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Poor people to have new homes before Tet holiday

In Uncategorized on December 24, 2010 at 4:23 am




Poor people to have new homes before Tet holiday


QĐND – Tuesday, December 21, 2010, 21:9 (GMT+7)

PANO- Permanent Vice-Chairman of The Hanoi People’s Committee, Phi Thai Binh, recently urged investors and entrepreneurs in social housing projects in the locality, to accelerate the implementation.


At a meeting between local authorities and the investors and entrepreneurs, the official asked them to speed up the construction of social housing projects in order to hand over homes to social beneficiaries before the traditional Lunar New Year Holiday.


According to the City Construction Department, there are 8 businesses that are investing in 11 social housing projects with some 16,500 apartments.


The agency estimates that only 1 project has been finished and several others could be wrapped up before the holiday.


Under the schedule, some thousands of low income families in Hanoi can move into their new homes to celebrate the happiest Tet holiday.


Translated by Thu Nguyen


Source: QDND

BP did not put profit before safety on Gulf well: probe

In Uncategorized on November 9, 2010 at 6:22 am

NA: Careful consideration is needed before implementing large-scale projects

In Uncategorized on June 8, 2010 at 2:31 pm




NA: Careful consideration is needed before implementing large-scale projects


QĐND – Tuesday, June 08, 2010, 21:1 (GMT+7)

At a working session in Hanoi on June 8, many National Assembly (NA) deputies raised concern about financial sources, implementation duration and resettlement for the project to build the Hanoi-HCM City express railway.


The Hanoi-Ho Chi Minh City express railway project is a large-scale project that needs a total investment of US$56 billion. It will run as long as 1,570 km across 20 provinces and cities. With a design speed of 300km/h, it will take about five and a half hours to complete the journey from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City.


To proceed with the project, 4,170ha of land will need to be requisited and 9,500 households will need relocating so the project can be completed by 2035.


Most NA deputies agreed to the project, saying it would help to ease traffic congestion, improve the transport network and boost the country’s business operations between regions. However, some also pointed out challenges, such as the huge investment required, resettlement-related issues and the long-term duration of the project’s implementation.


Huge investment


NA delegate Sung Thi Chu from Yen Bai province said the US$56-billion estimated figure is a huge amount as it accounts for up to two third of the nation’s annual GDP. To implement the project, Vietnam will have to borrow massive amounts from foreign countries, and this will increase the country’s debts for decades. Therefore, she added, the NA should consider the project carefully.


Mr Chu’s view was shared by deputy Tran Ngoc Vinh from Hai Phong province, who noted that at present, only 11 countries in the world have an express railway. Some developed countries in the G7 group have not even built an express railway. Vietnam’s State budget is limited, while many other fields still need investment, he said.


Mr Vinh suggested upgrading the current railway network and building high-speed ships as an alternative.


He emphasised that borrowing official development assistance (ODA) loans is not always an advantage because some countries like Thailand and the Philippines have stopped borrowing these loans.


Long duration for implementation


As scheduled, the project will be carried out from 2014 to 2035. This is a long period of time that may affect the effectiveness and quality of the project. According to NA deputy Hoang Van Toan from Vinh Phuc province, it is essential to shorten the project’s duration. Vietnam should apply modern technologies to reduce the duration to 10 years, he said.


Delegate Dao Xuan Nay from Binh Thuan province said the project should be completed more quickly and also be split into several different routes, from Hanoi to Vinh, and from HCM City to Nha Trang.


People’s daily lives need to be ensured


Delegate Sung Thi Chu stressed the need to ensure people’s living conditions in their new resettlement places. The total expenditure for land acquisition and compensation is estimated at more than VND30,000 billion. More than 9,500 households will be relocated, most of them farmers. So, the NA should pay due attention to creating jobs for them and helping them stabilise their lives, she said.


NA deputy Luong Phan Cu from Dak Nong province said it may take more time to implement the project as it affects an additional 16,500 households.


Source: VOV


Source: QDND

Briton ‘warned of rampage’ before shooting 12 dead

In Uncategorized on June 3, 2010 at 10:13 am

British taxi-driver declared “there’s going to be a rampage” just hours before launching a shooting spree that left 12 people dead, and then turning the gun on himself, reports said Thursday.


