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Posts Tagged ‘latest’

Best-selling writer releases latest work

In Uncategorized on November 15, 2010 at 7:24 am

Latest jobs data is blow to Obama as elections loom

In Uncategorized on August 7, 2010 at 11:21 am

WASHINGTON, Aug 6, 2010 (AFP) – The latest grim data on unemployment has dealt a new blow to President Barack Obama as he struggles to maintain his party’s majority in Congress in November elections.


Obama, who has been hurt by the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, has been scrambling to highlight his economic management in helping lift the US economy out of its worst slump in decades.


But the latest data released Friday showed the recovery is sputtering: A Labor Department report showed 131,000 jobs were lost in July and the unemployment rate remained stuck at 9.5 percent, which is better than the worst levels this year but still painfully high.

(AFP file) A man uses a computer to fill out paperwork at an employment centre in Oakland, California.

The private sector created a modest 71,000 jobs for the month, which was not enough to offset the massive government layoff of 143,000 census-takers.


Overall economic growth slowed to a pace of 2.4 percent in the second quarter of 2010, and other economic indicators are soft, even though Obama points to four quarters of economic growth.


The White House has dismissed the likelihood of a double-dip recession but some economists warm of a Japanese-style economic stagnation.


Obama tried to put the best face on the most recent employment figures.


“Climbing out of any recession, much less a hole as deep as this one takes some time. The road to recovery doesn’t follow a straight line. Some sectors bounce back faster than others,” Obama said.


Obama said the data showed jobs growing in the private sector for seven consecutive months.


“That’s a good sign. Meanwhile our manufacturing sector that’s been hit hard for as long as folks can remember has added 183,000 jobs this year. That’s the most robust seven months of manufacturing growth in over a decade,” he said.


“But for America’s workers, families, and small businesses, progress needs to come faster. Our job is to make sure that happens.”


Obama said the latest figures underscored the need for final passage of a bill aimed at saving 160,000 teaching jobs, which has cleared the Senate, and for other measures favoring small business.


“We need to decide whether we’re willing to do what it takes to keep this economy moving in the right direction… but also to secure a clean energy future and accelerate our recovery and rebuild our economy around three simple words, ‘made in America.'”


But Republicans are waging their own campaign and blaming Obama for wasting a large part of the big 787 billion dollars in stimulus funding approved a year ago. It remains unclear whether the opposition party will be able to block any new stimulus efforts sought by the White House.


With the recovery appearing to falter, two key members of the Obama economic team are on their way out. Budget director Peter Orszag announced his departure in June and top economic aide Christina Romer said on Thursday she would return to teaching.


Obama continues to press his case, hitting the road to tout the rebound in the US auto sector, the finance reform and the huge health care reform measures approved this year.

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Source: SGGP

Farmers reject latest offer from Vedan

In Uncategorized on July 23, 2010 at 11:19 am

The Ho Chi Minh City Farmers’ Association and related departments agreed July 22 that the VND16 billion (US$800,000) offered by Taiwanese MSG producer Vedan was inadequate compensation for economic damages the company caused to farmers in Can Gio District.


The association also said that it would continue to help famers file a lawsuit against Vedan, which discharged untreated wastewater into the Thi Vai River two years ago.


Vedan continued to haggle over compensation rates to be paid to farmers in the district, in a meeting on July 22 with the association, Can Gio District People’s Committee and the Institute for Environment and Natural Resources.


At the meeting, association chairman Nguyen Van Phung asked Vedan whether they would pay VND45.7 billion ($2.3 million), the amount demanded by the farmers.


Vedan said that it would only agree to payouts from VND12 – 20 billion ($600,000 – $1 million).


By the end of the meeting, Vedan offered VND16 billion ($800,000), which was rejected by the association.

Related articles:
Vedan continues bargaining over compensation for farmers
HCMC farmer association proposes advance of $116,000 to sue Vedan


 

Source: SGGP

US slams BP, but awaits latest bid to plug oil leak

In Uncategorized on May 25, 2010 at 5:20 am

Latest heat wave overwhelms country

In Uncategorized on May 17, 2010 at 9:04 am

Meteorologists say it is going to be especially hot in Vietnam again this week, as a new hot spell from the west is due to move through the country, beginning Monday.

Motorists cover up in the sweltering weather (Filed Photo: DanTri)

The National Hydro Meteorological Forecast Center predicts that common temperatures in the northern and central regions will hit 33-38 Celsius degrees. At some places, temperatures are expected soar above 40 degrees, during peak hours.


