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Posts Tagged ‘step’

U.N. chief offered Mugabe deal to step down: WikiLeaks

In Uncategorized on December 21, 2010 at 9:31 am

Former United Nations chief Kofi Annan offered Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe a deal to step down and live in a safe haven, but the veteran leader rejected the offer, according to U.S. documents obtained by WikiLeaks.

A confidential document dated September 2000 showed that a source from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC party told U.S. officials in Harare the party had been told that Annan, the former U.N Secretary General Annan, had made the offer to Mugabe during a U.N. summit in New York.

The source said the MDC did not know the details of the deal, reported to it by a businessman, but that it likely guaranteed Mugabe a financial package from Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi and a safe haven, the cable showed.

“Kofi Annan, in the recent meeting in New York during the Millennium summit, offered Mugabe a deal to step down,” according to the document.

“The opposition party heard that Mugabe turned down the offer the following day after discussing it with the first lady.”

Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe addresses a meeting of the ZANU-PF party in Mutare 275km east of the capital Harare, December 17, 2010.… Read more »

A spokeswoman for Annan declined to comment.

Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe since independence in 1980 and although there has been talk of several plans to ease him from office in the last decade, the 86-year-old has rejected the idea, saying he would never live in exile.

According to another confidential U.S. cable published by WikiLeaks dated October 2009, a senior MDC official suggested that the U.S. should contribute to a fund to buy off security service chiefs.

Elton Mangoma, a senior member in the MDC and minister in the unity government, told U.S. officials that the military men were frustrating reform and did not want to leave office fearing that they had not made enough money and could be prosecuted.

“Mangoma asked for consideration of U.S. contribution to a ‘trust fund’ that could be used to negotiate the service chiefs’ retirement. He said he planned to approach the UK and Germany with the same request,” the documents said.

The service chiefs have in the past publicly backed Mugabe during elections, saying they would not acknowledge a leader who had not fought in the independence war, a reference to Tsvangirai.

Source: SGGP

Fuel crisis as Greek truckers step up strike

In Uncategorized on July 28, 2010 at 3:18 pm

ATHENS (AFP) – Greece’s government on Wednesday called crisis talks to deal with a nationwide fuel crisis as a truckers’ strike entered its third day at the height of the busy tourism season.

Fuel has run out in all but a few of the capital’s petrol stations and shortages are already reported in many major cities.

People stand next to a sign reading ‘only Super in a petrol station in Athens on July 27, 2010. AFP

The transport ministry has invited union leaders to talks to break the deadlock which began over plans to liberalise the freight sector.

The truckers say that opening the sector by reducing new licence charges is unfair to existing operators who have already paid high start-up fees running up to 300,000 euros (390,000 dollars).

“The state sold us these licences, so the state should compensate us,” the head of the truckers’ union George Tsamos told Flash Radio.

The protest has had a major impact on the country’s tourism season which is vital to the Greek economy as it battles an unprecedented financial crisis.

Hoteliers on Wednesday said they were already facing cancellations from vacationers unwilling to risk the journey until the protest ends.

“We have started receiving an important number of cancellations,” said Nikos Papalexis, the head of the Achaia hoteliers union in the northwestern Peloponnese peninsula.

“If this situation continues, a lot of hotels will have to dismiss staff or even shut down,” he told state television NET.

Source: SGGP

Conference to step up IT application in finance

In Uncategorized on June 23, 2010 at 12:35 pm

Foreign and local information technology (IT) experts together with financial policy makers will gather in Hanoi from September 22-24 for a conference and exposition on IT application in the financial sector in Vietnam.

The 7th Information and Communication Technology in Finance (ICTF) conference and expo will be jointly held by the Finance Ministry and the International Data Group (IDG) under the theme of “E-finance development until 2015.”

Speaking at a press conference in Hanoi on June 22, the organisers said participating experts will advise on building strategy with experiences of foreign countries for the development of Vietnam ’s financial system.

