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Posts Tagged ‘gets’

Vietnam Airlines gets 120 minute ETOP certification

In Uncategorized on January 12, 2011 at 7:11 am

Vietnam Airlines gets 120 minute ETOP certification

QĐND – Sunday, January 09, 2011, 22:18 (GMT+7)

The Vietnam Aviation Corporation (Vietnam Airlines) has received a 120 minute ETOP (Extended- range Twin-engine Operational Performance Standards) certificate.

This rule allows twin-engined airliners to fly long-distance routes.

Vietnam Airlines is striving to get a 180 minute ETOP certification and other standards to ensure the efficiency of flights to the US.

Over the past 14 years, Vietnam Airlines has ensured safety of 687,550 domestic and international flights and is now expanding its network of 44 air routes to 26 locations in 15 nations and 35 domestic air routes.

Vietnam Airlines has a group of young crew and 70 modern aircraft such as B777, A330-200, A321 and AT7-500 with an average age of 6.5 years.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

US gets tough on shark fins

In Uncategorized on December 21, 2010 at 9:32 am

The US Senate toughened laws against shark finning, hoping to save the ancient fish which experts fear is on the brink of extinction due to growing demand in Chinese restaurants.

Tens of millions of sharks are killed each year by fishermen who slice off their fins — a delicacy in Chinese cuisine — and leave them to die in the water. Sharks live long and have few offspring, compounding risks to their survival.

The United States banned finning in 2000 and has enforced restrictions in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. The new rules close a loophole that permitted trade in the Pacific so long as sharks were not finned onboard the vessel, triggering a booming clandestine industry.

The legislation cruised through the House of Representatives in early 2009 but had languished in the Senate, which approved the measure without objection on one of the last days of its session.

Fishermen transporting a load of harvested shark fins

“Shark finning has fueled massive population declines and irreversible disruption of our oceans,” said Senator John Kerry, who championed the bill.

“Finally we’ve come through with a tough approach to tackle this serious threat to our marine life,” the Democrat from Massachusetts said.

The bill does not ban the sale of shark fin, which is readily available in many upscale Chinese restaurants in the United States.

But conservationists welcomed the bill, saying it would curb a burgeoning but largely undocumented US trade in shark fins.

“This legislation will help address not only an unspeakably cruel practice of removing fins from live animals and then releasing them to suffer a slow death,” said Nancy Perry, vice president for government affairs at The Humane Society of the United States.

“It will also help address on the macro level the rapid decline of shark populations,” she said.

Environmental groups estimate that up to 73 million sharks are killed each year around the world for fins, leading to declines of up to 90 percent of some species of sharks — which have swum the oceans since the age of the dinosaurs.

Despite campaigns from activists, demand for shark fins is seen as growing as China becomes increasingly prosperous.

Matt Rand, director of the shark conservation campaign at the Pew Environmental Group, said he recently heard of shark fins selling in California for an unprecedented 800 dollars a pound, or about 1,750 dollars a kilogram.

“The United States is a major shark exporter,” Rand said. “I think this legislation sends a big signal that the United States is concerned about the decline of shark populations, not just in its own waters but in international waters as well.”

Sharks are caught almost exclusively for fins. While the law does not ban the killing of sharks, all fins entering the United States must have an accompanying carcass.

In one notable incident in 2002, the US Coast Guard seized a Hong Kong-chartered, Hawaii-registered ship that was hauling nearly 65,000 pounds (30,000 kilograms) of just fins — meaning tens of thousands of sharks died.

While closing loopholes, the Senate bill also opened one. To win support from North Carolina’s senators, the law makes an exception for one shark — the smooth dogfish.

Fishermen in the southeastern US state kill the shark for all of its meat instead of just the fins, but objected to the ban because they cut off fins in their ships.

“We had hoped they would adjust their practices so there wouldn’t be any loophole,” Perry of the Humane Society said. “But that was done to get the legislation over the finish-line.”

