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HCM City plans US$135 mln for pre-schools in 5 years

In Uncategorized on December 17, 2010 at 8:27 am


Ho Chi Minh City plans to set aside about VND2,700 billion (US$135 million) for developing its pre-school system between now and 2015.

Children in playing time at Anh Dao kindergarten.   (Photo: SGGP)

Under the plans, the city’s government will build 760 classrooms, and train thousands of teachers, both working and new ones.


The city will ensure that 100% of under-5 children to go to school with two class sessions a day by 2013.


Among them, the local authorities will allocate priority funds in the construction of six national standard kindergartens in rural areas including Ly Nhon Commune in Can Gio District, Nhon Duc in Nha Be, Tan Nhut in Binh Chanh, Xuan Thoi Thuong in Hoc Mon, Tan Thong Hoi and Thai My in Cu Chi; and other pre-schools in 12 wards in districts consisting of 4, 6, Phu Nhuan, Go Vap, Binh Tan, Tan Phu; and in industrial and export processing zones.


In addition, the city’s government also guides the Department of Education and Training to cooperate with the Labor Union in asking industrial and export processing zones to build kindergartens for workers’ children.

Source: SGGP

Around 5,000 walk for the poor

In Uncategorized on November 15, 2010 at 2:30 pm

Vietnam has just exploited 5% of 3G network’s capacity

In Uncategorized on November 9, 2010 at 3:24 am

Vietnam to receive 5 million foreign visitors

In Uncategorized on October 30, 2010 at 2:13 pm




Vietnam to receive 5 million foreign visitors


QĐND – Saturday, October 30, 2010, 20:57 (GMT+7)

Vietnam expects to welcome 5 million visitors this year, up by 800,000 over the yearly target, according to the tourism sector.


In the first ten months of this year, almost 4.2 million foreign tourists arrived in Vietnam, up 39 percent over the same period last year, according to the General Statistics Office.


In October – the month of the 1000th anniversary of Thang Long-Hanoi, the number of tourists arriving in Vietnam increased sharply with over 440,000, higher by 99.3 percent over the same period last year.


Tourists from Asian countries also rose rapidly, including China, the Republic of Korea and Japan.


Tourist numbers from ASEAN countries also increased strongly, by 97.2 percent from Cambodia, over 41 percent from Thailand and 28.4 percent from Malaysia.


Source: VOV


Source: QDND

Tuition fee not to exceed 5% of household income, minister says

In Uncategorized on October 13, 2010 at 8:04 am

On the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year, which started September 4, Education and Training Minister Pham Vu Luan had a talk with Sai Gon Giai Phong about some major issues, including teachers’ salary and allowance, and the new tuition fee at public high schools.


Reporter: Will there be measures to improve the life of teachers in the new school year?  


Mr. Luan: The teachers’ salary issue is a part of the overall salary policy of the State. We have worked with agencies concerned to improve the life of teachers, especially those in remote areas, and possible improvements are being considered. Meanwhile, measures to improve allowance for teachers have been agreed by relevant agencies and thus may be applied soon.

A view of the new school year opening ceremony at the Phan Chu Trinh Primary School in HCM City (Photo: SGGP) 

What will the ministry do to eliminate the uncontrolled organization of extra-classes outside school time for students? What issues do you think will be resolved completely within your term?


Any negative phenomenon in the field of education must be stopped. The ministry will work with schools and local departments of education and training to determine what problems to resolve first in order to build up a healthy educational environment.   


The uncontrolled organization of extra-classes after school has so far occurred in urban areas only. In many rural areas, extra-classes have also been organized but on the free-of-charge basis. I personally knew that many rural teachers not only offered free extra classes to students but also gave other supports to students of poor families.


In my term, I will continue applying the measures that have proved their effectiveness and will make changes to works that have yet to prove effective.


The new tuition fee system will be applied this school year. Will it put any pressures on students and their families?


Based on the general tuition fee system approved by the Government, provinces and cities will build their own policy on tuition fee.   


