversary of the birth of President Ho Chi Minh (May 19, 1980-2010) as well as the 1,000 th anniversary of Thang Long-Hanoi.

It will offer a chance for young people from the area to meet up and increase the membership of the movement to “follow Uncle Ho’s advice”, he added.

With the theme, “young people from the Red River strive to make achievements to honour Uncle Ho”, the festival will include a number of significant events in Hanoi and the northern provinces of Bac Ninh and Ninh Binh.

Among those are a journey from the ancient capital of Hoa Lu to Hanoi and a boat trip entitled “Proud of the History of the Red River” from Hanoi , which will stop at the Giong temple, the Kien So Pagoda and carry on to the Do temple before returning to the capital.

A ceremony highlighting recent achievements, a talk entitled “young people from the Red River follow Uncle Ho’s advice” and an exhibition showcasing traditional specialities from cities and provinces along the Red River will also be held during the festival.

The highlight of the festival will be a ceremony to honour outstanding young people in the “Follow Uncle Ho’s advice” movement, which will be held at the Ly Thai To Statue in Hanoi on the evening of May 9.

The Red River Delta is one of the country’s large political, socio-economic and cultural centres and covers an area of 2.06 million hectares. It accounts for 6.3 percent of the country’s total land mass and is home to over 18 million people, or 23.7 percent of the nation’s total population, half of them teenagers.

The region includes eight cities and provinces namely Hanoi, Hai Phong, Thai Binh, Hai Duong, Hung Yen, Ha Nam, Nam Dinh, Ninh Binh.

Source: VNAv

Source: QDND

40 places in Hanoi susceptible to serious flooding

In Uncategorized on May 4, 2010 at 4:29 pm

40 places in Hanoi susceptible to serious flooding

QĐND – Tuesday, May 04, 2010, 21:3 (GMT+7)

The Hanoi Water Drainage Company said 40 “hot spots” in the city were at serious risk of flooding during the coming rainy season.

Nguyen Anh Tu, the company’s spokesperson, said heavy prolonged rainfall of 50 mm or more would inundate the city’s drainage system and flood low-lying parts of the city.

“The inner city’s drainage system flows through either Thinh Liet Dam to the Nhue River or Yen Son Pumping Station to the Hong River . However, Thinh Liet Dam has been temporarily closed because of pollution in the Nhue River and this affects the system’s capacity,” Tu said.

Tu also said that the worst-affected areas would be Le Duan, Truong Chinh-Ton That Tung-Nga Tu So, Nguyen Trai, Giai Phong and Ba Trieu-Nguyen Du streets.

Nguyen Le, the company’s director, said the city’s drainage system was inadequate and that the sewerage system needed to be upgraded.

The sewerage system covered just 60 percent of the length of roads in the city and 29 percent of the length of the lanes. Many were reportedly blocked or in a state of disrepair.

The construction of new urban areas was aggravating the problem.

According to Le, a number of construction projects had actually encroached on the existing drainage system. He cited the examples of the Yen Son Canal , which had its width reduced from 20m to 3m and Hao Nam-Yen Lang Canal , which was reduced from 5m to 1.5m.

As a temporary measure, Tu said his company was dredging waterways in flood-prone areas.

The company is also working with the municipal Department of Transport to build sewerage systems along Nguyen Van Cu, Tran Khanh Du, Thuy Khue, Hong Mai, Lang Ha, Ngoc Hoi-Giai Phong, Nguyen Tuan-Le Van Luong streets before the height of the rainy season in July.

Hanoi is in the second place of its 550 million USD irrigation master plan to upgrade the city’s seweverage system.

As part of the plan, Yen Son Pumping Station’s capacity will be increased from 45 cu.m of water per second to 90cu. per second. In addition, two wastewater treatment stations will be built in Thong Nhat Park and Tran Phu commune in Hoang Mai district.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

US says it has 5,113 nuclear warheads

In Uncategorized on May 4, 2010 at 4:29 pm

The United States has 5,113 nuclear warheads in its stockpile and “several thousand” more retired warheads awaiting the junkpile, the Pentagon said Monday in an unprecedented accounting of a secretive arsenal born in the Cold War and now shrinking rapidly.

The Obama administration disclosed the size of its atomic stockpile going back to 1962 as part of a campaign to get other nuclear nations to be more forthcoming, and to improve its bargaining position against the prospect of a nuclear Iran.

“We think it is in our national security interest to be as transparent as we can be about the nuclear program of the United States,” Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told reporters at the United Nations, where she addressed a conference on containing the spread of atomic weapons.

The U.S. has previously regarded such details as top secret.

The figure includes both “strategic,” or long-range weapons, and those intended for use at shorter range.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton addresses the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) conference at United Nations headquarters, Monday, May 3, 2010

The Pentagon said the stockpile of 5,113 as of September 2009 represents a 75 percent reduction since 1989.

A rough count of deployed and reserve warheads has been known for years, so the Pentagon figures do not tell nuclear experts much they don’t already know.

Hans Kristensen, director of Nuclear Information Project, Federation of American Scientists in Washington, said his organization had already put the number at around 5,100 by reviewing budget estimates and other documents.

The import of the announcement is the precedent it sets, Kristensen said.

“The important part is that the U.S. is no longer going to keep other countries in the dark,” he said.

Clinton said the disclosure of numbers the general public has never seen “builds confidence” that the Obama administration is serious about stopping the spread of atomic weapons and reducing their numbers.

But the administration is not revealing everything.

The Pentagon figure released Monday includes deployed weapons, which are those more or less ready to launch, and reserve weapons. It does not include thousands of warheads that have been disabled or all but dismantled. Those weapons could, in theory, be reconstituted, or their nuclear material repurposed.

Estimates of the total U.S. arsenal range from slightly more than 8,000 to above 9,000, but the Pentagon will not give a precise number.

Whether to reveal the full total, including those thousands of nearly dead warheads, was debated within the Obama administration. Keeping those weapons out of the figure released Monday represented a partial concession to intelligence agency officials and others who argued national security could be harmed by laying the entire nuclear arsenal bare.

A senior defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the overall total is still classified, did not dispute the rough estimates developed by independent analysts.

Exposure of once-classified totals for U.S. deployed and reserve nuclear weapons is intended to nudge nations such as China, which has revealed little about its nuclear stockpile.

“You can’t get anywhere toward disarmament unless you’re going to be transparent about how many weapons you have,” said Sharon Squassoni, a nuclear policy analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Russia and the United States have previously disclosed the size of their stockpiles of deployed strategic weapons, and France and Britain have released similar information. All have signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which is the subject of the U.N. review that began Monday.

The U.S. revelations are calculated to improve Washington’s bargaining power with Iran’s allies and friends for the drive to head off what the West charges is a covert Iranian program to build a bomb.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahamadinejad spoke ahead of Clinton at the conference, denouncing U.S. efforts to pressure his regime to abandon its nuclear program.

The U.N. conference will try to close loopholes in the internationally recognized rules against the spread of weapons technology.

Independent analysts estimate the total world stockpile of nuclear warheads at more than 22,000.

The Federation of American Scientists estimates that nearly 8,000 of those warheads are operational, with about 2,000 U.S. and Russian warheads ready for use on short notice.

The United States and Russia burnished their credentials for insisting that other countries forgo atomic weapons by agreeing last month to a new strategic arms reduction treaty.

The New START treaty sets a limit of 1,550 deployed strategic nuclear warheads for each side, down from 2,200 under a 2002 deal. The pact re-establishes anti-cheating procedures that provide the most comprehensive and substantial arms control agreement since the original 1991 START treaty.

Source: SGGP