wiki globe

Posts Tagged ‘on’

International seminar on “The art of Đờn ca tài tử”

In Uncategorized on January 12, 2011 at 7:13 am

On January 9 an international seminar on “The art of Đờn ca tài tử and sentimental performance” was held in HCM city by the HCMC People’s Committee, Music Institute.


 


“Đờn ca tài tử “is a fading genre of folk music which developed and spread mainly in the south of Vietnam during the last century.


 


120 delegates from Germany, France, Cyprus, Malaysia, South Korea, Singapore and Japan attended the seminar held in Ho Chi Minh City from January 9-11.


 

Performing don ca tai tu in Sep 23 Park in HCM city

Since April 2010, under the guidance of Vice PM Nguyen Thien Nhan, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in cooperation with HCMC People’s Committee and the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism of other southern cities and provinces has been conducting research to trace the origins and systemize the theory of this form of music to present to UNESCO for recognition as a world heritage art form. Signature songs of “Đờn ca tài tử “have been compiled to submit to UNESCO by March 2011, for recognition as an Intangible Cultural Heritage.


 


The seminar is aimed to raise the awareness of the world community on Vietnam’s “đờn ca tài tử”, which has long been one of the most-searched genres of music by foreign travelers, especially by those visiting the Mekong Delta. The seminar also encourages domestic and international preservation and development of the traditional values of “đờn ca tài tử”.


 


“Đờn ca tài tử” is worthy of representation of the southern region of Vietnam, alongside  “ca trù” and “quan họ” of the north, Hue royal court music of the central region and the gong music of Tay Nguyen, which has already been recognized as a cultural heritage by UNESCO.


 


Tran Van Khe, professor and master of Vietnamese traditional music claims that this unique art of music subtly combines both folk and scholarly features and also brings out the creativity of players as the genre is not firmly bound to any fixed formula.


 


Vinh Bao, a master musician stated during a regular music gathering held two weeks ago at the private house of professor Khe, that this art certainly has its rules but these rules are flexible to permit players to express their emotions in different tones, melodies and rhythms. He also believed that even though “đờn ca tài tử” was only 200 years old it should not be an obstruction in its effort to seek recognition as a heritage form.


 

Nguyen Vinh Bao, a master musician , who can play different don ca tai tu instruments

According to Prof Khe, UNESCO has expressed its interest in the reputation and status of “đờn ca tài tử” since 1960.   In 1963, UNESCO officially invited him and a local female singer Bach Hue to record a “đờn ca tài tử” clip entitled “Vietnam Traditions of the South” comprising of 11 tracks, which were later produced as part of a UNESCO Collection. In 1972 another “đờn ca tài tử” clip played by Professor Tran Van Khe and musician Vinh Bao playing different musical instruments was produced and publicized. In 1994, Ocora Radio France coordinated with the two masters and Hai Phuong, a female artist playing 16-chord zither, to produce two albums which became best-sellers in France during that year.


 


“Don ca tai tu” has won international acclaim and admiration, especially amongst connoisseurs of traditional music forms. South Korean expert Sheen Dae-Cheol is one such admirer who praises the charm and special characteristics of the genre. He is one of the dozens of experts who will participate in an international conference on “don ca tai tu”. Due to the influx of western and foreign music, Vietnamese traditional music genre of “don ca tai tu” has survived and not lost its unique musical flavor or aesthetics.


 


Hence it can aptly be concluded that “don ca tai tu” is a very valuable traditional music form which needs to be preserved and enjoyed for posterity. “Don ca tai tu” certainly merits its place on the world stage, notwithstanding being designated as a masterpiece of Oral and Intangible cultural and musical Heritage for all humanity.


 


 



 


Source: SGGP

Man slain on Acapulco highway; 31 dead in 4 days

In Uncategorized on January 12, 2011 at 7:08 am

The body of a murdered man was found Monday on the main highway to Acapulco, bringing to 31 the number of people killed in the Pacific resort city over four days.


