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Former New Zealand PM denies Iraq troops-for-contracts claim

In Uncategorized on December 24, 2010 at 4:33 am

WELLINGTON, Dec 22, 2010 (AFP) – Former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark on Wednesday denied sending non-combat troops to Iraq in 2003 to ensure one of her country’s largest companies retained lucrative UN contracts.


A US diplomatic cable released by the WikiLeaks website this week reportedly cited New Zealand defence officials saying Clark opposed the Iraq deployment until she was told dairy giant Fonterra might lose UN “oil-for-food” contracts.


Clark, whose left-leaning Labour government was defeated in 2008 and who now heads the UN Development Programme, told Radio NZ she was “flabbergasted” at the “ridiculous” claim.


“I am absolutely incensed at the suggestion that some defence ministry personnel seem to have made to various diplomats that there was any connection between my support for sending engineers to do humanitarian work in Iraq with the interests of Fonterra,” she said.


“I mean this is simply preposterous.”


Two rotations of 61 New Zealand military engineers spent a year in Basra from September 2003 performing engineering and humanitarian tasks.


Clark said she always opposed the war in Iraq and would never allow commercial considerations to sway her decision-making on the issue.


She said the engineers were sent to Iraq in response to a UN Security Council request for help in reconstruction efforts following the US-led invasion.


Clark also defended the decision to keep secret a move to tighten military ties with the United States in 2007 following a rift dating back to the 1980s over New Zealand’s anti-nuclear policy.


She said she did not want to create expectations in New Zealand that the country was resuming the full military alliance with the United States that was in place before the anti-nuclear row erupted.


The former prime minister supported her conservative successor John Key’s choice to maintain the secrecy when New Zealand and Washington restored full intelligence ties last year without telling the public.


“There’s always secrecy around intelligence relationship and I guess that’s where I part company with the founder of WikiLeaks (Julian Assange) and others,” she said.


“I actually believe that you do have to have areas of communication between governments and officials which aren’t on the front pages of newspapers.”


Questioned about WikiLeaks revelations that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asked US officials to spy on UN officials, Clark said the international organisation “takes a very a dim view” of such activities.


However, she was not concerned such snooping would reveal anything that was personally embarrassing to her.


“My life is an open book, it has been for so many years. If there’s anything more they can find out, good luck to them,” she said.

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Source: SGGP

HCM City students meet former MU footballer

In Uncategorized on November 8, 2010 at 6:23 am

Truong Son defeats world’s former chess champion

In Uncategorized on October 28, 2010 at 1:40 am




Truong Son defeats world’s former chess champion


QĐND – Wednesday, October 27, 2010, 20:39 (GMT+7)

Vietnamese chess player Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son defeated the former world chess champion, Anatoly Karpov, to rank 4th place in Board A at the 9th Cap D’Agde 2010.


Previously, chess player Anatoly Karpov had won the championship at the tournament 12 times.   


Another Vietnamese chess player, Le Quang Liem, gained a victory over Gharamian Tigran and drew with Vasily Ivanchuk. With such achievement, Liem and Ivanchuk continue to lead Board B in the Cap D’Agde.


Source: VOV


 


Source: QDND

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

Sweden’s future queen to wed former personal trainer

In Uncategorized on June 19, 2010 at 8:40 am

Sweden’s future queen Crown Princess Victoria was set to wed her former personal trainer Saturday in one of the largest public celebrations ever organised in Stockholm.


Crown Princess Victoria, 32, will tie the knot with 36-year-old commoner Daniel Westling in an afternoon ceremony at the Stockholm Cathedral before a majestic procession through the streets of the capital, decked out in flowers and blue and yellow flags.


More than 1,200 guests, including royals from around the world like Beatrix of the Netherlands, Albert of Monaco, Jordan’s King Abdullah and a slew of Scandinavian majesties have been invited to witness the exchange of vows.


The ceremony and surrounding events are “much more important than all of those ever organised” by the royal palace, its information chief Nina Eldh said.

Crown Princess Victoria (L) and Daniel Westling arrive for a gala performance at the Stockholm Concert Hall in Stockholm June 18.

The Swedish capital, made up of 14 islands and set in a Baltic Sea archipelago of some 24,000 islands, should prove a picturesque backdrop for the princess’s big day.


