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Posts Tagged ‘test’

North Korea may have new atom test to boost heir: South

In Uncategorized on December 24, 2010 at 6:26 am

 North Korea could conduct a third atomic test next year to boost the credentials of its leader-in-waiting, while prospects for bilateral talks with Seoul are slim, a South Korean foreign ministry report said on Friday.


The regular report from a ministry research institute was published a day after Pyongyang vowed a nuclear “sacred war” after the South vowed to be “merciless” if attacked, and held a major military drill near the border.

A North Korean Scud-B missile (C) and South Korean Hawk surface-to-air missiles are seen at the Korean War Memorial Museum in Seoul, December 24, 2010.

The North, which carried out nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009, has yet to show it has a deliverable weapon as part of its plutonium arms program, but a third test would raise tensions further on the divided peninsula and rattle global markets.


Nuclear experts have also said they expect a third test soon, while South Korean media reported earlier this month that the North was digging a tunnel in preparation for one.


“There is a possibility of North Korea carrying out its third nuclear test to seek improvement in its nuclear weapons production capability, keep the military tension high and promote Kim Jong-un’s status as the next leader,” the report said, referring to Kim Jong-il’s youngest son.


“Tension between the two Koreas will remain high with chances of additional North Korean attacks on the South staying high. Chances of a summit meeting between leaders of the two sides look slim,” the institute said, according to a summary of the report.


The analysis for 2011 was written by the Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security, run by the Foreign Ministry.


BOASTING TACTIC


Hostilities have escalated to their worst levels since the Korean war in the early 1950s, after a deadly naval clash in March and the North’s shelling of a South Korean island last month.


Still, the risk of an all-out war is low, and the North’s threats of destruction are largely rhetorical.


The North’s tactic of boasting about nuclear advances is a ploy aimed at restarting talks between itself, the South, China, Japan, Russia and the United States, from which it hopes to wring concessions, analysts say.


“Some form of meeting between six-party members could be held during 2011 to discuss North Korea’s uranium enrichment, but chances are very low for any meaningful progress being achieved,” the institute said.


Those involved in the six-party process say they want to resume it, but among them are widely differing starting points.


China, the North’s only major ally and vital financial backer, sees the forum as the best place to begin dialogue, but Seoul, Washington and Tokyo say they first need proof that Pyongyang is committed to dismantling its nuclear work.


“North Korea has displayed national strength and diplomatic skills that exceed its actual capacity. Kim Jong’s mental strength must be exhausted, and it is about time that China loses its patience,” Seoul’s Joongang Daily said in a commentary.


“The time has come for Seoul to strategically manipulate the North Korea-China alliance to encourage estrangement.”

Source: SGGP

Boeing halts test flights of delay-plagued 787 Dreamliner

In Uncategorized on November 11, 2010 at 5:22 am

48 hours to test Vietnam filmmakers

In Uncategorized on November 1, 2010 at 12:11 pm

Seven European banks fail financial stress test

In Uncategorized on July 24, 2010 at 11:17 am

Government leaders and the IMF on Saturday hailed stress tests on European banks which failed seven of the 91 institutions checked, but markets remained nervous about the credibility of the exams.

German state-owned lender Hypo Real Estate, five regional savings banks in Spain and ATEBank of Greece failed the test of whether they could resist a new financial shock.

The euro fell just after the release of the results but made up the lost ground. US stocks also ended slightly higher but European governments face a nervous wait for markets to reopen Monday to get the full global reaction.


German state-owned lender Hypo Real Estate, five regional savings banks in Spain and ATEBank of Greece failed the test of whether they could resist a new financial shock. All have been ordered to recapitalise or take state aid.


The Committee of European Banking Supervisors (CEBS), which carried out the tests, said the seven banks would need about 3.5 billion euros (4.4 billion dollars).


The stress tests were intended to reassure markets over the health of the European banking system and political leaders and the head of the International Monetary Fund were quick to praise the tests and the results.


Many experts and economists were sceptical though.


The European Union’s Belgian presidency said: “The aggregate results of the tests show a high degree of resilience in the EU banking sector as a whole, reflecting the efforts undertaken over the last years by the banks and some governments to restore confidence in the European banking sector.”


Belgian Finance Minister Didier Reynders, speaking for the EU, told AFP the results were “positive because we have been transparent and the tests were quite strict.”


Spain’s Finance Minister Elena Salgado insisted the results were “satisfactory” despite the failure of the five savings banks.


“The Spanish financial system has overcome the financial crisis very well,” she declared.


IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said the tests were “a major undertaking and represent an important step toward improving transparency and bolstering market confidence.”