The unidentified man was shot several times in the head and found under a pedestrian bridge with his shirt pulled over his face, said Fernando Monreal Leyva, director of the investigative police for Guerrero state, where Acapulco is located.


Leyva said federal, state and local police planned to meet Monday with the military to consider ways to beef up security in Acapulco, where 14 decapitated men and two police officers were among the unusually high body count since Friday evening.

Fatigues with an embroidered logo of the La Familia drug cartel is presented to the media along with weaponry, drugs and cars confiscated in an operation in Morelia January 10, 2011

Most of the killings occurred in just a few hours from Friday night to Saturday in non-tourist areas of the city. But the officers were shot to death in front of tourists on Avenida Costero Miguel Aleman, the hotel-lined thoroughfare that runs along the bay.


Drug violence has increased in southern Guerrero state as factions of the Beltran Leyva cartel began fighting for territory after leader Arturo Beltran Leyva was killed by Mexican marines in December 2009.


Messages left with the 14 decapitated men said they were killed by “El Chapo’s People,” a reference to the Sinaloa cartel headed by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. Leyva would not say whether the notes indicated Sinaloa had joined the fight.


The decapitations were the largest single group found in Mexico in recent years. In 2008, a group of 12 decapitated bodies were piled outside the Yucatan state capital of Merida. The same year, nine headless men were discovered in Guerrero’s capital, Chilpancingo.


Among the other Acapulco victims, six people were shot and stuffed into a taxi, their hands and feet bound.


More than 30,000 people have died in drug violence nationwide since President Felipe Calderon launched a crackdown on cartels after taking office in December 2006 by deploying thousands of soldiers and federal police to drug hotspots.


Alejandro Poire, the government spokesman for security issues, said Monday that the increase in violence in Acapulco shows most of the killings in Mexico are a result of turf fights between drug gangs.


“They are vying for a place that, from the point of view of local drug sales, is extremely important,” Poire said.


Also Monday, the mayor of a town in central Mexico was shot to death as he drove with his wife and son, authorities said.


Abraham Ortiz Rosales, mayor of Temoac in Morelos state, was shot once in the head near the town of Jantetelco, said Morelos state Attorney General Pedro Benitez. Benitez said police had not determined a motive.


Ortiz Rosales had been threatened in June by men carrying assault rifles but the motive for that incident was never made public.

Source: SGGP

Gates looks to defuse tensions on China trip

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Defense Secretary Robert Gates hopes to defuse tensions with China’s growing military when he visits Beijing next week in the latest US bid to forge a security dialogue with the country’s skeptical generals.

US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates, seen here in Afghanistan in 2010.

The trip, to include a tour of a nuclear weapons command center, carries hefty symbolism, with military relations marred by recurring strains and Washington increasingly impatient with Beijing’s stance toward North Korea.


Gates will leave Washington early Saturday. After three days of talks in China, he will head to Tokyo on Wednesday and Seoul on Friday for meetings focused on the volatile crisis on the divided Korean peninsula.


With Chinese President Hu Jintao due in Washington for a pivotal state visit on January 19, both sides are anxious to show progress in defense ties, which China has repeatedly suspended over US arms sales to Taiwan.


“This was something the Chinese very much wanted to do in advance of that trip (by Hu). They want to get this relationship back on track and working in a positive direction,” Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said Friday.


The visit comes a year after Beijing broke off military relations in protest against a multibillion-dollar arms package for rival Taiwan.


Gates embarks on the journey “encouraged” and “optimistic” that military relations can be placed on a more solid foundation, said Morrell, but he acknowledged that previous efforts have produced only fleeting progress.


Days before the US defense chief’s trip, photographs appeared showing a prototype of China’s first stealth fighter, the J-20, at an airfield in the southwest.


The images of the fighter jet coincide with mounting concerns in the Pentagon about China’s increasingly assertive and capable military, including the development of anti-ship missiles that could undercut America’s navy.


