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Relevant authorities found indifferent to toxic stimulants used on vegetables

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2011 at 4:03 am

Authorized organizations have showed a lack of investigation into some farmers that use pesticides and other stimulants to increase the amount and size of their farm produce.

This is the kind of artificial growth stimuli that farmers have used in spraying their vegetable crops (photo: SGGP)

Bui Si Doanh, head of the Plant Protection Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that all stimulants contain a toxic Giberellic acid, which might be poisonous for humans.


When the stimulants have penetrated deep into the plant cells, washing the vegetables, will not remove the stimulant, he said.


A recent research has revealed that the childless rate in Vietnam is 8 percent of the country’s population. One possibly reason for this, is the application of toxic chemicals, used in food production.


According to the department, there are two types of stimulants used in vegetables and fruits. One stimulant is within an acceptable level, permitted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.


The other is an illegal import from China. This stimulant is brought through Tan Thanh border gate, in the northern province of Lang Son.


The contraband stimulants are packed with Chinese labels that Vietnamese farmers cannot read. The information the farmers are receiving is that this stimulants, help grow their vegetables much faster.


Each time the public raises concerns about the stimulants contained in the vegetables, the Plant Protection Department and the Ministry of Health, just collect test samples and instruct farmers not to use the chemicals.  They have not sent investigators to directly examine the sales and usage of toxic stimulants.


Mr. Bui Si Doanh said that the Plant Protection Department has been asked to investigate this issue. However, the department said that the investigation has been delayed; as new laws that regulated departments are being put into practice.


Related article:
Toxic pesticides used by vegetable farmers

Source: SGGP

Two of five missing fishermen found dead in Thua Thien-Hue

In Uncategorized on December 19, 2010 at 7:56 am

Border soldiers found a second body, that of Ho Van Chay on Saturday in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue.  He was one of the five fishermen missing at sea, after huge waves swallowed their boat in waters off Lang Co town, three days ago.

Provincial officials in Thua Thien-Hue meet Nguyen Quan, the only survivor of the sunk boat (Photo: SGGP)

On December 17, the body of Tran Chuong had been recovered while authorities were able to save 34 year old Nguyen Quan.


The accident was caused by giant waves and fierce winds lashing the area as a northerly cold front has affected the country for the last few days. The boat was on its way to Chan May Port when it was overwhelmed by the ferocious waves.


The local army personnel and authorities have mobilized 35 soldiers to continue search for the remaining two fishermen.


Phu Loc District has assisted each of the five fishermen’s families with VND3 million.


In the northern province of Hai Phong, 23 members on board the Phu Tan Vessel have gone missing for three days and have as yet not been found. Rescue forces are continuing the search operations.

Related article:
Cold front lashes central region

Source: SGGP

Vietnam not found any baby bottles with BPA

In Uncategorized on December 18, 2010 at 9:27 am

The Ministry of Health’s Food Hygiene and Safety Department of Vietnam on December 17 announced that it has not found baby bottles containing bisphenol-A (BPA), which is a hormone-altering agent.

A woman uses a baby bottle to feed her newborn son. (Photo:AFP)

Earlier, the department had collected samples from baby bottles and food packing plastics for testing.


According to Nguyen Thanh Phong, deputy director of the Food Hygiene and Safety Department, BPA is an industrial chemical used in making plastics in most reusable food drink containers and baby bottles.


Vietnam authorities have detected a permissible bisphenol-A (BPA) level in the plastic bottles sold across the country.


Vietnam is applying the decision 46/2007/QĐ – BYT, which allows BPA to be at 2.5mg per kilogram of material.


A recent market survey in Vietnam showed that concerned parents in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are switching to bottles imported from Korea, England and Germany. These countries advertise that their bottles are ‘BPA free’. In addition, parents are also turning to glass bottles. Although heavier and more expensive, as compared to the plastic ones, glass bottles are probably much safer.


Nguyen Cong Khan, from the Ministry of Health, said that mothers should breastfeed their child as this can ensure better protection and enhance the immune system of the child.


In November, the European Community (EU) banned baby bottles containing the chemical BPA. This was due to fears that BPA might be harmful to the health of a child. The population of the EU is half a billion people.


The ban will see the manufacture of polycarbonate infant feeding bottles that have BPA, outlawed from March 1st 2011. In addition, from June 1st, 2011, the importation and sale of plastics bottles that contain BPA will be prohibited into the European Community.

Source: SGGP

Prehistoric artefacts found in Ha Giang

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 9:52 am

Ancient artefacts, from a prehistorical culture dating back 4,000 – 7,000 years; have been discovered in a cave in the northern province of Ha Giang’s Bac Me District.

File photo shows prehistoric people’s stone tools.

According to Trinh Nang Chung from the Vietnam Institute of Archaeology, head of the excavation team, two tombs have been excavated in the Khuoi Nang Cave.