Source: SGGP

Techcombank gets warning for pushing interest rate

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 10:03 am

The State Bank of Vietnam has warned the Techcombank as the commercial bank increased its deposit interest rates to 17% on Dec. 8-10.

File photo of aTechcombank office

State Bank inspectors issued its warning to Techcombank chairman Ho Hung Anh and chief executive officer Nguyen Duc Vinh on December 13.

An interest rate war was sparked off by Techcombank when it hiked the maximum rate to 17% per year plus a 0.6% bonus, which will apply from 8-10 December with deposits of more than VND100 million. 

As soon as this happened, other joint stock banks, also increase their interest rates to 17.5 and 18 percent a year.

The central bank has blamed Techcombank for arbitrarily hiking the rate, causing disorder in the financial and monetary markets. It ordered the violating banks to ‘roll back’ the hike immediately.

However, some of Techcombank branches have not strictly followed this order and have continued to maintain high interest rates, under several different forms.

Source: SGGP

U.N. council gets Sudan report that infuriated China

In Uncategorized on November 13, 2010 at 9:23 am

Taiwan ex-president gets 19 years in prison

In Uncategorized on November 12, 2010 at 5:23 am

Trade union development gets Danish support

In Uncategorized on October 27, 2010 at 2:40 pm

Trade union development gets Danish support

QĐND – Wednesday, October 27, 2010, 20:41 (GMT+7)

A programme supported by Denmark to assist the private business sector to strengthen capacity for trade unions, beginning in 2005, has brought remarkable results, said the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL) on October 26.

The VGCL summed up the five-year implementation of the programme’s second component, which has helped trade unions in Nghe An, Khanh Hoa and Lam Dong provinces attract more members and set up grassroots trade unions.

The programme has also helped improve trade unionists’ capacity for negotiating, signing and supervising collective agreements on labour safety and hygiene, and settling disputes.

Up to now, the three provinces’ trade unions have admitted 30,500 members, set up 751 grassroots branches, and signed 238 new collective agreements.

These agreements focus on major issues such as salaries, working time, leave, welfare, bonuses and insurance.

The programme with financial support from the Danish International Development Cooperation Agency (DANIDA), aims to assist the Vietnamese Government, trade unions and employers to improve competitiveness in the business sector.

Source: Vietnamplus

Source: QDND

Canadian colonel gets life for sex attacks, murders

In Uncategorized on October 22, 2010 at 7:54 am

A Canadian judge imposed two life jail sentences on a top air force colonel, branding him a “sick and dangerous man” for a spree of murders, sexual assaults and burglaries.

Colonel Russell Williams, who once piloted a plane for the British royal family, broke down and sobbed as the two consecutive life terms were announced after he admitted killing two young women and coldly videotaping their murders.

Police arrested Williams in February for the disappearance and death of 27-year-old Jessica Lloyd, who was last heard from in January.

He was later charged with the November 2009 murder of Marie-France Comeau, a female corporal under his command at the Trenton military base.

A Canadian fighter jet inside a hangar.

Williams was also charged with two home invasions in which women were confined and sexually assaulted, and 82 counts of burglary and attempted breaking-and-entering in the Ontario cities of Ottawa, Belleville and Tweed.

A stash of women’s undergarments taken by police from his Ottawa residence was linked to the burglaries near his home and job.

Hundreds of photographs and videos of the sexual assaults and murders were also found on his home computer.

Throughout the week, the court heard horrific evidence and Williams’s chilling confession to police of how he repeatedly raped Lloyd and Comeau over several hours before strangling one and taping the other’s mouth and nostrils closed to watch her suffocate.

Williams, 47, had commanded Canada’s busiest air force base, the 437 Squadron in Trenton, east of Toronto, for more than a year prior to his arrest.

He had only met Comeau once prior to her death. She was working as a flight attendant on a military flight. But as her boss, he knew her schedule and that she lived alone.

On the night of November 23, 2009, he left his office at the military base, broke into her home through a basement window and attacked her. They struggled. He beat her nearly unconscious with a flashlight, tied her up and covered all of the windows in the house.

