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VND 3 billion presented to build school in Cuba

In Uncategorized on June 27, 2010 at 4:52 pm

VND 3 billion presented to build school in Cuba

QĐND – Sunday, June 27, 2010, 21:8 (GMT+7)

The Ben Tre Provincial Youth Union presented VND 3 billion to the Cuban Consulate in Vietnam under a programme titled “One million bricks for Cuban children” on June 26th.

The money will be used to build a school, named “Small-age Vietnamese friends” in the village of Ben Tre in the Batou district of the Cuban capital of La Havana.

The “One million bricks for Cuban children” program was jointly-organized by the Ben Tre Provincial Committee and Youth Union, the San Ho Island Creative Culture Company and the Youth Newspaper on March 29th to April 19th in various schools with diversity of forms and contents.

The program, a response to a campaign to build a school in Ben Tre village in Cuba, which was lauched 6 months ago, will partly promote the long-lasting friendship between Vietnam and Cuba.  

Source: TT

Translated by Mai Huong

Source: QDND

Numerous challenges still ahead, says Party chief

In Uncategorized on June 27, 2010 at 4:52 pm

Numerous challenges still ahead, says Party chief

QĐND – Sunday, June 27, 2010, 21:11 (GMT+7)

In spite of overcoming the toughest times of the global economic crisis, the country still faces numerous challenges that require the whole nation’s efforts. 

Party General Secretary Nong Duc Manh made the remark at a meeting with voters in the northern province of Thai Nguyen on June 26 after the National Assembly (NA) wrapped up its 7th session. 

Political stability is the most important condition to boost the country’s comprehensive renovation process in an effective and sustainable way, the Party chief told the local voters. 

Development and socio-political stability are related matters, he said, affirming that if the country wants to develop, the country needs the socio- political stability. And, vice-versa, development creates foundations for stability. 

For their parts, the voters showed their agreement with the NA’s major decisions at the recent session, including its suspended decision on the North-South express railway project as well as its request for further study into the Hanoi master plan. 

The voters said that they are pleased with the high sense of responsibility and democracy shown by the NA delegates and feel confident about the NA performance. 

In a frank and open atmosphere, they expressed their concerns over the implementation of the criminal code and the law education in schools. 

In addition, they asked the state to continue developing transport infrastructure, irrigation network, schools and clinics for ethnic minority groups in mountainous areas.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

PM Dung holds meetings on the sidelines of G20 summit

In Uncategorized on June 27, 2010 at 4:50 pm

PM Dung holds meetings on the sidelines of G20 summit

QĐND – Sunday, June 27, 2010, 21:11 (GMT+7)

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung held meetings with Australian Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan and Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi on the evening of June 26 (local time) on the side lines of G20 summit in Toronto, Canada.

While meeting with Deputy PM Wayne Swan, who is head of the Australian delegation to the G20 summit, PM Dung expressed his delight at the significant progress in Vietnam-Australia relationship since the two countries agreed to develop their comprehensive partnership after Party General Secretary Nong Duc Manh’s official visit to Australia in September 2009.

Mr Dung said that Australia is one of Vietnam’s leading trade and investment partners. In the first quarter of this year, the two countries’ two-way trade turnover reached more than US$1.2 billion, up 34 percent over the same period last year. The Vietnam-Australia Joint Trade and Economic Cooperation Committee has organised a meeting in Australia to draw up measures to strengthen trade and economic ties between the two countries.

The Vietnamese PM called for the early signing of an action plan to effectively boosting the two countries’ comprehensive partnership. He proposed Australia consider procedures on mutual recognition of food hygiene and safety, especially for Vietnamese seafood.

Mr Dung expressed his hope that Australia would continue to assist Vietnam in training cadres, supplying equipment and setting up a verification centre while considering the signing of agreements on recruiting Vietnamese guest workers and granting one-year visas for Vietnamese students aged between 18-31.

He also asked the two countries to complete negotiations on the signing of agreements on legal assistance, science and technology, and customs cooperation in order to foster multifaceted cooperation on both sides.

