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Posts Tagged ‘islands’

People’s responsibility to defend off-shore islands strengthened

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 2:27 pm




People’s responsibility to defend off-shore islands strengthened


QĐND – Thursday, December 16, 2010, 21:4 (GMT+7)

PANO – Over the past year, the Naval Zone B, in cooperation with authorities in Ho Chi Minh City, Ba Ria – Vung Tau, Tien Giang, Ben Tre, Tra Vinh, Soc Trang and Bac Lieu provinces, organised 55 meetings to brief more than 24,000 local people on the important tasks to defend the national sovereignty in off-shore islands.


These programs helped raise awareness of local authorities and people of all walks of life of the importance of off-shore islands in the national socio-economic development and national defence and at the same time strengthen their responsibility in defending the national territory over off-shore islands


Translated by Duy Minh


Source: QDND

Disseminating information on Vietnam’s islands and seas

In Uncategorized on August 12, 2010 at 7:21 pm




Disseminating information on Vietnam’s islands and seas


QĐND – Thursday, August 12, 2010, 20:32 (GMT+7)

A conference was held in the central province of Quang Ngai on August 12 to promote disseminating information on Vietnam’s islands and seas in 2010.


The event, organised by the Party Central Committee (PCC)’s Commission for Propaganda and Education, aims to increase the awareness of officials, Party members and the public of issues relating to islands and seas, as well as their important role in boosting socio-economic development, and national construction and defence.


Participants in the conference also pointed out opportunities and challenges for Vietnam in implementing the resolutions adopted at the 10th PCC’s fourth congress on Vietnam’s sea strategy up to 2020.


They emphasised the need to build legal foundations and collect historical evidence to affirm the sovereignty of Vietnam’s territorial waters and islands in the East Sea, especially the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos.


They insisted that press agencies highlight achievements in marine-based economic development and encourage all economic sectors to get involved in ensuring social welfare and maintaining the security of islands and seas.


Source: VOV/ Photo: hoangsa.org


Source: QDND

Favourite islands for summer holidays

In Uncategorized on July 25, 2010 at 7:19 pm




Favourite islands for summer holidays


QĐND – Sunday, July 25, 2010, 21:7 (GMT+7)


Islands with beautiful and peaceful beaches under a sky blue and bright sun have always been a tourist attraction during the summer season.


Cat Ba Island, Hai Phong City

Located along the southern end of Ha Long Bay and 30km away from the northern city of Hai Phong, Cat Ba Island, is known as an ideal place in the North during the summer holidays.


Visitors can take boat cruises from Ha Long Bay to Cat Ba island. They also travel from the Ben Binh seaport in Hai Phong city to the island by boat, or they can visit Cat Hai tourist site before taking a ferry boat to the island.


On the island, tourists can hire a boat to explore the beautiful sights on the island. They can also anchor the boat wherever they want to swim or to enjoy the natural beauty of the area. Sport fans can also hire kayak boats to explore the island themselves.


Quan Lan, Quang Ninh







 

Quan Lan, in Bai Tu Long bay of Quang Ninh province, is one of several islands with a natural beauty.


From Ha Long Bay and Hon Gai island, visitors can travel to the island by boat. You can hire a canoe to travel along the sea before landing on Quan Lan island.


Besides the long white sandy beaches, the island has an old temple which was built in the 17th century. The temple is still in good shape with ancient architecture.


Cu Lao Cham Island, Quang Nam







 

Cu Lao Cham Island, an island commune of Hoi An town in the Quang Nam province, has become a popular destination for visitors because of its beauty and a bio-diversity.


From the ancient town of Hoi An, visitors can take a tour costing somewhere between VND 250,000 to VND 350,000 to explore the island or hire a canoe to travel to the island in a short time.


Tourists can take part in various activities such as diving, snorkeling to enjoy the beauty of the corals. On beautiful beaches, you can swim and enjoy a variety delicious seafood.


Cu Lao Cau island in Binh Thuan







 

Cu Lao Cau of Binh Thuan province is considered as one of the most pristine islands. It is also famous for a ‘museum’ of stones with different shapes.


From Phuong The commune in Tuy Phong district, visitor can hide a fishing boat to travel to the island. They also hide a canoe to go to the island.


Visitors will be interesting in swimming, fishing and walking on the island. You can buy and cook sea food on the island. However, tourists should prepare water and foods in advance because the island is so pristine and lacks of necessary facilities.


Con Dao island in Ba Ria – Vung Tau







 

In recent years, the Con Dao Island at Ba Ria Vung Tau province is a favourite place for tourists during the summers.