Derrick Bird, 52, also wounded 11 people, three of them critically, as he drove through the picturesque Lake District region of northwestern England taking pot shots at passers-by from the window of his car.


Police warned local residents and the many tourists who flock to the region to stay indoors for their own protection, but it was more than three hours before Bird’s body was eventually found in wood near the village of Boot.


They believe he killed himself. Officers later recovered a shotgun and a .22 rifle fitted with a telescopic sight.

Police officers look a body at the scene of a shooting in Seascale, Cumbria

More than 100 policemen were working Thursday to retrace Bird’s deadly journey through the rural communities here, to establish why a quiet man, described by neighbours as a “normal bloke”, caused such devastation.


“We are not able to understand at this stage the real motivation behind it or establish whether this was a premeditated or a random attack,” Deputy Chief Constable Stuart Hyde said in the coastal town of Whitehaven Wednesday.


He described it as “probably the blackest day in our community’s history”.


People who knew “Birdy“, as the killer was widely known, described him as a quiet man who worked hard, lived alone but was quite popular. He was divorced, had two children and had recently become a grandfather.


However, reports suggested Bird might have planned the attacks the night before, when he got into an argument with other taxi drivers.


“Afterwards Derrick shook all their hands and said, ‘There’s going to be a rampage tomorrow’,” one of his colleagues told The Sun newspaper.


The Times also reported an old friend of Bird’s recalling that the killer had told him when they spoke late Tuesday: “I won’t see you again.”


The newspaper raised the possibility that the attacks were motivated by a feud over his mother’s will, and reported that Bird’s twin brother David and the family solicitor, Kevin J. Commons, were among the victims.


The shooting began in Whitehaven, where taxi driver Darren Rewcastle was among the dead, and continued to the village of Egremont, where local resident Gary Toomey recounted how he found a man bleeding on his doorstep.


“I saw a car screeching off and a man saying ‘help me’. He was bleeding heavily from the side of his face,” Toomey told local media.


“He said he dived out of the way of the shot, and the man in the car pointed the gun down and shot him again in the back from about six feet away as he lay on the floor.”


Bird then headed into Seascale, where eyewitnesses said he took “pot shots” at people as he drove through.


Among the victims there were the elderly Jane Robinson, who died as she delivered catalogues door-to-door, and 64-year-old Michael Pike, who was shot as he rode his bicycle.


Seascale doctor Barrie Walker told of “blood flowing in the streets” as he attended to victims.

Prime Minister David Cameron said he was “alarmed and shocked” by the attacks, the worst in Britain since the shootings of 16 primary school children and their teacher in the Scottish town of Dunblane in 1996.

“When lives and communities are suddenly shattered in this way, our thoughts should be with all those caught up with these tragic events,” Cameron told lawmakers in parliament.

Queen Elizabeth II said she was “deeply shocked” by the “appalling” events, offering her sympathy to the victims’ families.

“I am sure I share in the grief and horror of the whole country,” she said.

Britain has tight controls on gun ownership introduced after both the Dunblane massacre and a 1987 shooting in Hungerford, southern England, where 14 people died.

Registration is now mandatory for shotguns and firearms, which must be kept in secure storage. Handguns were banned in 1997, and semi-automatic and pump-action rifles are also outlawed.

Source: SGGP

Obama, Medvedev meet before nuclear treaty signing

In Uncategorized on April 8, 2010 at 11:48 am

PRAGUE (AFP) – US President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev met in Prague on Thursday before signing a treaty slashing their countries’ nuclear arsenals.


The two heads of state will sign a successor to the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), which expired last December, in the city where Obama called for a nuclear-free world in a keynote speech a year ago.

US President Barack Obama (R) with his Czech counterpart Vaclav Klaus (C) and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at Prague Castle. AFP photo

The signing is to take place in at Prague Castle at midday (1000 GMT) after a one-on-one meeting expected to focus on Iran’s nuclear programme, the Kyrgyzstan uprising and US missile defence in Europe.


Following the ceremony in the castle’s lavishly decorated Spanish Hall, Obama and Medvedev will give a joint press conference.


Sticking to diplomatic protocol, Obama had to wait for Medvedev at the castle as the Russian president has been in office longer than him.


