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Archive for May 5th, 2010|Daily archive page

Industrial agriculture ushers prosperity into Jrai community

In Uncategorized on May 5, 2010 at 4:38 pm

Industrial agriculture ushers prosperity into Jrai community

QĐND – Wednesday, May 05, 2010, 21:39 (GMT+7)

The living conditions of a Jrai community in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai has drastically improved since a company has begun employing residents as farmhands.

Thatched huts previously located near the Laotian border in Duc Co District have been now replaced by solid and spacious houses, and even some costly villas surrounded by rubber, pepper and coffee farms.
Colonel Tran Quang Hung, director of 74 Company, which has been transforming poor farmers in to well-paid farm workers, said he first visited Duc Co as a foot soldier in 1975
“At that time, going from the main road to the village took me two days and I needed to use a bush-hook to clear the way.
“Back then, ethnic minority people ate with their fingers, and they only knew how to plant one-crop rice. They shifted cultivation like wandering hill-tribes.
At night, after working at their military posts, Hung said soldiers were fire up torches to visit local Jrai homes and encourage them to grow rubber trees.
“We wanted to build dikes and dig ditches to water trees, but they didn’t allow that. They said ‘God gives us the stream with flowing water, let the water flow, and don’t touch it.’”
He also said they opposed the building of schools and wouldn’t let their children attend.
“They said, ‘People have long died of starvation, but never of a lack of letters,’” Hung said.
“After a long time of patiently encouraging them, they changed their ways.”
Ro Mah Klum, an old ethnic man, said, “Previously, people expected only rice enough to live, but they couldn’t earn enough to live on from farming rice so the Government usually had to give famine relief.”
“It was difficult to earn money, but spending it was more difficult as we had to climb over tens of hills to buy food and things,” he added.
“Since soldiers have arrived and launched coffee and rubber tree growing campaigns, we’ve been more interested in tilling the fields as workers.”
He said the soldiers had taught them to grow these new crops alternately with short-term crops like maize and beans.
“Before, we never had enough food to eat, but now we have enough money to live because we work for the company.”
Now that the Jrai believed in the way, the area will prosper, Klum predicted.
The changes in lifestyles, working conditions, management and hope for better lives has already boosted average Jrai incomes in the area to VND6-7 per month.

Source: SGGP

Source: QDND

State President welcomes voters’ opinions to law building

In Uncategorized on May 5, 2010 at 4:37 pm

State President welcomes voters’ opinions to law building

QĐND – Wednesday, May 05, 2010, 21:32 (GMT+7)

President Nguyen Minh Triet welcomed voters of HCM City’s precincts 1 and 2 for their opinions given to law building during his meeting on May 4 to prepare for the 7th session of the 12th legislature scheduled to begin on May 20. 

Two-thirds of the voters focused their opinions on the Law on the execution of criminal charges and agreed to commute death penalty cases but to ensure the strictness of the sentence for criminals. 

They also agreed to choose lethal injection to death penalty cases instead of shooting as lethal injection helps relieve pains on criminals and psychological stress on executioners and reduce costs. 

Voters also proposed the State encourage the socialisation of education and disseminate laws to help people better understand and live and work in accordance with laws. 

Many other opinions were given to the draft laws on food safety and consumer rights protection. 
Voter Le Van Minh from precinct 1’s Cau Ong Lanh ward emphasised the necessity to protect consumers before the consequences occurred. 

President Triet, who is accompanied by NA deputies of HCM City, confirmed that voters’ concrete and practical opinions proved their deep interest in building and completing the country’s legal system. 

Voters’ opinions will make practical contributions to the legal building process, he stressed. 
Sharing opinions with precinct 2’s voters on compensation, land reclamation and resettlement of the Thu Thiem new urban area project, the President advised local authorities and people to explore and listen to one another to find out solutions to the issue.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Deputy PM meets voters in Ha Tinh province

In Uncategorized on May 5, 2010 at 4:37 pm

Deputy PM meets voters in Ha Tinh province

QĐND – Wednesday, May 05, 2010, 21:32 (GMT+7)

On May 4, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Sinh Hung met with voters in Can Loc districts in the central province of Ha Tinh.

