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Posts Tagged ‘issues’

Ministry issues new alert on food safety

In Uncategorized on December 17, 2010 at 1:57 pm

Ministry issues new alert on food safety

QĐND – Friday, December 17, 2010, 20:53 (GMT+7)

The Health Ministry has requested all provinces and cities to strengthen food safety and hygiene activities nationwide by promoting awareness and inspection programmes during the new year festival.

“Consumer demand increases ten-fold during the new year, especially over the traditional holiday period,” said deputy head of the ministry’s Vietnam Food Administration Nguyen Thanh Phong at a press conference in Hanoi Dec. 16.

“To ensure food safety and hygiene during the festive season, we will boost awareness activities targeting food producers, traders and consumers,” he said.

He also added that six inter-sectoral inspection groups would be set up to supervise food safety at markets in Hanoi, HCM City and provinces with border gates.

According to the administration, the country has reported 173 food poisoning cases this year, less than the average annual number of 200 over the last decade. Eighteen cases were reported with 323 people infected during the last quarter of 2010, of which four died due to eating puffer fish.

“Food poisoning is showing signs of reduction as compared with the same period in 2009, however 60 percent of the cases were in domestic outbreaks,” said Phong.

“Most poisoning outbreaks related to poor food preservation or natural toxins found in mushrooms, puffer fish and toads,” added Phong.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

NA deputies query hot transportation issues

In Uncategorized on November 24, 2010 at 1:49 pm

NA deputies query hot transportation issues

QĐND – Wednesday, November 24, 2010, 20:31 (GMT+7)

National Assembly deputies on Nov. 23 queried a number of hot transportation issues related to the North-South Railway Express, infrastructure, traffic jams and the restructure of the Vietnam Shipping Industry Group (Vinashin).

Regarding the North-South Railway Express project, Transport Minister Ho Nghia Dung said his ministry would not invest in the project as the NA refused to approve earlier this year. However, he said, in accordance with the Prime Minister’s instruction, the ministry would continue studying the feasibility of the project.

“We will not study the whole route but only several sections such as a flyover railway on the third belt road connecting the centre of Hanoi to the Noi Bai Airport, and sections from Hanoi to Thanh Hoa and Nha Trang to Ho Chi Minh City,” he said, adding that all works are now only studying and developing project.

Dung also answered deputies’ queries on punishment to contractors that caused traffic jams and accidents during their construction process, the effectiveness of the Ho Chi Minh Highway, and plans to develop coastal roads combined with sea dyke system to cope with climate change and tides.

Regarding the near-bankrupt shipbuilder Vinashin, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Sinh Hung, head of a steering board to oversee Vinashin’s restructuring process, assured that it would be able to pay off its debt of 86 trillion VND (42 billion USD).

According to him, the restructure began in 2008 by withdrawing Vinashin’s investment capital and reducing its projects from 185 to 28 and focusing on only 13 projects.

He said the shipbuilder was making progress in both production and sales. It’s 28 shipbuilders have resumed operation and this year, Vinashin will build 66 vessels to earn almost 600 million USD, the Deputy PM said, affirming that the group would gross revenues of around 14 trillion VND (6.83 billion USD) and would reap benefit from 2013.

Source: VNA


Source: QDND

Indonesia issues flight warning as volcano spews ash

In Uncategorized on November 2, 2010 at 8:42 am

Japan issues fresh apology for colonial rule of Korea

In Uncategorized on August 10, 2010 at 11:20 am

TOKYO, Aug 10, 2010 (AFP) – Japan’s government on Tuesday issued a fresh apology for the country’s past colonial rule of the Korean peninsula, ahead of the August 29 centenary of the annexation as Tokyo eyes stronger Seoul ties.

In a statement, Prime Minister Naoto Kan expressed deep regret over what he referred to as the “suffering” inflicted during Japan’s colonial rule from 1910 to 1945.

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan listens to questions during a press conference beside the national flag at his official residence in Tokyo on August 10, 2010. AFP

The apology, approved by Kan’s centre-left Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) at a cabinet meeting Tuesday, was timed also to precede South Korea’s celebration of its 1945 liberation on August 15.

