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Dioxin treatment project targets hot spots

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 9:27 am




Dioxin treatment project targets hot spots


QĐND – Wednesday, December 15, 2010, 21:6 (GMT+7)

A seminar to start a dioxin treatment project in hot spots across Vietnam took place in Hanoi on December 15.

The seminar was jointly held by the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, the Global Environmental Fund and the United Nations Development Programme.

The five-year project, starting from 2010, will deal with and minimise the devastating consequences of the chemicals at and around Da Nang , Bien Hoa (Dong Nai) and Phu Cat (Binh Dinh) airports.

According to statistics released by the Office of the national steering committee for overcoming the consequences of chemicals used by the US during the Vietnam war (called the Office of National Steering Committee 33), from 1961 to 1971 the US military dropped nearly 80 million litres of herbicides on southern Vietnam, of which the majority of the chemicals sprayed were Agent Orange that contained dioxin.

The dioxin levels in the sprayed areas have reduced remarkably, however, the airports where the chemicals were stored are still hot spots.

At the seminar, the participants discussed dioxin treatment plans in the hot spots and the possibility of other sponsors becoming involved in the project.

They spent a lot of time identifying the scale and level of contamination in the three targeted areas, discussing new technologies to treat the areas as well as environmental and human issues during the project.

Richard J. Cooke, an international advisor from the Office of National Steering Committee 33, pointed out that the project needs to place more importance to the technological and environmental requirements of both Vietnam and the rest of the world.

Priority should be given to technologies that can directly be implemented in Vietnam through trade clauses and those with suitable prices for both experiment and application, he said.

The project needs close cooperation and coordination between the Office of National Steering Committee No. 33 and relevant ministries and agencies, especially the Ministry of National Defence, he added.

The project’s steering committee should pay attention to the necessary financial resources to prevent the pollution in the south-western area of Bien Hoa airport and pollution treatment in Phu Cat airport, the expert said.

Source: VNA


Source: QDND

NA deputies query hot transportation issues

In Uncategorized on November 24, 2010 at 1:49 pm




NA deputies query hot transportation issues


QĐND – Wednesday, November 24, 2010, 20:31 (GMT+7)

National Assembly deputies on Nov. 23 queried a number of hot transportation issues related to the North-South Railway Express, infrastructure, traffic jams and the restructure of the Vietnam Shipping Industry Group (Vinashin).


Regarding the North-South Railway Express project, Transport Minister Ho Nghia Dung said his ministry would not invest in the project as the NA refused to approve earlier this year. However, he said, in accordance with the Prime Minister’s instruction, the ministry would continue studying the feasibility of the project.


“We will not study the whole route but only several sections such as a flyover railway on the third belt road connecting the centre of Hanoi to the Noi Bai Airport, and sections from Hanoi to Thanh Hoa and Nha Trang to Ho Chi Minh City,” he said, adding that all works are now only studying and developing project.


Dung also answered deputies’ queries on punishment to contractors that caused traffic jams and accidents during their construction process, the effectiveness of the Ho Chi Minh Highway, and plans to develop coastal roads combined with sea dyke system to cope with climate change and tides.


Regarding the near-bankrupt shipbuilder Vinashin, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Sinh Hung, head of a steering board to oversee Vinashin’s restructuring process, assured that it would be able to pay off its debt of 86 trillion VND (42 billion USD).


According to him, the restructure began in 2008 by withdrawing Vinashin’s investment capital and reducing its projects from 185 to 28 and focusing on only 13 projects.


He said the shipbuilder was making progress in both production and sales. It’s 28 shipbuilders have resumed operation and this year, Vinashin will build 66 vessels to earn almost 600 million USD, the Deputy PM said, affirming that the group would gross revenues of around 14 trillion VND (6.83 billion USD) and would reap benefit from 2013.


