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U.S. to send 1,400 extra troops to Afghanistan: report

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2011 at 4:13 am

The United States plans to send 1,400 additional Marines to Afghanistan to boost its combat forces ahead of the spring fighting season, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.


The United States, which led a 2001 invasion of Afghanistan that toppled the Taliban, has about 100,000 troops in the country, and President Barack Obama is under pressure to show results so he can begin a promised withdrawal this year.

A U.S. Marine patrols with a member of an Afghan border guard unit in the desert of the lower Helmand River valley, in southern Afghanistan in this July 1, 2009 file photo

“The Marine battalion could start arriving on the ground as early as mid-January. The forces would mostly be deployed in the south, around Kandahar, where the U.S. has concentrated troops over the past several months.” the paper said. It cited unnamed officials.


The Taliban are at their strongest since they were ousted form power, although operations against the insurgency have intensified since 2008. More than 700 foreign troops were killed in Afghanistan last year, and civilian casualties were at record levels.


Obama said last month that enough progress was being made in the campaign to meet his pledge to start withdrawing U.S. troops by July and hand over security to Afghan forces by 2014.

Source: SGGP

Tax cut by up to 6 percent on 1,000 imports

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2011 at 4:10 am




Tax cut by up to 6 percent on 1,000 imports


QĐND – Thursday, January 06, 2011, 21:17 (GMT+7)

Nearly 1,000 goods items would enjoy an import tax cut of 1-6 percent in 2011, according to the Ministry of Finance’s Taxation Policy Department.


Director of the department Vu Van Truong said the items would mainly include agricultural produce, seafood, construction materials and electrical appliances.


The average drop for most items would be 2-3 percent, said Truong.


The cut, part of Vietnam’s commitment to the World Trade Organisation, was expected to benefit domestic consumers, giving them a wider choice of reasonably priced imported goods, Truong said.


However, he warned that the cut would also place pressure on Vietnamese goods that would face fierce competition from imported products.


Trade experts were also concerned about a predicted surge in the country’s trade deficit next year in the wake of the import tax cut.


The country imported 84 billion USD worth of goods last year, up 20 percent over the previous year with a trade deficit of 12.3 billion USD.


This year, the country plans on restricting the trade deficit to 14.18 billion USD with an import value of roughly 92 billion USD.


Last year, roughly 2,000 goods including food, animal feed, construction materials and steel also enjoyed an import tax cut of 1-6 percent, which cost the State budget roughly 1 trillion VND (51.28 million USD).


Source: VNA


Source: QDND

Nearly 1,400 delegates for 11th Party Congress

In Uncategorized on December 24, 2010 at 4:20 am




Nearly 1,400 delegates for 11th Party Congress


QĐND – Thursday, December 23, 2010, 20:33 (GMT+7)

The 11th National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) will open at the National Convention Centre in Hanoi on January 12, 2011 and is expected to last for nine days.


The information was released by Pham Xuan Son, Deputy Head of the CPV Central Committee’s Commission for External Affairs, in Hanoi on December 22, at a conference preceding the event to inform diplomatic corps and international organisations in Vietnam.


This is an important political event of the Vietnamese Party, State and people, Mr Son said, adding that it is expected to draw the participation of nearly 1,400 delegates who represent more than 3.6 million Party members in 54,000 grassroots Party organisations.


Besides a strong contingent of local journalists, more than 150 foreign reporters from international news agencies will cover the event, he said.


The congress will discuss and approve a political report by the CPV Central Committee (tenth tenure), a report reviewing the 20-year implementation of the platform on national construction in the transition to socialism, and a detailed draft report that sums up the implementation of the 2011-2010 national socio-economic development strategy.


It is also expected to give approval to the platform on national construction in the transition to socialism (revised and supplemented in 2011), the 2011-2020 national socio-economic development strategy as well as the amended Party Statute.


The congress will elect a new CPVCC for the 11th tenure of 2011-2015, the highest body of the CPV leadership between the two congresses.


The entire Party members and Vietnamese people of all strata, including those living abroad – actively contributed comments to draft documents for submission to the 11th National Party Congress.


