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Pilot programme reaps results in new rural areas

In Uncategorized on December 21, 2010 at 9:26 am




Pilot programme reaps results in new rural areas


QĐND – Monday, December 20, 2010, 21:26 (GMT+7)

Many provinces and cities have built new rural areas, achieving significant results, including improved infrastructure, new farming production models and higher incomes.


In 2008 the Government chose 11 communes nationwide to participate in a national pilot programme to build new rural areas.


In HCM City ‘s Cu Chi district, the living standards of people in Tan Thong Hoi commune, which is one of 11 communes under the national pilot programme, have risen.


In addition, the poverty rate fell from 22 percent to 12.4 percent in June, according to the HCM City Statistics Bureau.


As of June, the commune had fulfilled 12 of the 19 criteria set under the programme, including those related to transport, irrigation, housing, poverty, and political and social security. It targets fulfilling the remaining criteria next year.


Over the past years, in many provinces and cities, local authorities and residents have built new rural areas by developing transport infrastructure and farming production models.


Hau Giang province, for example, built new rural areas in 2006-10.


At the end of August, the Hau Giang province People’s Committee recognised three communes, Vi Thanh in Vi Thuy district, Vinh Vien in Long My district and Tan Tien in Vi Thanh district, which have met 13 of 19 criteria set under the programme.


In Vi Thanh commune, the per capita annual income has reached nearly 15 million VND (780 USD), two times more than in 2006.


Providing junior high school education for all youth, as well as extended vaccinations for children, which are two of the criteria, have reached 100 percent in Vi Thanh commune.


Similarly, Bac Lieu province’s Phuoc Long district has built new rural areas, restructuring its farming production by diversifying plant cultivation and animal husbandry.


The district has mobilised all sectors to build infrastructure systems.


The capital for constructing public projects has been raised from the State and the community.


All roads in the district’s communes have been paved and the district’s per capita annual income has climbed to 15.5 million VND, up 2.5 times compared to 2005.


Still, investing in new farm production models has been the most difficult task in building new rural areas, according to the Central Steering Committee for the national programme of building new rural areas.


The committee has also asked the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and provincial steering committees to invest more money for the development of agricultural production models in rural areas.


Nguyen Phong Quang, deputy head of the Steering Committee for the Southwestern Region, said: “Developing production, improving income and changing the labour structure in rural areas cannot be done in a short time and it needs to be implemented over the long term.”


Huynh Minh Doan, former secretary of the Dong Thap province’s Party Committee, said rural residents played a leading role in the process of building new rural areas.


“Besides the investment of the central and local governments, the task of building new rural areas at the commune level is based on the community,” Doan said.


“It is important to raise the solidarity and awareness of people in implementing the programme,” he added.


In August, the Government launched the national programme on building new rural areas in all communes nationwide for the 2010-20 period, with a target of reaching 50 percent of communes that will meet the 19 criteria by 2020.


It also targets transferring more agricultural labourers to other sectors to reduce the national farming workforce to 30 percent by 2020. It represented 51.9 percent of the workforce in 2009.


Source: VNA


Source: QDND

Authorities in Haiti delay final vote results

In Uncategorized on December 20, 2010 at 6:28 am

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Dec 19, 2010 (AFP) – Electoral authorities in Haiti announced late Sunday they had decided to delay publication of final presidential election results until the Organization of American States finishes its probe of the controversial vote.


The results were initially expected on Monday, but the Haitian Election Council said it had decided to “postpone publication of the results of the first round of voting until the contentious phase of the electoral process is over and an OAS mission requested by President Rene Preval finishes its work.”


Haiti’s chaotic election was carried out last month amid widespread allegations of fraud and the disenfranchisement of thousands of people, who either couldn’t get the necessary papers to vote or weren’t on the register.


Preval has asked the OAS to assist Haitian authorities in verifying the results of the vote.


Preliminary results of the first round of balloting have placed opposition candidate Mirlande Manigat in the lead with 31 percent of the vote. She is followed by ruling party candidate Jude Celestin who had 22 percent.