Although China may be years away from fielding fully-capable anti-ship missiles or warplanes to rival US fighters, analysts say it is steadily gaining ground.


In his first visit to China since 2007, Gates is scheduled to hold an array of meetings with top officials, including President Hu and his counterpart, General Liang Guanglie.


On Wednesday Gates will visit the army’s Second Artillery Corps headquarters outside of Beijing, which is China’s nuclear command center.


The United States has long sought to open up regular discussions with the Chinese on nuclear, space and cyber weaponry. By talking to officers overseeing the atomic arsenal, Gates hopes to lay the groundwork for such a dialogue, officials said.


Aware of the Asian juggernaut’s rise, the United States for years has appealed to China to back a more “durable” dialogue — similar to US-Soviet exchanges during the Cold War — to avoid miscalculations.


But China has instead opted to sever ties in order to register its displeasure with Washington, particularly over billions of dollars in weapons deals to Taiwan.


“They will probably have some strong words about future arms sales to Taiwan,” said June Teufel Dreyer, an expert on the Chinese military and a professor at the University of Miami.


Because China senses its economic and military might expanding, Gates will not be in a strong negotiating position, she told AFP.


“He will be perceived as begging to get the military relationship back on track, enabling Beijing to ask ‘what do we get out of this?'”


Pentagon officials insist Gates is not out to plead with China.


“China will need to buy into the framework and the logic we see for the military-to-military relationship for its own reasons and in pursuit of its own interests, not because we ask them to,” Michael Schiffer, deputy assistant secretary of defense for East Asia, said in a speech Thursday.


China’s fast-growing military will also be on the agenda when Gates travels to Japan on January 13-14, where he will hold talks with Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa.


Tokyo last month announced a shift of strategy in which it would bolster its defenses in the south to address concerns about China’s armed forces as well as the threat posed by North Korea.


On Friday, Gates makes a brief stop in Seoul to discuss how to prevent tensions from escalating with North Korea in meetings with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and the new defense minister, Kim Kwan-jin.


“China has a very important role to play here as well, to get Pyongyang to understand that its current course and its current behavior is extraordinarily dangerous and destabilizing,” said a senior defense official, who asked not to be named.


Meanwhile, on Saturday, North Korea took further steps to mend ties with the South, suggesting talks within weeks and reopening an office to encourage cooperation on the fractured peninsula.


The latest offer from Pyongyang followed an apparent easing in tensions, which have soared since the North shelled the South’s frontline Yeonpyeong island on November 23, killing four people.


 

Source: SGGP

Russia tightens checks on meat imports over dioxin crisis

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Russia said Saturday it had heightened checks on meat from Germany and other European countries and threatened an import ban after Germany closed thousands of farms over animal feed tainted with dioxin.

Eggs suspected to be contaminated with dioxin, are pictured at a laboratory of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia’s food control institute in Muenster January 4, 2011

The Russian agriculture watchdog said in a statement sent to AFP on Saturday that it had “taken the decision to heighten control of food of animal origin imported from Germany and several other European Union countries”.


It did not specify which European Union countries fell under the tougher rules.


The watchdog also threatened that Russia could ban meat imports if it did not receive official information on the situation as soon as possible and if it were not satisfied by European measures to control the situation.


The watchdog “retains the right to introduce restrictions on supplying food of animal origin to the Russian market from the regions of heightened risk”, it said in the statement.


German officials said Friday they had shut 4,700 farms and destroyed more than 100,000 eggs after tests showed dangerous levels of dioxin, a poisonous chemical compound, in fatty acids used to make industrial animal feed.


The Russian agency complained of its “serious concern” that it had not received any information from Germany or the executive European Commission on the situation and said it had sent an official request.


“The European Union still lacks a system to react urgently to cases that could be dangerous for animals and humans,” the watchdog’s spokesman Alexei Alexeyenko told the Interfax news agency.