“The publication of the results and the actions that have been announced to address bank capital deficiencies promise to significantly strengthen the European financial system,” he added.


US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said the EU “has made a significant effort to increase disclosure on the conditions of individual European financial institutions and enhance market stability.”


Some analysts however said the checks failed to shed much light on the real state of the banking sector.


The report spared all banks examined in debt-laden Portugal. Greece, which sparked fears for the stability of the entire eurozone and was rescued by an EU and IMF bailout, also got off lightly with just one bank failing.


Another focus of concern, Ireland, saw its banks also pass the CEBS capital ratio test, as did Italy. French and British banks likewise emerged with pass grades.


Neil MacKinnon, an economist at VTB Capital in London, said it “looks like a whitewash and the initial reaction is one of scepticism on the part of the markets.”


ING bank analyst Chris Turner said the CEBS announcement “does not appear to have uncovered any ‘skeletons in the closet’,” but added: “Whether it goes far enough remains to be seen.”


Vitor Constancio, vice-president of the European Central Bank and a CEBS member, insisted the stress tests were “a substantial and severe test, both in macroeconomic terms and in financial terms.”


The tests measured the banks so-called Tier One core capital and measured it against outstanding assets, such as loans. A key test was the effect a government debt crisis would have on balance sheets which hold large amounts of government bonds.


Banks must maintain a minimum ratio of 6.0 percent. The CEBS calculated the seven risk banks would see this ratio fall below six percent.


The CEBS estimated by the standard of its test that the total potential damage to balance sheets at the 91 banks — which account for 65 percent of the European banking market — would be 566 billion euros (727 billion dollars) over two years if certain tough conditions hit.


If markets judge the tests too weak, analysts have warned the result could be to undermine or even negate the exercise.


Britain’s influential Financial Times newspaper highlighted the nervousness in a commentary on Saturday and said the European exercise was “neither uniform, transparent or stressful enough, but it is a good step forward if treated with caution.”


 

Source: SGGP

Leak in choke line delays oil cap test: BP

In Uncategorized on July 15, 2010 at 12:58 pm

 A leak detected in the choke line has delayed the start of the critical BP well integrity test, the British oil giant said Thursday.


“In preparation for commencement of the well integrity test, the middle ram has been closed and a leak has been detected in the choke line of the 3 ram stack,” BP said in a statement.


“It has been isolated and will be repaired prior to starting the test.”


Procedures leading up to the actual well integrity test, which included disconnecting the Q4000 and Helix Producer vessels which were collecting oil from the wellhead, were already under way when the leak issue emerged.

This still image from a live BP video feed shows oil gushing from a leaking BP oil well-pipe after a new sealing cap was installed in the Gulf of Mexico

Hopes are high that the well integrity test can proceed and finally close a burst well, stopping more crude from surging into the Gulf of Mexico in what has become the United States’ worst environmental disaster.


The test involves shutting off the valves on a 75-tonne cap installed on Monday to evaluate the integrity of the well bore, which stretches down 2.5 miles (four kilometers) below the seabed.


High pressure readings would allow the three valves to remain shut and the well would effectively be sealed, but low ones could mean there is a hole somewhere in the casing of the well where oil is escaping.


Admiral Thad Allen, the former US Coast Guard chief leading the government’s response to the 85-day disaster, earlier gave a green light to BP to proceed with the test.

Source: SGGP

US recovery faces litmus test

In Uncategorized on July 2, 2010 at 2:20 pm

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The patchy US economic recovery faces a crucial litmus test Friday when fresh unemployment figures are released, but few expect positive results.

(AFP file) A trader reacts during trading at the New York Stock Exchange.

Most analysts say the ranks of jobless Americans are likely to have swollen to more than 15 million, pushing the unemployment rate from 9.7 percent to 9.8 percent.


That would be bad news for President Barack Obama, who is running out of time to put the economy back on track before Congressional elections in November.


Although the White House has repeatedly warned that unemployment will remain high for the rest of the year, polls show it is still a crucial issue with voters.


The drop would also be bad news for markets, which have been convulsed by worry about a double dip recession in recent weeks.


The last quarter has been tortuous for the top 30 US companies, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average losing more than ten percent of its value, in large part over fears about the fate of the US economy.


“This Friday’s employment report will provide an important gauge on the robustness of the recovery underway,” Goldman Sachs analysts warned.


Goldman predicts that payrolls shrunk by 100,000 last month, the first negative figure this year.


One reason for the skepticism is the continued weakness of the private sector, which created just 41,000 jobs in May.


Faced with an uncertain outlook and poor access to credit, US firms have been reluctant to rehire workers.


