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Posts Tagged ‘response’

Pakistan praised India response on Mumbai attacks: WikiLeaks

In Uncategorized on December 18, 2010 at 10:56 am

A Pakistan High Commission official praised India for acting “responsibly and maturely” following the Mumbai terror attacks which killed 166 people, according to US official cables released by WikiLeaks.

A fire breaks out of the dome of the Taj hotel in Mumbai, 2008.

The official, whose name was deleted in the confidential cable, made the comments when contrasting New Delhi’s reaction to the Mumbai attacks to its response after the bombing of India’s embassy in Kabul in July 2008.

The cable, dated December 1, 2008 and signed by then US envoy David C. Mulford, spoke of strong demands in the Indian media for retaliatory action against terror camps in Pakistan after Mumbai.

It quoted the Pakistani official as saying the Indian government’s reaction to the embassy bombing was “impulsive and politically motivated” when it swiftly blamed Pakistan’s intelligence agency.

More than 40 people, including India’s military attache and a diplomat, were killed in the July 2008 attack on the embassy in Kabul, while 166 people died in the Mumbai attacks by Islamist gunmen in November 2008.

According to the Pakistan officer, the negative effects of the Mumbai attacks on ties between the nuclear-armed rivals, who have fought three wars, would “fizzle out over the next few months”, the cable said.

The concluding comment on the Mumbai attacks by the US Embassy was: “No Military Confrontation Anticipated”.

India is still pressing Pakistan to bring to justice the alleged masterminds of the attacks in which 10 Islamist gunmen attacked a host of targets including luxury hotels, a Jewish centre and the train station.

Nine of the gunmen were killed and the sole survivor, Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, was condemned to death by a Mumbai court in May. He is challenging the sentence.

Seven suspects in Pakistan including the alleged mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and Lashkar-e-Taiba operative Zarar Shah have been put on trial in the country, but none has yet been convicted.

Source: SGGP

Hanoi’s response to plastic packet-free Sunday

In Uncategorized on August 9, 2010 at 3:21 pm

Hanoi’s response to plastic packet-free Sunday

QĐND – Monday, August 09, 2010, 21:37 (GMT+7)

People from all the 29 precincts and districts of Vietnam ’s capital city poured into the streets on August 8 in response to the “Hanoi-Sunday free from plastic packets” programme. 

The main event was held at West Lake Water Park, along with a large number of environmentally-friendly activities across Hanoi.

Groups of paddlers cycled around main streets with posters for environmental protection, and promotion girls and boys distributed environmentally-friendly packets at markets. As many as 60,000 paper and cloth packets, which are easily disintegrated in the environment, will be distributed free to shoppers on this occasion.  

The Director of the Hanoi Environmental Protection Fund, Nguyen Thi Kim Thanh, said the freshly-concluded pilot programme has shown encouraging results. Leaders in the retail industry such as the Hanoi Trade Corporation and Metro supermarket target assistance towards establishing a habit of using environmentally-friendly packets instead of plastic packets among customers. 

Metro giant even prints a slogan “Joining hands in environmental protection” on the surface of their packets.  

Ms. Thanh emphasized the need to step up information campaigns encouraging people to stop using plastic packets which are harmful to the environment.  

Statistics released by the Hanoi Supermarket Association showed that a housewife uses at least 12 plastic packets a day, putting a huge quantity of such environmental enemy out of control.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

BP spends 6.1 bln dollars on Gulf spill response: company

In Uncategorized on August 9, 2010 at 11:22 am

LONDON, Aug 9, 2010 (AFP) – British energy giant BP said Monday that it has spent a total of 6.1 billion dollars in response costs to the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, days after plugging the damaged well with concrete.

“The cost of the response to date amounts to approximately 6.1 billion dollars (4.6 billion euros), including the cost of the spill response, containment, relief well drilling, static kill and cementing, grants to the Gulf states, claims paid, and federal costs,” BP said in a statement.

