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Archive for June 22nd, 2010|Daily archive page

Quang Ngai hosts national motorbike race champs

In Uncategorized on June 22, 2010 at 4:38 pm

Quang Ngai hosts national motorbike race champs

QĐND – Tuesday, June 22, 2010, 20:44 (GMT+7)

As many as 24 racers from Dong Nai, Binh Duong, Binh Phuoc, An Giang, Can Tho, Vinh Long, Ho Chi Minh City and Quang Ngai competed for the professional 125cc motorbike championships in the south central province Quang Ngai on June 20.

After competing 3 laps of 9.6km, Ho Chi Minh’s Nguyen Quang Khai won the champion title, the runner-up was Nguyen Thanh Vu and third place went to Luu Thanh Tuan and Nguyen Viet Linh.

The championships was jointly held by the Vietnam Motor and Bicycle Sports Association and the Quang Ngai provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

Vietnam obtains more success in viscera transplantation

In Uncategorized on June 22, 2010 at 4:38 pm

Vietnam obtains more success in viscera transplantation

QĐND – Tuesday, June 22, 2010, 20:44 (GMT+7)

Doctors successfully conducted a liver transplantation on a two-year-old girl with acute liver function failure at the Central Pediatrics Hospital in Hanoi on June 21.

This is the first time, Vietnamese doctors have carried out such a surgery, which lasted over 12 hours, without any assistance from their foreign colleagues.

According to the hospital’s director Nguyen Thanh Liem, the patient, Pham Thi Mo from the northern province of Thai Binh was hospitalised in a coma and having trouble with blood coagulation. The liver donor was Mo’s mother.

The girl is now in stable health condition with her liver and heart working.

Earlier, on June 17, Vietnamese doctors at the Military Hospital 103, with support from Taiwanese experts successfully performed the first heart transplantation on a 48 year-old man, who has suffered from final-stage heart failure, using a heart taken from a brain dead donor.

The patient is now in sound recovery.

In May, with viscera given by brain dead donors, the Vietnam-German Hospital in Hanoi successfully performed six kidney and two heart valve transplantations.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Hanoi plans to have cannon firing on birth anniversary

In Uncategorized on June 22, 2010 at 4:37 pm

Hanoi plans to have cannon firing on birth anniversary

QĐND – Tuesday, June 22, 2010, 20:44 (GMT+7)

The Hanoi authorities have asked the Government for its permission for the making of cannons and cannon balls for use in the city’s 1,000 th birth anniversary.

Once approved, Hanoi will team up with relevant units of the Ministry of Defence to produce this old-styled gun and will fire it on October 1, 2010 to herald the city’s millennial birthday.

So far, more than 30 embassies and international organisations in Vietnam have registered to take part in Hanoi’s 1,000 th founding anniversary, which, as a Government leader said, must reflect the city’s strong and unique spirit.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has worked out the scenarios on the grand meeting and events on the main day of the anniversary on October 10.

According to the scenario, more than 18,000 people will participate in the grand meeting and parade at Ba Dinh square on the morning of October 10.

On the night the same day, a gala will be held at My Dinh Stadium upholding the theme “Thang Long-Hanoi-the city of ascending dragon”.

There will be five parts in the gala’s scenario: part I portraying the city before it became the capital city, part II dealing with the major decision related to the capital city, part III featuring the quintessence of the thousand year-old Hanoi, part IV depicting the heroic capital city, and part V delivering a message from Hanoi, the city of peace.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

First hospital uses solar energy in Vietnam

In Uncategorized on June 22, 2010 at 4:36 pm

First hospital uses solar energy in Vietnam

QĐND – Tuesday, June 22, 2010, 20:44 (GMT+7)

The Tam Ky Heathcare Centre in the central province of Quang Nam has put into use a solar energy system to supplement the limited electricity source from the national grid.

With the system, the 100-bed healthcare centre has become the first hospital in Vietnam using solar energy.

The 25-cell solar system is capable of generating some 7,200 kWh each year, meeting electricity demand by the centre’s emergency ward.

The system will help ensure the power supply for the centre’s operation during the hot season when the electricity flow from the national grid is often unstable, said the centre’s officials.