Both presidents walked on a red carpet flanked by army officers in full dress, before Czech President Vaclav Klaus took them to the castle gardens, where they posed for photographers in the spring sun in front of Prague’s historic skyline.


Obama and Medvedev then went into the castle for talks.


Medvedev arrived in Prague on Wednesday evening, while Obama landed after 0900 (0700 GMT) on Thursday.


The Russian president is due to leave Prague on Thursday afternoon.


Obama will later on Thursday meet 11 central and eastern European leaders, whose countries have fretted about eroding support from Washington as the Obama administration pursues closer ties with Russia.


He will spend the night in Prague and leave for Washington around noon (1000 GMT) on Friday after bilateral talks with Czech leaders.

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Source: SGGP

Europeans warned of Toyota pedals well before US

In Uncategorized on April 7, 2010 at 9:37 am

 Long before Toyota told U.S. regulators about sticking accelerator pedals, the Japanese automaker warned its distributors throughout Europe about similar problems, documents obtained by The Associated Press show.


Concerns about sticking gas pedals and complaints from Toyota owners in the U.S. were rising at the end of 2009. The documents show that weeks earlier, on Sept. 29, its European division issued technical information “identifying a production improvement and repair procedure to address complaints by customers in those countries of sticking accelerator pedals, sudden rpm increase and/or sudden vehicle acceleration.”


Distributors throughout Europe and in Russia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Turkey and Israel received the technical information.


In assessing a record $16.4 million fine on Toyota for failing to alert the U.S. government to the safety problems quickly enough, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood cited the warnings to the other countries. LaHood said Tuesday that Toyota made a “huge mistake” by not disclosing the safety problems sooner.

Cars for sale at a Toyota dealer in Hollywood.

The timeline in the documents shows that Toyota said in October it had received three reports of sticking pedals in Corollas sold in the United States. It notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about the cases in November.


In November and December, Toyota engineers examined pedals from the Corollas and were able to replicate the sticking pedal problem in two of the three cases. The engineers “concluded that the phenomenon experienced in the United States was essentially the same as the phenomenon experienced in Europe,” the document said.


In mid-January, Toyota held internal meetings “to discuss status of production changes and to prepare for meetings with NHTSA” on Jan. 19, according to the timeline. Two days later, Toyota announced it would recall 2.3 million vehicles to address the sticking pedals.


The documents obtained by the AP were among 70,000 pages of papers turned over to government investigators. They show that on Sept. 29, the same day Toyota issued the repair procedures in Europe, the company told NHTSA of its decision to recall several Toyota and Lexus vehicle models “to address the risk of accelerator pedal entrapment by all-weather floor mats.”


Toyota has said the problems involved separate issues, and in the case of the sticking gas pedals, the problem was related to the buildup of condensation on sliding surfaces in the accelerator system that helps drivers push down or release the gas pedal.


The timelines, titled “preliminary chronology of principal events,” were provided to the government on March 24.


LaHood told reporters in Chicago on Tuesday that he wouldn’t be surprised if a review of documents from Toyota Motor Corp. uncovered additional safety lapses by the Japanese automaker.


“This is the first thing that we have found,” LaHood said. “It may not be the last thing.”


Under federal law, automakers must notify NHTSA within five days of determining that a safety defect exists and promptly conduct a recall.


Toyota, in a statement Tuesday, said it “has and will continue to practice its philosophy of satisfying consumers with high quality vehicles that are safe and reliable, and responding to consumer feedback with honesty and integrity.”


Toyota has recalled more than 6 million vehicles in the U.S. and a total of more than 8 million worldwide because of acceleration problems in multiple models and braking issues in the Prius hybrid.


The Japanese automaker was still weighing its options Tuesday about whether to accept or contest the fine. It has also been named in 138 potential class-action lawsuits over falling vehicle values and nearly 100 personal injury and wrongful death cases in federal courts.

Source: SGGP

Europeans warned of Toyota pedals well before US

In Uncategorized on April 7, 2010 at 9:37 am

 Long before Toyota told U.S. regulators about sticking accelerator pedals, the Japanese automaker warned its distributors throughout Europe about similar problems, documents obtained by The Associated Press show.


