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Ministry bans online games, limits Internet access

In Uncategorized on July 30, 2010 at 7:19 pm




Ministry bans online games, limits Internet access


QĐND – Friday, July 30, 2010, 20:55 (GMT+7)

The Ministry of Information and Communications has decided to temporarily stop licensing online games, ban advertisements of online games, and cut off internet access to shops that offer free use of PCs from 11pm to 6am. 


Minister Le Doan Hop announced the decision at a meeting on July 28 with related departments, said Luu Vu Hai, director of the ministry’s Electronic Information and Broadcasting Department. 


The decision would be valid until the end of this year, by which time the ministry expected the Government to approve draft regulations on online games, Hai said. 


The crackdown on online games follows a public outcry about their negative influences on the youth. Local reports have blamed an increase in juvenile crime and school truancy on the influence of and addiction to online games. 


The country has 22 licensed gaming companies and 93 games, of which 18 companies with 76 games are operating now. 


A recent survey conducted by the Ministry of Education and Training showed 70 and 76 per cent of primary school children playing online games on weekdays in Hanoi and HCM City, respectively. During the weekends, 100 percent of the respondents said they played online games. 


Minister Hop also mentioned long-term solutions, saying the Government should work on laws to ensure information security and supervise information provided on the internet. 


He also said the ministry should cooperate with the Public Security Ministry to manage internet usage with electronic IDs. 


Source: VOV


Source: QDND

Russia-Ukraine summit may show limits of friendship

In Uncategorized on May 15, 2010 at 12:57 pm

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has stunned many with his embrace of the Kremlin, but analysts say he will resist falling deeper into Moscow’s orbit when he meets his Russian counterpart this week.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (L) and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych speak at a news conference after they signed documents in Kharkiv on April 21.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is set to visit Kiev on Monday and Tuesday for talks with Yanukovych, and his trip has raised fears among the pro-Western opposition that Moscow will expand its influence in Ukraine.


Last month, Yanukovych outraged opposition parties by signing a deal with Medvedev that allows Russia to maintain a naval base on Ukraine’s Crimea Peninsula until at least 2042 in exchange for cheaper natural gas.


The deal sparked chaos in Ukraine’s parliament as opposition lawmakers threw eggs and smoke bombs and brawled with their pro-Yanukovych counterparts during the session in which the naval base agreement was ratified.


The head of Ukraine’s largest opposition party, Yulia Tymoshenko, has warned that Yanukovych’s policies will undermine the sovereignty of Ukraine, which won independence in 1991 after being ruled by Moscow for centuries.


But analysts say such concerns are overblown, and Yanukovych has sought in recent days to allay fears that he plans to give up Ukraine’s most prized assets to Russia.


In fact, the Yanukovych team is likely to start balancing its pro-Russian foreign policy with outreach to the European Union, predicted Nico Lange, director of the Kiev office of Germany’s conservative think tank Konrad Adenauer Foundation.


“It is not in their interest to hand Ukraine completely over to Russia,” Lange said. “Their idea is to play with both sides and get some gains for Ukraine.”


On Friday, Yanukovych rejected as “impossible” one of the most contentious proposals for Russian-Ukrainian cooperation — the idea of merging Ukraine’s state gas firm Naftogaz with Russian energy giant Gazprom.


The idea of a tie-up between Naftogaz and the much larger Gazprom was suggested last month by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, in comments that apparently caught Ukrainian officials off guard.


Last week, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Klyuyev said no energy agreements would be signed during Medvedev’s visit.


But the two ex-Soviet neighbours are still set to sign five agreements during Medvedev’s visit, including a potentially controversial deal on demarcating the Russian-Ukrainian border.


Opposition leader Tymoshenko has warned the border deal may lead to Ukraine giving up offshore oil and gas deposits in the Azov Sea as well as the island of Tuzla, the subject of previous Russian-Ukrainian border disputes.


