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Posts Tagged ‘Six’

Thai ‘Red Shirts’ rally six months after crackdown

In Uncategorized on November 20, 2010 at 6:14 am

Floods claim six lives in southern central Vietnam

In Uncategorized on November 2, 2010 at 7:41 am

China launches global search for six panda keepers

In Uncategorized on August 17, 2010 at 11:22 am

A Chinese panda centre said Tuesday it had launched a global search for six people who would spend a month looking after the endangered animals, as part of an awareness and conservation campaign.

“Project Panda,” launched by the Chengdu Panda Base in the southwestern province of Sichuan and the WWF, aims to give six winners of a global contest a chance to study pandas’ behaviours and provide hands-on assistance.

The keepers will be able to witness the birth of baby pandas and their development, the base said in an email to AFP.

“We hope that through this project more and more people will join our mission to protect pandas and will realise the importance of preserving wild habitats,” said Zhang Zhihe, head of the Chengdu Panda Base.

A giant panda rests at a panda reserve in Chengdu, southwest China’s Sichuan province. Pandas are viewed as a national treasure in China

The winners will also trek into the mountains around Chengdu, Sichuan’s capital, to study wild pandas in their natural habitat, and will report on their daily work by blogging to people around the world, the base said.

Over the next six weeks, animal lovers from around the world will be able to log onto a website,, to apply for the position. A panel of experts will select 12 finalists, which they will then whittle down to six.

There are just 1,600 pandas left in the wild and nearly 300 others are in captive-bred programmes worldwide, mainly in China, according to official reports.

After having successfully managed to make the animals mate in captivity, researchers are now looking at ways to send captive-bred pandas into the wild to boost the number of animals roaming free.

Four pregnant pandas bred in captivity were released into an area of Sichuan forest last month to prepare their future cubs for life in the wild, state media reported.

But this task is a difficult one, and so far, the only attempt at releasing a captive-bred panda into nature has ended tragically.

Xiang Xiang, a male cub who was trained to adapt to the wild and released in 2006, was found dead 10 months later, apparently killed by wild pandas native to the area.

Source: SGGP

Only 10 percent Vietnamese babies breastfed exclusively during first six months of life

In Uncategorized on July 30, 2010 at 7:20 am

Only 10 percent of children in Vietnam are breastfed exclusively during the first six months of life. This situation calls for urgent action to promote breastfeeding, particularly by healthcare providers and communities in Vietnam.

Breastfeeding exclusively during the first six months of life plays an important role in babies and infants’ lives.  

The Ministry of Health, the United Nations and the Alive & Thrive initiative co-organized a press conference to launch World Breastfeeding Week 2010 (WBW) and the “call for action” is just part of WBW.

Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Ba Thuy stressed breastfeeding is the most complete form of nutrition for infants and small children during the first six months of life, only 10 percent of children in Vietnam are breastfed exclusively during this critical period of their lives and only 55 percent of Vietnamese mothers initiate breastfeeding within the first hour after birth.

The main reasons cited for delayed initiation of breastfeeding are a belief that mothers’ breast milk production is inadequate; C-section deliveries; separation of mother and child immediately after birth; insufficient counselling from healthcare providers due to busy schedules; and the availability of milk formula.

Research has also found that feeding infants with water after breastfeeding is a popular practice in both urban and rural areas of Vietnam (‘exclusive breastfeeding’ means infants receive no food or drink other than breast milk unless doctor ordered).

Some mothers believe that they lack sufficient breast milk to adequately nourish their children up to six months and often begin to supplement breast milk with formula milk and/or other foods at around four months of age. For those employed in the formal sector (20-30 percent of all mothers), the need to return to work after four months of maternity leave poses a challenge to continued exclusive breastfeeding. Lack of support from family members and health workers is another barrier to mothers exclusively breastfeeding their children.

Themed “Breastfeeding: Just 10 Steps, the Baby-Friendly Way,” World Breastfeeding Week this year aims to highlight the vital role that healthcare workers and facilities play in promoting breastfeeding. It calls for every health facility providing maternity services and care for newborn infants to provide support to mothers in breastfeeding using the ten steps.

The ten steps to successful breastfeeding were first presented in the 1989 WHO/UNICEF Joint Statement on the Protection, Promotion and Support of Breastfeeding: The Special Role of Maternity Services. Since then UNICEF and WHO have called for the implementation of the ten steps to successful breastfeeding in all maternity facilities because health workers play a critical role in influencing mothers’ decisions on how to feed their infants and young children.

WBW is celebrated in more than 120 countries to encourage breastfeeding as an important way to improve the health and development of infants and young children.