 

Source: SGGP

Bitter end for acquired firms listing on stock market

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2011 at 4:26 am

Investors always expect that the mergers and acquisitions will bring booming time to their firm’s businesses, but many acquired enterprises are in red after the acquisition. 

Two investors discuss the stock market’s moves at the Ho Chi Minh City Securities JSC (Photo:Minh Tri)

Korea’s retailer Lotte announced its 40 percent stake in Vietnam’s confectionery firm Bibica (BBC), but some brokers said the actual holding is more than 51 percent, which put the Korean firm into the positions of chairman and financial manager in the candy maker’s board of directors.


The acquisition helps boost Bibica’s businesses and competitiveness, analysts said. However, Bibica is still miles behind the confectionery giant Kinh Do (KDC) in term of marketing, which is the most important skill in the candy industry.


Therefore, Bibica may not be among the great deal for both long-term and small-time investors, experts said.


Similarly, beverage firm Tribeco (TRI) incurs constant losses in seven years after Kinh Do bought its control stake. The firm now almost does not stand a chance to compete with both local and foreign rivals, including Tan Hiep Phat and Pepsi. Many brokers, therefore, put Tribeco into “Don’t buy” list.


Brokers and financial experts also pay high attention to mergers and acquisitions of securities enterprises, which are alongside banks to be the two main factors of the financial market.


However, the mergers and acquisitions in the last three years were ineffective as none of brokerages showed any improvement. The competitiveness of brokerages remains low, experts noticed.


“A company failing to beef up its acquired ones’ businesses will struggle to buy control stakes in other firms. Investors are hesitate to buy shares in big earning companies with low dividend rates and share prices treading water,” said a broker of a HCMC-based securities.

Source: SGGP

International seminar on amateur music to be held in city

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2011 at 4:19 am

An international seminar on don ca tai tu (southern amateur music) and its impromptu harmony will be held in Ho Chi Minh City on January 9-11, according to the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism.

A performance of don ca tai tu (Photo:KK)

The event is part of the project on southern music submitted to UNESCO for recognition as an intangible part of the Vietnamese cultural heritage.


Local traditional music researchers, administrators, musicians, don ca tai tu artisans, together with music experts from France, Germany, Cyprus, Malaysia, Japan, Korea and Singapore will join the seminar.


The Ministry, the Vietnam Music Institute and Ho Chi Minh City Department of Culture, Sport and Tourism, have jointly organized the event.

Source: SGGP

S.Korea, US lukewarm on North’s call for talks

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2011 at 4:13 am

The United States and South Korea responded cautiously Thursday to North Korea’s call for unconditional talks, saying Pyongyang must be judged on actions rather than words.


North Korea offered “unconditional” negotiations with the South Wednesday, in its most conciliatory remarks since the nuclear-armed state sent tensions on the peninsula soaring in November by shelling a South Korean island.


In an unusually cordial statement, carried by its KCNA agency, North Korea said it “courteously proposes having wide-ranging dialogue and negotiations”.


Pyongyang is “ready to meet anyone, anytime, anywhere”, it said, calling for “unconditional and early opening of talks” with officials with “real power and responsibility”.

South Korean Special Warfare Forces hurl snow during a winter exercise in Pyeongchang, South Korea, on January 4, 2011.

But South Korea dismissed the approach.


“We don’t consider it as a serious offer for dialogue,” Unification Ministry Spokeswoman Lee Jong-Joo told AFP.


She noted the North had regularly issued similar statements until 2007 as part of what she said was a long-standing strategy of driving a wedge between the South Korean government and its people.


The North should instead show it was serious about its obligations under a 2005 agreement on denuclearisation and apologise over the November shelling and the sinking of a South Korean warship in March last year, she said.


Washington echoed Seoul’s response, saying that the North had to take “useful steps” to show that its proposal was serious.


“It needs to demonstrate it is sincere in the offer,” State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters, noting US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton discussed the plan with visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi.


