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Cold weather forces schools to close in northern region

In Uncategorized on January 12, 2011 at 7:02 am

The prolonged cold weather has forced a lot of schools to close, forcing thousands of students to stay at home in northern Vietnam.

Since January 7, Lai Chau Province alone has notified over 15,000 students to stay at home, while Lang Son Province schools have told over 11,000 students not to come to school.

Local authorities have called on residents and parents to help students cope with the cold weather.

In Sa Pa town of Lao Cai Province, parents have donated money in order that schools can purchase heating equipment. Meanwhile, some residents have made wood fires in order to keep children warm in the poorer areas.

The Lai Chau Province Department of Education and Training, has presented 1,500 extra thick clothes to students in districts of Sin Ho, Phong Tho and Tam Duong.

In addition, money donated by the Red River Delta provinces of Thai Binh, Hung Yen and Hai Duong, is helping to make heating mantles for poor students that live in remote lying areas.

Hoang Kim Giao, head of the Livestock Production Department said because of the cold weather, the number of cattle died has increase dramatically, from 900 on Monday to over 2,500. The worst hit provinces include Son La, Ha Giang, Cao Bang and Lao Cai.


Buffaloes find shelter from the cold weather, which has killed thousands of cattle in the north (Photo: SGGP)

On Tuesday afternoon, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development sent another urgent dispatch to northern and central provinces asking them to prevent any more cattle related deaths due to the extreme cold weather.

The Ministry also instructed local authorities not to let cattle in the fields and the forest when the temperature drops below 12 degree Celsius. If possible, farmers should stockpile more grass to feed their herbs.

Related article:
Primary schools to shut as temperatures drop

Source: SGGP

Stocks close week on low note

In Uncategorized on July 2, 2010 at 2:23 pm

Movement of VN-Index on July 2. (Photo:’s benchmark VN-Index extended its losing streak for a third straight day on July 2, amid investor caution.

The shares of 244 companies and four mutual funds listed on Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange slid 0.07 percent, or 0.37 points, to finish at 503.65. Trading value dropped to 15-session low of VND1.09 trillion, approximately 43.2 million shares were traded.

On the city bourse, 123 stocks advanced, 69 declined, while 56 treaded water.

Petrolimex International Trading Joint Stock Company (PIT) lost 9.09 percent to VND20,000 from VND22,000 yesterday.

Hanoi Maritime Holding Company (MHC) ended its four-day gaining streak, reducing 4.72 percent to VND10,100.

Plastic producer Do Thanh Technology Corporation (DTT) traded down 4.29 percent at VND15,600.

From July 5 to September 5, Ngo Minh Hai, deputy general director of Do Thanh Technology Corporation (DTT) registered to sell 5,000 shares to cover family expenses, sending his holdings to 5,419 shares.

Between July 5 and 30, Nguyen Anh Dung, brother of Nguyen Anh Hao – chief executive officer of the company, registered to sell 2,110 shares, reducing his holdings to 5 shares, reorganizing his investment category.

Saigon Thuong Tin Commercial Bank or Sacombank (STB) won the position of most active shares in volume with 1.9 million. 

Thuan Thao Corporation (GTT) followed right behind with 1.84 million shares changing hands, tagged along by Ocean Group Joint Stock Company (OGC), which saw 1.72 million shares traded.

Foreign Trade Development and Investment Corporation of Ho Chi Minh City (FDC) and Meca Vneco Investment and Electricity Construction Joint Stock Company (VES) were the biggest gainers today, adding 5 percent to VND39,900 and VND27,300 respectively.

From July 5 to September 5, Nguyen The Hau, deputy general director of Foreign Trade Development and Investment Corporation of Ho Chi Minh City (FDC), registered to sell 8,000 shares and buy 5,000 shares to restructure his investment category.

Construction and Materials Trading Joint Stock Company (CNT) and Ha Tien Transport Joint Stock Company (HTV) advanced 4.98 percent to VND29,500 and VND21,100 respectively.

