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Posts Tagged ‘chief’

Indian police raid homes of Delhi Games chief

In Uncategorized on December 24, 2010 at 5:55 am

 Indian police on Friday raided the homes of the chief organiser of the New Delhi Commonwealth Games, Suresh Kalmadi, as part of a probe into graft allegations that surrounded the event.


A spokesperson from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said police had conducted searches at Kalmadi’s residences in the capital and the western town of Pune, and at the home of his personal secretary Manoj Bhore.

Commonwealth Games chief organiser Suresh Kalmadi speaks at the event’s closing ceremony at Jawarharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi in October, 2010

The Games, which were held in Delhi in October, were hit by claims of massive financial irregularities as the budget ballooned to an estimated six billion dollars.


The CBI spokesperson said a top police official had written to the government earlier this month requesting Kalmadi’s removal from the chairmanship of the Games organising committee on the grounds that he was obstructing the investigation.


Kalmadi, who took much of the international criticism about unfinished facilities and poor planning, quit as secretary to India’s ruling Congress party in November.


The CBI raided the homes of other top committee officials in November and arrested the sacked treasurer, M. Jayachandran, the third official to be accused of forgery and cheating over the awarding of Games-related contracts.


Police have charged two other former Games officials over alleged corruption.


Companies contracted to provide sports surfaces, training equipment and landscaping for the Games were also raided by tax inspectors in October.


The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) national watchdog has received complaints alleging up to 1.8 billion dollars of Games money was misappropriated.


A CVC report into the Games has confirmed the use of poor-quality materials and massive cost overruns on construction projects.


A defiant Kalmadi brushed off corruption allegations, telling reporters in November: “I have not done anything wrong, even in a single thing. I welcome the investigations and will answer all queries.”


Prime Minister Manmohan Singh set up a panel after the Games concluded to investigate graft claims and two other government bodies are also running separate probes.

Source: SGGP

U.N. chief offered Mugabe deal to step down: WikiLeaks

In Uncategorized on December 21, 2010 at 9:31 am

Former United Nations chief Kofi Annan offered Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe a deal to step down and live in a safe haven, but the veteran leader rejected the offer, according to U.S. documents obtained by WikiLeaks.


A confidential document dated September 2000 showed that a source from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC party told U.S. officials in Harare the party had been told that Annan, the former U.N Secretary General Annan, had made the offer to Mugabe during a U.N. summit in New York.


The source said the MDC did not know the details of the deal, reported to it by a businessman, but that it likely guaranteed Mugabe a financial package from Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi and a safe haven, the cable showed.


“Kofi Annan, in the recent meeting in New York during the Millennium summit, offered Mugabe a deal to step down,” according to the document.


“The opposition party heard that Mugabe turned down the offer the following day after discussing it with the first lady.”

Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe addresses a meeting of the ZANU-PF party in Mutare 275km east of the capital Harare, December 17, 2010.… Read more »

A spokeswoman for Annan declined to comment.


Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe since independence in 1980 and although there has been talk of several plans to ease him from office in the last decade, the 86-year-old has rejected the idea, saying he would never live in exile.


According to another confidential U.S. cable published by WikiLeaks dated October 2009, a senior MDC official suggested that the U.S. should contribute to a fund to buy off security service chiefs.


Elton Mangoma, a senior member in the MDC and minister in the unity government, told U.S. officials that the military men were frustrating reform and did not want to leave office fearing that they had not made enough money and could be prosecuted.


“Mangoma asked for consideration of U.S. contribution to a ‘trust fund’ that could be used to negotiate the service chiefs’ retirement. He said he planned to approach the UK and Germany with the same request,” the documents said.


The service chiefs have in the past publicly backed Mugabe during elections, saying they would not acknowledge a leader who had not fought in the independence war, a reference to Tsvangirai.

Source: SGGP

WikiLeaks chief Assange fears US charges

In Uncategorized on December 18, 2010 at 10:27 am

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said it was “increasingly likely” the US would try to extradite him on charges related to leaked cables as he savoured his first day on bail.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (C) holds up a copy of Britain’s Guardian newspaper as he addreses media in the grounds of Ellingham Hall in Norfolk, eastern England, on December 17, 2010.

