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Archive for June 5th, 2010|Daily archive page

Students refuse to sit exams, others cheat

In Uncategorized on June 5, 2010 at 6:19 pm

Students refuse to sit exams, others cheat

QĐND – Saturday, June 05, 2010, 23:18 (GMT+7)

Approximately 5,000 of Vietnam’s one million high school students failed to take their graduation exams this week due to illness and traffic accidents, while scores of others cheated their way through the tests. 

In Ho Chi Minh City, some 540 students fell ill, 52 students had traffic accidents on the way to their exams and 35 learners showed up too late to take their tests, said the Ministry of Education and Training, adding that 62 graders were not allowed to take the exam after they violated test regulations.

Senior high school students underwent in literature and chemistry tests on June 2 and geography, history, mathematics and foreign language on June 3. The weather was cool after it rained in some parts of the country on June 3, creating favorable conditions for students to take their tests.

But students were found to have thrown various sized cheat sheets into trash bins outside classrooms and restrooms after the examinations.

Some Hanoian students were caught writing details about historic events on their hands so they could cheat in the exams.

Dinh Ngoc Binh, deputy chairman of the examination council at Phan in HCMC, said that although it was against the rules, it was normal that students brought cheat sheets because supervisors couldn’t search the students. Dang Luu High School

Binh’s counterpart Le Hong Son said a supervisor found a student carrying a mobile phone on him the Thu in HCMC’s district Thu Duc. The twelfth grader was then prohibited from taking the exam. Khoa Huan High School

Many students have complained that the history test is too difficult because it is too long and they are given too much information to memorize. Of the six compulsory subjects, foreign language and chemistry are administered in a multiple-choice format.

The Department of Education and Training of the central province of Quang Nam said that more students failed to take the exams this year because they were ill.

Ministry regulations allow students with good records to obtain exemptions from taking the tests if they are confirmed to be ill by a local hospital.

The Red Cross Society of the central province of Thua Thien – Hue provided free meals for over 500 poor students from remote districts who participated in the examination in the City Hue on June 3.

The Department of Education and Training in the Mekong delta province praised student Tran Thanh Lien who tried to sit for geography and history tests on June 3 although her right hand, thigh and hip were burned and blistered in an accident that morning. of Soc Trang

Source: VNN

Source: QDND

City marks anniversary of Ho Chi Minh’s departure for national salvation

In Uncategorized on June 5, 2010 at 6:18 pm

City marks anniversary of Ho Chi Minh’s departure for national salvation

QĐND – Saturday, June 05, 2010, 23:19 (GMT+7)

Ho Chi Minh City marked the 99th anniversary of late President Ho Chi Minh’s departure for national salvation on June 6.

On June 5, 1911, a youth called Nguyen Tat Thanh left Nha Rong Wharf on the Saigon River to board the ship “Latouche Treville Admiral” setting out on a long journey to find a solution that would eventually liberate the country from the French colonialists.

He traveled for 30 years to over 30 countries around the world in search of a way to liberate his homeland. The invaluable ideals that he has left the nation are his morality and thoughts on building an independent, democratic, prosperous and powerful country.

He later became President Ho Chi Minh.

Source: SGGP

Source: QDND

That’s the Hue to go!

In Uncategorized on June 5, 2010 at 2:27 pm

That’s the Hue to go!

QĐND – Saturday, June 05, 2010, 21:13 (GMT+7)

Hue Festival 2010 promises to be a spectacular event showcasing the city’s unique heritage as well as culture and arts from Vietnam and abroad.

With such rich architectural heritage, Hue is one of the more delicate flowers on Vietnam’s well-pounded tourist trail. During his trip to Hue in 1981, the former General Secretary of UNESCO regarded Hue as “a masterpiece of urban poetry”. Back then the notion of tourism was just a pipedream. The country first had to pull itself back from economic oblivion.

In 1986 as part of the economic policy called doi moi, Vietnam opened its doors to international trade and subsequently tourism. Now the country is caught in a curious quandary – balancing growth and development with preservation. Unlike Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City, tourists will not come to the former Imperial Capital to go shopping or dancing. This is still a quiet provincial city, but one that is making the most of its gifts.