The northern region will likely see thunderstorms and whirlwinds intersperse with periods of grueling heat.


The recent heat has affected the entire country, including the Central Highlands and southern provinces.  Highest temperatures in the southern region would touch 34-37 Celsius degrees.


In the Central Highlands, the weather should hover around 33-36 degrees together with showers, which should occur in the late afternoons.

Source: SGGP

NKorea vows ‘nuclear strikes’ in latest threat

In Uncategorized on March 26, 2010 at 10:23 am

North Korea’s military warned South Korea and the United States on Friday of “unprecedented nuclear strikes” as it expressed anger over a report the two countries plan to prepare for possible instability in the totalitarian country, a scenario it dismissed as a “pipe dream.”


The North routinely issues such warnings. Diplomats in South Korea and the U.S. have repeatedly called on Pyongyang to return to international negotiations aimed at ending its nuclear programs.


“Those who seek to bring down the system in the (North), whether they play a main role or a passive role, will fall victim to the unprecedented nuclear strikes of the invincible army,” North Korea‘s military said in comments carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.


The North, believed have enough weaponized plutonium for at least half a dozen atomic bombs, conducted its second atomic test last year, drawing tighter U.N. sanctions.

A South Korean elderly man watches a documentary picture showing U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur, commander in chief of U.N. forces in the Korean War, second from right, at a photo exhibition of Korean War (1950-1953) in Seoul, South Korea.

Experts from South Korea, the U.S. and China will meet in China next month to share information on North Korea, assess possible contingencies in the country, and consider ways to cooperate in case of an emergency situation, South Korea’s Dong-a Ilbo newspaper reported earlier this month, citing unidentified sources in Seoul and Beijing. The experts will also hold follow-up meetings in Seoul in June and in Honolulu in July, it said.


The North Korean statement Friday specifically referred to the March 19 newspaper report.


A spokeswoman said the South Korean Defense Ministry had no information.


South Korean media have reported that Seoul has drawn up a military operations plan with the United States to cope with possible emergencies in the North. The North says the U.S. plots to topple its regime, a claim Washington has consistently denied.


Last month, the North also threatened a “powerful — even nuclear — attack,” if the U.S. and South Korea went ahead with annual military drills. There was no military provocation from North Korea during the exercises.


China, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the U.S. have been trying to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons in six party talks. The North quit the negotiations last year.


The fate of the North’s nuclear weapons has taken on added urgency since late 2008 as concerns over the health of leader Kim Jong Il have intensified.


Kim, who suffered an apparent stroke in 2008, may die within three years, South Korean media have reported. His death is thought to have the potential to trigger instability and a power struggle in the North.


Gen. Walter Sharp, the top U.S. commander in South Korea, says the possibility of turmoil in the North is of real concern, citing the country’s economic weakness, malnourishment in both the military and general population, and its nuclear weapons.


“The possibility of a sudden leadership change in the North could be destabilizing and unpredictable,” he said in testimony before the House Appropriations Committee hearing earlier this week.

Source: SGGP

Mancini won’t write off Robinho despite latest flop

In Vietnam Sports on January 18, 2010 at 2:56 pm

LIVERPOOL, England, Jan 17, 2010 (AFP) – Roberto Mancini is adamant Robinho still has a future at Manchester City despite hauling off the Brazil star soon after sending him on as a substitute in the 2-0 defeat at Everton.


Mancini has only started Robinho once in his five matches since replacing Mark Hughes as City manager and is clearly struggling to find a way to motivate the under-performing former Real Madrid forward.








Roberto Mancini reacts during the English Premier League football match against Blackburn Rovers at The City of Manchester stadium, Manchester on January 11, 2010. AFP PHOTO

Robinho, who cost City a club record 32 million pounds, was at his lacklustre worst after coming on as a first half replacement for Roque Santa Cruz at Goodison Park on Saturday and Mancini showed his disgust by taking him off soon after the interval.


Mancini’s hardline stance failed to spark City into life and they lost for the first time under the former Inter Milan coach, dropping out of the Premier League’s top four in the process.


But Mancini won’t write off Robinho for good and insisted the attacking options at his disposal mean he would always be willing to rotate the team at the expense of even his biggest stars.


“I had (Craig) Bellamy, Benjani (Mwaruwari), (Carlos) Tevez, Robinho – all strikers – so I decided to take one off,” Mancini said. “I needed a different kind of player.