Efforts to encourage better breastfeeding practices in Vietnam are part of a national program on children and mother’s care to help ensure that children grow and reach their full potential. The country’s “Child Survival Action Plan” has set out the goal to achieve a 50 percent exclusive breastfeeding rate across the country by 2015.

The Ministry of Health will work closely with line ministries and mass media outlets to achieve the goal, recognizing that without improving breastfeeding rates and child nutrition would jeopardize attaining the Millennium Development Goals in Vietnam.

Source: SGGP

July’s CPI records the lowest rise over six years

In Uncategorized on July 24, 2010 at 3:23 pm

July’s CPI records the lowest rise over six years

QĐND – Saturday, July 24, 2010, 21:38 (GMT+7)

The country’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) in July went up by only 0.06 percent from June, the lowest level so far against Julys since 2004. This is also the lowest increase since the beginning of the year.

The General Statistics Office says with this slight fluctuation, the CPI for the past seven months rose 4.84 percent over December 2009 and 8.67 percent against the same period in 2009.

July’s CPI for the first time increased in only eight out of 11 groups of commodities. The most significant increase was seen in drinks and tobacco (0.41 percent), followed by household goods and appliances (0.39 percent). Goods such as textiles, garments and shoes posted an increase of 0.35 percent.

July is the month of college and university entrance exams but the prices of educational products and services rose by only 0.11 percent.

Although restaurant and related services saw an 0.21 percent increase, food dropped by 0.97 percent, causing a dramatic impact on the CPI’s decline.

Other sharp declines were found in transport (0.94 percent), housing and construction materials (0.47 percent), and post and telecommunications (0.07 percent).

The low CPI in July is attributed to bumper rice crops and the drop in the price of rice, petrol and oil. Another factor is the slight fluctuation in the CPI in the two economic hubs, with HCM City down by 0.09 percent and Hanoi up by 0.25 percent against June.

However, experts warn that Vietnam is coming into the storm season with many unforeseen difficulties ahead, which could possibly lead to a serious imbalance between demand and supply. Major cities, especially Hanoi and HCM City, are urged to continue their efforts to stabilize the eight essential goods, while the government needs to proceed with flexible measures to manage the macro-economy.

In July, gold prices on the market went up by 2.15 percent from June, and by 35.86 percent against the same period in 2009.

Meanwhile, the price of the US dollar has risen 0.38 percent against June and 5.04 percent against a year ago after merchant banks raised their deposit interest rates and boosted the purchase of the US dollar.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

Students bring home six medals from IMO

In Uncategorized on July 15, 2010 at 12:51 pm

All six Vietnamese students at the 51st International Mathematics Olympiad (IMO), which was held in Astana, Kazakhstan from July 2-14, won medals, reported Sai Gon Giai Phong newspaper.

The six medal-winning students pose photo in front of the Le Van Thien (the first director of Vietnam Institute of Mathematics) statue before going to Kazakhstan to compete in the 51st International Mathematics Olympiad. (Photo:Bich Ngoc)

Nguyen Ngoc Trung, a 12th grade student from Hung Vuong Secondary School in the northern province of Phu Tho won a gold medal.

Pham Viet Cuong and Nguyen Kieu Hieu, 12th graders from Le Quy Don Secondary School in Da Nang City, Tran Thai Hung, an 11th grader from the Practical Secondary School under the Ho Chi Minh City Teachers’ University and another 11th grader, Vu Dinh Long, from the Hanoi College of Natural Sciences, all bagged silver medals.

Nguyen Minh Hieu, another 12th grade student from the Hanoi College of Natural Sciences took home a bronze medal.

With this achievement, Vietnam continues its recent history of excelling at the Olympiad.

Held annually in different countries, The International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) is the World Championship Mathematics Competition for High School Students.

The first IMO was held in 1959 in Romania, with 7 countries participating. It has gradually expanded to over 100 countries from 5 continents. The IMO Advisory Board ensures that the competition takes place each year and that each host country observes the regulations and traditions of the IMO.

Source: SGGP

Southern birth rate falls 2.8 percent in first six months

In Uncategorized on July 2, 2010 at 6:19 pm

Southern birth rate falls 2.8 percent in first six months

QĐND – Friday, July 02, 2010, 21:53 (GMT+7)

The birth rate in southern provinces reduced by 2.8 percent during the first six months this year, reports the Ministry of Health’s General Department of Population and Family Planning.

The total number of children born during the first half of this year was reported at 538,280, a reduction of 2.8 percent against the same period las year, Tran Mai Hoa, deputy head of the general office, said at the July 1 online meeting to review population planning during the past six months and map out future plans.

About 23 provinces have a higher birth rate compared with the same period of 2009.