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Source: SGGP

Universities ask ministry to announce results of education quality evaluation

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 9:40 am

The Ministry of Education and Training has to make a public announcement on results of the evaluation of education quality at 40 universities, launch clear policies on national educational evaluation expense, delegates from more than 70 universities nationwide proposed the ministry at the preliminary wrap-up report of education quality accreditation at universities in Ho Chi Minh on November 30.

Deputy principal of Can Tho Univerisity, PhD Do Van Xe, speaks at the seminar. (Photo: Sggp)

The Ministry of Education and Training has previously asked universities, colleges and vocational training intermediate schools throughout the country to carry out internal and external evaluations of the educational quality and send their reports to the ministry.

According to the ministry’s statistics, 237 universities, colleges and vocational training intermediate schools to self-evaluate and send their reports in November. Among them, 40 universities have made external accreditation.

However the ministry has not unveiled the results of the education quality evaluation of schools, especially the list of 40 universities.

Most of delegates also expressed their problem on the evaluation expense which has been donated so far by schools’ administrators and teachers.

Mr. Bui Anh Tuan, Head of the Department of Examination and Education Quality Assessment under the Ministry, said that the Ministry of Education and Training will announce the list of schools after completing legal documents and cooperate with the Ministry of Finance to consider the education quality accreditation.

Source: SGGP

Protests in Kabul ahead of much-delayed election results

In Uncategorized on November 24, 2010 at 6:49 am

Afghan election candidates took to the streets of Kabul on Wednesday to protest against a polling process they say was corrupt and shameful ahead of the expected announcement of final results from the September 18 vote.


Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission (IEC) has said it would announce the winners of 249 seats in the lower house of parliament, or wolesi jirga , after a delay that lasted more than two months due to investigations into fraud complaints.


The credibility of the eventual result will weigh heavily on U.S. President Barack Obama’s review of his Afghan war strategy, due to be released next month, amid rising violence and sagging public support, especially after a fraud-marred presidential election last year.


Consistent allegations of vote fraud in both polls have raised questions about the credibility of Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s government at a time when U.S. and NATO officials have been re-examining their long-term commitment in Afghanistan.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks during a press conference in Kabul, Afghanistan on Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2010

The protesters, mostly candidates who failed to win a seat and their supporters, have organized a string of demonstrations in the capital and warned that failure to address grievances about the poll would only push Afghans toward the insurgency.


Some of the protesters, including a handful of women and turban-wearing men, looked like they had travelled from outside Kabul.


“We have gathered here today to protest against the illegal election,” said lawmaker Noor ul Haq Olomi, from southern Kandahar province, the Taliban’s heartland.


“It doesn’t matter who is winning or losing, we will continue to protest until the officials in the government hear us and the Afghan people learn about the widespread fraud that happened during this election.”


Disgruntled candidates, lawmakers and supporters have in recent weeks called for the September poll to be scrapped and a new election ordered.


A U.N.-backed election watchdog said on Sunday nearly one in 10 winning candidates had been disqualified for fraud.


Sunday’s disqualifications by the U.N.-backed Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) cleared the way for the Afghan government’s IEC to release the final results.


There were more than 6,000 complaints lodged with ECC and the IEC has already thrown out almost a quarter of the 5.6 million votes cast as invalid. The IEC also is being investigated by the attorney general’s office over election fraud.


Late on Tuesday, Afghan television also reported two election officials had been suspended by the attorney general’s office for “making statements against the national interest”. The attorney general’s office declined immediate comment.

Source: SGGP

University entrance exam results announced

In Uncategorized on July 24, 2010 at 11:16 am

Universities nationwide on Friday continued to announce results of the university entrance exams this year. However, universities have planned for reducing their standard marks because of low results, aiming to create more chance for students to study in higher education.

Students of HCM City University of Natural Sciences at a class. Studying in higher education is a dream of every high school graduate. (Photo: Mai Hai) 

The national standard mark ruled by the Ministry of Education and Training is the minimum mark for university entrance. However, not all students who get marks higher than the standard marks may have a chance to study in higher education because every university or college regulates its own standard marks, depending on quality of students who apply for the school.


