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Ouattara offers unity government if Gbagbo steps down

In Uncategorized on January 12, 2011 at 7:07 am

Ivory Coast presidential claimant Alassane Ouattara would form a unity government with members of incumbent Laurent Gbagbo’s party, as long as Gbagbo steps down first, the country’s ambassador to the United Nations said.


World powers and African states have heaped pressure on Gbagbo to cede the presidency to Ouattara after the provisional results of a November 28 election showed Ouattara won with an 8 percentage point margin.


Gbagbo “has followers, he has competent people in his party. Those people, we are prepared to work with them in the framework of a wide composite cabinet,” said Ivory Coast’s U.N. envoy Youssoufou Bamba in an interview with the BBC’s HARDtalk television news program.

File photo of Ivory Coast’s internationally recognised leader Alassane Ouattara at the Golf hotel in Abidjan

But he said the formation of a unity government was only possible if Gbagbo stepped down first.


“What I am saying is Mr. Ouattara should be recognized by Mr. Gbagbo that he is the legitimate president,” he said in the interview, a transcript of which was released by the BBC on Monday.


The proposal comes amid mounting pressure on Gbagbo, who has ruled the world’s top cocoa producer since 2000, to leave power and end a standoff that has killed more than 200 people and threatens to rekindle a civil war.


West African regional bloc ECOWAS has threatened Gbagbo with force if he does not leave power, while the United States and the European Union have imposed travel bans on Gbagbo and his inner circle.


SANCTIONS CALL


In an effort to add pressure, Ouattara’s government on Monday listed 16 Ivorian treasury, banking and cocoa officials it wants sanctioned for backing Gbagbo.


“The government of (Prime Minister) Guillaume Soro … (wants) the leaders of these institutions in the banking sector which collaborate with Gbabgo’s illegal regime to be brought under … sanctions,” it said in a statement.


Gbagbo’s access to state accounts at West Africa’s central bank has already been frozen, but he still controls taxes, customs and the lucrative oil and cocoa sectors.


The list included the head of the cocoa regulating body, the head of the local branch of the West African central bank, four treasury officials and local directors of several other banks, including Ecobank Cote D’Ivoire and Standard Chartered.


The election was meant to reunite the former “pearl of West Africa” after the 2002-3 civil war split it into a rebel north and Gbagbo-controlled south, but has instead deepened divisions and raised the specter of a return to open conflict.


ETHNIC CLASHES


Fighting broke out between rival tribes seen as being pro-Gbagbo and pro-Ouattara in volatile west Ivory Coast last week, although local officials say it is now calm and there is nothing to suggest it was directly related to the election.


“The final death toll from these battles is pretty heavy: three deaths in hospital and about 30 outside it,” said Dr Teki Moise, in charge of the main hospital in the town of Duekoue.


“We also have 75 wounded, many of them still in hospital in serious condition.”


The clashes between Ouattara’s Dioula tribe and the Guere, seen as pro-Gbagbo, raised the alarm amongst U.N. mission workers who have long feared an electoral dispute could degenerate into ethnic violence in west Ivory Coast, a tinderbox of militia groups and rival tribes.

Some 15,000 have been internally displaced by the fighting, said a local priest who was sheltering people in his church.

“There are a lot of women and children, including some pregnant women,” said Father Cyprien Ahoure, head of Duekue Catholic mission. “We have a shortage of food, clothing and medicines. Living conditions are very difficult.”

More than 20,000 Ivorians in the west have fled across the border to Liberia since the dispute flared up, fearing a return to civil war.

Source: SGGP

Jetstar Pacific offers more cheap tickets

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2011 at 4:15 am




Jetstar Pacific offers more cheap tickets


QĐND – Friday, January 07, 2011, 21:31 (GMT+7)

The budget carrier Jetstar Pacific is selling cheap tickets for some domestic routes on Lunar New Year holidays from January 7th to 9th.


Meanwhile cheap tickets, for flights from April 5th to 25th and from May 5th to 15th, are available on the air carrier’s website www.jetstar.com.


The Hanoi – Danang or Ho Chi Minh City – Danang/Hue flights cost from VND 300,000 and flights between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City cost from VND 600,000.


For online service, passengers need to use credit cards, such as Visa, Master Card, Amex, and JCB, and domestic debit cards, such as Connect 24 (Vietcombank), E- Partner (Vietinbank), and VIB.


