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Assange vows WikiLeaks to stay strong despite new blow

In Uncategorized on December 19, 2010 at 8:26 am

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said the site will stay strong despite another blow to its funding and the publication Sunday of new details of the sex crime allegations against him

 WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said the site will stay strong despite another blow to its funding and the publication Sunday of new details of the sex crime allegations against him.


The Australian began his third full day under “mansion arrest” at a friend’s house while he fights extradition to Sweden, vowing that the whistleblowing website would continue to publish more secre US diplomatic cables.


Assange on Saturday denounced Bank of America, the largest US bank, for becoming the latest institution to halt financial transactions for Wikileaks after MasterCard, PayPal, Visa Europe and others.


The bank said its decision was “based upon our reasonable belief that WikiLeaks may be engaged in activities that are, among other things, inconsistent with our internal policies for processing payments.”


“It’s a new type of business McCarthyism in the US to deprive this organisation of the funds that it needs to survive, to deprive me personally of the funds that my lawyers need to protect me against extradition to the US or to Sweden,” Assange told AFP.


The term was coined to describe the anti-communist pursuits of former US senator Joseph McCarthy from the late 1940s to the 1950s.


Assange is staying at Ellingham Hall, the mansion in eastern England of journalist friend Vaughan Smith, as part of the conditions of bail, which he was granted by London’s High Court on Thursday.


He must also report daily to a nearby police station and wear an electronic tag.


Several British newspapers published lurid new details of the allegations of sexual assault against two women, over which Swedish prosecutors want to question him. The 39-year-old denies the charges.


The Guardian newspaper — which has cooperated with WikiLeaks on the publication of the US documents — and the Mail on Sunday both reported that the two women with whom he had sex in Sweden had gone to police after he refused to take an HIV test.


Assange hit out at Swedish handling of the case, accusing authorities there of leaking fresh details about the case that even he and his defence lawyers have not had access to.


The former computer hacker also reiterated that there were threats against his life and those of the website’s staff, but he vowed that WikiLeaks would continue publishing the cables.


“We are a robust organisation. During my time in solitary confinement we continued to publish every day and its not going to change,” he said.


Assange claimed earlier in an interview with Forbes magazine that a “megaleak” by the website will target a major US bank “early next year”.


WikiLeaks has enraged Washington with its release of thousands of leaked US diplomatic cables and confidential military documents relating to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.


Assange said Friday it looked “increasingly likely” the US would try to extradite him on charges related to the leaked cables as he savoured his first day on bail.


He said his lawyers believed a secret US grand jury investigation had been started into his role in the release.


Media reports suggest that US prosecutors are trying to build a case against Assange on the grounds that he encouraged a US soldier, Bradley Manning, to steal US cables from a government computer and pass them to WikiLeaks.

A report by congressional researchers said the Espionage Act and other US laws could be used to prosecute Assange, but there is no known precedent for prosecuting publishers in such a case.

The latest US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks indicated that the United Nations offered Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe a retirement package and safe haven overseas if he agreed to stand down.

The offer was made by Kofi Annan, the UN secretary general at the time in 2000, said the memo, which was drawn up by US officials and cited the then-opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

Source: SGGP

Strong measures taken to stabilize prices

In Uncategorized on November 14, 2010 at 2:29 pm

Vietnam aims for a strong ICT developer

In Uncategorized on October 13, 2010 at 3:54 am




Vietnam aims for a strong ICT developer


QĐND – Monday, October 11, 2010, 21:48 (GMT+7)

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung recently adopted a project to make Vietnam a strong developer in information and communication technology (ICT).


Under the project, the ICT sector’s contribution will account for 8-10 percent of the country’s GDP. The PM’s plan could potentially rank Vietnam in the world’s top 10 software and data services providers by 2020.


A Radio Voice of Vietnam (VOV) reporter interviewed Prof. Dr Do Trung Ta, PM Nguyen Tan Dung’s ICT envoy and Chairman of the National Council for Science and Technology Policy, on the issue.


Reporter: To reach the set target of making Vietnam a strong ICT developer, what major issues should Vietnam focus on in the future?


Mr Ta: Among target national projects, the Government regards ICT as a key area for boosting socio-economic development. To reach this goal, Vietnam needs to focus on developing high-quality ICT human resources to meet social requirements to meet the international standard. From now until 2020, Vietnam strives to have around 1 million ICT engineers and workers whom have achieved international standards, and so are capable of having access advanced technologies.