At the meeting, many local voters said that the Government should work out more effective solutions to curb inflation, combat corruption and negative phenomenon and deal with pressing issues related to the development gap between remote areas and urban areas and administrative reform.

Deputy PM Hung acknowledged their opinions, which will be submitted to the upcoming session of the National Assembly (NA) and praised the efforts made by Can Loc district and Ha Tinh province to boost socio-economic development, particularly when carrying out national projects on electricity power, steel production and mining.

Mr Hung asked Ha Tinh to hold Party congresses at grassroots level, ensure compensation for land acquisitions and provide resettlement in the Vung Ang economic zone and in the Cau Treo bordergate economic area. He also asked them to get the Thach Khe iron ore mine operating efficiently.

Earlier, Ha Tinh’s NA delegation had met with voters in the other districts of Thach Ha, Loc Ha, Duc Tho, Huong Son as well as in and Hong Linh township.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

NA Standing Committee to hold 31st session in Hanoi

In Uncategorized on May 5, 2010 at 4:36 pm

NA Standing Committee to hold 31st session in Hanoi

QĐND – Wednesday, May 05, 2010, 21:32 (GMT+7)

The 31st session of the National Assembly’s (NA) Standing Committee will be held in Hanoi from May 6-13 to prepare for the 7th NA meeting, also scheduled for this month.

The NA Standing Committee will give their opinions on a Government report on the socio-economic tasks and the State budget in 2009 and in the first few months of 2010.

It will also discuss the new legislation for 2011 and voters’ proposals and complaints collected after the 6th NA session, as well as a Government report on planning for Hanoi with a vision for 2030 and 2050, key national projects and preparations for the seventh session of the 12th NA legislature.

The Committee will consider amendments to a number of laws, such as the Law on the State Bank of Vietnam, the Credit Organisation Law, the Administrative Denunciation Law, the Maritime Law and the Law on Public Investment.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

Vietnam tests children’s medicine recalled in US

In Uncategorized on May 5, 2010 at 12:42 pm

The Vietnam Drug Administration is testing two children’s and infant medications following a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recall of over 40 over-the-counter drugs.

Vietnam will test children’s and infant’s medications to ensure patients’ safety

According to PhytoPharma, most of the Tylenol and Zyrtec liquid children’s products in Vietnam are made in Thailand and around 10,000 bottles of Infant’s Tylenol 15ml was recently imported into Vietnam in January while Zyrtec10 mg was imported from Italy four times over the 2009-2010 period, with 10,000 packets brought in each time (a packet has 10 tablets).

Although the imported drugs were not made in the United State and other nations in which the FDA had wanted recalls, VDA still checked the two drugs to ensure patients’ safety, the administration said.

Deputy health minister Cao Minh Quang instructed the departments of health in provinces and cities to recall the Tylenol and Zyrtec liquid children’s products made in the US as they could have entered Vietnam illegally ways.

Employees at drugstores in Ho Chi Minh City said now that city residents had read the news, they did not want to take the medications.

Related article;
Hospitals to keep close eyes on recalled child medications

Source: SGGP

Frenzy to protect shores as oil slick expands

In Uncategorized on May 5, 2010 at 12:42 pm

VENICE, Louisiana (AFP) – Emergency crews rushed to protect fragile shorelines and islands as the Gulf of Mexico oil slick expanded, prompting a mobilization of more national guard troops and new alerts as far as the Florida Keys.

With oil still gushing Wednesday from the ruptured offshore well, volunteers and others descended on the region to help stave off a looming environmental crisis from the huge oil patch.

Rescuers rinse off a brown pelican captured on a barrier island off the fragile Louisiana coast. AFP photo

Pentagon officials authorized the use of additional National Guard troops to assist. As many as 6,000 in Louisiana can be mobilized, with 3,000 in Alabama, 2,500 in Florida and 6,000 in Mississippi.

The stepped up efforts came amid growing fears for the environment and wildlife.

