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Posts Tagged ‘targets’

Dioxin treatment project targets hot spots

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 9:27 am




Dioxin treatment project targets hot spots


QĐND – Wednesday, December 15, 2010, 21:6 (GMT+7)

A seminar to start a dioxin treatment project in hot spots across Vietnam took place in Hanoi on December 15.

The seminar was jointly held by the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, the Global Environmental Fund and the United Nations Development Programme.

The five-year project, starting from 2010, will deal with and minimise the devastating consequences of the chemicals at and around Da Nang , Bien Hoa (Dong Nai) and Phu Cat (Binh Dinh) airports.

According to statistics released by the Office of the national steering committee for overcoming the consequences of chemicals used by the US during the Vietnam war (called the Office of National Steering Committee 33), from 1961 to 1971 the US military dropped nearly 80 million litres of herbicides on southern Vietnam, of which the majority of the chemicals sprayed were Agent Orange that contained dioxin.

The dioxin levels in the sprayed areas have reduced remarkably, however, the airports where the chemicals were stored are still hot spots.

At the seminar, the participants discussed dioxin treatment plans in the hot spots and the possibility of other sponsors becoming involved in the project.

They spent a lot of time identifying the scale and level of contamination in the three targeted areas, discussing new technologies to treat the areas as well as environmental and human issues during the project.

Richard J. Cooke, an international advisor from the Office of National Steering Committee 33, pointed out that the project needs to place more importance to the technological and environmental requirements of both Vietnam and the rest of the world.

Priority should be given to technologies that can directly be implemented in Vietnam through trade clauses and those with suitable prices for both experiment and application, he said.

The project needs close cooperation and coordination between the Office of National Steering Committee No. 33 and relevant ministries and agencies, especially the Ministry of National Defence, he added.

The project’s steering committee should pay attention to the necessary financial resources to prevent the pollution in the south-western area of Bien Hoa airport and pollution treatment in Phu Cat airport, the expert said.

Source: VNA


Source: QDND

NATO targets ceding control of Afghan war to Kabul

In Uncategorized on November 19, 2010 at 3:27 am

Manufacturing, exports set to surpass targets

In Uncategorized on November 10, 2010 at 1:57 pm

Tourism industry targets 12mln foreign visits

In Uncategorized on October 27, 2010 at 5:36 am




Tourism industry targets 12mln foreign visits


QĐND – Tuesday, October 26, 2010, 20:42 (GMT+7)

The tourism industry plans to earn 8.9 billion USD in 2015 when the country expects to welcome 12 million foreign visitors and host 28 million domestic travellers, according to a draft on tourism development from 2010-20.

The industry would earn 15.9 billion USD in revenue in 2020, which would contribute to 6 percent of GDP, according to the draft.

Nguyen Manh Cuong, deputy head of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, said the development plan was drafted after his administration extensively surveyed related ministries and sectors.

The draft would be submitted to Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung for approval, Cuong said.

In this period, the Vietnamese tourism sector would promote products rather than images, said the deputy head of the Marketing Department under the National Administration of Tourism, Nguyen Thi Thanh Huong.

The country’s tourism sector has so far created specific tourism products to attract visitors.

Officials are now eyeing Meeting, Incentive, Convention and Exhibition (MICE) events and health care tourism as potential sectors that might attract tourists from Southeast and Northeast Asia.

The industry will also need to focus on attracting more tourists from the EU, North America, Australia and Overseas Vietnamese.

In addition, programmes to study market opportunities in India and the Middle East will also be established.

Recently, the administration kicked off a slogan and symbol contest for the Vietnamese tourism sector.

The first prize is worth 50 million VND (2,500 USD) and the deadline is December 15. Domestic and foreign companies, organisations and individuals are able to participate.


Source: VNA
Photo: thitruongvietnam


Source: QDND

HCM City targets 3.3 million int’l visitors in 2011

In Uncategorized on October 14, 2010 at 6:34 pm




HCM City targets 3.3 million int’l visitors in 2011


QĐND – Wednesday, October 13, 2010, 20:29 (GMT+7)

Ho Chi Minh City expects to receive at least 3.3 million foreign visitors in 2011, earning 48 trillion VND (2.4 billion USD), according to the municipal Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

In the first nine months of 2010, the number of international arrivals to the city reached 2.2 million, representing a year-on-year increase of 13 percent.

At this growth rate, the southern economic hub hopes to welcome the 3 millionth visitor in mid-December this year.

