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First commercial flight from Far East lands at Cam Ranh

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 2:29 pm

First commercial flight from Far East lands at Cam Ranh

QĐND – Thursday, December 16, 2010, 21:3 (GMT+7)

The first commercial flight from Vladivostok city, Russia , by the Russian carrier Vladivostok Air landed at the Cam Ranh international airport in the central province of Khanh Hoa on Dec. 15.

Another flight left Cam Ranh for Vladivostok the same day, marking the launch of a direct air route between the two cities.

The airline said two similar flights will be conducted between another Far East city, Khabarov and Cam Ranh on Dec. 16.

According to Vladivostok Air, 14 flights will be conducted on the two routes from mid-December through to March, with two flights every two weeks in the immediate future. The airline will use TU 240 aircraft on the routes, which target Russian tourists who want to escape from serve winter in the Far East . Khanh Hoa boats the famous resort city of Nha Trang with warm weather and sunny beaches.

Cam Ranh Airport ’s authorities pledged to halve the charges on landing and services for Vladivostok Air in the initial period.

Nearly 10 four and five star hotels and resorts in Nha Trang have also agreed to reduce their prices by between 20-50 percent for Russian tourists flying to Nha Trang on the new routes.

Cam Ranh Airport became an international airport in December 2009 and has recorded an average annual growth rate in passenger numbers of 21 percent, the highest rate in Vietnam.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

BP’s problems far from over after sacrificing Hayward: press

In Uncategorized on July 28, 2010 at 3:19 pm

LONDON, July 28, 2010 (AFP) – BP’s sacrifice of chief executive Tony Hayward is not sufficient to restore the stricken oil giant’s reputation and financial health after the Gulf of Mexico spill, British commentators warned Wednesday.

“One top kill won’t solve problems,” said the Guardian newspaper, adding the company faced “an uphill struggle.”

“It needs to stabilise its financial position and resume its dividend payments; it needs to rebuild its reputation; and above all it needs a root-and-branch reform of its safety culture.”

Ships assist in clean up and containment near the source of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill July 27, 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana. AFP

The Independent commented: “Does this signal closure for the Deepwater Horizon disaster?

“The answer has to be no,” it added, saying it was still not certain the well that had been spewing oil was permanently closed off and the environmental damage would take years to assess and repair.

Hayward announced he was stepping down on Tuesday, following a string of gaffes as the public face of the firm in its three-month fight to stop oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico.

BP also said it was putting aside more than 32 billion dollars to cover the cost of the spill, and reported a record second-quarter loss of 16.9 billion dollars.

Some commentators were concerned that Bob Dudley, Hayward’s replacement for the top job, had only been put in the post because as an American he would appease anger in the White House over the spill.

“It is widely suspected that Bob Dudley has been chosen as the successor to Mr Hayward primarily for his American accent,” said the Independent.

Many commentators were amused that Hayward managed to fit in one final fiery public outburst as he announced his departure, in which the executive commented he had been “demonised and vilified” and that “life isn’t fair.”

The Daily Mail described it as the “blundering BP boss’s lament,” while the Telegraph declared: “Era of ‘Toxic Tony’ ends with a final fiery salvo.”

“There’s still one reliable BP gusher that won’t stop, despite the latest attempt to cap the flow for good,” said the Telegraph.

“The US probably won’t mourn his absence, but many in Britain will miss the BP bumbler.”

Source: SGGP

Access to essential medicines far from being achieved: WHO

In Uncategorized on June 24, 2010 at 12:43 pm

The government has consistently given pharmaceutical issues top priority within its development agenda. However, access to essential medicines, especially for the poor has not yet become a reality. Ways to improve the situation were discussed at a meeting held on June 23 in Hanoi titled: “Strengthen the capability of accessing essential medicines.”

Dr. Jean-Marc Olivé, WHO Representative in Vietnam

The meeting was co-ordinated by the Vietnamese Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Dr. Jean-Marc Olivé, WHO Representative in Vietnam, said increasing access to pharmaceuticals has been a major facet of significant government policies, such as the Social Economic Development Plan, and is one of the pillars of the five-year National Health Plan.

WHO recognize the government’s programs for essential medicines, especially the keen attention given to the implementation of quality programs and good practices for the manufacturers, distribution and supply of medicines.

The question that you may raise is simple – there are more than 20,000 pharmaceutical products registered in the market – but why do we say that people, especially the poor, cannot access the medicines they need? Dr. Olivé added.