She pleaded with him: “I don’t want to die. Leave me alone. I don’t want to die.”

Afterwards, Williams washed her bed sheets and drove directly to Ottawa for a meeting with military brass.

He would later send a signed letter of condolence on behalf of the Canadian Forces to Comeau’s father, a 45-year veteran of the military.

Williams took an interest in his second victim, Lloyd, after spotting her once on a treadmill through a window as he was driving by her house.

Over a 24-hour period, he kept her confined and took more than 900 lurid photographs of her while raping her.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Robert Scott described Williams as a “sick and dangerous man” as he handed down the most severe sentence available under Canadian law.

Williams will not be eligible for parole for 25 years.

“Russell Williams will forever be remembered as a sadosexual serial killer, (and)… Canada’s bright shining lie,” he said. “The depths of the depravity shown by Russell Williams have no equal.”

The disgraced colonel apologized for the pain and suffering he caused, for “violating people’s intimate privacy” and betraying his family, friends and military colleagues.

Most of the break-ins occurred at night, and at least once while he wore his military uniform.

“Your Honour, I stand before you ashamed of the crimes I’ve committed,” he said. “I deeply regret what I’ve done, and the harm I’ve caused with these despicable crimes.”

Outside the courtroom, prosecutor Lee Burgess described Williams as “one of the worst offenders in Canadian history.”

“As long as he dies in jail, I’m happy,” said Andy Lloyd, the brother of one of Williams’ victims.

Before overseeing the repatriation of dead soldiers from Afghanistan, Haiti relief flights and Arctic search and rescue from the Trenton military base, Williams was in charge of Canada’s secretive Camp Mirage in Dubai.

The married pilot also flew the jet used to ferry Canada’s prime minister as well as the British royal family on a visit.

“I guess we still don’t understand the why, and this is something that troubles Canadians at large as it troubles those who have known this individual,” said Chief of the Air Staff Lieutenant-General Andre Deschamps.

“How could we have known? What could we have done differently? I’m not sure we’ll ever get answers to that,” he said.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Canada’s military has been “very badly wounded and betrayed” by this “horrific series of events.”

Source: SGGP

40th UPU letter writing contest gets underway

In Uncategorized on October 16, 2010 at 6:24 pm

40th UPU letter writing contest gets underway

QĐND – Saturday, October 16, 2010, 20:49 (GMT+7)

A ceremony was held in the central city of Da Nang on October 15 to mark the 136th World Post Day and to launch the 2011 Universal Postal Union (UPU) International Letter Writing Contest.

The annual contest for children up to 15 years old, hosted by the UPU, aims to develop children’s creative writing skills and help to strengthen friendship amongst nations, whilst giving young people an understanding of the postal sectors role in social development.

The 40th contest has the theme, “Imagine you are a tree in a forest, then write a letter explaining why it is important to protect forests” in response to the 2011 International Year of Forest.

The contest has been held in Vietnam 21 times since 1987, with eight school children winning international prizes, including a first prize awarded to Ho Thi Hieu Hien from the Tay Son Secondary School in Da Nang’s Hai Chau district at the 39th competition in 2010 and a second prize pocketed by Nguyen Dac Xuan Thao, from the Nguyen Hue Secondary School also in Hai Chau district at the 38th competition in 2009.

It is jointly organised by the Ministry of Information and Communications (MoIC), the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET), the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union (HCMCYU) and the Vietnam Post and Telecommunication Group (VNPT), the pioneer newspaper and other ministries and branches.

At the ceremony, Ho Thi Hieu Hien, who won first prize winner at the 39th contest received a certificate of merit and awards from the UPU, MoET, the Health Ministry and the HCMCYU.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Australian father gets life for drowning three sons

In Uncategorized on October 15, 2010 at 10:26 am

SYDNEY (AFP) – An Australian man was sentenced to life in jail Friday for murdering his three young sons by driving his car into a reservoir and leaving them inside.

