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Posts Tagged ‘crew’

Big toe crew bags Asian hip-hop competition prize

In Uncategorized on October 15, 2010 at 10:25 am

A Vietnamese hip-hop dance crew has bagged the first prize at Southeast Asia’s Battle of the Year (BOTY) contest in Singapore.

             The hip-hop dance crew Big Toe

The 11-member crew, which belong to the top hip-hop dance group in Viet Nam , Big Toe, vied with five other hip-hop crews from Thailand , Malaysia , Laos , Singapore , and Indonesia for the prize.

The crew will now have the chance to compete at the World BOTY, which will take place in Montpellier , France , next month.

“Although we have sent our members to compete at BOTY every year since 2005, this is the first time a Big Toe crew has won the contest,” said Big Toe’s leader, Nguyen Viet Thanh.

The nine-day contest in France will draw 19 crews from five continents, including representatives from the Republic of Korea , France , Brazil , and Taiwan , who are considered to be Big Toe’s closest competitors.

Founded in 1992 with seven original members, Big Toe currently has 60 members, divided into four dance groups. They are widely recognised as Vietnam ‘s first hip hop dance troupe.

With a number of top prizes won at a variety of international competitions, Big Toe were awarded the Certificate of Merit on Oct. 12 by the Vietnam Electronic Sport and Recreational Sport Association under the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism.

Big Toe are planning to tour around France and Germany next year to present their hip-hop theatre production, Cam Xuc Thay Doi (Change of Emotion).

Source: SGGP

Somali pirates hijack sugar cargo ship with 24 crew: EU

In Uncategorized on August 6, 2010 at 7:20 am

BRUSSELS, Aug 6, 2010 (AFP) – Somali pirates seized a freighter with 24 Syrian and Egyptian crew members in the lawless waters of the Gulf of Aden, the EU’s anti-piracy force said, reporting the second pirate capture this week.

The Syria Star, flagged in Saint Vincent and Grenadines, radioed for help on Thursday and “reported that she was under attack from pirates who had climbed onboard and fired shots at the crew”, said the European Union NAVFOR Somalia mission.

Helicopters were dispatched and tried to establish contact with the ship, which was carrying a cargo of sugar, but they found only an abandoned skiff nearby containing fuel and ammunition, the force said in a statement.

“When warships arrived on the scene shortly after, the Syria Star had reversed course and was heading South East back towards the Horn of Africa under the control of the pirates, who refused to respond to radio contact.”

The vessel’s crew was predominantly Syrian and there were only two Egyptians.

It was the second pirate seizure this week.

On Monday, the sea bandits captured a Panamanian freighter with 23 crew from Egypt, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the Gulf of Aden.

A day later, a Spanish warship foiled an attack on a Norwegian chemical tanker off the Horn of Africa. The vessel was holding seven suspected Somali pirates pending possible prosecution.

This week, a Saudi insurance company said it would pay a 20-million-dollar ransom to free a hijacked ship and its 14-member crew held hostage for five months.

“The owner of the Al-Nisr Al-Saudi ship, which was hijacked by Somali pirates, said the insurance company has agreed to pay a ransom of 20 million dollars to win the release of the ship and its 14-member crew,” Arab News said on Monday.

The pirates had been torturing the crew of 13 Sri Lankans and one Greek as well as threatening to kill them unless the ransom was paid, the daily quoted the ship’s owner, Kamal Arri, as saying.

The tanker, he said, was not carrying any oil when the pirates captured it in the Gulf of Aden in March as it sailed back from Japan to the Saudi port of Jeddah.

Arri said his company had so far lost about eight million dollars as a result of the hijacking.

Foreign naval powers have deployed dozens of warships since 2008 in a bid to secure the Gulf, a crucial maritime route leading to the Suez Canal through which tens of thousands of merchant vessels transit each year.

But pirates have gradually extended their area of operations, seizing ships as far east as the Maldives’ territorial waters and as far south as the Canal of Mozambique.

Naval missions, including the European Union’s Atalanta deployment, have boasted success in curbing attacks but the number of hijacked ships and detained seafarers remains at one of its highest levels since Somali piracy surged in 2007.

Unofficial figures show 2009 was the most prolific year yet for Somali pirates, with more than 200 attacks — including 68 successful hijackings — and ransoms believed to exceed 50 million dollars in total.

Source: SGGP

All Rachel Corrie activists, crew deported: Israel

In Uncategorized on June 7, 2010 at 10:24 am

JERUSALEM, June 7, 2010 (AFP) – All 19 people on board the Rachel Corrie aid ship which tried to run the Israeli blockade of Gaza, have been deported, an Israeli immigration official told AFP on Monday.