On the sidelines of the conference, there will be an exposition displaying the latest ICT products and solutions of both local and foreign companies.

Within the programme, the IDG will organise a ceremony to present the Oustanding ICT Leader Awards to 20 most excellent business executives from ten ASEAN countries, who have actively promoted ICT application and improved operational procedures in corporations.

Last year, only ten similar awards were presented to business leaders from the three Indochinese countries of Cambodia , Laos and Vietnam.

Source: SGGP

Airports step up security after failed airliner attack

In World on December 27, 2009 at 12:24 pm

Air travellers worldwide faced tightened security Sunday as authorities ramped up efforts to prevent attacks in the wake of a failed bid to blow up an airplane over the United States.

Amsterdam-Schipol airport was also investigating how a 23-year-old Nigerian with reported links to Al-Qaeda could smuggle onboard explosives that he allegedly tried to detonate as the flight approached Detroit.

The United States quickly asked airlines worldwide to tighten security and airport authorities said they were complying with extra screening and strict baggage limits that heaped hours onto check-in times.

Passengers stand in line to go through a security screening at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

Singapore Airlines moved quickly to announce strict new rules for flights to the United States from the busy Asian hub.

“One hour before the plane lands in a US airport, all passengers must be seated, and should not have any baggage near them or be covered with any blanket. The inflight entertainment system would also be turned off,” said a company spokesman.

Extra measures, including frisking of passengers and searching hand baggage came into force on Saturday morning in The Netherlands, which received a formal request from the US authorities soon after Friday’s botched attack. Related article: Nigerian charged with bid to blow up airliner

Within the United States, the Department of Homeland Security tightened security checks for passengers on all domestic and international flights, putting additional screening measures into place.

“These measures are designed to be unpredictable, so passengers should not expect to see the same thing everywhere,” the department’s statement said.

In London a British Airways spokesman said new rules were coming into force.

“This includes additional screening of all US-bound passengers and hand luggage before they board their flights,” he said. “Passengers travelling to the US will only be allowed to carry one item of hand luggage.”

At Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport passengers were told that all hand baggage had to be checked into the hold, except for women’s handbags, one traveller told AFP.

Items required during the flight had to be put into special plastic bags and passengers were frisked again just before boarding when their remaining hand luggage was reexamined, he said.

Rome and Stockholm also announced more stringent security for planes to the United States.

Hong Kong carrier Cathay said it was banning US-bound passengers from using cabin phones at any time during the flight.

Elsewhere, in Asia, New Zealand said passengers flying to the United States were being separated from other international travellers following routine screening for additional baggage checks and body searches.

Authorities in Japan urged passengers to allow more time at the airport amid warnings that tightened security would lead to delays.

Canada announced “immediate action” and also warned that stricter security could cause delays.

Meanwhile, Afghan authorities said they would not be beefing up already-tight security at Kabul’s international airport.

“Our security arrangements at Kabul international airport were already serious and we have good measures,” said Zamary Bashari, interior ministry spokesman.

The European Commission in Brussels said it was investigating if proper security measures had been followed in Amsterdam where would-be bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had boarded the Northwest Airlines flight.

“This incident shows once again that vigilance is necessary at all times in the fight against terror,” a commission vice president, Jacques Barrot, said in a statement.

Abdulmutallab had been able to pass what US authorities have determined was the high explosive PETN through checks at Schiphol.

Since Al-Qaeda’s suicide attacks with hijacked airliners on New York and Washington in September 2001 and an attempted “shoe-bombing” on a Christmas week flight a few months later, airline security has been increasing.

In 2003, airlines reinforced cockpit doors to prevent terrorists from taking control of planes and in 2006 many countries introduced strict restrictions on liquids allowed in luggage.

In 2008, the European Parliament authorised the presence of armed air marshals on commercial flights, following the US example.