In a statement, Kan expressed his “feelings of deep remorse and heartfelt apology for the tremendous damage and suffering brought by the colonial rule”.

Kan said: “Through the colonial rule that was against their will… the people of Korea were deprived of their nation and culture and their ethnic pride was deeply hurt.”

He added that Japan would “in the near future” hand over precious cultural artifacts originating from the peninsula that South Korea has been demanding, including some royal records of the Chosun Dynasty (1392-1910).

The premier held a telephone conversation with South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak after the release of a statement to which South Korea gave a guarded welcome, saying it hoped the apology would herald closer ties between the two.

“We expect all Japanese people to share this view,” South Korean foreign ministry spokesman Kim Young-Sun said.

“We recognise prime minister Kan’s statement as his and the Japanese government’s volition to overcome the unfortunate past between Korea and Japan and to develop a bright future in their relations,” he added.

Kan said on Tuesday that he sought to “build a future-oriented relationship” with South Korea. Tokyo is looking to strengthen cooperation in addressing the North’s nuclear ambitions and abductions of foreign nationals.

“While I hope that the ties between Japan and South Korea will become deeper and stronger… I express my determination not to spare any efforts to open the future of the two countries,” said Kan.

Japanese prime ministers in recent decades have expressed regret for the country’s wartime aggression in Asia, including a landmark 1995 statement from then prime minister Tomiichi Murayama.

But such sentiments have been dismissed as insincere by Asian neighbours, partly because of comments made by some conservative lawmakers who refuse to admit to Japan’s past aggression.

Some Japanese lawmakers have argued that such statements set a precedent for Japan to continue a “diplomacy of apology”. One DPJ member, Jin Matsubara, lashed out against Tuesday’s move as “extremely disgraceful”.

But Masao Okonogi, professor of Korean studies at Keio University, welcomed the statement.

“This is Japan’s first official recognition that the colonial rule was against (specifically) Korean people’s will and that it deprived them of their country.”

At a press conference later Tuesday, Kan reiterated that he would not make a controversial visit to the Yasukuni Shrine on the August 15 anniversary of Japan’s 1945 surrender, in honour of its war dead.

The shrine in Tokyo honours Japan’s 2.5 million World War II dead, including 14 top war criminals, and visits there by past Japanese premiers angered Chinese and Korean leaders.

Kan added that issues of reparation for individuals and their right to demand state compensation were “fully settled” when the two countries normalised ties in 1965.

Japan colonised Korea from 1910, signing an annexation treaty on August 22 which took effect on August 29 that year.

The annexation ended on August 15, 1945, when Japan surrendered to the US-led allies in World War II. The Korean peninsula was then divided into a communist North and a capitalist South.

Japan and South Korea normalised relations in 1965, with Tokyo extending massive economic aid to Seoul, which agreed not to demand reparations for the colonial rule.

Source: SGGP

Apple chief says iPhone issues overblown

In Uncategorized on July 17, 2010 at 4:50 pm

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – Apple chief executive Steve Jobs said that reception problems with the new iPhone 4 have been overblown but apologized to buyers who experienced issues and offered free cases as a fix.

Jobs, speaking at a press conference for a select group of journalists at Apple headquarters, said other smartphones have antenna problems similar to those reported with the latest iPhone model.

Steve Jobs speaks during a press conference regarding the Apple iPhone 4 reception problems at the Apple headquarters, on July 16, in Cupertino, California. AFP

“We’re not perfect,” Jobs said. “Phones aren’t perfect either.”

He acknowledged the iPhone 4 drops slightly more calls than the previous version of the smartphone, the iPhone 3GS, but said the issue had been “blown so out of proportion that it’s incredible.”

“There is no ‘Antennagate,'” he said. “We think there’s a problem but we think it’s affecting a small percentage of users.”

Some iPhone 4 users have complained they lose reception when holding the lower left corner of the phone — whose unusual antenna wraps completely around the device — in what has been referred to as the “death grip.”

Jobs said Apple will provide free rubber bumpers that surround the sides of the phone and refund buyers who have already purchased the cases.

