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President Nguyen Minh Triet begins Belarus visit

In Uncategorized on May 13, 2010 at 4:55 pm

President Nguyen Minh Triet begins Belarus visit

QĐND – Thursday, May 13, 2010, 22:46 (GMT+7)

At 10 pm (Hanoi time) on May 12, State President Nguyen Minh Triet arrived in Minsk for his four-day official visit to the Republic of Belarus at the invitation of President Alexander Lukashenko.

Mr Triet and his entourage were welcomed at Minsk International Airport by Belarusian Sergey Martynov, Vietnamese Ambassador to Belarus Dang Huy Tran and staff from the Vietnamese Embassy.

Over the past years, Vietnam and Belarus have maintained their fine traditional friendship and multi-faceted cooperation through the exchange of high-level visits and the signing of agreements and contracts to promote bilateral cooperation.

The Belarusian administration has created the best possible condition for around 600 overseas Vietnamese to work, study and do business in the country.

In 2006, Belarusian President Lukashenko allowed Vietnamese citizens who began working in Belarus before 1992 to have a legal and long-term settlement in Belarus, contributing to the promotion of friendship between the two countries.

An official welcome ceremony was scheduled to be held on May 13 at the Presidential Palace in Minsk and the talks between the two state leaders will take place the same day.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

‘Iron Man 2’ eyes record as blockbuster season begins

In Uncategorized on May 6, 2010 at 8:46 am

Superhero sequel “Iron Man 2” is eyeing a box office assault on Batman on Friday as Hollywood’s summer blockbuster season gets under way aiming for another record-breaking year.

Actors Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow are seen at the world premiere of Paramount Pictures and Marvel Entertainment’s ‘Iron Man 2 held at El Capitan Theatre on April 26, in Hollywood, California.

A follow-up to 2008’s surprise hit “Iron Man,” the Marvel franchise about a billionaire arms-dealer-turned-crime-fighter, played by Robert Downey Jr, is tipped as an outside chance to set a new opening weekend record.

To do so, “Iron Man 2” would need to depose Batman blockbuster “The Dark Knight,” which earned 158.4 million dollars on its North American debut in 2008 as fans flocked to see the late Heath Ledger in his final full film role.

Jeff Bock, chief analyst at Exhibitor Relations box-office tracking firm, said he believes “Iron Man 2” could run “The Dark Knight” close.

“It’s the question everyone is asking,” Bock told AFP.

“‘Iron Man 2’ is not only the first out of the gate for blockbuster season but it’s probably the most anticipated film of the summer as well.

“We may be talking about the biggest box office opening in history if it can knock that bat out of the belfry. It’s definitely going to be close.”

Films adapted from superhero characters such as Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, Wolverine and Batman have become a staple of Hollywood’s summer season in recent years as studios seek to exploit franchises with a built-in audience.

However “Iron Man 2” is a rarity this year because it is the only superhero film of the summer, Bock said.

“Superhero films have taken over from sequels as the biggest thing in Hollywood,” he said. “In that sense, it’s a good time to be in the ‘Iron Man’ business. The timing is set up perfectly.”

“Iron Man 2” is one of only a handful of films to be released this summer which has a realistic chance of breaking the one-billion-dollar barrier, according to Bock.

Among the other films expected to do big business is Dreamworks Animation’s “Shrek Forever After,” hyped as the last installment in the films about a lovable green ogre, and “Toy Story 3,” the long-awaited “threequel” of the successful Pixar Animation films.

As ever, sequels and remakes are expected to drive the earnings over the summer. As well as the “Iron Man,” “Shrek” and “Toy Story” films, upcoming films include “Sex and the City 2,” based on the popular HBO television series, “The A-Team” and “Predators,” an action film inspired by the science fiction franchise about dread-locked aliens first launched in 1987.

Other highlights of the summer include the screen return of Julia Roberts in “Eat, Pray, Love,” and the action movie “The Expendables,” which reunites Sylvester Stallone and Dolph Lundgren in a tale about mercenaries attempting to overthrow a South American dictator.

