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Posts Tagged ‘battle’

Tuan in battle of nerves at ASIAD

In Uncategorized on October 20, 2010 at 3:06 pm

Tuan in battle of nerves at ASIAD

QĐND – Wednesday, October 20, 2010, 21:25 (GMT+7)

While Hoang Anh Tuan won the silver medal for weightlifting in the men’s 56kg class at the last Asian Games, his chances of holding onto a place on the podium at the coming games next month are unclear, especially if he can’t overcome nervousness during competition.

The Olympics silver medal winner overcame the shock of failure at last December’s Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Laos and promised to do better at the Asian Games in Guangzhou, China.

However, he failed to win a medal at the world weightlifting championship in Turkey last month, despite winning the bronze at the championships in 2007.

This year his rivals include China’s Wu Jingbiao who pocketed the world title after a total lift of 192kg, 19kg more than Tuan.

Second-placed Long Qingquan, who is the Olympics champion, also from China, lifted 188kg. The third major rival is Cha Kum-chol from North Korea who grabbed the bronze medal with a lift of 281kg.

All of them will compete at the Asian Games in Guangzhou.

However, the former Asian champion is still the only weightlifter who can bring home a medal for Viet Nam.

After Tuan’s loss at the world competition, Do Dinh Khang, head of the National Sports Administration’s weightlifting department, said the performance did not reflect Tuan’s real ability.

As Tuan’s coach ahead of the tournament, Khang said his athlete has a real chance of winning a medal despite the recent failures.

But the coach admitted that Tuan had one weakness: nervousness during competition, which had to be better handled. His loss at the SEA Games affected his confidence, according to Khang.

“Tuan became too cautious when choosing weight levels (often lighter than what he could do during practice) but it did not help him,” said Khang. “In my opinion, if he felt free as if he was simply training, his results would be different.”

“In weightlifting, an athlete who proves his better ability, but is not mentally confident, will not be a successful one,” he said.

Source: VietNamNet/Viet Nam News


Source: QDND

Grand masters to battle in France

In Uncategorized on October 16, 2010 at 6:25 pm

Grand masters to battle in France

QĐND – Saturday, October 16, 2010, 20:49 (GMT+7)

Two International Grand Masters (IGM) Le Quang Liem and Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son will compete in the Cap D’Agde Rapid Chess tournament in France from October 23-31.

The two top Vietnamese grand masters will test their skills against formidable opponents, including Russian giant Anatoly Karpov, Vasily Ivanchuk from Ukraine, Bu Xiangzhi from China and Judith Polgar from Hungary.

The event will be useful warm up before Liem and Son join the Asian Games in Guangzhou, China next month.

Liem, 19, has been in top form since finishing second at the Sparkassen Chess Meeting that was held in Dortmund, Germany in July. He also won the Moscow Open in February.

Last year, the HCM City-born player broke into the world’s top 20 FIDE rankings, and was the only Vietnamese player to make the list of leading male chess masters.

However, Son and Liem performed poorly at the Chess Olympiad last month.

Son, who became a Grand Master in March 1997 when he was 14 years old, will face China’s Bu Xiangzhi, an arch rival, in the Cap D’Agde tourney.

The match will be held next Friday. After the tournament, the two top players will have a 10-day break before flying to Guangzhou for the Asian Games.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

Fifteen tour guides battle it out for top award

In Uncategorized on August 17, 2010 at 3:23 pm

Fifteen tour guides battle it out for top award

QĐND – Tuesday, August 17, 2010, 22:5 (GMT+7)

Fifteen tour guides have gathered to compete in the final round of the second National Tour Guide Competition held in Hanoi on August 15.

The 15 shortlist contestants were selected from 50 candidates from 14 cities and provinces nationwide. They have performed in a range of categories, including video tape dubbing, questions and answer session, and foreign-language speaking contest.

Tour guide Huynh Cong Hieu from the Saigontourist won first prize, worth 5 million VND and a tour package for two people to the Republic of Korea . He also won the best dubbing award thanks to his presentation on Hoi An Town.

Runners-up Nguyen Hong Nguyen from Hanoitourist and Nguyen Quynh from the Saigontourist won 4 million VND cash prizes and a trip for two people to Malaysia and Singapore.