Analysts fear the June figures will also see the evaporation of hiring for the 2010 Census, which accounted for 95 percent of new jobs in May.


And on Thursday the Labor Department reported yet more people claimed unemployment benefits last week, when new jobless claims rose to 472,000, an increase of 13,000 from the week before.


“Claims drifted higher still over the course of June… suggesting the labor market has not regained the traction that appeared to be building in the first four months of the year,” said Deutsche Bank analysts.


The weakness has sparked calls for Obama to provide more government spending to restart the recovery.


But proponents of this plan admit it is nearly impossible as Washington zeroes in on elections in which the national debt is also likely to feature prominently.


Congress is currently locked in a bitter debate over extending unemployment insurance for over one million workers and is likely to balk at a wider spending package.


The US House of Representatives extended federal unemployment benefits through November 30 on Thursday, but now the Senate has to take up the controversial measure.


Without the extension, some 1.7 million unemployed would be unable to receive their benefits after July 3, according to the House Financial Services Committee.


A new vote on the measure is not expected until Congress returns from its week-long July 4 Independence Day holiday recess.


“I think this report will show that really we need to do more,” said Heidi Shierholz of the Economic Policy Institute, a Washington-based think tank. “The private sector is not yet poised to takeover and sustain a robust recovery.”


With state governments cutting jobs to balance their books, Shierholz said there was a strong case for extending unemployment benefits and aid to states, despite the political difficulties.


“This is one of those cases where the political realities are completely at odds with economic sense,” she said advocating fresh stimulus of around 400 billion dollars.


“I don’t know what is going on in the heads of these people, the economic case is so cut and dry, it is so clear what needs to be done.”

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Source: SGGP

Special candidates register to test at VNU-HCMC

In Uncategorized on July 1, 2010 at 2:22 pm

Some 58 special examinees will participate in the university entrance examinations into the Vietnam National University – Ho Chi Minh City.

Hue students and lecturers design a website about street maps to help examinees to find lodgings, test facilities and public places

They are 51 foreign students and seven blind persons, an increase of four candidates compared to last year. The 51 foreigners will have their Vietnamese language skills tested.


If they fail, they will not have opportunity to take any further tests and will have the opportunity to try again next year.


Of seven sightless high school graduates, six registered to take Option C (literature, history and geography) and one choose Option A (math, chemistry and physics).


These special examinees will test in a separate room equipped with Braille.  Afterwards, the examination organizing board will hire Braille experts to interpret the results.


Examination organizing boards of Vietnam National University Ho Chi Minh City, Nong Lam University (University of Agricultural Engineering), Pedagogy University provided training to supervisors on test-taking tricks used by candidates in the past. Organizers reminded overseers, many of whom are senior university students, about the regulations pertaining to their duties.


To help students in the coming tests, Phuong Trang Coach Company promised to reduce test costs by 50 percent for examinees and to provide free tickets for those who come from disadvantaged families, pending confirmation by local government documents.


Hue University said it has launched online maps with detailed street maps on the website: http://tiepsucmuathi.agreenet.vn/. The website designed by IT lecturers and students aims to help newcomers to Hue City to find lodging, test facilities and public places like ATM machines, internet shops, supermarkets and bookstores.


Volunteers of the program Giving Strength in the Exam Season continued their assignments at bus and train stations in the Mekong Delta City of Can Tho, the southern province of An Giang and the central province of Binh Dinh. They welcomed examinees with maps, transportation and helped examinees and their families obtain suitable lodging, even searching out cheap rented houses for those on tight budgets.

Source: SGGP

Nearly 1,000 bus trips to be added during university entrance test

In Uncategorized on June 19, 2010 at 4:25 pm




Nearly 1,000 bus trips to be added during university entrance test


QĐND – Saturday, June 19, 2010, 20:51 (GMT+7)

Several bus stations in Hanoi have planned to add approximately another 1,000 bus services to meet the growing demands of transportation of examinees and their families during the peak time of this year’s university entrance tests.


Specifically, on the days university and college entrance tests, the Southern Bus Station will receive an additional over 500 bus services, while the Gia Lam Bus Station will welcome an additional 230 bus services and the My Dinh Bus Station, 226 bus services.


The bus stations in Hanoi are expected to attract nearly 300,000 students and their relatives, mainly from provinces of Nam Dinh, Thai Binh, Thanh Hoa, Thai Nguyen, Quang Ninh and Hai Phong city during this year’s university entrance test in Hanoi.


