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Posts Tagged ‘eyes’

Japan eyes building its own GPS system

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2011 at 4:14 am

 Japan is considering launching new satellites to establish its own global positioning system (GPS) in a bid to reduce its reliance on the US navigation network, officials said on Wednesday.

In September, Japan launched a rocket carrying its first satellite intended to improve GPS systems widely used by Japanese motorists for navigation as well as by aviation and maritime operators.

The government’s space development strategy headquarters, headed by Prime Minister Naoto Kan, is now discussing plans to launch additional satellites, said an official.

“There is a proposal that our country should secure its own GPS as it is now fully relying on the US system,” the official said.

“The new system may also open our opportunity for marketing GPS services to other Asian countries,” he said, adding that the government plans to reach a final decision by August.

A Japanese rocket takes off carrying satellites at the Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima prefecture in the south of the country

The Yomiuri Shimbun daily reported on Wednesday that Japan had decided to launch six to seven new satellites to establish its own GPS system by 2014 and 2015 to cover the entire Asia-Pacific region.

By using both the new satellites and American GPS in combination, Japan could raise the degree of precision of car navigation systems 10-fold, the mass-circulation said.

The government plans to charge private GPS operators some 13 billion yen (158 million dollars) per year for using the system as it would cost more than 200 billion yen to launch six satellites, it said.

Source: SGGP

Tourism eyes foreign shoppers

In Uncategorized on November 20, 2010 at 4:15 pm

Volkswagen eyes rehaul of trucking: report

In Uncategorized on November 14, 2010 at 4:58 am

Russia eyes more nuclear power projects in Asia: FM

In Uncategorized on October 30, 2010 at 11:40 am

HANOI, Oct 30, 2010 (AFP) – Asian nations are keen on striking nuclear power deals with Russia, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Saturday, as world powers race to secure projects in the energy-hungry region.

“Our partners expressed particular interest in nuclear energy, noting Russia’s vast experience in this sphere,” Lavrov said in Hanoi, where President Dmitry Medvedev attended a regional summit.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during the ASEAN summit in Hanoi on October 30, 2010. AFP

During Medvedev’s visit to Vietnam, Russia will also sign a multi-billion-euro deal on Sunday to build Vietnam’s first nuclear power plant.

An official with Russian state nuclear conglomerate Rosatom told AFP the construction of the two-unit plant is estimated at over 4.0 billion euros (5.5 billion dollars).

Russia is locked in a global race with competitors like the United States, Japan and France to clinch lucrative worldwide contracts as demand for nuclear energy increases.

Vietnam has approved the construction of the country’s first nuclear power stations, and its initial plans call for four reactors with a total capacity of 4,000 megawatts, at least one of which should be operational from 2020.

Lavrov added that Russia and its ASEAN partners were interested in pursuing joint projects in geothermal energy in the region.

“The prospects are quite good,” he said, adding the potential projects would be the focus of the countries’ action plan through 2015.

Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) secretary general Surin Pitsuwan told reporters at the 10-member bloc’s summit in Hanoi that leaders agreed on the need for clean energy projects in the region.

“Without energy we could not drive our economy, but at the same time using traditional energy may impact upon our global environment,” he said, adding that member countries are working on “green energy, clean energy, new, alternative energy that would not have any impact on the environment”.

Source: SGGP

Hanoi eyes drainage capacity

In Uncategorized on July 21, 2010 at 3:17 pm

Hanoi eyes drainage capacity

QĐND – Wednesday, July 21, 2010, 20:58 (GMT+7)

Hanoi municipal officials expressed concern about the city’s drainage capacity following a draft plan released on July 20 to cope with potential flooding during the city’s millennium celebrations in October.

“All-out efforts would be made to drain water into the To Lich and Nhue rivers to minimise water levels if a heavy downpour occurred during Hanoi ‘s 1,000th anniversary in October,” said the city People’s Committee Chairman Nguyen The Thao.

Even taking into account the anti-flooding measures, Thao admitted “They are merely temporary measures.”

Other solutions for the city’s short term water drainage problems were needed, the chairman said, while in the long-term additional and permanent solutions needed to be developed.

According to Irrigation Department Deputy General Director Nguyen Xuan Dieu, flood prevention measures are in a complete shambles despite the onset of the monsoon season and the rapidly approaching city celebrations.

Dieu warned of immeasurable consequences when repeatedly pumping large volumes of water outside the city’s dike system.