Vice general director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism Nguyen Manh Cuong said the competition aimed to honour tour guides and reward those who excelled at their job, helping contribute towards improving the Vietnamese tourism industry.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Fifteen tour guides battle it out for top award

In Uncategorized on August 17, 2010 at 3:21 pm

Fifteen tour guides have gathered to compete in the final round of the second National Tour Guide Competition held in Hanoi on August 15.

Excellent competitors at the award giving ceremonyThe 15 shortlist contestants were selected from 50 candidates from 14 cities and provinces nationwide. They have performed in a range of categories, including video tape dubbing, questions and answer session, and foreign-language speaking contest.

Tour guide Huynh Cong Hieu from the Saigontourist won first prize, worth 5 million VND and a tour package for two people to the Republic of Korea . He also won the best dubbing award thanks to his presentation on Hoi An Town.

Runners-up Nguyen Hong Nguyen from Hanoitourist and Nguyen Quynh from the Saigontourist won VND4 million cash prizes and a trip for two people to Malaysia and Singapore .

Vice general director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism Nguyen Manh Cuong said the competition aimed to honor tour guides and reward those who excelled at their job, helping contribute towards improving the Vietnamese tourism industry.

Source: SGGP

Russia steps up battle to contain fire near nuclear site

In Uncategorized on August 12, 2010 at 11:21 am

MOSCOW, Aug 12, 2010 (AFP) – Russia on Thursday sent a special firefighting train to join over 3,400 firefighters battling to douse wildfires close to its top nuclear research centre, officials said.

While no blazes had been registered on the territory of the nuclear research centre in Sarov in central Russia itself, a nearby nature reserve has been on fire for around a week.

Authorities on Thursday were boosting firefighting teams to more than 3,400 people to keep the fire from spreading to Sarov, a town in the Nizhny Novgorod region still closed to foreigners as in Soviet times.

The nature reserve is located in nearby region of Mordovia and tree leaves and pine needles on the surface — and not the trees themselves — now are burning and smouldering, said Mikhail Turkov, a spokesman for the emergencies ministry’s Volga regional branch.

“Two planes and two helicopters are currently circling over Sarov,” Turkov told AFP. “Reconnaissance is being constantly conducted from the air.”

More than 3,400 people and a firefighting train were involved in putting out the fires, while a second train was currently on its way to the scene. The firefighting trains contain vast amounts of water and special hoses.

Volunteers relax as they prepare for extinguishing a fire at a forest near the village of Tokhushevo ,some 50 km outside Sarov on August 11, 2010. AFP

A new fire in the area broke out late Wednesday when lightening hit a pine tree, the local emergencies ministry said.

A spokeswoman for the Sarov nuclear center confirmed to AFP there were no fires on the centre’s territory and said its staff was not being evacuated. She declined to give further details.

Two soldiers were killed by blazing trees as they strove to put out a fire close to the centre on Monday.

Russia is battling what experts say is the worst heatwave in its millenium-long history which has affected nearly all areas of life and may shave off one percent from Russia’s gross domestic product, according to some estimates.

Source: SGGP

Russia declares emergency in battle to stop wildfires

In Uncategorized on August 3, 2010 at 7:20 am

MOSCOW, Aug 2, 2010 (AFP) – President Dmitry Medvedev on Monday declared a state of emergency in seven Russian regions over the worst wildfires in a generation as the death toll rose to 40.

Amid unusual public criticism that the authorities were slow to react to the spreading fires last week, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin ordered regional governors at an urgent meeting to present a detailed reconstruction plan.

A Russian woman stands near the remains of her burnt out home in Voronezh on August 2, 2010. AFP

Medvedev declared the emergency in seven regions in European Russia — Mairi El, Mordovia, Vladimir, Voronezh, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod and Ryazan.

The decree allows the authorities to restrict public access to areas where their presence could pose a fire hazard, and to call on the armed forces to put out and prevent fires, according to a summary posted on the Kremlin website.

“Remember that any tossed away match can lead to an irreparable disaster. That is the way things are,” said Medvedev in a televised address.

“Our main task today is to help the victims return to normal life,” he added.

Putin also raised the possibility of calling in volunteers to reinforce the firefighters.

“Everyone and all our equipment are working to the limit…. If necessary, we could mobilise volunteers and personnel from businesses,” he said.

The health ministry said Monday that 40 people had died in the fires, raising the toll from 34.

The worst hit region has been Nizhny Novgorod with 19 deaths, but raging fires have also claimed lives in the Voronezh, Lipetsk, Moscow and Ryazan regions, the ministry added.