Malaysian activists who were aboard the Rachel Corrie aid ship (AFP photo)

“They have all left,” she said, adding that the five Irish nationals, including Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Maguire, had flown out on a plane which left at around 5:00 am (0200 GMT).

Six Malaysians and a Cuban were deported on Sunday, leaving via the Allenby Bridge crossing into Jordan, while the remaining activists — including six Filipinos and a Briton — had left in the evening and overnight.

Israeli forces intercepted and seized control of the Rachel Corrie on Saturday as it tried to reach the Gaza Strip, in a peaceful operation which had a radically different outcome from an earlier raid on an aid flotilla that left nine dead last week.

Source: SGGP

Israel moves to expel Rachel Corrie activists, crew

In Uncategorized on June 6, 2010 at 10:18 am

JERUSALEM (AFP) – All activists and crew on board the Rachel Corrie aid ship which tried to run the Israeli blockade of Gaza would be expelled from Israel on Sunday, an Israeli immigration official told AFP.

“Everyone on board the boat will be expelled on Sunday after they signed a waiver renouncing their right to appeal to an Israeli judge,” said Sabine Haddad.

She said six Malaysian nationals and a Cuban would leave Israel through the Allenby crossing into Jordan, while the remaining 11 people would fly out of Israel from Ben Gurion international airport near Tel Aviv.

An Israeli flag flutters in the foreground as the Rachel Corrie aid ship enters the military port of Ashdod in southern Israel. AFP photo

Immigration officials earlier said the process had been delayed after the five Irish nationals, including Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Maguire, had initially refused to sign the waiver.

Israeli forces intercepted and seized control of the Rachel Corrie on Saturday as it tried to reach the Gaza Strip, in a peaceful operation which had a radically different outcome from an earlier raid on an aid flotilla that left nine dead.

The Irish-owned 1,200-tonne vessel was escorted into the southern Israeli port of Ashdod, and the activists and crew were taken to the Holon immigration centre near Tel Aviv for questioning.

Israel said its forces boarded the Rachel Corrie — named after a US activist killed in 2003 as she tried to prevent an Israeli bulldozer from razing a Palestinian home — “with the agreement” of those on board.

“Our forces boarded the boat and took control without meeting any resistance from the crew or the passengers. Everything took place without violence,” a military spokeswoman told AFP.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the operation.

“We saw today the difference between a ship of peace activists, with whom we don’t agree but respect their right to a different opinion from ours, and between a ship of hate organised by violent Turkish terror extremists,” he said.

Saturday’s outcome stood in stark contrast to a botched navy operation against a six-ship flotilla on Monday, which ended in the deaths of nine activists — eight Turks and a US-Turkish citizen.

But the latest takeover prompted a furious response from the Dublin-based Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

“For the second time in less then a week, Israeli forces stormed and hijacked an unarmed aid ship, kidnapping its passengers and forcing the ship toward Ashdod port,” it said.

The Rachel Corrie was carrying around 1,000 tonnes of aid and supplies, half of which was reportedly cement which is barred by Israel which fears it could be used by the Islamist group Hamas which controls the Gaza Strip to build fortifications.

Saturday’s operation came at a sensitive time, with Israel diplomatically isolated after Monday’s deadly raid.

The bloody end to that humanitarian mission unleashed fury, with several thousand people protesting across Europe on Saturday, including an estimated 10,000 in Istanbul.

Turkish prosecutors are reportedly examining the possibility of prosecuting Israeli leaders over the raid.

Angry protesters chanting anti-Israeli slogans and waving Palestinian and Turkish flags also took to the streets of Dublin, Edinburgh, London and Paris as well as other French cities on Saturday.

In Lebanon, two pro-Palestinian groups launched a fund-raising campaign to buy a ship which they hoped to sail to Gaza next week.

A senior UN official on Sunday said the botched raid should be used as a reason for an end to the Israeli blockade of Gaza.

“We very much want to see what’s happened, or use what’s happened, tragic as it is, as an opportunity to try to… persuade Israel to change policy,” the UN’s Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Holmes told AFP in Sydney.

Meanwhile, Britain said on Sunday it was giving 19 million pounds (27 million dollars, 23 million euros) for refugees in Gaza and repeated calls for Israel to lift its blockade of the territory, which has been in place since 2006 when the Islamist Hamas movement formed a government after sweeping parliamentary elections.

Source: SGGP

British Airways cabin crew launch new strike

In Uncategorized on May 30, 2010 at 5:17 am

LONDON, May 30, 2010 (AFP) – British Airways cabin crew started a fresh five-day strike on Sunday with little sign of a breakthrough in the long-running dispute between their union and the airline.