After the ceremony, the couple will ride through the city center in a horse-drawn carriage before navigating Stockholm’s clear waters in the same royal barge Victoria’s parents, Queen Silvia and King Carl XVI Gustaf, used on their wedding day, 34 years ago to the day.


The nearly seven-kilometer (4.3-mile) route will be the longest ever taken by a Swedish royal cortege, according to Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Beck-Friis Haell.


The newlyweds and those hoping to catch a glimpse of the couple will be entertained by some 20 bands — 19 of them military — placed along the procession route.


No fewer than 6,000 military personnel will be spread throughout Stockholm, and 18 Gripen fighter jets will fly high above the newlyweds and their fans.


Some 2,000 police officers, many donning newly-issued uniforms, will also patrol the streets in the largest-ever operation by the force in the capital, where traffic has been disrupted for days and will be completely closed off most of Saturday.


When planning the massive security measures, Swedish police said they had drawn on the experience of the Netherlands, where security around royal events has been beefed up after seven bystanders were killed in a failed attack on the royal family in 2009.


Saturday’s event is expected to attract large crowds, including families with children, and police said they would establish no fewer than eight centres throughout the capital to help reunite lost little ones with their parents.

Source: SGGP

Former students in Japan help supply clean water to poor households

In Uncategorized on May 31, 2010 at 3:44 pm




Former students in Japan help supply clean water to poor households


QĐND – Monday, May 31, 2010, 21:0 (GMT+7)

The Ho Chi Minh City-based Club for Former Students in Japan, in conjunction with the Rotary Chiba Association of Japan, has recently held a ceremony to hand over 17 clean wells to poor households in Phu Hoa and An Nhon communes in Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City.


The programme is carried out in the district, under sponsorship of the Rotary Chiba Association, from now to July, 2010. Accordingly, 60 wells will be built for local people at a cost of over VND 160 million. The programme is expected to help improve life quality for people in rural areas.


Source: Lao Dong


Translated by Hoang Anh


Source: QDND

Former German Chancellor to visit Vietnam

In Uncategorized on April 15, 2010 at 4:18 am




Former German Chancellor to visit Vietnam


QĐND – Wednesday, April 14, 2010, 22:39 (GMT+7)

Former German Chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, will pay a visit to Ho Chi Minh City from April 20th to 22nd on the occasion of the German Year in Vietnam 2010.


According to the German Embassy to Vietnam, during the visit, the former Chancellor will chair the first Germany-Vietnam Economic Meeting on energy and climate change on April 21st, with the presence of Vietnam’s Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang and 200 guests from both at home and abroad.


Later, Mr  Schröder will have a talk with students at Vietnam-Germany University.


In addition, the Goethe Institute will also hold over 50 activities, in many fields, within the framework of the German Year in Vietnam.


Source: thesaigontimes


Translated by Vu Hung


Source: QDND

Former Politburo member dies at 72

In Uncategorized on March 26, 2010 at 2:18 pm




Former Politburo member dies at 72


QĐND – Friday, March 26, 2010, 20:44 (GMT+7)

Tran Dinh Hoan, former Politburo and Secretariat member of the Communist Party of Vietnam’s Central Committee and head of its Commission for Organisation and Personnel, passed away on March 25 at the age of 72.


The announcement, made on behalf of the Party Central Committee, the National Assembly, the President, the Government, and the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee, said that the deceased would be given a State funeral.


The memorial service will begin at 7am on March 27 at the State Funeral Hall at 5 Tran Thanh Tong Street , Hanoi.


He will be buried at the Mai Dich National Cemetery in the capital.


Source: VNA


Source: QDND

VND 1 billion donated to former volunteers

In Social life on March 22, 2010 at 2:43 am




VND 1 billion donated to former volunteers


QĐND – Sunday, March 21, 2010, 21:38 (GMT+7)


Paying gratitude to former voluntary youths with difficulties, who have dedicated their most beautiful ages for the nation, is the duty of the whole society.

A charitable art exchange program named “Youth Hallmark” was held by the Central Information and Education Committee and the Vietnam Television in the build-up to the 60th anniversary of Vietnamese voluntary youths (July 15th, 1950 and July 15th, 2010).


On the occasion, Vice General Director of Long Thanh Investment and Business Golf Course Company, Tran Cam Nhung, donated 333 savings books totaling VND 1 billion to former voluntary youths who are victims of Agent Orange in remote places nationwide.


Source: Tien Phong


Translated by Thu Nguyen


Source: QDND