Source: VNA


 


Source: QDND

Asia must avoid ‘distortions’ in handling hot money: ADB

In Uncategorized on October 30, 2010 at 11:10 am

HANOI, Oct 30, 2010 (AFP) – Developing Asian nations must carefully manage a massive inflow of foreign capital and avoid remedies that could create destabilising “distortions”, the Asian Development Bank chief warned Saturday.


Haruhiko Kuroda told Asian leaders at a summit in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi that capital flows are one of two risks that regional economies face as they rebound from the global downturn that began in 2008.


His comments came shortly before the US Federal Reserve is expected to announce it will go into a second round of quantitative easing, injecting more money into the banking system to further stimulate the world’s biggest economy.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (R) speaks with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard ahead of a bilateral meeting at the ASEAN Summit in Hanoi on October 30, 2010. AFP

The first risk is that the recovery in the developed economies could falter, Kuroda told presidents, prime ministers and a sultan, as well as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Russian foreign minister.


“The second risk is capital flows, which could complicate macroeconomic management,” Kuroda said in a prepared speech made available to journalists.


“We must be prepared,” he told his audience, which also included Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.


Referring to Asian economies outpacing growth in the developed world, Kuroda said “faster growth and higher yields can draw excessive — and potentially volatile — capital flows into the region”.


“Authorities are watching asset prices and exchange rates carefully, with several beginning to use well-targeted capital controls to limit speculation,” he said.


“Care must be taken, however, not to create distortions.”


Hammered by the financial turmoil that began in 2008, the United States, Japan and Europe are moving to weaken or cap their currencies in a bid to make their exports more competitive in the global market.


They have also injected more money into their banking systems to stimulate growth, with the Fed expected to announced a second round of quantitative easing when it meets from Tuesday to Wednesday.


But because growth in the developed world is anaemic and unemployment high, a large chunk of the money is heading to emerging markets, including in Asia, where it stands to gain better yields.


According to the Washington-based Institute of International Finance (IIF), net private capital flows to emerging economies are projected to reach 825 billion dollars this year, or more than two billion dollars a day, up from 581 billion dollars in 2009.


The massive inflow has nudged most Asian currencies higher, making their exports more expensive on the global market as the US allows the dollar to weaken and China keeps a tight rein on the yuan.


The influx has also led to steep gains in stocks and property prices, which have stoked fears of “bubbles” which could later burst if the money is withdrawn quickly, and prompted individual central banks to act to cool down their markets.


Philippine Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, who is attending the Hanoi meetings, called for cooperation among developing states to fight the impact of the currency tensions.


“Our concerns as small countries is when the pendulum swings the other way around. What would happen to us — and really this is something that we need to address as a group and not as a single country,” he told reporters on Friday.


The IIF in a research note released in October urged policymakers to be careful about the international and domestic impact of the actions they take on their currencies.


A disorderly adjustment can cause “renewed strains in global financial markets and, possibly, igniting policy tensions and, possibly, protectionist measures between key economies,” it warned.

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Source: SGGP

Hot weather sees hospitals at fall stretch

In Uncategorized on June 18, 2010 at 8:33 am




Hot weather sees hospitals at fall stretch


QĐND – Thursday, June 17, 2010, 20:57 (GMT+7)

The number of people, especially children and the elderly, who have gone to health centres in Hanoi have increased sharply due to the prolonged heat wave over the last few days.


Le Thanh Hai, deputy director of the National Hospital of Pediatrics (NHP) says that the hospital has received between 1,800 to 2,000 patients a day, almost double the normal day figure. However, last year the hospital received up to 2,500 child patients per day, he added.


Nguyen Van Lam, deputy head of the Infections Department at the NHP, says that the department is currently treating around 100 children, including 33 with encephalitis and the remainder with respiratory diseases and rubella.


Mr Lam warns that parents should take their children to hospital immediately if they have a high fever and are vomiting.


Sharing this view, Dr Nguyen Tien Dung, head of the Pediatrics Department at Bach Mai hospital emphasises that encephalitis is often mistaken for other diseases, so children should be hospitalised immediately if they show any symptoms such as a high fever, vomiting, and headache.


