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Brazil overtakes Germany as 4th biggest car market

In Uncategorized on December 21, 2010 at 9:32 am

Brazil this year overtook Germany as the fourth-biggest car market in the world — and foreign investors see huge potential as the Latin American giant becomes increasingly prosperous.


At the end of 2010, a total of 3.45 million vehicles are forecast to have been sold in Brazil, nearly 10 percent more than last year, according to the national automobile manufacturers’ association Anfavea.


That would position Brazil behind China, the United States and Japan in sales of cars and light trucks, and just ahead of Germany.


“This in itself is already big attraction for a growing market, with a low density of vehicles per inhabitant,” Anfavea president Cledorvino Belini told AFP.

File photo of traffic on the Tiete highway, one of the ring roads most prone to traffic-jams in in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

He explained that Brazil, with a population of 192 million, had approximately one vehicle per seven residents, leaving plenty of room for growth.


There are some 30 million vehicles in total in Brazil, and the world’s big car companies expect that fleet to balloon as the country’s economic boom creates more consumers.


Europe and the United States, in contrast, are seen as saturated markets with minimal growth prospects.


Brazil “is a market that should keep growing over coming years, and that is attracting a lot of investment,” said Belini, who is also the head of the Brazilian subsidiary for Italy’s Fiat.


“We have competent workers. We also have all the primary materials for our product,” along with a dynamic economy, controlled inflation and easy credit for car-buyers, he said.


To underline the corporate optimism in Brazil, Fiat last week announced it was building a second factory in the country to the tune of 1.8 billion dollars. That was part of a 5.9-billion-dollar investment plan for Brazil that Fiat is rolling out between 2011 and 2014.


Fiat is intent of keeping its number one status in the Brazilian market, where it accounts for 23.1 percent of sales.


Germany’s Volkswagen is a close second with 22.7 percent, and US group General Motors is in third place with 21.2 percent, according to the national car dealers’ federation.


In terms of manufacturing, Brazil is the sixth-biggest vehicle producer in the world, turning out 3.64 million units under 17 different brands.


That base looks set to expand further with South Korea’s Hyundai and China’s Chery poised to also open factories.


That highlights Brazil’s enviable dual role as both Latin America’s biggest market, and “a production and development hub” for the region, Belini said.


Sixty percent of Brazil’s auto exports go to Argentina, while another 20 percent go to other parts of the continent, Anfavea said.


In terms of vehicle imports, 50 percent come from Argentina, 22 percent from South Korea and China, 10 percent from Mexico and 6.5 percent from Europe and the United States.


The panorama could change, though, as Brazil’s currency, the real, continues to soar against the dollar and the euro. That makes imported vehicles sought after by class-conscious Brazilians more affordable, and makes Brazilian exported vehicles more costly.

“We are feeling difficulties in competing in foreign markets, and at the same time imports are growing,” Belini admitted.

For now, however, the situation is rosy, with 780,000 vehicles being sold abroad, 64 percent more than 2009.

Source: SGGP

Intel inaugurates $1 billion chip plant in Vietnam, says biggest ever

In Uncategorized on October 29, 2010 at 8:42 am

Intel, the world’s largest chip maker, opened its Vietnam US$1 billion assembly and test facility on Friday in Ho Chi Minh City, saying the facility is the US corporation’s biggest in the world.

A drum performance for the grand opening of Intel’s Vietnam factory in Ho Chi Minh City on Oct. 29, 2010 (Photo: Tuong Thuy)

Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini and representatives of the Vietnamese government joined a grand opening ceremony held at the plant, which Intel says the largest and most advanced assembly and test facility in its global manufacturing network.


“Today, we’re celebrating a remarkable milestone – the inauguration of Intel’s newest and largest assembly and test facility, right here in Ho Chi Minh City. This is a remarkable achievement in which nearly everyone here played a key role,” Mr. Otellini said.

Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini launches the Vietnam factory in Ho Chi Minh City on Oct. 29, 2010 (Photo: Tuong Thuy)

“Over the summer, the factory started packaging and testing chipsets for laptops and shipping them to our customers around the world. Once fully ramped, the facility is expected to create several thousand jobs, and will be among the biggest exporters in
Vietnam.


“When we announced our investment 4 years ago, this was Vietnam’s first $1 billion high-tech project and the biggest-ever investment from an American company. I’ve been told
that Intel’s investment put Vietnam on the map for high-tech investment and helped the country attract significant investments from several leading global technology firms, including FoxConn and Compal.”


The plant is located inside Saigon Hi-Tech Park in District 9.


“First, this is the largest and most sophisticated assembly test facility in Intel’s global manufacturing network – double the size of anything we have built prior. The clean room alone measures 46,000 square meters, equal to the size of five-and-a-half football fields,” said Otellini.


“Then, there are the 400 new, local employees that have already joined the Intel family. Our Vietnam factory employees have received a hundred thousand hours of on-the-job and classroom training and earned hundreds of different types of technical certifications. The employees that work for us here are much more valuable to us than the physical plant itself.”


“When fully utilized, the Vietnam factory will dramatically increase our assembly and test capacity for Intel. It will help us deliver products for mobile computers, which are currently the fastest growing and largest portion of the PC market around the world.


“This factory is truly remarkable, and it will produce products that are platforms for future creativity. Our customers will use them to build world-changing technology.”


Speaking at the event, Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minster Hoang Trung Hai said, “The opening of the assembly and test facility in Vietnam is an important event and supports our goal of accelerating economic transformation led by technology-intensive industries.”


“Intel is also a committed partner for Vietnam government in modernizing the national education system. Intel helps to build a robust information technology ecosystem while fostering local innovation and creating significant high-tech job opportunities.”


“The Vietnamese government views this as an important and meaningful project for the success of the National Strategy of Information Technology Development by 2020,” said the Deputy PM.


Intel President and CEO Otellini reiterated his corporation’s long-term commitment to Vietnam and highlighted the importance of the support Intel has received over the past 4 years from the government, Saigon Hi-Tech Park, suppliers and local employees.

(L-R) Intel Products Vietnam general manager Rick Howarth, Intel Corp. vice president Steve Megli and American Michael Michalak attend the grand opening of Intel’s Vietnam factory in Ho Chi Minh City on Oct. 29, 2010 (Photo: Tuong Thuy)

Meanwhile, Intel Products Vietnam Co., Ltd. general manager Rick Howarth said, “Assembly and test is a critical final step in the end-to-end manufacturing of Intel’s silicon products.”


“We were attracted to Vietnam by a vibrant, skilled workforce with strong potential to increase the complexity and value-add of their contribution to Intel’s global business.”


The facility is one of seven operated by Intel worldwide.
Hochiminh City People Committee chairman Le Hoang Quan said at the ceremony, “City leaders appreciate the efforts of Intel corporation worldwide and  Intel Products Vietnam in both implementing the project and providing consultancy and supports of IT training and development, and community activities, particularly in District 9 where Saigon Hi-tech Park locates.”


“We hope that Intel Corporation and Intel President to continuously provide directions, sufficient technologies and marketing expertise in order to help this Intel factory to come into full operation with high quality products, bringing benefits to Intel and the city.”
 
“Besides, city leaders also request Intel Corporation to support the city to develop the supporting industries for Intel products at Saigon Hi-tech park, contributing to increase the localized portion in Intel chip production.”


Intel is the first major foreign investor in high technology in Vietnam. The country’s Ministry of Investment and Planning issued an investment license in Feb. 2006 for Intel to build a US$300 million assembly and test facility to produce chips and computer parts. The chip manufacturer later increased its Vietnam investment to US$1 billion.


Construction started in 2007. 

Source: SGGP

Work starts on biggest polyclinic in mountainous area

In Uncategorized on August 11, 2010 at 3:21 pm




Work starts on biggest polyclinic in mountainous area


QĐND – Wednesday, August 11, 2010, 21:18 (GMT+7)

PANO – The Bac Kan Provincial People’s Committee has started the construction of the Bac Kan Polyclinic, the biggest and most modern hospital in the mountain provinces.