Russia’s Orthdox Patriarch Kirill I led a ceremony broadcast on television from Nizhny Novgorod, in which crowds of faithful prayed for rain.

At least 1,875 houses have been destroyed in fires, leaving more than 2,000 people homeless, the regional development ministry said Sunday, with around 128,000 hectares (316,000 acres) of land on fire.

On Monday alone, Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu said that wildfires in the southern Lipetsk region destroyed 50 homes after strong winds sent flames ripping through a village.

The emergencies ministry said that it had 155,000 people and more than 25,000 pieces of equipment on hand to fight what Medvedev has described as a once-in-a-generation catastrophe.

But the authorities have insisted they have the situation under control.

“Out of 1,200 fires, 620 have been extinguished, leaving 580” still burning, said Shoigu.

The Nizhny Novgorod branch of the emergency services said the fires were no longer spreading from the countryside to inhabited areas and the threat to towns and villages had been lifted.

Moscow itself was again blanketed Monday in a heavy smog generated from peat fires burning in the countryside, with the city centre permeated by a smell of smoke and the tops of skyscrapers invisible in the early morning.

Shoigu lashed out at residents for creating the conditions for fires with barbecues and camp fires during their weekend leisure activities.

“People need to understand… all the rules if they go into the forest. Our coming week of work depends on how they spent their days off.”

Putin, who has led the response to the disaster and visited some of the affected areas, issued stern instructions at a meeting with governors of the worst hit regions.

“I want plans of reconstruction for every region, every district, every house,” he said. “I want a list of all the injured signed by you — the governors,” he added.

The strongman, rarely criticised in Russia, found himself harangued by angry victims of the fires when he visited the Nizhny Novgorod region and later slammed local officials for their slack response.

A country notorious for its bitterly cold winters, Russia is enduring its severest heatwave for decades which has seen all-time temperature records tumble throughout July.

Forecasters have warned there is no chance of the heatwave relenting for the moment, with temperatures of between 35-42 degrees Celsius (95-107.6 degrees Fahrenheit) expected in Moscow and central Russia over the next days.

Source: SGGP

Storm threat may imperil BP battle to plug Gulf well

In Uncategorized on July 22, 2010 at 11:18 am

BURAS, Louisiana, July 22, 2010 (AFP) – The threat of a new tropical storm forced crews to make preparations to protect the damaged Gulf of Mexico oil well, which could delay plans to permanently seal the leak that led to the environmental disaster.

The National Hurricane Center said Thursday a storm system over the Bahamas had a 40 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone and would likely move westward into the Gulf of Mexico.

A pelican flies away from boom used to protect Queen Bess Island on July 21, 2010 in Grand Isle, Louisiana. AFP

The forecasting service Accuweather said the forecast track “takes the system near south Florida on Friday then into the eastern Gulf of Mexico by Saturday then into the Louisiana coast Saturday night or Sunday.”

“We are having to watch the weather very, very carefully now and adjust our plans accordingly,” BP senior vice president Kent Wells told reporters Wednesday.

Anxiously eyeing the bad weather brewing in the Caribbean to see if it could become a tropical storm and veer towards the Gulf, US and BP officials pored over data mulling whether to order an evacuation.

But in case it has to evacuate the area around the damaged well, which lies some 50 miles (80 kilometers) off the Louisiana coast, BP early Wednesday placed a special plug inside the well’s casing.

The well has been capped since Thursday and the plug, dubbed “a storm packer,” was “another barrier, so that nothing can flow up or down past that plug… so that if we have to leave we have multiple barriers,” Wells said.

Depending on how the system develops, officials may have to issue evacuation orders for hundreds of support ships and engineers trying to finish drilling a relief well deep under the seabed.

“If we have to evacuate the area… we could be looking at 10 to 14 day gaps in our lines of operation,” warned retired Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, who is in charge of the US government response to the Gulf disaster.

President Barack Obama, who met with top officials including Allen on the oil spill response, “pushed his team to be prepared for any scenarios related to the potential development of a tropical storm in the Gulf,” the White House said.

Any storm would be a frustrating setback as the British energy giant may be within days of permanently plugging the well, which began leaking after an April 20 explosion.

Wells confirmed work had stopped Wednesday on the relief well still seen as the ultimate solution to killing the damaged well, until the weather forecast became clearer.

The final pieces of casing need to be placed on the relief well to protect it before a so-called “static kill” can begin.

Allen said earlier that depending on the weather the “static kill” could start as early as the weekend.