The system costing 720 million VND is half funded by the Spanish government.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Japan still hopes to sell bullet train to Vietnam: minister

In Uncategorized on June 22, 2010 at 12:32 pm

TOKYO, June 22, 2010 (AFP) – Japan said Tuesday it will push on with efforts to sell its bullet train technology to Vietnam despite the project’s rejection in a rare show of defiance by legislators in Vietnam.

“We hope Vietnam will introduce Japan’s Shinkansen bullet train system,” Japan’s Transport Minister Seiji Maehara told a Tokyo press conference, after the vote in the National Assembly in Hanoi Saturday.

“Japan will try to help Vietnam introduce the Japanese system by cooperating with the Vietnamese government to draw up a feasible plan so that the National Assembly will approve it,” Maehara told reporters.

Vietnam’s legislators, who usually back government plans, rejected the 56-billion-dollar project, arguing that the country has more pressing development needs.

Vietnam has seen rapid economic growth, but roughly half the population still works in agriculture and per capita income is about 1,000 dollars.

Under the government’s proposal, the train would link the capital Hanoi with the southern commercial hub of Ho Chi Minh City 1,570 kilometres (975 miles) away, at speeds of 300 kilometres an hour, by 2035.

Japan, battling to revive its economy, hopes to sell its cutting-edge technology — from nuclear plants to renewable energy systems to bullet trains — abroad, especially to Asia’s emerging economies.

It is also among bidders hoping to help build a high-speed rail network in the United States under a plan proposed by President Barack Obama.

Maehara said his government would study ways to help Vietnam import the expensive train technology, such as by giving official development assistance or creating a fund to support such infrastructure exports.

Source: SGGP

US probes Google Street View data grabs

In Uncategorized on June 22, 2010 at 12:32 pm

SAN FRANCISCO, Jun 22 (AFP) – The attorney general of the US state of Connecticut is looking into whether Google broke the law by capturing people’s personal data from wireless networks while Street View bicycles and cars mapped streets.

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal announced Monday that his office will lead a multistate probe of “Google’s deeply disturbing invasion of personal privacy,” which has drawn ire and scrutiny in several countries.

“Street View cannot mean Complete View — invading home and business computer networks and vacuuming up personal information and communications,” Blumenthal said.

AFP/File – A Google street-view car

People have a right to know what information Google gleaned, how it was done and why, according to Blumenthal. He also wanted the Internet giant to detail what safeguards are in place to fix the situation.

“While we hope Google will continue to cooperate, its response so far raises as many questions as it answers,” Blumenthal said.

“Our investigation will consider whether laws may have been broken and whether changes to state and federal statutes may be necessary.”

Blumenthal has asked Google to explain how and wed wireless networks and why they recorded the quality of wireless networks they passed.

“It was a mistake for us to include code in our software that collected payload data, but we believe we didn’t break any US laws,” a Google spokesman said in response to an AFP inquiry.

“We?re working with the relevant authorities to answer their questions and concerns.”

France last week joined the list of countries to focus investigations on Google for gathering personal data as its Street View bikes and cars photographed cities across the world for its free online mapping service.

The French data protection agency CNIL said it was examining private data collected for Street View, including emails and possibly banking details, to decide if the firm should face criminal charges or other sanctions.hen it learned its Street View bicycles and cars were capturing data from unencrypt

Google said it had also handed data to privacy authorities in Spain and Germany for analysis.

Canada’s privacy commissioner is probing the collection of data by Street View vehicles, while police in both New Zealand and Australia said this month they would investigate the Internet giant over alleged privacy breaches.

In Europe, Germany, Austria, Italy and France were among the countries investigating whether their citizens’ privacy had been breached by the California-based company.

Street View lets users view panoramic street scenes on Google Maps and take a virtual “walk” through cities such as New York, Paris or Hong Kong.

The service, which began in 2006, first came in for criticism for threatening the privacy of people caught — sometimes in embarrassing situations — in the photos taken by cars cruising cities in over 30 countries.

But when it emerged that Google’s cars and bikes had also been gathering fragments of personal data sent over unsecured Wi-Fi systems, legal action and official probes were quickly announced around the world.