Present at the groundbreaking ceremony on August 9th was Health Minister Nguyen Quoc Trieu.


The hospital is part of a government project to build and upgrade clinics and polyclinics, at a cost of more than VND 1 trillion, in mountainous provinces between 2009 to 2013.


Once completed, the Bac Kan Polyclinic, with a projection of over 500 patient-beds and modern medical equipment, will be able to provide check-ups and treatment for 1 million people in Bac Kan and neighboring provinces, such as Cao Bang, Lang Son, Tuyen Quang and Thai Nguyen.


The hospital will also include a medical school as a regular training centre. In the near future, the hospital will provide new services, such as convalescence tourism and rehabilitation.


Translated by Duy Minh


Source: QDND

Work begins on VN’s biggest cement project

In Uncategorized on May 20, 2010 at 5:12 pm




Work begins on VN’s biggest cement project


QĐND – Thursday, May 20, 2010, 21:1 (GMT+7)

Kinh Bac Urban Development Corp and its affiliate Sai Gon – Tan Ky Cement Joint Stock Co began construction of a 1.5 billion USD cement industrial zone on May 19 in the central province of Nghe An.


Occupying a 600ha area in Tan Long Commune, the Sai Gon – Tan Ky cement industrial zone will be the country’s largest of its kind and is expected to churn out 14 million tonnes of cement annually when fully operational.


The zone’s first phase, costing 1.5 trillion VND (78.9 million USD), will take six years to complete.


“The new zone will supply large quantities of cement for major construction projects, particularly in Laos . It will help the company reduce investment costs and become more competitive,” the company said in its latest press release.


According to the General Statistics Office, in March the country produced 4.09 million tonnes of cement. Cement production in the first quarter of the year hit 11.13 million tonnes, 1.15 million tonnes more than the same period last year. Meanwhile, demand increased by 6.4 percent against the same period last year, reaching 10.27 million tonnes.


The country now has 105 production lines with an annual capacity of more than 61 million tonnes.


However, domestic demand this year is expected to be between 48 million and 50 million tonnes, resulting in a huge surplus.


Industry experts said domestic cement firms would find it difficult to break into major markets such as the US and the EU, which have extensive high-tech infrastructure already in place and a lower demand for cement.


The US and the EU also have high quality standards that many Vietnamese cement firms are unable to meet.


Africa and developing countries with poor infrastructure offer the most potential for Vietnamese exporters, industry experts have said.


Source: VNA


Source: QDND

Biggest flag flown to celebrate President Ho Chi Minh’s birthday

In Uncategorized on May 19, 2010 at 5:05 pm




Biggest flag flown to celebrate President Ho Chi Minh’s birthday


QĐND – Wednesday, May 19, 2010, 22:35 (GMT+7)


The large national flag have been flown at the Ho Chi Minh Square in the central province of Nghe An to celebrate the 120th anniversary of President Ho Chi Minh’s birthday.

The 1,800 sq.m. flag, the biggest national flag in Vietnam, was flown by two large balloons.


This is the second time the flag was flown. The first time was 5 years ago on the occasion of the 115th anniversary of President Ho Chi Minh’s birthday.


Thousands of people and visitors in the hometown of President Ho Chi Minh gathered at the square to see the flag flying.


These days various activities have been held nationwide to celebrate the anniversary of President Ho Chi Minh’s birthday.


Source: Dan Tri


Translated by Duy Minh


Source: QDND

United, Continental forge world’s biggest airline

In Uncategorized on May 4, 2010 at 8:32 am

 

United and Continental sealed a three-billion-dollar merger to become the world’s biggest airline, in a deal forged to help them navigate strong economic headwinds.

 

The deal would fuse United’s strong Asian presence with Continental’s extensive links to Europe and Latin America, a tectonic shift in an industry battling to survive recession.

 

Airlines around the world are struggling with fallout from the worst recession in a generation, terrorism and costs brought on by an Icelandic volcano which forced the suspension of thousands of flights.

