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Posts Tagged ‘approves’

Japan’s lower house approves 60 billion dollar stimulus

In Uncategorized on November 16, 2010 at 8:25 am

Dak Lak approves 3 million USD elephant project

In Uncategorized on November 10, 2010 at 2:25 pm

Israel approves plan to ease Gaza blockade

In Uncategorized on June 18, 2010 at 4:30 am

JERUSALEM (AFP) – Israel on Thursday approved a plan to ease its blockade of the Hamas-run Gaza Strip following weeks of international pressure, but provided few details on what new goods would be allowed in.

The security cabinet’s decision came in the wake of mounting international calls to ease the four-year blockade of the impoverished Palestinian territory in the wake of a deadly raid on a fleet of aid ships on May 31.

United Nations trucks carry supplies into Rafah town after crossing the Kerem Shalom crossing between Israel and the southern Gaza Strip on June 16. AFP

Under the plan, Israel would “liberalise the system by which civilian goods enter Gaza (and) expand the inflow of materials for civilian projects that are under international supervision,” the government said in a statement.

But it also stressed that Israel would “continue existing security procedures to prevent the inflow of weapons and war materiel.”

Hamas swiftly rejected the plan, which senior leader Ismail Radwan dismissed as an attempt to “relieve the pressure” following the flotilla incident.

“We in Hamas reject the Zionist decision, which is an attempt to obscure the international decision to completely lift the siege on the Gaza Strip,” he told AFP.

The plan is reportedly based on understandings reached in recent days by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Middle East Quartet envoy Tony Blair that call for switching from a list of allowed items to a list of banned goods.

It would also allow the entry of more building materials for UN-sponsored construction projects.

Israel was reportedly considering a plan to station EU and Palestinian Authority inspectors at the border to inspect incoming goods, but that proposal did not appear to be included in Thursday’s decision.

Currently thousands of products — some as banal as toilet paper and ginger — are listed by Israel as constituting a “security” risk and prevented from reaching Gaza.

The list also includes construction materials, like metal pipes and cement, which Israel fears could be used for building makeshift rockets and constructing underground bunkers and tunnels.

On Wednesday, Israel allowed eight trucks loaded with kitchen equipment to enter Gaza for the first time since 2006, following recent decisions to allow in snack foods and other household items that were previously banned.

Blair had earlier this week told Israel’s Haaretz newspaper that the plan would “allow us to keep weapons and weapon materials out of Gaza, but on the other hand to help the Palestinian population there.”

Blair had negotiated on behalf of the Middle East peace Quartet consisting of the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia.

He said the ultimate aim was to eradicate the need for smuggling through a network of tunnels running under Gaza’s border with Egypt, through which thousands of goods are brought daily and sold at inflated prices.

Netanyahu has insisted, however, that Israel’s naval blockade remain in place — a measure he says is crucial to prevent Gaza from “turning into an Iranian port” through which arms would flow freely.

Israel has faced mounting calls to lift the siege following its deadly raid on an aid flotilla trying to run the blockade, in which nine Turkish activists were shot dead by navy seals.

It has argued that the closures — imposed when an Israeli soldier was seized by Gaza militants in a deadly June 2006 raid and tightened a year later when Hamas took over — are needed to contain the Islamist movement.

In the cabinet decision Israel said it “expects the international community to work toward the immediate release of Gilad Shalit,” now 23 years old, who is believed to be held by Hamas at a secret location in Gaza.

Source: SGGP

Italy approves 24 billion euro austerity drive

In Uncategorized on May 26, 2010 at 1:22 pm

Spanish government approves tough austerity plan

In Uncategorized on May 21, 2010 at 9:15 am

MADRID, May 20, 2010 (AFP) – The Spanish government Thursday approved a 15-billion-euro (18.8-billion-dollar) austerity plan aimed at reining in the huge public deficit, as thousands of workers protested against the measure.