Speaking Friday outside Ellingham Hall, a friend’s mansion in eastern England, where he must live while on bail, Assange said he was concerned about potential moves from US authorities.


“The big risk, the risk we have always been concerned about, is onwards extradition to the United States. And that seems to be increasingly serious and increasingly likely,” the Australian told reporters.


The 39-year-old founder of the whistle-blowing website is fighting extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over allegations that he sexually assaulted two women, which he denies.


But Assange said his lawyers believed a secret US grand jury investigation had been started into his role in WikiLeaks’ release of thousands of leaked US diplomatic cables — a probe he condemned as “illegal”.


Looking relaxed, he said the mansion was a “big improvement” on the London jail where he was held in solitary confinement for nine days before his release on bail Thursday.


Media reports suggest that US prosecutors are trying to build a case against Assange on the grounds that he encouraged a US soldier, Bradley Manning, to steal US cables from a government computer and pass them to WikiLeaks.


Assange said: “I would say that there is a very aggressive investigation, that a lot of face has been lost by some people, and some people have careers to make by pursuing famous cases.”


He said WikiLeaks had pledged 50,000 dollars (38,000 euros) towards Manning’s legal fund.


But he told ABC television in the US that “I had never heard of the name Bradley Manning before it was published in the press.


“WikiLeaks technology (was) designed from the very beginning to make sure that we never know the identities or names of people submitting us material.”


Meanwhile, the Pentagon defended itself against allegations that Manning was being kept in harsh conditions in a military brig at the Quantico Marine base, Virginia, where he has been placed under a maximum security regimen.


Manning was in solitary confinement because he was considered a national security risk, said prison spokesman First Lieutenant Brian Villiard.


“What I will tell you is that he is not treated any differently than any other maximum confinement detainee,” he said.


In interviews with British media, Assange said Manning “is the only one of our military sources who has been accused and that means that he is in a difficult position.”


Meanwhile, in Washington a report by congressional researchers said the Espionage Act and other US laws could be used to prosecute Assange, but there is no known precedent for prosecuting publishers in such a case.


“Leaks of classified information to the press have only rarely been punished as crimes, and we are aware of no case in which a publisher of information obtained through unauthorized disclosure by a government employee has been prosecuted for publishing it,” the report said.


On the Swedish case against him, Assange, a former computer hacker, claimed it was part of a “smear campaign” linked to WikiLeaks. But Swedish prosecutors deny their case is related to WikiLeaks.


Assange’s supporters have put up a 240,000-pound (283,000-euro, 374,000-dollar) surety to ensure he does not flee the country.


He has also been electronically tagged, is subject to a curfew and must report daily to a police station near the mansion in picturesque Suffolk.


The mansion is owned by Vaughan Smith, a former army officer and journalist who founded the Frontline Club in London, which acts as WikiLeaks’ British base.


Assange has vowed the allegations against him will not stop WikiLeaks from releasing further documents.


“People like to present Wikileaks as just me and my backpack — it is not true. We’re a large organisation,” he told reporters Friday.


The latest US cables released by WikiLeaks showed that the former New Zealand Labour Party government led by Helen Clark courted China and France in an attempt to curb American and Australian influence in the Pacific.


They also indicated that Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir siphoned off nine billion dollars (6.79 billion euros) of oil money into British bank accounts.


Meanwhile, according to yet another cable, the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, said last year the world should focus on climate change in Tibet rather than politics as environmental problems in his Himalayan homeland were more pressing.
 

Source: SGGP

Chief finance officers share information

In Uncategorized on November 25, 2010 at 5:22 pm




Chief finance officers share information


QĐND – Thursday, November 25, 2010, 20:55 (GMT+7)

More than 200 local and foreign chief financial officers (CFOs) gathered in Hanoi on November 24 for a seminar on their role in dealing with fiscal turbulence.


The seminar promoted the sharing of information on corporate finance, integration into the international financial community and harmonizing financial and accounting standards.


Participants also discussed the global accreditation system by the International Association of Financial Executives.


Nguyen Ngoc Bach, director of the CFO Vietnam Club, said the global economy is gaining momentum, but financial downturn is not yet over.


He said the seminar offered an opportunity for CFOs and corporate leaders to develop measures to minimize risks in business operations.