PM Dung thanked Australia for providing official development assistance (ODA) loans to Vietnam to conduct research on building Cao Lanh bridge and said he hoped that the country would continue to grant ODA for Vietnam to complete its construction.

As an ASEAN Chair, PM Dung pledged to do the best to promote ASEAN cooperation with partners, including Australia, and called for Australia’s closer cooperation and continual support for Vietnam at regional and international forums.

Australian Deputy PM Wayne Swan expressed his admiration for Vietnam’s socio-economic achievements despite the negative impact of the global financial crisis.

He was optimistic about the bright prospects for the two countries to enhance cooperation in various fields. He also promised to implement PM Dung’s proposals and showed strong determination to boost trade and economic cooperation and grant ODA for Vietnam’s infrastructure development projects.

During his meeting with his Ethiopian counterpart Meles Zenawi, PM Dung congratulated the recent election victory of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) led by Mr Zenawi.

Mr Dung said he believed that under the leadership of PM Zenawi, the Ethiopian government would gain greater achievements in its national construction and defence.

He spoke highly of Ethiopia’s role in Africa and said he hoped that Ethiopia would help Vietnam promote cooperation with Eastern African countries. In return, Vietnam will also function as a bridge linking Ethiopia to ASEAN-member nations.

PM Dung told the Ethiopian PM that Vietnam will organise an international conference on Vietnam-Africa cooperation for sustainable development in August 2010. This will provide a good opportunity for participating countries to share experiences and seek more effective measures to enhance cooperation in fields of mutual concern. High on the agenda will be food security, agricultural cooperation and poverty reduction, he noted.

Mr Dung asked Ethiopia to develop tripartite cooperation projects, particularly in the field of agriculture, and promote the exchange of business delegations in order to create a more favourable legal environment and payment methods to tighten bilateral ties.

Mr Zenawi expressed his admiration for the Vietnamese people’s past struggle against foreign aggressors, as well as their current process of national construction and development.

He affirmed that Ethiopia wants to foster its relations and cooperation with Vietnam and help the country to cooperate with African countries.

PM Meles Zenawi vowed to take an active part in the 2nd Vietnam-Africa international conference and maintain cooperation with Vietnam in fields of mutual concern, especially in agriculture.

He also accepted PM Dung’s invitation for an official visit to Vietnam. The time for the visit will be arranged via diplomatic channels.

On the morning of June 27 (local time), before attending the official welcome ceremony for the G20 summit hosted by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, PM Dung also met with some other leaders gathering there.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

Youth Volunteer Programme launched in Hanoi

In Uncategorized on June 27, 2010 at 4:49 pm

Youth Volunteer Programme launched in Hanoi

QĐND – Sunday, June 27, 2010, 21:11 (GMT+7)

The launching ceremony for the youth summer volunteer programme 2010 was held at the National Convention Centre in Hanoi on June 26.

The campaign will focus on practical activities including working together to improve rural areas, cleaning up the environment and introducing young people to careers and professions.

Nearly 2,000 members of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union signed in a commitment to protect environment.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

Deputy PM visits Hau Giang

In Uncategorized on June 27, 2010 at 4:45 pm

Deputy PM visits Hau Giang

QĐND – Sunday, June 27, 2010, 21:11 (GMT+7)

A delegation, led by Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Sinh Hung met with local authorities in southern Hau Giang province on June 27.

At the meeting, local authorities briefed the Deputy Prime Minister about the province’s socio-economic development in the first half of 2010.

The local leaders proposed that the government should allow the Vietnam Steel Corporation to build a 500,000-1,000,000-tonne capacity steel company in the province.

Deputy PM Hung also heard a report about a project to build a high-tech industrial park in Long My district.

Mr Hung said that relevant ministries and departments have ratified the project and the province needs to have a detailed plan for changing the agricultural structure and to clarify relations between the state, farmers, businesses and scientists in order to maintain rice growing areas at the highest level.

Deputy PM Hung urged ministries and departments to solve the problem of low rice selling price and provid Hau Giang with preferential loans to continue implementing necessary construction of transportation and dyke systems, schools and hospitals.