An estimated 4.9 million barrels, more than 205 million gallons, spewed from BP’s ruptured well in the 87 days from the beginning of the disaster until the leak was finally capped on July 15, the US government has said.

A BP mobile claims office is seen on August 4, 2010 in Chalmette, Louisiana. AFP

The company revealed on Thursday that it had finished pumping cement into the damaged well after a five-hour operation.

“The MC252 well has been shut-in since July 15; there is currently no oil flowing into the Gulf,” the group said on Monday.

It added: “Following the completion of cementing operations on the MC252 well on August 5, pressure testing was performed which indicated there is an effective cement plug in the casing. BP believes the static kill and cementing procedures have been successful.”

Source: SGGP

Sanctions will draw strong physical response, DPRK says

In Uncategorized on July 24, 2010 at 11:18 am

The Democratic People of Republic Korea on Saturday said it would give a strong physical response to US sanctions, Pyongyang’s state media reported.

A foreign ministry spokesman attacked the United States for planning to hold joint naval drills with the Republic of Korea Sunday and for announcing new sanctions against the North over the sinking of a South Korean warship in March.

“As the US has opted for military provocations and sanctions against us… we will strengthen our nuclear deterrence every possible way and take a strong physical response,” the Korean Central News Agency quoted the spokesman as saying.

The spokesman, however, did not elaborate on what the physical response would be.


Source: SGGP

Vietnam Agent Orange victim wants ‘human response’ to ongoing tragedy

In Uncategorized on July 17, 2010 at 8:46 am

WASHINGTON, July 15, 2010 (AFP) – At 23, Tran Thi Hoan dreams the dreams of a typical young woman: find a good job, start a family and, as a native of a country long ravaged by war, live in peace.

But Hoan is a victim of Agent Orange, the herbicide laced with dioxin-tainted defoliant that was sprayed across huge swaths of Vietnam between in the 1960s and early 1970s, and she fears that she could pass on the poison that saw her born without legs and with a withered hand to her children.

So she’s let go of part of her dream.

“Maybe my children will be disabled like me. So I don’t believe I can get married,” Hoan told AFP after she became the first Vietnamese victim of Agent Orange to testify before the US Congress.

Tran Thi Hoan (1st, L) and medical doctor Nguyen Thi Ngoc Phuong (3rd, L) testify before the US Congress in Washington on July 15, 2010 (Photo: Vietnam News Agency)

“I’m worried,” she added quietly.

“I’m scared.”

Hoan had just read a three-page testimony in English to US lawmakers in a packed hearing room.

“I am not unique, but am one of hundreds of thousands of people whose lives have been marked by our parents’ or grandparents’ exposure to Agent Orange,” she said.

“I was born as you see me: without legs and missing a hand.”

But in spite of her handicap, and in spite of her fears that nobody would want her as a wife, Hoan old the packed hearing called by Congressman Eni Faleomavaega, a veteran of Vietnam, to try to determine how to meet the needs of Vietnam’s victims of Agent Orange, that she was “one of the lucky ones.”

“I’m missing limbs, but my mental functioning is fine,” she said.

Some Agent Orange victims do nothing but sleep, she said. Others fall ill with a slight temperature change. Still others die young, at age 10.

“Many babies, children and young people live lives of quiet agony. They are trapped in bodies that do not work. Their brains remain in infancy even as their bodies grow.”

The American Public Health Panel estimates that some 77 million liters of herbicides, including 49.3 million liters of Agent Orange containing dioxin-contaminated defoliants, were sprayed over 5.5 million acres (2.23 million hectares) in what was then South Vietnam by the United States military.

The aim was to destroy the densely wooded hiding places of the North Vietnamese enemy.

Today, Agent Orange and dioxin, which is known to increase the risk of cancer, immune deficiency disease, and reproductive and developmental disorders, still contaminates the land and water.

