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Seafood shares look promising in last quarter this year

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

Most of seafood exporters announced healthy earning results in the first nine months of the years thanks to surging demand worldwide and the strong US dollar. However, some catfish and basa producers were hit by anti-dumping taxes, while shrimp exporters took profit from the weakening supply caused by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in the US.

(Photo: tuoitreonline)

Minh Phu Seafood Joint Stock Company (MPC) produced 16,660 tons of shrimp in the first three quarters of 2010, with the profit reaching VND253.3 billion (US$13 million).

Sao Ta Foods Joint Stock Company (FMC) made an after-tax profit of VND5.97 billion ($298,500) in the third quarter, a significant increase of 190 percent year-on-year. The profit from exporting seafood, which is the firm’s core business, surged 176.5 percent year-on-year to VND31.11 billion ($1.6 million).

Financial experts said seafood exporters took big profit from the dollar/Vietnam dong exchange rate fluctuation, which saw the rate rose from VND18,465 per dollar early this year to VND19,500 per dollar. The stronger dollar gave the exporters selling seafood to the US around 5 percent of their revenue in the first three quarter this year.

Catfish and basa exporters meanwhile suffered heavy losses in the first nine months of the year as they struggled to deal with increasing material price and anti-dumping taxes. Among losers are BASA Joint Stock Company (BAS) with a loss of VND7.5 billion ($375,000).

Third quarter revenue of Cuulong Fish Joint Stock Company (ACL) rose 45.8 percent year-on-year, but its profit dropped 64.7 percent. Similarly, the net profit in the first nine months of Hung Vuong Corporation (HVG), one of the country’s biggest catfish and basa exporters, only made out of 50.9 percent of the target.

But analysts said the seafood sector’s average price-to-earnings rate (P/E) of 7.6x was much lower than the stock market’s average P/E rate of 11.4x, showing seafood share prices are pretty good.

They also expect seafood sector will be booming in the last quarter thanks to the yearend rising consumption prices and the US dollar getting stronger.

The seafood demand at developed countries often increase significantly in the last quarter every year as they come into the festival season.

Shrimp price surged to $3-4.8/pound in the first nine months as the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in the USA prompted to a shortage in shrimp supplying.

Source: SGGP

Last US combat brigade pulls out of Iraq: US media

In Uncategorized on August 19, 2010 at 7:22 am

WASHINGTON, Aug. 18 (AFP) – The last US combat brigade pulled out of Iraq and crossed into Kuwait almost seven and a half years after the US-led invasion to oust Saddam Hussein, US media reported.

Television footage showed an NBC reporter travelling with the 4th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division crossing the border around midnight local time to be followed in the coming hours by the rest of the brigade.

US soldier stands in front of a line of armoured vehicles at Camp Victory, a giant sprawling military base on the edge of Baghdad airport, in June 2010. AFP file

But the US military said there were still several thousand more US troops in Iraq that had to go before the drawdown was complete.

When it does the official name of the US mission in Iraq will change from “Operation Iraqi Freedom” to “Operation New Dawn,” said Major General Stephen Lanza in an interview with MSNBC.

The pullout comes just one day after a suicide bomber blew himself up at a crowded army recruitment center in Baghdad killing 59 people, as violence coinciding with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan raged across Iraq.

The attack, blamed on Al-Qaeda and the deadliest this year, wounded at least another 100 people and came a day after Iraq’s two main political parties suspended talks over the formation of a new government.

News of the milestone withdrawal was also carried by Al-Jazeera and US media such as The Washington Post, CNN and The Los Angeles Times, many of which had reporters embedded with the departing troops.

Lanza, the military spokesman, said there were still nearly 56,000 US troops in Iraq, but the number would fall to 50,000 by the end of the month.

“And we’ll continue to go through our responsible drawdown to meet that drawdown by 1 September. It is about a transition to a change of mission, going from combat operations to stability operations,” he said.

US State Department spokesman Philip Crowley, live on MSNBC as the footage was shown, described the end of combat operations as a “historic moment,” but vowed that America’s long-term commitment was unwavering.

“The last thing that we want to see is an occasion where we have to send troops back into Iraq yet again so we are ending the combat phase of our involvement in Iraq for a second time.