“There are still things that North Korea has to do to demonstrate a seriousness of purpose,” Crowley said, such as ending its provocative behaviour and recommitting itself to a 2005 declaration for nuclear disarmament.


The offer came as the top US envoy on North Korea, Stephen Bosworth, held talks with his Chinese counterpart Wu Dawei and Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun in Beijing, after a visit to Seoul focused on reducing tensions.


Bosworth was expected to head for Tokyo later Thursday, while US Defence Secretary Robert Gates was also scheduled to meet his Chinese counterpart in a visit to Beijing starting January 9.


Foreign ministry officials said Bosworth stressed during talks in Seoul that Pyongyang needed to show it was sincere about mending ties with Seoul if six-party international talks on its nuclear programme were to resume.


The North has previously refused to discuss the nuclear issue directly with the South, saying it only wants to deal with Washington, but its latest statement suggested it may be willing to engage with Seoul on the topic.


The North’s proposal put the South in a dilemma, analysts said.


“This dialogue offer places the South in a very awkward position, especially when both China and the United States want to see tension reduction through dialogue,” Hong Hyun-Ik at the private Sejong Institute said.


“The North is shifting the blame for the lack of dialogue to the South.”

He added that the North could conduct a third atomic test unless progress is made at stalled six-party talks on ending the North’s nuclear programme — a scenario echoed by Professor Kim Yong-Hyun of Dongguk University.

The North quit the six-nation talks in April 2009 and staged a nuclear test a month later, its second since 2006, in protest at continuing “hostile” US policy toward the communist state.

Efforts to resume the talks recently gained momentum as Beijing called for renewed dialogue and Pyongyang signalled it was willing to return to the negotiating table.

Relations between the two Koreas were stretched to breaking point after the North’s shelling in November, which killed four people, including two civilians.

But tensions have softened since the New Year, with South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak offering closer economic ties if Pyongyang changes course.

Source: SGGP

Tax cut by up to 6 percent on 1,000 imports

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2011 at 4:10 am




Tax cut by up to 6 percent on 1,000 imports


QĐND – Thursday, January 06, 2011, 21:17 (GMT+7)

Nearly 1,000 goods items would enjoy an import tax cut of 1-6 percent in 2011, according to the Ministry of Finance’s Taxation Policy Department.


Director of the department Vu Van Truong said the items would mainly include agricultural produce, seafood, construction materials and electrical appliances.


The average drop for most items would be 2-3 percent, said Truong.


The cut, part of Vietnam’s commitment to the World Trade Organisation, was expected to benefit domestic consumers, giving them a wider choice of reasonably priced imported goods, Truong said.


However, he warned that the cut would also place pressure on Vietnamese goods that would face fierce competition from imported products.


Trade experts were also concerned about a predicted surge in the country’s trade deficit next year in the wake of the import tax cut.


The country imported 84 billion USD worth of goods last year, up 20 percent over the previous year with a trade deficit of 12.3 billion USD.


This year, the country plans on restricting the trade deficit to 14.18 billion USD with an import value of roughly 92 billion USD.


Last year, roughly 2,000 goods including food, animal feed, construction materials and steel also enjoyed an import tax cut of 1-6 percent, which cost the State budget roughly 1 trillion VND (51.28 million USD).


Source: VNA


Source: QDND

Relevant authorities found indifferent to toxic stimulants used on vegetables

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2011 at 4:03 am

Authorized organizations have showed a lack of investigation into some farmers that use pesticides and other stimulants to increase the amount and size of their farm produce.

This is the kind of artificial growth stimuli that farmers have used in spraying their vegetable crops (photo: SGGP)

Bui Si Doanh, head of the Plant Protection Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that all stimulants contain a toxic Giberellic acid, which might be poisonous for humans.


When the stimulants have penetrated deep into the plant cells, washing the vegetables, will not remove the stimulant, he said.


A recent research has revealed that the childless rate in Vietnam is 8 percent of the country’s population. One possibly reason for this, is the application of toxic chemicals, used in food production.


