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Action Month for the Poor 2010 launched

In Uncategorized on October 18, 2010 at 2:25 pm

Action Month for the Poor 2010 launched

QĐND – Monday, October 18, 2010, 21:18 (GMT+7)

PANO – The Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee has launched the “Day for the Poor” Campaign, as part of the Action Month for the Poor to mark the day Uncle Ho proclaimed an appeal for help to the poor (October 17th, 1946).

Speaking at the launching ceremony, Huynh Dam, Chairman of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee, on behalf of the Committee, expressed his deep gratitude to organizations, individuals, benefactors, overseas Vietnamese and international friends for their good deeds and support for the campaign over the past years.

It is the tenth year the “Day for the Poor” has been launched by the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee.

Translated by Vu Hung

Source: QDND

VFA urges swift action to help farmers sue Vedan

In Uncategorized on August 6, 2010 at 11:20 am

The Vietnam Farmers Association has asked Farmers Associations of HCM City, Dong Nai and Ba Ria – Vung Tau provinces to support farmers in completing legal procedures necessary to bring Vedan to court.

According to the Vietnam Farmers Association, the offer of VND130 billion (US$6.8 million) from Taiwanese MSG producer Vedan as compensation is far too low compared with the economic damage the company caused farmers in HCM City, Dong Nai and Ba Ria – Vung Tau provinces.

The Vietnam Farmers Association has asked the local farmer associations and relevant departments to cooperate closely with each other to protect ther rights of affected farmers and help them acquire funds requisite to file their lawsuit against Vedan.

According to Tran Van Cuong, deputy chairman of Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Tan Thanh District People’s Court has received 800 of 1,255 petitions of affected farmers requesting that Vedan pay damages.

On the same day, lawyers, acting on behalf of farmers, brought 57 petitions of farmers in Long Thanh and Nhon Trach districts of Dong Nai Province to local courts of respective districts.

To date, 58 legal petitions to bring Vedan to court have been filed in Dong Nai Province.



Source: SGGP

Protests as Australian PM delays climate action

In Uncategorized on July 23, 2010 at 11:17 am

SYDNEY, July 23, 2010 (AFP) – Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard Friday announced a new “citizens assembly” to guide action on global warming, in a major pre-election speech which was hit by protests and condemned by critics.

Security staff leapt on one demonstrator who invaded the auditorium and led him away in handcuffs, while chanting could be heard through much of Gillard’s address at a Brisbane university campus.

This Sky News television screen grab shows a demonstrator (2nd-R) being tackled by security staff on July 23, 2010 inside the venue at a Brisbane University Campus. AFP

The prime minister made only a slight pause and smiled briefly during the disturbance, which constituted the first hiccup of her tightly managed campaign for August 21 elections.

The 150-strong assembly, to consult over 12 months, was the centrepiece of Gillard’s long-awaited announcement on the environment, a key voting issue in the world’s biggest per capita polluter.

“Through a dedicated discussion, a representative group of Australians drawn from all ages, parts of the country and walks of life will help move us forward,” she said.

“And if I’m wrong and that group of Australians is not ready for the consequence of change, that will be a clear warning bell that our community has not been persuaded as deeply as required about the need for transformational change.”

Gillard said the assembly, helped by a new commission to sift scientific advice, would examine the case for a carbon-trading scheme which twice failed in parliament and was then shelved by ex-leader Kevin Rudd, badly damaging his support.

Australia’s first woman prime minister said she remained committed to a “market-based” solution to pollution as the country bids to cut emissions by five percent from 2000 levels by 2020.

Businesses would be given incentives to act immediately on pollution and Australia would make use of renewable energy, Gillard added, warning that she would only act “in step” with major economies.

But the initiative drew an outraged response from the Greens party, environmental groups and some academics. Greenpeace said Gillard was pandering to the powerful mining industry — seen as influential in some marginal seats.

“I’m pretty disgusted with what the prime minister came out with today,” said Greens Senator Christine Milne. “It was really a pretty weak position on climate change.”

Professor Warwick McKibbin, director of the Research School of Economics at the Australian National University, called the approach “extremely disappointing”.

“The science and expert input has made a strong case for action for more than a decade. A majority of Australians already want to take action on climate change,” he said.