On the basis of the high consensus and determination of the whole Party, people and army during the discussion and formulation of the Congress’s documents, the CPV defined the theme of the 11th National Party Congress as follows: “Continuing to strengthen the Party’s leadership and combative capacity, promoting the aggregate strength of the entire nation, stepping up the renewal comprehensively and creating a foundation for Vietnam to become a modern industrialised country by 2020”.


In the next five years, Vietnam strives to attain a GDP growth rate of 7-8 percent per year with a per-capita income reaching US$2,100 in 2015, 1.7 times higher than that of 2010.


According to Mr. Son, the CPV affirms its intention to continue using Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh thoughts as its ideological foundation.


Vietnam is consistent in the path of national development towards socialism and implementing a foreign policy of independence, self-control, peace, cooperation and development; multilateralisation and diversification of relations; taking the initiative in international integration; and becoming a friend, a reliable partner and a responsible member of the international community for the interests of the nation and for a rich and powerful Socialist Republic of Vietnam.


Source: VNA


Source: QDND

Libya’s Gaddafi proposes 1 million-strong African army

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 9:45 am

African nations should join forces to create a one-million-strong army to protect the continent and confront outsiders like NATO and China, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi said on Tuesday.


Gaddafi, well known for his forthright rhetoric, has acquired growing influence in Africa but his ambition to build a united states of Africa is not shared by the continent’s biggest powers.


“National militaries alone cannot save countries. Africa should have one army with one million soldiers,” Gaddafi said in a speech in the Senegalese capital.


He said the joint force would “guard the borders and seas, protect Africa’s independence and confront NATO, China, France, Britain and other countries.”


Speaking at an event called the World Festival of Black Arts and Cultures, Gaddafi also attacked opponents of his long-standing proposal for a unified African government.


“They should leave home, abandon their countries and go and live in the capitals of the capitalist, imperialist countries which once occupied Africa,” he said in his speech.


Gaddafi has been pushing for an African unity government for years, saying it is the only way Africa can develop without Western interference.


His ideas have had a sympathetic response in some states, helped by his reputation in parts of the continent as champion of the developing world and also by the millions of dollars in aid his oil-exporting country gives to Africa.


But many African leaders, especially in the bigger economies, are skeptical. They say they cannot be expected to cede sovereignty to an African bloc only a few decades after wresting it from their colonial rulers.

Source: SGGP

Chavez seeks power to rule by decree for 1 year

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 9:44 am

 Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez asked congress Tuesday to grant him special powers to enact laws by decree for one year, just before a new legislature takes office with a larger contingent of opposition lawmakers.


The measure, which quickly received initial approval from the overwhelming majority of pro-Chavez lawmakers, would give the president the authority to bypass the National Assembly for the fourth time since he was first elected almost 12 years ago.


Vice President Elias Jaua made the request on Chavez’s behalf, saying the president will use the authorization to ensure fast-track approval of laws aimed at helping the nation recover from severe flooding and mudslides that left thousands homeless and in government shelters.


“The measures we have to take are deep. Almost 40 percent of the country was affected” by the heavy rains, Jaua said.

Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez carries a baby as he waits for the arrival of Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa at the Fort Tiuna military base in Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2010.

Only five of the assembly’s 165 lawmakers voted against the proposal Tuesday. The legislature, which is dominated by Chavez allies, is expected to give final approval to the measure before the end of the week.


Chavez’s opponents accuse him of using the natural disaster to impose socialist-inspired measures and undermine the power of newly elected opposition lawmakers.


Hundreds of Chavez opponents protested outside the legislature Tuesday, saying Chavez is violating democratic principles and objecting to other planned laws that could impose regulations on the Internet and endanger Globovision, the country’s last stridently anti-Chavez television channel.


Decrees planned in the next two weeks include laws to speed construction of housing and roads and increase the value-added tax, Jaua said.


“The situation continues to be critical, and we need to tend to it with a set of laws,” Chavez said while visiting a Caracas military base along with President Rafael Correa of Ecuador.


Chavez said he has yet to determine how much to raise the value-added tax, which is now 12 percent. He said the government estimates damage from the heavy rains at about $10 billion.