Archaeologists said one of the tombs contained bone fragments and teeth from an adult, while the other had the remains of a child. The adult’s grave also contained stone tools.


In addition, Archaeologists have found hundreds of stone tools in the cave, including hatchets, hoes and knives, together with lots of ‘red stone powder’. It is believe that this red power is painted onto the corpse, so that the decease person reaches the ‘afterlife’.


Chung said that Khuoi Nang is the residence of prehistoric people, dating back 6,000-7,000 years ago.  Prehistoric human culture was in existence 10,000 years ago.

Source: SGGP

Suspected bomb bound for Germany found in Namibia

In Uncategorized on November 19, 2010 at 3:26 am

Scores found alive in Indonesia tsunami zone

In Uncategorized on October 30, 2010 at 10:10 am

SOUTH PAGAI, Indonesia, Oct 30, 2010 (AFP) – Scores of people feared dead in Indonesia’s tsunami disaster zone were found alive Saturday as rescue workers spread out to remote island communities five days after the killer wave.


The discovery came as Indonesia struggled with disaster on two fronts following another powerful eruption of the archipelago’s most active volcano, which spread chaos and ash over a vast area of central Java.

Three-week-old tsunami survivor Indonesian baby is attended by a nurse at a hospital in Sikakap in North Pagai island, one of the Mentawai islands on October 30, 2010. AFP

On the tsunami-hit Mentawai island chain off the coast of Sumatra, rescue workers battling rough seas and monsoon rain found 135 people hiding on high ground, too scared of another wave to return to their shattered villages.


“We’re so grateful that we’ve found many of the missing people — we’d been working very hard to find them,” disaster management official Joskamatir said.


Officials had held little hope of finding many of the missing after flights over the area earlier in the week revealed dozens of unclaimed bodies strewn across beaches and wedged in rubble.


Many of the dead were also believed to have been sucked out to sea as the killer wave receded.


The number of missing was almost halved from 298 to 163 following Saturday’s discovery, while the death count remained at 413, according to an official tally.


Rescue workers were reaching some of the isolated coastal villages crushed by the three-metre (10-foot) wall of water which was triggered on Monday by a 7.7-magnitude earthquake, but monsoon weather was slowing the relief effort.


“Before help came I survived by eating whatever we could find, such as taro,” said Theopilus, 42, a farmer on the worst-hit island of South Pagai.


“We’re in dire need of more food, tents and blankets. I feel really cold at night as it rains all the time.”


In central Java, 1,300 kilometres (810 miles) to the southeast, terrified residents fled in panic when Mount Merapi erupted again just after midnight, fearing a repeat of explosions on Tuesday that claimed at least 36 lives.


No one was killed in the latest eruption, but hospital staff reported that two people had died in the chaotic rush to escape.


“I was sleeping on the veranda when loud booms like thunder woke me up,” local resident Kris Budianto, 51, told AFP. He suffered a broken arm and facial wounds when he crashed his motorbike in the melee.


Volcanic ash rained down on the Central Java provincial capital of Yogyakarta 26 kilometres away from the crater, shutting the airport for over an hour.


Government volcanologist Subandrio said more eruptions were likely and warned about 50,000 people who have been evacuated from the danger zone not to tempt fate by going home too soon.


“We will even have to evaluate whether we need to widen the exclusion zone because we should not downplay the threat — Mount Merapi is extremely dangerous,” he said.


Many displaced people return to the slopes of 2,914-metre Merapi, a sacred landmark in Javanese tradition whose name means “Mountain of Fire”, to tend to their precious livestock during the day.


On North Pagai, dazed and hungry survivors of Monday night’s tsunami were still roaming between devastated villages looking for food and lost loved ones.


A baby was born in a crammed medical clinic as a man died of his wounds just a few beds away.


Another ship bearing badly need supplies such as tents, medicine and food arrived at Sikakap on the protected side of North Pagai island, while helicopters dropped aid packages to cut-off villages.


Joskamatir said only five percent of the aid piling up at Sikakap had been delivered to those in need, citing bad weather and the “limited availability of transportation” such as boats and helicopters.


“There are three helicopters here already but we still need more speedboats. We need about 50 speedboats,” he said.


Australia and the United States have pledged aid worth a total of three million dollars while the European Commission released 1.5 million euros (two million dollars) for victims of both disasters.


Indonesia straddles a region known as the “Pacific Ring of Fire”, with scores of active volcanoes and major tectonic fault lines. Almost 170,000 Indonesians were killed in the 2004 Asian tsunami.


President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono visited tsunami survivors on Thursday and said the “only long-term solution” was for people to move away from the most vulnerable coastal areas.


Mentawai fisherman Hari, 24, agreed.


“I plan to leave my village. I don’t want to live here anymore. I’m traumatised,” he said.