Between January 1 and June 20, Tran Minh Huy, chief accountant of Ha Tien Transport Joint Stock Company (HTV) registered to sell 5,000 shares and sold 2,000 shares, decreasing holdings to 3,000 shares, accounting for 0.03 percent of the company’s chartered capital.

In contrast, the smaller bourse in the north performed better and closed week on a bright note as the Hanoi’s HNX-Index gained as much as 0.26 percent, or 0.41 points, to close at 158.39. Liquidity fell sharply to 30.6 million shares, worth VND898.5 billion.

The UPCoM-Index rose 2.64 points to 52.42. Around 1.2 million shares changed hands, at VND23 billion, as of 11:15 am local time.

Source: SGGP

Hospitals to keep close eyes on recalled child medications

In Uncategorized on May 5, 2010 at 8:51 am

The Vietnam Drug Administration has ordered hospitals to strictly monitor the use and affects of several children’s and infant medications following a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recall of over 40 over-the-counter drugs.

Three of the Children’s Tylenol products that are being recalled in the 2010 Tylenol and liquid related product recall.

Liquid medicines like the Tylenol, Tylenol Plus, Motrin, and Zyrtec brand names were recalled in the US and Vietnam must now monitor the application of these drugs, the administration said.

This recall is not due to any adverse reaction to the medications. The FDA simply noted that the medications did not meet its quality standards.

Some of the products included in the recall may contain higher concentrations of active ingredients than is specified; others may contain inactive ingredients that may not meet internal testing requirements; and others may contain tiny particles, according to the FDA.

The Vietnamese Ministry of Health is following FDA announcements on the issue closely to ensure patients’ rights.

Most of the Tylenol and Zyrtec liquid children’s products in Vietnam are made in Thailand, and imported and distributed by PhytoPharma. The drugs are sold without a doctor’s prescription.

Source: SGGP

Canada’s seal hunt to close early after low harvest

In Uncategorized on April 15, 2010 at 1:41 pm

OTTAWA (AFP) – A lack of sea ice in one of the warmest Canadian winters on record and a European boycott have ruined what was to be a banner seal hunt off Canada’s Atlantic coast this month, according to officials and sealers.

Canada’s Fisheries Minister Gail Shea last month increased by 50,000 the allowable catch of harp seals this season to 330,000, in defiance of a ban on seal products by the European Union.

File picture shows a Harp seal pup on an ice floe in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. AFP file

But most of Canada’s 6,000 sealers stayed home, unable to find buyers for their catch or stymied by a lack of ice floes for the first time in 60 years on the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, which usually host hordes of seals birthing pups.

“The European boycott was devastating to the industry this year, as was the lack of ice on the Gulf of Saint Lawrence due to an exceptionally warm winter,” Jean Richard, Canadian fisheries department conservation chief for the Quebec coastal region, told AFP.

“The hunt, as a result of reduced market demand, has been scaled back substantially,” added Larry Yetman, fisheries resource management officer for the Newfoundland and Labrador coastal region.

Fewer than 50 sealing ships launched from Newfoundland ports, down from 500 in past years. Others would have eagerly set out to reap this year’s higher pelt prices — at 21 dollars, nearly double last year’s prices.

But there was now only one local buyer, NuTan Furs, which said upfront it would buy less than 15,000 pelts from a dedicated group of sealers this year.

“Every sealer in Newfoundland would have considered going out on the ice for that price, but there aren’t any buyers,” Yetman said.

He lamented that sealing conditions were otherwise ripe for a bountiful harvest along the Labrador coast: “The ice is close to shore, not heavy, and easily penetrated by sealing vessels.”

“Unfortunately, we expect market demand to be satisfied in a couple of days, and then we would talk about closing the hunt,” likely after less than 15 percent of the quota has been reached, he said.

To the south, a solitary ship set off with 10 crew onboard last week from the Magdalen Islands, where former Beatle Paul McCartney led a seal hunt protest in 2006, in search of prey for Quebec eateries.