Source: HNM


Translated by Duy Minh


Source: QDND

Australia offers help to NZ after mine blast

In Uncategorized on November 20, 2010 at 6:13 am

Iran offers new dates for nuclear talks

In Uncategorized on November 10, 2010 at 3:51 am

Standard Chartered Bank offers medical glasses to students

In Uncategorized on November 5, 2010 at 11:21 am

Manulife Vietnam offers scholarship for new students

In Uncategorized on October 29, 2010 at 4:45 pm




Manulife Vietnam offers scholarship for new students


QĐND – Friday, October 29, 2010, 23:22 (GMT+7)

On October 26th and 28th, the Life Insurance Company, Manulife Vietnam, offered scholarships worth of VND100 million to ten new students with excellent entrance exam results in 2010.


Founded in June 2009, the scholarship fund, “For your future”, initiated by Manulife Vietnam, has rewarded many outstanding students at high schools with excellent results at university entrance exams.


Addressing the event, Mr. Carl Gustini, General Director of Manulife Vietnam, said “Education is the foundation for a brilliant future, and the key to thousands of chances. The Fund has manifested our pledge in the development of your education cause”.


Source: NLD


Translated by Van Hieu


Source: QDND

United offers $125 roundtrip fare for HCM City-Hong Kong

In Uncategorized on October 14, 2010 at 2:44 pm

United Airlines is providing a low fare of US$125 for a roundtrip from Ho Chi Minh City to Hong Kong for maximum stay of four days, with year-round travel.


The fare does not include taxes, fees and surcharges. The American carrier says the total price, therefore, is US$188. The booking class is L.


The airline operates daily direct flights between Vietnam and the US via Hong Kong. The service was launched in December 2004, making United the first American carrier to fly to Vietnam since 1975.


Till the end of 2009, United had transported more than 700,000 passengers in the route. The carrier said it had recorded average yearly growth of 20% in passenger traffic to Vietnam over the past five years.


In June 2009, Delta Air Lines became the second US airline to fly to HCM City with flights operated by its wholly subsidiary Northwest Airlines. However, the service was discontinued in March this year.


In related news, United is working on a merger with Continental Airlines, another American carrier, to create the world’s biggest airline. The proposed merger has received the go ahead from the US Justice Department and is waiting for the US Transportation Department approval.


It is expected that the entire event would be wrapped up by early this October, according to industry sources.  

Source: SGGP

Vietnam’s leading tour operator offers 50 tours on National Day

In Uncategorized on August 12, 2010 at 7:25 pm




Vietnam’s leading tour operator offers 50 tours on National Day


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

Saigontourist Travel Service has introduced more than 50 inbound and outbound tours nationwide on the occasion of the National Day (September 2).

The company’s tour price has not increased compared to normal days although the number of tourists registering for these tours has risen remarkably and is expected to increase by 15 percent against the same period last year.


Pham Duc Hoa, deputy head of the domestic tourism department under Saigontourist said that the company will offer 35 inbound tours including 12 special tours departing from August 30 to September 2.


According to preliminary statistics, domestic visitors have chosen two to three day tours while most overseas Vietnamese selected five to six day tours.


Ms Pham Thu, head of the overseas tourism department, added that so far more than 800 tourists have booked tours to Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Hongkong (China) and Cambodia.


This summer, Saigontourist has provided tours to more than 98,500 visitors, up over 30 percent against last summer’s figure. The top destinations are Nha Trang, Da Lat, Phan Thiet, Da Nang-Hoi An-Hue, China, Malaysia, Singapore, and Hongkong (China).

Source: VOV


Source: QDND

Cuc Phuong Park offers wildlife adventures, prehistoric relics

In Uncategorized on July 31, 2010 at 7:19 pm




Cuc Phuong Park offers wildlife adventures, prehistoric relics


QĐND – Saturday, July 31, 2010, 21:30 (GMT+7)

One of the nation’s largest rainforests in Cuc Phuong National Park in the northern province of Ninh Binh has become a hot destination for adventure and nature lovers, complete with wildlife treks and homestays in the communes of Thai and Muong ethnic groups.


Located in the triangle formed by Hoa Binh, Ninh Binh and Thanh Hoa, 120km southwest of Ha Noi, the park is just three hours away from the capital.


The 22,200ha park – home to 2,000 primates, flora, fauna, a series of caves and several big lakes – was established in 1962 by the Government to preserve forest ecosystems in the northern part of the country.