“We’re not ending our involvement in Iraq. We will have important work to do. This is a transition. This is not the end of something. It’s a transition to something different. We have a long-term commitment to Iraq.”

Crowley said that after spending one trillion dollars in Iraq and with 4,400 lives lost, the conflict had come “at high expense.”

“We’ve invested heavily in Iraq and have to do everything we can to preserve that investment to integrate Iraq along with the neighborhood into a much more peaceful situation that serves their interests as well as ours.”

In a letter dated August 18 and posted on the White House website, President Barack Obama also hailed the end of combat operations but made no mention of the final combat troops leaving.

“Shortly after taking office, I put forward a plan to end the war in Iraq responsibly,” the letter said.

“Today, I’m pleased to report that — thanks to the extraordinary service of our troops and civilians in Iraq — our combat mission will end this month, and we will complete a substantial drawdown of our troops.”

While most reports suggested the pullout of the 4th Brigade would take only a few hours, The Los Angeles Times said it would take three days for the 360 military vehicles and 1,800 soldiers to get down the road from Baghdad, through the Shiite south and into Kuwait.

The Pentagon would not confirm it was the pullout of the final combat troops, but has long said the number of American soldiers in Iraq would fall to 50,000 by the end of the month when combat missions officially end.

All US troops are supposed to leave the country by the end of next year, according to the terms of a bilateral security pact, and Obama has insisted the ongoing withdrawal is on schedule and will not be altered.

The US troop pullouts have come despite warnings from senior Iraqi politicians and officers about the dangers of an early exit given the security situation and political uncertainty.

Iraq’s top military officer told AFP last week on the sidelines of a defense ministry conference in Baghdad that American forces may be needed in the conflict-wracked nation for a further decade.

“At this point, the withdrawal is going well, because they are still here,” Lieutenant General Babaker Zerbari said.

“But the problem will start after 2011 — the politicians must find other ways to fill the void after 2011. If I were asked about the withdrawal, I would say to politicians: the US army must stay until the Iraqi army is fully ready in 2020.”

The pullout also coincided with the arrival of James Jeffrey, the new US ambassador to Iraq, who presented his diplomatic credentials Wednesday to the conflict-torn nation’s head of state, President Jalal Talabani.

Source: SGGP

US oil spill could last for weeks, officials warn

In Uncategorized on June 1, 2010 at 7:47 am

GALLIANO, Louisiana (AFP) – BP officials warned Monday they may not be able to plug the Gulf of Mexico oil leak until August as Louisiana residents warned the spill would wipe out their way of life.

“Drilling relief wells is still seen as the best solution,” but they will not be onstream for at least eight weeks, BP spokesman John Currie told AFP, as US officials warned the spill is now the worst environmental disaster to ever befall the United States.

BP engineers are scrambling to prepare their next bid to stop the oil from gushing into the sea, by using robotic submarines to cut off the burst pipe and then capping it before siphoning the oil up to vessels the surface.

Crews on ships work on stopping the flow of oil at the source site of the Deepwater Horizon disaster on May 29, in the Gulf of Mexico near Venice, Louisiana. AFP photo

Although local media said the “cut and cap” procedure was under way, Currie said the effort was unlikely to begin before Wednesday.

At least 20 million gallons of oil are feared to have already flooded into the Gulf since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded 41 days ago on April 20 and sank into the sea two days later with the loss of 11 lives.

BP’s last attempt to stop the leak, dubbed a “top kill,” failed on Saturday leaving an estimated 12,000 to 19,000 barrels of oil belching into the Gulf every day.

The giant slick is threatening Louisiana’s fragile wetlands, as well as the Gulf region’s fishing and tourism industries, amid fears that hurricane season which starts Tuesday could push oil up onto the Florida, Texas, Mississippi and Alabama coastlines as well.

“I think what the American people need to know is that it is possible we will have oil leaking from this well until August when the relief wells will be finished,” White House energy advisor Carol Browner warned Sunday.

Former shrimper turned tugboat captain Kevin “Godzilla” Curole told AFP, “This is going to kill more species of fish than BP even knows exist, and it will kill our whole way of life.

“People used to come here to fish. But now they’re going to come here to look at a memorial to what is going to be an extinct way of life and tell their kids, ‘See? Those are fishermen. They’re the people who built this town and southern Louisiana,” he said at his home in Galliano.