Some users have said the cases, which cost 29 dollars, remedy the reception problems that have given a company priding itself on the quality of its products a rare dose of negative publicity.

Jobs, who promised a full refund to unsatisfied customers, appeared to have satisfied investors and analysts.

Apple shares were up slightly in after-hours electronic trading after losing 0.62 percent in New York on Friday to close at 249.90 dollars.

“I don’t think they’ve had a lot of serious product issues over the years,” Gartner research vice president Mike McGuire told AFP.

“From a consumer perspective, they’ve now told me how this is going to be dealt with. And they even said if I’m really still unhappy, I can return it… You can’t ask for much more than that.

“Somebody’s always going to complain that they should have done it sooner,” McGuire added, “but they said ‘Hey, let’s go check it out first and get some information.'”

Jobs said the iPhone 4 had received the highest customer satisfaction ever for an iPhone, describing it as “perhaps the best product we’ve ever made.”

“People seem to like it,” he said, adding that Apple has sold more than three million iPhone 4s since it hit stores three weeks ago.

Jobs showed a video of smartphones from Blackberry maker Research in Motion, Taiwan’s HTC and South Korea’s Samsung in a bid to demonstrate that all devices lose signal strength when gripped in a certain way.

“It’s certainly not unique to the iPhone 4,” he said. “Every smartphone has this issue. Smartphones have weak spots.”

Jobs said only 0.55 percent of iPhone 4 buyers had called Apple hotlines to complain about antenna or reception issues and only 1.7 percent of US buyers had returned their iPhone 4 to carrier AT&T.

He issued an apology to “customers that are having problems” but said he would not apologize to investors who bought Apple stock recently and saw it drop.

Apple initially responded to signal strength criticism by telling owners of its latest generation iPhone to be mindful of how they hold the handsets.

That failed to quiet the complaints, however, and Apple was forced to address the issue after Consumer Reports, the influential product review magazine, said it could not recommend the iPhone 4 because of signal loss problems it blamed on a design flaw.

Jobs said Apple was “stunned and embarrassed” by the Consumer Reports review.

Apple has sold more than 50 million iPhones since the device made its debut in 2007 and Jobs said the iPhone 4 was its best-selling model of all time.

The iPhone 4 notably features a higher resolution screen and “FaceTime,” which uses a forward facing camera to enable video chat.

Source: SGGP

HCMC voters voice concerns about pressing issues

In Uncategorized on July 4, 2010 at 4:07 pm

HCMC voters voice concerns about pressing issues

QĐND – Sunday, July 04, 2010, 20:56 (GMT+7)

Costly medications at hospitals, uncontrolled online games, and problems related to ODA projects are some of the subjects among hundreds of queries sent by Ho Chi Minh City voters and People’s Council deputies to relevant local agencies, ahead of the 18th meeting of the city People’s Council due to commence July 5.

Many voters in some districts, including District 12 and Tan Binh, complained that medicine prices at many hospitals are many times higher than market prices, causing patients to endure unreasonably high medical costs.

They asked the city Health Department to take measures to prevent this practice, which they said has been left uncontrolled.

Another complaint was that many private consulting rooms directly sold medicines to patients after examination or treatment and that many hospital doctors colluded with pharmaceutical firms in giving prescriptions in order to to get illegitimate commissions.

Nobody involved in these corrupt practices have been punished, the voters said.

Regarding school healthcare services, Deputy Nguyen Van Bach commented: “In the past school year, many schools, from pre-schools to secondary schools, did not have enough medical staffs to provide students with healthcare.”

Out of more than 1,500 schools in the city, only 524, or 36 percent, have medical personnel, he said. “Even in Can Gio District, only two of the 29 schools there have medical workers of primary professional level.”

He asked the Heath Department to improve healthcare quality at schools.

Concerning management over online gaming at internet shops, many voters said many businesses had violated regulations in this field, such as operating without proper business registration, operating beyond regulated hours, or failing to prevent internet users from accessing unhealthy websites.

They blamed the situation on loose control by relevant official agencies.

