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Mindulle set to slam into central coast

In Uncategorized on October 14, 2010 at 6:35 pm

The tropical depression on East Sea has intensified into a tropical storm with international name ” Mindulle “, which is forecast to approach the northern central coast Tuesday afternoon.

Central residents move a boat to safety to stave off damage by the coming typhoon Mindulle (Photo: SGGP)

On the day’s early morning, Mindulle ( the third storm of Vietnam this year ), was centered just 80 kilometers east off the central coast. It was moving westward at 15 kilometers per hour and caused torrential winds up to 75-102 kilometers an hour.

Areas around the typhoon’s center experienced gusts up to 103-133 kilometers an hour.

According to Bui Minh Tang, director of the National Hydro Meteorological Forecasting Center, the powerful storm will cause  floodings  in the provinces from Thanh Hoa to Quang Tri, bringing downpours to the areas in the next few days.

The storm will continue causing heavy rains, which have occurred over the past few days  in the central region, Minister of the Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat said at a meeting held in Hanoi yesterday to discuss measures to deal with the third storm.

Localities should be ready  to cope with the storm devastation, Minister Phat warned, adding they should keep watch of inundation in low-lying areas and landslides in mountainous regions.

Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai, who also chaired  the meeting, ordered local authorities prepare food and medicines ready to conduct relief aids in places, prone to be stranded by floodwaters.

Affected by the typhoon, central coastal provinces on Monday evening had medium to heavy rains with the average rainfall of 500-100mm, according to the national weather service.

Meanwhile, the flood and storms prevention center for central and Central Highlands regions, reported that as of Monday afternoon, about 1,214 fishing boats with nearly 9,300 fishermen were still at sea in the central region.

Central farmers have raced to harvest the summer-autumn rice to avoid storm-triggered floods.

In Quang Ngai Province’s Mo Duc District, residents have harvested over 700 hectares of rice on Monday’s noon while over 100 hectares in Duc Phong Commune were still submerged by flooding due to continuous rains in the past few days.

In Thua Thien-Hue Province, thousands of hectares of rice have also been inundated in floodwaters. Local residents have harvested 8,000 of about 26,000 hectares of summer-autumn rice fields.

Source: SGGP

Educators slam new teacher poll

In Uncategorized on May 3, 2010 at 8:29 pm

Educators slam new teacher poll

QĐND – Monday, May 03, 2010, 20:46 (GMT+7)

A ministry plan to select the most popular teacher in each province as an example to others has been criticised as inappropriate by teachers and students.

The Ministry of Education and Training began the campaign to find the teachers most liked by students as a reward and an example to other teachers.

It has ordered that a panel be set up in each school to select the most popular teacher and send the profile to provincial councils for selection of a provincial winner.

The planned May ceremony to grant awards to these teachers has been postponed until November.

Former HCM City’s Universityof Pedagogy Literature Faculty head Tran Huu Ta said the ministry should focus on improving the lot of all teachers rather than organising such a poll.

“What is of most importance to teachers is the respect that students give them, not a title,” he said.

The ministry should improve the teachers’ salaries, he added.

“How could teachers be happy when they only receive a bonus of VND50,000 (US$2.60) for Tet holidays?”

Ta said there were already too many titles for teachers, such as excellent employees, people’s teachers, meritorious teachers and so on. A new title would make a mockery of them.

HCM City’s Nguyen Thuong Hien Secondary School principal Ho Cam Thanh said such a random popularity poll could prove harmful.

Students might not be fully aware of their responsibilities in the selection process, so the result might not be accurate, which would hurt many good teachers, Thanh said.

She said her school often surveyed students’ opinions on teachers’ methods, but only as a supervision tool and to improve standards.

HCM City’s Nguyen Thi Minh Khai School principal Duong Thi Truc Bach said her school was not interested in the popularity poll.

“We are focusing on supporting Grade 12 students to pass their graduation examinations and university entrance exams, not selecting the most popular teachers,” she said.