Vietnam also needs 80 percent of ICT university graduates qualified in professional skills and foreign languages in order to engage in the international labour market. Part from human resources development, it is also essential to develop the ICT industry with a capacity for research and designs to gain revenues through original products.


The widening IT application in life is also an important issue that Vietnam should focus on, as it will give fresh impetus for socio-economic development and increasing businesses’ productivity. The use of the Internet at schools will help the IT sector with the training of high-quality human resources, for example.


In addition, creating a good working environment and a healthy competition for ICT businesses is also an issue of major concern for the Government. If the issue is dealt with properly, it will help scientific research institutions and IT businesses make better contributions to the national economy, thus improving people’s living standards.


The working environment is comfortable with laboratories, international standardised technical infrastructure and qualified domestic and foreign experts.


Reporter: Developing the ICT industry sustainably requires close co-operation among businesses which use one technical infrastructure. However, cooperation is far from expectations. How will we promote further co-operation?


Mr Ta: It is necessary to raise awareness of the ICT industry to promote further it. If the State, businesses, organisations and individuals are all looking towards developing technical services people everywhere from urban to rural areas, even remote, mountainous and island areas will be able to use broad-band Internet and enjoy the latest ICT achievements. Thanks to ICT, people will also have more chances to find jobs that increase their income.


No country wants one business to do everything. The Telecommunication Law encourages all businesses to operate under the management of State.


ICT businesses that have experience and good infrastructure and services should help others to develop.


In recent times, linking in ICT businesses which use one common infrastructure to develop ICT products has fallen far below expectations because they do not agree on a common co-operative orientation.


Reporter: Many businesses still compete unnecessarily for profits. What should we do to prevent this?


Mr Ta: Vietnam issued the Competition Law, which refers to market shares for powerful or newly established businesses.


To ensure businesses do not violate the Competition Law, the Ministry of Information and Communications must closely control marketing and advertising programmes to prevent disorder in the ICT market. If the market is in disorder the State budget will fall and the State will suffer losses. For example, the ministry does not allow the Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) to establish prices for services, and the VNPT must submit prices to the ministry for approval. This will help other businesses with chances to attract customers to develop.


Instead of unhealthy competition, ICT businesses should improve the quality of technologies, services and customer care.


Reporter: Thank you very much.


Source: VOV


Source: QDND

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

Obama, China’s Hu press for strong words on Iran

In Uncategorized on April 13, 2010 at 9:33 am

Amid a sudden upswing in relations, President Barack Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao sought common ground Monday on Iran, agreeing that a set of potential sanctions should make clear to Iran the cost of continued nuclear defiance, a White House official said.


The two leaders, meeting on the sidelines of a U.S.-hosted summit on nuclear proliferation, also discussed a currency dispute between the two nations but without announcing specific progress toward resolving it.

President Barack Obama meets with Chinese President Hu Jintao during the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, Monday, April 12, 2010.

White House national security aide Jeff Bader said Iran was a major topic at the 90-minute session between Obama and his Chinese counterpart. “I’d just say that the president in the meeting made clear the sense of urgency, and the Chinese made clear that they are prepared to work with us,” Bader said. He called it another sign of international unity on Iran.


The upbeat assessment reflected a recent warming of U.S.-Chinese diplomatic ties, but the meeting produced no breakthroughs. Chinese spokesman Ma Zhaoxu did not mention sanctions in a statement on Hu’s meeting with Obama.


Ma said China hopes all parties will step up diplomatic efforts and seek ways to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue through negotiations.


China and the United States share the same overall goal on the Iranian nuclear issue,” the Chinese statement said.


The U.S. description of the meeting echoed recent comments from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice and others that the Chinese are now willing to talk turkey on sanctions — although nothing about a specific commitment. They started working on language at the U.N. last week.


Bader said Hu and Obama instructed their aides to work with the group of nations directly overseeing the Iranian nuclear issue and with U.N. officials to come up with a sanctions resolution. “The resolution will make clear the costs of pursuing a nuclear program that violates Iran’s obligations and responsibilities,” he said.


China — as do the United States, Russia, Britain and France — holds veto power on the U.N. Security Council. So it could block any sanctions proposal it does not like. In the past, both China and Russia have expressed reservations with some of the proposals issued by the United States.


On the currency dispute, Bader said Obama reiterated his view that there needs to be “a more market-oriented exchange rate.”


