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Posts Tagged ‘years’

Dangerous chemicals have been used in food for years

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2011 at 4:05 am

After Chinese media stated that their satay might contain a toxic cancer-causing substance, a number of individuals are now feeling sick after eating the satay.

Chemicals found in Kim Bien Market. Chefs have used these chemicals for years in making food (Photo: SGGP)

Chefs at sidewalk restaurants have used additives and chemicals in food for many years, as buying these chemicals are easy and inexpensive.


A Sai Gon Giai Phong journalist toured one of the biggest wholesale markets in Ho Chi Minh City – Kim Bien Market in District 5.


Chemicals including liquids to bleach, chemicals to create coffee foam and colorings, and chemicals to make chicken and goat meat crispier were found in nylon bags and bottles.

One retailer said that chefs should use one spoonful of these chemicals in order to make the food crispier.


At another shop, the owner said chefs have used additives and spices to make pho (Rice noodle soup with beef) and bun bo (Beef rice noodles).


She stated she sells more than 50 liters of beef to eateries in a week. She said that a one-liter bottle of additives priced at VND250, 000 could be used to cook 100 big pots of rice noodle soup or beef rice noodles.


The situation is much the same at Binh Tay Market in District 6. A shop assistant told a journalist that he uses a red powder in varnishing cooked crab rice noodles. She compared the cost of these chemical to only VND50, 000, while food colorings would cost six times more to buy. 


After the news became public, the Food Hygiene Department in Ho Chi Minh City, told the market management boards not authorize any shop to sell Chinese satay and spices for cooking ‘pot-au-feu’.


However, much Vietnamese food is package in nylon, without any clear indication of its origin and no labeling on the food product were available at several of market stores.

Source: SGGP

Genomic Fossils Reveal Explosion of Life 3 Billion Years Ago

In Uncategorized on December 24, 2010 at 6:25 am

Life has existed on Earth for roughly 3.5 billion years, but there is very little fossil record left for most of that time. However, two researchers have used modern genomes to look back in time and reconstruct the evolution of ancient cells.


Their work has revealed an explosion of life about 3 billion years ago, coinciding with the appearance of the chemical mechanism that makes possible two crucial processes – respiration and photosynthesis. [Scientists Hunt for Signs of the Earliest Life on Earth]


“What is really remarkable about these findings is that they prove that the histories of very ancient events are recorded in the shared DNA of living organisms,” said one of the researchers, Eric Alm, a professor of civil and environmental engineering and biological engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He collaborated with Lawrence David, who received his doctorate from MIT and is now a junior fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows.


To turn the clocks back, Alm and David used information about modern genomes in combination with their own mathematical model that took into account the ways genes evolve, such as, the creation and inheritance of new gene families and the loss of genes. Using this technique, they traced thousands of genes from 100 modern genomes back to those genes’ first appearance on Earth.


This genomic “fossil record” indicates that the collective genome of life expanded between 3.3 billion and 2.8 billion years ago. During this period, 27 percent of all presently existing gene families came into being. The pair dubbed this the Archean Expansion.


This expansion coincided with the development of modern electron transport, which is the biochemical process responsible for shuttling electrons within cellular membranes to make breathing oxygen and carrying out photosynthesis possible.


“Our results can’t say if the development of electron transport directly caused the Archean Expansion,” David said. “Nonetheless, we can speculate that having access to a much larger energy budget enabled the biosphere to host larger and more complex microbial ecosystems.”


After the Archean Expansion, about 2.5 billion years ago, the atmosphere filled with oxygen, a dramatic event in the history of life on Earth, called the Great Oxidation Event. A type of photosynthesis, made possible by electron transport, is believed to have driven the oxygenation of the atmosphere.


Alm and David detailed their findings online Dec. 19 in the journal Nature.


 

Source: SGGP

Average life expectancy of Vietnamese people 72.8 years

In Uncategorized on December 21, 2010 at 9:28 am

The average life expectancy of a Vietnamese person is now 72.8 years, Dr. Duong Quoc Trong, Director of the General Department of Population and Family Planning announced at a meeting in Hanoi on December 20.

The average life expectancy of a Vietnamese person is now 72.8 years, but the age that most people experience a healthy life is only up to 66

He said this at the meeting held to mark Vietnam’s Population Day, which is December 26.


Although the life span rose to 72.8 years old, the age that most people experience a healthy life is only up to 66. Vietnam is rank 116 over 182 nations in the world in the field.


However, most of the population is still faced with many challenges, such as low quality living and the imbalance of gender issues. During the year, 1.24 million babies were born, 4 percent less than in the same period last year.


In addition, the gender ratio in Vietnam was 106 boys per 103 girls. But now this has changed to 111 boys per 103 girls.


The number of the third child was 122,600, which is a 6 per cent decrease over the same period last year. Nevertheless, only nine provinces reported a third child, meanwhile 40 over 63 provinces, state that the newly born babies have decreased dramatically.


The factors that determine whether a population grows or falls includes rates of reproduction and survival of people and the longevity of the citizens.

Source: SGGP

HCM City plans US$135 mln for pre-schools in 5 years

In Uncategorized on December 17, 2010 at 8:27 am


Ho Chi Minh City plans to set aside about VND2,700 billion (US$135 million) for developing its pre-school system between now and 2015.

Children in playing time at Anh Dao kindergarten.   (Photo: SGGP)

Under the plans, the city’s government will build 760 classrooms, and train thousands of teachers, both working and new ones.