Source: Vnexpress


Translated by Mai Huong


Source: QDND

Toyota to test sports utility vehicles over safety

In Uncategorized on April 15, 2010 at 4:18 am

The Toyota logo is pictured outside a car dealership in northwest England. AFP photo

TOKYO (AFP) – Japanese automaker Toyota suspended worldwide sales of the Lexus GX 460 sport utility vehicle Thursday due to a roll-over risk and said it would test all its SUVs for safety.


“The company has decided to suspend the SUV’s sales worldwide, which means also in Russia and Middle East after North America,” said Toyota spokeswoman Mieko Iwasaki, in reference to the other markets where the vehicle is sold.


The move comes a day after Toyota suspended sales of the GX in the United States and Canada after US magazine Consumer Reports gave the SUV a rare “Don’t Buy: Safety Risk” rating.


In the latest blow to the reputation of the embattled Japanese auto giant, the report claimed that when pushed to its limits, the rear of the GX “slid out until the vehicle was almost sideways before the electronic stability control system was able to regain control”.


Having now suspended the SUV’s sales worldwide, Toyota said it will work on analysing potential safety risks in the model which has sold 6,000 units, as well as its other SUVs.


“The company is examining the possible problem and will decide what remedies should be taken,” Iwasaki said.


Toyota “will start testing all the other SUV models, including the Land Cruiser, Land Cruiser Prado and Rav4,” she said, adding that the company will continue to sell those models.


The automaker has recalled millions of cars worldwide since late 2009, mostly over a series of problems linked to “unintended acceleration.”


Toyota, which overtook General Motors in 2008 as the top-selling automaker, has been bedevilled by a series of safety issues that have raised questions about whether it sacrificed its legendary quality to become world number one.


The recalls have caused an outcry in the United States, with Toyota executives hauled over the coals in the US Congress and the company’s previously stellar reputation for safety left in tatters.


The company faces a record 16.4-million-dollar fine in the United States for its failure to notify authorities quickly about vehicle safety problems.

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Source: SGGP

Djokovic feels the heat but passes test

In Vietnam Sports on January 22, 2010 at 10:43 am

MELBOURNE, Jan 21, 2010 (AFP) – Former champion Novak Djokovic believes he can only improve after overcoming an early stumble to get past dogged Marco Chiudinelli to reach the third round of the Australian Open on Thursday.


The Serbian third seed needed four sets and almost three hours to wear down the world number 58 Swiss, 3-6, 6-1, 6-1, 6-3 as the heat cranked up on Rod Laver Arena.








Djokovic hits a return against Marco Dhiudinelli of Switzerland in their men’s singles second round match on day four of the Australian Open in Melbourne on January 21, 2010. AFP photo

He dropped the opening set but eventually dominated Chiudinelli to set up a third round encounter with Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin.


Djokovic has painful memories of his ill-fated Australian Open title defence last year when he retired during his quarter-final with Andy Roddick through cramping and heat fatigue.


He was wary of the potential pitfalls in the early rounds and was at odds with himself in the opening set as he struggled to find rhythm and form.


“There are some things that I obviously have to improve in order to play better,” Djokovic said.


“But the opening rounds, especially at Australian Open, are tricky and where a lot of surprises happen.


“You’re playing against the players who really have nothing to lose and have played a more matches than you.


“I kind of feel that little pressure. This is what I felt a little today.”


Djokovic was off his game in the opening set, conceding two service breaks and hitting double the number of unforced errors of Chiudinelli.


“I was frustrated, especially at start of the match, because he was really giving it to me,” he said.


“He was very aggressive and stepping in and using ever opportunity that has been given to him.


“I automatically just became too defensive and didn’t really make too much. Just waiting for his mistakes.”


Djokovic said he made the transition to being offensive and gradually took control, breaking the Swiss twice in the second, four times in the third and in the eighth game of the final set.


“I try not to put too much pressure on myself. I try to take one match at a time,” he said.


“I really had some bad experiences last year. Unfortunately it finished the way I did.


“So I’m just trying to focus on my own matches and put in the best possible effort. I believe that I can even play better.”


It was an erratic performance from the 2008 Australian Open champion, offering 17 break point opportunities on his servce and committing 52 unforced errors.


Chiudinelli, making only his fourth Grand Slam appearance, dropped serve in six consecutive games during the second and third sets and needed constant running repairs on a troublesome right ankle.


Djokovic looked affected by the heat and resorted to an ice pack draped around his neck during changeovers late in the match.


Djokovic’s quarter of the draw has opened up following the first round elimination of French Open finalist and eighth seed Robin Soderling and the highest-ranked seed left in his section is Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.


He beat Tsonga in the 2008 Australian Open final for his first career Grand Slam title.


Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share