Beautiful sights such as the blue seas, the green mountains and the fresh air, as well as long sandy beaches have attracted visitors.


Visitors can hire a motorbike to explore the islands themselves. They can also visit historical sites such as the Hang Duong cemetery, the grave of hero Vo Thi Sau, and the Hoang Phi Yen shrine.


Visitors also have an opportunity to enjoy famous island dishes from various local restaurants.


Source: Tuoi Tre

Translated by Duy Minh

Source: QDND

Indisputable sovereignty over Truong Sa islands reaffirmed

In Uncategorized on May 27, 2010 at 5:11 pm

Ships rushed to Gulf islands as first oil arrives

In Uncategorized on May 5, 2010 at 8:37 am

ON A PLANE OVER THE CHANDELEUR ISLANDS, Louisiana (AFP) – An impromptu recovery fleet rushed to an uninhabited US island chain in the Gulf of Mexico as the leading edge of a giant oil slick reached its shores.


Twelve shrimp trawlers and 10 official response boats frantically laid protective boom around some of the Chandeleur Islands — a prime marsh and wildlife area — but initially failed to confirm any land impacts.

Some of the Chandeleur Islands, a chain off the coast of Louisiana (AFP photo)

BP chief operating officer Doug Suttles said it was “the first report of oil coming toward shore” in a two-week crisis that has gripped the ecologically fragile US Gulf coast.


The islands form the easternmost point of Louisiana and are part of the Breton National Wildlife Refuge — the second oldest refuge in the United States and home to countless endangered brown pelican, least tern and piping plover shorebirds.


AFP journalists on an overflight of the islands saw reddish brown streaks of oil surrounding some of the islands and said light sheen appeared to be lapping the shore in certain places.


The US government’s NOAA weather agency has been predicting for days that the sheen on the edge of the slick at least could hit the Mississippi River Delta, the Chandeleur Islands and nearby Breton Island.


Two weeks after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded, the full impact of the disaster is being realized as a massive slick looms off the US Gulf coast, threatening to wipe out the livelihoods of shoreline communities.


If estimates are correct, some 2.5 million gallons of crude have streamed into the sea since the BP-leased platform spectacularly sank on April 22, still ablaze more than two days after the initial blast that killed 11 workers.


The riser pipe that had connected the rig to the wellhead now lies fractured on the seabed spewing out oil at a rate that could see the spill rival the 1989 Exxon Valdez environmental disaster in Alaska.


ExxonMobil was forced to pay out 3.4 billion dollars (2.6 billion euros) in clean-up and compensation costs for that tragedy which crippled Alaska’s shores as well as its coastal communities, and BP is anxious to make sure Louisiana’s ecologically fragile wetlands don’t suffer the same fate.


BP is preparing to deploy a 98-ton containment “dome” to try to stem the tide of oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico and avert an environmental catastrophe.


The operation to place the giant structure over the largest of three oil leaks is unprecedented and, facing depths of almost a mile (1.6 kilometers), remote-controlled submarines will have to guide it into place, hopefully by the weekend.


More of a cube than a dome, workers painted the rust-colored tower white so it could more easily be seen on the ocean floor and tested its weight amidst a series of checks before it was set to be loaded off the dock.


The British energy giant has been operating a fleet of robotic submarines in the murky depths to try to activate a 450-tonne valve system that should have shut off the oil automatically when the initial blowout occurred.


Louisiana Senator Mary Landry said she met with BP CEO Tony Hayward, and urged the cash-rich company to “devote every available technology and resource, including engaging industry-wide experts, to stop the flow of oil.”


Landry said she “raised the issue of damages on behalf of industries that may suffer in the short- and long-term.”


Another remotely-operated vehicle has been pumping dispersant directly into the leaks, but BP says it is too early to know if this was having a significant impact on the amount of oil reaching the surface.


BP began operations on a relief well Sunday, penetrating the sea floor as it started drilling down to approximately 18,000 feet so that special fluids and then cement can be injected to seal off the supply.


But with this process expected to take up to three months and a slick the size of a small country looming off Louisiana and threatening states from Texas to Florida depending on the wind, the dome is seen as a vital short-term fix.


The idea is to place the dome over the main leak to trap the oil so it can be funneled up to the Deepwater Enterprise, a ship that can safely process and store the crude-water mix.


Suttles said teams operating the underwater submarines hoped to seal one of the three leaking points later Tuesday by placing a valve over it, but stressed this would not alter the overall amount of oil pouring out.