Nguyen Ba Thuy, Deputy Minister of Health, said at the conference 24 of 63 provinces and cities haven’t assigned population officers to commune level.

Birth rates reduced sharply, about 1.8 children for each woman, in localities including HCM City, Tien Giang, Binh Thuan, An Giang, and Ca Mau. The nember of third children went down by 2,323 or four percent during the period.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Six men to be isolated in 520-day ‘Mars mission’

In Uncategorized on June 3, 2010 at 10:11 am

Six men from Europe, Russia and China will on Thursday be voluntarily locked away in a module for almost one and a half years to simulate the psychological effects of a mission to Mars.

An Italian, Frenchman, three Russians and a Chinese man will spend the next 520 days in the isolation facility at a Moscow research institute when its hatch slams shut at 2:00 pm (1000 GMT).

Like a real Mars mission, the crew will have to survive on limited food rations and their only communication with the outside world will be by email, with a delay of up to 40 minutes.

A European Space Agency issued photo, taken aboard the space probe Rosetta, show the planet Mars (top, centre).

The hatch will only re-open when the experiment is over or if one of the participants is forced to pull out.

“It will be trying for all of us. We cannot see our family, we cannot see our friends, but I think it is all a glorious time in our lives,” said Chinese participant Wang Yue, 27, ahead of the experiment.

The volunteers will have their days in the module at the Russian Institute for Biomedical Problems (IBMP) divided into eight hours of sleep, eight hours of work and eight hours of leisure.

A team of three will spend one month aboard a special module meant to represent the Mars landing craft, while two will also spend time exploring a reconstruction of Mars itself.

The idea is to exactly mimic the timescale of a Mars mission — 250 days for the trip to Mars, 30 days on the surface and 240 days for the return journey, totalling 520 days.

The crew also conspicuously lacks women, meaning the experiment will not be able to examine the possible sexual tensions that could arise on a trip to Mars for a mixed-gender crew.

But volunteers have already admitted that they will be tested by being separated from their loved ones and partners for such a long period of time.

Frenchman Romain Charles, 31, said the hardest thing will be the disruption of contact “with the family, the girlfriend, the friends with whom the distance is going to be difficult to manage.”

Their diet will be no different to that enjoyed by real-life astronauts on the International Space Station and the crew will be given the food at the beginning of the experiment, forcing them to ration out their supplies.

The experiment is a joint venture between the IBMP and the European Space Agency (ESA), which describes the project as a mission “to mimic a full mission to Mars and back as accurately as possible without actually going there.”

The ESA and the US space agency NASA have separately sketched dates in around three decades from now for a manned flight to Mars.

The Red Planet’s distance from Earth varies between 55 million kilometres (34 million miles) and more than 400 million kilometres (250 million miles), depending on where the two planets are in their respective orbits.

The project, the first full-duration simulated mission to Mars, follows a similar experiment at the (IBMP) last year which saw six volunteers shut away for a mere 105 days.

Source: SGGP

Six decades on, Palestinian woman returns to childhood home

In Uncategorized on May 15, 2010 at 12:56 pm

Diana Safieh was just seven years old when her family fled their west Jerusalem home on a spring night in 1948 in fear of bloody clashes between Jewish and Arab forces.

Palestinian women wait to cross the Rafah border crossing in the southern Gaza Strip May 15, 2010. (AFP Photo)

Now at nearly 70, she wants to catch at least a glimpse of a fading memory.

“My father would say: ‘We will never leave Jerusalem,'” the elegant and sprightly Palestinian woman from an upper middle-class Christian family tells AFP on an emotional journey of return.

On Saturday, the Palestinians were in mourning to mark the “Naqba,” or catastrophe, of Israel’s establishment 62 years ago in British-mandated Palestine and with it the exodus of hundreds of thousands of Arab inhabitants.

Safieh remembers that on the morning of May 13, 1948, she was picking flowers for the nuns of Saint Joseph convent.

“If we had known what was to befall us, we would have done something else,” she says with a smile. By the end of the day, the house and its furniture as well as money and jewellery in the bank had all been lost.

Panic had been spreading in the neighbourhood for months, with people abandoning homes. “By May 13, it had become unbearable,” says Safieh.

In the middle of the night, little Diana and her brother Jean were woken up by their father. The family was packed into the car and sped off to the convent where a relative was a nun.

On May 14, the state of Israel was declared and the first Arab-Israeli war broke out in earnest the next day.

The Safieh family stayed three months at the convent before deciding, like many others, to move to Beirut. Father Emile decided it was time to return nine months later to Jerusalem, where they settled in the Arab eastern sector.