“Is it the end of the line for Robinho? No. He is a good player. Like everyone in the squad he needs to work hard and play well.”


First half goals from South African midfielder Steven Pienaar and French striker Louis Saha, who converted a penalty, gave Everton a deserved victory and dented City’s hopes of clinching a Champions League place.


Mancini admits City need time to adapt to his tactics but he may make a move in the transfer market before the window shuts on February 1.


“I am not a magician. I am a manager and I do not think I can change the situation in a month,” he said. “But I believe we can improve game after game. That is possible. It is a long season.”


Pienaar made the breakthrough in the 36th minute with a free-kick from 20 yards that evaded Shay Given at the goalkeeper’s near post.


Everton stepped up the pace and Saha extended their lead in first-half stoppage time with his 13th goal of a productive season.


He coolly slotted home a penalty after having his shirt tugged outside and inside the box by Micah Richards.


Everton manager David Moyes could not hide his delight at securing the three points after accusing City in his programme notes of “breaking the rules” and having “no class” in their pursuit of Joleon Lescott.


The England defender moved to Eastlands in August following a protracted transfer but sat out the match because of a knee injury.


Moyes said: “I think you enjoy wins when you feel you have not been treated right. I will do that but it has all gone now and I will try and move on.


“I think this performance has been coming. It is getting back to the standard we want to see.


“We have started getting one or two players back. There is a bit more confidence now and a bit of competition for places.”


Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

Celebrating the New Year with the latest art of champagne

In World on December 28, 2009 at 7:48 am

As popping corks announce the New Year, champagne lovers can expect some radical new trends in the art of savouring a tipple that for centuries has been associated with celebration.








Italy’s Asti Spumante sparkling wine is on course to outsell French Champagne as revellers around the world toast in the New Year, a study for an agricultural trade magazine predicted Tuesday. (AFP Photo)

The true connoisseur should ditch the traditional long-stemmed flutes and the saucer-shaped coupes and instead start drinking the sparkling white wine from elongated, tulip-shaped glasses, say the experts.


And those seeking to be truly avant-garde should start serving the finest bubbly from carafes.


Champagne has been associated with luxury and festivities since the time when France crowned its kings in Reims, in the heart of the Champagne region of northeastern France.


By the 19th century, it had become an affordable indulgence and grown enormously popular. Production shot from 300,000 bottles in 1800 to 20 million bottles in 1850, and kept growing. In 2008, 405 million bottles were produced.


But recent trends set in motion by champagne producers hope to remind consumers that champagne is not just a celebratory drink but can also be a very fine wine.


To appreciate its subtleties, proper serving vessels are necessary, a point driven home at the recent Grand Tasting in Paris, the annual fine-wine fair hosted by critics Michel Bettane and Thierry Desseauve.


“We hate the bloody champagne coupe, because we know there is no nose, no aromas, and that’s half the pleasure. We definitely do not recommend it for champagne,” said Philippe Guillon of Riedel, whose glasses were being used at the Grand Tasting.


While they still sell flutes, Guillon sees a move towards a shape reminiscent of a regular wine glass or even the rounder pinot noir glass.


“The glass will affect how the bubbles enter your mouth,” he said.


“If it’s too narrow, the bubbles can be overwhelming. The diameter will play a key role in the perception of the tannins, acidity and bitterness. And the shape will definitely affect the aromas.”


Andreas Larsson, who was voted 2007 Best Sommelier of the World, agreed.


“I think the optimal glass for champagne is a version of the flute with a slightly wider body and narrow opening to enhance flavour and aroma. There’s still a lot of champagne being served in inferior glasses.”


To understand the drive to banish the flute and the coupe, experts point to the complexity of champagne.


“At the heart of champagne is the art of blending,” explained Mathieu Kauffmann, Chef de Cave at Bollinger, before a packed audience at the Grand Tasting.


Kauffmann uses grapes from 40 classified vineyards and 200 different wines. A non-vintage champagne is a blend of at least five vintages taken from the cellars’ vast reserves.


“Given the climate, we cannot assure the house style each year without reserves,” he said, adding that reserve wines, stored in magnums, are bottled separately both by vineyard and grape variety to enable precision blending.


“My objective is to create a complex, aromatic, and balanced vinous champagne that will go with an entire dinner and age well.”


Believing that both the flute and the coupe fall flat in the face of such intricacy, the big-name champagne producers Moet et Chandon, Veuve Clicquot, Piper Heidsieck and Bollinger have created custom glasses.