 

A United Airlines plane takes off from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). United Airlines and Continental Airlines have announced a merger deal that will create the world’s biggest carrier

The new airline will fly under the United Airlines name and will hold around seven percent of global airline capacity. It has a market value of around 6.75 billion dollars.

 

Jeff Smisek, the Continental chief executive who moves to the same position in the new company, said the merger would create “a stronger, more efficient airline, both operationally and financially, better positioned to succeed in a highly competitive global aviation industry.”

 

The companies said they hoped to generate annual savings and new revenues of up to 1.2 billion dollars by 2013.

 

The deal needs approval from shareholders of the two carriers and US anti-trust authorities, who turned down a United-US Airways deal in 2001.

 

But Smisek told reporters: “We are confident. There are no material anti-trust concerns. We are increasing competition, we are not reducing competition, with more consumer choice, better consumer choice.”

 

The economic crisis and the rise of low-cost carriers has driven airline alliances and steep cost cutting.

 

The deal is the latest step to consolidate the US airline sector after Delta’s 2008 takeover of Northwest.

 

British Airways is tying up with with Spanish carrier Iberia to avoid being sidelined by European rivals Air France-KLM and Lufthansa.

 

United and Continental both had a turnover of more than three billion dollars in 2009 but both reported losses.

 

“Together, we will have the financial strength necessary to make critical investments to continue to improve our products and services and to achieve and sustain profitability,” Smisek argued.

 

Glenn Tilton, president and chief executive of United parent UAL Corporation, will serve as non-executive chairman of the new United Continental Holdings Inc board until the end of 2012.

 

He called the deal “a merger of equals to create a world-class and truly global airline with an unparalleled network.”

 

A statement announcing the merger said the boards of both airlines had unanimously approved the deal.

 

Under the accord, Continental shareholders will receive 1.05 shares of United stock for each Continental share. United shareholders would own approximately 55 percent of the equity in the new company and Continental shareholders 45 percent.

 

The companies said they expected to complete the transaction by the end of 2010.

The merged giant will maintain United’s base in Chicago as its headquarters, while Continental’s home city of Houston, Texas will be the number one air hub, the statement said.

Texas Governor Rick Perry clearly thought the headquarters should have been in Houston.

“While we disagree with the decision to locate the headquarters in Chicago, we are encouraged by the company’s commitment to Texas and its stated intent to create more jobs for Texans in the future,” he said in a statement.

No announcement of job cuts was made, although pilots’ unions for both carriers demanded job security and pension guarantees.

United pilots said they would take a “wait-and-see” approach, but believe the format is in place for such a combination to work.

The companies said the new airline will serve more than 144 million passengers per year with 370 destinations in 59 countries.

The combined company promised to offer enhanced service to Asia, Europe, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East from its 10 US hubs.

They said there were no international route overlaps and only “minimal” domestic copying.

US Airways broke off merger talks with United last month, but said it expected consolidation of the fragmented airline sector in the near future.

“It remains our belief that consolidation makes sense in an industry as fragmented as ours,” said US Airways chairman Doug Parker.

Few market watchers expected mergers to end with the one announced Monday, and rumors are swirling about a possible American Airlines tie-up with US Airways.

 

Source: SGGP

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US airlines sign deal to form world’s biggest carrier

In Uncategorized on May 3, 2010 at 12:31 pm

CHICAGO (AFP) – United Airlines and Continental Airlines announced on Monday they have agreed to merge, creating the world’s biggest carrier in an all-stock transaction approved by the boards of both companies.

A United Airlines plane takes off from Los Angeles International Airport in June 2008. (AFP file)

The transaction, which has been approved unanimously by the boards of directors of both companies, still needs to be approved by the shareholders.


But the companies said they expected to complete the transaction in the fourth quarter of 2010.

The new merged giant, which will keep the United name and maintain its headquarters in Chicago, will account for seven percent of global airline capacity, ahead of US rival Delta, which currently leads with six percent, US media reported.