HCM City targets 2.8 million foreign tourists this year but the real figure may exceed 3 million.

The city’s tourism sector accounts for 60 percent of international arrivals to Vietnam, 45 percent of the country’s tourism revenues and 5.5 percent of its GDP.


Source: VNA
Photo: voh


Source: QDND

Quang Binh targets to develop tourism

In Uncategorized on August 10, 2010 at 3:23 pm




Quang Binh targets to develop tourism


QĐND – Tuesday, August 10, 2010, 20:43 (GMT+7)

Tourism is seen as one of the important factors in improving the socio-economic development in the central province of Quang Binh. In the future, the province plans to develop tourism as a key industry with huge investment in upgrading the infrastructure and changing operational methods.


Over the last few years, Quang Binh has focused on developing their transportation system. The province has built a road along the coast linking famous tourist sites, such as Nhat Le, Quang Phu and Da Nhay beaches, to the Dong Hoi airport.


In May, the province started the construction of a new road, at a cost of VND 180 billion.


To attract more domestic and foreign tourists, the Dong Hoi airport is being upgraded, at a cost of more than VND 212 billion, to receive medium-sized planes.


With support from the Ministry of Transportation, the province spent more than VND 1 trillion to upgrade a 300 km road from the Cha Lo International Border Gate to the Hon La sea port, and foreign tourists from Laos and Thailand can now visit tourist sites in the province, along with caravan tours between Vietnam – Laos and Thailand.


Furthermore, the Dong Duong Company is constructing an 820 ha tourist area, at a cost of VND 253 billion, near the Bang Geyser.  This is a high-grade tourist site connecting other sites in the province.


Arriving in Dong Hoi city, tourists will have an opportunity to visit the Nhat Le Bridge, and to stay at high-end  tourist areas, such as the My Canh – Bao Ninh eco-tourism resorts and the VND 500 billion Sun Spa resort with high-standard facilities, such as 4 star hotels, asports complex and entertainment spots.


Dong Hoi also has a chain of hotels with more than 2,000 luxury rooms.


As the Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park became recognized as a World Heritage site, more domestic and foreign tourists have visited Quang Binh.


In the first seven months of this year, the province welcomed nearly half a million tourists.  This is a 20% increase when compared to the same period last year. In particular, the number of international tourists has increased by 63.58%. The Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park received 7,000 visits a day on the occasion of April 30th and May 1st alone.


The province targets to welcome 1 million visitors this year. The tour entitled “Central Region’s Heritage Road” is expected to attract a lot of tourist to Quang Binh.


To reach this target, the province needs to improve promotional programs and quality of its tourism staff. In addition, the province should work together with travel agencies in other provinces to develop tourism.


Source: VNA


Translated by Duy Minh


Source: QDND

Ha Long targets theatre crowd

In Uncategorized on May 23, 2010 at 5:17 pm




Ha Long targets theatre crowd


QĐND – Sunday, May 23, 2010, 20:59 (GMT+7)

Ha Long Bay offers an incredibly beautiful landscape naturally formed by thousands of islands and islets. Recently, Ha Long Bay’s management board have attempted to lure tourists through an experimental project that transforms caves into natural theatres.


Dau Go Cave doesn’t just attract tourists because of its hundreds of stalactites that are all from the ceiling like a waterfall, but it also draws many for fashion and musical shows.


Dau Go Cave was the venue of a music concert for the first time in 2005. Until now it witnessed a variety of small performances on a mobile stage which is removed at the end of a show.


The cave acted as an opera house during the Ha Long carnival that took place early this month with various performances of music, orchestra, fashion and dance.


Tourists and members of the Most Beautiful Bays of the World Club enjoyed the event and highly appreciated the venue, according to Ngo Van Hung, chief of Ha Long Bay’s management board.


Developing the cave into a permanent performance space would be a good idea for Ha Long tourism, Hung says.


“Because Ha Long Bay is the World Natural Heritage Site, all projects relating to the bay need to be approved by the Quang Ninh Provincial People’s Committee and Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism,” he says.


After experimenting, the management board found that space in the cave is suitable to holding concerts. The shape of the cavern allows for good acoustics, while being spacious enough for a stage and audience seating.


The exterior is a vaulted space full of natural light. This can be a venue for daytime events.


Hung expects that the theatre in Dau Go Cave could serve tourists every weekend with various kinds of performing arts such as tuong (classical drama), cheo (traditional opera) and ca tru (ceremonial singing).