Joint general secretarys of the Unite union, Tony Woodley (C) and Derek Simpson (2nd R) address striking British Airways cabin crew on the third day of a five-day strike near Heathrow Airport on May 26, 2010. AFP photo

The latest strike by the Unite union is aimed at disrupting travel in the half-term school holidays in Britain, with a further five-day stoppage planned from June 5, which could hit flights to the football World Cup in South Africa.

Unite said it believed the 12 days of strikes since March had already cost BA 84 million pounds (121.5 million dollars, 99 million euros).

Talks between the two sides ended without agreement on Friday with Unite accusing BA chief executive Willie Walsh of blocking a resolution to the dispute on travel perks for cabin crew.

Derek Simpson, Unite’s joint leader, said: “He has refused to reinstate travel concessions in full despite Unite making it clear that the union would suspend the strike if he did so.

“It would cost BA nothing to reinstate these travel concessions yet Willie Walsh is prepared to see the strike continue.”

BA said it would increase its flying schedule in the coming week as more cabin crew than expected had decided to work as normal during the strikes.

Its schedule of long-term flights from its London Heathrow hub will be increased to more than 70 percent — up from more than 60 percent this week.

The short-haul schedule from the airport will rise to more than 55 percent of flights, up from more than 50 percent this week.

This month, BA posted a record annual pre-tax loss of 531 million pounds.

The airline, which has been hit hard by the decreased demand for air travel, is slashing costs and merging with Spanish rival Iberia in a bid to return to profitability.

Source: SGGP

BA cabin crew threaten more strikes

In Uncategorized on March 28, 2010 at 10:29 am

LONDON, Mar. 28 (AFP) – British Airways (BA) cabin crew entered the second day of a four-day strike Sunday, forcing cancellations and bringing disruption for travellers amid no sign of an end to the bitter dispute.

The Unite trade union, which represents cabin crew, is staging its second walkout in a week and says that there is likely to be more ahead unless BA makes them an acceptable offer.

A British Airways plane flies over striking British Airways cabin crew at Heathrow Airport. AFP photo

“Until such time as a sensible proposal comes on the table, this dispute will continue,” Unite’s Steve Turner told the BBC Saturday.

“There are no talks that are scheduled right now. We’re willing and available to discuss matters with the company at any point in order to reach a sensible, negotiated, acceptable agreement on behalf of our members.”

The strikes centre on what the union says is BA chief executive Willie Walsh’s “slash and burn strategy” to cut costs which it claims would lead to a two-tier workforce and damage standards of customer service.

But Walsh has warned the airline could fold in a decade unless the changes he wants are carried out.

“We are trying to transform the way we operate because the industry is changing and the economic conditions have changed so radically that we’ve got to change,” he told the Daily Telegraph Saturday.

“We’re doing this to make sure BA still exists in 10 years. If we don’t do this, BA won’t exist in 10 years.”

The latest wave of strikes follows three days of action from March 20 which came the day after talks between the two sides broke down.

BA says it will fly more than 75 percent of customers booked to travel during the disrupted period.

A BA spokeswoman said Saturday that London’s Gatwick and City airports were operating as normal and enough staff had turned up to the airline’s main hub at London Heathrow to crew the revised timetable.

Walsh visited Heathrow’s Terminal 5 to talk to passengers who had their travel plans disrupted and said he found customers “very positive”.

“At the same time, I am deeply sorry for those customers who have had their holidays and their plans disrupted,” he said in a video message.

Unite claims six Heathrow flights were loaded with passengers then unloaded because of lack of crew and that many long-haul services were leaving 30 percent below capacity. This is denied by the airline.

Some passengers caught up in the strike voiced frustration at Heathrow.

John Cawley and his family were heading to Newark in the United States ahead of a Caribbean cruise but had to hire a minibus to get to Heathrow from Manchester, northwest England, after their internal flight was cancelled.

“It seems there are no certainties with BA at all,” he said. “We’re having to take this trip one step at a time, once one bit is over we start to worry about the next one. There are question marks over everything.”

Outside Heathrow, striking cabin crew set up picket lines and were joined by staff from Iberia, the Spanish airline which is in talks to merge with BA.

The union has claimed the cost to the airline of the strike action would be 100 million pounds (111 million euros, 149 million dollars).

By contrast, BA has said that last week’s walkout would cost seven million pounds a day and that an assessment of the cost of the full seven-day action could only be made after it was finished.