“We tested 30 different glasses,” said Kauffmann. “We tried it with each cuvee and wanted a glass that would also adapt to a great vintage. Our glass is a cross between a flute and a classic wine glass.”


New glasses should be a relatively easy sell, but another new trend in the art of champagne drinking has already sparked controversy.


“The debate is more about decanting, to put it in a carafe or not,” said Kauffmann. “I must admit, I was sceptical at first but we did some very interesting experiments.”


Philippe Jamesse, Head Sommelier at Les Crayeres, a three-star Michelin restaurant in Reims, comes down firmly against carafing champagne. He is unwilling to sacrifice bubbles for aromas.


“Effervescence is an important aspect of champagne. The chefs de cave take such care and the quality of a champagne is directly related to the quality of the bubbles,” he said.


He offered a third solution: “I designed two glasses that allow me to avoid carafing the champagne. Both versions widen at the middle and narrow at the top.”


Others feel the carafe offers real possibilities.


“First, it will open up better. It is a wine, we should not forget,” said Guillon.


“And second, if I were going to have a champagne dinner, putting it in a decanter will remove part of the effervescence, which will make it easier to digest.”


Larsson took a more nuanced approach.


“Consider a gentle decanting beneficial when you enjoy a young, high-quality champagne which is still in a closed phase, just like you would decant a young Burgundy.


“However, for older ones, there’s a risk of overly-oxidizing the champagne and losing too much of the bubbles,” he said.


At least one champagne house has positioned itself with the trendsetters. This holiday season, Charles Heidsieck proposes a hand-blown, lyre-shaped decanter for their prestige cuvee, the 1995 vintage Blanc de Millenaires.


This, it believes, will let the wine “express itself fully and reveal its extraordinary aromatic complexity.”


Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

Polanski arrest puts latest film `Ghost’ on hold

In World on September 29, 2009 at 6:54 am

Roman Polanski’s arrest in Switzerland has left his latest film in limbo, with several months of work before the political thriller is ready for theaters.


Polanski’s agent, International Creative Management chief Jeff Berg, said Polanski had completed much of the editing on “The Ghost.” But other post-production work, including music scoring and sound mixing, had yet to be done, Berg said.


Based on the provocative novel by Robert Harris, “The Ghost” stars Pierce Brosnan as fictional former British leader Adam Lang and Ewan McGregor as a ghostwriter hired to help complete his memoirs. The cast includes Kim Cattrall, Tom Wilkinson, Olivia Williams and James Belushi.








In this Monday, Sept. 29, 2008, file photo, Polish director Roman Polanski is seen in Oberhausen, Germany.

The novel caused a stir in Britain for Lang’s resemblance to former Prime Minister Tony Blair. Like Blair, Lang is a once-popular leader brought down by his allegiance with the United States in the war on terror.


While the film does not yet have a U.S. deal, it has distribution in many overseas territories, among them Germany, where it was shot early this year, and France, where Polanski lives. He fled America in 1978 after pleading guilty to having unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl in Los Angeles.


Polanski was arrested over the weekend in Zurich, where he had traveled to receive a lifetime achievement award from a film festival. His lawyer said Polanski will fight U.S. attempts to have him returned to the United States.


“The Ghost” is the first Polanski movie with a U.S. setting since 1974’s “Chinatown.” Locations in Germany had to stand in for the story’s New England settings.


“There’s a lot of psychological intrigue in the story, as well as espionage and politics, and most of the action takes place in an oceanfront house during the middle of winter — all of it classic Polanski territory,” Harris said when the film was announced in 2007.


Berg said Polanski usually finishes his films before lining up U.S. distribution, so the completed movie can be shopped around.


“There is always interest in movies that Roman distributes,” Berg said. “It should be accepted on its own merits, but we feel highly confident we’ll find proper distribution.”


Polanski’s films include the horror hit “Rosemary’s Baby,” the costume drama “Tess” and the Holocaust saga “The Pianist,” which earned him the 2002 Academy Award for best director.


A Holocaust survivor himself, Polanski has endured other dire trauma, including the murder of his pregnant wife, actress Sharon Tate, by followers of cult figure Charles Manson in 1969.


With Polanski jailed, it’s unknown when work might resume on “The Ghost.” Berg said he is confident Polanski will put his legal troubles behind him and finish the film.


“I’m always optimistic when it comes to Roman,” Berg said. “He’s strong, and he has survived every situation imaginable.”


Source: SGGP