The plan was approved at a cabinet meeting as public sector workers took to the streets to vent their fury at the measures, which include a five percent pay cut for civil servants.

Unions have also called a strike of civil servants for June 8.

Deputy Prime Minister Maria Teresa Fernandez De la Vega acknowledged that approving the measures, which must still be passed by parliament, “has not been an easy decision to take” but the government “is also aware that it is not easy to accept.”

“We are confident of the understanding of all because these are necessary and essential measures which a responsible government had to face while thinking of the future of all,” she told a news conference after the cabinet meeting.

Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, under pressure from both Spain’s EU partners and the markets, announced the austerity measures last week in a bid to shore up Spain’s public finances after fears it could follow Greece into a debt crisis.

The cuts are on top of a 50-billion-euro austerity package announced in January designed to slash public deficit to the eurozone limit of three percent of gross domestic product by 2013 from 11.2 percent last year.

The latest measures include an average five-percent pay cut for public sector workers from June, and a pay freeze from 2011. Pensions except for the poorest will also be frozen in 2011.

The government also plans to scrap a 2,500-euro payout to parents for the birth of children, a key part of Zapatero’s social platform to boost Spain’s flagging birth rate.

The salaries of Zapatero and government ministers will also be cut by 15 percent and those of secretaries of state by 10 percent.

“It is a great effort thanks to which we will undoubtedly return to the path of growth,” de la Vega said.

Finance Minister Elena Salgado said the pay cuts would lead to savings of 2.3 billion euros in 2010 and 2.2 billion in 2011.

The pensions freeze will save some 1.5 billion euros in 2011 and the birth payment around 1.25 billion.

She said the cuts also mean the government has lowered its 2011 growth forecast from 1.8 percent to 1.3 percent.

Spain entered recession in the second quarter of 2008 as the global financial meltdown compounded a crisis in the property market, which had been a major driver for growth in the preceding years.

Official data Wednesday showed the economy scraped out of recession in the first quarter, boosted by a rise in exports and household spending, but analysts have warned that any pick-up could be short lived.

The recession has sent the unemployment rate soaring to more than 20 percent in the first quarter.

Migrant workers perform during a protest marking the 24-hours general strike against the austerity measures in central Athens, Greece on May 20, 2010. AFP photo

Source: SGGP

Government approves Bien Hoa City growth

In Vietnam Economy on February 28, 2010 at 11:30 am

Government approves Bien Hoa City growth

QĐND – Friday, February 26, 2010, 22:23 (GMT+7)

Authorities of Dong Nai province said the southern province has received approval from the Government to expand its capital, Bien Hoa City by more than 26,400 ha and 284,000 residents.

Under the expansion projects, Bien Hoa City will include the communes of An Hoa, Long Hung, Phuoc Tan and Tam Phuong, which cover 10,899 ha with more than 92,000 residents in total. The communes are presently located in Long Thanh district.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

U.S. approves first “ethical” human stem cell lines

In World on December 4, 2009 at 4:42 am

 The U.S. government approved the first 13 batches of human embryonic stem cells on Wednesday, enabling researchers using them to get millions of dollars in federal funding as promised by President Barack Obama in March.

The batches, known as lines, were made by two researchers at Harvard University and Rockefeller University using private funds, said Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health.

“Today we are announcing the approval of the first 13 stem cell lines,” Collins told reporters in a telephone briefing.

In March, Obama lifted restrictions on human embryonic stem cell research imposed by his predecessor, George W. Bush.

He could not lift a restriction set by Congress, called the Dickey-Wicker amendment, that forbids the use of federal money to make the stem cells, which require destruction of a human embryo. But the decision made it possible for researchers to use federal funds to work with cells that others have made.

Ampoules containing a medium for stem cell storage in a file photo

The NIH set up a panel to decide which stem cell lines met strict ethical restrictions. The cells, for instance, have to have been made using an embryo donated from leftovers at fertility clinics, and parents must have signed detailed consent forms.