It will also have a 21 percent share of the huge US air market.


Under the agreement, Continental shareholders will receive 1.05 shares of United common stock for each Continental common share they own.


United shareholders would own approximately 55 percent of the equity of the combined company and Continental shareholders would own approximately 45 percent, including convertible securities.


The combined company would have annual revenues of approximately 29 billion dollars and an unrestricted cash balance of approximately 7.4 billion as of the end of first quarter 2010, officials said.


The merger is expected to deliver between one billion and 1.2 billion dollars in net annual gains by 2013, including between 800 million and 900 million dollars of incremental annual revenues, the companies projected.


Glenn Tilton, president and chief executive officer of UAL Corp., will serve as non-executive chairman of the combined company’s board of directors while Jeff Smisek, Continental’s CEO, will be chief executive officer.


“This combination will provide a strong platform for sustainable, long-term value for shareholders, opportunities for employees, and more and better scheduled service and destinations for customers,” Tilton said in a statement.


Smisek pointed out that the merger would create “a world-class airline with tremendous and enduring strengths.


“Together, we will have the financial strength necessary to make critical investments to continue to improve our products and services and to achieve and sustain profitability,” Smisek argued.


In their combined effort, Continental and United will serve more than 144 million passengers per year as they fly to 370 destinations in 59 countries, the joint announcement said.


The combined company promised to offer enhanced service to Asia, Europe, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East from 10 well-placed hubs on the East Coast, West Coast, and Southern and Midwestern regions of the United States.


The merger is seen as part of an industry-wide move by airlines to survive in the crisis-stricken industry. British Airways is going through a tie-up with Spanish carrier Iberia to avoid being sidelined by European rivals Air France-KLM and Lufthansa.


US Airways broke off merger talks with United last month, but said it expected consolidation of the fragmented airline sector in the near future.


“It remains our belief that consolidation makes sense in an industry as fragmented as ours,” said US Airways chairman Doug Parker.


Parker stressed that consolidation would lead “to a more efficient industry, better able to withstand economic volatility, global competition and the cyclical nature of our industry.”


The economic crisis has driven airline alliances and steep cost cutting, as the sector has buckled under the global economic downturn, which has slashed demand for air travel and persuaded many cash-strapped travellers to fly with cheaper low-cost carriers.


Shares of both airlines are expected to climb in Monday trading.

d
Source: SGGP

Tourism a no-no for world’s biggest cave

In Uncategorized on April 18, 2010 at 4:08 pm




Tourism a no-no for world’s biggest cave


QĐND – Sunday, April 18, 2010, 21:32 (GMT+7)


Both the cave and the jungle that surrounds it would be endangered by tourists, says a geomorphologist .

While the discovery of the world’s largest cave to date has spelunkers and others all excited, at least one expert is saying… no tourists for now, please.


Nguyen Hieu, deputy director of Faculty of Geography at the Hanoi University of Science told Thanh Nien Weekly: “The cave is very far out of the way. It’s totally covered in jungle, and the terrain is very difficult.”


Hieu went on to say that Son Doong was now an “active cave”, so it should be served for science research only, not for tourism. The movement of tourists in the grotto would be difficult due to its complicated terrain, and it may also destroy primary forests.”


Moreover, the Son Doong cave is at the core of the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, so “it needs to be preserved,” he said.


While converting the area into a mass tourism site is fraught with danger, the sanctuary itself holds the promise of more cave discoveries, Hieu said.


Along with Vietnamese explorers, the British Cave Research Association returned to the world’s biggest cave in the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park and have made new discoveries this year, adding to evidence that the park deserves to be classified as a World Heritage site for biological diversity, said Hieu, who was also a member of the cave expedition.


Phong Nha-Ke Bang is already listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its geological and geomorphological values.


When the joint Vietnamese-British team explored the cave last year, they found that Son Doong, with a length of nearly 6.5 kilometers, height of 200 meters and width of 150 meters, overtakes the Deer Cave in Malaysia as the world’s largest cave found to date. It also has a large fast-flowing underground river.