Hoang Thi Hong Hai, a former head of the Education and Training Bureau of HCM City’s Tan Phu District, said the ministry’s selection process was not comprehensive.

“At primary schools, students only know one teacher each academic year. At secondary schools they are taught by a few teachers. How could the selection cover all teachers in a school?” she said.

Tran Hoang Phuong, a student of Nguyen Du Secondary School in Ha Noi, said he had not heard of the popularity poll.

Le Lan Huong, a Grade-10 student in Kim Lien High School, said a title was not necessary.

“A teacher who is loved and respected by us does not need a title. That teacher, without any ranking, will be surrounded by students,” Huong said.

Source: Viet Nam News


Source: QDND

Sorensen ends 30-year Irish Slam drought

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

MELBOURNE, Jan 19, 2010 (AFP) – Qualifier Louk Sorensen became the first Irishman to compete in Grand Slam singles for 30 years on Tuesday, winning his opening round match at the Australian Open.

Sorensen, 25, defeated Taiwan’s Lu Yen-Hsun, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 on an outside court.

Tennis runs in the family with his father, Sean, the last Irishman to play in a Grand Slam singles at the 1980 Wimbledon. His dad lost to Australian tennis legend Rod Laver in the first round at Wimbledon in 1977.

“I’m feeling great, it’s the biggest achievement of my career so far, but let’s see how it goes in the next round,” Sorensen said.

The diminutive Irishman now takes on American serving giant John Isner.

“Anything that happens now and I win will be a bonus,” he said.

Sorensen, ranked 284 in the world, booked his place in the main draw when he downed New Zealander Daniel King-Turner in two sets during qualifying last Saturday.

He said the qualifying matches had given him an advantage playing Lu first up.

“I am used to the courts and the surface now and if you get through qualifying it’s an advantage, but now after the first round everyone’s got their playing rhythm sorted out,” he said.

Sorensen lives and is coached in Stuttgart, Germany, and only goes to Ireland to visit his parents in Dublin.

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

Federer’s imposing claim for another Slam win

In Vietnam Sports on January 13, 2010 at 8:34 am

MELBOURNE, Jan 13, 2010 (AFP) – A resurgent Roger Federer is again the man to beat in next week’s Australian Open as he shoots for his 16th Grand Slam crown in the year’s opening major.

Just when his rivals appeared to have closed the gap on the Swiss, the world number one had another stellar season in 2009, winning his first-ever French Open and a sixth Wimbledon title.

(File) Roger Federer (AFP photo)

The 28-year-old great became the all-time Grand Slam leader in men’s tennis in the process, passing the 14 won by American Pete Sampras.

Federer was duly crowned the International Tennis Federation (ITF) champion for the fifth time and finished the year-end ATP top-ranked player for the fifth time in six years.

Underlining his incredible consistency, Federer has only missed playing in one of the last 18 Grand Slam finals, his sole slip-up coming when he lost to Russian Marat Safin in the semi-finals of the 2008 Australian Open.

When it comes to determining the likely winner of this year’s tournament it is hard to go past Federer.

“If I’m healthy this year I can win many more tournaments and that could also help get me more confidence, more momentum,” he said ahead of the Open.

Federer will be chasing his fourth Australian Open victory and takes a 47-7 match record into the Melbourne event.

If there is to be an upset it looks likely to come from defending champion Rafael Nadal, the 2008 champion Novak Djokovic, British hope Andy Murray or Federer’s conqueror at last year’s US Open final, Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro.

Nadal, who toppled Federer from the number one ranking in August 2008 and held it for 46 weeks until handing it back to the Swiss last July, admits to suffering a crisis of confidence heading into his title defence.

He has had increasing problems with arthritic knees, suffered from an abdominal injury, and reportedly been affected by the recent break-up of his parents’ marriage.