But BP has not yet been given permission to start the operation, and Wells was more cautious on the timing saying it would take three to four days to first finish the relief well casing.

The static kill would see BP try to drown the oil flow by pumping in mud and cement via the giant 30-foot (10-meter) cap which has prevented any oil from streaming into the Gulf for almost a week.

Local residents warned that efforts to choke off the well may be too late, with hundreds of miles of coastline in five Gulf states already fouled.

“There is a definite sense of doom here. Everyone seems just defeated. Every day they are being told about oiled marshes, where they grew up,” said Jessica Lass, spokeswoman for the Natural Resources Defense Council, which has set up a center in the small Louisiana town of Buras.

“This is their livelihood, because it’s not like the shrimp are going to come back this year. Knowing that your source of income could potentially be permanently gone, what are you supposed to do?”

A vast swath of the Gulf has been closed to commercial and sport fishing, a key economic lifeline for this impoverished area.

“It’s the uncertainty of what’s going to happen, creating this huge growth in stress levels here,” spokeswoman Lisa Becnel from volunteer group C.A.R.E told AFP.

BP has already spent close to four billion dollars on clean-up costs and compensation claims and has promised to set up a 20-billion-dollar fund to pay victims of the disaster along the US Gulf Coast.

In a sign of some potentially good news, Allen said hundreds of boats deployed to skim oil from the Gulf surface were having trouble finding any.

It is not known exactly how much oil has leaked into the sea, but if an upper estimate of over four million barrels is confirmed, the disaster would be the biggest accidental oil spill ever.

Source: SGGP

No-Smoking battle wins ground: poll

In Uncategorized on May 6, 2010 at 4:42 pm

No-Smoking battle wins ground: poll

QĐND – Thursday, May 06, 2010, 21:34 (GMT+7)

Findings from a survey released on May 5 revealed that 77 percent of Vietnamese people who had seen anti-smoking material oppose being exposed to second hand smoke in public places.

The research was conducted as part of a national mass media campaign by the Ministry of Health, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the World Lung Foundation (WLF) to build support for a smoking ban in the workplace, indoor public areas and on public transport.

The figure is 14 percent higher than that of people who had not seen the material. This significant difference shows that more people would support a smoking ban if they had a better understanding of the harmful effects of smoking and passive smoking.

The survey also found that more than 80 percent of smokers said they were very concerned about their own health and that of their family members after seeing the anti-smoking campaign. Seventy-five percent of smokers said that they were more likely to quit.

“Around 50 percent of adults in Vietnam smoke, the equivalent of 17 million people. We should not let more than 60 million people be exposed to second hand smoke,” said Director of Medical Services Administration and Standing Office for Vietnam ’s Steering Committee on Smoking and Health Luong Ngoc Khue.

The campaign, entitled “Cigarettes Are Eating You Alive”, is being channeled via different media such as television, newspapers and posters.

“This campaign used strong imagery to communicate that tobacco smoke harms those who inhale it directly and those who are exposed to it second hand, especially children,” said WLF Senior Vice President of Communications Sandra Mullin.

The campaign aired nationally for five weeks, from December 2009 to January 2010. The ads were shown 245 times across Vietnam and 70 percent of people interviewed recalled seeing the ads. The TV campaign was followed by more than 5,000 posters in provinces across the country, including hospitals, offices and transportation facilities.

The Ministry of Health says around 40,000 Vietnamese people die each year of smoking-related illnesses. Vietnamese people spent more than 730 million USD on cigarettes in 2007.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Top pastry chefs battle Asia’s best

In Uncategorized on April 21, 2010 at 4:18 pm

Top pastry chefs battle Asia’s best

QĐND – Wednesday, April 21, 2010, 22:6 (GMT+7)

Sofitel Saigon Plaza pastry chefs Pham Ngoc Hai and Tran Ngo Lam Khanh are taking on Asia’s best in a cake making contest in Singapore that began on April 20.

The three-day “Asian Pastry Cup 2010,” which requires competitors to make four pastries, has also attracted teams from Australia, China, India, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia.

The Sofitel Saigon chefs won the Viet Nam Pastry cup held in Ha Noi last May after beating six other teams.

They represented the nation at the second World Pastry Cup held in Paris last month when they took on teams from Mexico, Morocco, Spain, Japan, France, Ukraine, Russia, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Chinese mainland, Ireland, and Viet Nam.