One of the most talked about films of the year is “Dark Knight” director Christopher Nolan’s science fiction thriller “Inception,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio and due for release in July.

“‘Inception’ has a lot of mystery surrounding it,” said Bock. “We all know that Christopher Nolan makes amazing films. It sounds like it is going to be a great summer movie.”

Last year, the summer box office season — which stretches from May to early September — earned a record 4.17 billion dollars although overall ticket sales decreased by 4.2 percent compared with 2008.


Source: SGGP

National week on safe water, rural sanitation begins

In Uncategorized on April 23, 2010 at 4:37 pm

National week on safe water, rural sanitation begins

QĐND – Friday, April 23, 2010, 21:24 (GMT+7)

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) launched an annual national week on rural clean water and environmental sanitation in Khoi Ky commune, Dai Tu district, in the northern mountain province of Thai Nguyen on April 22.

The ministry said the event is very significant this year as 2010 has been selected as the year of ‘Clean water for a healthy world’. This is particularly important in Vietnam, which is among the five countries most vulnerable to climate change.

After the launch ceremony, health experts showed children how to correctly wash their hands with soap, while young people cleaned schools and streets.

On the occasion, construction of a VND 7.9-billion clean water supply station started in Khoi Ky commune.

Once operational in 2011, the station is expected to provide safe water to more than 3,100 people as well as offices, schools and health clinics in the commune.

According to the the National Programme on Rural Clean Water Supply and Environmental Sanitation, 79 percent of rural people nation-wide are using hygienic water; however, only 39 percent of them are given water that meets the Ministry of Health’s standards.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Iran begins war games in Strait of Hormuz

In Uncategorized on April 22, 2010 at 8:13 am

Iran’s state television says the country’s elite Revolutionary Guard has started large-scale war games in the strategic Strait of Hormuz.

Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks during a ceremony at the Natanz nuclear enrichment facility, 350 km south of Tehran.

The Thursday report says naval, air and ground units from the Guard will participate in the three-day games codenamed “The Great Prophet.”

Iran annually holds military maneuvers in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, a waterway through which some 40 percent of the world’s oil and energy supplies pass through, to show off its military capabilities.

This year’s war games, however, could heighten tension at a time when the West is at a deepening standoff with Iran over its nuclear program. The West suspects the program conceals a nuclear arm production drive, a charge that Iran denies.

Source: SGGP

Philippine diaspora begins voting for next president

In Uncategorized on April 10, 2010 at 1:42 pm

More than half a million Filipinos living overseas, who help pump billions of dollars into the Philippines’ economy, Saturday began voting for a new president.

A Filipino woman fills in the ballot at a polling station in Hong Kong April 10, 2010. (AFP)

Nine million Filipinos live outside the Philippines with many working as maids, nurses, construction workers and sailors and the 590,000 registered voters can cast their votes until May 10.

In Hong Kong an army of voters — at least 80 percent are female domestic helpers — was expected to flood the consulate-run polling station on Sunday, their usual day off, said election official Victorio Dimagiba.

“I think we’ll have a very high turnout tomorrow and in the coming weeks,” Dimagiba told AFP.

Foreign department spokesman Eduardo Malaya said in Manila that Filipinos around the world will cast their votes in 93 embassies and consulates to elect the successor to President Gloria Arroyo. Turnout is expected to be high.

Hong Kong and Singapore, which have a combined 128,000 voters, will serve as a testbed for a computerised system being used for the first time this year said Commission on Elections (Comelec) official Armando Velasco.

“Through this (overseas voting), we will know whether or not this really works,” Velasco told reporters, acknowledging popular concern that automated elections, aimed at curbing fraud and speeding up the process, will not work.

The machines are due to be used by 50 million voters in the Philippines itself on May 10.

Those outside Hong Kong and Singapore would vote by mail or by visiting their embassies or consulates to fill out ballots.