Officials spotted several oiled pelicans on a barrier island off the Louisiana coast Tuesday but so far the nesting area there appears to be clean of oil.


They managed to capture one of the oiled brown pelicans and bring it to a rescue center in Fort Jackson to be treated and cleaned.


It was just the second bird rescued so far, but it will not be the last.


“The biggest concern is the birds that are near land because that’s where the majority of the birds are and the majority of the sensitive species are, as well as the sensitive habitat,” said Erica Miller, a veterinarian with Tristate Bird Rescue who helped clean the bird.


“As long as the oil can be kept away from shore that’s going to save a tremendous amount of birds.”

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Source: SGGP

Wild features of sea, islands and specialties of Tri Nguyen fishing village

In Uncategorized on May 3, 2010 at 3:27 am




Wild features of sea, islands and specialties of Tri Nguyen fishing village


QĐND – Sunday, May 02, 2010, 21:32 (GMT+7)

Relaxing in cool and pure sea water is a favorite activity of both adults and children on these summer days to escape the heat and noise of bustling cities. Tri Nguyen fishing village in Nha Trang City is an ideal location this summer with its attractive seascapes, islands and cuisine in new and special cooking methods of the local fishermen.


Tri Nguyen fishing village is a small village consisting of about 50 households hidden behind a mountain in the Tri Nguyen cluster of islands in Vinh Nguyen Ward, Nha Trang City. Old people say that a long time ago the Tri Nguyen cluster of islands had no residents. Then strong storms brought fishermen’s boats from the central provinces of Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh and Quang Nam to hide in this place. After that, these fishermen chose the Tri Nguyen cluster of islands to settle down and lived by fishing in the sea.


In between the immense sea wind and endless ocean, the village looks tiny and scintillating in the sunlight with many boat houses to feed shrimps and fishes. In the village, there are some restaurants serving local specialties but tourists can challenge themselves by fishing for their meals and letting the fishermen do the cooking. Especially, there’s a kind of good-tasting wine made from noni fruit being soaked under the sea that goes well with seafood. 


After a meal, tourists can enjoy the ocean in a coracle (small round boat). Tourists will find it hard to control these coracles because they will spin around and do not follow a straight line. Or tourists can take a boat trip to visit floating houses to try various kinds of fishes, shrimp and cuttlefish. Each floating house is more than 150 meters in width and is divided into different cells to feed different kinds of creatures including white bass, shellfish and cuttlefish among others. Some tourists find it an interesting method for relaxation looking at these creatures of the ocean swimming around.


Sitting in one of Tri Nguyen fishing village’s floating houses overlooking the sea when the sun goes down and the sea changes color and savoring steamed and grilled shellfish could be an unforgettable experience for tourists. In the shade of sunset, this village looks seductive and shy with its gentle waves, with boats bobbing on the sea and voices and laughter of friendly fishermen and tourists.


Source: VietNamNet Bridge


Source: QDND

Cuban academic says corruption island’s big threat

In Uncategorized on April 16, 2010 at 10:28 am

Corruption at the highest levels of government — not the meddling of a small band of dissidents — is the greatest threat to Cuba’s communist system, a leading academic said in a highly unusual opinion posted Thursday on a state Web site.


The article by Esteban Morales — a historian who has written extensively on race and relations with the United States — crossed a number of red lines in tightly controlled Cuba, including openly discussing corruption rumors surrounding the dismissal of a top government aviation official who had fought alongside Ernesto “Che” Guevara and the Castros in the 1950s.

In this photo released by Miraflores Press Office, Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez, left, speaks with Cuba’s President Raul Castro upon arrival to Jose Marti airport in Havana, early Thursday, April 15, 2010

Morales said some top Cuban officials are preparing to divide the spoils if Cuba’s political system disintegrates, like the shadowy oligarchs that emerged from the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s.


“In reality, corruption is much more dangerous than so-called internal dissent,” Morales wrote in the piece, which appeared on the Web site of the state National Artists and Writers Union of Cuba. “The latter is isolated … but corruption is truly counterrevolutionary because it comes from within the government and the state apparatus, which are the ones that really control the country’s resources.”


Members of the artists union have been surprisingly critical of the government in the past, but often with little effect. Criticism can also appear in government newspapers, but rarely on such hot-button issues as corruption among senior officials.


Morales is a prominent intellectual who only Monday appeared on a state television program defending the government on another topic. The frank assessment on the Web site went far further than what is normally tolerated.