But experts point out that 100 percent terrorism-proof airports simply do not exist, as reporters have shown by smuggling weapons and explosives onto flights.

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

Pope Benedict XVI puts John Paul II on next step to sainthood

In World on December 20, 2009 at 4:37 am

VATICAN CITY, Dec 19, 2009 (AFP) – Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday declared his predecessor John Paul II “venerable,” moving the long-serving Polish-born pope closer to sainthood, the Vatican said.

This file picture taken on June 14, 1987 shows Pope John Paul II (R) accompanied by Polish Premier General Wojciech Jaruzelski while listening to the Polish anthem at Warsaw`s Okecie airport at the end of the Pope third visit to Poland (AFP photo)

The decree bestowing the title is the first step towards beatification and eventual sainthood for the charismatic Pole who headed the Roman Catholic Church for nearly three decades.

Pope Benedict launched the lengthy process — which can take decades if not centuries — just two months after the death in 2005 of John Paul II, whose funeral was marked by calls of “Santo Subito” (Saint Now).

The final stage for beatification is providing evidence of a miracle, usually a medical cure with no scientific explanation which is reviewed by several commissions.

In John Paul II’s case, the miracle under consideration — and subject to another papal decree — involves a French nun who was cured of Parkinson’s disease in 2005.

Vatican watchers expect Benedict to approve the beatification, which could be celebrated next year, either on the April 2 anniversary of his death or in October on the anniversary of the start of John Paul II’s papacy in 1978.

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

Vietnam, Malaysia to step up cooperation in three areas

In Vietnam Economy on October 25, 2009 at 5:33 pm

Vietnam, Malaysia to step up cooperation in three areas

QĐND – Sunday, October 25, 2009, 20:49 (GMT+7)

Vietnam and Malaysia on October 15 agreed to increase cooperation in various areas, especially in economics and trade, seafood exploitation and maritime security.

The agreements were reached during talks between Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pham Gia Khiem, and Malaysian Foreign Minister Datuk Anifah Aman on the sidelines of the 15th ASEAN summit in Cha-am and Hua Hin, Thailand.

Deputy PM Khiem said cooperation on the economy, trade and investment with Malaysia has been identified as one of the government’s priorities.

He asked the Malaysian Foreign Minister to consider investing in industrial zones in Vietnam, increasing the quota of Vietnamese workers permitted to work in Malaysia and promoting cooperation with Vietnam in tourism, education and oil and gas exploration.

Minister Aman said a number of Malaysian investors have expressed delight at business operations in Vietnam. A working visit to Vietnam will soon be organised for Malaysian enterprises that wish to seek trade and investment opportunities in the country, he added.

The two ministers also agreed to ask relevant agencies on both sides to negotiate a cooperation agreement on seafood exploitation in line with international laws and norms.

They emphasised the need to step up joint patrols in adjoining and overlapping waters.

Both ministers shared their satisfaction with the new progress in bilateral relations between the two countries, adding that both sides will soon complete an action plan on implementing a comprehensive cooperative framework of the 21st century.

Source: CPV




Source: QDND Bookmark & Share

Son La urged to step up fight against smuggling

In Uncategorized on December 4, 2008 at 2:25 pm

– State President Nguyen Minh Triet has asked authorities in the northern mountainous province of Son La to be more vigilant in preventing cross-border smuggling and trade fraud to ensure the stability of the Vietnam-Laos border region and increase levels of trans-border cooperation.

Whilst working alongside local officials on Dec. 2, the state leader suggested that the province investigate new development models that play to its strengths, as Son La is a relatively poor region beset by a number of difficulties.

Son La authorities should focus their attention on improving the area’s investment environment, preparing investment projects and developing human resources to lure investors more effectively, the President said.

He praised the province’s work in performing site clearance in readiness for the construction of the Son La hydro-electric power plant and requested that the resettlement programme be completed next year.