Over 300 species of birds have been recorded at Cuc Phuong Park, including red-headed woodpeckers, silver pheasants and the pitta brachyura.


An Endangered Primate Rescue Centre was built to protect endangered animals, including Delacour’s Langur, the Gray-shanked Douc Langur and the Golden Headed Langur, all of which are endemic primates that exist only in Viet Nam.


In spring, between March and May, the park is aflutter with countless butterflies and covered in wild flowers.


“The park hosts around 100,000 tourists annually and the park’s accommodations can hold around 300 visitors a night,” the park’s tour operator, Do Hong Hai, said.


Wildlife trekking


A special wildlife tour was first organised six years ago, but it still only draws a limited number of adventurers, as the number of wild animals in the park have dramatically decreased in recent years.


The park’s staff suggested that tourists should come during the dry season between September and December.


“Tourists will have more trouble during the rainy season, as leeches and mosquitoes are everywhere. However, in the dry season you won’t be as exhausted after your treks,” Hai said.


He said that it’s very rare chance to see leopards, tigers or bears at night because the number of animals has been reduced due to climate change and illegal poaching.


However, he said that the owston civet, the giant black squirrel, the Indian flying squirrel and the loris could be seen between 7pm and 9pm most days.


“You can catch the glowing eyes of the civets, squirrels and loris very often these days. The two hours you will spend tracking them down at night will give you an unforgettable experience and a sleepless night!” Hai said.


Prehistoric cave


Cuc Phuong Park is also well-known for its prehistoric cave.


The limestone cave, which was excavated in 1966, was one of the earliest discoveries of human habitation in the country, with graves, stone axes, bone-made spears and tools dating back some 7,500 years.


During the excavation 44 years ago, archaeologists found skeletons in three tombs where they believed prehistoric people had lived in the forest 7,500 years ago.


In 2000 archaeologists discovered a fossilised sea reptile called placodontia, the first to have been found in Southeast Asia, dating back 200-300 million years.


Visitors can also trek through a primary forest of century-old trees to meet the giant cho tree (parashrea stellata), believed to be around 1,000 years old.


Living with the locals


Khanh Commune –home to 100 Muong people – is the one of six communes recognised as a place to make a homestay by the park administration.


The Muong ethnic commune is an ideal place to stop for the night after an entire day of walking around. Tourists can spend the night and see traditional folk dances around a camp fire at night.


“The travellers can dance along with the locals, and roast potatoes and cassava roots for dinner. A cheerful night in the stilt house will refresh you for your next day’s journey,” said tour guide Le Vu Ha.


Ha said that rafting along the Buoi River was a favourite pastime for travellers.


“It’s very interesting. Local people use bamboo rafts to cross the river, and travellers can try their hands at rowing them,” Pham Van Cuong, a guide from a Ha Noi-based travel agency, said.


“Travellers can row themselves along the river, which is surrounded by rice paddies and corn fields.”


Tourists can also expect to pay US$211 a piece for a group tour for two for a two-day, one-night trip.


Travellers can also get a bus from the Ha Noi-based Giap Bat station to Cuc Phuong at 3pm each day, for a price of VND65,000.


Another bus leaves the station for Nho Quan District, but it needs another 25km drive on a xe om (motorbike taxi) to reach the park.


Tour arrangements can be made through Luxurytravel, Handspan Adventure Travel, Exotissimo Travel and Buffalo Tours in Ha Noi.


To learn more or to book a package, visit http://www.cucphuong-tourism.com.vn.


Source: VietNamNet/Viet Nam News


 


Source: QDND

TV series offers educational methods to teach children

In Uncategorized on July 30, 2010 at 11:18 am

Actor Viet Anh and little actor Hien Lam take roles of the father, Nam, and 7 year-old son, Bo. (Photo: VTV)

The favorite “My loving children” TV show that not only entertains but educates young viewers has been adapted into a 52-episode TV series by the channel 3 of the national television.  


The show was one of the most highly regarded children’s programs of 2009, aired on VTV3.


For the film every 7-minute episode contains interesting and exciting stories about Bo, 7 year-old little intelligent boy and his father, Nam, offers methods to teach children.


The series will begin broadcasting at 7.55 pm this Sunday on VTV3 and repeat on VTV1 at the same time on following Saturday.


 

Source: SGGP