Source: VOV


Source: QDND

World leaders meet to thrash out recovery plans

In Uncategorized on June 27, 2010 at 12:46 pm

The leaders of the world’s most powerful countries were to pursue talks Sunday on settling their differences over how to nurse the fragile world economy back to health.

Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron, left, and U.S. President Barack Obama, right, reach out to shake hands during their bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Toronto, Saturday, June 26, 2010

The G20 nations convened in the eastern Canadian city of Toronto on the heels of a tough-talking G8 summit, in which the world’s major industrialized powers laid down the law to rogue operators Iran and North Korea.

US officials called on leading economies to focus on a return to growth, in a move set to pit the world’s top economy against European nations some of whom have ordered spending cuts to slash back public deficits.

“This summit must be fundamentally about growth, and our challenge, as the G20, is that we all need to act to strengthen the prospects for growth,” US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told reporters.

He took a swipe at powers like Germany, Britain and Japan that he fears have moved too quickly towards budget cuts.

“It’s fair to say that I don’t think that you’ve seen from those countries yet a set of policies that would, again, give everybody confidence that you’re going to see stronger domestic demand growth,” he said.

The G20 talks opened late Saturday with battle lines being drawn as members disagreed over the balance to be struck between reducing budget deficits and encouraging growth and spending.

“If it sounds like everyone is rushing to the exit it might cause problems,” a senior G20 official told AFP, summarizing the concerns of the United States and many emerging powers that Europe’s new parsimony could stifle growth.

Brazil warned Europe’s plans to radically cut government spending would hurt emerging economies, comments echoed by UN chief Ban Ki-moon.

“If the cuts take place in advanced countries it is worse, because instead of stimulating growth they pay more attention to fiscal adjustments, and if they are exporters they will be reforming at our cost,” said Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega.

Ban also warned the G20 working dinner that the challenge facing the group had changed from when it first came together in Pittsburgh in September.

“Let me emphasize this evening that, under any circumstances we must not balance budgets on the backs of the world’s poorest people,” he said.

He called for greater investment in agriculture and the green economy which could help fuel jobs.

France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy stuck up for Europe, insisting there was no deep trans-Atlantic rift on the deficit issue.

“I’ve heard Obama say how important it is to support sustainable policies, including for the United States, he has indicated quite clearly the risk posed by deficits and debt,” he told reporters.

Signs also emerged that the US position may not be as firm as it seems.

The New York Times on Sunday cited US administration officials as saying that despite the Obama administration’s public pitches for more stimulus measures, the United States will go along with other leaders who are more concerned about rising debt and join in a commitment to cut their governments’ deficits in half by 2013.

At the end of two days of talks in an exclusive resort north of Toronto, the leaders of the Group of Eight richest nations acknowledged in their final statement that economic recovery remained “fragile.”

The leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States also took a tough stand on pressing international problems.

They demanded Iran reveal the extent of its nuclear program in transparent talks, condemned North Korea’s alleged torpedo attack on a South Korean warship and urged Afghanistan to boost efforts to take charge of its security.

In bilateral talks US President Barack Obama concentrated on ties with Asia, meeting China’s Hu Jintao and assuring his South Korean counterpart Lee Myung-Bak that Washington would stand “foursquare behind” Seoul in its standoff with the north.

Security remained tight, and the G20 leaders’ arrival in Toronto was marred by clashes between so-called “black bloc” anarchist protesters and vandals, who broke away from a large, peaceful protest.

At least three police cars were set ablaze and riot officers arrested 75 people, resorting to tear gas to protect the steel and concrete barricade shielding the downtown conference venue.

Canada spent more than a billion dollars to secure this week’s back-to-back G8 and G20 summits, hoping to avoid the serious street battles that have marred recent gatherings of such global forums.

Source: SGGP

Greece will tame debt with reforms: IMF official

In Uncategorized on June 27, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Greece will overcome its huge debt crisis with its austerity plan, an IMF official said Sunday as a poll showed a majority of Greeks fear that unpopular pension reforms will be in vain.

A group of demonstrators gather in front of the Greek parliament on June 25 in Athens during a cabinet meeting to finalise changes in a controversial pension reform.