Mr Dung adds that the number of children going to hospital for check-ups or treatment at Bach Mai has increased by 20-30 percent, due to diseases such as viral fever, pneumonia, encephalitis and digestive disorders. This is attributed to the high temperatures which cause viruses to emerge and spread far and wide. Children can be easily infected as they can inhale any viruses that are present in the environment.


Dr Nguyen Trung Anh from the central geriatric hospital says that the hospital has seen a sharp increase in older people , up to 500, who have heart disease and other serious conditions. Some have been hospitalised because of low blood pressure, sunstroke and vasodilation. The number of old people admitted with strokes has also increased and some had died.


Dr Nguyen Trung Anh adds that to avoid diseases in hot weather, old people, especially those with heart disease or blood pressure should not go out into the sun and avoid big and sudden changes in room temperatures. He advises that room temperatures should be kept at between 25-28 degree Celsius.


Source: VOV


 


 


 


 


 


Source: QDND

Hot weather returning to south

In Uncategorized on June 18, 2010 at 4:46 am

Hot weather will come back to the southern and Central Highlands regions, while rainfall will decrease over the next two days, due to a declining southwest monsoon, said Le Thi Xuan Lan, deputy director of the Southern Hydro-meteorology Forecasting Bureau on June 13.

Hot, dry weather is forecasted to return to the south in next two days. (Filed photo)

Highs for the southeastern region and Ho Chi Minh City should hover around 35-37 Celsius, and 33-35 Celsius in the southwestern region. However, some places in Binh Phuoc, Dong Nai, Ho Chi Minh City and Mekong Delta coastal areas will experience partial downpours.


Central Vietnam will experience hot and dry weather with highs of 37-39 Celsius degrees, due to hot low-pressure systems and the foehn (dry wind) effect.


The southwest monsoon likely will come back between mid-week and the weekend, the bureau said.


Southern areas such as Binh Phuoc, Dong Nai, Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta coast areas will see sunshine in the morning and heavy rains in the afternoon and evening, with the possibility of rainstorms and whirlwinds by the weekend.


With El-Nino over and La-Nina due to hit in the next few months, the country may face torrential rains from July through the beginning of December, said the bureau.

Source: SGGP

BP boss in hot seat as lawmakers demand oil spill answers

In Uncategorized on June 18, 2010 at 4:28 am

Angry US lawmakers skewered BP boss Tony Hayward Thursday, accusing him of stonewalling as he dodged a barrage of hostile questions seeking to lay bare the causes of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.


“I can’t pass judgement on those decisions,” Hayward told openly disbelieving members of a key House panel investigating the worst environmental disaster in US history. “I think it’s too early to reach conclusions.”


Just a day after BP won praise for bowing to White House demands to set up a 20-billion-dollar fund to pay compensation claims for Gulf residents facing economic ruin, the British energy giant’s CEO was back in the hot seat.


Protester Diane Wilson is escorted from the hearing room

Hayward said he would wait until BP finished its probe into the April 20 blast that killed 11 workers aboard the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform, sank the rig, and sent oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico’s waters.


“I wasn’t involved in any decision-making,” on how to drill, test, or secure the well, added Hayward, a 28-year oil industry veteran, drawing a charge from Democratic Representative Henry Waxman that he was “stonewalling.”


Hayward’s contrite opening remarks to the panel, and a vow that the British energy giant would repair the economic and environmental damage wrought on US southern shores, were quickly overshadowed as he declined to reveal specifics.


“Is today Thursday?” asked Cliff Stearns, a representative from oil-hit Florida, after Hayward repeatedly refused to give a straight “yes or no” answer as to what was to blame for the catastrophe.


Waving pictures of oiled birds, congressmen did not hide their frustration or derision in a piece of political theater before a barrage of media cameras.


Hayward, who has been dubbed the most hated man in America, offered an olive branch at the start of the day-long hearing, apologizing for the catastrophe.