Any surrender of territory to Russia would be a “sensation” and would give more ammunition to Ukraine’s pro-Western opposition, said Volodymyr Fesenko, head of the Penta centre for political research in Kiev.


“If this happens, it will clearly lead to a new wave of accusations, because now we won’t be talking about abstract and symbolic losses like the presence of the Black Sea Fleet, but actual losses of territory,” Fesenko said.


However the head of Yanukovych’s administration, Sergei Liovochkin, said last week there would be “nothing anti-Ukrainian or revolutionary” in the agreements signed during Medvedev’s visit.


Besides the border deal, Moscow and Kiev are to sign agreements on GLONASS, a space-based navigation system that Russia is promoting as a rival to the United States’ GPS, as well as in banking, science and culture.


Medvedev and Yanukovych will pay a symbolic joint visit to the Kiev Caves Monastery, one of the holiest sites in the Orthodox Christian faith shared by Russia and Ukraine, the Kremlin said in a statement ahead of Medvedev’s visit.


The Kremlin said it expected Medvedev’s visit to build on the “serious positive changes” that Russian-Ukrainian ties have enjoyed since Yanukovych’s inauguration less than three months ago.


Yanukovych was elected president in February, replacing Viktor Yushchenko, a pro-Western politician who had chilly relations with Russia.

Source: SGGP

New US policy limits role of nuclear arsenal

In Uncategorized on April 7, 2010 at 9:40 am

The United States unveiled new limits on the nation’s nuclear arsenal Tuesday, saying it would only use atomic weapons in “extreme circumstances” and would not attack non-nuclear states.


In a policy shift, the United States said for the first time that countries without atomic weapons that complied with non-proliferation treaty obligations need not fear a US nuclear attack.


But

US President Barack Obama

warned exceptions could be made for “outliers” such as Iran and North Korea, both accused of flouting UN resolutions.


“Indeed, the United States wishes to stress that it would only consider the use of nuclear weapons in extreme circumstances to defend the vital interests of the United States or its allies and partners,” a new policy document said.


The Nuclear Posture Review released Tuesday also described “nuclear terrorism” as an immediate and extreme threat, with efforts to prevent the spread of atomic weapons given top priority.


US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described the threat of nuclear terrorism as “very real” and said networks around the world were trying to obtain access to radiological materials.


Obama’s new policy rules out building new nuclear weapons or carrying out tests, but calls for setting aside billions of dollars to “modernize” existing US weaponry.


The overhaul comes two days before he is due to sign a treaty with Russia to slash stockpiles of long-range nuclear warheads by a third, and less than a week before he hosts world leaders at a nuclear summit.


Obama has committed the United States to a series of nuclear arms cuts in a bid to bolster efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.


For next week’s summit, Obama called on world leaders to commit to securing all “vulnerable nuclear materials” around the world within the next four years.


The United States has never renounced the “first use” of nuclear weapons, and Obama’s policy stops short of calls by arms control activists to explicitly limit their role to deterrence of other nuclear-armed states or terror groups.


The issue over “first use” divided Obama’s deputies, but Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the administration had decided to keep its options open.


“There was agreement within the administration that we didn’t think we were far enough along the road toward getting control of nuclear weapons around the world to limit ourselves so explicitly,” he told reporters.


Gates said the review sent a firm message to countries such as Iran or North Korea that refuse to abide by UN authority.


“If you’re not going to play by the rules, if you’re going to be a proliferator, then all options are on the table in terms of how we deal with you,” he said.


While limiting the possible use of nuclear weapons, the policy review also warned of a “devastating conventional military response” in the event of a chemical or biological attack on the United States.


The policy review met with criticism in Washington from both left and right, with hawks accusing Obama of undermining US military power and liberals urging bolder action and bigger arms cuts.Related article:US nuclear guidelines ‘significant policy shift’:analysts


German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle called the new policy a “courageous step” towards disarmament, saying it offered hope for further cuts to US tactical nuclear weapons in Europe.