Bach said the implementation of the association’s global accreditation and finance and accounting standards in Vietnam will help standardise financial management systems.


Hiroshi Yaguchi, vice chairman of the association and founder and executive director of the Japan Association for CFOs, told the forum that the world economy is relying on Asia to further grow.


He said the situation remains unstable and unpredictable and a second dip can still be triggered. However, the world economy had fully shifted to Asia.


Le Dang Doanh, former director of the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM), said Vietnam’s economy has witnessed a significant recovery during the past two years.


It was agreed that skilled human resources is the key to boosting industry and attracting foreign investment.


Public and private investments remain at high levels. However, the exchange rate has been strongly influenced by Vietnam’s rising inflation, budget deficits, increasing public and foreign debt, an international trade deficit and current account deficit.


To combat this, the Vietnamese Government has set an ambitious target of stabilizing inflation while trying to reach a higher economic growth rate.


Source: VOV


Source: QDND

World trade chief says ‘concerned’ by currency interventions

In Uncategorized on October 31, 2010 at 11:11 am

UN chief to visit China and attend ASEAN summit

In Uncategorized on October 20, 2010 at 4:07 am

UNITED NATIONS, Oct 19, 2010 (AFP) – UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will visit China and attend an ASEAN summit on a four-nation Asian tour starting next week in which the Myanmar election and human rights could be key topics.

AFP – United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon speaks to journalists on October 19, 2010 after addressing deputies at the European Parliament in the northeastern French city of Strasbourg.

Ban will go to Thailand and Cambodia, before the key summit in Vietnam and talks with China’s President Hu Jintao in Beijing, UN spokesman Farhan Haq told a press briefing.


The UN leader will hold talks with Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and other Thai government representatives during a brief stay in Bangkok on October 26 before moving on the same day to Cambodia.


In Phnom Penh, he will meet with King Norodom Sihamoni and Prime Minister Hun Sen. Ban will also visit the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), the UN-backed tribunal dealing with mass killings and other crimes committed under the Khmer Rouge three decades ago.


Ban moves on to Vietnam on October 28 to attend a summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the UN, and meet with President Nguyen Minh Triet and Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, officials said.


The UN leader has urged ASEAN to put more pressure on Myanmar to free Aung San Suu Kyi and other opposition figures ahead of the country’s much criticised election on November 7.


Ban will start the key China leg of his tour on October 30 in Shanghai.


He will attend the closing of the World Expo in Shanghai before a brief visit to Nanjing and then head for Beijing for the talks with China’s president and other leaders.


The visit will come as China maintains its angry campaign against the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to jailed dissident Liu Xiaobo.


Ban has not criticised China but said the Nobel award recognized a “growing international consensus for improving human rights practices and culture around the world.”


It will be Ban’s fourth visit to China since taking over as UN secretary general in 2007. He was previously there in July 2009 and twice in 2008.

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Source: SGGP

UN chief pleads for world to aid flood-hit Pakistan

In Uncategorized on August 16, 2010 at 11:22 am

Pakistanis wade through a flooded town in Pathan Wala. AFP

ISLAMABAD (AFP) – UN chief Ban Ki-moon has appealed to the international community to step up aid for flood-ravaged Pakistan, warning the “heart-wrenching” disaster is far from over.


Ban held talks with Pakistani leaders and flew with President Asif Ali Zardari over some of the worst affected areas of the central province of Punjab on Sunday.


“I’m here to urge the world to step up their generous support for Pakistan,” he told a news conference with Zardari.


The UN secretary general said he would never forget the “heart-wrenching” scenes of destruction he had witnessed.


“Many have lost families and friends. Many more are afraid their children and loved ones will not survive in these conditions,” Ban said.


Aid agencies were monitoring the risk of “a second wave” of deaths in the shape of water-borne diseases.


Sami Abdul Malik, spokesman for the UN children’s fund UNICEF, said six million children were affected by the disaster.


“Children are always vulnerable. They cannot control their thirst, they will drink any type of water and may get watery diarrhoea, cholera, malaria and other diseases,” he told AFP.


The United Nations has confirmed at least one cholera case and said 36,000 people were reportedly suffering from acute diarrhoea.


Ban said a possible 20 million people were directly or indirectly affected by the floods and that one fifth of the country had been ravaged.