Morales never singled out Fidel or Raul Castro for blame, but he said cronyism is rampant in the system that has developed 51 years after their revolution won power and said some officials are waiting for a chance to grab the country’s resources.


“It has become evident that there are people in government and state positions who are preparing a financial assault for when the revolution falls,” Morales wrote. “Others likely have everything ready to produce the transfer of state property into private hands, like what happened in the former Soviet Union.”


Meanwhile, the government early Friday announced preliminary results of an autopsy on Roberto Baudrand, a top Chilean executive who was found dead in his Havana apartment on Monday after being detained by Cuban authorities investigating his company, which is owned by a businessman who was a close friend of Fidel Castro. The autopsy revealed that Baudrand died of a lack of oxygen, and that unnamed drugs and alcohol were found in his blood, the government said in a statement sent to foreign journalists.


It did not say whether the death was considered a suicide, but noted that the investigation would continue.


Chile’s diplomats have pushed Cuban officials for information on the businessman’s death.


Baudrand, 59, was general manager of Alimentos Rio Zaza SA and served as liaison in Cuba for Max Marambio, the former head bodyguard of Chilean socialist President Salvador Allende, who was toppled in a 1973 military coup. The company makes “Tropical Island” brand juices and other food products sold in hard-currency stores catering to foreigners and tourists. The company is joint-owned by Cuba’s government and Marambio, but has been shuttered for months as part of an investigation.


In his scathing opinion piece, Morales brought up another prominent case — the abrupt March 9 firing of veteran revolutionary Rogelio Acevedo, who had overseen the country’s airlines and airports since the 1980s. The government gave no reason for his dismissal, but the island has been awash with speculation that he has been placed under house arrest for corruption.


Exile Web sites have reported that a large amount of cash was found hidden at Acevedo’s house and that he is suspected of operating a private airline, among other things. The government has not commented on the allegations.


“There must be some truth to these reports, because this is a small country where everyone knows each other,” Morales wrote of the speculation over Acevedo. He said the government owed people a fuller account because the same sort of corruption is happening in other state-run institutions.


“Whether it be to vindicate or condemn Acevedo, the people must be told what happened,” he said.


While complaints of low-level corruption are not uncommon in state media, allegations of wide-scale, top-level malfeasance are very unusual and the fall of party officials has usually been seen as an anomaly rather than a symptom of broader rot.


When Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque and Vice President Carlos Lage were dismissed last year, Fidel Castro wrote that “the honey of power … awoke in them ambitions that led to an undignified role.”

Officials gave few public details of what they had done wrong, though Communist Party members said they were shown a video showing both making disparaging comments about the government and Miami journalist Maria Elvira Salazar released photos showing them partying with a Spanish business representative.

Morales appeared to refer to that case Thursday, when he complained of “favoritism, cronyism, certain acts of corruption” that led to information being passed to Spanish intelligence.

Source: SGGP

S.Korea regrets Japan’s stance on disputed islands

In World on December 26, 2009 at 12:27 pm

South Korea expressed regret Friday about Japan’s official reference to a decades-old territorial dispute, even though Tokyo’s new government has apparently softened its stance on the issue.









Seoul’s foreign ministry was responding to a Japanese education handbook released earlier in the day.


The manual calls for high school teachers to tell pupils that Japan is locked in a territorial dispute with South Korea over a tiny island chain known as Dokdo in Korea and Takeshima in Japan.


South Korea controls the islands in the Sea of Japan (East Sea) and insists its ownership is incontestable.


“Whatever claim the Japanese government makes, our government stresses the position once again that no territorial dispute exists between the two sides,” ministry spokesman Moon Tae-Young said in a statement.


The revised educational guidelines inject a wrong perception into Japan’s future generation, he said, describing the move as regrettable.


Japan claimed the islands in 1905 and went on to annex the Korean peninsula from 1910 until its World War II defeat in 1945. South Korea says its ownership dates back centuries.


South Korean officials quoted by Yonhap news agency noted that Japan’s education ministry did not directly mention Dokdo in the new document.


The handbook merely says teachers “need to deepen the understanding on territorial issues by providing accurate information based on the Japanese government’s proper claim and their study at junior high school”.


But Japan said the decision not to explicitly refer to the small rocky outcrops did not mean Tokyo had stopping asserting its sovereignty.


Seoul reacted angrily last year to Japanese guidelines issued for junior high schools saying students should have a “deeper understanding” of Tokyo’s claim over the islets, known as Takeshima in Japan.


A new teaching manual issued Friday for high school students says that study of Japanese territories “should be based on junior high school education.”


Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share