Opposition leader Tony Abbott said the announcement was just “camouflage” for plans to introduce a carbon tax, while a coalition of green groups said the proposal was an “insult” and “appalling”.

“The citizens’ assembly is basically an insult to the millions of people who did vote for climate change action in 2007,” said the World Wildlife Fund’s Gilly Llewellyn.

Climate change, along with immigration and the economy, is considered a key issue for next month’s elections, where Gillard is seeking a public mandate after her shock ousting of Rudd in last month’s party coup.

Rudd won 2007 elections on an environmental platform and signed the Kyoto Protocol, describing climate change as the “greatest challenge of our generation”.

But the environmental push was derailed by the carbon scheme’s failure and last year’s unproductive UN climate summit in Copenhagen, where Rudd was a leading protagonist.

Gillard’s speech came as United States lawmakers scrapped plans to introduce climate change legislation, potentially setting back global efforts to control the Earth’s warming.

The prime minister, who is in a narrow race with Abbott, was also confronted by about a dozen demonstrators as she arrived for the speech. She later shrugged off the protests.

“We’re at a university, and universities tend to be home to passionate young Australians who make their voices heard in a variety of ways,” she said. “And we heard some voices today.”

Source: SGGP

Vietnam receives Action Aid International head

In Uncategorized on July 17, 2010 at 4:48 pm

Vietnam receives Action Aid International head

QĐND – Saturday, July 17, 2010, 20:48 (GMT+7)

Vietnam always supports and creates favourable conditions for Action Aid International’s operation in the country.

Vice State President Nguyen Thi Doan made the pledge while receiving Joanna Derobah Kerr, General Director of Action Aid International in Hanoi on July 16.

Doan thanked Action Aid International for its contribution to supporting sustainable development, hunger alleviation and poverty reduction as well as humanitarian activities in Vietnam, especially in disadvantaged areas in northwest and central regions.

She also said she hoped that the organisation will continue to give support to Vietnam, especially in helping disadvantaged women, creating jobs and assisting vulnerable people, including women, children, disabled people and victims of Agent Orange.

General Director Joanna Derobah Kerr spoke highly of Vietnam’s efforts in the poverty and hunger fight and the implementation of social development goals.

Action Aid International will continue to implement its humanitarian activities in Vietnam in the future, she said.

Source: VNA

Photo: Vietnam+

Source: QDND

Australia begins legal action to stop Japan whaling

In Uncategorized on June 1, 2010 at 7:47 am

TOKYO (AFP) – Australia has launched legal action at the International Court of Justice to stop Japan’s whaling programme, Japanese officials said Tuesday, calling the move “extremely regrettable”.

“We were informed that Australia has filed a lawsuit with the International Court of Justice regarding research whaling. We will discuss how to deal with it,” said a fisheries agency official.

Hirofumi Hirano, Japan’s top government spokesman, said: “I think it is extremely regrettable. The Japanese government will deal with it properly, based on our position.”

Inflatable humpback whales with the Sydney Opera House (top), help to launch the official start of the whale watching season in Sydney on June 1, 2010. AFP photo

Japan defends whaling as part of its cultural tradition and hunts the ocean giants under a loophole in a 1986 international moratorium on commercial whaling that allows lethal “scientific research”.

Australia has long protested the hunts, including annual whaling expeditions in Antarctic waters, and has in recent months hardened its stance, announcing last week that it would launch legal action in The Hague.

“We want to see an end to whales being killed in the name of science in the Southern Ocean,” said Environment Protection Minister Peter Garrett last week, vowing “to bring a permanent end to whaling in the Southern Ocean”.

A Japanese foreign ministry official told AFP on Tuesday: “We are studying our strategy regarding the lawsuit. Details are yet to be decided, but we won’t disclose our strategy even after we make a decision.”

Source: SGGP

Thai troops violate law in Bangkok action: Amnesty

In Uncategorized on May 18, 2010 at 9:03 am

BANGKOK, May 18, 2010 (AFP) – Amnesty International on Tuesday accused Thailand’s army of “reckless use of lethal force” in a campaign to contain anti-government street protests that has left 38 dead and 279 injured.

A Thai red-shirt anti-government protestor runs with a jerry-can after setting tyres on fire on Rama IV road in Bangkok on May 18, 2010. AFP photo

The London-based rights group said Thai troops were violating the law by firing live ammunition in several areas around Bangkok during five days of violence triggered by attempts to seal the “Red Shirts” protest zone.