Thanks to ongoing projects with UNESCO and other international groups Hue’s architectural heritage is now blossoming – tourists flock here throughout the year to see the citadel, An Dinh palace and the Nguyen kings’ tombs.

Hue’s natural beauty is another massive boon – one stroll along the leafy banks of the Huong river is enough to make any visitor fall in love with Hue. And there is wonderful local cuisine. Visitors should always sample specialties such as banh beo or banh khoai (Plus as a Buddhist-centric town there is an excellent vegetarian food scene).

It is also building its reputation as a venue for arts and culture. In recent years the Hue Festival has become central to Thua Thien- Hue province’s efforts to put the city on the map – not just as a ‘historic’ destination but as a culturally exciting one.

The seed that was planted by the inaugural festival in 2000 has grown steadily. Now after four more festivals, each one bigger than the last, the city is ready to celebrate its most vibrant and spectacular festival yet.

Hundreds of thousands of domestic and international visitors will descend on the city from June 5 to 13. The last festival in 2008 attracted 150,000 domestic and 30,000 international visitors from 75 nations and territories and organisers certainly hope to surpass those figures this time around.

A Royal Affair

As previously there will be a number of re-enactments of royal rituals such as the Nam Giao Offering Ritual, a solemn and sacred event. The Royal Palace by Night is a more colourful affair with food and wine served at a royal banquet and a spectacular lights show.

Another favourite is the Legend of Huong River which offers snapshots of the river’s history, legends and beauty. There will be historical showpieces too – such as a re-enactment of when Nguyen Phuc Lan Lord selected Kim Long (Hue’s former name) as the capital city. Also, worth catching is the re-enactment of Navy manoeuvres under the Nguyen Dynasty on the Huong river.

While the festival’s centrepieces are undoubtedly reflecting the feats, accomplishments and style of Vietnam’s old royal culture, the event is increasingly diverse with painting exhibitions, fashion shows, installations, photography displays, theatrical and musical shows, street performances, and a whole lot more besides.

There will be 40 art groups and artists from 31 nations spread across five continents participating. Some of Vietnam’s most prestigious theatre companies will also be coming to town. There will also be a number of competitions with kite flying contests, a traditional martial arts gathering, human chess matches and sampan racing.

Hue Festival 2010 will also do its bit to promote the environment. The Ao Dai festival is titled Natural Wishes and accordingly, all long dresses are made out of natural silk and dyed with pure organically made colours. Accessories and jewellery decorating the long dress are also made out of natural substances. Another message on environment will be made by an art installation named For a Green Planet which will be held on World Environment Day on June 6.

Besides the official performances and activities during the Hue Festival, there are various cultural performances and art exhibitions by local artists.

Nguyen Duy Hien has created around 3,000 oil, acrylic, laquer and mixed material paintings about Hue and its people. His paintings will be displayed along the Le Ngo Cat street running from Nam Giao Esplanade to Tu Duc Tomb. There will also be two 25-metre long blank canvases with brushes and colours for passers-by to try and add their own artistic touches to the exhibition.

Hue Festival 2010 Highlights

The Grand Opening Ceremony starts at 8pm on June 5 at Ngo Mon Square

A reenactment of a Navy manoeuvre under the Nguyen Dynasty takes place on the Huong River, in front of Kim Long communal house in Kim Long Ward in the evening of June 7.

The Ao Dai Grand Show takes place at 8pm in Ham Nghi Yard, Thuong Tu Gate.

The sacred Nam Giao Offering Ritual will take place in the evening of June 9 at Nam Giao Esplanade

A multimedia show called Voyage to Reclaim the Country’s Land begins at 8pm on June 10 on the Huong River, in front of the Flag Tower (Ky Dai)- Phu Van Lau.

The Perfume River’s Legends programme on the Huong River at 5pm on June 6 and 12.

A special show The Oriental Night will be held on June 5 (directly after the opening ceremony) and June 12 (from 7pm) in the Imperial City

The folk music and drama programme The Breath of Water will be held on June 6, 9 and 11 at Tinh Tam Lake from 7pm.