The Philippines’ economic diaspora send billions of dollars every year to their families, helping make ends meet in a country where one in three people lives on a dollar or less a day.

Polls show the battle is shaping up as a contest between two senators, Benigno Aquino, son of the late democracy icon and former Filipina leader Corazon Aquino, and multi-millionaire developer Manuel Villar.

Domestic helper Marina Saranglao, 47, believes Aquino is the best bet to lead her native country.

“Most of (the candidates) are corrupt, but not Aquino,” Saranglao told AFP.

In Singapore, domestic helper Susanita Salmorin, 50, cast her vote for Aquino, saying his family’s political legacy assured her that he would make a good leader.

“It’s because of the experience of his father, and his mother was a president…. They have a record of good service,” she said.

Source: SGGP

Construction begins on Cambodia’s Chinese-funded dams

In Uncategorized on April 2, 2010 at 1:35 pm

PHNOM PENH, April 1, 2010 (AFP) – Chinese companies have begun building two large hydropower dams at a combined cost of more than one billion dollars to feed electricity-starved Cambodia, officials in Phnom Penh said Thursday.

A ceremony was held Thursday in the Cambodian capital to mark the start of construction of a 338-megawatt hydroelectric dam at Stung Russey Chrum Krom in the southwestern province of Koh Kong.

China Huadian Corporation will invest some 495.7 million dollars to build the dam, Cambodian government officials said during the ceremony.

A separate ceremony was held on Monday for China National Heavy Machinery Corporation to start breaking ground for another 246-megawatts dam in Koh Kong province, with an investment of 540 million dollars, officials said.

This picture taken on March 25, 2010 shows Cambodian workers shoveling sand into a horse cart along the Mekong river in Kandal province, north of Phnom Penh. AFP photo

Energy minister Suy Sem said during the Thursday ceremony that the dams, expected to be completed in 2014, will better “the livelihoods of Cambodian people”.

Only 20 percent of Cambodian households currently have access to electricity, however environmentalists have expressed concern over plans to build hydropower projects of various sizes to meet the country’s needs.

Ten dams are set to begin churning between 2010 and 2019, and once they are all operational the government says they will generate 2,045 megawatts of power, serving all Cambodia’s provinces.

Spiralling utility prices, driven by the lack of supply, are a major obstacle for Cambodia to attract foreign investment, and the government has struggled to find a way to bring down the cost of power.

Government officials say six of the dams will be funded by Chinese companies. The US-based International Rivers Network has warned that these investments could threaten some of Cambodia’s most precious eco-systems.

China’s own massive dam projects have long been a source of controversy.

Although no dams are planned on the Mekong river in Cambodia, China has been criticised for the impact of its hydroelectric projects under construction on the upper reaches of the regional waterway, now at a record low.

Source: SGGP

NA Chairman begins visit to Indonesia

In Politics-Society on March 3, 2010 at 3:37 am

NA Chairman begins visit to Indonesia

QĐND – Monday, March 01, 2010, 22:7 (GMT+7)

National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Phu Trong arrived in Jakarta on February 28, beginning an official visit to Indonesia at the invitation of Speaker of the House of Representatives Marzuki Alie.

Upon his arrival, Mr Trong visited the permanent Vietnamese delegation to ASEAN and the Vietnamese Embassy in Indonesia.

Although the delegation was established more than a year ago, it has carried out many practical activities to support Vietnam’s ASEAN Chairmanship in 2010.

Mr Trong praised the delegation’s operations in the past year and said Vietnam is trying its best to fulfil its duties as ASEAN Chair. “It is Vietnam’s great honour and responsibility towards countries in Southeast Asia,” said Mr Trong.

He asked the representative mission to make recommendations to the State to ensure 2010 is a successful year for Vietnam in its ASEAN Chairmanship.

Talking to Embassy staff, he expressed his hope that the embassy will continue to serve as a bridge to promote friendship and understanding between the two nations.