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Source: SGGP

Wartime UXO found in Bac Lieu province

In Uncategorized on August 13, 2010 at 3:23 pm




Wartime UXO found in Bac Lieu province


QĐND – Friday, August 13, 2010, 21:0 (GMT+7)

A 125kg unexploded bomb has been found in the southern province of Bac Lieu by workers at the Khanh Tam building material warehouse.


Lieut.-colonel Ho Van Dai, head of the Bac Lieu Military Headquaters’ sapper force, said the unexploded ordnance, which was made by the US in 1971, was inadvertently scooped from the Hau riverbed during the sand mining process in southern Can Tho City and was transported by the sand ferry to the warehouse.


Earlier, on August 2, two unexploded bombs, weighing 125kg and 250kg respectively, was also found among sand transported from the Hau river to another building materials warehouse in Bac Lieu.


According to Director of Vietnam’s Bomb and Mine Disposal Technology Centre Nguyen Trong Canh, many places in the country are still heavily contaminated with UXO, particularly the six central provinces of Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien-Hue and Quang Ngai.


Thirty years after the war, bombs and mines are still taking a heavy toll on human life. To date, over 100,000 people in Vietnam have fallen victim to UXO, of which 42,000 died.


Every year, 20,000 hectares of land are cleared of UXO, yet there remains a lot of work to do before all contaminated land can be declared safe.


Source: VNA


Source: QDND

Large bomb found in Hanoi’s suburb

In Uncategorized on June 25, 2010 at 4:45 pm




Large bomb found in Hanoi’s suburb


QĐND – Friday, June 25, 2010, 20:7 (GMT+7)

PANO – A MK82 bomb weighing 500 pounds was found on June 23rd in the area of a school equipment workshop of Bao Chinh Ltd., Tien Duong Commune, Dong Anh, Hanoi. 


According to Major Tang Van Chi, a Director of environmental processing and explosive application firm under Lung Lo Company, Engineering Corps, sappers found the bomb only 1 meter deep under ground when they were clearing the area.


According to experts, the bomb was made in the US and dropped in 1972. They said that if the bomb were exploded, it would create a crater with 20 meters in diameter and 6 meters in depth, and cause damage and human casualties in a 500 meter-radius area while the location of the bomb is only 100 meters away from national highway 3.


On the afternoon of June 24th, military engineers moved the bomb to a safe place and were preparing to defuse it according to the technical regulations.


Translated by Thu Nguyen
Photo: Dantri


Source: QDND

100 rare pheasants found in central VN national park

In Uncategorized on June 19, 2010 at 4:25 pm




100 rare pheasants found in central VN national park


QĐND – Saturday, June 19, 2010, 20:51 (GMT+7)

A flock of 100 endangered Lophura Diarants pheasants has been discovered in the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in the central province of Quang Binh.


The images, shot by an automatic camera triggered off by motion, are the first of the birds seen in the wild in Viet Nam.


The group of researchers, who set up the camera, said they were amazed to see so many pheasants in an area densely populated by humans. “It is a sign that this endangered species is recovering,” they said.


The park management said on Tuesday that the bird was listed as endangered globally. Members of the Fasianidae family, mature birds weigh more than a kilogram.


Source: VietNamNet/Viet Nam News


 


Source: QDND

Up to 25 bodies found in Mexican silver mine

In Uncategorized on May 31, 2010 at 5:17 am

Between 20 and 25 bodies were recovered from an abandoned silver mine in southern Mexico, apparently victims of drug gang violence, federal police commissioner Facundo Rosas said Sunday.


The corpses appear to have accumulated over an undetermined time as they were tossed over a 300-foot (100-meter) precipice into the abandoned mine, located near Taxco, a colonial-era city popular with international tourists. The region is dotted by hundreds of mines.


Rosas said authorities were alerted to the mass grave by a suspect and they began pulling bodies from the mine late Saturday and continued their work Sunday. He didn’t give the identities or causes of death of the victims.

Supporters of Cancun Mayor Gregorio Sanchez take part in a protest in Cancun, demanding for his release, May 30, 2010

Police and military crews exploring the underground site wore breathing equipment to guard against the possible noxious gases in the mine.


The state of Guerrero, where Taxco is located, is plagued by drug violence among rival gangs, and marked by brazen attacks on police and soldiers engaged in a crackdown on traffickers.


But Taxco is better known for its silver jewelry, winding streets and Holy Week processions.


Rosas said Sunday that in an unrelated case, authorities arrested two brothers named on Mexico’s Most Wanted list for their ties to organized crime.


The brothers are suspected members of La Linea drug gang, and Rosas said they’re tied to drug dealing, kidnapping, extortion, car theft and several murders in the north Mexico state of Chihuahua.


Meanwhile in the state of Morelos, south of Mexico City, police identified human remains left on a road in several different plastic bags as a local prison director.


The state prosecutor said in a written statement that the director had headed the prison for two months. The statement did not mention a motive for the murder.


More than 23,000 people have been murdered in drug gang violence since President Felipe Calderon cracked down on drug traffickers in late 2006.

Source: SGGP