The Government has carefully considered the new tuition fee system to ensure students, especially those in areas with disadvantageous conditions, will not bear any pressure. In general, the new tuition fee at public high schools will not exceed 5 percent of the average household income.


In areas with extremely disadvantageous conditions, students will be offered free education. In addition, they will also be given State subsidies to buy textbooks and studying implements.


Some major educational projects will be implemented in this school year. They include the per-school education universalization project, which costs 14.6 trillion (US$749 million), and the project for new foreign language training program, which costs 9.74 trillion. Do you have any concerns about such giant projects?   


The National Assembly, the Government, and the ministry have carefully considered these projects. My concern is that the ministry must closely cooperate with other ministries and local authorities to ensure these projects are implemented and controlled effectively.


Many schools, especially those in big cities, such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, have imposed unregulated charges on students. What measures will the ministry take to stop this situation?


The public opinion has long opposed to this situation, but in fact, many parents still readily pay such charges to schools where their children are studying. I hope parents should take right actions. For example, the situation will not exist any longer if no parents agree to pay such charges. 


To stop this practice, it is necessary to build a common action of the entire society, in which there are actions from the ministry, competent agencies, parents, and mass media.

Source: SGGP

Olympics: Russian minister in ‘5 breakfasts a day’ scandal

In Uncategorized on July 5, 2010 at 4:09 pm

Russia’s embattled sports minister was under new pressure to resign Monday after a report into the Vancouver Olympics found he bought five breakfasts per day in a startlingly lavish stay at the Games.


The report by Russia’s federal audit chamber said Russia spent a total of 6.2 billion rubles (200 million dollars) on the 2010 Winter Olympics, which reaped a mere three gold medals for the former snow superpower.


But most embarrassing were the revelations over the expenses of Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, who was lampooned in the press after the Games but kept his job even as a number of top sports officials fell on their swords.


It said that Mutko had stayed at one of Vancouver’s most luxurious hotels, the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, in a “courtyard suite” costing 1,499 Canadian dollars (1,400 US dollars) per night for 20 nights.


Besides this, he also paid for 97 vouchers for breakfast in the course of his stay at a total cost of 4,800 Canadian dollars (4,500 US dollars) — the equivalent of five breakfasts per day.


The report dryly pointed out that the maximum amount recommended by the Russian finance ministry for officials’ accommodation expenses in Canada was 130 US dollars a day.


It said Mutko had been accompanied by his wife Tatyana and as of late May she had still not paid for her ticket.


Mutko told the Interfax news agency that the reports of his expenses were “complete nonsense and nitpicking”.


He also said he was not to blame for the expensive hotel room, saying he had not chosen the room himself but it was allotted to him by the Olympic organisers as the head of the Russian delegation.


But leading financial daily Vedomosti said that the scandal could hasten the minister’s departure.


Mutko’s resignation is now inevitable as well as the opening of criminal probes into the conclusions of the audit report, a source close to the presidential administration told the newspaper.


A member of the sports committee of Russia’s upper house, the Federation Council, Amir Galyamov, said that senators would ask Medvedev to sack the minister.


The Games were a calamity for Russia, used to sweeping the board in several sports in previous Olympics, and raised worries at the highest level about its performance when it hosts the next Winter Games in 2014 in Sochi.


The audit report also complained that outsiders with no apparent sporting significance had been accredited as members of the Russian team.


Pop producer Yana Rudkovskaya, the wife of skating superstar Yevgeny Plushenko, was listed as part of the ice skating team, while the daughter of the then skating chief was listed as a translator for the snowboarding team.


Meanwhile, it said a visit by Russia’s 2008 Eurovision Song Contest winner Dima Bilan and his musicians to promote the Sochi Games in Vancouver had cost 2.4 million rubles (77,000 dollars), excluding transport costs.


Bilan and his producer — who happens to be Rudkovskaya — spent 10 days in Vancouver even though they only worked on three of these, the audit office said.