“We intend to build a wooden stage and seats for about 200 people and set up light and sound equipment, it won’t be a modern theatre,” Hung says.


“We’ll make sure that the beauty of the cave and the surrounding environment will be protected.


These activities won’t affect the cave and the stalactites. The performances will help foreign tourists understand more about Vietnamese culture.”


Apart from Dau Go Cave, Ha Long Bay’s management board has set up a wooden stage in Trong (Drum) Cave. This is the venue for Quang Ninh Province’s cheo troupe performances on special occasions.


The inside of the cave is so wide and light that the management board doesn’t have to set up lighting. The natural theatre is illuminated thanks to candles.


The Most Beautiful Bays of the World Club has recently organised a meeting and admitted new members in the cave. With the support of tourists, public opinion and authorities, the management board will continue to experiment.


Source: VietnamNet/VNS


 


Source: QDND

Beyond Times Square: Pakistani Terrorism Targets U.S.

In Uncategorized on May 7, 2010 at 12:37 pm

Not long ago, a bomb attack on New York City‘s Times Square would have had intelligence officials and terrorism experts checking off the usual suspects among the sources of terrorist plots against the U.S. – Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq. But these days, says a top counterterrorism official, “when I hear of a terrorist plot, I can count back from 10, and before I get to zero, someone will bring up the P word.”


That’s P for Pakistan.



Over the past couple of years, more plots against U.S. targets have emanated from or had a strong connection to Pakistan than any other country. Says the counterterrorism official, who was briefed on the hunt for the Times Square bomber but is not authorized to speak with the media: “It was totally predictable that the smoking Pathfinder would lead to someone with Pakistan in his past.”



Nor would it come as a surprise if it were revealed that Faisal Shahzad, who has claimed to investigators that he was working alone, was in fact linked to an ever lengthening list of extremist groups operating in Pakistan’s northern wilds. These groups, whose attacks had long been confined to the Indian subcontinent, are now emerging as a deadly threat to the U.S. and its allies. As the core of al-Qaeda, led by Osama bin Laden, wilts under the constant pounding from the CIA’s Predator drone campaign, Pakistani groups are mounting operations deep into the West.


A surveillance photo captured in Times Square shows a Nissan Pathfinder sports utility vehicle (R) containing a bomb in this New York Police Department image released to Reuters on May 2

Such groups as Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) have not yet notched major successes against U.S. targets to match Hizballah’s bombings in 1980s Lebanon or al-Qaeda’s destruction of two U.S. embassies in Africa in 1998. But they have lately mounted operations of great audacity and sophistication. LeT has been operating in Europe for at least a decade, initially raising funds from the large Pakistani diaspora in countries like Britain and France and later recruiting volunteers for the jihad against Western forces. At least one of the plotters of the 2005 London subway bombings was an LeT trainee, and British investigators believe the group has been connected to other plots in the U.K.



The TTP, which claimed credit for Shahzad’s failed bombing, was behind the suicide bombing that killed seven CIA agents in Afghanistan late last year. And in 2008, in the most spectacular attack by a Pakistani-based group on Western targets, LeT bombed and shot up a railway station, a hospital, two five-star hotels and a Jewish center in Mumbai, killing more than 160 people, including six Americans. Afterward, Indian authorities scanning a computer belonging to one of the Mumbai plotters found a list of 320 targets worldwide; only 20 were Indian.

Now, security officials fear, Pakistani jihadis are spreading their operations across the Atlantic, recruiting U.S. citizens to their cause just as Britons were recruited a decade ago. If that assessment proves accurate, the Times Square bomb plot could be the first of more to come.



An Evolving Threat
What are the wellsprings of Pakistani radicalism? In the 1980s, many fervently Islamic groups were set up in Pakistan to fight the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. After the Soviet withdrawal in 1989, however, these groups and their spin-offs did not lay down their arms but instead turned their attention to Pakistan’s old enemy, India. Encouraged by Pakistani civilian, military and intelligence authorities, LeT, Jaish-e-Mohammed and others refashioned themselves as freedom fighters in the cause of Kashmir, the Himalayan territory claimed by both India and Pakistan. Pakistani officials regarded the jihadis as a proxy in their conflict with India, and Islamabad provided groups like LeT with land, funding and even military training, though it was understood that they could not attack targets in Pakistan or get involved in any operations against the U.S., Pakistan’s ally. Though there was some low-key cooperation between the Pakistani groups and al-Qaeda, it didn’t merit much attention from Washington.