The rest of the island’s fleet remained docked, each ship too small to venture far beyond the Saint Lawrence seaway.

Denis Longuepee, president of the Magdalen Islands seal hunters association, said the steel-hulled 65-foot vessel Jean-Mathieu had already returned from Labrador coastal waters after nine days, with 2,200 seal carcasses.

Rejean Vigneau, a sealer and owner of a Magdalen Island butcher shop that specializes in seal meat, said their harvest was disappointing — half of what he had hoped for.

“Normally, we never go hunting for seal meat,” he commented. “We hunt for pelts and also bring back the meat. But there’s no market for seal pelts this year.”

Except for NuTan, all of Canada’s seasonal seal processing companies have been shuttered, forcing the Jean-Mathieu crew to “throw pelts back in the water.”

“It’s a disaster, really unthinkable,” Vigneau said. “It’s the first time ever that this has happened.”

Longuepee told AFP that there remained “a lot of demand for seal meat” as a delicacy, triple what it was last year and growing, but fisheries officials insist the market for the meat is still relatively small.

To try to boost demand, Canada’s Fur Institute is expected to soon launch a seal cookbook originally published by the European Union, ironically three years before EU states voted in 2009 to ban the marketing of seal products from 2010 onwards.

In Ottawa, efforts are now underway to try to open up new markets for seal pelts in Asia while the EU ban — called for by animal rights groups — is being challenged at the World Trade Organization.

Source: SGGP

President Triet confirms close ties with Saudi Arabia

In Uncategorized on April 11, 2010 at 2:25 pm

President Triet confirms close ties with Saudi Arabia

QĐND – Sunday, April 11, 2010, 21:18 (GMT+7)

Vietnam wants to strengthen relations with all countries in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, State President Nguyen Minh Triet told the King’s Consultative Council in Riyadh on April 11.

Vietnam considers Saudi Arabia one of its leading partners, said Mr Triet, adding that cooperative ties between the two countries have grown and flourished in recent times.

He briefed the council’s members on the result of his talks with King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, during which they agreed to foster friendship and cooperation and increase the exchange of visits at all levels.

He said both sides agreed to establish a strategic partnership on energy and food as soon as possible to make full use of their strengths, namely the oil industry and agricultural production.  

Such a partnership will help ensure energy and food security for both countries no matter what happens, said Mr Triet.

He said Vietnam and Saudi Arabia will employ measures to raise two-way trade to more than US$1 billion in the next 2-3 years from the current US$460 million. They will create the best possible conditions for their commodities to enter larger Southeast Asian and Middle East markets.

The two countries will increase investment promotions and the number of Vietnamese guest workers in the Middle East nation. They will continue to negotiate and sign additional agreements to lay a firm legal foundation for expanding trade and investment ties.

He voiced Vietnam’s support for the international community’s efforts to restore peace in the Middle East and promised to work closely with Saudi Arabia to achieve the goal.

He expressed his belief that acting as the legislative body, the Consultative Council will make an active contribution to strengthening friendship and comprehensive cooperation between the two countries. 

The President proposed that the Consultative Council and the Vietnam National Assembly establish cooperative links to share information and experience.

Later, Mr Triet visited the Vietnamese Embassy, where he met with embassy officials, staff and representatives of Vietnamese workers in Saudi Arabia.

He reminded the officials and staff to grasp main diplomatic tasks of the Party and State to promote bilateral cooperation, especially in economics. He also asked the workers to study local customs and language and observe local law to work there in the longer term.

Source: VOV/VNA

Source: QDND

Party leader assures French diplomat of close ties

In Politics-Society on March 18, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Party leader assures French diplomat of close ties

QĐND – Thursday, March 18, 2010, 20:55 (GMT+7)

Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) General Secretary Nong Duc Manh reaffirmed his country’s respect for its relations with France while meeting with the new French Ambassador in Hanoi on March 18.