Many irrigation experts said it was essential to install temporary pumping stations to drain off water and dredge rivers to encourage water flows.

But Thao also raised concerns regarding the city’s pumping stations, as they currently discharge water primarily into the To Lich and Nhue rivers which run through the capital and would already be inundated. Only the Yen So pumping station drained off water to the Red River while the raising of the Yen So pumping station’s capacity to 90cu.m of water per second from a current 45cu.m would only be finished by the end of August, Thao pointed out.

Although phase 1 of the Hanoi Drainage for Environmental Improvement project was completed five years ago the drainage capacity in the capital city remains at only 172mm per two days.

The second phase of the project will only be finished by 2013 and would raise the current drainage capacity to 310mm over two days.

A latest downpour hitting Hanoi recently flooded streets and blocked traffic for many hours because the 130mm rainfall was condensed into three hours and far exceeded the city’s limited drainage capacity.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Medvedev eyes German help to modernise Russia economy

In Uncategorized on July 15, 2010 at 12:57 pm

 President Dmitry Medvedev Thursday called on German firms to help Russia modernise its economy as he met Chancellor Angela Merkel to further cement the Moscow-Berlin partnership.

“I very much expect that German firms, which have huge experience in this area, will take part in this work,” Medvedev told business leaders after talks with Merkel in the Russian Urals city of Yekaterinburg.

“Taking into account the strategic partnership in the economic sphere I believe the prospects here are not too bad,” Medvedev said, during what is his fifth meeting with Merkel this year.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (R) speaks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Yekaterinburg.

Germany is Russia’s main economic partner and enjoys close diplomatic relations with Moscow.

Medvedev also invited German business people to invest in companies that had until recently been off limits to foreigners.

“I expect that German companies will take part in the modernization of companies they are interested in, also taking into account my decision to reduce the number of strategic enterprises,” Medvedev said.

Last month, Medvedev announced he was cutting fivefold the number of firms deemed “strategic” and in which the state is obliged to own a stake, opening the way for broader participation of foreign companies in the economy.

Medvedev also said the Russian government had earmarked 170 billion rubles (5.5 billion dollars) for the establishment of the Skolkovo high-tech hub outside Moscow — Russia’s answer to Silicon Valley.

Germany’s Siemens was to sign an agreement later Thursday to help Russia develop the Skolkovo technology hub, a Moscow-based company spokesman said this week.

Siemens will also sign a contract with Russian Railways and another deal with state conglomerate Russian Technologies and RusHydro utility company.

German government sources said the deal with Russian Railways was to be a 2.2-billion-euro (2.8-billion-dollar) order to supply the Russian company with more than 200 trains for its regional network.

During the summit Medvedev and Merkel would discuss the setting up of “strategic alliances” between Russian and German companies in railway, aviation and energy industries, the Kremlin said ahead of the bilateral summit.

Medvedev this week told Russian diplomats that one of their top tasks was to help businesses forge economic alliances with the West and Germany in particular as the Kremlin seeks to wean the country off oil and gas exports as its main economic motor.

Merkel for her part expressed hope that Russia will join the World Trade Organization in the near future and that its fledgling customs union with neighbours Kazakhstan and Belarus would not hinder its WTO talks.

Russia, which opened negotiations to join the WTO in 1993, is the largest economy that is still outside the Geneva-based body.

Russian officials have repeatedly expressed frustration with the process for accession to the WTO and floated a plan to enter the global trade body as part of a customs bloc with Belarus and Kazakhstan that was formally launched earlier this month.

Medvedev assured Merkel that the customs bloc would not stand in the way of the WTO talks, noting progress in Russia’s negotiations with the United States.

“I hope that the most significant progress in this respect will be made this year,” he added.

Merkel, who is considerably less cosy with Moscow than was her predecessor Gerhard Schroeder, also raised the case of rights activist Natalya Estemirova, found murdered in the Caucasus one year ago.

Merkel described the issue as of “great importance”, adding: “In this respect it is important to continue the work to find the truth.”

Source: SGGP

Vietnam in the eyes of Italian photographer

In Uncategorized on May 30, 2010 at 9:16 am

Nearly 50 photos on land and people of Vietnam taken by Italian photographer Maurizio Cofini are on display at an exhibition in Rome.

In his second exhibition on Vietnam, Maurizio Cofini continues to depict the special life in the country in a wide range of subjects from Hanoi’s old quarters, Halong Bay, the Mekong Delta river region to minority ethnic children and daily lives of other normal people across the country.