After the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, however, the Bush Administration began to look more closely into bin Laden’s alliances. Washington pressured the Pakistani government of General Pervez Musharraf to crack down on LeT, Jaish and others, which by then were on the State Department’s list of proscribed terrorist organizations. But the government in Islamabad allowed the groups to continue operations – in December 2001, LeT attacked the Indian Parliament in an audacious move that nearly brought the two countries to war – with only cosmetic changes to their names. LeT, for instance, merged with its charitable foundation, the Jamaat-ud-Dawah.



Gradually, the Pakistani groups began to broaden their targets beyond the Indian enemy. LeT propaganda, for instance, began to focus on links, real and imagined, between India, Israel and the U.S. By the mid-2000s, the group’s leader, a former Islamic-studies professor named Hafiz Muhammed Saeed, began to call for a jihad against the West using language similar to those of the fatwas issued by bin Laden and other al-Qaeda leaders. LeT fighters began to venture out of their comfort zone, joining the fighting in Iraq.



At the same time, a new group of radicals, the TTP, had begun to emerge along Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan. While LeT, Jaish and other older groups were dominated by Pakistan’s majority Punjabi ethnic group, the TTP was overwhelmingly Pashtun, the dominant ethnic group in Afghanistan. And the TTP never had any qualms about challenging the Pakistani state as well as NATO troops in Afghanistan. In 2007 its leader, Baitullah Mehsud, ordered the assassination of Benazir Bhutto and attacks on military targets; he also unleashed a wave of suicide bombings in Pakistani cities. While Pakistani authorities have continued to take a somewhat tolerant view of the Punjabi groups, their attitude toward the TTP is another matter. The army began to crack down on the group in 2008, and in the summer of 2009, a CIA drone took out Baitullah Mehsud. His successor, Hakimullah Mehsud, was thought to have been killed in another drone strike in January, but he re-emerged last week to claim responsibility for the Times Square attack.



Militants in Our Midst
How plausible is that? U.S. officials were initially dismissive of the TTP’s claims but began to reconsider once it emerged that Shahzad had been trained in bombmaking at a camp in Waziristan, which is Mehsud’s stronghold. There is no doubt that the TTP and other Pakistani groups are now recruiting among Americans. Last October, the FBI arrested a Pakistani American, David Coleman Headley, and a Pakistani Canadian associate, for plotting to attack the Copenhagen offices of a Danish newspaper that had published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. More shockingly, the FBI said that Headley had been involved in the Mumbai attacks too (he had scoped out the hotels and the Jewish center for LeT) and was planning to bomb the U.S., British and Indian embassies in Dhaka, Bangladesh, before local authorities discovered the plot. In March, Headley pleaded guilty to all charges; he is now waiting to be sentenced.



The Headley revelations alarmed the Obama Administration’s security team. In January, Daniel Benjamin, the State Department’s top counterterrorism official, said in a speech to the Cato Institute in Washington that “very few things worry me as much as the strength and ambition of LeT.” The next month, Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that LeT was “becoming more of a direct threat … placing Western targets in Europe in its sights.”



The TTP is certainly doing so. In 2008, it plotted to bomb the public-transport network in Barcelona, though the operation was busted before it got much beyond the planning phase. If Shahzad was indeed acting on Mehsud’s instructions, then the TTP has come closer to successfully executing a large-scale operation on American soil than any group has since Sept. 11, 2001.



Exporting Jihad
It’s fair to say that many analysts remain skeptical of the ability of a group like the TTP to operate outside Pakistan and Afghanistan. Mehsud lacks the kinds of networks cultivated by the Punjabi groups among Pakistanis living in the West. The TTP’s fighters also tend to be poor, unsophisticated peasants from the mountains, ill equipped for foreign assignments. Besides, Mehsud and his fighters now find themselves under attack from the air (the CIA drones) as well as on the ground (the Pakistani military) and may not have the freedom to think big. They’re much more likely to seek U.S. targets close at hand: in April, the TTP attacked the U.S. consulate in the Pakistani city of Peshawar.



But the TTP is working on ways to export terrorism. The group’s training camps in Waziristan are a magnet for Western jihadis, including U.S. citizens. Once trained, some return home and become executors of the TTP’s global ambitions. It’s likely that the camps attended by both Najibullah Zazi, who confessed to planning attacks on the New York subway system last year, and Shahzad, the alleged Times Square bomber, were run by the TTP. Others will no doubt follow in their footsteps. Ashley Tellis, a South Asia expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, says there’s no reason to doubt Mehsud’s determination to mount attacks in the U.S. “His group has taken very big hits from the drone campaign,” he says. “He’s looking for payback. We have to watch the TTP very carefully.”