“Eyewitness accounts and video recordings show clearly that the military is firing live rounds at unarmed people who pose no threat whatsoever to the soldiers or to others,” said Amnesty’s Thailand specialist Benjamin Zawacki.

“This is a gross violation of a key human right — the right to life,” he said in a statement.

After two months of protests and sporadic clashes, the violence escalated late last week as the government launched an operation to seal the Red Shirts’ vast encampment in an upscale retail and hotel district.

The government has said it is also battling hundreds of “terrorists” hiding among demonstrators who it says are responsible for targeting civilians.

However, Amnesty accused army snipers of killing two medics wearing white medical uniforms as well as a 17-year-old boy.

New York-based Human Rights Watch this week criticised the designation of “live fire zones” by Thai authorities battling anti-government protesters, saying it put them on a “slippery slope” towards serious rights abuses.

The military Saturday declared one area of Bangkok a live fire zone as troops struggled to gain control in street battles.

The two-month crisis has now left 67 people dead and about 1,700 wounded. Twenty-five people died in a failed army crackdown on April 10.

Source: SGGP

Greek PM does not rule out legal action against US banks

In Uncategorized on May 16, 2010 at 8:55 pm

A view of the Acropolis in central Athens on May 14, 2010 is seen at sunset. AFP photo

ATHENS, May 16, 2010 (AFP) – Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou raised the possibility of taking legal action against US banks which he said in an interview on Sunday bore “great responsibility” for Greece’s debt crisis.

Asked in an interview with CNN whether Greece was the victim of investment banks, he said: “I think, yes the financial sector, I hear the words fraud, lack of transparency, so yes there is great responsibility here.”

When the interviewer followed up by asking whether legal action were a possibility, he responded “I wouldn’t rule out that this may be a recourse,” according to extracts of the interview aired on Greek public television.

The Greek parliament is currently looking into deals Greek authorities carried out in 2000 with help from Goldman Sachs that allowed them to mask the extent of Greece’s debts through the use of complex financial instruments.

“Right now there is a parliament investigation in Greece, we are looking into the past how things went in the wrong direction and what kind of practices were negative practices,” Papandreou said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has led criticism in Europe against banks’ role in the debt crisis, slamming “treacherous” practices during the Greek drama and urging governments to crack down on speculators hunting profits in the turmoil.

Greece is paying a painful price for its past overspending with the government forced to slash civil servants’ and pensioners’ pay while raising taxes as a condition for a 110 billion euro EU-IMF bailout.

However, a poll published Sunday in the Ethnos newspaper found that 58.8 percent of the 1,028 people surveyed expected the country to steer clear of bankruptcy while 36.6 percent considered default inevitable.

While 56.2 percent of those polled by the Marc SA institute considered the austerity measures to be “necessary”, 87.8 percent judged them to be “unfair”.

Source: SGGP

Month of Action for Children 2010 focuses on equality

In Uncategorized on May 9, 2010 at 8:41 am

The Month of Action for Children 2010 theme “ Creating a Chance for Children to Develop Equally”  was held in the northern province of Ninh Binh on May 8, attended by Vice Prime Minister Truong Vinh Trong.

Children at the Center Care for Disadvantage Children in Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre.

Speaking at the ceremony, Trong said a range of targets in terms of health care, physical and educational training have been achieved after almost 10 years of implementing the campaign “For the future of children,” (2001-2010). However, in many areas, especially in remote and mountain areas, children are still facing difficulties, lacking entertainment facilities and even suffering sexual and labor abuses, Trong added.

As of now, 4.5 million disadvantage and poor children nationwide have not yet accessed to health, educational, cultural and social services, Trong said.

The number of children needs help from social organizations and government, Trong added.

To improve care for children, Trong asked Party committees, local authorities and social organizations at all levels to make suitable action plans to provide children with the best services, both materially and spiritually.

Trong also asked related departments to make a national program of action for children for the period 2011-2015.

At the ceremony, the United Nations Children’s Fund’s representatives, mass organizations and businesses offered gifts to disadvantaged children.