Royal Palace by Night – an evening of performances, exhibitions, dancing and dining – will be held from 9pm on June 5 (without royal banquet) and from 7.30pm on June 8 and June 11 (with royal banquets) in the Imperial City.

The Closing Ceremony will be held near Gia Hoi Bridge in the evening of June 13 from 8pm.

Source: VNN

Source: QDND

AO – one of the worst inventions of all time

In Uncategorized on June 5, 2010 at 2:26 pm

AO – one of the worst inventions of all time

QĐND – Saturday, June 05, 2010, 21:13 (GMT+7)

Agent Orange, the deadly herbicide that the US Army used in Vietnam from 1961 to 1971 to destroy the country’s thick canopy of foliage, which provided cover for Vietnamese troops, has been listed as one of the 50 worst inventions of all time by the US magazine Time.

Exposure to AO has “proved deadly to humans, causing cancers, birth defects and a slew of other disorders,” said the magazine, adding that “some 21 million gallons of it were dumped on Vietnam, resulting in hundreds of thousands of injuries and birth defects to Vietnamese citizens.”

Many US veterans were also exposed, said the newspaper, adding that they received a US$180 million settlement from the manufacturers of Agent Orange in 1984.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

Obama vows help as BP sees oil spill progress

In Uncategorized on June 5, 2010 at 2:26 pm

Louisiana, June 5, 2010 (AFP) – US President Barack Obama promised Saturday to use “every resource” to help oil spill-stricken Gulf of Mexico residents recover from the worst environmental disaster in US history.

The pledge came as energy giant BP offered the first indications that a cap placed over a ruptured undersea well would finally bring the catastrophe under control, more than six weeks after the leak started.

AFP/Getty Images – A laughing gull coated in heavy oil wallows in the surf on East Grand Terre Island, Louisiana.

“So we will continue to leverage every resource at our disposal to protect coastlines, to clean up the oil, to hold BP and other companies accountable for damages,” Obama said in his weekly radio address.

In remarks broadcast from Grand Isle, a Louisiana coastal community bearing the brunt of the spill, he also promised to do all he could to “to begin to restore the bounty and beauty of this region — and to aid the hardworking people of the Gulf as they rebuild their businesses and communities.”

An estimated 20 million gallons of crude has poured into the Gulf since an April 20 explosion tore through the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon rig, 50 miles (80 kilometers) off Louisiana.

Eleven workers were killed in the blast, and Obama, who toured the disaster area Friday, will meet their families in a White House ceremony next week.

The president said the spill had “upended whole communities,” and local residents were angry not just about the money they had lost, but because of “the wrenching recognition that this time their lives may never be the same.”

The scale of the disaster has forced the president to postpone a trip to Australia and Indonesia for the second time.

Shocking images of pelicans and seabirds writhing in oil along the Louisiana coast broadcast on US television networks and splashed on the front pages of newspapers underscored the rising environmental costs.

Spreading in oily ribbons, the slick is now threatening Alabama, Mississippi and Florida after contaminating more than 125 miles (200 kilometers) of Louisiana coastline.

But Obama said the cap that BP placed over the well late Thursday appeared to be “making progress” in trying to pump oil to the surface.

BP chief operating officer Doug Suttles said the cap — an upside-down, funnel-shaped container — would capture the “vast majority” of the oil.

The official in charge of the US government response to the spill, Admiral Thad Allen, said the cap was collecting about 1,000 barrels a day of oil.

But that is far short of the 12,000 to 19,000 barrels a day that have been spewing into the sea and a live video feed showed clouds of oil still gushing from the pipe.

Obama acknowledged that “regardless of the outcome of this attempt, there will still continue to be some spillage until the relief wells are completed.”

He noted that his administration had ordered BP to pay economic injury claims and sent the company a preliminary bill for 69 million dollars to pay back some of the costs of the clean-up.

And he promised to do everything necessary to prevent such environmental disasters from happening again, adding: “If laws are inadequate – laws will be changed.”