For their “passion for excellence”, they were rewarded with a special week of training under Stephane Glacier, the 2000 Best Craftsmen of France in Pastry.
Philippe Godard, general manager of Sofitel Saigon Plaza, said: “After the training provided by Mr Glacier, we have more confidence in them, in the strong addition to their skills and new techniques.”

Asian Pastry Cup 2010 is organised by Food&Hotel Asia, a sourcing platform for food and hospitality in Asia.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Political battle looms after Justice Stevens says to retire

In Uncategorized on April 10, 2010 at 1:36 pm

The US capital on Saturday faced another tough political battle after venerable US Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens announced his retirement from the bench.

In this Sept. 29, 2009 photo, Associate Justice John Paul Stevens sits for a group photograph at the Supreme Court in Washington. (AFP Photo)

President Barack Obama vowed to quickly name a replacement for Stevens, the court’s liberal standard-bearer, and said he would select an advocate for “ordinary” Americans, in comments which put his conservative foes on alert.

Stevens, who will shortly turn 90, joined the bench amid the traumatic fallout of the Watergate scandal in the 1970s, and will depart after 34 years, with bitter partisanship once again tearing at the fabric of US politics.

A president can influence American life for years after he leaves office, with the lifetime appointment of a Supreme Court justice.

Stevens’s departure, however, is unlikely to change the current court’s conservative leaning.

The announcement was widely anticipated, and the White House has been quietly sifting possible replacements. Obama’s political foes have also built ammunition for what will be a brutal political struggle over his nominee.

“I shall retire from regular active service as an associate justice… effective the next day after the court rises for the summer recess this year,” the soft-spoken Stevens wrote in a letter to Obama.

He said he took the decision so a successor could be in place before the court, which adjudicates the thorniest legal, political and constitutional questions, begins its fall term in October.

Obama, who learned of Stevens’s decision while flying home from Prague aboard Air Force One, lauded the Chicago-born judge as an “impartial guardian of the law” who had worn his robes with honor and humility.

Setting the parameters of the confirmation fight, Obama said he would seek someone with “similar qualities” as Stevens — “an independent mind, a record of excellence and integrity, a fierce dedication to the rule of law.”

Obama pledged to choose a candidate who understood how “the law affects the daily lives of the American people.

“It will also be someone who, like Justice Stevens, knows that in a democracy, powerful interests must not be allowed to drown out the voices of ordinary citizens.”

Conservatives accuse judges of the type seemingly favored by Obama of being “activists” who are more keen to “legislate from the bench” than confining their rulings to a strict interpretation of the US Constitution.

“Even if Justice Stevens’s liberalism has led to many decisions I oppose, I respect his devotion to the institution and the gentlemanly manner in which he always carried out his work,” said Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell.

“Americans can expect Senate Republicans to make a sustained and vigorous case for judicial restraint and the fundamental importance of an even-handed reading of the law,” McConnell said, hinting at a tough confirmation struggle.

The New York Times, a liberal newspaper, noted that Justice Stevens “has been an eloquent voice for civil liberties, equal rights and fairness” and argued, in an editorial, that “Obama should fill his seat with someone equally committed to these principles.”

The president, a former constitutional scholar himself, has had an unusually delicate relationship with the Supreme Court, after he chided a ruling on campaign finance in front of justices during his State of the Union address.

Obama will be making his second pick to the top court after naming Sonia Sotomayor as the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice last year.

Stevens, at the time a moderate Republican, was nominated by former president Gerald Ford and has sat on the bench since 1975, carving out a reputation as an unlikely dissenter as the court became more conservative.

With his white hair, round glasses and bow tie, his goodhearted appearance masked a crafty legal mind. He was a holdout when the Supreme Court ultimately decided the 2000 election in favor of George W. Bush over Al Gore.

Professor Jonathan Turley of George Washington University law school described Stevens’s retirement as “an understandably sad moment for liberals.”

“It is not just the loss of one of the clearest voices for civil liberties and equality. It is the departure of the last of the court’s ‘greatest generation,'” Turley said.

Stevens nearly beat the record of his long-serving predecessor, William Douglas, who served for 36 years.

Born in 1920 in Chicago as the youngest of four siblings, Stevens first threw himself into the study of literature in the hope of becoming a professor like his mother.

But he turned to law after joining the US Navy following the attacks on Pearl Harbor, serving as an intelligence officer from 1942 to 1945.


Source: SGGP