“I know that only actions and results, not mere words ultimately can give you the confidence you seek. I give my pledge as the leader of BP that we will not rest until we make this right,” he said.


“We and the entire industry will learn from this terrible event and emerge stronger, smarter and safer.”


But in a sign of the tensions, a protestor with a blackened face and hands briefly disrupted the hearing. “You need to be charged with a crime, Tony,” she shouted. “You need to go to jail!”


Despite a massive mobilization, millions of gallons of crude are fouling the shorelines of four US states, closing down vital fishing waters and hitting the region’s lucrative tourist industry.


US experts believe between 35,000 and 60,000 barrels is spewing into the Gulf every day.


Hayward told lawmakers BP is now siphoning up an average of 20,000 barrels a day of oil to two processing ships on the surface.


And the US disaster coordinator, Admiral Thad Allen, said that by “sometime early next week” the company hoped to be containing 28,000 gallons — some of which will be burnt off by one of the surface ships.


In some good news, Allen said drilling on a relief well, seen as the only way of permanently capping the spill, was ahead of schedule.


“Mid-August was the target date, they’re actually ahead of schedule right now, but I’m not going to guarantee it will be earlier,” Allen said, citing the meticulous work needed in carrying out the work safely.

“We should be very wary about hard deadlines,” he cautioned.

On Wednesday BP agreed to set up a 20-billion-dollar escrow fund to pay compensation claims from thousands of Gulf businesses and residents, which it will pay into over the next four years.

The deal was struck after Hayward and BP chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg were summoned to the White House for talks with President Barack Obama.

News of the escrow fund deal with the US administration sent BP’s share price soaring almost 10 percent on Thursday, after days of falls sparked by uncertainty over its future.

The fund will be run by prominent lawyer Kenneth Feinberg, who managed compensation claims by victims of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, and will be overseen by a panel of three judges who can hear appeals.

BP will fund the account in four annual payments of five billion dollars, the White House said in a statement, adding it was “neither a floor nor a ceiling” on BP’s total liability for the disaster.

Source: SGGP

Earth may be too hot for humans by 2300: study

In Uncategorized on May 11, 2010 at 4:49 pm

(AFP file) A farmer works on his land in Nsanje district of Malawi in 2005.

SYDNEY (AFP) – Climate change could make much of the world too hot for human habitation within just three centuries, research released Tuesday showed.


Scientists from Australia’s University of New South Wales and Purdue University in the United States found that rising temperatures in some places could mean humans would be unable to adapt or survive.


“It would begin to occur with global-mean warming of about seven degrees Celsius (13 Fahrenheit), calling the habitability of some regions into question,” the researchers said in a paper.


“With 11-12 degrees Celsius warming, such regions would spread to encompass the majority of the human population as currently distributed.”


Researcher Professor Steven Sherwood said there was no chance of the earth heating up to seven degrees this century, but there was a serious risk that the continued burning of fossil fuels could create the problem by 2300.


“There’s something like a 50/50 chance of that over the long term,” he said.


The study — which examined climate change over a longer period than most other research — looked at the “heat stress” produced by combining the impact of rising temperatures and increased humidity.


Sherwood said climate change research had been “short-sighted” not to probe the long-term consequences of the impact of greenhouse gases blamed for global warming.


“It needs to be looked at,” he told AFP. “There’s not much we can do about climate change over the next two decades but there’s still a lot we can do about the longer term changes.”


In a commentary on the paper, published in the US-based Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Australian National University academics said climate change would not stop in 2100.


“And under realistic scenarios out to 2300, we may be faced with temperature increases of 12 degrees (Celsius) or even more,” Professor Tony McMichael said.


“If this happens, our current worries about sea level rise, occasional heatwaves and bushfires, biodiversity loss and agricultural difficulties will pale into insignificance beside a major threat — as much as half the currently inhabited globe may simply become too hot for people to live there.”