Poul Thomsen, the head of the International Monetary Fund mission dealing with Greece, told To Vima daily that Athens is making progress on its “ambitious” programme of cuts.

The cutbacks have caused labour turmoil and a series of protests across Greece, with a new general strike, the fifth since February, due to be held on Tuesday.

“Such an adjustment is not easy and often causes discontent,” Thomsen said. “This is understandable as people see things getting worse before they improve.”

But he added: “The effort has begun vigorously and I firmly believe that Greece will succeed.”

Thomsen also applauded the Greek government’s decision not to restructure its debt as this “which would entail a huge cost.”

After decades of unrestrained state spending, Greece faced bankruptcy this year with a national debt of nearly 300 billion euros (371 billion dollars).

It was rescued by a bailout loan from the European Union and the IMF for which it had to pledge a spate of deep spending cuts.

Among the measures is an overhaul of the pensions system which has eaten up vast amounts of state funds.

The government this week finalised reforms which progressively raise by 2015 the age of retirement for both men and women to 65 years for a full pension, equating the sexes for the first time.

It also increases the mandatory workforce period from 37 years to 40 years.

The new system will see an average reduction in pensions of seven percent and bonus retirement dues which pensioners used to receive for Christmas, Easter and summer vacations will be slashed.

Parliament is expected to begin debate on the reforms next week.

A poll in Proto Thema daily on Sunday showed that 64.8 percent of Greeks believe their sacrifices will not save the crumbling pensions system, which currently consumes 12 percent of national output.

The Alco poll also found that 51.1 percent of 800 respondents believe Prime Minister George Papandreou is “too submissive” towards Brussels.

Source: SGGP

Stormy conditions could hamper Gulf oil spill cleanup

In Uncategorized on June 27, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Tropical Storm Alex headed toward the Gulf of Mexico Sunday, but while it was not expected to hit the oil spill area, experts warned strong waves and winds could hamper clean-up efforts there.

Workers remove a palm shade from the beach in preparation for the arrival of tropical storm Alex as winds begin to increase in Mahaual, Mexico, Saturday

With oil continually gushing into the fragile waters for the past 68 days, President Barack Obama’s pointman on the disaster cautioned that volatile weather conditions could set back oil recovery operations for up to two weeks.

Meanwhile, Alex dumped heavy rains over the Yucatan peninsula before moving back into the Gulf later Sunday. Its forecast track meant BP could continue its process without disruption, for now.

“The storm is not an issue for the spill,” said National Hurricane Center spokesman Dennis Feltgen.

Feltgen said forecasters did not expect Alex to head into the northeast Gulf, where the spill is located, “but that doesn’t mean there won’t be some wave impact.”

Early Sunday, the storm packed sustained winds of 40 miles (65 kilometers) an hour, down from 60 miles (95 kilometers) an hour late Saturday, as it swirled 75 miles (120 kilometers) west of Chetumal, Mexico, the center said.

It was expected to weaken later Sunday, but regain some punch as it moves over the Gulf of Mexico by nightfall.

“We are very pleased that there is no weather impact right now,” BP spokesman Ron Rybarczyk told AFP on Saturday.

But while the latest forecasts had BP breathing a sigh of relief, Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen sounded the alarm about the potential for a devastating impact to efforts to contain and siphon off the oil.

“The weather is unpredictable, and we could have a sudden last-minute change,” said Allen, telling reporters that oil recovery operations would have to be suspended for two weeks if Alex, the first named storm of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season, were to hit the area.

Such a stoppage would exacerbate the spill that has defiled the Gulf Coast’s once pristine shorelines, killed wildlife and put a big dent in the region’s multi-billion-dollar fishing industry.

It would also mean the estimated 30,000 to 65,000 barrels of oil gushing from a ruptured wellhead down on the seafloor would be billowing crude and gas unchecked for days.

An estimated 1.9 to 3.5 million barrels (80 to 150 million gallons) have poured into the Gulf since the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon rig exploded on April 20.

Allen said vessels currently recuperating some of the oil and gas would need up to 120 hours to evacuate the site if weather conditions were deemed dire enough.

