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China bars English words in all publications

In Uncategorized on December 24, 2010 at 4:32 am

BEIJING, Dec 22, 2010 (AFP) – Chinese newspapers, books and websites will no longer be allowed to use English words and phrases, the country’s publishing body has announced, saying the “purity” of the Chinese language is in peril.

The General Administration of Press and Publication, which announced the new rule on Monday, said the increasing use of English words and abbreviations in Chinese texts had caused confusion and was a means of “abusing the language”.

Such practices “severely damaged the standard and purity of the Chinese language and disrupted the harmonious and healthy language and cultural environment, causing negative social impacts,” the body said on its website.

“It is banned to mix at will foreign language phrases such as English words or abbreviations with Chinese publications, creating words of vague meaning that are not exactly Chinese or of any foreign language,” it said.

“Publishing houses and the media must further strengthen the regulated use of foreign languages and respect the structure, glossary and grammar of the Chinese and foreign languages.”

GAPP said companies which violated the regulation would face “administrative punishment” without offering specifics.

English abbreviations such as NBA (National Basketball Association), GDP (gross domestic product), CPI (consumer price index) and WTO (World Trade Organization) are commonly used in Chinese publications.

They are also often used in everyday conversation, and government officials routinely use the abbreviations at press conferences.

The body left a small loophole, stipulating in the regulation that “if necessary”, English terms could be used but must be followed by a direct translation of the abbreviation or an explanation in Chinese.

The names of people or places in English also must be translated.

One editor at a Beijing publishing house told the China Daily that the new GAPP regulation could actually result in reduced understanding.

“The intention of protecting the Chinese language is good. But in an age of globalisation, when some English acronyms like WTO have been widely accepted by readers, it might be too absolute to eliminate them,” the editor said.

“Conversationally, people also use these words all the time, so the regulation could create discord between the oral and written uses of language.”

China has launched several campaigns in recent years to try to root out poor grammar and misused vocabulary in official usage.

Sometimes those campaigns go awry, resulting in awkward Chinglish. In the run-up to last month’s Asian Games in Guangzhou, signs were posted in the metro that read “Towards Jichang”. “Jichang” means airport.

Earlier this year, China Central Television and Beijing Television told the China Daily that they had received notification from the government to avoid using certain English abbreviations on Chinese programmes.

But English abbreviations are still commonly heard on regular news and sports broadcasts.

The Global Times quoted an editor at a Beijing publishing house as saying finding translations for globally used acronyms would be time-consuming and confusing.

“I wonder how many people understand ‘guoji shangye jiqi gongsi’, when IBM is instantly recognisable,” the editor said.

Source: SGGP

All schools enjoy free Internet

In Uncategorized on December 19, 2010 at 7:57 am

All schools enjoy free Internet

QĐND – Saturday, December 18, 2010, 22:18 (GMT+7)

The Ministry of Education and Training and the Viettel Telecom Group (Viettel) reviewed Internet provision programme for schools and launched the informatisation plan in schools in Hanoi on December 18.

Between September 2008 and July 2010, Viettel fully implemented the programme of providing free Internet for more than 29,500 schools across the country. 

This allows over 25 million teachers and students to access Internet for learning and research purposes. 

Pham Vu Luan, the Minister of Education and Training, said Vietnam is now one of the few countries in the world that has entirely free Internet connection in schools.  

According to the 2010 report of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organisation (SEAMEO), Vietnam was ranked as high as Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand in terms of the use of information technology (IT) in education.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

VN approaches target of all rural households getting access to power

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 9:29 am

VN approaches target of all rural households getting access to power

QĐND – Friday, December 10, 2010, 20:52 (GMT+7)

Vietnam is likely to reach the target of 100 percent of rural households to get access to electricity for rural households.

World Bank Country Director for Vietnam Victoria Kwakwa made the statement at a seminar to assess the impact of Vietnam’s rural electrification (RE) and the announcement of the result of a survey on the benefit of RE in Hanoi on Dec. 9.

All of the nation’s districts have connected to the national grid and had on-the-spot electricity and 97.78 percent of communes and 95.4 percent of rural families now have electricity, Kwakwa said.

She spoke highly of the joint efforts of the Vietnamese Government, enterprises and people and various resources for rural development, hunger eradication and poverty reduction in the field.

Together with the impact of the education universalisation programme, RE has helped rural people improve their health and income through increasing their families’ production capacity, she added.

However, she said, authorities need to make thorough calculations and give priority to use resources in the context of limited finance and technology to help the remaining five percent of rural families access electricity.