U.S. manufacturers claim China keeps its currency pegged to the dollar to make its exports cheaper. And Obama has publicly called on China to let its currency rise.


Analysts suggest China doesn’t want to be seen as bowing to U.S. pressure. Still, there have been recent signs that China is moving on its own toward allowing its currency to rise with market conditions.


The White House official called it a “positive and constructive” meeting, “a meeting without talking points” involving leaders who are “familiar and comfortable with each other.”


He said the two leaders did break for a moment of silence to remember the deaths of 29 U.S. miners in the worst U.S. coal mining disaster since 1970.


The meeting came during a recent thaw in diplomatic exchanges between the two countries after a period of rising tensions aggravated by China’s rigid currency policies, U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, Obama’s meeting with the Dalai Lama at the White House and U.S. tariffs on Chinese tires.


Poised to soon surpass Japan as the world’s second-biggest economy, China has softened its recent muscular rhetoric, muting criticisms of the U.S. as both nations seek to recovery from economic troubles.


In a step further reflecting the recent thaw in relations, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner postponed until this summer a report that had been due this week that might have condemned China for manipulating its currency, as Geithner had asserted in the past.


That could have proved an embarrassment to China, with its president in Washington attending Obama’s summit.

Geithner also made an unscheduled visit to China last week — following a trip to India — and met with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan.

That led to an increase in speculation that China may be getting closer to allowing its currency, the yuan, also called the renminbi, to appreciate with market forces. A stronger yuan would cut import prices inside China.

There are mixed views within China on the value of keeping the currency tied to the dollar. A stronger yuan, for instance, would give China’s central bank a freer hand to raise interest rates to combat inflation.

A move to let the yuan rise in value against the dollar would benefit U.S. exporters. The undervalued Chinese currency has made Chinese goods cheaper for American consumers. But it’s hurt U.S. companies by making their products costlier in China.

Fred Bergsten of the Peterson Institute for International Economics says the yuan is 25 percent to 40 percent undervalued against the dollar. If the Chinese currency were to appreciate by that amount, he estimates, it could generate 600,000 to 1.2 million U.S. jobs.

Charles Freeman, former assistant U.S. trade representative for China affairs and now with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said there’s “definitely been a public warming in relations” between the U.S. and China in recent weeks. “And I think the private relationship is slightly warmer,” he said.

Freeman said he expects the Chinese will soon act to let its currency rise. “It’s been in the works for a long time,” he said.

As to future relations between the two economic super powers, “we’re always going to have a bit of a roller coaster,” Freeman said.

Source: SGGP

Strong Mexico quake rattles southwestern US

In Uncategorized on April 5, 2010 at 9:29 am

WASHINGTON (AFP) – A string of aftershocks rattled the US and Mexican Pacific Coast early Monday, hours after a huge earthquake struck northwestern Mexico, killing two people and rocking buildings as far away as southern California.

Residents from Mexicali, Mexico seek refuge after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the area April 4, 2010 in Calexico, California. AFP photo

Emergency workers struggled to respond to damage and injuries after Sunday’s magnitude 7.2 temblor knocked out power, damaged water lines and snarled traffic.


Roads cracked, telephone poles were toppled and walls crumbled in Mexicali, the capital of Baja California state. An untold number of homes, offices and hospitals were also damaged.


In the border city of Mexicali, located 60 kilometers (38 miles) from the epicenter of the quake, a man was killed when his home collapsed on top of him, Mexican rescue workers told AFP.


Another man died when he was crushed by a falling wall in Mexicali, where 100 people were also injured, Baja California Governor Jose Guadalupe Osuna said in a televised statement.


With no immediate reports of injuries and only limited damage, residents of California, Arizona and Nevada in the United States meanwhile breathed a sigh of relief this quake was not the feared “Big One” they have anticipated for years.


Seismologists have warned a massive earthquake is inevitable in California and could kill thousands of people.


Osuna declared a state of emergency in Mexicali, a major metropolitan hub of 900,000 inhabitants. Classes were suspended indefinitely.


“This is a large quake with the potential of causing damage because it is not far from a population center,” said Carlos Valdez, director of the National Seismological Service.


A firefighter at a station just outside Mexicali told the Los Angeles Times that fires caused by the quake destroyed at least six homes after damaging propane tanks and severing electricity lines.


Several homes near the Cerro Prieto volcano some 31 kilometers (19 miles) from the quake’s epicenter sank into the ground as water rose around them, according to the firefighter, Oscar Silas.