The 54-year-old professional photographer, who has won numerous major awards in Italia, has featured Vietnam as a peace-loving nation recovering from long-time wars to vigorously change.

The display, along with the previous one in September last year, is the result of his five visits to Vietnam within 15 years.

Source: SGGP

Almost 23,000 children blind in both eyes

In Uncategorized on May 24, 2010 at 5:16 pm

Obama eyes ‘next steps’ in oil spill

In Uncategorized on May 14, 2010 at 8:52 am

US President Barack Obama meets with top advisers Friday to discuss the “next steps” to stem a giant sea of oil lapping the fragile Gulf Coast as BP readied its latest make-or-break bid.

Obama, who the White House has described as “deeply frustrated” that the leak has not been plugged three weeks since a spectacular explosion rocked an offshore drilling platform, has increased pressure on rig-operator BP as officials warned the oil could hit more coastal states over the weekend.

The British oil giant meanwhile prepared a new attempt to siphon the crude up to a tanker on the surface as serious questions emerged over exactly how much oil is gushing into the Gulf of Mexico.

Remote-controlled submarines were set to perform the delicate operation to insert a narrow six-inch (15-centimeter) diameter tube into the main leak in a 21-inch thick riser pipe in inky depths 1,500 meters (5,000 feet) down on the seabed.

This image released by BP on May 11 shows the main oil leak (R) of the Deepwater Horizon rig which exploded April 20 and killed 11 workers.

“There will be a set of gaskets attached to the tube and they will help seat it in the riser pipe,” BP spokesman Bryan Ferguson said.

Success could see most of the leaking oil contained and allow BP to concentrate its efforts on mopping up the giant slick, which the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasts would not make landfall in Florida, Mississippi and Alabama until late Saturday.

Louisiana’s fragile shores have been the hardest hit by the growing pool of oil so far.

BP is facing a growing backlash as experts warned the spill may actually be at least 10 times worse than the US Coast Guard’s official estimate that 5,000 barrels (210,000 gallons) of crude are gushing from a ruptured well each day.

Scientists analyzing video of the leak released by BP told CNN and National Public Radio that the leak was actually spewing closer to 70,000 barrels (294,000 gallons) a day, with an estimated margin of error of plus or minus 20 percent.

The findings suggest the gulf spill is already the worst environmental disaster in US history, having eclipsed the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill. But BP has disputed the results, saying there is no reliable method to calculate how much oil is flowing from the broken pipe.

The Deepwater Horizon rig, leased by BP from Transocean, the world’s largest offshore drilling contractor, sank on April 22, two days after a massive explosion that killed 11 workers.

BP is under fire after congressional hearings on Tuesday and Wednesday revealed multiple warning signs were perhaps overlooked before the April 20 blast.

Top oil executives from BP, rig owner Transocean and Halliburton, which was being paid to seal the well, traded blame over the disaster.

One of the main questions is why BP or Transocean decided to go ahead with final operations to seal the well despite a test that apparently indicated highly combustible gas could still be leaking out.

Citing accounts by two contractors, The Wall Street Journal said a decision was also taken to conduct the final operations in reverse, meaning the drilling “mud,” or lubricant, was withdrawn before a final cement plug was inserted.

Engineers have been mulling several different options to seal the main leak and prevent a giant slick from destroying vulnerable coastlines.

Engineers decided to use the insertion tube method rather than a “top hat” containment box because they were concerned ice-like crystals that dogged efforts last weekend would form inside the structure.

BP is also contemplating a bizarre “junk shot” maneuver to jam up the blowout preventer (BOP) with golf balls, tires, rope and other debris.

It began drilling a relief well on May 2 that could divert the flow until the well is permanently sealed, but this may not be ready until August.

Louisiana’s 2.4 billion dollar fisheries industry has already been hit by a ban on fishing and shrimp harvesting in a large swath of coastal waters.

Cleanup teams are seeing oil wash up on island nature reserves in Louisiana and National Guard troops have been scooping up tar balls off beaches on Dauphin Island, a popular Alabama tourist spot.

Transocean, which BP is blaming for the failure of the blowout preventer, filed a petition in a US court Thursday to limit its liability in the spill to 27 million dollars.

US senators from the three US western Pacific Coast states introduced draft legislation calling for a ban on new offshore drilling near their shores.

Source: SGGP

‘Iron Man 2’ eyes record as blockbuster season begins

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Source: SGGP