On the same day, plentiful universities in the north also published their results of entrance exams.


Student Duong Hoang Hung came first in the entrance exams of the National Economics University with 29.5 for three exam subjects of A group (mathematics, physics and chemistry).


To date, there are 20 universities announced their university entrance marks.
 
According to statistics from the Ministry of Education and Training, as many as 1.8 million candidates had registered for this year’s examination, of which 1.3 million had applied for universities and 500,000 for colleges.


Nearly 54 per cent of candidates chose to sit group A subjects, followed by group B (mathematics, chemistry, biology) 19.8 per cent, group D (literature, mathematics, foreign languages 15.2 per cent), group C (literature, history, geography) 8 per cent, and the other groups nearly 3.4 per cent.

Source: SGGP

HIV: Finally, Positive Results from a Microbicide Trial

In Uncategorized on July 21, 2010 at 3:21 pm

The HIV prevention world is abuzz with excitement following news of the first clinical evidence that a vaginal gel – known as a microbicide – can help to prevent sexual transmission of HIV infection.


A study by the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) found that a vaginal gel containing the antiretroviral (ARV) drug tenofovir was 39 percent effective in reducing a woman’s HIV risk when used for about three-quarters of sex acts and 54 percent effective when used more consistently. It also halved the incidence of genital herpes infections.







“Tenofovir gel could fill an important HIV prevention gap by empowering women who are unable to successfully negotiate mutual faithfulness or condom use with their male partners,” said Quarraisha Abdool Karim, one of the lead investigators of the study and associate director of Caprisa. “This new technology has the potential to alter the course of the HIV epidemic, especially in southern Africa where young women bear the brunt of this devastating disease.”


More than half of new HIV infections in Africa occur in women and girls. The CAPRISA study findings are likely to revive flagging morale among researchers disappointed by two decades of failed efforts to develop a female-controlled method of HIV prevention.


“We are giving hope to women. For the first time we have seen results for a woman-initiated and controlled HIV prevention option,” Michel Sidibé, executive director of UNAIDS, said in a statement. “If confirmed, a microbicide will be a powerful option for the prevention revolution and help us break the trajectory of the AIDS epidemic.” 


Funded by the US and South African governments, the CAPRISA trial involved 889 HIV-negative, sexually active South African women who were considered to be at high risk of HIV infection. Half of the women were given vaginal applicators containing a 1 percent concentration of tenofovir gel, while the other half were given a placebo gel. The women were asked to insert a dose of the gel 12 hours before sexual intercourse and a second dose within 12 hours after intercourse. 


Over the course of the year-long study, 98 women became HIV positive – 38 in the tenofovir gel group compared to 60 in the placebo gel group. On average, adherence to the gel was over 70 percent, but among women who used the tenofovir gel for more than 80 percent of sex acts the gel provided greater protection from HIV. 


“We believe that the most responsible plan of action now is to quickly and efficiently articulate the sequence of steps necessary for confirmation and follow-up of these results, while also aggressively planning for potential roll-out of a licensable product,” Mitchell Warren, executive director of the AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition, said in a statement. 


“As exciting as this result is – and as important as it is to follow it up without delay – the reality is that this product will not be available for widespread introduction tomorrow,” Mitchell cautioned. “It is critical to manage expectations while maintaining urgency.” 

Source: SGGP

School exam results out

In Uncategorized on June 18, 2010 at 4:27 pm




School exam results out


QĐND – Friday, June 18, 2010, 20:47 (GMT+7)

This year’s high-school graduation rate is almost exactly the same as last year’s, an educational official said as HCM City announced the results on June 16.


It is 94.59 percent this year compared to 94.61 percent last year.


Twenty-two city schools, nine of them private, achieved 100 percent pass rates, Le Hong Son, deputy director of the Department of Education and Training, said.


At continuing education centres, the rate was up 6 percent from last year’s 57.76 percent.