Xuan Truong Company and Xuan Thanh Construction Company from Ninh Binh Province granted VND1 billion (US$53,000) and VND 200 million ($11,000), respectively, and the Vietnam Dairy Products Joint Stock Company and other enterprises donated VND110 million ($5,800) to the National Fund for Vietnamese Children.

Source: SGGP

Authorities pledge action against drugstore malpractices

In Uncategorized on April 22, 2010 at 2:11 am

Allowing hospitals to open pharmacies within their premises in cooperation with pharmaceutical companies has enabled both sides to collude and sell drugs at higher prices, health officials said in a meeting.

Patients’ relatives buy medicines at a hospital’s phamarcy

The meeting on Monday between the Vietnam Drug Administration (VDA) and Ho Chi Minh City Health Department followed public concern over rising drug prices as well as unwarranted issue of Good Pharmacy Practices to pharmacies.

Earlier, inspectors at the Ministry of Health had ordered sub-divisions to check drug prices and set up a hot line to receive complaints and suggestions..

Responding to reports that hospitals were selling drugs at higher prices than outside pharmacies, city hospital managers have said they sell at correct prices and have completed all necessary bidding procedures. They explained that outside pharmacies can sell drugs at cheaper prices because they sell medicines without clear indications of origins.

Experts have proposed that tenders are floated to set up pharmacies in order to prevent wrongdoing and stabilize drug prices. Furthermore, the pricing of drugs, both imported and produced at home, should be made transparent, they’ve said, also calling for price comparisons with drugs sold in other Southeast Asian countries.

Dr. Truong Quoc Cuong, VDA director, said concerned agencies faced many difficulties in controlling prices because there are around 22,000 drugs available in Vietnam.

Responding to concerns pharmaceutical firms were bribing doctors with commissions in order for the latter to prescribe the drugs and that prices of imported drugs were not being regulated, Cuong said his administration has ordered firms to explain their actions and provide detailed prices of drugs in other countries in the region.

The ministry will also provide training in ethics doctors and impose harsh penalties on pharmaceutical firms found guilty of wrongdoing, he said.

Do Van Doanh, chairman of the Vietnam Pharmaceutical Companies Association (VNPCA) said awareness had to be built up among both doctors and the public about the advisability of using domestically-made drugs. Doctors should be asked to prescribe home-made drugs and prescribe imported ones only when no locally-made drug is available, he said.


Source: SGGP

Drug watchdog orders tough action against HCMC drugstore chain

In Vietnam Health on January 13, 2010 at 8:36 am

HCM City Market management inspectors check drugs at an outlet of My  Chau at 338 Le Van Sy Street, district 3 on Jan. 8, 2009 ( Photo: Tuoi tre)

The Drug Administrations of Vietnam has ordered the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health impose severe punishment on the My Chau drugstore chain for possessing hundreds of containers of expired and unregistered drugs and food supplements.

In a dispatch January 12, Nguyen Viet Hung, deputy head of the administration told the DoH to also review its certification of My Chau for Good Pharmacy Practice (GPP) and report back.

Tran Quang Trung, chief of Ministry of Health (MoH) inspector, ordered the DoH to liaise with the city Market Management Bureau to find out My Chau’s violations and report to the ministry.

During routine checks in the last two years, ministry inspectors detected several wrongdoings by My Chai but did not investigate further, instead ordering the drugstore itself to fix them since it had just been awarded a GPP certification.

They also admitted they failed to discover the violations uncovered recently by the Market Management Bureau because they were unable to enter warehouses during their inspection.

Mr. Trung said the DoH must be held accountable for the violations because it had certified that seven out of My Chau’s 18 outlets conform to GPP standards.

Le Dinh Bach, manager of Minh Phuc Pharmacy, who owns  My Chau drugstore chain, wrote to Sai Gon Giai Phong January 12 claiming it has reported wrongly about his company’s activities.

His company bought 10 outlets and a warehouse from Y Duc last April and discovered some expired drugs in stock. They remained in storage until documents for their destruction could be made, he claimed. Unfortunately, at that time, his boss and director, Le Thi My Chau, went abroad for six months, causing a delay in drafting the documents, he said.

He also claimed his company did not pay much attention to the origins of the drugs that were in stock when it bought the operations. 

Related article:
Health department under scanner as drugstore chain caught with expired drugs
HCMC drugstore chain faces closure for violations

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share