While some oil has washed onto the beach at Grand Isle, the only inhabited barrier island in Louisiana, and tarry black crude has smothered some of the wetlands at the mouth of the Mississippi River, large plumes of oil are hanging invisibly underneath the water.

Scientists and local fishermen believe BP’s use of the dispersant Corexit has caused the oil to sink to the bottom of the sea, where it will not weather and degrade naturally.

New Orleans lawyer Shaun Holahan on Sunday tucked into a plate of oysters at the Plaquemines Seafood Festival, saying she had come to the annual event “because I think it’s the last one they’ll ever have.

“The oil in the water has probably killed off the larvae, meaning there will be no shrimp or fish or oysters next year… and probably not for years to come,” Holahan said.

With many fishing grounds closed, seafood prices, and in particular the cost of Louisiana’s trademark shrimp and oysters, have risen sharply and clients have stayed away from restaurants scared seafood is not longer safe.

Currie said BP was continuing to “work with the EPA on the issue of dispersants” but would keep using Corexit until an alternative solution was found that is “available, effective and meets low toxicity limits.

“We are using less dispersant, at the direction of the EPA,” he added.

Meanwhile, Louisiana Senator David Vitter called for a military-style chain of command to handle the crisis, saying the procedure has been bogged down in red tape.

“We need the federal response to really get with it and go on a wartime footing and we need a military-style chain of command where orders are given and executed immediately,” Vitter told local radio.

Angry Louisiana residents believe BP’s efforts to stop the leak have been no more than a show while it builds the relief wells.

“It’s all just smoke and mirrors,” New Orleans resident Danielle Brutsche told AFP.

“What they’re doing now, trying to cap the leak, I think they’re just doing it to distract us so it looks like they’re doing something while they build the relief wells,” she said.

But BP’s Currie told AFP the company was “heavily invested” in trying to stop the spill.

“We have spent 900 million dollars on this so far, and that would be a mighty expensive show we were putting on,” he said.

Source: SGGP

Brazil’s Lula in Iran for ‘last chance’ nuclear talks

In Uncategorized on May 16, 2010 at 12:57 pm

TEHRAN, May 16 (AFP) – Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was Sunday meeting Iranian leaders at the start of a visit the West says might be Tehran’s last chance to avoid new UN sanctions over its nuclear programme.

Ahmet Davutoglu, the foreign minister of neighbouring Turkey, the other key mediator in the standoff, meanwhile flew into Tehran on Sunday and was expected to join the talks, the Mehr news agency reported.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (right) welcomes his Brazilian counterpart Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva at the presidential offices in Tehran. AFP photo

Lula, who heads a 300-strong delegation, was officially welcomed by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran Sunday morning before the two leaders went into the talks, Iranian news agencies reported.

A number of trade agreements were to be signed later in the day.

Lula is also expected to meet Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei, who has the final say on all key policy issues.

Ahead of his trip, Lula told reporters in Moscow he was “optimistic” and hoped to be able to persuade Ahmadinejad to reach an agreement with the West.

“I must now use everything I have learned over my long political career to convince my friend Ahmadinejad to come to an agreement with the international community,” he said.

But the United States and Russia have already said the chances of success are weak, while Turkey appears to have given up any hope of its neighbour avoiding sanctions over its controversial nuclear drive.

Brazil and Turkey, non-permanent members of the UN Security Council, have so far resisted US-led efforts to push through a fourth set of sanctions against Iran over its failure to heed repeated ultimatums to stop enrichment activity.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday he was unlikely to go to Tehran over Iran’s failure to confirm a commitment to a UN-brokered deal backed by world powers.

A Turkish diplomat on condition of anonymity however said on Saturday that Foreign Minister Davutoglu had received a call from his Iranian counterpart, Manouchehr Mottaki, “who invited him to come to Tehran as soon as possible, preferably to coincide with the visit of (the) Brazilian president.”

Iran has rejected a UN proposal to enrich abroad the uranium it says it needs for a nuclear research reactor. The West fears Iran wants highly enriched uranium to make an atomic bomb, a charge Tehran vehemently denies.