Stem cells are the body’s ultimate master cells. They make up days-old embryos and have the power to give rise to all the cells and tissues in the body.

Scientists hope to use them to transform medicine by growing new tissue and repairing damage. Opponents say it is wrong to destroy human embryos for any reason.


But Collins said the NIH-approved lines represent an acceptable compromise. “I think the broad consensus among most of the public … is that stem cell research of this ethically acceptable kind should go forward,” he said.

“These were derived from embryos derived under ethically sound consent processes.”

The first 13 lines were “open and shut” cases, he said. Another 96 lines are under consideration and more approvals can be expected in the coming days, Collins said.

“I think people are champing at the bit,” he said. “This is the first down payment in what is going to be a much longer list of such lines.”

Eleven of the lines were made by Dr. George Daley of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute in Massachusetts. He said his lab started making the stem cells in 2006 using private donations and is looking forward to getting federal money.

“It is a huge boost. It is a stimulus to my research,” said Daley, who said he has hired three technicians in the past two weeks.

“I can point to people and say ‘Thank God for Obama — you’re here’,” Daley said in a telephone interview.

“We have been very fortunate at Harvard to have been the beneficiaries of philanthropy but it has dried up in past years, in part because of the economy and in part because of the perception that the government was about to step in and clear everything up.”

The NIH says it has funded 30 proposals totaling more than $20 million that would use human embryonic stem cells. Now the researchers can get the cells and get going, it said.

“This group of grants includes research using human embryonic stem cells for the therapeutic regeneration of diseased or damaged heart muscle cells, developing systems for the production of neural stem cells” among others, it said.

Collins said these cells are still needed for research even though scientists have found ways to turn ordinary cells into what resemble embryonic stem cells.

“I think one could make a very strong case that we need both,” he said.


Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

PM approves double taxation avoidance agreement with Israel

In Vietnam Economy on October 21, 2009 at 1:10 am

PM approves double taxation avoidance agreement with Israel

QĐND – Tuesday, October 20, 2009, 20:51 (GMT+7)

The Prime Minister has approved the double taxation avoidance agreement and contraband prevention, targeting taxes levied on earnings and properties between Vietnam and Israel.

The agreement was signed in Hanoi on August 4.

According to figures from the Ministry of Industry and Trade , Vietnam and Israel ’s two way trade reached 163 million USD last year. Vietnam exported shoes, clothes, and agricultural products to Israel while importing hi-tech equipment, chemicals and fertilisers from the country.

Israeli companies have invested in some construction projects in Vietnam such as the Hanoi-based Landmark and the Ho Chi Minh City-based Capital Fund buildings.

Israel currently ranks 60th among 85 countries and territories investing in Vietnam with eight projects and a total registered capital of nearly 12 million USD.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND Bookmark & Share

Thailand approves tough laws for Thaksin coup rally

In World on September 15, 2009 at 5:14 pm

BANGKOK, Sept 15, 2009 (AFP) – Thailand’s cabinet agreed Tuesday to invoke harsh security laws allowing the deployment of troops for protests this weekend on the third anniversary of a coup against former premier Thaksin Shinawatra.

Thai soldiers patrol a check security at Government House in Bangkok on September 15, 2009 (AFP photo)

The move raises tensions ahead of the planned mass rally on Saturday in Bangkok by the “Red Shirt” movement, which wants current Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to quit and call fresh elections.

Government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn said the Internal Security Act would be in force from Friday until Tuesday in the centre of the capital “as the demonstration is likely to turn into political chaos.”

“This law will both ensure the safety of protesters and allow us to control the situation. Police will be the core force with the military acting as assistants, but the number of forces depends on the situation,” he said.

The act will effectively ban protests in Bangkok’s historic Dusit district, which is home to several potential flashpoint locations including Parliament and Government House, where the cabinet offices are located.