Manh said he was confident that Ambassador Jean Francois Girault would contribute to developing relations between the two countries during his new mission in Vietnam .

Girault, who paid a courtesy visit to the CPV leader upon assuming his post, pledged to do his best to fulfil agreements signed by the two countries and raise bilateral ties to the level of strategic partnership.

He spoke highly of Vietnam ’s achievements in renewal and its role in the region and the world, especially in the year 2010 when Vietnam holds the chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Rooney key as United close on Chelsea

In Vietnam Sports on December 28, 2009 at 7:42 am

LONDON, Dec 27, 2009 (AFP) – Wayne Rooney went from hero to villain and back to hero again as Premier League champions Manchester United won 3-1 away to Hull City on Sunday.

Victory left second-placed United just two points behind leaders Chelsea, who could only manage a goalless draw against Birmingham on Saturday, with England striker Rooney involved in all four goals.

Wayne Rooney celebrates his second goal against Hull City during their English Premier League football match at The KC Stadium in Hull on December 27, 2009. AFP PHOTO

Rooney put United ahead on the stroke of half-time at the KC Stadium with a close range finish after Ryan Giggs touched on Darren Fletcher’s cross

But second bottom Hull equalised on the hour though a Craig Fagan penalty.

Rooney’s poor backpass was intercepted by Fagan and following his cross, Jozy Altidore was bundled over at the far post by United defender Rafael.

Fagan then sent Tomasz Kuszczak the wrong way from the spot.

But Rooney made amends with an excellent cross that Hull’s Andy Dawson put through his own net in the 73rd minute and he then set up fellow striker Dimitar Berbatov, who tapped in United’s third goal eight minutes from time.

Having spared himself a verbal dressing down from manager Sir Alex Ferguson, Rooney said: “Obviously when they got the equaliser it was a mistake by myself and thankfully we got the win, or I don’t think the manager would have been too pleased with me.”

For Ferguson, Rooney’s response was nothing less than he expected.

“He made a mistake but he was exceptional today. He’s got that (desire). He’s a natural winner.”

Asked what this result meant for the title race, Ferguson replied: “It’s looking like it’s going to be a real tight league.

“I think experience will come into it in the run-in. Arsenal, Chelsea and ourselves have got that experience and the team that stays clears of injuries will have an advantage.”

Earlier, Cesc Fabregas came off the bench to score twice as Arsenal defeated top four rivals Aston Villa 3-0 at the Emirates Stadium.

Victory left third-placed Arsenal four points behind Chelsea with a game in hand over their fellow Londoners while Villa remained in fourth spot.

Gunners captain Fabregas fired the home side in front with a superbly struck 25-yard free-kick in the 65th minute.

And with nine minutes left, the Spain midfielder crowned a fine move to make it 2-0.

However, Fabregas aggravated a hamstring injury in the process and, after just 28 minutes on the pitch, he was taken off before Abou Diaby added a third goal in stoppage time.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger tried to downplay Fabregas’s injury.

“I don’t believe it’s too bad, he (Fabregas) doesn’t think it’s too bad,” said Wenger.

Villa counterpart Martin O’Neill said the task for his side was to pick themselves up in time for Tuesday’s game against Liverpool.

“This was a major test, we didn’t come through it.

“We’ve got another one in a couple of days’ time and we’ve got to be prepared for that.”

Saturday saw Roberto Mancini’s reign as Manchester City manager begin with a 2-0 win over Stoke.

City’s first match since they controversially sacked Mark Hughes lifted them to within three points of the top four place targeted by former Inter Milan boss Mancini.

But it was another frustrating day for fellow Italian Carlo Ancelotti as Chelsea endured a stalemate against Birmingham, a result that left the table-toppers with just one win from seven matches in all competitions.

Liverpool moved to within five points of a top four finish with a 2-0 win over struggling Wolves at Anfield, captain Steven Gerrard and Yossi Benayoun scoring after Stephen Ward’s sending-off reduced the visitors to 10 men.