“We have received many proposals and we are considering them,” Iran’s atomic chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, was quoted as saying on Saturday in local media.

“There is a willingness on both sides to resolve the problem and things are moving positively,” he added without elaborating.

But Foreign Minister Mottaki indicated that Iran was still not ready to budge from its dogged position.

“We hope that the parties (involved in the talks with Iran) will bend to the realities and choose the right path,” Mottaki was quoted as saying in reports on Saturday.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said that the Brazilian president’s talks with Iran “may be the last chance before the adoption of appropriate decisions within the framework of the Security Council.”

That came after a senior US State Department official told reporters on condition of anonymity that the Lula visit was being seen as “perhaps the last big shot at engagement.”

Lula has in the past defended Iran’s nuclear activities, saying Tehran has the right to atomic energy, and has repeatedly said sanctions would be counter-productive and ineffective.

The White House said President Barack Obama and Medvedev had discussed Iran by telephone this week and agreed to step up negotiations on a new sanctions package.

Russia’s agreement would leave China as the last remaining holdout among the five veto-wielding permanent members of the Security Council, bringing the prospect of sanctions much nearer.

Source: SGGP

Stock market warms up late last week

In Uncategorized on May 15, 2010 at 12:58 pm

The market warmed up in the last trading session of this week, however, the VN Index just saw a slight increase of 1.79 points as the prices of several blue chips, including Vietcombank (VCB).

The VN Index closed yesterday’s session at 520.72 points, advancing 0.34 percent after five straight days of declines.

However, trading activities seemed to ease off with only 45.2 million shares changing hands, 24.03 per cent lower than Thursday’s session, at a value of VND1.6 trillion (US$84.2 million).

Penny stocks such as Cuu Long Fish Joint Stock Company (ACL), Ba Ria Thermal Power Joint Stock Company (BTP), Dien Quang Joint Stock Company (DQC) increased after sharply decreasing during the week.

Meanwhile, the HNX-Index for the Hanoi market continued falling for another day, but only by an insignificant 0.26 per cent, leaving the index to reserve Thursday’s standings at 172.71 points.

Trading activities were a bit higher than Thursday with 44.4 million shares traded to generate a turnover of VND1.5 trillion ($78.9 million).

PetroVietnam Construction (PVX) continued an impressive show with 10.3 million shares changing hands in the day’s trades.

According to stock market companies, the state bank official rejected information about devaluation of VND, so it made the stock market regain footing despite NYSE and NASDAQ index lost 100 points.

World’s price of gold has set a new record, making the domestic gold prices increase sharply to VND28.2 million per tael (1.2 ounce), the highest level since December last year.

The world gold price was listed at US$1,237 per ounce on May 14.

According to a representative of Saigon Jewelry Holding Company (SJC), domestic gold price still is lower than world gold price VND300,000 per tael, not including tax.

Bloomberg’s economic experts forecasted that global gold price will continue increasing to $1,400 per ounce and hit $1,500 per ounce this year.

Contrary to gold price, the exchange rate US$ on the free market has decreased to VND19,020 – 19,080, an decrease of VND70 per US$ compare to previous day.

Source: SGGP

Last Atlantis mission set for launch

In Uncategorized on May 14, 2010 at 8:52 am

Final preparations were underway Friday to launch the space shuttle Atlantis on the last mission of its 25-year career, taking astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS).

The 32nd and final voyage for Atlantis, first launched in 1985, will take six astronauts to the orbiting space research facility, delivering an integrated cargo carrier and a Russian-built mini research module.

Lift-off is scheduled for 2:20 pm (1820 GMT) from the Kennedy Space Center near Cape Canaveral in Florida, weather permitting.

“We’ve had a very clean countdown so far and we’re currently on schedule,” NASA test director Jeremy Graeber said Thursday. “We’re not working on any issues.

Space officials said their primary weather concern is a low cloud ceiling. But the forecast is good overall, calling for a 70 percent chance of favorable conditions at launch time.

Space Shuttle Atlantis is seen on a Kennedy Space Center launch pad. Final preparations are under way to launch the space shuttle Atlantis on the last mission of its 25-year career, taking astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS).

In a poignant moment for NASA as the US space agency counts down towards the end of an era in human spaceflight, Atlantis will be retired on its safe return home.