More than 760,000 Palestinians — estimated today to number more than five million with their descendants — were pushed into exile by the conflict or driven out of their homes.

“We were very lucky,” admits Safieh, whose two brothers live abroad. “We did not end up in a refugee camp, and we had the means to travel and to have an education.”

Today she lives in the Beit Hanuna district of east Jerusalem, which Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war.

Safieh has only seen the old family house once since Israeli independence, and that was a painful experience back in 1967 with parents Emile and Odette, who had both since died.

“I don’t know if I will remember it. In ’67, there was a palm tree and the house next door had a tiled roof,” she says ahead of the trip down memory lane to what it now the upper-class Jewish district of Baqaa.

Street names have changed, floors have been added to some of the stone houses, the Israeli flag flies from windows, especially as Israel celebrated independence last month in line with the Jewish calendar.

After several false starts, circling in the car without success, Safieh steps down and walks up to a two-storey house. “My heart tells me it’s here,” she says, backing up her instinct with an aging photograph.

The black-and-white shot of the family in the garden shows the metal rods on the window are unchanged.

“My God!” she sighs, with tears in her eyes, happy to have reconnected at least briefly with the family homestead but feeling the suffering of her banished parents.

“I wish them (living in the house) well because it’s not their fault. Let them pray for those who had to leave,” she says.

The Israeli family are not so keen on the visit. “Let’s go. There is no point discussing it. The important people in my life have gone. The rest live abroad. We have to move forward,” says Safieh.

Source: SGGP

Up to six dead in Afghan attack targeting foreigners

In Uncategorized on April 16, 2010 at 10:27 am

As many as six people including foreigners were killed in a suicide car bombing targeting a foreign security company in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar, officials said.

Britain said it was investigating after reports that its nationals may have been among the dead in the attack in the provincial capital late Thursday.

One Afghan official said one foreigner died and a policeman was killed, while another said three foreigners and three Afghans had lost their lives in the bombing, the second to rock the city that day.

“We are aware of an explosion this (Thursday) evening in Kandahar,” said a spokesman for the Foreign Office in London. “We understand there are a number of internationals among the casualties but their nationalities have not yet been confirmed,” he said.

Afghans walk past the site of an explosion in Kandahar in southern Afghanistan on April 16. British and military officials were Friday investigating reports that security contractors from Britain were among the victims of a suicide car bombing in volatile southern Afghanistan

“The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is in contact with ISAF personnel in Kandahar in order to establish the facts,” he said, referring to NATO’s International Security Assistance Force.

The province of Kandahar is the spiritual home of the Taliban and is seen as the key battleground to reverse nearly nine years of escalating conflict in Afghanistan, which is taking an increasing toll on foreign forces.

Four German soldiers were also killed and five wounded on Thursday when their patrol came under attack as they were travelling from the northern city of Kunduz to Baghlan, a Taliban stronghold.

Suicide bombings and other attacks are a part of daily life in Kandahar, which was the Taliban’s capital during their brutal 1996-2001 rule.

“It was a suicide car bomb that targeted a foreign security company,” deputy provincial police chief Fazil Mohammad Sherzad said of the attack in Kandahar which struck around 9:00 pm (1630 GMT).

Ahmed Wali Karzai, the head of the Kandahar provincial council and brother of President Hamid Karzai, told AFP that one policeman and one foreigner had been killed and another policeman wounded.

A senior government official, who declined to be named, said “three expatriates and three Afghans” had been killed in the blast, but there was no formal confirmation.

“So far we have received one dead body belonging to a foreign national,” said Daud Farhad, a doctor at Kandahar’s Mirwais hospital, adding that another 16 people were admitted with injuries, including one foreigner.

Intelligence officials warned the death toll could rise and may include more foreigners.

Several hours earlier a bomb went off in abandoned car left outside a city centre hotel used by Afghan journalists, injuring at least six people, police said.

Afghanistan is in the grip of a deadly insurgency led by remnants of the Taliban, whose regime was overthrown in late 2001 in the US-led invasion.

Suicide and other bomb attacks are part of the militants’ arsenal in their campaign against the Western-backed government and the 126,000 US and NATO troops currently stationed in the country.

Kandahar and surrounding areas are the focus of a major US and NATO push against the militants, as part of a new US-led counter-insurgency strategy in the Taliban stronghold that is also the hub of opium production.

In northern Afghanistan, the German patrol came under fire from anti-tank grenades or missiles in an attack that came after a visit to Afghanistan by German Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg.

The latest casualties come less than two weeks after three German soldiers were killed near Kunduz, and bring to 43 the total killed in Afghanistan since Germany’s disputed deployment began in 2002.

Source: SGGP