A sea turtle was spotted swimming through a massive oil slick about 25 kilometers (15 miles) south of Louisiana by officials from the National Wildlife Foundation. The group hired a boat from the port town of Venice and went out into the Gulf of Mexico through an outlet in the Mississippi River.

Nobody on board was trained in animal rescue and they were forced to leave the obviously distressed turtle in the slick and simply report the coordinates to a hotline.

“It was very upsetting,” said Karla Raettig of Coastal Louisiana Restoration at the Federation.

More than 600 animal species are threatened by the expanding oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico, officials say.

Twelve shrimp trawlers and 10 official response boats frantically laid protective boom around some of the Chandeleur Islands — a group of uninhabited prime marsh and wildlife area — but initially failed to confirm any land impacts.

In Florida, authorities were preparing for the impact of the oil slick if loop currents bring the pollution to the state’s shores. Coast Guard officials said the mobilization was occurring as far as Key West.

“Although it is still too soon to predict if or how the Florida Keys may be impacted by the Deepwater Horizon spill, we are focused on preparing for whatever those impacts may be,” said Captain Pat DeQuattro, sector commander at Coast Guard Sector Key West.

Two weeks after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded, the full impact of the disaster is being realized as a massive slick looms off the US Gulf coast, threatening to wipe out the livelihoods of shoreline communities.

If estimates are correct, some 2.5 million gallons of crude have streamed into the sea since the BP-leased platform spectacularly sank on April 22, still ablaze more than two days after the initial blast that killed 11 workers.

The riser pipe that had connected the rig to the wellhead now lies fractured on the seabed spewing out oil at a rate that could see the spill rival the 1989 Exxon Valdez environmental disaster in Alaska.

On the coastal areas of Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana, forecasters said suggested that the bulk of the slick won’t make landfall before the end of the week, officials said.

BP crews kept working beneath the sea to stop the well’s hemorrhage of an estimated 210,000 gallons a day. BP said work had begun on a relief well to intercept the leaking well about 13,000 feet below the seabed and permanently seal it. However, the process could take three months, the company said.

Two weeks after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded, the full impact of the disaster is being realized as a massive slick looms off the US Gulf coast, threatening to wipe out the livelihoods of shoreline communities.

If estimates are correct, some 2.5 million gallons of crude have streamed into the sea since the BP-leased platform spectacularly sank on April 22, still ablaze more than two days after the initial blast that killed 11 workers.

The riser pipe that had connected the rig to the wellhead now lies fractured on the seabed spewing out oil at a rate that could see the spill rival the 1989 Exxon Valdez environmental disaster in Alaska.

AFP journalists on an overflight of the islands saw reddish brown streaks of oil surrounding some of the islands and said light sheen appeared to be lapping the shore in certain places.

The US government’s weather agency has been predicting for days that the sheen on the edge of the slick at least could hit the Mississippi River Delta, the Chandeleur Islands and nearby Breton Island.

BP is preparing to deploy a 98-ton containment “dome” to try to stem the tide of oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico and avert an environmental catastrophe.

The operation to place the giant structure over the largest of three oil leaks is unprecedented and, facing depths of almost a mile (1.6 kilometers), remote-controlled submarines will have to guide it into place, possibly by the weekend.

Source: SGGP

Athens anti-austerity rallies draw 20,000: police

In Uncategorized on May 5, 2010 at 12:41 pm

ATHENS, May 5, 2010 (AFP) – Protests against a government austerity drive drew 20,000 people in Athens as rallies kicked off Wednesday shortly before midday amid a general strike, police said.

About 10,000 protestors from the main public and private sector unions massed in the capital for speeches while the PAME communist union drew another 10,000 people.

Crew members stand at entrance to a ferry in the port of Piraeus due to a 24-hours strike on May 5, 2010. AFP photo

Protestors bore banners reading “IMF and EU are stealing a century of social progress” and “the rich must pay for the crisis”.

After their separate rallies, the demonstrators began converging on parliament, where the government was preparing for unprecedented spending cuts and tax hikes to be voted on Thursday.