Tottenham’s push for a place among the leading quartet stalled in a goalless draw away to Fulham.

West Ham clawed their way out of the relegation zone with a 2-0 win over basement club Portsmouth secured by Alessandro Diamanti’s penalty and a goal from Radoslav Kovac.

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

Tough times force OPEC members to close ranks

In World on December 7, 2009 at 3:52 am

 Divisions within OPEC have eased as the dual threat of the global economic crisis and climate change talks force oil producers to be pragmatic and unified, analysts said on Sunday.

Two years ago, when oil prices soared to nearly 100 dollars a barrel, the oil exporters cartel, which includes both allies and foes of the United States, was severely tested.

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries was then torn between price hawks like Algeria, Iran, Libya and Venezuela on one side and nations like Saudi Arabia which wanted moderate prices in the interests of consumers.

But the stance of the price hawks has since lost support, leading to a convergence of positions within the bloc.

OAPEC Secretary General Abbas Ali Naqi (L) and Egyptian Oil Minister Sameh Fahmi attend the 83rd meeting of the Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC) in Cairo on December 5.

Less than three weeks ahead of the next OPEC meeting in Luanda, Angola, the group’s oil ministers agree that quotas must remain at their current level of 24.84 million barrels per day (bpd).

Even US arch-foes Iran and Venezuela support that view.

Although the price of oil is trading at around 75 dollars a barrel, nobody is daring to ask for 100 dollars.

Observers say this unity has come about largely thanks to pragmatism instilled into producers by the events of 2008: an unprecedented price surge to 147.50 dollars a barrel, followed by a plunge to 32.40 dollars in December.

“What happened makes you think. An oil price of 75 dollars is higher than they could have hoped for. Even the most hawkish nations are finding it hard to ask for more,” said Francis Perrin of the Oil and Gas Journal.

This turnaround came about because producers were afraid of another price collapse, according to Julian Lee, analyst at the Centre For Global Energy Studies in London.

“They still have a big fear of oil (prices) falling … They haven’t entirely lost that fear,” said Lee.

Another reason for the appeasement of the hawks was that the countries which traditionally call for high prices have proved less than effective in implementing decisions taken by OPEC.

At a meeting in Oran, Algeria in December 2008, OPEC pledged to withdraw 4.2 million bpd from production from the start of 2009 in order to stabilise the market.

However, the bulk of the sacrifice was provided by Saudi Arabia, while Iran did not implement the agreed cut in production.

“The influence of the hawks is limited” because “if somebody raises the issue of higher prices … he will be told to comply more,” said David Wech, an analyst at JBC Energy.

Finally, while the impact of the global recession is still being felt on oil demand, another key challenge for producers looms in the shape of measures to reduce carbon emissions.

Such a deal could be signed this week in Copenhagen during landmark UN-led talks on tackling global warming.

“When you see in the OPEC bulletins the rising concern linked to climate change, you can see that producers are closing ranks,” said Perrin. “In the hardest times in its history, OPEC tends to stick together.”

Measures to reduce the share of fossil fuels in total energy consumption directly threaten the interests of oil producers.

OPEC’s decision last December to cut production by 4.2 million bpd officially brought down the total output of the 12-member cartel — excluding Iraq — to 24.84 million bpd.

On Friday, crude prices tumbled in volatile trade, succumbing to a stronger dollar following an improved US jobs report picture.

New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for January delivery, fell 99 cents to 75.47 dollars a barrel. In London, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in January dropped 84 cents to settle at 77.52 dollars a barrel.

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

Ronaldo back as Real close in on knockout stage

In Vietnam Sports on November 27, 2009 at 2:23 am

MADRID, Nov 26, 2009 (AFP) – Cristiano Ronaldo ended two months of injury torment with a 20-minute appearance as Real Madrid put one foot in the Champions League knockout phase with a 1-0 Group C home win over FC Zurich on Wednesday.