Obama promised in a speech in Prague a year ago to work toward a world without nuclear weapons.

In an interview with The New York Times, Obama said that despite ruling out a US nuclear attack in some cases, he retained “all the tools that are necessary in order to make sure that the American people are safe and secure.”

He said he wanted to ensure the US approach to nuclear weapons was clear to the rest of the world, including Iran and North Korea.

“And I do think that when you?re looking at outliers like Iran or North Korea, they should see that over the course of the last year and a half, we have been executing a policy that will increasingly isolate them so long as they are orating outside of accepted international norms.”

US nuclear forces on land and at sea will stay on full-time alert under the new policy, but Gates said efforts would be made to improve the “command and control system” to give the president more time to make a decision in a nuclear crisis.

Source: SGGP

New US policy limits role of nuclear arsenal

In Uncategorized on April 7, 2010 at 9:40 am

The United States unveiled new limits on the nation’s nuclear arsenal Tuesday, saying it would only use atomic weapons in “extreme circumstances” and would not attack non-nuclear states.


In a policy shift, the United States said for the first time that countries without atomic weapons that complied with non-proliferation treaty obligations need not fear a US nuclear attack.


But

US President Barack Obama

warned exceptions could be made for “outliers” such as Iran and North Korea, both accused of flouting UN resolutions.


“Indeed, the United States wishes to stress that it would only consider the use of nuclear weapons in extreme circumstances to defend the vital interests of the United States or its allies and partners,” a new policy document said.


The Nuclear Posture Review released Tuesday also described “nuclear terrorism” as an immediate and extreme threat, with efforts to prevent the spread of atomic weapons given top priority.


US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described the threat of nuclear terrorism as “very real” and said networks around the world were trying to obtain access to radiological materials.


Obama’s new policy rules out building new nuclear weapons or carrying out tests, but calls for setting aside billions of dollars to “modernize” existing US weaponry.


The overhaul comes two days before he is due to sign a treaty with Russia to slash stockpiles of long-range nuclear warheads by a third, and less than a week before he hosts world leaders at a nuclear summit.


Obama has committed the United States to a series of nuclear arms cuts in a bid to bolster efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.


For next week’s summit, Obama called on world leaders to commit to securing all “vulnerable nuclear materials” around the world within the next four years.


The United States has never renounced the “first use” of nuclear weapons, and Obama’s policy stops short of calls by arms control activists to explicitly limit their role to deterrence of other nuclear-armed states or terror groups.


The issue over “first use” divided Obama’s deputies, but Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the administration had decided to keep its options open.


“There was agreement within the administration that we didn’t think we were far enough along the road toward getting control of nuclear weapons around the world to limit ourselves so explicitly,” he told reporters.


Gates said the review sent a firm message to countries such as Iran or North Korea that refuse to abide by UN authority.


“If you’re not going to play by the rules, if you’re going to be a proliferator, then all options are on the table in terms of how we deal with you,” he said.


While limiting the possible use of nuclear weapons, the policy review also warned of a “devastating conventional military response” in the event of a chemical or biological attack on the United States.


The policy review met with criticism in Washington from both left and right, with hawks accusing Obama of undermining US military power and liberals urging bolder action and bigger arms cuts.Related article:US nuclear guidelines ‘significant policy shift’:analysts


German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle called the new policy a “courageous step” towards disarmament, saying it offered hope for further cuts to US tactical nuclear weapons in Europe.

Obama promised in a speech in Prague a year ago to work toward a world without nuclear weapons.

In an interview with The New York Times, Obama said that despite ruling out a US nuclear attack in some cases, he retained “all the tools that are necessary in order to make sure that the American people are safe and secure.”

He said he wanted to ensure the US approach to nuclear weapons was clear to the rest of the world, including Iran and North Korea.

“And I do think that when you?re looking at outliers like Iran or North Korea, they should see that over the course of the last year and a half, we have been executing a policy that will increasingly isolate them so long as they are orating outside of accepted international norms.”