“I have had a lot of problems in the head,” Nadal said. “But that’s life. You have to accept problems and you have to come back. I am trying. We will see what happens in the next six months.”

Nadal, who will be seeded to face Federer in the 2010 Australian final, holds an impressive 13-7 record over him, but a disrupted 2009 season may count against the Spaniard over the next two weeks.

Djokovic finished third on the year-end rankings by a big space ahead of Del Potro and Murray, and has shown a liking for the court and the conditions of Melbourne with his win here two years ago.

“Last year I ended my title defence in the quarter-finals with the retirement (against Andy Roddick),” Djokovic said.

“That was what you would call the ugliest way that I could have finished that tournament.

“I always try to set up in the best possible shape and form for the Grand Slams and I have all the reasons to believe I can perform my best tennis this year.”

Del Potro has leap-frogged Murray into the fourth ranking spot and although his Australian Open record is modest with just a quarter-final appearance at three attempts, his epic win over Federer at Flushing Meadow last year earns him respect.

Murray is burdened with the national expectation of becoming the first British player to win a Grand Slam since Fred Perry’s 1936 US Open triumph.

“I think I’m ready to win it,” Murray said at last week’s Hopman Cup in Perth.

“I feel like I’m serving well, moving well and playing the ball better than I have done for a long time at the back of the court and I am volleying well.”

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

Lawmakers slam experts’ report on US human space flight

In World on September 16, 2009 at 6:39 am

A group of US lawmakers on Tuesday slammed a report by aerospace experts tasked to review NASA’s human space flight program that proposed ditching plans to return to the Moon.

The landing gear has deployed as the space shuttle Discovery lands at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., and the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, Friday, Sept. 11, 2009

“When it was announced that you were going to be leading an independent review of the human space flight program, I thought you were going to take a hard, cold, sobering look at the Constellation program,” Democratic Representative Gabrielle Giffords told Norman Augustine, head of the review panel that bears his name.

The Arizona Congresswoman said she had expected the group to “tell us exactly what we need to do here in Congress with our budget in order to maximize the chances of success.”

Former president George W. Bush launched in 2004 the Constellation program, which aimed to return to the Moon by 2020 and then establish a lunar launchpad for a first trip to Mars.

“Instead of focusing on how to strengthen the exploration program on which we’ve spent so much time — four years — and billions of dollars, we have a glancing attention to Constellation,” said Giffords, who chairs of the House Science and Technology Committee.

“Instead, the bulk of the time is spent crafting alternative options.”

The alternatives proposed in the report were “almost like cartoons, lacking detailed costs, schedule, technical, safety, other specifics,” she said.

Augustine, a former president of aerospace giant Lockheed Martin who also served as undersecretary of the US Army, denied writing off Constellation.

On the contrary, he said, the summary report outlined several proposals — including Constellation — for keeping the United States in space.

The summary report, which was submitted to Congress last week, warned that NASA was hugely underfunded and on an “unsustainable trajectory.”

“Space operations are among the most complex and unforgiving pursuits ever undertaken by humans,” said the Augustine Commission in its summary.

“Space operations become all the more difficult when means do not match aspirations. Such is the case today.”

Giffords and other lawmakers, including Donna Edwards of Maryland, said legislators didn’t need a report to tell them NASA was in financial straits.

If NASA’s dire funding situation continues, the United States would see a gap of at least seven years in human space flight — the longest since the US human space program began — starting in 2011, when the space shuttle program is retired, the report said.

The shuttle fleet, which has flown since 1981, has suffered two major disasters: the 1986 Challenger explosion and the 2003 in-flight Columbia breakup, which claimed the lives of 14 astronauts.

Bush decided to end shuttle flights, amid concerns about the aging fleet.

The Augustine Commission is due to testify Wednesday before a Senate committee.

The panel’s full report on US human space flight, which was commissioned by President Barack Obama early this year, is due out at the end of the month.


Source: SGGP