US and Mexican seismological services said the quake, which struck at 3:40 pm (2240 GMT), was shallow with a depth of just 10 kilometers (six miles). It was centered 26 kilometers (16 miles) southwest of Guadalupe Victoria in Baja California.


Among dozens of reported aftershocks, at least three were strong ones, including a magnitude 5.4 temblor that struck near Guadalupe Victoria, southeast of Mexicali, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.


The temblor came within weeks of two catastrophic quakes in the Americas — a January 12 earthquake of magnitude 7.0 killed an estimated 230,000 people in Haiti and in Chile, a massive 8.8 quake on February 27 left an estimated 452 people dead.


The Los Angeles Fire Department said its initial assessment found “no significant damage or injuries” but had responded to an increase in automatic alarms and stuck elevators.


The fire department was checking transportation infrastructure, large public venues, apartment buildings and power lines from the ground and the air to ensure safety.


Rides were temporarily closed at the Disneyland theme park in Anaheim, California, according to the Los Angeles Times.


KABC Television in Los Angeles said high-rise buildings in that city and in San Diego rocked back and forth when the quake hit and that some residents saw electric power poles moving.


The Yuma, Arizona sheriff’s department was responding to numerous building alarms but had no immediate reports of injuries.


“A little bit of everything” fell down every aisle of Fry’s grocery store, front-end manager Karla Favela told The Yuma Sun.


“The first thing I thought of — have you seen the movie ‘2012?’ The part when the grocery store splits in half?”


The USGS said the quake was felt as far away as Las Vegas, Nevada, some 460 kilometers (290 miles) from the epicenter, as well as in Los Angeles, 360 kilometers (224 miles) away, and in Phoenix, Arizona, 300 kilometers (186 miles) away.


Seismologists had initially reported the temblor measured magnitude 6.9.

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Source: SGGP

Strong Mexico quake rattles southwestern US

In Uncategorized on April 5, 2010 at 9:21 am

WASHINGTON (AFP) – A string of aftershocks rattled the US and Mexican Pacific Coast early Monday, hours after a huge earthquake struck northwestern Mexico, killing two people and rocking buildings as far away as southern California.

Residents from Mexicali, Mexico seek refuge after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the area April 4, 2010 in Calexico, California. AFP photo

Emergency workers struggled to respond to damage and injuries after Sunday’s magnitude 7.2 temblor knocked out power, damaged water lines and snarled traffic.


Roads cracked, telephone poles were toppled and walls crumbled in Mexicali, the capital of Baja California state. An untold number of homes, offices and hospitals were also damaged.


In the border city of Mexicali, located 60 kilometers (38 miles) from the epicenter of the quake, a man was killed when his home collapsed on top of him, Mexican rescue workers told AFP.


Another man died when he was crushed by a falling wall in Mexicali, where 100 people were also injured, Baja California Governor Jose Guadalupe Osuna said in a televised statement.


With no immediate reports of injuries and only limited damage, residents of California, Arizona and Nevada in the United States meanwhile breathed a sigh of relief this quake was not the feared “Big One” they have anticipated for years.


Seismologists have warned a massive earthquake is inevitable in California and could kill thousands of people.


Osuna declared a state of emergency in Mexicali, a major metropolitan hub of 900,000 inhabitants. Classes were suspended indefinitely.


“This is a large quake with the potential of causing damage because it is not far from a population center,” said Carlos Valdez, director of the National Seismological Service.


A firefighter at a station just outside Mexicali told the Los Angeles Times that fires caused by the quake destroyed at least six homes after damaging propane tanks and severing electricity lines.


Several homes near the Cerro Prieto volcano some 31 kilometers (19 miles) from the quake’s epicenter sank into the ground as water rose around them, according to the firefighter, Oscar Silas.


US and Mexican seismological services said the quake, which struck at 3:40 pm (2240 GMT), was shallow with a depth of just 10 kilometers (six miles). It was centered 26 kilometers (16 miles) southwest of Guadalupe Victoria in Baja California.


Among dozens of reported aftershocks, at least three were strong ones, including a magnitude 5.4 temblor that struck near Guadalupe Victoria, southeast of Mexicali, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.


The temblor came within weeks of two catastrophic quakes in the Americas — a January 12 earthquake of magnitude 7.0 killed an estimated 230,000 people in Haiti and in Chile, a massive 8.8 quake on February 27 left an estimated 452 people dead.