Huynh Cong Hung said: “Many online games are those that induce gambling, provoke violent actions, or are detrimental to good habits and customs. Such games have been creating a bad influence on children and young people.”

“What is the role and responsibility of the city Department of Information and Communications in this field?” he asked.

Concerning the fact that several projects funded by Official Development Assistance (ODA) have increased their initial capital, deputy Truong Trong Nghia asked: “What are the reasons for increasing the cost of those projects and what is the responsibility of investors and contractors for such an increase?”

He cited the city’s Environmental Hygiene Project, which raised its cost from US$200 million to $354 million, and the project for subway no. 1, which has yet to start, but has nonetheless increased its investment from $1.1 billion to $2.3 billion.

He said many voters voiced their concerns about the quality of Nguyen Huu Canh Street, which has cost up to hundreds of VND billion for repairs but is still in bad condition.

Many other deputies were concerned about the tardy progress of the project aiming to improve the environmental conditions in the Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe canal. They asked the city Transport Department to explain the tardiness and to make known to the public when the project will finish.

Source: SGGP

Source: QDND

Deputies focus on issues of major public concern

In Uncategorized on June 10, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Deputies focus on issues of major public concern

QĐND – Thursday, June 10, 2010, 21:1 (GMT+7)

National Assembly (NA) deputies have raised concerns over the Ministry of Finance’s role and responsibility over price controls, capital mobilisation and use for key national projects as well as building trademarks of agricultural products.

During the four-day question time, beginning from June 10, deputies will question four ministers, namely the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Transport, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism. Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Sinh Hung will also take part.

NA Deputy Nguyen Huu Nhi from Nghe An said he was concerned over the high salaries of some leaders from State groups and corporations are paid. He said, “I want the Minister of Finance to clarify the regulations on the salaries of senior managers in State groups and corporations while farmers and other workers’ lives still face a lot of difficulties.”

In terms of agriculture and rural development, it is essential to consider the State’s management over the quality of plant varieties, fertilisers, pesticides and the application of advanced technologies in agricultural production, said Mr Nhi.

The Minister of Finance will respond to questions about measures to control inflation and market prices especially when there are increases in the prices of electricity, water, petro and other essential goods, greatly affecting low-income earners and poor farmers.

In the recent past, the collapse of the spans of Can Tho and Thanh Tri bridges made the media headline. The Minister of Transport will have to answer questions about the State’s responsibility for ensuring the quality of capital investment construction and transport projects as well as resolving traffic congestion and reducing traffic accidents.

NA deputy Danh Ut from Kien Giang province said that he was interested in the Ministry of Finance’s role in controlling the prices of petrol, fertiliser, steel and sugarcane.

The Ministry of Finance recently examined 17 businesses, of which 11 had not registered for price controls in a bid to drive up prices up which caused big losses to many farmers.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development will then answer NA deputies’ queries about why creating trademarks for agro-fishery products is so slow.

NA deputy Nguyen Thuc Khang from Ba Ria-Vung Tau province underlined the need to discuss the capital sources for key national projects. Such issues should be carefully considered by the NA before approving key national projects, stressed Mr Khang.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

Ministry issues dispatch on preventing school violence

In Uncategorized on April 6, 2010 at 10:50 am

The Ministry of Education on Tuesday issued an official dispatch to Education and Training departments throughout the country on preventing violence among students.

Students play in the schoolyard of Luong The Vinh High School, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. (Photo: Mai Hai)

Accordingly, the ministry proposes that school managerial boards strengthen the teaching of ethical behavior and organize regular events to educate students about the law, moral conduct, and national cultural traditions.

Critics, however, say that the ministry’s recommendations are good on paper, but not actually feasible in the current context of the country’s education system.

School staff say it is virtually impossible to teach students about good moral conduct as current academic curriculums are extremely intense. Teachers complain that course content is so heavy, it is a race against time just to cover all material outlined in State-regulated syllabi.

Some experts say that the intense coursework may in fact be a contributing factor to school violence. Students are under great stress to learn enormous amounts of material in a short period. They may then be more likely to act out aggressively as they don’t know how else to deal with their feelings of frustration.

