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Posts Tagged ‘talk’

APEC meetings open with talk of Pacific Rim FTA

In Uncategorized on November 7, 2010 at 9:20 am

Special talk on “betel and areca culture” marks Vietnamese Family Day

In Uncategorized on June 28, 2010 at 12:54 pm

A special talk on “betel and areca culture” presented by Professor-Doctor Tran Ngoc Them was held at the Southern Women’s Museum in Ho Chi Minh City on June 25 to celebrate Vietnamese Family Day (June 28).

Teacher Phan Thi Thu Nguyet (C) instructed people how to arrange a “betel and areca tray” as part of wedding rites and worshipping ancestors.  (Photo: Sggp)

The popular custom of betel chewing is considered a long-standing aspect of traditional Vietnamese culture.

The habit of betel chewing includes three elements: betel and areca nuts, plus dehydrated lime.  The process is the source that inspired ancient people to compose the “Legend of betel and areca”- that highlights conjugal affection and brotherhood.

A dish of betel and areca nuts is always prepared for special ceremonies, especially Lunar New Year and weddings.

At festivals or parties, betel and areca nuts are arranged in a special way called tem trau canh phuong (betel nuts are made to look like the wings of a phoenix) which is a symbol of solemnity, skill and culture.

Traditionally, Vietnamese people usually invite their guests to chew betel before starting a conversation. This explains thoroughly the saying known to everyone: “A quid of betel and areca-nut starts the ball rolling.”

Professor Doctor Tran Ngoc Them said that the number of people chewing betel in rural areas is greater than in cities. Although life has modernized, the custom of betel chewing maintains an important role in the lives of Vietnamese people.

Teacher Phan Thi Thu Nguyet of the HCMC Women’s Cultural House instructed young people how to arrange a “betel and areca tray” as part of wedding rites and worshipping ancestors.

Source: SGGP

EU, ASEAN foreign ministers talk cooperation

In Uncategorized on May 27, 2010 at 5:13 pm

Britain’s Conservatives talk power sharing with Lib Dems

In Uncategorized on May 8, 2010 at 8:41 am

 Britain’s Conservatives and Liberal Democrats were set for further talks Saturday to thrash out a power-sharing deal after a cliffhanger election left the kingdom in political limbo.

Negotiations were to continue into the weekend after Thursday’s general election put the Conservatives in the driving seat but without an overall majority in parliament.

All eyes were on Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, who faces steering his third-placed party into alliance with the Conservatives or keeping Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s Labour Party in office in the first hung parliament since 1974.

Two women hang a banner out of a window as they wait to catch a glimpse of British Conservative Party leader David Cameron.

Mindful of the economic turbulence in Europe, Britain’s newspapers urged a swift deal to get a new government in office by Monday.

The Conservatives have 306 lawmakers, compared to 258 for Labour and 57 for the Liberal Democrats, leaving the Tories short of the 326 seats statistically needed to govern unaided in parliament’s 650-seat lower House of Commons.

Conservative leader David Cameron invited the Liberals to strike a pact and talks between their negotiators began late Friday, though all sides were keeping tight-lipped about progress.

“I want to make a big, open and comprehensive offer to the Liberal Democrats. I want us to work together in tackling our country’s big and urgent problems,” Cameron told a press conference earlier.

“I hope we can reach agreement quickly,” he added, while leaving open the possibility of a minority Conservative government, relying on support from smaller parties to pass legislation on an ad hoc basis.

In a hung parliament here, the incumbent prime minister has the right to stay on in office, possibly seeking coalition partners.

Brown accepted Clegg’s decision to look to the Conservatives to make the first move, saying Cameron and Clegg would be “entitled to take as much time as they feel necessary”.

But Brown said he too was open to negotiation with the Lib Dems and dangled the prospect of immediate legislation on their key demand of electoral reform.

“Should the discussions between Mr. Cameron and Mr. Clegg come to nothing then I would of course be prepared to discuss with Mr. Clegg the areas where there may be some measure of agreement between our two parties,” he said.

Cameron and Clegg held telephone talks for 10 minutes, a Lib Dem spokesman said, adding: “They agreed that they should explore further proposals for a programme of economic and political reform.”

Then late Friday, four Conservative negotiators, including Cameron’s de facto deputy William Hague, met in civil service offices with four senior Lib Dems, but both parties gave little away on how the talks had gone.

“We’ve had an intitial meeting, that’s all there is to say,” Hague told reporters.

A Liberal Democrat spokesman confirmed that the negotiating teams met for just over an hour.

“They had a discussion and they agreed that future meetings will take place,” he said.

After later internal talks at their party headquarters, Lib Dem grandee Simon Hughes said: “Things are going properly. Things are going carefully.