 

Source: SGGP

HCM City earmarks VND 5 trillion for green project

In Uncategorized on June 1, 2010 at 3:49 pm




HCM City earmarks VND 5 trillion for green project


QĐND – Tuesday, June 01, 2010, 22:13 (GMT+7)

Six green parks, including Green Garden in District 12, park around Vinh Loc Lake in Binh Chanh District, the Zoo-Botanical park in District 9 and Thanh Da eco-site in Binh Thanh District, in Ho Chi Minh City will be built in 2010, according to local officials.


In addition, Gia Dinh Park, a park in Thu Duc District, Suoi Tien tourist resort, Dam Sen cultural park will be upgraded in 2010 and years to come.


The city will earmark VND 5,000 billion and 600 ha of land for the project, officials declared.


To guarantee that parks and green areas agree with the designs and plans, competent agencies will regularly monitor and inspect works during the project implementation, affirmed the officials. 


Source: DDDN


Translated by Thu Nguyen


Source: QDND

US says it has 5,113 nuclear warheads

In Uncategorized on May 4, 2010 at 4:29 pm

The United States has 5,113 nuclear warheads in its stockpile and “several thousand” more retired warheads awaiting the junkpile, the Pentagon said Monday in an unprecedented accounting of a secretive arsenal born in the Cold War and now shrinking rapidly.


The Obama administration disclosed the size of its atomic stockpile going back to 1962 as part of a campaign to get other nuclear nations to be more forthcoming, and to improve its bargaining position against the prospect of a nuclear Iran.


“We think it is in our national security interest to be as transparent as we can be about the nuclear program of the United States,” Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told reporters at the United Nations, where she addressed a conference on containing the spread of atomic weapons.


The U.S. has previously regarded such details as top secret.


The figure includes both “strategic,” or long-range weapons, and those intended for use at shorter range.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton addresses the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) conference at United Nations headquarters, Monday, May 3, 2010

The Pentagon said the stockpile of 5,113 as of September 2009 represents a 75 percent reduction since 1989.


A rough count of deployed and reserve warheads has been known for years, so the Pentagon figures do not tell nuclear experts much they don’t already know.


Hans Kristensen, director of Nuclear Information Project, Federation of American Scientists in Washington, said his organization had already put the number at around 5,100 by reviewing budget estimates and other documents.


The import of the announcement is the precedent it sets, Kristensen said.


“The important part is that the U.S. is no longer going to keep other countries in the dark,” he said.


Clinton said the disclosure of numbers the general public has never seen “builds confidence” that the Obama administration is serious about stopping the spread of atomic weapons and reducing their numbers.


But the administration is not revealing everything.


The Pentagon figure released Monday includes deployed weapons, which are those more or less ready to launch, and reserve weapons. It does not include thousands of warheads that have been disabled or all but dismantled. Those weapons could, in theory, be reconstituted, or their nuclear material repurposed.


Estimates of the total U.S. arsenal range from slightly more than 8,000 to above 9,000, but the Pentagon will not give a precise number.


Whether to reveal the full total, including those thousands of nearly dead warheads, was debated within the Obama administration. Keeping those weapons out of the figure released Monday represented a partial concession to intelligence agency officials and others who argued national security could be harmed by laying the entire nuclear arsenal bare.


A senior defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the overall total is still classified, did not dispute the rough estimates developed by independent analysts.


Exposure of once-classified totals for U.S. deployed and reserve nuclear weapons is intended to nudge nations such as China, which has revealed little about its nuclear stockpile.


“You can’t get anywhere toward disarmament unless you’re going to be transparent about how many weapons you have,” said Sharon Squassoni, a nuclear policy analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Russia and the United States have previously disclosed the size of their stockpiles of deployed strategic weapons, and France and Britain have released similar information. All have signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which is the subject of the U.N. review that began Monday.

The U.S. revelations are calculated to improve Washington’s bargaining power with Iran’s allies and friends for the drive to head off what the West charges is a covert Iranian program to build a bomb.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahamadinejad spoke ahead of Clinton at the conference, denouncing U.S. efforts to pressure his regime to abandon its nuclear program.