US authorities reopened a section of more than 16,000 square miles (41,000 square kilometers) of previously closed fishing area off the Florida coast, closed on June 2 as a precaution.

At the same time, BP chief executive Tony Hayward announced the formation of a team to work with locals and officials in the aftermath of the cleanup, led by one of the oil giant’s managing directors, Bob Dudley, a US citizen.

The appointment is a sign that the cleanup and looming legal battles will likely last for years. The CEO has faced growing anger about a series of blunders.

BP said it will be sending a second advance payment during June to individuals and businesses along the Gulf Coast to compensate for the loss of income, bringing its total to 84 million dollars.

Source: SGGP

Cadets volunteer to help people

In Uncategorized on June 5, 2010 at 2:26 pm

Cadets volunteer to help people

QĐND – Saturday, June 05, 2010, 21:13 (GMT+7)

The Youth Union Organization from the Huong Giang Corps-Military School, in coordination with its corresponding unit from the Xuan Phu commune, launched a Voluntary Summer Campaign 2010 at the Yen Dung district of Bac Giang province.

The campaign is in response to the Annual Voluntary Youth Month initiated by the Corps.

More than 300 officers and cadets from the Huong Giang Corps-Military School helped dig ditches, build roads, clean inter-village roads, and level the Ho Nam Pagoda yeard.

The volunteers also offered free health check-ups for 324 households and presented gifts to 572 children under 6 years old.

Source: TP

Translated by Mai Huong

Source: QDND

Ethnic minority girls receive educational support

In Uncategorized on June 5, 2010 at 2:26 pm

Ethnic minority girls receive educational support

QĐND – Saturday, June 05, 2010, 21:13 (GMT+7)

The VinaCapital Foundation (VCF) and the Golden Light Investment Trading Company, Ltd. (Golden Light) announced June 3 an innovative partnership to help educate ethnic minority girls.

Golden Light is the exclusive distributor in Vietnam for LOLITA S.A., one of South America’s top fashion retailers. The program, “A Brighter Path: Scholarships for Ethnic Minority Girls,” will provide seven-year scholarships for girls from various ethnic minority communities throughout Vietnam who are exemplary students.  Golden Light will contribute one percent of the sales from their Lolita Stores over the next two years with a minimum donation of $15,000.  

The memorandum of understanding (MOU) signing took place at the VinaCapital Foundation office in Ho Chi Minh City between Mimi Vu, Director of Development for VCF, and Mr. Barry Weisblatt, CEO of Golden Light.  

”Social responsibility, especially in support of the development of women, is an important part of Lolita’s culture worldwide,” said Mr. Weisblatt. “We are very excited to be working with such an outstanding program as A Brighter Path to support women in Vietnam as well.”

A Brighter Path, designed to provide hope for a brighter future and break the cycle among of poverty among ethnic minority girls in Vietnam, will provide 100 girls from poor families with scholarships to attend high school and university. 

To be eligible for the program, all students must be members of one of Vietnam’s ethnic minority groups, demonstrate high academic excellence, and come from families living at or below the national poverty rate of $13 per capita per month.

Once accepted into the program, each student will receive a seven-year scholarship (three years of high school and four years of university) that includes support for books, food, housing, and uniforms or clothing. 

In addition, VCF will convene the girls once a year for the “Dream Meeting,” a workshop/retreat that will give them a chance to reflect on their progress and brainstorm about and plan their future goals. 

The program’s pilot year, 2010-2011, will support 50 15-year-old girls from various communities all over Vietnam, after which the number of students will be increased to 100 girls.

LOLITA will open its first store in Vietnam in June 6 at 1 Nguyen Trai Street, with another outlet slated to open at the new Vincom Center on Le Thanh Ton Street.

Source: SGGP

Source: QDND

Obama to name ex-general Clapper as new spy chief

In Uncategorized on June 5, 2010 at 2:26 pm

WASHINGTON, June 4, 2010 (AFP) – President Barack Obama will name retired lieutenant general and veteran intelligence expert James Clapper on Saturday as his new spy chief, officials said, in a bid to improve troubled US intelligence gathering.