The protest comes a day before Abhisit is due to leave for the United States for the UN General Assembly and the G20 summit. Thaksin was toppled by the military in 2006 while he was away at the UN.

The Red Shirts have twice called off previous rallies in recent weeks after the government invoked the act, but they vowed to go ahead with this weekend’s demonstration.

“Unarmed and peaceful protest is guaranteed under the constitution. The government has no need to be afraid of this demonstration,” Jatuporn Prompan, one of the movement’s senior leaders, told AFP.

In April similar Red Shirt protests spiralled into riots which forced the cancellation of a major Asian summit and led to mass unrest in Bangkok, leaving two people dead and 123 injured.

The Red Shirts backed down on that occasion after troops threatened to use force, but they have recently reignited their campaign by lodging a petition with the king last week for a royal pardon for Thaksin.

Thaksin fled the country a year ago to escape a two-year jail term for corruption, but the divide between his supporters and his foes continues to cause turmoil in the kingdom.

Source: SGGP

Defiant Israel approves settlements boost

In World on September 8, 2009 at 5:27 pm

Israel on Monday gave the go-ahead to build hundreds of new homes in settlements in the occupied West Bank, defying warnings that the move jeopardises any resumption of Middle East peace talks.

Defence Minister Ehud Barak authorised the construction of 455 units, most of them in the large settlement blocs that Israel has said it wants to keep in the event of a final peace agreement.

The move — coming just days ahead of a planned visit to the region by US Middle East envoy George Mitchell — has sparked criticism that it will undermine US-led efforts to restart the stalled peace process.

“Israel’s decision … nullifies any effect that a settlement freeze, when and if announced, will have,” top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said in a statement.

“It further undermines faith in the peace process, and the belief that Israel is a credible partner for peace.”

Israeli right wing activists hold up banners as they demonstrate near the West Bank Jewish settlement of Maaleh Adumim, seen in background, on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

When Israel last week announced its intention to approve a spurt of settlement building before considering a halt demanded by the United States, Washington and Europe also warned against the move.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas blasted the plans as unacceptable.

He warned that if Israel goes ahead there will be no point in his holding a three-way meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly later this month.

“We will not go back to the negotiating table before a halt to the settlement building,” Abbas’s spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina told AFP on Monday in Saudi Arabia.

The Israeli anti-settlement Peace Now group said in a statement that “these building approvals transform any peace process into a political farce.”

“The settlers are receiving … a significant gift from the government of Israel in the form of settlements extending tens of kilometres (miles) deep into the West Bank,” it said.

But settler representatives blasted Monday’s authorisation as not enough.

“We are extremely disappointed,” Pinhas Wallerstein, head of the Yesha settler umbrella organisation, told AFP. “I’m ashamed of the attitude of my government, which is not resisting American pressure.”

Later Monday, several hundred opponents of the freeze attended a protest in Maaleh Adumim, the largest West Bank settlement, urging the government to build new settlement neighborhoods.

The Americans don’t run this country, Israelis do,” said Science and Technology Minister Daniel Hershkowitz of the pro-settler Jewish Home party, a junior member of the coalition.

Across the other side of a police cordon, dozens of Peace Now activists chanted: “Yes to peace, no to settlements.”

Washington has for months pushed Israel to freeze all settlement activity and for Arab states to take steps towards normalising relations with the Jewish state in order to revive peace talks.

Amid media speculation that some Arab states may answer Obama’s call and agree to normalisation steps, such as issuing visas or overflight rights, Abbas on Monday called “for a unified Arab stance in face of Israel.”

The increased settlement building is part of Netanyahu’s efforts to appease the hawks in his right-wing Likud party who virulently oppose any freeze, Israeli analysts say.

Any moratorium on construction would exclude some 2,500 homes already being built in the West Bank, as well as any building in annexed east Jerusalem.

Jewish settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem — together home to some half a million Israelis — are considered illegal by the international community and one of the thorniest issues in the decades-old Middle East conflict.

Source: SGGP