The WHO representative pointed out that the prices of medicines are high and people cannot afford them. Recent comparative data shows that medicines in Vietnam, which are used to treat diseases with the highest burden, are priced higher than they are listed on the international reference index.

Dr. Olivé stressed that the poor do not have adequate resources to buy them. A study done in 2008 on the treatment of diabetes showed that people insulin costs patients an average of US$17 a month (US$204 per year). 

Medicines are also continually over-prescribed and used irrationally, wasting both government and the patient’s resources, said Dr. Olivé. When the government spends much of its budget paying for expensive medicines, resources are lost, and less people are served. On the other hand, irrational usage and sale of antibiotics, often without prescription, risks the occurrence of antimicrobial resistance, which will make treatment of infectious diseases more difficult and more expensive.

Dr. Truong Quoc Cuong, chief of the Vietnam Drug Administration, said that the total payment for medications in Vietnam last year was up to US$1.5 trillion, an increase of 19 percent. An average person spends US$19.77 on drugs yearly. Profits from drugs produced domestically reached US$831 million in 2009.

Mr. Cuong said more pharmaceutical firms in the country have strengthened production, but few of them manufactured specific drugs for new diseases.

Dr. Olivé prescribed that concerted action be taken to overcome the barriers to access. It is time that Vietnam and WHO think of different approaches and reassess our programs and policies to make sure that they meet the fundamental public health objective of ensuring access to safe, quality-assured, affordable medicines.

He advised the Vietnamese government to consider developing a comprehensive policy for generic medicines and ensure universal coverage for health that makes provisions for the poor. He proposed that medicines for children and mothers should be made available at all times in health communes and in public health facilities.

At the same time, prescription and use of essential medicines should be monitored and that inappropriate incentives in the selection and procurement of medicines should be eliminated, he stressed.

Dr Nguyen Quoc Trieu, Minister of Health, promised to rearrange the index of essential medications that home enterprises can manufacture and concentrate on producing important materials, including antibiotics, as well as to adopt measures that would stabilize the price for drugs not yet produced in Vietnam.

Source: SGGP

Far Eastern Economic Review to shut down in December

In World on September 22, 2009 at 1:08 pm

The Far Eastern Economic Review (FEER), one of Asia’s most respected English-language news magazines, will close in December, its owner Dow Jones and Co. announced on Monday.

File photo of the Asian Far Eastern Economic Review on the streets of Hong Kong in 2004. (AFP Photo)

“Unfortunately, despite several attempts at invigorating the brand, the Review’s continued losses in advertising revenue and readers are now unsustainable,” News Corp.-owned Dow Jones said in a statement.

It said the magazine, which was launched in 1946, “will cease publication in December so opinion and commentary resources from Asia can be expanded across all Dow Jones properties,” which include The Wall Street Journal Asia.

“The decision to cease publication of the Review is a difficult one made after a careful study of the magazine’s prospects in a challenging business climate,” said Todd Larsen, chief operating officer at Dow Jones Consumer Media Group.

“It has a rich history of pioneering journalism and helped to set the standard for the press in Asia in the post-World War II era,” he said.

“Dow Jones is proud to have been associated with the Review and its invaluable contributions to the understanding of the Asia region,” he said.

“By increasing resources into growth areas at Dow Jones, we’ll better serve a diverse group of readers and advertisers across Asia,” said Christine Brendle, publisher of The Wall Street Journal Asia.

 Dow Jones said Hugo Restall, the Review’s editor since October 2004, will remain a member of The Wall Street Journal editorial board.

 It said current Review subscribers will be offered a one-year subscription to, the regionally dedicated edition of the Wall Street Journal’s website.

Source: SGGP

Tropical Storm Linda forms far out in Pacific

In World on September 8, 2009 at 5:24 pm

 Forecasters say Tropical Storm Linda has formed far out over the Pacific Ocean, but it’s not threatening land right now.

This NOAA satellite image taken Saturday, September 05, 2009 at 01:15 PM EDT

According to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, the 12th named storm of the Pacific season had maximum sustained winds near 60 mph (55 kph) on Monday evening.

Linda was centered about 1,225 miles (1,975 km) west-southwest of the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula. It’s moving west-northwest near 7 mph (13 kph).

Meanwhile, a new tropical depression has formed far out in the Atlantic with maximum sustained winds near 35 mph (55 kph). It’s expected to become a tropical storm over the next day or so. It’s about 160 miles (255 km) south of the southernmost Cape Verde Islands and moving west near 16 mph (26 kph).

Source: SGGP