In Greece’s second city in the north of the country, Thessaloniki, some 14,000 people gathered for protests, police said.

Source: SGGP

UK leaders in frantic last minute polls push

In Uncategorized on May 5, 2010 at 12:41 pm

LONDON (AFP) – Britain’s main party leaders launched a final day of campaigning Wednesday with one poll suggesting that almost four in 10 voters in the cliffhanger general election had yet to decide who to back.

And with a succession of opinion polls giving the opposition Conservatives only a narrow lead going into Thursday’s voting, the scene was set for a dramatic finish to what has been the closest election battle for a generation.

A customer looks at information screens displaying the odds on the result of this week’s general election in a bookmakers in central London. AFP photo

The party leaders were to crisscross the country on a frantic last day of campaigning.

David Cameron, whose Conservative party are ahead in opinion polls, embarked on a 24-hour battlebus tour in a bid to fulfil a commitment to visit every part of Britain.

Cameron’s all-night campaigning push ahead of the vote takes him through northern and central England, into Wales, before finishing in the city of Bristol, southwest England.

“We are going at it all night, all day, all next day, all the way through to polling day,” he said at a rally in Renfrewshire, Scotland, Tuesday.

“That is how we are going to win the election.”

The Conservatives are fighting to oust the ruling Labour Party after 13 years in power.

But the strong poll lead they enjoyed several months ago has now been whittled down to a few points.

Most surveys indicate they would not win enough seats in the House of Commons to be able to form a government on their own, leading to a hung parliament.

The latest ComRes poll for ITV News and The Independent newspaper showed no change on the previous day, with the Tories on 37 percent, Labour on 29 and the Liberal Democrats 26.

But it also indicated that nearly four in 10 voters had not yet made up their mind who to back, suggesting all was still to play for.

Gordon Brown, fighting to secure a historic fourth term in office for Labour, was to travel through northern England and Scotland Wednesday.

At a campaign rally late Tuesday in Manchester, northwest England, Brown appealed to voters to “come home” to the party.

“When the last 48 hours of this campaign has passed, in that one minute in the polling booth vote for the kind of country you believe in, and come home to Labour,” he said.

But there were mixed messages from Labour over the issue of tactical voting.

Cabinet ministers Ed Balls and Peter Hain signalled Labour supporters should cast their ballots for Nick Clegg’s centrist Liberal Democrats in seats where it was a tight race between the Lib Dems and the Tories.

Tactical voting in the swing constituencies, which essentially decide the results of British elections, could keep the Conservatives out of power, they suggested.

“Of course I want the Labour candidate to win but I understand people’s concerns about letting the Conservatives in,” said Balls, who is education minister.

He also urged Lib Dem supporters to “bite their lip” and vote for Labour in seats where it was a tight race between the governing party and the Conservatives, in comments to the New Statesman magazine.

But Labour campaign coordinator, Douglas Alexander, appeared to disagree with his colleague, warning: “If you vote for the Liberal Democrats you could wake up on Friday morning and see a Conservative-led government, including Liberal Democrats.”

Clegg dismissed talk of tactical voting as “another sign of Labour’s desperation.”

His party has enjoyed a surge of support in the election campaign on the back of his performance in TV debates, and he is anxious to avoid tactical voting, fearing it could dent his party’s share of the popular vote.

This would damage his negotiating power in the event of a hung parliament, with commentators suggesting he could hold the balance of power.

On the campaign trail in Glasgow, Scotland, Clegg urged voters to back his party to usher in a “new kind of politics” — one of his party’s main policies is reform of the voting system towards proportional representation.

“Support us. Support us in our campaign in these vital last crucial hours of the election campaign and deliver the fairness, the difference, the real change that I think Glasgow and Britain deserve.”

Source: SGGP

Indonesian finance minister resigns to join World Bank

In Uncategorized on May 5, 2010 at 12:40 pm

JAKARTA, May 5, 2010 (AFP) – Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati quit on Wednesday to take a top job at the World Bank after months spent battling politicians bent on her ouster, sending share prices plummeting.

Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrati (C) leaves her office in Jakarta on May 5, 2010. AFP photo

The surprise move was seen as a blow to economic reform in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy and triggered a sell-off on the Jakarta stock market as analysts looked for a credible replacement for the respected technocrat.

“The news is correct. I’m still waiting for the approval of the president. For the time being, I will continue to carry out my duties at the finance ministry during this transition week,” Indrawati, 47, told reporters.

Indonesia’s share market closed 3.81 percent lower after Indrawati, once described as the most powerful woman in Asia, confirmed her resignation from the cabinet of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

“This is a shock to the index,” Bhakti Securities analyst Reza Nugraha said.

“Investors have yet to see anyone credible to replace Sri Mulyani so they feel anxious. Shares will continue to fall for a while until investors know who will replace her.”

Yudhoyono praised Indrawati and said her new role as World Bank managing director was “strategic, important and honourable”.

He did not name a replacement despite revealing that he had known about the World Bank job since last week.

“I have to tell Indonesians that we have lost one of our best ministers. Sri Mulyani has worked hard to develop an accurate fiscal policy and carry out reform in the area of finance,” he said.

The resource-rich country of 234 million people now has no full-time central bank governor and no finance minister as it tries to attract billions of dollars in foreign investment deemed vital to maintaining high growth.

Acting central bank governor Darmin Nasution has been tipped as a possible replacement for Indrawati.

World Bank President Robert Zoellick said Indrawati, an economist and former International Monetary Fund board member, had guided Indonesia through the global recession and earned the “respect of her peers across the world”.

“She has been an outstanding finance minister with in-depth knowledge of both development issues and the role of the World Bank Group,” he said.

In a World Bank press release Indrawati said: “It is a great honour for me and also for my country to have this opportunity to contribute to the very important mission of the bank in changing the world”.

The independent policy expert has stayed aloof from domestic politics despite being targeted with corruption allegations from party leaders intent on wrestling control of her ministry.

Indrawati announced her resignation a day after being questioned by anti-graft investigators probing the 700-million-dollar bailout of mid-sized Bank Century in 2008. She has denied any wrongdoing.

Some analysts have traced her political problems back to 2008 when she upset the country’s most powerful tycoon, Golkar party chief Aburizal Bakrie, by refusing to shield his family’s Bumi Resources from a stock market sell-off.

The minister also clashed with Bakrie over unpaid mining royalties and taxes, and accused him of waging a public campaign to discredit her.

Indrawati’s uncompromising attitude to corruption — she punished almost 2,000 finance ministry personnel and dishonourably discharged at least 150 — also made her many enemies within the bureaucracy.

Despite the controversies, she has won plaudits as one of the main reformers responsible for putting in place the economic fundamentals that made her five years as finance minister a period of strong and steady growth.

Source: SGGP

Spain does not need financial bailout: EU Commission

In Uncategorized on May 5, 2010 at 12:39 pm

BRUSSELS, May 5, 2010 (AFP) – Spain does not need the kind of financial bailout package which has been offered to Greece, the EU’s Economic Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said on Wednesday, damping down market expectations.

“There is no need to propose financial assistance,” for Madrid, Rehn told reporters as he unveiled the commission’s new economic forecasts for 2010 and 2011.

“No, we’ll not do it,” he added, in when asked whether the eurozone would be forced to put together the kind of multi-billion euro loan rescue package it is organising for Greece, which is under pressure massively to reduce its deficit and pay down its loans.

Rehn criticised the fierce market speculation which has put Greece in its cross hairs and is seen turning its attention to Spain and Portugal where deficit are also running uncomfortably high.

“There’s no limit to the speculation,” he complained.

The rumours swirled around the markets on Tuesday, many suggesting that Spain was on the point of turning cap in hand to its EU partners or the IMF, provoking a sharp falls on European stock markets.

PAME union members block the entrance to a ferry in the port of Piraeus in Greece due to a 24-hours strike on May 5, 2010. AFP photo


Source: SGGP