A 21st minute goal from Argentine Gonzalo Higuain secured a narrow victory for Real who now lead the group, two points ahead of AC Milan who drew 1-1 with Marseille, and need just a point in the final game at Marseille to secure qualification.

“I am scoring some goals which is nice but the most important thing is we are winning,” said Higuain. “This win boosts our chances of qualifying for the next phase of the Champions League and also gives us confidence for the Barcelona game at the weekend.”

Ronaldo, top-scorer in this season’s Champions League with four goals in two games, came on in the 69th minute after eight weeks out with an ankle injury and is now ready for ‘El Clasico’ against Barcelona on Sunday.

Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo (L) replaces Raul during a UEFA Champions League football against Zurich at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, on November 25, 2009. AFP PHOTO

Real lead the Spanish table by one point from champions Barcelona going into the duel at Camp Nou.

“It is good to see Cristiano back as he is very important for us and could help us win (against Barcelona) on Sunday,” said defender Pepe. “It is a big game for us and we will be very motivated to try and win there.”

The Zurich match was a landmark game for Real goalkeeper Iker Casillas, who was making his 100th Champions League appearance putting him third in the all-time list led by captain Raul on 129.

Raul had been on the substitutes’ bench for the past three consecutive league games but returned for the Zurich game with French striker Karim Benzema making way.

Just four minutes into the match Brazilian Kaka showed quick feet to create a shooting chance and his left-footed drive was tipped over.

Zurich had caused a major upset by beating AC Milan 1-0 on their own patch but were cautious at the Santiago Bernabeu putting numbers behind the ball and playing on the counter attack.

Real probed and got the early breakthrough they craved on 21 minutes with Kaka stealing possession and threading a pass to Higuain who finished with aplomb to enhance his claim for a starting place against Barcelona.

Xabi Alonso, celebrating his 28th birthday, almost scored his first Real goal with his 26th minute drive pushed wide by goalkeeper Johnny Leoni.

A training ground routine almost provided the second for Real with Higuain cutting a corner back to the edge of the penalty area and thundering a volley against the post in the 36th minute.

Zurich had offered little and a decent long distance shot from Alexandre Alphonse was their only effort of note but Casillas always looked in control.

After the break Real went in search of a second goal while Zurich continued to offer little from an attacking point of view.

Ronaldo warmed up on the touchlines to draw applause from the home crowd.

However, Dutch midfielder Rafael van der Vaart, playing for his future at the club, was the first substitution, replacing Alvaro Arbeloa close to the hour mark.

Real were struggling to create chances and Zurich grew in confidence with the impressive Alphonse causing some problems with his running from deep.

After 69 minutes Real coach Manuel Pellegrini delighted the home crowd by introducing Ronaldo – missing for the past ten games – with Raul coming off.

Ronaldo, who showed some nice touches, came through the match unscathed which was the most important thing from Real’s point of view.

The former Manchester United man almost scored in the final minute after a good one-two with Esteban Granero but his left-footed shot lacked the power.

All in all the second half display was below-par from Real and they will have to raise their game for treble winners Barcelona on Sunday.

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

DPRK decides to close border with RoK

In Uncategorized on November 13, 2008 at 12:29 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has said that it will shut all land borders with the Republic of Korea (RoK) from next month and accused its neighbour of provocation “beyond the danger level”.

The DPRK on November 12 announced that a measure to strictly restrict and cut off all the overland passages would take effect from December 1, the State-run Korean Central News Agency reported.

The border closure with the RoK will effectively close the Kaesong industrial complex in the DPRK, which is funded by the RoK.

On the same day, the RoK expressed regret over the DPRK’s decision to partially shut their border with the RoK, saying it would have a negative impact on inter-Korean relations.

“DPRK’s announcement that it will take measures to limit passage across the border is regrettable,” Kim Ho-nyoun, spokesman for the RoK’s Unification Ministry was quoted by Yonhap news agency as saying in a statement.-