“If we get an indication that we have a chance for gale-force winds 120 hours before, we’ll make the decision,” he added before noting that “right now, we haven’t met that threshold.”

BP said it recovered 24,550 barrels of oil on Friday, a 3.5 percent increase from its Thursday total, and collected approximately 413,000 barrels since May.

Still, hundreds of demonstrators came to Manatee County, Florida, beaches Saturday to protest offshore oil drilling and support clean energy strategies advocated by President Obama.

About 350 people formed a human chain at Manatee Public Beach, according to local officials.

“We grew up coming to these beaches, and we want to make sure future generations – like my daughter, here – have a place like this to come to,” said local resident Joshua Spaid.

BP’s shares meanwhile hit a 13-year low in London trading after BP ramped up the costs of the spill so far to 2.35 billion dollars. The company’s share values have been cut by more than half since the disaster that killed 11 workers and unleashed the worst oil spill in US history.

The British energy giant said its plans to drill through 2.5 miles (four kilometers) of rock were on track. No permanent solution to the spill is expected before the relief wells are due to be completed in August.

Heavy drilling fluids would then be pumped into the existing well to drown the oil flow, allowing it to be plugged for good with cement.

Vice President Joe Biden heads to the region on Tuesday and is due to visit the New Orleans-based National Incident Command Center before traveling to the Florida panhandle.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Carol Browner, who heads the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy, will also visit.

In Toronto, Canada, Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron held their first face-to-face talks ahead of a G20 leaders’ summit and agreed BP should “remain a strong and stable company,” Downing Street said.

A still image from a live BP video feed shows oil gushing on June 23 from the leaking well in the Gulf of Mexico after BP’s containment system was removed for repairs when a robotic submarine crashed into it.


Source: SGGP

Troubled Kyrgyzstan holds poll despite warnings

In Uncategorized on June 27, 2010 at 12:45 pm

Kyrgyzstan’s interim leaders on Sunday hailed a strong turnout in a referendum on a new constitution, held in defiance of warnings that it risked inflaming ethnic tensions after deadly clashes.

People cast their ballot papers into mobile voting box in the southern Kyrgyz city of Osh, Kyrgyzstan, Sunday, June 27, 2010 during a referendum on a new constitution.

With five hours of voting left on the constitution which would make Kyrgyzstan a parliamentary democracy, turnout nationwide was already 42.98 percent, the central election commission said in a statement.

The interim authorities have defiantly pressed ahead with the vote despite horrific clashes between minority Uzbeks and majority Kyrgyz earlier this month that killed hundreds and sparked fears the country faced collapse.

Respectable numbers were showing up to cast their ballots in the southern city of Osh — the epicentre of the violence — with the situation calm and no reports of unrest, an AFP correspondent reported.

The turnout “rejects the myth that Kyrgyzstan is collapsing, that there is a civil war,” said deputy interim government leader Omurbek Tekebayev.

The new constitution would slash the powers of the president and is the centrepiece of the interim government’s blueprint for a new Kyrgyzstan after it came to power amid April riots that toppled president Kurmanbek Bakiyev.

Bakiyev, who has taken sanctuary in Belarus, was blamed by the authorities for last month’s bloodshed but has denied any involvement. Initial results are expected in the next two days, officials said.

“We will show the world that Kyrgyzstan is united,” said interim leader Roza Otunbayeva as she cast her vote in Osh. “We want to heal ourselves from the pain that struck as a result of the tragic events.”

The authorities temporarily lifted a curfew in the south — imposed in the wake of the violence — so that the vote could go ahead. It will be reimposed after the vote and run from 9:00 pm until 6:00 am, Otunbayeva said.

“I voted ‘yes’ so that the situation gets better. Many Uzbeks have suffered and several members of my family died. I am scared but I came to vote,” said Dlora Kazakbayeva, an Uzbek woman, after voting in Osh.

The new constitution — if adopted — will make the former Soviet republic ex-Soviet Central Asia’s first parliamentary democracy in a region notorious for authoritarian leaders.

The referendum will set the stage for parliamentary elections that authorities have scheduled for early September to bring in a permanent government.