Google has gone on record saying it was cooperating with authorities in France and elsewhere and would delete data if legally obliged.

“Our ultimate objective is to delete the data consistent with our legal obligations and in consultation with the appropriate authorities,” Google told AFP last week.

Google said last month it was halting the collection of WiFi network information after saying it had mistakenly gathered personal data.

On June 1 it said it had deleted private wireless data mistakenly collected in Austria, Denmark and Ireland.

It had insisted previously that it was only collecting WiFi network names and addresses with the Street View cars.

The company said it has had experts examine its data-gathering software and shared its findings with data protection authorities.

Source: SGGP

Greece to compensate tourists for strike delays

In Uncategorized on June 22, 2010 at 12:32 pm

AFP/File – Tourists are stranded at the Greek port of Piraeus in late May 2010 during a union strike.

ATHENS (AFP) – Greece offered to compensate tourists stranded by labour unrest ahead of a new travel strike Tuesday as unions stepped up their assault against government austerity cuts.

Greek Culture Minister Pavlos Geroulanos told a news conference that the government would guarantee extra room and board payments made by visitors as rail unions started a series of stoppages.

“We are certain that it will be a calm summer and that there will be no major strike disruptions,” a ministry source told AFP.

“But just in case something happens, the Greek state is prepared to cover these costs,” the source added.

Tourism is a pillar of the Greek economy but strikes and related violence sparked by the country’s debt crisis, as well as the international global crunch were estimated in May to have caused a 10 percent fall in hotel stays, according to tourism associations.

The minister told the press conference late Monday that compensation would even be paid for tourists stuck in Greece during the volcano eruption in Iceland in April that blocked European air routes for several days.

Geroulanos gave no details though of how much the compensation would cost nor how it would be paid.

Thousands of travellers have had holidays in Greece disrupted by successive strikes as the country grapples with a debt crisis that brought draconian wage and pension cuts.

Greece was recently saved from a debt default with a 110-billion-euro (136 billion dollar) bailout loan from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

But as Athens labours to maximise revenue, tens of millions of euros have already been lost from booking cancellations according to government estimates.

Railway workers on Tuesday began a series of two-hour work stoppages to last until Thursday, disrupting inter-city trains and services to Athens International Airport.

On Wednesday, communist-affiliated ship crews plan to block the main Greek port of Piraeus.

And the country’s main unions have called a general strike — the fifth since the start of the year — on June 29.

Tourism generates about 17 percent of Greece’s gross domestic product.

Source: SGGP

US general apologizes for slamming US leaders

In Uncategorized on June 22, 2010 at 12:31 pm

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The US commander in Afghanistan apologized over a magazine profile that quotes him denouncing a top diplomat while his aides dismiss President Barack Obama and mock his deputies.

Tensions between General Stanley McChrystal and the White House are on full display in the unflattering article in Rolling Stone, but the general said it was all a mistake.

File photo US General Stanley McChrystal (L) at the Baraki Barak district. AFP file

“I extend my sincerest apology for this profile,” McChrystal said in a statement issued hours after the article was released.

“It was a mistake reflecting poor judgment and should never happened.”

McChrystal, a former special operations chief, usually speaks cautiously in public and has enjoyed mostly sympathetic US media coverage since he took over the NATO-led force last year. But the article appears to catch him and his staff in unguarded moments.

“Throughout my career, I have lived by the principles of personal honor and professional integrity. What is reflected in this article falls far short of that standard.

“I have enormous respect and admiration for President Obama and his national security team.”

In the profile, McChrystal jokes sarcastically about preparing to answer a question referring to Vice President Joe Biden, known as a skeptic of the commander’s war strategy.

“‘Are you asking about Vice President Biden?’ McChrystal says with a laugh. ‘Who’s that?'” the article quotes him as saying.

“‘Biden?’ suggests a top adviser. ‘Did you say: Bite Me?'”

McChrystal tells the magazine that he felt “betrayed” by the US ambassador to Kabul, Karl Eikenberry, in a White House debate over war strategy last year.

Referring to a leaked internal memo from Eikenberry that questioned McChrystal’s request for more troops, the commander suggested the ambassador had tried to protect himself for history’s sake.