Many students have never learned how to practice self control and teachers, meanwhile, don’t have the time needed to address such problems.

With a focus on academic learning above all else, most schools offer little in the way of extra-curricular activities, which would give students an outlet to express themselves and communicate with other students and teachers in a meaningful way.

Thus, some say that if the education ministry wants schools to strengthen their teaching of moral conduct to students, priorities need to be shifted. 

Rather than focusing on teaching vast amounts of factual knowledge, schools may want to consider introducing more extracurricular programs so that teachers and students have the chance to learn more about each other. This would also give teachers more time to listen to the needs of their students and address their concerns to stop violence at its roots.

Source: SGGP

Hanoi issues bigger fines for solid waste violations

In policies on March 8, 2010 at 2:37 am

Hanoi issues bigger fines for solid waste violations

QĐND – Thursday, March 04, 2010, 20:13 (GMT+7)

The Hanoi People’s Committee has introduced fines of up to 15 million VND (789 USD) for people caught illegally discharging solid and domestic waste.

It is the first time the city has issued administrative punishments for activities that pollute the environment.

Under the new rules, people who illegally transport solid waste could face fines of up to 10-15 million VND (526-789 USD), those caught littering city streets with solid waste could be fined 5-10 million VND (263-526 USD), and those caught discharging domestic waste could be fined between 100,000-300,000 VND (5.2-15.7 USD).

In addition to fines, violators would also be required to rectify the effects that their waste disposal caused on the environment. Activities that obstruct waste management would also be liable to punishment in accordance with environment protection laws.

The new rules are only the first step to classify and control waste to ensure the development of an effective recycling system that minimises the amount of waste buried in landfills, said Nguyen Van Khoi from the Hanoi People’s Committee.

Nguyen Thi Thanh, a worker of the city’s Urban Environmental Hygiene Company, said that the fines are strict enough to discourage people from discharging waste in the public places.

However Thanh said she wondered whether the city’s Transport and Public Works Department would allocate enough officers to enforce the regulations.

Statistics released by the ministry show the average amount of garbage discharged daily by each household amounts to between 0.6kg in rural areas and about 1kg in urban areas in Hanoi – rates that are steadily increasing.

Each day, more than 3,500 tonnes of rubbish are discharged in Hanoi.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

UN-backed court issues first Khmer Rouge genocide charges

In World on December 16, 2009 at 10:38 am

PHNOM PENH, Dec 16, 2009 (AFP) – Cambodia’s UN-backed war crimes court has for the first time issued genocide charges against two leaders of the brutal Khmer Rouge regime, a tribunal spokesman said Wednesday.

Former Khmer Rouge number two Nuon Chea and foreign minister Ieng Sary were both charged over the hardline communist regime’s slaughter of Vietnamese people and ethnic Cham muslims during the 1970s, spokesman Lars Olsen told AFP.

“This week both Nuon Chea and Ieng Sary have been brought before the investigating judges and informed they are being charged with genocide against the Cham muslims and the Vietnamese,” Olsen said.

“This is the first time that anyone has been charged with genocide” at the UN-backed tribunal, he added.

The court announced last month it was investigating incursions into Vietnam as well as executions of Cambodia’s Cham minority committed by the 1975-1979 regime.

Final arguments were heard last month in the trial of prison chief Kaing Guek Eav, known by the alias Duch, who was charged with war crimes, crimes against humanity, torture and premeditated murder in the court’s first trial.

Both Nuon Chea and Ieng Sary have already been charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity.

They are in detention at the court, awaiting trial in the tribunal’s second case along with Ieng Sary’s wife, former social affairs minister Ieng Thirith and former head of state Khieu Samphan.

Led by Pol Pot, who died in 1998, the Khmer Rouge emptied Cambodia’s cities in a bid to forge a communist utopia, wiping out up to two million people through starvation, overwork, torture and execution.

There are now nearly 240,000 Cham Muslims in Cambodia, mainly in the central provinces, forming 1.6 percent of the population in the predominantly Buddhist country, according to a recent survey by the US-based Pew Research Centre.

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share