LeT has the same intent but much greater capabilities. It has larger international networks and access to more sophisticated urban and educated recruits – people like Headley, who can move freely in American society. Its foreign operations tend to be better planned, often in collaboration with other groups, like al-Qaeda and Jaish.



Perhaps LeT’s greatest strength is the patronage it continues to receive from the Pakistani military and intelligence services. And it enjoys genuine popularity in large parts of the country, where it offers social services that the government cannot provide. After the devastating 2005 earthquake in Pakistani-controlled Kashmir, LeT volunteers were often the first to arrive on the scene and provide valuable assistance. Like Hizballah in Lebanon, LeT and other Punjabi jihadist groups wield a combination of military and political power that makes them practically untouchable.


How can the Pakistani groups be combatted? Bruce Riedel, a counterterrorism expert at the Brookings Institution in Washington, says the Administration’s best bet is to launch a “global takedown” of Pakistani jihadi cells outside Pakistan, especially in Britain, the U.S. and the Middle East. “These external bases are the most threatening to us, much more than their operations in Pakistan,” he says. As British authorities – who have had more experience with this challenge than those in the U.S. – know very well, such a takedown involves long, hard work by a host of law-enforcement agencies. And while the good guys are increasing their capabilities and understanding of the threats facing them, so are the bad guys. The Times Square bomb plot didn’t go as planned. But as Riedel says, “We can’t rely on them to be bad bombmakers forever.”

Source: SGGP

IMF chief plays down raising inflation targets

In Uncategorized on April 11, 2010 at 10:26 am

The head of the International Monetary Fund said Saturday it still believes in “low and stable inflation” despite a suggestion from its chief economist that targets could go higher.


At a conference in Cambridge, eastern England, Dominique Strauss-Kahn played down proposals made by Olivier Blanchard in February that inflation targets could be raised from about two percent to four percent to allow central banks to respond better to shocks.


“I think this is an interesting idea that merits serious discussion, but it is not the principal question for monetary policy and should not distract us from more important concerns,” he said.


“Let me also be clear: we remain an institution that believes that low and stable inflation delivers positive benefits for growth and macroeconomic stability.”

International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, pictured on April 4

Earlier this week, it was reported that Germany’s Bundesbank had sharply criticised a joint IMF-EU aid plan for stricken Greece, saying the IMF had become the “Inflation Maximising Fund”.


The EU-IMF scheme to bail Greece out has been highly contentious, mainly because of German ambivalence linked to its concerns over protecting the credibility and stability of the eurozone and monetary conditions in Germany.


Protesters briefly disrupted Strauss-Kahn’s speech at Cambridge university’s King’s College, which was hosting a conference organised by the Institute for New Economic Thinking, a body set up with a grant from financier George Soros.


Concealed above the stage in the main hall, the protesters unveiled a large banner behind Strauss-Kahn which read: “The IMF is part of the problem, not the solution”, and one of them cried: “Shut down the IMF.”


The banner was quickly removed and Strauss-Kahn brushed off the protest. Security staff, who said the protesters were young people and likely students, escorted them from the building.


Commenting on the global economic crisis, Strauss-Kahn said the world was on the path to recovery but it remained “sluggish and uneven” and the costs, such as high unemployment and public debt, “will take many years to overcome”.

Source: SGGP

Gia Lai targets 125,000 ha of rubber trees by 2015

In Vietnam Economy on October 24, 2009 at 3:02 am




Gia Lai targets 125,000 ha of rubber trees by 2015


QĐND – Thursday, October 22, 2009, 21:2 (GMT+7)

The Central Highland province of Gia Lai has zoned off between 120,000-125,000 ha for rubber growing by 2015 and the area is expected to increase to 130,000-135,000 ha by 2020. 


The province now has 76,700 ha of rubber trees and the remaining will be developed from poor natural forests and bare forest land. Most of the new plantations will be in south-western districts such as Duc Co, Chuprong, La Grai, Chu Se and Chupah. 


The expansion of rubber growing areas is expected to help improve the local people’s living conditions as the tree yields profit two times higher than cashew or short-term industrial crops. 


The number of workers involving in rubber production now accounts for 11.2 percent of the province’s total 390,000 agro-forestry labourers. 


In the future, if the province’s scheme is achieved, the rubber sector will create jobs for around 70,000 labourers.


Source: VOV


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