Vietnamese medical doctor Nguyen Thi Ngoc Phuong told the hearing that studies she has conducted have found that up to 4.1 million Vietnamese were directly exposed to Agent Orange during the war and more than three million have suffered its effects.

Babies are exposed through their mother’s breast milk. Others have been exposed by living in or near contaminated areas called “hotspots,” such as Danang, where the United States had a base during the war.

The United States, which reestablished diplomatic ties with Vietnam 15 years ago, is funding a program to “remediate” dioxin at Danang, or burn it at ultra-high temperatures of 350 degrees Celsius (662 Fahrenheit), which causes it to vaporize.

Not doing anything would mean dioxin, which has a half-life of 100 years — meaning it will take 100 years for it to fall to half its initial strength — would still be tainting the land and people’s lives next century.

“My gosh,” said Faleomavaega, “We’ll all be dead and it’ll still be there.”

Though Hoan’s life has been marked by an event that happened decades before her birth, she insisted Agent Orange victims have to look to the future.

“We can look at the past and see the consequences of war, but we don’t want to stay in the past. We have to look to the future and see what we can do,” she told AFP.

And she added another wish to her wish-list.

“We want those responsible for the terrible consequences of Agent Orange to hear our pain and respond to us as humans,” she said, speaking not only for Vietnamese victims but for “the children and grandchildren of Americans who were exposed to Agent Orange and who are suffering like us.”

In the audience, a veteran of the Iraq war cried. Another applauded quietly.

One of the chemical companies that made Agent Orange, Dow, says on its website that manufacturers were compelled by the government to produce the herbicide.

In 2007, Dow said there was no evidence to link Agent Orange to Vietnam veterans’ illnesses.

And last year, a US embassy spokeswoman in Hanoi said there has been no internationally-accepted scientific study establishing a link between Agent Orange and Vietnam’s disabled and deformed.

Source: SGGP

Obama defends his US oil slick response

In Uncategorized on May 3, 2010 at 12:29 pm

VENICE, Louisiana (AFP) – US authorities raced Monday to stem the tide of a disastrous oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico a day after President Barack Obama fiercely defended his response and promised federal help for as long as needed.

In drizzling rain and gusty winds in front of Venice harbor, the hub of the relief effort, Obama on Sunday described the unfolding nightmare offshore as “a massive and potentially unprecedented environmental disaster.”

Workers place oil booms in an effort to protect the Louisiana coast from the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on May 2. AFP photo

Rain running down his forehead as he spoke, Obama stressed that BP was fully responsible and must pay for the cleanup, as he acknowledged the pain of Louisianans in a strong presidential display designed to show he was there, side-by-side with the victims of the disaster.

“The oil that is still leaking from the well could seriously damage the economy and the environment of our Gulf states. And it could extend for a long time. It could jeopardize the livelihoods of thousands of Americans who call this place home.”

Louisiana’s 2.4-billion-dollar-a-year commercial and recreational fishing industry was dealt its first major blow from the oil spill during Obama’s visit when the US government banned activities in some areas for at least 10 days due to health concerns.

“Balancing economic and health concerns, this order closes just those areas that are affected by oil,” said US government weather agency administrator Jane Lubchenco. “There should be no health risk in seafood currently in the marketplace.”

Government data showed the thickest part of the sprawling 130-mile by 70-mile slick has been turned northward by strong southerly winds, sending sheen lapping ashore on the remote Chandeleur Islands.

The chain of uninhabited islets in eastern Louisiana is prime marsh and wildlife area, but officials said confirmation of any oil washing ashore would not be known until overflights could be conducted.

An overflight may not be possible for some time as blustery winds and high seas kept planes grounded and forced skimming vessels to abandon missions to mop up the growing slick for a third straight day.

Oil was also expected to reach the wetlands south of Venice by Monday morning.

Obama, meanwhile, laid the responsibility for the disaster firmly at the door of oil giant BP, which owns the leaking well and operated the stricken rig, refusing to countenance any notion his government had dropped the ball.