“The vehicle is in great shape… and from a space shuttle program and ISS program standpoint, we’re ready to launch Atlantis and get this mission under way,” NASA launch manager Mike Moses said this week.

During a 12-day mission largely spent moored to the ISS, Atlantis and the crew will deliver over 12 tonnes of equipment, including power storage batteries, a communications antenna and a radiator.

The biggest single element being transported is the five-tonne Rassver research module, or MRM-1, which will provide additional storage space and a new docking port for Russian Soyuz and Progress spacecraft.

The Rassver — dawn in Russian — which will be permanently attached to the bottom of the space station’s Zarya module, carries important hardware on its exterior including a radiator, airlock and a European robotic arm.

Three spacewalks, each lasting six and a half hours, are planned during the mission, notably to install new batteries and a communications antenna on the space station.

When the mission is complete, only two more shuttle launches remain — one each for Discovery and Endeavour — before the aging fleet is mothballed at the end of the year.

Once the three shuttles are retired, the United States will rely on Russia’s three-seater Soyuz spacecraft to take astronauts to the station until a new fleet of commercial space taxis is operational.

President Barack Obama effectively abandoned in February plans laid down by his predecessor George W. Bush to send astronauts back to the moon by 2020 and perhaps on to Mars with a new generation of rocket and spacecraft.

Constrained by soaring deficits, Obama submitted a budget to Congress that encouraged NASA to focus instead on developing commercial transport alternatives to ferry astronauts to the ISS after the shuttle program ends.

Nonetheless, Obama set a bold new course in April for the future of US space travel, laying out a vision to send American astronauts into Mars orbit within the next three decades.

The ISS, a joint project involving 16 countries, has cost around 100 billion dollars, mostly funded by the United States.

Source: SGGP

Paying last tribute to a veteran revolutionary and journalist

In Uncategorized on May 11, 2010 at 12:47 pm

Veteran revolutionary and journalist Ky Phuong (also known by the the alternative pseudonym, Tran Phong) passed away on May 10 in Ho Chi Minh City at the ripe old age of 90.

Veteran revolutionary and journalist Ky Phuong (also known by the the alternative pseudonym, Tran Phong) (L) and journalist Tran Tam Chi of the Giai Phong (Liberation) Newspaper.

The journalist worked in the newspaper industry for over half a century. He served as editor-in-chief of newspapers Cuu Quoc (National Salvation) and Giai Phong (Liberation).

Journalist Ky Phuong (or Tran Phuong), whose real name is Le Van Thom, was born in the Mekong Delta city of My Tho in 1921.

He joined in the revolutionary movement against French colonial rule in 1940 in the My Tho and Ben Tre Provinces.

He was admitted to the Indochinese Communist Party in 1945.

Mr. Phuong undertook an assignment in Hanoi in 1946 and traveled to Beijing, China where he studied at the Marx-Lenin Institute from 1949 to 1952.

He served as editor-in-chief of the newspaper Cuu Quoc (National Salvation) in the North in 1958.
In early 1964, the revolutionist came back the South and founded the newspaper Giai Phong (Liberation)
After the National Reunification Day on April 30, 1975, he became an assistant to the editorial boards of three newspapers including Tin Sang (Morning news) and the Buddhist publications Giac Ngo, and Cong Giao va Dan Toc (Catholicism and Nation).

He also headed the Municipal Party Committee’s Public Relations Board and served as secretary general of the Vietnam Buddhist Institute of  HCM City.

His service to the country is a shining example that modern Vietnamese journalists may follow.

Source: SGGP

UK leaders in frantic last minute polls push

In Uncategorized on May 5, 2010 at 12:41 pm

LONDON (AFP) – Britain’s main party leaders launched a final day of campaigning Wednesday with one poll suggesting that almost four in 10 voters in the cliffhanger general election had yet to decide who to back.

And with a succession of opinion polls giving the opposition Conservatives only a narrow lead going into Thursday’s voting, the scene was set for a dramatic finish to what has been the closest election battle for a generation.

A customer looks at information screens displaying the odds on the result of this week’s general election in a bookmakers in central London. AFP photo

The party leaders were to crisscross the country on a frantic last day of campaigning.