“I like Karl, I’ve known him for years, but they’d never said anything like that to us before,” McChrystal tells the magazine.

“Here’s one that covers his flank for the history books. Now if we fail, they can say, ‘I told you so.'”

Eikenberry, himself a former commander in Afghanistan, had written to the White House saying Afghan President Hamid Karzai was an unreliable partner and that a surge of troops could draw the United States into a open-ended quagmire.

The article revisits the friction between the White House and the military last fall as Obama debated whether to grant McChrystal’s request for tens of thousands of reinforcements.

Although Obama in the end granted most of what McChrystal asked for, the strategy review was a difficult time, the general tells the magazine.

“I found that time painful,” McChrystal says. “I was selling an unsellable position.”

An unnamed adviser to McChrystal alleges the general came away unimpressed after a meeting with Obama in the Oval Office a year ago.

“It was a 10-minute photo op,” the general’s adviser says.

“Obama clearly didn?t know anything about him, who he was… he didn’t seem very engaged.

“The boss was pretty disappointed,” says the adviser.

The profile, titled “The Runaway General,” argues that McChrystal has pushed through his vision of how to fight the war, sidelining White House and State Department heavyweights along the way.

His aides are portrayed as intensely loyal to McChrystal while dismissive of the White House and those who question their commander’s approach.

One aide calls the national security adviser, Jim Jones, a retired general, a “clown” who is “stuck in 1985.”

One unnamed senior military official speculates that yet another surge of US forces could be requested “if we see success here.”

But his own troops voice doubts about the war and new rules limiting the use of force at a meeting with McChrystal at a combat outpost near Kandahar city, according to the magazine.

One sergeant tells him: “Sir, some of the guys here, sir, think we’re losing, sir.”

McChrystal complains about a dinner with an unnamed French minister during a visit to France in April.

In a hotel room in Paris getting ready for a dinner with the French official, McChrystal says: “How’d I get screwed into going to this dinner?”

He also derides the hard-charging top US envoy to the region, Richard Holbrooke.

“Oh, not another email from Holbrooke,” McChrystal says, looking at his messages on a mobile phone. “I don’t even want to open it.”

Source: SGGP

Britain to unveil severe austerity plan

In Uncategorized on June 22, 2010 at 12:31 pm

(AFP file) A woman walks past a vacant shop in Cheshire, north-west England.

LONDON (AFP) – Britain’s new coalition government is expected to unveil big cuts in public spending and significant tax increases in its first budget due Tuesday, after inheriting a record public deficit.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne will deliver the Conservative-Liberal Democrats’ budget to parliament at 1130 GMT after the coalition took power following last month’s general election.

Osborne confirmed Sunday that his emergency budget would include a levy on banks.

“What I’m determined to do is to make sure that the measures are tough but they’re also fair,” Osborne told BBC television.

“What we’re clear about is that all parts of society are going to have to make a contribution.”

Meanwhile, preparing millions of public sector workers for savage cuts, Prime Minister David Cameron said it was “fair” that they should face a squeeze on pay and pensions.

“There is no way of dealing with an 11 percent budget deficit just by hitting either the rich or the welfare scrounger,” he said in a weekend interview with The Times newspaper.

Osborne was reportedly ready to announce a freeze in welfare benefit payments.

But the opposition Labour party, ousted at the May 6 general election after 13 years in power, warned moving too swiftly to make cuts could endanger a fragile economic recovery.

“We have to be very cautious about the rate at which money is taken out of the British economy,” said the party’s finance spokesman Alistair Darling.

Osborne is seeking to save tens of billions of pounds as state borrowing is forecast to reach 155 billion pounds (230 billion dollars, 185 billion euros), or 10.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), in the year to March 2011.

Britain’s public deficit had rocketed to a record-high of 156 billion pounds in the 2009/10 fiscal year which ended in March, as severe recession hit tax revenues and as the government spent billions of pounds on bailing out banks.

Reports late Monday meanwhile said Osborne’s announcement will include a sweetener in a bid to draw some of the poison from the toughest budget in decades, with the rate at which people start paying tax rising by 1,000 pounds.