“So let me be clear. BP is responsible for this leak. BP will be paying the bill,” Obama said, slowing his delivery deliberately to emphasize the two points.

The government had “coordinated an all hands on deck relentless response to this crisis from day one,” he said, vowing to “spare no effort” in the future.

BP said in a statement Monday that it would pay “all necessary and appropriate clean-up costs”.

“BP takes responsibility for responding to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. We will clean it up,” said the statement posted on a site devoted to the official response to the disaster.

“BP has established a robust process to manage claims resulting from the Deepwater Horizon incident,” said the statement.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, who has been scathing of BP’s response, warned on Saturday that his state’s “way of life” was under threat as fishermen and coastal communities struggling back to their feet after 2005’s Hurricane Katrina brace for yet more hardship.

But residents of neighboring Mississippi hear good news Sunday, with state Governor Haley Barbour and US Coast Guard commandant Admiral Thad Allen telling them that the spill might be contained without reaching Mississippi shores.

The wind has shifted, Allen said, but has never steered the oil toward Mississippi. “The sum total of what’s happened is, it’s pretty much remained within the vicinity of the well,” the admiral said.

However, one of the spill’s first victims was discovered Friday: a brown northern gannet that floated up to a survey crew out in the open sea and was pulled to safety after it hopped onto an outstretched fishing gaff.

Obama’s supposedly morale-boosting visit would provide little consolation to John Chem, one of dozens of local fishermen waiting outside a high school near Venice for training sessions to work on the cleanup.

BP said it would pay volunteers 10 dollars an hour while contractors would pay up to 18 dollars an hour to support shoreline clean-up. Fishermen would also be paid for the use of their boats.

“Right now we are trying to get some work but too many people are looking for work,” he told AFP. “I might be homeless, there are too many bills to pay and the bank might take my house.”

There was, however, a ray of light from BP’s head of US operations, Lamar McKay, who suggested that a giant dome could be deployed as early as next week to try and contain the spill.

With relief wells taking three months and the underwater submarines making no progress in activating the blowout preventer on the sea floor, the dome could be the all-important factor in shutting off the oil.

An estimated 210,000 gallons of crude has been streaming each day from the wellhead below the Deepwater Horizon rig that sank on April 22, two days after a massive explosion that killed 11 workers.

Source: SGGP

Post-crisis situation needs value-added response

In Uncategorized on March 24, 2010 at 4:48 am

As the national economy rebounds from the global financial and economic crisis, the Government needs adopt an overall plan to restructure the economy to improve its efficiency and competitiveness in the post-crisis period. 

After more than a year of recession, the world’s economy may recover this year with a growth of around four percent, according to the latest forecasts.

The crisis and ensuing shrinkage of the world market had badly affected Vietnam, an export-oriented economy with low added-value and high outsourcing rates.

Producing shirts for local consumption at Garment 2 Enterprise of the Viet Tien Garment Corporation. Businesses have been advised to strengthen their presence in the domestic market and be less dependent on exports in order to maintain stable production and jobs. (Photo: Saigon Times)

However, owing to the Government’s timely and proper economic stimulus policies, the country has managed to overcome the crisis and gain a GDP growth of 5.32 percent last year.

Despite the recovery, the economy’s growth cannot be seen as sustainable, as it is largely based on extensive use of capital, cheap labor costs, outsourcing goods, and export of raw materials. It has not been based on products with high added-value that are also highly competitive. This reality can be seen in the imbalanced export structure, the high Incremental Capital – Output Rate (ICOR), and the low VA/GO rate (Value-added/Gross output) over the past several years.

Moreover, the country is now trying to maintain growth while trying to prevent a return of inflation and reduce the trade deficit that has weakened the country’s balance of payment.