The result of the survey that was conducted in seven provinces of Vietnam in 2002, 2005 and 2008 within the framework of the RE project is an important foundation for WB to consider the decision to provide continued assistance and coordinate with the Vietnamese Government to carry out more power projects, said the seminar.

According to Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Hoang Quoc Vuong, the government is striving to have 100 percent electricity access for rural households by 2020 as planned.

The comprehensive assessment of the impact of rural electrification and the potential for on-the-spot distribution will help the Government, enterprises and people select the most effective investment in network power projects or use on-the-spot power sources.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

All urban dwellers in Hanoi to be supplied clean water by 2020

In Uncategorized on November 5, 2010 at 3:20 pm

Poor planning affects all

In Uncategorized on October 24, 2010 at 4:03 pm

Poor planning affects all

QĐND – Sunday, October 24, 2010, 19:54 (GMT+7)

Inconsistency in production planning and irrational benefit sharing have recently led to disorders in the sale of agricultural products.

Competition for buying sugarcane began this October in the Mekong Delta and central Vietnam where there is a high concentration of the crop, and it has pushed the price of sugarcane up to more than VND1 million per tonne. It is expected to be fiercer in the future.

Businesses that were able to obtain sugarcane under such competition had to pay a very high price. Those that failed to do so had to either shut down production or to keep it at a low level.

However, farmers still suffer the most. Not long ago, quite a few farming households had to cut down or burn their sugarcane fields because the selling price fell too low – to the extent that they could not even afford to hire people for harvesting. Meanwhile, there was too much sugarcane so traders did not buy any more.

This state of both excess and shortage has also occurred repeatedly with many other Vietnamese farm products. Recently, it was difficult for traders to purchase rice from farmers to supply exporters in time so that they could fulfil their contracts. But a short time later, there was an oversupply of rice, which meant farmers could barely find buyers for their rice.

The same applies to tra fish in the Mekong Delta. There were times when businesses took turns raising their buying prices in order to get enough tra fish for processing but the next crop of tra fish immediately faced a sad fate when they were packed in small ponds and could swim nowhere because enterprises no longer wanted them. The farmers then could only manage to sell some at cheap prices, which sometimes didn’t even cover the costs to raise them.

This problem is attributed to inconsistency in production planning. For instance, rice variety IR 50404 proved not to meet the world market’s demand and sold badly but farmers still continued to invest in planting it because they found it difficult to purchase better varieties of rice.

When sugarcane growers face an excess of sugarcane, many of them immediately moved to plant other crops that seemed to be profitable at the time, resulting in an abrupt drop in the acreage and output of sugarcane for the next crop and a sudden surge in sugarcane prices, creating instability on the market and directly affecting consumers’ lives. When the prices of sugarcane soared, people once again rushed to grow it.

Another cause behind this imbalance is the unequal allocation of benefits between parties in the line of agricultural production. According to the Mekong Delta Development Research Institute, tra fish farmers receive only 19.4 percent of the total profits from their fish, while the corresponding figures for traders and processing companies are 2.1 percent and 78.5 percent respectively.

In this relationship, the farmers seem to have more disadvantages and depend greatly on the prices offered by the buyers and their workflows.

When prices are high, farmers tend to hoard their products and cause problems for enterprises that need materials for processing and can lose contracts due to delays in delivering goods on schedule. This is often seen in such commodities as rice, fish, shrimp, sugarcane, and coffee among others.

As one solution, the government has introduced policies to encourage businesses to buy farmers’ products through contracts.

However, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development reports that only five out of 15 sugarcane factories in southern provinces had contracts to buy sugarcane from farmers on a long-term basis.

The government also has other measures to assist farmers but many of them have not been implemented seriously.

Professor Vo Tong Xuan said that government support packages will play an important role in reducing the risks of agricultural investment, facilitating land accumulation, and boosting technology transfers. Based on this, he said, businesses could invest more to help farmers produce high-quality products for export, thus creating a sustainable bond between businesses and farmers.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

Chile’s joy spreads to the world as all 33 miners saved

In Uncategorized on October 14, 2010 at 2:27 pm

SAN JOSE MINE, Chile, Oct 14, 2010 (AFP) – A complex, against-all-odds rescue of 33 miners trapped in Chile for more than two months transfixed this nation and the world Wednesday, with wild celebrations breaking out at its successful completion.