David Cameron, whose Conservative party are ahead in opinion polls, embarked on a 24-hour battlebus tour in a bid to fulfil a commitment to visit every part of Britain.

Cameron’s all-night campaigning push ahead of the vote takes him through northern and central England, into Wales, before finishing in the city of Bristol, southwest England.

“We are going at it all night, all day, all next day, all the way through to polling day,” he said at a rally in Renfrewshire, Scotland, Tuesday.

“That is how we are going to win the election.”

The Conservatives are fighting to oust the ruling Labour Party after 13 years in power.

But the strong poll lead they enjoyed several months ago has now been whittled down to a few points.

Most surveys indicate they would not win enough seats in the House of Commons to be able to form a government on their own, leading to a hung parliament.

The latest ComRes poll for ITV News and The Independent newspaper showed no change on the previous day, with the Tories on 37 percent, Labour on 29 and the Liberal Democrats 26.

But it also indicated that nearly four in 10 voters had not yet made up their mind who to back, suggesting all was still to play for.

Gordon Brown, fighting to secure a historic fourth term in office for Labour, was to travel through northern England and Scotland Wednesday.

At a campaign rally late Tuesday in Manchester, northwest England, Brown appealed to voters to “come home” to the party.

“When the last 48 hours of this campaign has passed, in that one minute in the polling booth vote for the kind of country you believe in, and come home to Labour,” he said.

But there were mixed messages from Labour over the issue of tactical voting.

Cabinet ministers Ed Balls and Peter Hain signalled Labour supporters should cast their ballots for Nick Clegg’s centrist Liberal Democrats in seats where it was a tight race between the Lib Dems and the Tories.

Tactical voting in the swing constituencies, which essentially decide the results of British elections, could keep the Conservatives out of power, they suggested.

“Of course I want the Labour candidate to win but I understand people’s concerns about letting the Conservatives in,” said Balls, who is education minister.

He also urged Lib Dem supporters to “bite their lip” and vote for Labour in seats where it was a tight race between the governing party and the Conservatives, in comments to the New Statesman magazine.

But Labour campaign coordinator, Douglas Alexander, appeared to disagree with his colleague, warning: “If you vote for the Liberal Democrats you could wake up on Friday morning and see a Conservative-led government, including Liberal Democrats.”

Clegg dismissed talk of tactical voting as “another sign of Labour’s desperation.”

His party has enjoyed a surge of support in the election campaign on the back of his performance in TV debates, and he is anxious to avoid tactical voting, fearing it could dent his party’s share of the popular vote.

This would damage his negotiating power in the event of a hung parliament, with commentators suggesting he could hold the balance of power.

On the campaign trail in Glasgow, Scotland, Clegg urged voters to back his party to usher in a “new kind of politics” — one of his party’s main policies is reform of the voting system towards proportional representation.

“Support us. Support us in our campaign in these vital last crucial hours of the election campaign and deliver the fairness, the difference, the real change that I think Glasgow and Britain deserve.”

Source: SGGP

Last of collapsed Highway 91 section falls into river

In Uncategorized on March 24, 2010 at 3:20 pm

The remainder of a 70-meter long section of Highway 91 in An Giang Province, which collapsed into the Hau River on March 22, has now also fallen into the water.

Residents living along Highway 91 in Binh My Commune, Chau Phu District, An Giang Province evacuate their homes after a section of the roadway suddenly fell into the Hau River March 22-23 (Photo: SGGP)

A severe landslide occurred on March 22, narrowing the road’s surface from 11 meters wide earlier, to just one meter. On the afternoon of March 23, the last of the section fell away, forcing all vehicles to travel along other routes to the southwest border of Vietnam.

Officials have fenced off two sides of the damaged road to prevent people and vehicles from traveling through.

Hundreds of people including workers from the Road Management Zone 7 and reserve army forces have been mobilized to help evacuate over 100 households living along 370 meters of the highway and 60 meters inland from where the collapse occurred.

Facing the same situation, resident Bui Trung Tin said that he saved for many years to build a new home, which he lived in for just one year, and was heartbroken to see it being torn down to make room for the new detour road.

All he can do now is waiting for assistance from local authorities, he said.

Nguyen Van Tuoi, deputy chairman of the Chau Phu District People’s Committee said that several measures have been proposed to help the evacuated residents relocate.