The Los Angeles Fire Department said its initial assessment found “no significant damage or injuries” but had responded to an increase in automatic alarms and stuck elevators.


The fire department was checking transportation infrastructure, large public venues, apartment buildings and power lines from the ground and the air to ensure safety.


Rides were temporarily closed at the Disneyland theme park in Anaheim, California, according to the Los Angeles Times.


KABC Television in Los Angeles said high-rise buildings in that city and in San Diego rocked back and forth when the quake hit and that some residents saw electric power poles moving.


The Yuma, Arizona sheriff’s department was responding to numerous building alarms but had no immediate reports of injuries.


“A little bit of everything” fell down every aisle of Fry’s grocery store, front-end manager Karla Favela told The Yuma Sun.


“The first thing I thought of — have you seen the movie ‘2012?’ The part when the grocery store splits in half?”


The USGS said the quake was felt as far away as Las Vegas, Nevada, some 460 kilometers (290 miles) from the epicenter, as well as in Los Angeles, 360 kilometers (224 miles) away, and in Phoenix, Arizona, 300 kilometers (186 miles) away.


Seismologists had initially reported the temblor measured magnitude 6.9.

d
Source: SGGP

Strong measures required for detoxification

In policies on March 3, 2010 at 3:37 am




Strong measures required for detoxification


QĐND – Monday, March 01, 2010, 22:8 (GMT+7)

Despite achieving positive results in drug control, functional ministries and sectors should come up with stronger measures to ensure effective detoxification and treatment, said Deputy Prime Minister Truong Vinh Trong.


At a meeting on March 1 with leaders from functional agencies and sectors involved in drug detoxification, Mr Trong emphasised that drug is always a social scourge, threatening social security and socio-economic development of all countries.


“It is imperative to consider producing detoxification medicines not only vital objective but a deed of profound humanitarian significance,” he said. “All relevant agencies and sectors should encourage and expand the production of the medication to minise and repulse drug use from social life,”


Currently, some kinds of drug addiction detox medication are used in Vietnam, such as Bong Sen (Lotus), Cedemex and Danapha. In addition, methadone has been used for detoxification treatment in a pilot study in HCM City and Hai Phong and will be applied in Hanoi and other provinces in the near future.


Source: VOV


Source: QDND

Strong quake hits off Indonesian island

In World on December 26, 2009 at 12:27 pm

A strong quake with a magnitude of 6.7 hit off the Indonesian island of Maluku on Saturday, seismologists said, but there were no immediate reports of a tsunami or casualties.


The quake struck at 15:57 pm local time (0657 GMT) about 152 kilometres (94 miles) northwest of Tual, Maluku province, at a depth of 67 kilometres, the Indonesian Meteorology and Geophysics Agency said.


“The quake happened under the sea far enough from the nearest town of Tual. It’s also deep, meaning that its effect will be insignificant,” the agency’s technical head Suharjono told AFP.


“There is no report of damages yet,” he added.


A later US Geological Survey report registered the quake, in the Banda Sea, at a magnitude of 6.0.


Indonesia sits on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” where the meeting of continental plates causes high volcanic and seismic activity.


 


Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

Strong quake at sea off central Philippines: seismologists

In World on September 18, 2009 at 4:13 pm

MANILA, Sept 18, 2009 (AFP) – A powerful earthquake struck at sea off the central Philippines on Friday, but there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage, seismologists said.

The US Geological Survey said the quake had a magnitude of 6.0 and struck in the South China Sea off the west coast of Mindoro island at 2:23 pm (0623 GMT).

Local seismologist Ismael Narag said the quake generated enough power to unleash big waves, but added that no warning was issued because authorities did not think it was capable of triggering a tsunami.

“It would have to be at least 6.5 magnitude to generate a tsunami,” said Narag, from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.


The quake occurred about 50 kilometres (31 miles) beneath the sea surface, according to a US Geological Survey advisory.

It said the epicentre was about 30 kilometres off Calintaan, a western Mindoro town of 24,000 people.

Police in the province of Occidental Mindoro, where Calintaan is situated, said that, although the quake was quite strong, they had no reports of any damage to the region’s isolated and sparsely populated west coast.

“It was a strong earthquake and it lasted for quite a while,” officer Rose Macabenta told AFP by telephone from provincial police headquarters.

“It rattled the tabletops, but the wall frames stayed in place,” she said.

Calintaan police could not be immediately reached for comment.


Source: SGGP