More than 52,800 high-school students and 7,800 students at continuing education centres sat the exam in HCM City this year. “The result is a positive sign for the quality of education in the city,” Huynh Cong Minh, the director of the department said.


“The graduation rate has ranged from 92 to 95 percent for the past few years.”


In Can Tho, 86 percent of high-school students have passed but only 15.71 percent at continuing education centres, according to the local Department of Education and Training.


The graduation rates in two other southern provinces, An Giang and Soc Trang, are 81.33 percent and 75.21 percent, rises of 5 percent and 12 percent, respectively.


Nam Dinh Province in the Red River Delta has achieved the highest pass rates – 99.67 percent at high schools and 97.07 percent at continuing education centres – among the cities and provinces that announced the results.


It has 33 schools with a 100 percent graduation rate.


Another northern province , Bac Ninh, ranked a close second with 99.2 percent and 97 percent. Bac Giang, Hai Phong, and Lang Son also achieved school pass rates of 97.8 percent, 98.86 percent, and 93.8 percent, respectively.


The central province of Thua Thien-Hue reported a graduation rate of 96.81 percent at high schools and 56.87 percent at continuing education centres.


Source: VNA


Source: QDND

School exam results out

In Uncategorized on June 18, 2010 at 12:19 pm

This year’s high-school graduation rate is almost exactly the same as last year’s, an educational official said as HCM City announced the results on June 16.

This year’s high-school graduation rate is almost exactly the same as last year’s, an educational official said as HCM City announced the results on June 16 (Photo: Dan Thuy)

It is 94.59 percent this year compared to 94.61 percent last year.


Twenty-two city schools, nine of them private, achieved 100 percent pass rates, Le Hong Son, deputy director of the Department of Education and Training, said.


At continuing education centers, the rate was up 6 percent from last year’s 57.76 percent.


More than 52,800 high-school students and 7,800 students at continuing education centers sat the exam in HCM City this year. “The result is a positive sign for the quality of education in the city,” Huynh Cong Minh, the director of the department said.


“The graduation rate has ranged from 92 to 95 percent for the past few years.”


In Can Tho, 86 percent of high-school students have passed but only 15.71 percent at continuing education centers, according to the local Department of Education and Training.


The graduation rates in two other southern provinces, An Giang and Soc Trang, are 81.33 percent and 75.21 percent, rises of 5 percent and 12 percent, respectively.


Nam Dinh Province in the Red River Delta has achieved the highest pass rates – 99.67 percent at high schools and 97.07 percent at continuing education centers – among the cities and provinces that announced the results.


It has 33 schools with a 100 percent graduation rate.


Another northern province , Bac Ninh, ranked a close second with 99.2 percent and 97 percent. Bac Giang, Hai Phong, and Lang Son also achieved school pass rates of 97.8 percent, 98.86 percent, and 93.8 percent, respectively.


The central province of Thua Thien-Hue reported a graduation rate of 96.81 percent at high schools and 56.87 percent at continuing education centers.

Source: SGGP

Australian Open results – day two

In Vietnam Sports on January 19, 2010 at 2:40 pm

MELBOURNE, Jan 19, 2010 (AFP) – Results from day two of the Australian Open at Melbourne Park here Tuesday (x denotes seeding):


Men’s singles


1st round


Jarkko Nieminen (FIN) bt Nick Lindahl (AUS) 6-2, 7-5, 6-4


Tomas Berdych (CZE x21) bt Robin Haase (NED) 6-0, 6-3, 6-3


Evgeny Korolev (KAZ) bt Daniel Brands (GER) 6-2, 7-5, 7-5


Igor Kunitysn (RUS) bt Jose Acasuso (ARG) 6-1, 2-6, 6-4, 6-2


Louk Sorenson (IRL) bt Yen-Hsun Lu (TPE) 6-4, 3-6, 6-2, 6-1


Marin Cilic (CRO x14) bt Fabrice Santoro (FRA) 7-5, 7-5, 6-3


Gael Monfils (FRA x12) bt Matthew Ebden (AUS) 6-4, 6-4, 6-4


Nikolay Davydenko (RUS x6) bt Dieter Kindlmann (GER) 6-1, 6-0, 6-3


Fernando Verdasco (ESP x9) bt Carsten Ball (AUS) 6-7 (4/7), 7-6 (7/1), 7-5, 6-2


Feliciano Lopez (ESP) bt Pablo Cuevas (URU) 6-1, 6-4, 7-5


Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI x19) bt Guillermo Garica-Lopez (ESP) 6-3, 6-3, 6-2