Construction of the 2,400 MW power plant commenced on Dec. 2, 2005 and is expected to be completed in the latter half of 2012, three years ahead of schedule.

Son La recorded a GDP growth rate of 13.2 percent and posted a poverty rate of 33 percent for 2008.

The province has set the target of achieving a GDP growth rate of 14-15 percent or more and reducing its poverty rate to 29 percent in 2009.-

Thai PM affirms not to step down despite protest

In Uncategorized on November 26, 2008 at 4:06 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – Thai Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat has affirmed that he will not step down or dissolve the House of Representatives despite the latest rally staged by anti-government People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) protestors, said government spokesman Nattawut Saikua.

“The prime minister insisted that he was elected by voters. And if he will have to lose his job, it must be in line with the law or democratic principles. He won’t make his political decisions due to pressure from outside the system,” the spokesman was quoted by Thailand news agency (TNA) as saying on November 25.

PM Somchai would continue with his work after returning to Thailand from the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Peru , according to the spokesman.

On the same day, Thailand’s Army chief Gen. Anupong Paochinda ruled out the possibility of a military coup to topple the government, explaining the coup could not solve problems.

Gen. Anupong said the army has prepared plans and security forces to handle groups of anti-government protestors occupying different areas.

He was quoted by the Bangkok Post’s website as saying that security forces from the army, air force, navy and police will be divided into two groups. The first group will watch over the protesting groups in different locations while the second group will prevent groups with different political views from clashing each other.-

HCM City to step up battle against pollution

In Uncategorized on August 24, 2008 at 4:00 pm

HCM CITY — HCM City authorities plan to strengthen enforcement of environmental regulations on pollution, according to the municipal Department of Natural Resources and Environment.

The department, along with the city’s Union of Science and Technology Association held a conference on Wednesday on finding solutions to preserve the environment.

Speakers said the quality of the environment had deteriorated in recent years because of a lack of supervision of waste output.

City suburbs had suffered environmentally from sewage discharged from industrial zones without waste-water treatment.

In addition, the city’s rubbish treatment system is overloaded, requiring the processing of 6,000 tonnes of rubbish per day, while the waste classification programmes are not working efficiently.

Many canals in the city are severely polluted because of residents’ throwing garbage in waterways.

Loopholes in the country’s environmental law have also made it more difficult for local authorities to fine violators.

Dao Anh Kiet, director of the city’s environment department, said the environmental police would supervise industrial zones, residential areas and small producers more often, and would impose stiff penalties on violators.

Kiet said the department has urged the HCM City People’s Committee to not grant licenses to potentially polluting factories or companies —

Viet Nam step up at ASEAN U-13 tourney

In Uncategorized on August 11, 2008 at 2:30 pm

HA NOI — Viet Nam 1 edged Thailand 2-1 in the opener of group A at the ASEAN U-13 Football Championship at Da Nang’s Chi Lang Stadium on Monday.

Meanwhile, defending champion Phu Yen were defeated 0-1 by visitors Malaysia in group B.

Taking advantage of home support, Viet Nguyen opened the score for Viet Nam 1 just seven minutes into the game with a close shot.

Thailand were faulty in defence against Viet Nam’s stormy offensive style in the first half.

Pitayut Ausvirong fouled a Vietnamese striker in penalty area and captain Phan Thanh took advantage , netting the ball and making the score 2-0.

In second half, Thailand regrouped their squad and went on the attack. Pitayut, who made the mistake in the first half, found the net for Thailand to narrow the score. But Viet Nam 1 rebounded to defend their lead.

The win put Viet Nam 1 at the top of group A with three points. Their hopes of sustaining the top and a berth in the final depends on a second win in the upcoming clash with Singapore.

The tournament has six teams competing in a round robin: Thailand, Singapore and Viet Nam 1 in group A; Malaysia, Indonesia and Phu Yen in group B. The top two of each group will go head-to-head for the gold, while the two runners-up will battle for bronze on Sunday. —