The ascent of the last of the miners, grizzled leader Luis Urzua, capped nearly 22 hours of euphoric scenes happening every 30 minutes or so, when each of the trapped men was winched individually to the surface through a narrow escape shaft.

Miner Luis Urzua (L) greets President Sebastian Pinera (R) after reaching the surface from the San Jose mine, near Copiapo, Chile on October 13, 2010. AFP

It also spelled the end of a record ordeal lived by the men, who had survived 10 nightmarish weeks in a dank and dark tunnel 622 meters (2,041 feet) below the surface of Chile’s northern Atacama desert following an August 5 cave-in.

“They were experiencing a kind of rebirth,” President Sebastian Pinera said in a televised address to the nation from the San Jose gold and copper mine after all the miners were freed.

The rescue operation, he affirmed, was “inspiring… for the whole world.”

Pinera hailed Urzua for doing his duty and seeing off all his men before “leaving last like a ship’s captain.”

The two men, grateful miner and smiling president, led a rendition of Chile’s national anthem that was echoed across the country.

Everywhere from the mine to the capital Santiago, tears glistened in eyes and on cheeks as the South American nation joined together in an unsurpassed moment of deep joy. Car horns honked in cities and vuvezela horns blared.

Thirty-three balloons decked out in Chile’s red-white-and-blue colors floated free into the night sky above the mine at the exact moment the last of the 33 trapped miners was brought to the surface.

The depth of feeling electrified the thousands of international journalists covering the rescue, who respectfully stood in silence alongside the miners’ families, recording the event, and sharing in it.

Relatives later streamed up a hill where 33 Chilean flags had been planted to give thanks for the “miracle” they had witnessed.

“It’s the end of a nightmare,” said Silvia Segovia, sister of one of the miners, Victor Segovia.

“It’s a new life about to begin,” said Belgica Ramirez, the sister-in-law of Mario Gomez, the oldest of the miners saved.

The spectacular rescue was followed by an estimated one billion people around the world, many of them catching live updates on television or the Internet.

Presidents Barack Obama of the United States, Nicolas Sarkozy of France, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil, as well as Pope Benedict XVI and other dignitaries sent their congratulations during the day.

The US space agency NASA, which provided advice on how to sustain the 33 men underground, hailed “the courageous miners” and their rescuers.

The operation officially wrapped up at 12:35 am (0335 GMT) Thursday, when the last of six highly trained rescue specialists who had been sent into the mine Wednesday to prepare the miners for their 15-minute ascent himself returned to the surface.

The miners’ ordeal attracted global attention in their determined triumph over fear and disaster.

After initially being given up for dead in the days following the August 5 mine collapse by all except their families, their discovery alive on August 22 sparked riotous celebration — and also head scratching on how to get them out.

While plans were made for three drills to bore escape shafts to them, sustenance and communications were dropped through probe holes to the men, who had up to then survived in a shelter with meager rations.

Two of the drills veered off course, but the third completed its shaft last weekend, setting the scene for Wednesday’s unprecedented extraction of the men.

The first out was 31-year-old Florencio Avalos, a fit and calm man who hugged his young son and wife and thanked Pinera and other officials.

Then, like a cannonball of energy out of the shaft, came Mario Sepulveda, 40, who roared “Viva Chile” before handing out rocks from the bottom of the mine as souvenirs.

“I have been with God and with the devil,” Sepulveda said later, in more reflective mood. “I seized the hand of God, it was the best hand. I always knew God would get us out of there.”

Others following included the only non-Chilean in the group, Bolivian miner Carlos Mamani, 23, who turned down an offer from visiting Bolivian President Evo Morales to return to La Paz with him, preferring to remain in Chile.

Also brought to the top was Jimmy Sanchez, at 19 the youngest of the miners, Esteban Rojas, a 44-year-old who had promised a church wedding to his long-term partner Jessica Yanez, and Raul Bustos, 40, who had been working at the mine only two months when it collapsed.

Yonni Barrios, the 21st miner to be hauled to the surface, stepped out of the escape capsule to be hugged not by his wife of 28 years, but by his longtime girlfriend.

“It turned out he had also asked the other lady and I have decency. One thing is clear: it’s her or me,” the wife, Marta Salinas, was quoted as telling Chilean media.

She nevertheless said: “I”m glad he’s safe, it’s a miracle from God.”

All the men wore special dark sunglasses to protect their weakened eyes from the natural light.

They were immediately taken to a field hospital at the mine for tests, and around half were flown to a regional hospital in the nearest town of Copiapo.