A draft of the law says Chavez is also seeking powers to issue decrees in areas including the country’s “socio-economic system,” telecommunications, the banking system, information technology, the military, rural and urban land use, and a “new geographical regionalization of the country.”


“All of these laws will be within the framework of the constitution,” Chavez said on state television.


Newly elected opposition lawmaker Julio Borges said the measures being taken up by the National Assembly in its final days go against the will of the voters.


“As elected deputies, we’re asking for a meeting between the new assembly and the old one, so that people are respected — the voters and the constitution,” Borges told reporters.


Chavez announced the plan to seek decree powers Friday, and some critics suggested he intended to push through controversial measures during the holidays while many Venezuelans are focusing on their families.


Opposition newspaper editor Teodoro Petkoff called it a “Christmas ambush,” writing in his daily Tal Cual that Chavez is preparing totalitarian measures that amount to “a brutal attack … against democratic life.”


In his nearly 12 years in office, the leftist Chavez has been granted temporary decree powers three times by lawmakers, in 1999, 2001 and 2007.


The last time, he enjoyed special legislative powers for 18 months and used them to seize control of privately run oil fields, impose new taxes and nationalize telecommunications, electricity and cement companies.

Chavez supporters have dominated the National Assembly since the opposition boycotted 2005 elections, but the opposition gained ground in September elections.

Starting Jan. 5, Chavez will face 66 opponents among the 165 lawmakers, a group large enough to challenge some government measures and prevent him from holding a two-thirds majority — the threshold needed to approve some laws, such as granting the president decree powers.

Source: SGGP

1,200 school-bags-cum-lifebuoys presented to students in Bac Lieu

In Uncategorized on November 24, 2010 at 6:20 am




1,200 school-bags-cum-lifebuoys presented to students in Bac Lieu


QĐND – Tuesday, November 23, 2010, 20:54 (GMT+7)

PANO – The Bac Lieu Provincial People’s Committee and VietinBank have recently organised a ceremony to present 1,200 school-bags which can also be used used as lifebuoys, worth VND 198 million, to students crossing rivers by sampan to school in Bac Lieu Province.


Such a 0.6kg lifebuoy, able to store nearly 50kg of books and notebooks for under 5th graders, will help reduce the casualties of children in waterway accidents.


Along with the school-bags, VietinBank also gave Bac Lieu Province VND 15 billion to build 420 houses of gratitude and the Vam Leo Bridge linking Bac Lieu and Soc Trang.


Translated by Mai Huong


Source: QDND

Providing 400 tonnes of rice and 1,000 cows to central flood victims

In Uncategorized on November 2, 2010 at 1:42 pm

Mountain-climbers to plant Hanoi’s 1,000th birthday flag on Fansipan

In Uncategorized on November 1, 2010 at 4:11 pm

Intel inaugurates $1 billion chip plant in Vietnam, says biggest ever

In Uncategorized on October 29, 2010 at 8:42 am

Intel, the world’s largest chip maker, opened its Vietnam US$1 billion assembly and test facility on Friday in Ho Chi Minh City, saying the facility is the US corporation’s biggest in the world.

A drum performance for the grand opening of Intel’s Vietnam factory in Ho Chi Minh City on Oct. 29, 2010 (Photo: Tuong Thuy)

Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini and representatives of the Vietnamese government joined a grand opening ceremony held at the plant, which Intel says the largest and most advanced assembly and test facility in its global manufacturing network.


“Today, we’re celebrating a remarkable milestone – the inauguration of Intel’s newest and largest assembly and test facility, right here in Ho Chi Minh City. This is a remarkable achievement in which nearly everyone here played a key role,” Mr. Otellini said.

Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini launches the Vietnam factory in Ho Chi Minh City on Oct. 29, 2010 (Photo: Tuong Thuy)

“Over the summer, the factory started packaging and testing chipsets for laptops and shipping them to our customers around the world. Once fully ramped, the facility is expected to create several thousand jobs, and will be among the biggest exporters in
Vietnam.


“When we announced our investment 4 years ago, this was Vietnam’s first $1 billion high-tech project and the biggest-ever investment from an American company. I’ve been told
that Intel’s investment put Vietnam on the map for high-tech investment and helped the country attract significant investments from several leading global technology firms, including FoxConn and Compal.”