The cave is five times larger than the Phong Nha Cave, previously considered the biggest in Vietnam. “It is an amazingly huge size, and one of our most significant discoveries,” Hieu said.


During the expedition that took over one month after it began in early March, researchers measured a giant stalagmite in the cave. “We had to use ropes, and it took us 2 days to prepare and pass over this stalagmite peak to measure it,” he said.


With a height of 80 meters, it is a huge stalagmite, and has been nicknamed the “Great Wall of Vietnam” by expedition members.


Scientists also uncovered over 200 species of flora including moss, liana on cliffs and the floor of the cave, and two primary forests with camp-woods as tall as 30 meters. “The flora’s development in the special temperature and humid conditions make the Son Doong cave unique,” Hieu said.


Many animal footmarks, and an animal skeleton were also found in the cavern. Initial surmises are that it is that of a bear.


The cave explorers also discovered a field of pure stones. Tennis ball-shaped stones look very beautiful, and like pearls.


“The discovery of caves is of great significance for scientific research, especially this cave and its flora forming process. Phong Nha-Ke Bang is a limestone mountainous area, thus the potential for new cave discoveries in the area is very high.”


However, cave expeditions are not easy to conduct, and needs the assistance of local people who have a good understanding of the local topography, he said.


Son Doong was first found by a local resident, Ho Khanh, in 1991. Khanh took the team to the cave which had never been entered before by anyone including local forest dwellers.


Equipped with ropes and headlamps, the team spent hours trekking through the jungle to reach the cave, climb down into a large chamber, and negotiate underground rivers before reaching the main passage of the Son Doong cavern.

Source: TN

Source: QDND

Millions dip in Ganges at world’s biggest festival

In Uncategorized on April 15, 2010 at 4:18 am

HARIDWAR, India (AFP) – Ten million Hindu pilgrims led by hundreds of ash-covered, naked holy men streamed into the sacred waters of the river Ganges on Wednesday at the world’s biggest religious festival.

Hindu devotess bathe in the river Ganges during the Kumbh Mela festival in Haridwar. AFP photo

The date, chosen by astrologers, was the “main royal bathing day” of the Kumbh Mela, a 104-day event held in India every three years that is a riot of colour and noise as well as a gigantic spectacle of religious piety.


Devotees assembled along a 15-kilometre (nine-mile) stretch of the Ganges for a dip in the river that they believe cleanses them of sin and frees them from the cycle of life and rebirth.


The highest-ranking holy men, the naked “naga sadhus”, consider themselves spiritual guardians of the Hindu faith and fiercely defend their right to bathe at the most auspicious moment.


Arriving at the riverside in Haridwar city at a jog, they chanted joyfully and brandished golden tridents, swords and sticks before throwing marigold garlands into the river and then plunging in themselves.


Sadhus are ascetics or wandering monks who renounce normal life and often live alone in remote mountains and forests devoting themselves to meditation, only emerging to lead the Kumbh Mela bathing sessions.


“Everything is going very smoothly and there has been no problem with any unruly mobs,” Ashok Sharma, a press spokesman for the event, told AFP. “More than one crore (10 million) people are bathing today.”


But in one reported accident, five pilgrims were killed after a car carrying naga sadhus ploughed into a group of people, the Press Trust of India news agency said, citing police.


Festival organisers were unable to confirm the deaths, but other media reports said seven people had died in the incident after the car crash caused a stampede.


Dozens of one-way footbridges criss-cross the Ganges around Haridwar and a massive police presence of 16,000 personnel was on hand to prevent crowd congestion that has triggered deadly stampedes in the past.


Hundreds were crushed to death underfoot in 1954 and dozens also died in 2003.


The festival rotates between four locations and this year is being held in the northern city of Haridwar, where huge temporary encampments have catered for the flow of faithful from across India.


“To bathe in the Ganges today gives me inexpressible happiness,” said 45-year-old Raj Kuntal from Himachal Pradesh, emerging from the chilly, fast-flowing water.


“A group of 100 of us came here by bus, and we are all deeply moved by the experience of being part of this very holy event.”