Health Minister Jaime Manalich said the healthiest could be discharged Thursday.

Doctors at Copiapo hospital said the 16 miners at the hospital were generally doing well, though both Sepulveda and one other miner suffered from silicosis, a incurable, common miners’ ailment in which lungs damaged from dust make breathing difficult.

Manalich also said one unnamed miner was receiving “intensive antibiotic treatment” for severe pneumonia and two would have to have surgery under general anesthesia for “very serious” dental infections.

Source: SGGP

Vietnamese athletes to join Asian All Stars

In Uncategorized on July 20, 2010 at 3:23 pm

Vietnamese athletes to join Asian All Stars

QĐND – Monday, July 19, 2010, 20:40 (GMT+7)

Two Vietnamese athletes have qualified for the Asian All Stars competition, which will be held in New Delhi, India, in late July.

The two athletes are Nguyen Van Hung, who will take part in the three-step jump event, and Nguyen Thi Bac, in the 400m-hurdle event.

Despite qualifying for the tournament, a German expert suggested that athletes Vu Thi Huong and Truong Thanh Hang miss this All Stars championship to prepare for the 16th Asian Games (ASIAD).

In a previous Asian All Stars, athlete Nguyen Duy Bang gained a silver medal with a high jump measured at 2m25.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

Viettel completes internet connections to all Vietnamese schools

In Uncategorized on July 20, 2010 at 3:19 pm

Viettel completes internet connections to all Vietnamese schools

QĐND – Tuesday, July 20, 2010, 20:50 (GMT+7)

PANO – Viettel, the Defence Telecommunications Group, announced the completion of the Programme “Connecting the internet to the whole Vietnamese education sector” on July 20th.

From now on, nearly 30 million school teachers and students throughout the country have access to the internet that helps them better fulfill their tasks of teaching and learning.

The Programme started in September 2008 after Viettel committed to providing free internet access for all schools nationwide.

According to Viettel officials, the group will continue to upgrade modems and internet infrastructure for education bases across the country in the future.

Translated by Thu Nguyen

Source: QDND

All ready for all-important university entrance examinations

In Uncategorized on July 1, 2010 at 6:21 pm

All ready for all-important university entrance examinations

QĐND – Thursday, July 01, 2010, 21:23 (GMT+7)

More than 1.9 million students will participate in the university entrance examination in the few next days in Vietnam.

They have poured into Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City with fervent hopes of passing the most important examination of their lives.

Hanoi’s Electricity Company promised not to cut power in the entire city during the examination, while traffic wardens said they would ensure that traffic flow not to become congested. Hanoi has temporarily banned trucks with a loading capacity of over one ton and passenger coaches with over 30 seats during the morning and afternoon rush hours. All vehicles will be prohibited from parking on streets in front of schools where examinations take place. 

Around 7,000 students who volunteered to assist contestants were present at bus stations and universities to welcome the test takers and their relatives. Competitors can find free or cheap rented houses in Hanoi via the website:

Meanwhile, some 4,000 volunteers of the program Giving Strength in the Exam Season began their assignments at bus and train stations in the city to welcome examinees with maps, transport and help in finding suitable lodgings, even take them to cheap available rented houses in Ho Chi Minh City.

Quach Hai Dat, director of the Vietnam Student Association’s HCMC Student Assistance Center, said 40,000 lodgings are ready including 7,000 free rooms for disadvantaged candidates.

CT Group said it will provide 1,500 free places lodging to candidates who take examinations in schools in districts 1, 3, 5,10, Binh Thanh, Phu Nhuan and Go Vap; while those testing at facilities in suburban districts 9 and Thu Duc can reside in dormitories at Vietnam National University – Ho Chi Minh City and  Nong Lam University (University of Agricultural Engineering).

The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee and relevant agencies were asked to help students participating in the university entrance examination. This year, some 593,000 high school graduates will take three all-important university entrance examinations. 214,000 students taking Option A (math, chemistry and physics) will test on July 4 and 5.

Approximately 193,000 students will take Options A, B (math, chemistry and biology), C (literature, history and geography) and D (English, literature and math). Gifted schools will participate in a second wave of examinations, for entrance into art academies. Students can still apply for other schools which offer the same options. For instance, Option B students can apply to the University of Natural Sciences or to Nong Lam University (University of Agricultural Engineering).

A hot line (08)38295173 is available to help newcomers to the city who are missing essential documents.