Concerns about sticking gas pedals and complaints from Toyota owners in the U.S. were rising at the end of 2009. The documents show that weeks earlier, on Sept. 29, its European division issued technical information “identifying a production improvement and repair procedure to address complaints by customers in those countries of sticking accelerator pedals, sudden rpm increase and/or sudden vehicle acceleration.”


Distributors throughout Europe and in Russia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Turkey and Israel received the technical information.


In assessing a record $16.4 million fine on Toyota for failing to alert the U.S. government to the safety problems quickly enough, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood cited the warnings to the other countries. LaHood said Tuesday that Toyota made a “huge mistake” by not disclosing the safety problems sooner.

Cars for sale at a Toyota dealer in Hollywood.

The timeline in the documents shows that Toyota said in October it had received three reports of sticking pedals in Corollas sold in the United States. It notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about the cases in November.


In November and December, Toyota engineers examined pedals from the Corollas and were able to replicate the sticking pedal problem in two of the three cases. The engineers “concluded that the phenomenon experienced in the United States was essentially the same as the phenomenon experienced in Europe,” the document said.


In mid-January, Toyota held internal meetings “to discuss status of production changes and to prepare for meetings with NHTSA” on Jan. 19, according to the timeline. Two days later, Toyota announced it would recall 2.3 million vehicles to address the sticking pedals.


The documents obtained by the AP were among 70,000 pages of papers turned over to government investigators. They show that on Sept. 29, the same day Toyota issued the repair procedures in Europe, the company told NHTSA of its decision to recall several Toyota and Lexus vehicle models “to address the risk of accelerator pedal entrapment by all-weather floor mats.”


Toyota has said the problems involved separate issues, and in the case of the sticking gas pedals, the problem was related to the buildup of condensation on sliding surfaces in the accelerator system that helps drivers push down or release the gas pedal.


The timelines, titled “preliminary chronology of principal events,” were provided to the government on March 24.


LaHood told reporters in Chicago on Tuesday that he wouldn’t be surprised if a review of documents from Toyota Motor Corp. uncovered additional safety lapses by the Japanese automaker.


“This is the first thing that we have found,” LaHood said. “It may not be the last thing.”


Under federal law, automakers must notify NHTSA within five days of determining that a safety defect exists and promptly conduct a recall.


Toyota, in a statement Tuesday, said it “has and will continue to practice its philosophy of satisfying consumers with high quality vehicles that are safe and reliable, and responding to consumer feedback with honesty and integrity.”


Toyota has recalled more than 6 million vehicles in the U.S. and a total of more than 8 million worldwide because of acceleration problems in multiple models and braking issues in the Prius hybrid.


The Japanese automaker was still weighing its options Tuesday about whether to accept or contest the fine. It has also been named in 138 potential class-action lawsuits over falling vehicle values and nearly 100 personal injury and wrongful death cases in federal courts.

Source: SGGP

Cost of many goods to drop before Tet

In Uncategorized on March 24, 2010 at 4:49 am

Nguyen Thi Hong, deputy chairwoman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee, led a recent delegation to check up on city enterprises participating in a price-stabilization program ahead of the upcoming Tet (lunar New Year) holiday.








Shopping at  a supermarket (Photo: SGGP)

According to the businesses, there will be an ample supply of traditional Tet goods available ahead of the busy season, while the price of many items has declined by up to 10 percent over last year.


At Ho Chi Minh City Food Company (Foocosa)’s FoocoMart on Tran Hung Dao Street in HCMC’s District 1, the cost of essential goods are being kept stable in accordance with Department of Industry and Trade regulations.


Mr. Huynh Cong Thanh, director of Foocosa said the company will provide 2,500 tons of rice at VND8, 000-13,500 per kilo during Tet, and the prices of other essential items at 40 company minimarts will remain fixed.


Director General of the Vinh Phat Investment Joint Stock Company, Tran Ngoc Trung, said his company will supply 2,200 tons of rice at reduced costs of 5-10 percent. However, special types of rice will increase from 10-12 percent.


According to the Phu An Sinh Food Processing company, prices of chicken and pork are down by 10-12 percent in comparison with last year. A kilo of two types of chicken costs VND44,000-80,000 while a kilo of three kinds of pork range from VND35,000-68,000.


Duck and chicken eggs at the Vinh Thanh Dat Company are now sold at VND2,500-1,550, said a company representative, adding that the company may be offered 10 millions of eggs during Tet.