Festival officials say that as many as 40 million people have bathed since January 14 in the Haridwar stretch of the Ganges, which is thought to be especially sacred during the Kumbh Mela.


Family groups, often containing many elderly and frail relatives, walked to the riverbanks after travelling in packed trucks, buses and trains to the festival site, which covers 130 square kilometres (50 square miles).


The Mela attracts many of India’s bewildering array of Hindu tribes, castes and creeds, making a striking spectacle for foreign tourists who tackle the massive throngs.


“It is confusing and chaotic and wonderful,” said Peter Hans, 22, from Germany, who had been sleeping in the open. “I think it is safe because the atmosphere is happy in a calm way, but the police are severe with the crowds.”


The Har Ki Pauri ghat (“bathing steps”) where the naga sadhus bathe is the focal point of the festival, attracting a constant stream of devotees who strip to their underclothes before entering the water.


Bathers held onto chains to avoid being swept downstream, and afterwards offered short prayers while standing waist-deep in the river.


Many took a few gulps of the holy water and filled plastic bottles to take away.


Haridwar is the spot where the Ganges is said to leave the Himalayan mountains and start its long tour across northern India to the Bay of Bengal.


According to Hindu mythology, the city is where a few drops from a pitcher containing the nectar of immortality fell during a fight between gods and demons.


Kumbh Mela means “Pitcher Festival” and other drops are believed to have fallen at Allahabad, Nasik and Ujjain — the three cities where the festival is also held.

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Source: SGGP

BAE Systems tops ranking of biggest arms maker: study

In Uncategorized on April 12, 2010 at 8:51 am

Britain’s BAE Systems topped an international ranking of the world’s biggest arms groups, becoming the first non-US company to hold the spot, a leading defence think tank said on Monday.

Britain’s BAE Systems topped an international ranking of the world’s biggest arms groups, becoming the first non-US company to hold the spot, a leading defence think tank said on Monday. (AFP Photo)

The British group knocked US defence giant Boeing out of the top position in 2008, according to the ranking of biggest defence groups worldwide tallied by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).


“The main reason that BAE became the largest arms-producing company in the world in 2008 is the increase in its US sales, which outpaced decreases elsewhere including in the UK,” the think tank said in the study.


With arms sales in 2008 of 29.2 billion dollars (21.6 billion euros), Boeing fell from first place in 2007 to third following BAE Systems with 32.4 billion dollars and US group Lockheed Martin with 29.9 billion dollars.


It was followed by three US groups — Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics and Raytheon — ahead of European group EADS in seventh place, Italian company Finmeccanica in eighth, L-3 Communications in ninth and Thales of France in tenth position.


The biggest Russian group on the list, air defence systems maker Almaz-Antei, was number 18 on the list.


In 2008 the 100 biggest defence groups had arms sales of 385 billion dollars, up 11 percent from the previous year, according to SIPRI.


“This is more than three times the size of the total development aid of OECD countries in 2008,” SIPRI said, noting that such aid reached 120 billion dollars.


Putting the data in perspective, the think tank said that arms sales of Lockheed Martin alone topped US development aid by four billion dollars and that BAE Systems sales were greater than the gross domestic product of 105 countries.


SIPRI’s ranking focuses on companies’ arms sales which make up only 48 percent of Boeing’s turnover and 70 percent of Lockheed Martin’s revenues.


In BAE System’s case, arms sales make up a far larger share of its sales with 95 percent of the total.


Born out of the merger of Marconi and British Aerospace in 1999, BAE Systems counts among its products the Eurofighter combat aircraft, the Bradley tank and the Astute submarine.


With 59 percent of BAE Systems’ sales coming from the vast US arms market, the group has major production operations in the country as well as in Britain, Sweden, South Africa and Sweden.


“BAE really shows the increasing internationalisation of the arms industry and the attractiveness of the US market,” SIPRI arms industry expert Susan Jackson said.


The group has benefitted from sales of mine-resistant, ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicles to the US government for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Source: SGGP