Robert Farquharson had denied deliberately killing the boys, who were aged two, seven and 10, on Fathers’ Day 2005, saying he lost control of the car after blacking out during a coughing fit.

File photo shows police outside the Supreme Court in Melbourne. AFP

But a Victoria Supreme Court jury rejected his story. In sentencing him, Justice Lex Lasry said Farquharson had subjected his children to a terrifying death while his actions had devastated a number of people.

“Primary among them is your ex-wife Cindy Gambino, the mother of these three children,” Lasry said, adding that the tragedy of the case “almost defies imagination”.

Farquharson was returning home from a Fathers’ Day visit with Jai, 10, Tyler, 7, and two-year-old Bailey in September 2005 when he drove into the reservoir in southern Victoria state.

He managed to swim to the surface but the children, trapped by their seatbelts, drowned. Their mother Cindy Gambino said no sentence would ever be enough.

“I have a life sentence, so should he,” she said outside court.

Farquharson, who will not be eligible for parole for 33 years, is expected to appeal.

Source: SGGP

Businesses struggle as dollar gets more expensive

In Uncategorized on October 13, 2010 at 7:52 am

Following the State Bank of Vietnam’s decision to devalue the dong against the US dollar by two percent, many companies in Ho Chi Minh City have complained they cannot keep their selling prices unchanged and maintain profits.

Customers at the Asia Commercial Bank in HCM City (Photo: SGGP)

On August 17, the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) increased the average inter-bank exchange rate by VND 388 to VND 18,932 per US dollar in an effort to ease the trade deficit. The new exchange rate is applicable as of August 18, and the trading band remains unchanged at ±3%. The SBV also stipulated that the ceiling exchange rate listed by commercial banks is VND19,500.

Several manufacturers, retailers, and distributors told Sai Gon Giai Phong on Thursday, August 19, that the new exchange rate made it difficult to maintain the prices of many commodities, especially of items produced with imported materials whose prices depend on the USD-VND exchange rate.

Some importers, including those of kitchen utensils, are preparing to increase their selling prices to offset the rise in input costs, said Bui Hanh Thu, deputy director of the Saigon Co.op.

One representative of a supermarket chain said: “In early August, many suppliers of garments, food and cosmetics said they would increase prices of a number of commodities by 3-12 percent. While we were negotiating ways to maintain prices, the inter-bank rate increased, making it more difficult for us to keep prices unchanged.

“From September, we cannot help but raise the selling prices of a number of commodities at a rate that reconciles the benefit of producers, traders and consumers.”

Currently, most supermarkets, including Co.op Mart, Big C, Satramart, Maximart and Citimart, can offer goods at the same prices as before, owing to large reserves. Meanwhile, many traditional markets and shops that trade in imported goods have increased their selling prices.

The rise of the interbank rate had an immediate effect on traders who hold small quantities of goods in stock, said a trader of imported confectionary in Binh Thanh District said.  “For the time being, I try to keep prices unchanged but have to reduce the discount rates to maintain profit”.

Cao Tien Vi, chairman of the Saigon Paper JSC, said the increased inter-bank rate would directly affect the company’s business, as increased prices of many imported materials “would make our production costs rise”.  

The company’s investment plan has been also affected. “We are investing in a new production line worth VND100 billion. Now with the new inter-bank rate, we will suffer an increase of about 2.1 percent in our investment costs,” Vi said.

To maintain its competitiveness, the company is trying to not to increase selling prices, but if the situation continues, the company’s profits will come down to zero, he said.

Tran Quoc Manh, Vice President of HCM City’s Association for Fine Arts and Wood Processing, said: “The country targets US$3 billion worth of woodwork exports this year, but with the increased inter-bank rate, the target becomes distant since as much as 80 percent of the materials for the wood processing industry are imported”.

Many long-term export contracts have been signed with foreign partners, so local importers could face a lot difficulties with a rise in their input costs that will eat away their profit, Manh cautioned.

Source: SGGP