The plant is located inside Saigon Hi-Tech Park in District 9.


“First, this is the largest and most sophisticated assembly test facility in Intel’s global manufacturing network – double the size of anything we have built prior. The clean room alone measures 46,000 square meters, equal to the size of five-and-a-half football fields,” said Otellini.


“Then, there are the 400 new, local employees that have already joined the Intel family. Our Vietnam factory employees have received a hundred thousand hours of on-the-job and classroom training and earned hundreds of different types of technical certifications. The employees that work for us here are much more valuable to us than the physical plant itself.”


“When fully utilized, the Vietnam factory will dramatically increase our assembly and test capacity for Intel. It will help us deliver products for mobile computers, which are currently the fastest growing and largest portion of the PC market around the world.


“This factory is truly remarkable, and it will produce products that are platforms for future creativity. Our customers will use them to build world-changing technology.”


Speaking at the event, Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minster Hoang Trung Hai said, “The opening of the assembly and test facility in Vietnam is an important event and supports our goal of accelerating economic transformation led by technology-intensive industries.”


“Intel is also a committed partner for Vietnam government in modernizing the national education system. Intel helps to build a robust information technology ecosystem while fostering local innovation and creating significant high-tech job opportunities.”


“The Vietnamese government views this as an important and meaningful project for the success of the National Strategy of Information Technology Development by 2020,” said the Deputy PM.


Intel President and CEO Otellini reiterated his corporation’s long-term commitment to Vietnam and highlighted the importance of the support Intel has received over the past 4 years from the government, Saigon Hi-Tech Park, suppliers and local employees.

(L-R) Intel Products Vietnam general manager Rick Howarth, Intel Corp. vice president Steve Megli and American Michael Michalak attend the grand opening of Intel’s Vietnam factory in Ho Chi Minh City on Oct. 29, 2010 (Photo: Tuong Thuy)

Meanwhile, Intel Products Vietnam Co., Ltd. general manager Rick Howarth said, “Assembly and test is a critical final step in the end-to-end manufacturing of Intel’s silicon products.”


“We were attracted to Vietnam by a vibrant, skilled workforce with strong potential to increase the complexity and value-add of their contribution to Intel’s global business.”


The facility is one of seven operated by Intel worldwide.
Hochiminh City People Committee chairman Le Hoang Quan said at the ceremony, “City leaders appreciate the efforts of Intel corporation worldwide and  Intel Products Vietnam in both implementing the project and providing consultancy and supports of IT training and development, and community activities, particularly in District 9 where Saigon Hi-tech Park locates.”


“We hope that Intel Corporation and Intel President to continuously provide directions, sufficient technologies and marketing expertise in order to help this Intel factory to come into full operation with high quality products, bringing benefits to Intel and the city.”
 
“Besides, city leaders also request Intel Corporation to support the city to develop the supporting industries for Intel products at Saigon Hi-tech park, contributing to increase the localized portion in Intel chip production.”


Intel is the first major foreign investor in high technology in Vietnam. The country’s Ministry of Investment and Planning issued an investment license in Feb. 2006 for Intel to build a US$300 million assembly and test facility to produce chips and computer parts. The chip manufacturer later increased its Vietnam investment to US$1 billion.


Construction started in 2007. 

Source: SGGP

1,300 outstanding people to attend emulation congress

In Uncategorized on October 27, 2010 at 2:39 pm




1,300 outstanding people to attend emulation congress


QĐND – Wednesday, October 27, 2010, 20:41 (GMT+7)

1,300 people have been selected as delegates to attend the 8th National Patriotic Emulation Congress, which will take place from November 29th-30th, according to the organising board.


The delegates are people who have been creative at work or made large contributions to national development and society over the past five years.


The organising board unveiled on October 26th that 30 per cent of the delegates work in economic sectors, 20 per cent belong to defence and security and the remainder are related to education and training, health care and other sectors.


Especially, examples in fight against corruption and outstanding youths in movements will be honored at the congress.


Source: TT


Translated by Thu Nguyen


Source: QDND