Clapper, a retired lieutenant general decades of intelligence experience, would replace Dennis Blair, who stepped down last month amid heavy criticism after a string of security shortcomings, among them failure to thwart planned attacks including one by an Al-Qaeda linked group to bring down a US airliner on December 25.

Several intelligence and administration officials confirmed to AFP that Clapper will be nominated Saturday as the director of national intelligence (DNI), including one defense official who said he enjoys strong backing from Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

The post was introduced after September 11, 2001 amid deep congressional concern over the systemic lapses which led to the terrorist attacks on the United States, and then the botched intelligence over Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction which helped prod the US invasion of Iraq but which were never found.

DNI oversees the 16 agencies that make up the US intelligence community, including the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency.

Clapper is currently undersecretary of defense for intelligence, the top intelligence post at the Pentagon, as well as the director of defense intelligence, which reports directly to the DNI and therefore gives him comprehensive knowledge of the post for which he is being nominated.

If confirmed, Clapper would become the fourth DNI since the cabinet-level position’s creation five years ago.

The defense official said the administration encountered some resistance initially in Congress over the nomination but he believes key lawmakers have come around in support.

Clapper has already ruffled some feathers on Capitol Hill, with key lawmakers warning he is not transparent in his dealings with Congress.

Senator Kit Bond, vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said in a statement: “He lacks the necessary clout with the president, has proven to be less than forthcoming with Congress, and has recently blocked our efforts to empower the DNI, which is why at this time I’m not inclined to support him.”

But Senator Joe Lieberman, an independent who co-authored legislation in 2004 to create the position, quickly applauded Obama’s choice.

“General Clapper has vast experience in the intelligence community, has a proven record as an administrator and has always been a proponent of a strong DNI,” Lieberman said.

Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller said he believed Clapper would be “up to the task,” but strongly hinted at the scrutiny that lawmakers will pay to the nomination.

Clapper retired from the US Air Force in 1995 after a 32-year career, and spent much of the following years working for private defense contractors and teaching.

But he also has held key intelligence positions, including serving from September 2001 to 2006 as the first civilian head of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, which collects and analyzes data from commercial and government satellites or aircraft, among other sources.

Clapper has been nicknamed “the Godfather of HUMINT” — using human contacts for gathering intelligence in addition to high-tech methods like satellite imagery or intercepting communications.

DNI and the other intellegence agencies came under blistering criticism in recent months for failing to connect the dots about a Nigerian man suspected of bringing an explosive device in his underwear onto a US-bound passenger jet on Christmas Day, as well as for other intelligence failures over planned attacks on New York city. 

Source: SGGP

Protecting the environment and biodiversity

In Uncategorized on June 5, 2010 at 2:25 pm

Protecting the environment and biodiversity

QĐND – Saturday, June 05, 2010, 21:13 (GMT+7)

A grand meeting was held in Quang Binh province to mark World Environment Day (June 5) in the presence of State President Nguyen Minh Triet, Party officials, provincial leaders, and representatives from the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources and the Fatherland Front Central Committee.

Various activities have taken place in response to World Ocean Day (June 8), Vietnam Sea and Island Week (June 1-8) and the International Year for Biodiversity.

Since 1972, the United Nations General Assembly has observed June 5 as World Environment Day, with the aim of raising global awareness of the importance of the environment and encouraging people to protect it.

Annually, World Environment Day is celebrated in more than 100 countries around the world. Vietnam has a 3,260-km coastal line with a total area of more than one million square metres, over 3,000 islands and 100 seaports. The country possesses diverse ecological systems, and is home to a large number of wild and endemic species of fauna and flora many of which can be found nowhere else in the world. In particular, Vietnam is endowed with a wonderful national park namely Phong Nha-Ke Bang, which has been recognised as a World Natural Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Pham Khoi Nguyen, emphasised that the 2010 World Environment Day is themed “Many Species. One Planet. One Future”, the International Year for Biodiversity is themed “Biodiversity is life. Biodiversity is our life”, and World Ocean Day is themed “Oceans of Life”. This is a good opportunity for us to show our determination to protect the environment, islands and sea, conserve biodiversity and cope with climate change for our planet’s sustainable development, he said.