The U.N. conference will try to close loopholes in the internationally recognized rules against the spread of weapons technology.

Independent analysts estimate the total world stockpile of nuclear warheads at more than 22,000.

The Federation of American Scientists estimates that nearly 8,000 of those warheads are operational, with about 2,000 U.S. and Russian warheads ready for use on short notice.

The United States and Russia burnished their credentials for insisting that other countries forgo atomic weapons by agreeing last month to a new strategic arms reduction treaty.

The New START treaty sets a limit of 1,550 deployed strategic nuclear warheads for each side, down from 2,200 under a 2002 deal. The pact re-establishes anti-cheating procedures that provide the most comprehensive and substantial arms control agreement since the original 1991 START treaty.

Source: SGGP

Pakistan: 5 soldiers, 21 alleged militants killed

In Uncategorized on March 26, 2010 at 9:44 am

 Five Pakistani soldiers and at least 21 suspected militants were killed in clashes in a region near the Afghan border where the military is pursuing Taliban insurgents fleeing a U.S.-backed offensive, authorities said Friday.


The reports came a day after officials said 61 suspected militants died in airstrikes in the same region, Orakzai, and underscored the challenge facing Pakistan as it tries to wipe out Pakistani Taliban fighters bent on overthrowing the state.


Local government official Sami Ullah said the fighting occurred after dawn Friday when militants attacked a checkpoint. He said at least 27 militants died. But an army statement said 21 insurgents were killed, and the clashes occurred when security forces were trying to recapture a checkpoint taken Thursday night by militants in the Kalaya area of Orakzai.

Armed Pakistani Taliban gather at a hideout in the semi-autonomous tribal district of Orakzai in 2009

The two accounts could not immediately be reconciled. Access to the remote, dangerous region is heavily restricted, making it nearly impossible to verify the accounts independently.


On Thursday, jet fire rained down in the Mamuzai area of Orakzai, targeting a religious seminary, a mosque and a school, local official Samiullah Orakzai said.


Two intelligence officials said the seminary was a main center for Tableeghi Jamaat, a nonviolent Islamic missionary group. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to reporters.


The center was targeted because a group of Taliban leaders were believed to be meeting there in the afternoon, the officials said.


Some four dozen people died in the airstrikes in and around the seminary, while 13 others were killed in morning strikes at the two other sites. The officials said all 61 killed were suspected militants.


Orakzai is considered a major base for Hakimullah Mehsud, the Pakistan Taliban’s top commander, who is believed to have died in a U.S. missile strike in January. The Taliban have denied his death, but have failed to show evidence he is still alive.


The Pakistani Taliban have been under pressure in their main stronghold, South Waziristan tribal region, since the army launched its ground offensive there in October. Many are believed to have scattered to other parts of the tribal belt, which borders Afghanistan in Pakistan’s northwest.


Orakzai and neighboring tribal area Kurram have witnessed numerous airstrikes over the past few months as Pakistan tries to catch fleeing militants.

Source: SGGP

Japan gov’t funding $5 mil for Vietnam biomass project

In Uncategorized on March 24, 2010 at 4:51 am

The Japanese government has agreed to fund US$5 million for a Vietnam project aimed at studying and developing technologies necessary for the production of bio-fuel from biomass in connection with environmental issues.


The five-year Sustainable Integration of Local Agriculture and Biomass Industries project strives to study and produce bio-ethanol from straw. With biogas, bio-ethanol is hoped to be the premise for agricultural development in Ho Chi Minh City.


Earlier, the HCMC Department of Science and Technology directed the HCMC University of Polytechnic to implement a biomass project in Thai My Commune, Cu Chi District with support from the Tokyo University of Japan.


The project aimed to study technology related to reusing waste in cultivation and breeding to create energy and fertilizer. This was hoped to enhance income for farmers in rural areas in the lead-up to green agriculture without waste.





Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share