“There’s been talks and there will be more… the process has to take its time.”

The negotiations could be tough: Clegg and Cameron are much further apart in terms of policy than the Lib Dems and Labour: Clegg is a europhile, wants to scrap the Trident nuclear deterrent and backs an illegal immigrant amnesty.

Some commentators said a fresh election might be the only route to a solid government.

The pound slumped to a 13-month low against the dollar and London stocks sank on fears the deadlock would hamper the nation’s ability to slash the giant public debt, analysts said.

The Financial Times newspaper said a Tory-Lib Dem pact offered the best hope of stability, because it was the only plausible combination.

The Daily Telegraph said Britain needed a new government in place before Monday to prevent turbulence in the financial markets.

The Electoral Commission watchdog has launched an investigation into scenes in London, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield and other cities where voters were still queuing as polling stations closed.

Source: SGGP

In shift, US offers to talk directly to NKorea

In World on September 13, 2009 at 3:18 am

In a policy shift, the Obama administration said it is prepared to hold direct talks with North Korea in a bid to bring Pyongyang back to six-nation nuclear disarmament negotiations.

The administration — which has conditioned talks with North Korea on Pyongyang’s agreeing to return to a nuclear deal it quit in April — made the offer after consulting partners China, South Korea, Japan and Russia, on Friday.

“We had consultations with our partners in the six-party process,” Assistant Secretary of State Philip Crowley told reporters at the daily news briefing.

“We are prepared to enter into a bilateral discussion with North Korea, but it’s important to characterize it properly,” Crowley added.

“It’s a bilateral discussion that (is) hopefully… within the six-party context, and it’s designed to convince North Korea to come back to the six-party process and to take affirmative steps towards denuclearization,” he said.

This undated picture, released from NKorea’s official Korean Central News Agency on September 4, shows NKorean leader Kim Jong Il (center) visiting the Songjin Steel Complex.

Crowley denied the move amounted to a significant policy change, but suggested it amounted to a tactical shift when he called it a “short-term” measure to bring the reclusive Stalinist state back to talks.

He said it is too early to say when and where envoys such as Stephen Bosworth, the pointman for North Korea in President Barack Obama’s administration, and his deputy Sung Kim would meet their North Korean counterparts.

“Given the consultations that we have, given the invitation that was extended (from North Korea for direct talks), we’ll make some decisions, you know, in the next couple of weeks,” Crowley said.

He was referring to consultations that Bosworth had with his counterparts from China, South Korea and Japan during a tour of Asia in the last week. Kim stayed on in Asia to consult with his Russian counterpart.

Bosworth gave no hint of a change in plan when he spoke in Tokyo on Tuesday.

On August 25, State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said the United States would sit down with the North Koreans only if they agreed to return to six-party disarmament talks.

North Korea quit the six-way talks grouping in April in protest at UN censure of a rocket launch. The UN Security Council then tightened sanctions on North Korea after it staged an underground nuclear weapons test in May.

The United States has long said that any bilateral talks would come only within the framework of six-party talks, which also include China, Japan, Russia and South Korea.

The six-party consultations came after North Korea began to soften its posture recently and sought bilateral talks with Washington, while attempting to scrap the six-way talks aimed at ending its nuclear ambitions.

But Pyongyang said last week it had reached the final stages of enriching uranium and was also building more plutonium-based atomic weapons.

A senior State Department official told reporters on the condition of anonymity that “it will probably be Ambassador Bosworth” who meets with the North Koreans.

“I wouldn’t say it’s imminent, probably not before UNGA,” the official added.

He was referring to the UN General Assembly (UNGA) meeting in New York at the end of September in New York. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Obama are expected to discuss North Korea there with their international partners.

Source: SGGP

Thailand’s government opens talk with protesters

In Uncategorized on September 21, 2008 at 4:29 pm

– Thailand’s new Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat said on September 19 that the government has initiated talks with the protest group occupying the Government House.

PM Somchai declined to give details of his dialogue initiative but said his administration was “in the process of negotiating” with the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) leaders, adding that he expects a positive results.

PM Somchai, brother-in-law of ousted PM Thaksin Shinawatra, was elected in a parliamentary vote on September 17 to replace Samak Sundaravej, who was removed from the post last week when the Constitutional Court found he was illegally paid for hosting TV cooking shows.

The PAD has accused the People Power Party (PPP)-led government of being a proxy for former PM Thaksin, who is now living in Britain.

It quickly vowed to press ahead with their campaign to force PM Somchai and his entire People Power Party out of government. After being endorsed by the king, PM Somchai has appealed for unity and reconciliation to mend Thailand’s deep political divide, according to news agencies. –