Thomaz Bellucci (BRA) bt Teimuraz Gabashvilli (RUS) 6-3, 7-5, 4-6, 6-4


Marsel Ilhan (TUR) bt Sebastien Grosjean (FRA) 6-4, 6-4, 7-5


John Isner (USA x33) bt Andreas Seppi (ITA) 6-3, 6-3, 3-6, 5-7, 6-4


Ivan Sergeyev (UKR) bt Dudi Sela (ISR) 6-3, 7-6 (7/3), 4-6, 7-6 (10/8)


Viktor Troicki (SRB x29) bt Nicolas Lapentti (ECU) 4-6, 6-3, 6-1, 6-3


Rainer Schuettler (GER) bt Sam Querrey (USA x25) 6-3, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3


James Blake (USA) bt Arnaud Clement (FRA) 7-5, 7-5, 6-2


Lukasz Kubot (POL) bt Mischa Zverev (GER) 6-3, 6-3, 6-3


Julien Benneteau (FRA) bt David Guez (FRA) 0-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (7/2)


Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER x27) bt Horacio Zeballos (ARG) 6-1, 7-5, 6-1


Marc Gicquel (FRA) bt Simone Bolelli (ITA) 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (7/3), 6-3


Santiago Giraldo (COL) bt Tommy Robredo (ESP x16) 6-4, 6-2, 6-2


Florent Serra (FRA) bt Jurgen Melzer (AUT x28) 6-1, 6-7 (3/7), 6-4, 4-6, 6-3


Roger Federer (SUI x1) bt Igor Andreev (RUS) 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7/2), 6-0


Marcel Granollers (ESP) bt Robin Soderling (SWE x8) 5-7, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2



Women’s singles


1st round


Ana Ivanovic (SRB x20) bt Shenay Perry (USA) 6-2, 6-3


Sandra Zahlavova (CZE) bt Coco Vandeweghe (USA) 6-0, 6-1


Aravane Rezai (FRA x26) bt Sania Mirza (IND) 6-4, 6-2


Marion Bartoli (FRA x11) bt Rossana De Los Rios (PAR) 6-4, 6-1


Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) bt Virginie Razzano (FRA x18) 6-2, 6-3


Angelique Kerber (GER) bt Olga Govortsova (BLR) 6-3, 6-3


Nadia Petrova (RUS x19) bt Edina Gallovits (ROU) 6-3, 6-4


Katie O’Brien (GBR) bt Patricia Mayr (AUT) 6-3, 6-3


Sara Errani (ITA) bt Klara Zakopalova (CZE) 6-2, 7-6 (7/5)


Samantha Stosur (AUS x13) bt Han Xinyun (CHN) 6-1, 3-6, 6-2


Tamarine Tanasugarn (THA) bt Sesil Karatantcheva (KAZ) 6-1, 7-6 (7/0)


Polona Hercog (SLO) bt Yuliana Fedak (UKR) 6-4, 6-0


Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) bt Regina Kulikova (RUS) 7-6 (7/5), 6-7 (10/12), 6-3


Serena Williams (USA x1) bt Urszula Radwanska (POL) 6-2, 6-1


Vania King (USA) bt Dominika Cibulkova (SVK x23) 6-3, 6-7 (5/7), 7-5


Casey Dellacqua (AUS) bt Anastasiya Yakimova (BLR) 6-2, 3-6, 6-4


Sorana Cirstea (ROM) bt Olivia Rogowska (AUS) 6-3, 2-6, 6-2


Kaia Kanepi (EST) bt Chan Yung-Jan (TPE) 7-6 (7/4), 6-2


Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP x32) bt Ayumi Morita (JPN) 7-5, 6-4


Alona Bondarenko (UKR x31) bt Kathrin Woerle (GER) 6-2, 6-2


Kristina Barrois (GER) bt Akgul Amanmuradova (UZB) 6-0, 7-6 (8/6)


Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

US drone war delivers results, but at what price?