“This disaster is far from over. The rains are still falling and could continue for weeks.


“The United Nations and international community and international humanitarian community are moving as fast as we can to help the government deliver desperately needed humanitarian assistance,” Ban said.


The UN has appealed for 460 million dollars to deal with the immediate aftermath of the floods, but has warned that billions will be needed in the long term as villages, businesses, crops and infrastructure have been wiped out.


Pakistan’s weak civilian government has appealed to the global community to help it deal with the challenges of a crisis compared by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to the sub-continent’s 1947 partition.


Charities have complained that relief for those affected by the worst natural disaster in Pakistan’s history is lagging far behind what is needed, with six to eight million people dependent on humanitarian aid to survive.


Ban announced a further 10 million dollars from the UN central emergency response fund, making a total of 27 million dollars since the beginning of the crisis. “As the waters recede, we must move quickly,” he said.


Zardari said it would take at least two years to restore the livelihoods of people affected by the floods.


“This is a long-term affair. It is a two years’ campaign,” Zardari said. “We have to consider and keep it in mind that for two years we have to give them crops, fertilisers, seeds, and look after them and feed them to take them to where they were.”


Fresh floods hit the southwestern province of Baluchistan at the weekend, devastating hundreds of villages and causing tens of thousands to flee, said Sher Khan Bazai, the commissioner in the town of Jaffarabad.


“The situation is grim. I saw people sheltering on the roofs of trucks and buses as bridges and roads have been washed away,” Bazai said, adding that authorities had only one helicopter and four boats for rescue missions.


The UN estimates that 1,600 have died in the floods, while the government in Islamabad has confirmed 1,384 deaths.


The nuclear-armed country of 167 million people is on the front line of the US-led fight against Al-Qaeda. Western governments have traced overseas terror plots back to Taliban and Al-Qaeda camps in the lawless tribal mountains.

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Source: SGGP

Cholera confirmed as UN chief to tour Pakistan floods

In Uncategorized on August 15, 2010 at 11:23 am

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said Saturday 20 million people had been affected by the worst floods in the country’s history as the UN confirmed the first cholera case.


Independence day celebrations were cancelled as floods continued to bring misery to millions and aid agencies warned of a “second wave” of deaths from disease.


“The floods affected some 20 million people, destroyed standing crops and food storages worth billions of dollars, causing colossal loss to national economy,” Gilani said in a televised address. “I would appeal to the world community to extend a helping hand to fight this calamity.”

Pakistani flood survivors lead their cattle through water as they evacuate Khangarh

The United Nations has appealed for 460 million dollars to deal with the immediate aftermath of the floods, but charities say the figure falls far short of what is needed.


UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was due to arrive in Pakistan on Sunday to discuss the relief effort and visit flood-hit areas.


“Outbreak of epidemics in the flood-hit areas is a serious threat, which can further compound the already grave situation,” Gilani added, as the UN confirmed the country’s first cholera case in Mingora, in the northwestern district of Swat.


Maurizio Giuliano, spokesman for the UN Office for Humanitarian Affairs, said at least 36,000 people were reportedly suffering from acute watery diarrhoea.


“We’re not suggesting that everyone who has acute watery diarrhoea has cholera, but cholera is certainly a concern and that’s why we’re stepping up our efforts,” he said.


Pakistan’s chief meteorological official, Arif Mehmood, said no new wave of flooding was expected in the next couple of days.


But charities said relief for those affected by the worst natural disaster in Pakistan’s history was lagging far behind what was needed.


“There are millions of people needing food, clean water and medical care and they need it right now,” said Jacques de Maio, head of operations for South Asia at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).


“Clearly at this point in time the overall relief effort cannot keep pace with the overall scale of the emergency.”


Humanitarian agencies in Pakistan were monitoring the risk of “a second wave of deaths induced by the floods in the shape of water-borne diseases”, de Maio said.


Celebrations marking the anniversary Saturday of Pakistan’s independence from British colonial rule were scrapped by President Asif Ali Zardari, who has come under fire for pressing on with a trip to Europe last week despite the emergency.


In his independence day message, Zardari said: “The best way to celebrate this day is to reach out to the victims of the natural disaster, heal their wounds and help them to help themselves.”