The move, which was heavily trailed in the British media, will mean that nearly 900,000 people earning less than 7,475 pounds a year will pay no tax, said the BBC.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg warned in a message to his Liberal Democrat supporters the day before the budget that it would be “one of the hardest things we will ever have to do.”

“But I assure you, the alternative is worse: rising debts, higher interest rates, less growth and fewer opportunities.”

The government said last week that it had decided to axe or suspend projects planned by the former Labour government that would have cost about 11.0 billion pounds.

The coalition had already announced plans in May to cut spending by about 6.2 billion pounds in 2010/11.

Osborne is also expected to unveil tax increases in Tuesday’s budget. Media reports suggest that he will raise VAT — a tax on goods and services — to 20 percent from 17.5.

The chancellor is also set to raise capital gains tax — or profits from the sale of assets such as second homes — and introduce a levy on banks.

Britain’s economy is predicted to grow by only 2.6 percent in 2011 as it recovers from a record recession that ended late last year, according to the Office for Budgetary Responsibility (OBR), an independent fiscal watchdog set up by the new government.

That compared with a 3.25-percent expansion forecast by the previous Labour government.

Source: SGGP

Istanbul bomb kills four as Kurdish violence flares

In Uncategorized on June 22, 2010 at 12:31 pm

ISTANBUL (AFP) – A roadside bomb blew up a bus carrying military families in Istanbul on Tuesday, killing three soldiers and a girl, as Kurdish rebels stepped up their separatist attacks.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan blamed the blast on the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which had threatened attacks in Turkish cities after targeting the military in the southeast.

Policemen and officials inspect the wreckage of a military bus that following a roadside bomb blast in Istanbul. AFP

“The terrorist organisation knows very well that it will reach nowhere with such attacks… This is a deadend,” Erdogan said in parliament in Ankara.

There was no formal claim of responsibility after the Istanbul bomb and noone was immediately detained, officials said.

The bus, carrying soldiers and their families, was passing through the Halkali district, a suburb on Istanbul’s European side which is home to military lodgings, when the bomb went off early Tuesday.

“This is a terrorist attack,” Istanbul Governor Huseyin Avni Mutlu told reporters. “According to initial information, it was a remote-control bomb planted at the roadside.”

Three soldiers, on their way to work at the headquarters of Istanbul’s paramilitary police, and a 17-year-old girl, the daughter of an officer, were killed.

Twelve other people were injured and two were in serious condition, Mutlu said.

Police cordoned off the vehicle, whose windows were shattered and had a large hole in its trunk, an AFP photographer said.

The Turkish army said seven PKK militants were killed overnight in two separate clashes.

Five rebels were shot dead after they attacked a gendarme station in southeast Turkey, killing one soldier. Two others were killed in a security operation in the northwest.

The PKK, listed as a terrorist group by Ankara and much of the international community, threatened attacks in Turkish cities as it killed 12 soldiers over the weekend.

Most of the troops were killed when dozens of rebels assaulted a border unit at the Iraqi frontier, prompting a Turkish air raid on PKK hideouts in northern Iraq, where the rebels have long taken refuge.

The PKK has stepped up its violence since its leader Abdullah Ocalan, who is held in a Turkish prison, said through his lawyers last month that he was abandoning efforts to end the 26-year Kurdish conflict through peace talks with the government.

Ankara has rejected dialogue with the PKK though it has sought to boost Kurdish freedoms and economic development in the southeast in a bid to discourage separatism and cajole the rebels into laying down arms.

The faltering initiative, announced last year, has met with public hostility amid persisting PKK violence, but Erdogan insisted Tuesday he remained committed to reform.

“We will not step back… We will not disappoint our (Kurdish) people once again,” he said. “The terrorist organisation can never be the representative or the spokesman of our Kurdish citizens.”

The PKK targets mainly the security forces but it has carried out bomb attacks on civilians in the past.

In 2008, the group was blamed for two explosions at a crowded street in Istanbul’s Gungoren district, killing 17 people and wounding more than 150.

In 2005, five people, among them Irish and British tourists, were killed when a PKK militant detonated a bomb on a minibus in the Aegean resort of Kusadasi.

The PKK took up arms for self-rule in the mainly Kurdish southeast in 1984, sparking a conflict that has claimed some 45,000 lives.

Source: SGGP