BA said last month it expected to notch up a record loss in the current financial year due to weak demand for air travel.

Walsh has also denied accusations that he was trying to break the union, after the claim was made in a letter from 116 industrial relations experts from universities across Britain, published in The Guardian on Friday.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has condemned the strike but, just weeks before a general election, faces accusations of a weak response from the main opposition Conservatives because Unite is a major donor to his Labour party.

Source: SGGP

Crew from boat collision mystery arrive home safely

In Uncategorized on March 24, 2010 at 4:40 am

The 17-member crew of a fishing boat, which sunk after being hit by an unknown ship March 8 in the waters off Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands, have arrived home safely in Ly Son Island district in the central province of Quang Ngai.

The boat, which belonged to a Ly Son resident named Duong Thanh Phu, was struck by the mystery boat at about 2am when the crew was asleep. The owner said the boat and equipment was valued at VND2 billion (US$108,000).

The crew had just enough time to call for help with a cell phone before the boat sank.

A nearby fishing boat from Binh Chau Commune rescued them.

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

High hopes for Calisto’s crew at ASEAN Cup

In Uncategorized on November 19, 2008 at 2:37 pm

Breaking balls: Top Vietnamese striker Le Cong Vinh (right) tries to get past a Thai defender during a match in Ha Noi. Viet Nam will clash with Thailand in group competition at the ASEAN Football Championship next month. — VNS Photo Quang Thang

HA NOI — Former national player Nguyen Van Sy believes that Viet Nam will sail to the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF)–Suzuki Cup final next month.

Coach Calisto has an ability to motivate strong spirit among his players during training and big games, said Sy, who was part of the team that took home a bronze medal at the tournament in 2002.

“He can read the match well and understands his players,” Sy, who is coach of V-League side Vinakansai Ninh Binh, said about his former coach.

“The Vietnamese team have made progress with their offensive play in recent matches, coming out with a good fighting spirit,” the 37-year-old added.

Although Viet Nam have yet to taste victory in the eight matches since Calisto took power in April, the team had the perfect squad to prove competitive at the AFF Cup but were unable to mobilise.

According to Calisto, the Vietnamese footballers did not play technically badly or suffer from physical difficulties; the overall problem was that they lacked ideas and went into the games with a poor attitude.

The Portuguese coach also said Vietnamese footballers lacked professionalism. He told his team: “Your life is 90 minutes on the football field. The things that go on off the field should never influence your performance during a game.”

“Calisto’s coaching style has increased equality between players. His methods have earned the respect of his players, which makes them believe in him,” said Vuong Tien Dung, coach of V-League’s The Cong.

“In my opinion, Calisto is a clear-headed person who recognises the strong points of each player and knows how to bring them into play.”

The success of both coach and players were recognised by the chairman of the Viet Nam Football Federation (VFF), Nguyen Trong Hy, who expressed his happiness despite loss.

“While watching the game [Viet Nam vs China], I thought more than once that Viet Nam could win.”

“We played a remarkable match against China’s Olympic team. I am surprised and very satisfied with what they have done,” he said. “I can see their confidence, their spirit and their desire for victory. They will be an excellent football team.”

Six years ago, when Calisto first trained the national team, he discovered new talents including Tran Truong Giang, Trinh Xuan Thanh, Phan Van Tai Em and Nguyen Minh Phuong. They are all now key players on their local teams as well as on the national squad.

This year, Calisto shocked the football community when he included three 19-year-old members on the roster, a first in the history of Vietnamese football.

Earlier this month, Calisto recruited Olympic striker Phan Thanh Binh, who helped his team win the Merdeka Cup in Malaysia last month after a 42-year wait. Veterans Tran Truong Giang and Nguyen Minh Phuong, who played in the 2002 Tiger Cup, were also recruited.

Coach Calisto has some secret weapons in store for opposing teams in upcoming matches. Rising-star Pham Thanh Luong, on the left-wing, striker Nguyen Viet Thang and Golden Ball winner Le Cong Vinh are key members of the team line-up.

Viet Nam drew with Thailand 2-2 and North Korea 0-0 to rank second at the T&T Cup.

The team will play the second of a friendly series against Singapore next Wednesday. The first leg match in Ha Noi last month ended with a goalless draw.

Viet Nam’s arch-rival Thailand have drawn Group B, with Viet Nam, Malaysia and Laos for the AFF Cup.

Viet Nam will play Thailand – three-time winners of the tournament – on December 6. They are set to play against Malaysia on December 8 and Laos four days later in Bangkok.

Viet Nam hasn’t won the AFF Cup since its debut in Singapore in 1996. —