On March 1, Mr Trong is scheduled to meet with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, hold talks with Speaker Marzuki Alie and attend a Vietnam-Indonesia business forum.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

Sculpting of world’s largest jade Buddha begins in northern Vietnam

In Vietnam Culture on January 19, 2010 at 2:47 pm

State President Nguyen Minh Triet and former Party chief Le Kha Phieu January 18 symbolically polished a giant jade block to start the sculpting of the world’s largest jade Buddha in the northern province of Hai Duong.

President Nguyen Minh Triet and former Party Chief Le Kha Phieu polish a jade block as sculpting of the world’s  largest jade Buddha idol began in the northern province of Hai Duong January 18 ( Photo: SGGP)

Dao Trong Cuong, vice director of the Vietnam Gem and Jewelry Institute and director of the Than Chau Ngoc Viet Gem-made Painting Company had bought the 35-ton block, also the world’s biggest, at a gemstone fair in Myanmar.

Fifty skilled artisans from the company will join hands with foreign experts to sculpt the idol which is expected to take two to three years and cost US$800,000.

The idol will weigh nearly 16 tons and be three high and two meters wide. The world’s current largest Buddha idol is 2.5m tall and weighs 3.9 tons.

Mr. Cuong was the artist behind the gem portraits of the leaders of the 21 member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Forum who attended the 2006 APEC Summit in Hanoi.

The Vietnam Buddhist Sangha’s patriarch, the Most Venerable Thich Pho Tue, and hundreds of Buddhist monks held a prayer-meeting before work began on the statue.

Related article:
APEC Heads in Stones of a Semi-Precious Variety

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

Construction of Hai Phong Cement Urban zone begins

In Vietnam Society on December 26, 2009 at 12:23 pm

Ground was broken for a mixed-use urban zone in the northern city of Hai Phong December 24 at a ceremony attended by Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai.

Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai (2nd L) breaks ground Work for the mixed-use Hai Phong Cement Urban zone December 24

The Hai Phong Cement Urban Zone is estimated to cost VND29 trillion (US$1.5 billion).

Mr. Hai said the project comes on the 110th anniversary of the establishment Hai Phong Cement and 30th anniversary of the Vietnam Cement Corporation establishment.

The 78.5 hectare urban area is located on the Cam River near Highway No.5, the Hanoi – Hai Phong railroad route, and water and air transport facilites.

The zone will consist of 3,200 housing units in two 35-story towers, a five-star hotel, shopping centers, offices, and parks.

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

HCM City begins planning for Tet festivities

In Vietnam Culture on November 19, 2009 at 9:56 am

Ho Chi Minh City is planning six major events to celebrate Tet in February 2010, its People’s Committee said.

                Nguyen Hue flower street in Tet holidays of 2009 ( photo K K )

The Nguyen Hue Flower Street, an annual event that is highly popular with the public, themed Xuan binh minh (The dawn of Spring) this year, will be held from February 11 to 16. The lunar New Year falls on the 14th.

The Tet flower show on Nguyen Hue Boulevard in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City will be riot of colors and fragrances. A traditional music performance and folk games will be organized on Le Loi Boulevard on the closing day.

One of the highlights will be the Banh Tet (cylindrical glutinous rice cake) festival features Banh Tet making competition.

There will be Banh Tet ceremonies at the Hung Kings temple in District 9 and Ton Duc Thang museum in District 1. The kings are the mythical founders of the nation.

Cakes will be gifted to poor families and disadvantaged children on February 13.

Fireworks shows will be held at seven places around the city and broadcast live on Ho Chi Minh Television on New Year’s Eve.

The “lighting the streets’ program will see some main boulevards like Nguyen Hue, Le Loi, Dong Khoi, and Le Duan decorated with thousands of colorful lights from December 18 to January 5 for the western New Year and from February 2 to 21 for the Vietnamese New Year.

Music and light shows titled “A Moment to Welcome the New Year” will be held on Nguyen Hue Street on the night of December 31.

Enterprises located on streets where the festival will be held will decorate the front of their offices from February 11 to 16.


Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share