In World on January 11, 2010 at 5:53 am

The US drone war in Pakistan has made gains in annihilating Taliban and Al-Qaeda commanders, but the reliance on the unmanned, remotely controlled aircraft risks fanning Islamist violence.








File photo shows US soldiers searching for buried enemy weapons caches in a cave near Shah Wali Zarat in Khost province. (AFP Photo)

While tens of thousands of US troops are fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan, their presence is unwelcome in ally Pakistan and drone strikes have become the main combat tactic against militants on the ground.


The Long War Journal, a website tracking the strikes, says US missiles have killed 15 senior Al-Qaeda leaders, and 16 “mid-level” Al-Qaeda and Taliban operatives, since January 2008.


Among the scalps was Baitullah Mehsud, the leader of Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP), the Pakistani Taliban.


Despite Mehsud’s death in August, the TTP are killing more people than ever and Al-Qaeda leaders Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri — both believed to be sheltering along the Afghan-Pakistan border — remain at large.


“I don’t think the group (TTP) has necessarily been weakened at all,” said Ben Venzke, head of IntelCenter, a private contractor working in support of the US and European intelligence communities.


“In fact we’re seeing more large-scale bombings and attacks in Pakistan than we’ve ever seen and with a very large casualty count,” he said.


President Barack Obama has ordered 51,000 extra US troops to Afghanistan, hoping to turn the tide in the war and deny Al-Qaeda sanctuary, but tribal experts fear drone attacks could spawn a war of revenge for years.


A Jordanian doctor turned “Al-Qaeda double agent” blew himself up and killed seven CIA agents in Afghanistan on December 30, in the deadliest attack against the US spy agency since 1983.


The bomber, Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, appeared posthumously in a video broadcast Saturday, vowing to avenge Baitullah Mehsud’s death.


“The way they are now attacking with their drones, trying to hit local militants — maybe local militants are not a big threat to America but in the future they could become a threat,” said tribal expert Rahimullah Yusufzai.


Local residents contacted by AFP in North Waziristan — a district where 22 of the last 24 attacks have struck — said families lived in fear over the prospect of a Hellfire missile annihilating their home without warning.


Yet speaking from Mir Ali, one of the main towns in the Pakistani tribal district, one shopkeeper said the drones did appear to have deterred foreign fighters.


“There seems to be only one advantage — the number of foreigners who used to roam markets in the region freely has reduced considerably,” Noor Mohammad told AFP by telephone.


Pakistan’s unpopular president, Asif Ali Zardari, says the drone attacks undermine the nation’s consensus against militants as it struggles with bombings that have killed nearly 3,000 people in less than three years.


“Drone attacks are radicalising other people who may not have supported the Taliban,” warned Yusufzai.


But Lisa Curtis, a research fellow at Washington’s conservative Heritage Foundation, said the US administration was more reliant than ever on drones after fears of Al-Qaeda were renewed by the failed Christmas Day plot to blow up an airliner over Detroit.


“The long-term costs are that it’s raising anti-Americanism in Pakistan, which in turn makes it more difficult for us to cooperate with Pakistan,” she said.


The United States is increasing pressure on Islamabad to take on groups such as the Haqqani network, which attacks US forces in Afghanistan but is reputed to retain links with Pakistani intelligence.


Samina Ahmed, an analyst for the International Crisis Group, said US tactics had yet to spark major protests and cautioned against exaggerating the impact on Zardari’s civilian government.


“If there were drone attacks on urban centres, major civilian casualties, there would be a public outcry,” she said. “It would become a major challenge to the Pakistan military and the Pakistan government.”


 


Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share