If the situation cannot be improved soon, it may cause some macro-economic instability.  Therefore, we need to coordinate and harmonize, as soon as possible, our fiscal, monetary policy, consumer and foreign trade policies towards stabilizing macro economy this year. 

In the recent global financial crisis, many emerging economies have recovered early by effectively tapping into domestic markets to offset a reduction in exports and maintaining business and jobs.

Therefore, the exploitation of domestic markets has yet to be paid due attention in Vietnam. The Party Politburo has adopted a policy to encourage consumption of goods made in Vietnam to improve the situation.

It is a sound policy, but for it to be successful, businesses will need to rearrange their production structure, build brand names, and enhance product quality, thereby improving the competitive edge of not only of goods for exports, but also of goods for domestic consumption that have to compete with imported products.

To this end, the Government should offer businesses medium and long-term credit to help them expand their domestic market shares, renovate technology and create new products.

Improving competitiveness    

The termination of interest subsidy on short-term loans while continuing offering a two percent subsidy for medium and long-term loans for farmers and companies to boost agricultural production or alter their line of business is another sound policy.

To ensure that this policy is effective, the Government should take measures to assist commercial banks in mobilizing medium and long-term capital and improve the liquidity in the stock exchange.

In late 2009, the National Assembly and Government passed important financial and economic policies to support businesses in renovating technologies and production, developing high added value products for export, and seeking new markets. 

In the first quarter of 2010, when the global economy enters its post-crisis period, those policies will be stepped up to restructure the economy and enhance businesses’ competitive capability.

Although Vietnam’s exports accounts for more than 70 percent of the GDP, this should not be blamed for the economy’s vulnerability to world market fluctuations. Instead, the vulnerability has mainly come out of the structure of exports, in which raw materials and products with low added-value account for the most part.

In addition, the use of domestic materials in production of goods for export remains at a low level, weakening their competitiveness in terms of production cost. 

To sum up, rearranging the export structure, boosting the proportion of local materials used in production, developing hi-tech products, expanding both local and international markets are among the vital factors in ensuring Vietnam’s sustainable development.

By Dr. Tran Du Lich, a member of the National Assembly’s Economics Commitee and the former head of the Ho Chi Minh City Economics Institute

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

Wenger pleased with Arsenal response against Liverpool

In Vietnam Sports on December 15, 2009 at 2:32 am

Arsene Wenger

England – Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger revealed his delight after his side came from behind to beat Liverpool 2-1 at Anfield on Sunday.

“The first half was all Liverpool and we were quite happy with the 1-0, it could have been two and the game could have been over,” he told Sky Sports.

“We needed another performance in the second half and what we did, we gave a great performance. The first half was Liverpool, the second half was Arsenal.”

Cesc Fabregas revealed that his manager was scathing after his side’s first half performance and Wenger was coy on his remarks during the interval. He did, however, explain the reasons for his displeasure.

He added: “Well, I do not like to talk about that. It was in the dressing room, what I said, and I’ll keep that in the dressing room.”

“We lost all the 50-50’s and we know it was absolutely needed to win this game, to do it.

“When you lose all the 50-50’s in the big games then you don’t win the game and I just wanted to make the players conscious that the Liverpool commitment was stronger than ours.”

The Arsenal boss said he was delighted with the character his side showed in the second half, and believes his charges triumphed over their fear of the big occasion.

He continued: “It showed me the team can respond and that they are proud and they knew as well, certainly, that they didn’t produce the quality that we wanted.

“I believe that’s good for our moral because I could see – I do not put the first half down to a lack of desire, but I believe because we lost against Manchester United and Chelsea that there was a fear to lose the big games.

“You could see that more in the first half.”

Asked whether this result proves Arsenal will not need to invest in attacking reinforcements in January, Wenger seemed to agree with the sentiment.

“Well the only thing I can say is, if you look at the number of goals we have scored we are not short of strikers,” said the Arsenal manager. “Andrey could have had two or three, so since he plays up there he has plenty of good chances.”

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share