Under one proposal, each household would receive compensation for their property and VND40 million (US$2,000) to resettle elsewhere, he said.

A second proposal suggests that authorities help residents move to nearby Binh Thuy Commune or near Cay Duong Market in Binh My Commune, 500 meters from where the landslide occurred.

After clearing the site, officials will meet with residents to choose the best relocation solution.

Vehicles forced to detour

Highway 91 is the main road for travel from HCMC, Can Tho City, Kien Giang and Long Xuyen provinces to the southwest border districts of An Giang like Chau Doc, Tinh Bien and An Phu.

Officials have been directing thousands of vehicles traveling on the highway to Chau Doc District to take alternative routes.

Small vehicles can also take an old route via the Nang Gu Ferry.

Large vehicles have been advised to take provincial road 941, 50 kilometers farther to Chau Doc District than if traveling on Highway 91.

Road 941 is also more dangerous and narrow with many severely downgraded bridges that can only accommodate 8-10 ton vehicles.

Nguyen Thanh Tam, director of An Giang Province’s Department of Transport said that despite the increased risk, his department could do nothing to stop vehicles from traveling on road 941.

To ensure safety, he said the department has mobilized traffic inspectors and police to closely monitor vehicles along the road, especially at weak bridges to prevent overloaded busses and trucks from passing through.

Highway out for 3 days minimum

At a meeting between the An Giang Province People’s Committee, Road Management Zone 7, and relevant authorities on March 23, officials agreed to complete site clearance to open a detour next to the landslide site by March 26.

The Road Management Zone 7 earlier planned to build a 180-meter long iron bridge so that small vehicles could travel through the area.

However, according to a survey by the provincial Department of Natural Resources and Environment, this is not feasible as an additional 400 meters of the riverbank are still in danger of collapsing into the Hau River.

The only suitable measure thus far has been to clear away residents’ homes in the area to re-connect the highway.

According to authorities, the highway section fell away due to land erosion caused by three river eddies, measuring 18-20 meters deep.

The Department of Natural Resources and Environment has said it will carry out research into preventing the eddies from causing further damage.

Related article:
Mekong Delta highway section collapses into river

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

China beat Vietnam in their last Asian Cup qualifier

In Vietnam Sports on January 18, 2010 at 2:59 pm

China defeated 10-men Vietnam 2-1 Sunday in the final game of their Asian Cup qualifying campaign at My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi.

The Chinese, who were already qualified for next year’s Asian Cup in Qatar, scored twice in the first half during the moments the hosts lost concentration. Yang Xu fired for China in a middle of disorders in the 34th minute, and Zhang Linpeng beat Vietnam keeper Quang Huy with a cannon shot two minutes before the break.

Vietnam midfielder Pham Thanh Luong (L) competes for the ball against a China player in their Asian Cup qualifier in Hanoi Jan. 17 (Photo: SGGP)

Before the first goal, Vietnam midfield Phan Thanh Hung, a player from the U-23 team, challenged China keeper and captain Yang Zhi with a strong shot but Yang denied. 

Ten minutes after the break, Vietnam striker Nguyen Viet Thang was sent off with a red card due to his fault. However, the hosts started to play aggressively.

Midfielder Pham Thanh Luong, a shuttle in the home side, brought to the hosts a penalty in the 72nd minute. Striker Le Cong Vinh converted it to reduce the gap.

From that moment, Henrique Calisto’s 10-men side played rapidly and more aggressively. Both Luong and Vinh got some chances but failed to convert. Just a few minutes after the final whistle, China keeper Yang made a great save when denying a strong shot from midfielder Nguyen Trong Hoang, another player from the U-23 team of Vietnam.

China coach Gao Hongbo said after the game, “Complacency hit my players in the second-half after we built up a two-goal lead.”

“The offensive and defensive lines couldn’t link with each other for a certain period.

Vietnam coach Calisto said his side did not show enough the necessary confidence and desire to win. He said his team looked scared in some moments.

China and Syria in Group D were qualified for next year’s Asian Cup in Qatar, while Vietnam and Lebanon said goodbye.

In the 2007 Asian Cup co-hosted by Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, the Vietnamese were among the last eight teams.

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share