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Source: SGGP

Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi on hot list of famous travel magazine

In Uncategorized on May 10, 2010 at 4:53 pm




Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi on hot list of famous travel magazine


QĐND – Monday, May 10, 2010, 22:19 (GMT+7)

Conde Nast Traveler, one of the world’s most prestigious travel magazines, has recognized the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi on its 2010 Hot List.


After four years of renovation to upgrade its facilities, an investment of US$20 million, the hotel has been voted on the annual 14th compendium of the most compelling hotels in the world.


In addition, Le Spa du Metropole is also nominated as ‘One of the World’s Top Spas’ in 2010. It is the only spa in Vietnam to be voted in this year.


With the long history and high quality of service, the Metropole Hanoi has gathered a lot of international prizes through out the years.


It was voted among the best hotels in the world and was included in the Conde Nast Traveler’s “Gold List” in 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009.


Source: HNM


Translated by Duy Minh


Source: QDND

Hot spell plagues northern and central regions

In Uncategorized on May 7, 2010 at 8:37 am

A hot low pressure system centered in China has delivered sweltering weather to Vietnam’s northern and central regions over the last few days.

The low section area of Bo River in Thua Thien-Hue Province is depleted due to hot and dry weather (Photo: SGGP)

According to the National Hydro Meteorological Forecast Center, temperatures in the two regions ranged from 36-39 Celsius degrees, with the mercury hitting 40 degrees in some places.


In the northern plains and central coastal regions, the condition was worse with hot winds from the west sending temperatures soaring, and some areas reaching 45-50 degrees.


The hot and dry weather would continue over the regions on Friday with temperatures rising by 1-1.5 degrees, the center said, adding the hot spell could last.


The hot spell is forecast to last another three or four days at least.


Some areas in the southern region and Ho Chi Minh City would also see scorching weather with temperatures hovering around 35-37 degrees Celsius, weather experts said.


To ensure irrigation water for agricultural production, Thua Thien-Hue Province’s Agriculture and Rural Development Department has asked the Huong Dien Hydropower Plant, located in the upper reaches of Bo River, to release water for the river’s lower sections since the beginning of May.


However, the company is yet to do that, putting 7,000 hectares of summer-autumn rice crops in Phong Dien, Huong Tra and Quang Dien districts at risk of withering and dying.


In the Mekong Delta Province of Bac Lieu, the last few days has seen a little rain since the season began. While the rainfall has insufficient to deal with the drought, the weather has been even hotter after the rains.


In related news, a severe forest fire raged Thursday in Hoa Vang District, Da Nang City.


The weather created advantageous conditions for the fire to spread rapidly. Because the flames were too far from water sources, the army had to try and put the fire out with tree branches.


As of 6pm Thursday, the fire was still raging.


Officials are concerned that the fire is located near warehouses maintained by the military, an explosives warehouse of Vietnam Coal Corporation and a 500kv power transmission cable runs through the area.  

Source: SGGP

Unusual hot weather in Tet lead-up

In Uncategorized on March 24, 2010 at 6:36 am

The weather in the upcoming Tet (Lunar New Year) this year has been unusually hot, especially in the north which normally experiences cold at this time of year.








A student in jeans and T-shirt instead of a coat of old-time scholar offers words written in  calligraphy style

The National Hydro Meteorological Forecast Center said over the past few days the north has been sunny and hot as in summer with temperatures hovering around 31-32 degrees Celsius. In the northwestern region, it is up to 34-35 degrees.


The unusually hot weather has been caused by a hot low pressure zone, which is heading into Vietnam from the East.


In the central and southern regions, it is also hot with highest temperatures of 35 degrees.


The center said the hot weather would continue until February 13, or December 30 in lunar calendar.


In the new lunar Year, the north would experience a cold spell within three to four days.


The temperature in the central and southern regions will also cool off, the center said.


Southerners can expect to enjoy mild spring weather for the first three to four days of the lunar year before it become hot against.





Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share