Ms. Hong of the city People’s Committee said the zero percent interest rate on loans given to participating businesses in the Tet price-stabilization program has achieved great successes over the past six years.


Companies have also invested in modern machinery and equipment to efficiently manufacture products that ensure food and safety quality, she added.


City authorities say they plan to develop a price-stabilization program to maintain prices year-round.


 





Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

Bustling gift markets before Vietnam Women’s Day

In Social life on October 20, 2009 at 7:57 am




Bustling gift markets before Vietnam Women’s Day


QĐND – Monday, October 19, 2009, 20:42 (GMT+7)

With Vietnam Women’s Day approaching, many people are seen flocking to either supermarkets or small shops to buy gifts for their beloved ones.


Hypermarkets in Hanoi such as BigC, Metro and Fivilmark are bustling about offering 10-50 percent discounts on different kinds of goods. A chain of fashion shops, along Cau Giay and Xuan Thuy roads, including international brands such as Triumph, are bedecked with promotion banners and posters.


Many customers now prefer to buy products for practical use at reasonable prices from such firms as Olay, Enchanteur, Johnson, Double Rich, and Hazeline. Among the best-sellers are shampoo and face powder imported from Japan and France, which are sold at VND120,000-200,000 per bottle or box.


A special programme to ‘honour Vietnamese beauty’ has been launched at BigC supermarket, with the participation of 60 major Vietnamese and world cosmetics firms like Mabeline, Garnier, Olay, Revlon, Ponds, Nivea, Rexona, Biore Sunsilk, Dove, Rejoice, and Pantene. Customers have a chance to view their products and receive advice on using cosmetics and ways to take care of their hair, skin, lips and teeth.


Fresh flowers – no longer first choice


The flower market seems quieter than last year. Shops along Hai Ba Trung, Xuan Thuy, Kim Ma and Tran Xuan Soan streets display eye-catching bouquets of flowers, but most of passers-by just stop to admire rather than buy them as they are very expensive.


The bouquets are so meticulously arranged in different styles but to many, they are so luxurious for daily life. Instead of buying flowers, many customers turn to perfume. As for students and pupils, they cannot afford to buy such luxuries. Dat, a student from the Trade Union University has decided to present his girlfriend with a book on this occasion. “This would be more meaningful and practical than flowers, which usually survive one or two days,” he said.


On average, a bouquet costs from VND60,000 to 100,000 but the prices of beautiful flowers like orchids hover somewhere between VND130,000 and 200,000. Da Lat madonna lily is sold for as much as VND250,000 or 400,000 per bouquet.


Source: VOV


Source: QDND Bookmark & Share

Hanoians set for doubled income and huge changes before 2015

In Politics-Society on October 9, 2009 at 3:19 pm




Hanoians set for doubled income and huge changes before 2015


QĐND – Thursday, October 08, 2009, 21:54 (GMT+7)

A workshop organised by Hanoi authorities has thrown up stark changes set to be in place by 2015.


The event on October 7th was aimed at evaluating the city’s draft economic-social development plans for 2011-2015.


According to the draft plan it’s expected that the per capita income in 2015 will reach 72 to 75 million dong ($4000-4166), doubling the current 2010 level.


The city also plans to reduce the agricultural areas to 41 percent of the total area (around 138,000 hectares) and unused land area, lakes and ponds to around 5000ha, accounting for 1.5 percent of the total natural area.


Aiming to speed up urbanisation, Hanoi is looking to continue to attract capital from various sources for development. The city will also encourage accumulation of land for large-scale developments.


However, according to the draft plan, around 200,000-220,000 workers will either lose jobs or lack jobs due to the change of land use goals.


The city will pursue the goal of: “Strongly developing a knowledge-based economy, taking lead in training talents and high-quality human resources and striving to become a prestigious training centre in the Red River Delta and Southeast Asia.


Goals for 2011-2015 include:


– Average GDP growth rate: 9 to 9.5% a year


– Percentage of poor households: less than 1%


– Per capita urban housing area by 2015: 8.5sq.m


– Over 98% of urban area to be supplied with clean water and 100% of rural people to have hygienic water.


 – The raising of from VND1.175 to 1.230 trillion of capital for public investment.


Source: VNN


Source: QDND