“I salute the courage and heroism of flood victims and assure them that the government will do everything possible to alleviate their suffering.”


However with up to two million people requiring shelter and six million depending on humanitarian assistance, troops distributed national flags among the people in the flood-hit northwestern town of Nowshera.


“We lost our houses and everything in the floods. We urgently need food and medicines and not the flags,” Rasul Khan, 80, told AFP.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton telephoned Zardari to express solidarity, even as US security operations continued in the northwestern tribal belt. A missile fired from a US drone on a rebel compound in North Waziristan killed 13 militants on Saturday, according to local security officials.

“The people and government of the United States are with the people of Pakistan in these difficult times,” an official government statement quoted Clinton as saying.

She also praised “the courage with which the people of Pakistan had braved the adversity”.

The United Nations believes 1,600 people have died in the disaster, while Islamabad has confirmed 1,343 deaths.

Ban on Sunday was expected to “see for himself the flood-affected areas (and) demonstrate the support of the UN and the international community to the government and people of Pakistan,” UN spokeswoman Ishrat Rizvi told AFP.

Meanwhile 90 percent of the 500,000 residents of Jacobabad left for safer ground after authorities warned that flood waters might deluge the southwestern city, provincial agriculture minister Jam Saifullah Dharejo told AFP.

Source: SGGP

Former PMU 18 chief gets three more years in jail

In Uncategorized on August 4, 2010 at 3:20 pm




Former PMU 18 chief gets three more years in jail


QĐND – Wednesday, August 04, 2010, 20:36 (GMT+7)

The Hanoi People’s Court on August 3 sentenced former General Director of the Project Management Unit (PMU 18) Bui Tien Dung to three years in jail for ‘deliberately acting against the State’s regulations on economic management, causing serious consequences’.


According to the indictment, during his term of office from 1998-2005, Dung lent cars for wrongly-purposed uses, leading to the loss of almost 2.7 billion VND.


Dung is already serving a 13-year term, which was imposed in 2007, for illegal gambling and for bribery in his attempts to cover up the crime.


His accomplices Vu Manh Tien, vice chief of the PMU 18 office, got a two-year imprisonment, and Bui Thu Hanh, an official of the Finance and Accounting Department of PMU 18, was sentenced to 14 months and five days in prison for the same charge of ‘abusing positions and powers while performing official duties’ in pursuant to Article 281 of the Penal Code.


The duo will be prohibited from holding positions within three years after serving their sentences.


Of the two other defendants, Le Thi Thanh Hoa, deputy head of PID 6, received a three-year suspended sentence plus five years of probation, and Nguyen Thanh Son, also deputy head of PID 6, got a two-year suspended sentence and will be prohibited from holding positions within three years following his sentence for the same charge.


The court requested the defendants reimburse the sums of money they had misappropriated in the case.


Source: VNA


Source: QDND

UNODC former chief representative honoured

In Uncategorized on August 2, 2010 at 7:19 pm




UNODC former chief representative honoured


QĐND – Monday, August 02, 2010, 23:26 (GMT+7)

The Committee for Ethnic Minorities has presented an insignia for the cause of ethnic minority group development to Jason William John Eligh, former acting chief representative of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).


The insignia presentation has been made in recognition of Jason Eligh’s great contributions to preventing and controlling drug abuse and the HIV epidemic among Vietnam’s ethnic people.


Jason Eligh and his colleagues joined domestic and international organisations and local authorities to prevent drug use and the spread of HIV in ethnic-inhabited regions through disseminating information and educating local people to raise their awareness on the issue. They have also built a typical community-based rehabilitation model at the Muong Hum commune, Bat Xat district of the northern mountainous province of Lao Cai.


The Committee also hailed UNODC’s important role and contributions to Vietnam’s drug prevention and control. Thanks to the UN body’s financial and technical assistance, the Vietnamese Government’s anti-drug programme has accessed international information and experiences and successfully organised effective and synchronous activities.


Addressing the presentation ceremony in Hanoi on August 2, Jason Eligh said he was happy to receive the honourable award and thanked the Vietnamese partners for their assistance.


He said he wished to make further contributions to the development of Vietnam’s ethnic people.


Source: VNA


Photo: ony.unu.edu


Source: QDND