US nuclear forces on land and at sea will stay on full-time alert under the new policy, but Gates said efforts would be made to improve the “command and control system” to give the president more time to make a decision in a nuclear crisis.

Source: SGGP

State bank limits commercial banks to two branches

In Uncategorized on March 24, 2010 at 6:20 am

Commercial banks in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, which have from two or more branches in each city, will temporarily not be allowed to open new affiliates, the State Bank of Vietnam has said.








A branch of Asia Commercial Bank in HCMC. Commercial banks are just allowed to open a maximum of two branches.

In a document on the establishment of transaction offices, branches and transaction departments of commercial banks in 2010, the State Bank said each commercial bank would initially be permitted to open a maximum of two branches.


The State Bank, however, would consider allowing commercial banks to establish more branches once their established affiliates operate well.


To establish transaction departments, commercial banks must have yielded profits, conformed to government standards, classified debts and established risk funds.


According to the document, transaction offices and branches would be allowed to open transaction departments after they have operated profitably for at least one year.


In addition, their bad debt ratio must be lower than 3 percent compared with the total liability at the time they apply to open new transaction departments.


Transaction offices or branches of commercial banks would be able to open only one transaction department at a time, according to the State Bank.





Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

Ministry sets safe melamine limits in food

In Uncategorized on December 17, 2008 at 3:42 pm

Hanoi (VNA)- The Ministry of Health made an announcement on Dec 16 regarding safe levels of melamine in food, based on the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) standards.

The safety limits have been set at 1.0 mg per kg of food for infants under 36 months of age and 2.5 mg per kilo for other foodstuffs.

These limits were set in response to the WHO’s Dec. 12 declaration on safe limits of melamine in food, which could be present through accidentally coming into contact with foodstuffs through plastic packaging or indirect contact. The ministry consulted leading national experts to set the safety limits.

The limits will be adjusted if the WHO and the UN World Food Organisation (FAO) announce additional scientific findings regarding melamine or other chemical substances, said the ministry.

In addition, the Health Ministry has placed a strict ban on adding melamine to food under any conditions.

The ministry reported that over 400,000 tonnes of melamine-tainted dairy products have recently been confiscated, of which more than 17,000 tonnes were destroyed and 13 tonnes re-exported. Following the announcement of the safe limits, some 104 tonnes of confiscated food of clear origin with permitted contamination rates were released.

Tests have been conducted on 1,226 samples, of which 32 proved positive for melamine and 1,234 negative.

All this has contributed to a safer milk market for consumers, where dairy products of unclear origin are no longer found, said the Health Ministry.–

Ministry sets melamine limits

In Uncategorized on December 15, 2008 at 4:32 pm


Hanoi (VNA) – The Ministry of Health issued regulations governing the maximum amount of naturally – occurring or cross – contaminated melamine allowed in food on Dec. 12, a week after the World Health Organisation (WHO) set its tolerable daily intake for the chemical.

The regulation prohibits adding melamine to food in any form or content and for any purpose.

The limit is not more than 1 milligramme for each kilo of food for children less than three years old and not more than 2.5mg for each kilo of other food.

The limit will be changed if more scientific evidence about the toxicity of melamine and related substances is provided by WHO and the Food and Agriculture Organisation.

It applies to all organisations and individuals in Vietnam who produce, manufacture, trade, import and export food.

Vietnam Food Administration director Nguyen Cong Khan said the maximum allowable contamination was not a safety limit but a limit people could tolerate.

The regulation will come into effect as of Saturday, Dec. 27.

WHO announced that the tolerable daily intake for melamine should be limited to 0.2mg per kilogramme of body weight on Dec. 5.

This means a person of 50kg can tolerate up to 10mg of melamine a day.
Although WHO emphasised that melamine is a contaminant that should not be in food, its presence is sometimes unavoidable.-