According to the department, there are two types of stimulants used in vegetables and fruits. One stimulant is within an acceptable level, permitted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.


The other is an illegal import from China. This stimulant is brought through Tan Thanh border gate, in the northern province of Lang Son.


The contraband stimulants are packed with Chinese labels that Vietnamese farmers cannot read. The information the farmers are receiving is that this stimulants, help grow their vegetables much faster.


Each time the public raises concerns about the stimulants contained in the vegetables, the Plant Protection Department and the Ministry of Health, just collect test samples and instruct farmers not to use the chemicals.  They have not sent investigators to directly examine the sales and usage of toxic stimulants.


Mr. Bui Si Doanh said that the Plant Protection Department has been asked to investigate this issue. However, the department said that the investigation has been delayed; as new laws that regulated departments are being put into practice.


Related article:
Toxic pesticides used by vegetable farmers

Source: SGGP

Obama congratulates Iraq on new government

In Uncategorized on December 24, 2010 at 4:31 am

WASHINGTON, Dec 21, 2010 (AFP) – US President Barack Obama Tuesday congratulated Iraq after parliament endorsed a new government, saying the move was a “significant” historic moment and represented a rejection of extremism.


“Today’s vote in the Council of Representatives is a significant moment in Iraq’s history and a major step forward in advancing national unity,” Obama said in a written statement.


“I congratulate Iraq’s political leaders, the members of the Council of Representatives, and the Iraqi people on the formation of a new government of national partnership.”


Obama and Vice President Joe Biden both spoke to Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki personally by telephone to offer their congratulations, the White House said.

Iraqi former prime minister and now member of Parliament and head of the Iraqiya bloc Iyad Allawi (R) and former Iraqi prime minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, now member of Parliament and of the National alliance, walk together on December 21, 2010. AFP

The president said that the Iraqi people and elected representatives had shown, with the long-delayed move after elections in March, that they were committed to democratic means to ease differences and shape Iraq’s future.


“Their decision to form an inclusive partnership government is a clear rejection of the efforts by extremists to spur sectarian division,” he said.


“Iraq faces important challenges, but the Iraqi people can also seize a future of opportunity.


“The United States will continue to strengthen our long-term partnership with Iraq’s people and leaders as they build a prosperous and peaceful nation that is fully integrated into the region and international community.”


Obama, who rose to power after he opposed the then unpopular Iraq war, has presided over the end of US combat operations in the country, and all American forces are due to be withdrawn by the end of next year.


He tasked Biden with monitoring the US withdrawal and his number two has invested substantial time in persuading various factions in the country to move towards a coalition agreement.


Biden said in his own statement that Iraq’s leaders had delivered what their people deserved and expected — “an inclusive, national partnership government that reflects the results of Iraq’s elections.”


“There are many challenges ahead, but I am convinced Iraq is up to them,” Biden said.


Nearly 50,000 US troops remain in Iraq, seven years after the US invasion to topple ex-leader Saddam Hussein, mostly engaged in training and advising Iraqi security forces.


Iraq’s parliament earlier gave Maliki’s government a vote of confidence and adopted a 43-point program aimed at liberalizing the economy and fighting terrorism.


After more than nine months of political wrangling, parliament in separate votes gave its approval to Maliki, three deputy prime ministers and 29 other cabinet ministers, as well as the government program.


The results of the March 7 polls were generally split along sectarian lines, with Shiites mainly supporting Maliki’s State of Law and the National Alliance, and Sunnis mostly voting for ex-premier Iyad Allawi’s secular Iraqiya.


Neither Maliki nor Allawi was able to muster the majority needed to form a government, despite back-door negotiations with various Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish blocs that also picked up seats, leading to more than nine months of political deadlock.


But a power-sharing pact was agreed on November 10 which saw Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, reappointed as president and Osama al-Nujaifi, a Sunni Arab, named as speaker of parliament.

d
Source: SGGP