Activities were launched all over Vietnam to help competitors. The Mekong delta city of Can Tho has provided over 10,000 free or cheap places of lodging in districts Ninh Kieu, Cai Rang and Binh Thuy.

The Buddhist Shangha’s Management Board of the central province of Thua Thien – Hue agreed to supply 1,600 vegetarian meals to competitors who will test at Quoc Hoc and Hai Ba Trung. Thuan Thanh Commercial and Service Cooperative issued 10,000 food discount coupons to students.

The Bus Company in the central province of Binh Dinh announced it would give examinees a reduction of over 40 percent.

Source: Sai Gon Giai Phong/VietnamNet


Source: QDND

Not enough ‘money in the world’ for all BP spill claims

In Uncategorized on July 1, 2010 at 2:27 pm

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana, July 1, 2010 (AFP) – The Obama appointee managing BP’s oil spill disaster fund said there’s “not enough money in the world” to pay all claims and suggested home owners with plunging property values could lose out.

The warning from prominent US lawyer Kenneth Feinberg came as Hurricane Alex disrupted clean-up operations in the Gulf of Mexico and pushed oil deeper into fragile coastal wetlands and once-pristine beaches.

Kenneth Feinberg arrives at a House Small Business Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on June 30, 2010 in Washington, DC. AFP

Some 423 miles (681 kilometers) of American shorelines have now been oiled — nearly double the amount sullied just two days earlier — as oil continues to gush into the sea at an alarming rate 10 weeks into the worst environmental disaster in US history.

Feinberg, tapped by President Barack Obama to administer the 20-billion-dollar claims fund, insisted BP will “pay every eligible claim,” but cautioned that many perceived damages may not qualify.

“I use that famous example of a restaurant in Boston that says, ‘I can’t get shrimp from Louisiana, and my menu suffers and my business is off,'” Feinberg told the House of Representatives Committee on Small Business.

“Well, no law is going to recognize that claim.”

Feinberg said he was still sorting out how to deal with indirect claims like hotels that lose bookings because tourists think the beaches are covered in oil, or people who see their property values decline but live several blocks away from an oiled beach.

“There’s no question that the property value has diminished as a result of the spill. That doesn’t mean that every property is entitled to compensation,” he said, adding: “There’s not enough money in the world to pay everybody who’d like to have money.”

Feinberg, who headed a compensation fund for victims of the September 11 attacks, assured lawmakers the fund would be “totally independent” and said BP had agreed to top up the escrow account as needed to meet proper claims.

The British energy giant has already disbursed over 130 million dollars in emergency payments to fishermen and others affected by the slick. Feinberg said lump sum payments would be offered to claimants once the true extent of the damage is assessed.

“It sure would help if the oil would stop,” he told the committee.

Obama on Wednesday ordered the development of a long-term plan to “restore the unique beauty and bounty” of the Gulf Coast.

The Long-Term Gulf Restoration Support Plan aims to “ensure economic recovery, community planning, science-based restoration of the ecosystem and environment, public health and safety efforts, and support of individuals and businesses who suffered losses due to the spill,” a White House memo said.

An estimated 35,000 to 60,000 barrels of oil a day has been gushing out of the ruptured well since the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig sank on April 22 some 50 miles off the coast of Louisiana.

Efforts to permanently plug the leak by drilling relief wells continued despite the rough seas which had forced a halt to skimming operations off the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

Two containment ships are continuing to capture the oil at a rate of about 25,000 barrels per day despite seven-foot (two-meter) swells.

But the rough seas have delayed the deployment of a third ship aimed at doubling the containment capacity.

And officials have warned that drilling and containment will be suspended for about 14 days if the spill zone is threatened by a more direct storm hit.

That could delay the completion of the wells until at least September and would dump an additional 490,000 to 840,000 barrels of extra oil into the Gulf.

Senior government officials were set to meet with Obama Thursday to discuss whether a new containment system should be installed in the interim.

That system would further raise capacity, but would require the current cap to be removed and involve careful manipulation some 5,000 feet (1,500 meters) below the surface.

The storm was set to make landfall late Wednesday south of the US border with Mexico as a Category Two hurricane, with 100-mile-per-hour winds and heavy rains lashing the coast, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center said.

The NHC said at 0130 GMT Thursday that Alex’s winds extended outward up to 70 miles from the eye, and tropical storm force winds extended out to 205 miles, well into Texas.

The first major storm of the Atlantic season, Alex earlier dumped heavy rains across the Yucatan peninsula, having killed at least 10 people in Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador.

Source: SGGP