Therefore, it is essential to promote the dissemination of information on environmental protection and encourage the participation of all citizens in this work. Protecting the environment and preserving biodiversity and the ocean is an urgent task that plays a decisive role in ensuring sustainable development and political security and stability for the nation, Minister Nguyen noted.

Regarding the negative impact of climate change on global warming and rising sea levels, the Chairman of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee, Huynh Dam, stressed that due attention should be paid to combating climate change and increasing the effectiveness of island and sea management to help Vietnam become a powerful sea-born economy.

Vietnam has cooperated with other countries in protecting the environment and ocean, as well as coping with climate change for human development.

After the grand meeting in Quang Binh, President Triet and other delegates planted trees on major roads in Dong Hoi city.

More than 500 youth union members also took part in sanitation work along Nhat Le beach.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

US weighs new options against North Korea: Gates

In Uncategorized on June 5, 2010 at 2:23 pm

SINGAPORE, June 5, 2010 (AFP) – The United States said Saturday it was weighing fresh steps to hold North Korea to account over the sinking of a South Korean warship, after Seoul appealed for UN intervention.

Washington “is assessing additional options to hold North Korea accountable”, apart from the UN Security Council route and planned military exercises with South Korea, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in Singapore.

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates (C), Japan’s Minister of Defense Toshimi Kitazawa (R) and South Korean Defense Minister Kim Tae Young pose during the Shangri-La Dialogue’s Asia Security Summit in Singapore on June 5, 2010. AFP photo

He did not specify what the new measures might be but, in an apparent message to China, warned of the risks of inaction after North Korea’s alleged torpedo attack on the ship in March which killed 46 South Korean sailors.

South Korea on Friday formally asked the UN Security Council to respond to the sinking, after President Lee Myung-Bak called the attack on the Cheonan corvette a “military provocation”.

Addressing the same Singapore conference as Gates, Lee dismissed Pyongyang’s denials of involvement as “laughable” but he stopped short of calling for specific sanctions on the North.

Gates said the sinking, which an international investigation blamed on Pyongyang, was not an isolated incident but “part of a larger pattern of provocative and reckless behaviour” by the North.

The Pentagon chief, speaking at the annual Shangri-La Dialogue on Asian security, called on countries in the region to respond to North Korea’s “dangerous provocations”.

Gates pledged “full support” to South Korea at a “difficult hour” but avoided talk of any US or allied military response.

The South Korean and US navies were scheduled to hold a joint anti-submarine drill next week, to be joined by the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington, as a show of force against North Korea.

The exercise has now been postponed, South Korean officials said Friday, and Gates suggested a delay would allow time for UN diplomacy to play out.

He also said that Seoul might seek a Security Council letter denouncing Pyongyang instead of a full-fledged UN resolution.

Such a diplomatic strategy is “not a manifestation of a lack of recognition of the nature of the provocation we have seen from North Korea, but may be more addressed to the worry about provoking further instability and further provocations from the North”, he said.

Seoul’s ambassador to the UN, Park In-kook, said he handed a letter to Mexican ambassador Claude Heller requesting “action by the Security Council commensurate with the gravity of the situation”.

Heller, who is chairing the Security Council this month, said he would begin consultations with other council members to provide an “appropriate answer” to the request.

In his letter, Park described North Korea’s “armed attack” against the Cheonan as “a flagrant violation” of the UN Charter, the 1953 armistice accord that ended the Korean War, and a 1992 bilateral non-aggression pact.

“As such the attack constitutes a threat to the peace and security on the Korean peninsula and beyond,” the South Korean envoy said.

Tensions have soared on the peninsula since the multinational probe last month said a North Korean torpedo sank the Cheonan, triggering trade reprisals from South Korea and bellicose rhetoric from the communist North.

On Thursday, a North Korean diplomat warned that tensions were running so high that war might break out “at any moment”. 

Source: SGGP