But several international observers warned the referendum is a premature step so soon after the violence.

Human Rights Watch said the referendum threatened to make the situation “even more volatile” while the International Crisis Group urged the government to reconsider the holding of the poll.

The list of voters was the main problem for the referendum and up to 16 percent of the electorate in some regions would not be able to vote, a total of some 200,000 people nationwide, Tekebayev admitted.

But he said the outside fears were unfounded and also slammed Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and other world leaders for suggesting that the country risked breaking up and “Afghanization”.

The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the West’s main election monitoring body, scrapped a planned mission of 300 observers to oversee the vote because of security concerns.

However large-scale violence has ceased and authorities said Saturday that all 75,000 people who fled the violence to neighbouring Uzbekistan had now returned.

The clashes, which killed 283 people according to the latest toll, were the worst ethnic violence to hit impoverished Kyrgyzstan since it gained independence with the collapse of the Soviet Union nearly two decades ago.

Victims of the unrest have told AFP that the violence was a brutal and orchestrated campaign by armed Kyrgyz militias targeting Uzbeks, who make up about 14 percent of Kyrgyzstan’s population of 5.3 million.

Officials have said the true death toll could have been as high as 2,000.

Source: SGGP

DPRK open to talks with Seoul over sunken ship

In Uncategorized on June 27, 2010 at 12:45 pm

 Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) said on Sunday it was open to inter-Korean military talks to address the sinking of a Republic of Korea (RoK) warship but urged the United States to cease its involvement in the case.

The salvaged bow of the South Korean warship PCC-772 Cheonan is placed on a barge in April 2010.

The North, however, renewed a demand that the South first allow Pyongyang to carry out its own inspection to verify the facts of the case — a condition Seoul has refused.

“Our intention was to dispatch our inspection group to RoK from the very day the authorities linked the case with us and then open North-South high-level military talks to discuss the results of the inspection,” an unnamed military official from the North said in a message disclosed by the official news agency KCNA.

“We still remain unchanged in our stand to open the above-said military talks and probe the truth about the case,” the official said in a telephone message sent to the US side.

The statement came just a day after G8 leaders condemned the sinking of the RoK warship, the Cheonan, in an official communique released after two days of talks in Canada.

Tensions are running high following the sinking of the South’s corvette near the maritime border in March with the loss of 46 lives.

President Barack Obama said in Toronto he stood “foursquare” behind RoK leader Lee Myung-Bak and scolded DPRK for its “irresponsible behaviour”.

RoK, citing the findings of a multinational probe, says a DPRK torpedo sank the ship and is pressing for the United Nations to censure DPRK.

But the North strongly denies any involvement and has threatened a military response to any UN actions.

The North’s military official said Sunday that it was “preposterous” and “absurd” for the US-led United Nations Command to address the Cheonan issue.

Seoul insists that the UNC, which has supervised the armistice along the border since the 1950-1953 Korean War ended, should handle the sinking, which it says is a violation of the truce pact.

Pyongyang has demanded that the US-led UNC be dismantled.

“The US forces side should no longer meddle in the issue of North-South relations under the name of ‘UN Forces Command,'” the North’s military official said.

The North’s Committee for Peaceful Reunification of Korea, in charge of handling cross-border relations, issued a statement Sunday denouncing the South’s recent military drills and plans to play a bigger role in US-led global efforts to stop the trafficking of weapons of mass destruction.

It branded such RoK policies as “reckless and frantic moves of the puppet warmongers to start a war of aggression” against DPRK.

In Toronto on Saturday, Obama and Lee agreed to extend Washington’s wartime command of RoK forces until 2015 in a demonstration of the strength of their alliance.

This means that in case of war on the Korean peninsula, the United States would assume operational command of RoK forces. Washington had been due to transfer wartime command to Seoul in April 2012.

The delay in the transfer drew mixed responses from RoK political parties.

The ruling Grand National Party welcomed it as an appropriate measure to earn more time to better cope with growing threats from North Korea, which conducted a second nuclear test last year.

But the main opposition Democratic Party criticised the government for abandoning a leadership role in defending the nation.


Source: SGGP