The city will ensure that 100% of under-5 children to go to school with two class sessions a day by 2013.


Among them, the local authorities will allocate priority funds in the construction of six national standard kindergartens in rural areas including Ly Nhon Commune in Can Gio District, Nhon Duc in Nha Be, Tan Nhut in Binh Chanh, Xuan Thoi Thuong in Hoc Mon, Tan Thong Hoi and Thai My in Cu Chi; and other pre-schools in 12 wards in districts consisting of 4, 6, Phu Nhuan, Go Vap, Binh Tan, Tan Phu; and in industrial and export processing zones.


In addition, the city’s government also guides the Department of Education and Training to cooperate with the Labor Union in asking industrial and export processing zones to build kindergartens for workers’ children.

Source: SGGP

Vietnam plans to put end to TB within 20 years

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 9:29 am




Vietnam plans to put end to TB within 20 years


QĐND – Friday, December 10, 2010, 20:52 (GMT+7)

Vietnam plans to eliminate tuberculosis (TB) by 2030, according to the National Tuberculosis Prevention (NTP) Programme.


The programme on Dec. 9 revealed its strategy for the next five years to reduce the prevalence of TB by half of the estimated incidence in 2000. It also aims to keep the multi-drug resistance (MDR) rate steady between now and 2015.


“TB epidemiology in Vietnam is still higher than the previous estimation of health experts. Thus, a significant number of TB cases remain undiagnosed or unreported and will continuously be sources of transmission,” said NTP Director Dinh Ngoc Sy.


According to statistics from the Ministry of Health, Vietnam still ranks 12th among 22 TB high burden countries and ranks 14th among 27 countries with a high burden of MDR-TB. The NTP estimated that Vietnam has about 200,000 TB cases of all forms, of which nearly 100,000 are new cases.


The number of TB cases detected and treated consistently remains under 60 percent of new cases annually. MDR-TB is about 20 percent of previously treated TB patients.


Vietnam will have to mobilise about 250 million USD of the total budget of 340 million USD from local and international donors to implement the National Tuberculosis Prevention Programme (NTP) in the next five years, Sy said.


“The State funding for the tuberculosis prevention programme only meets about 30 percent of the budget requirement,” he said.


The NTP said TB prevention activities have faced many challenges due to inadequate budget, lack of human resources, legal shortcomings, a weak health system and the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.


The programme has set targets for the 2011-15 period that ensure access to and provision of equitable, high-quality and basic directly observed treatment (DOT) services at all levels of the healthcare system; address TB/HIV, MDR-TB and TB control in prisons; integrate NTP into the health system; and mobilise the involvement of all economic sectors in the NTP fight.


WHO estimates there are about 2 million new TB cases worldwide, 93 percent of which are in Vietnam , the Philippines , Cambodia and China . In fact, 260,000 people die from TB each year in the Western Pacific region.


Source: VNA


Source: QDND

Highest tides in 23 years damage crops, aquaculture ponds

In Uncategorized on November 24, 2010 at 6:21 am




Highest tides in 23 years damage crops, aquaculture ponds


QĐND – Tuesday, November 23, 2010, 20:52 (GMT+7)

The highest tides in 23 years have damaged crops and aquaculture ponds on the southernmost Ca Mau peninsula.


Ca Mau province’s Hydro-meteorological Forecasting Centre director Tran Tien Dung said high tides and heavy rain had swollen waters in coastal Nam Can district to 1.54 metres and 86 cm in Ca Mau city.


The province’s Agriculture and Rural Development Department reports that sea water surged over dykes in the Dam Doi, Nam Can, Ngoc Hien, Phu Tan districts destroying more than 3,000 ha of shrimp and fish ponds.


About 5,000 ha of rice paddy and plantation was also flooded in the Thoi Binh, U Minh and Tran Van Thoi districts.


High tides from October to the middle of this month have damaged more than 15,800 ha and caused damage estimated at 4.1 billion VND (210,000 USD), reports provincial Irrigation Department director Nguyen Long Hoai.


Three days of high tides and heavy rain has also damaged 53,000 ha of farm land in neighbouring Bac Lieu province.


The province could lose 13,000 ha if the high tides continue, warns the provincial agriculture department.


The high tides, which are expected to continue until this weekend, submerged most of Nga Nam in Soc Trang province.


The 1.6-million-ha Ca Mau peninsular, on the southern tip of Vietnam , includes Can Tho city and Hau Giang, Soc Trang, Bac Lieu and Ca Mau provinces as well as part of Kien Giang.


Source: VNA


Source: QDND

Exhibition on 20 years of HIV/AIDS in Vietnam opens

In Uncategorized on November 22, 2010 at 2:01 pm

Taiwan ex-president gets 19 years in prison

In Uncategorized on November 12, 2010 at 5:23 am

Iran releases American held for 2 years in Tehran

In Uncategorized on October 17, 2010 at 10:23 am

 Iran on Saturday set free an American businessman jailed in Tehran for more than two years on suspicion on ties to an allegedly violent opposition group.


Reza Taghavi, 71, hadn’t been charged with a crime and denied knowingly supporting the organization, known as Tondar.


“He admitted to nothing and he continues to maintain his innocence,” his lawyer, Pierre Prosper, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from Tehran after his client’s release from Tehran’s Evin prison. He’s not expected to return to Southern California before the middle of next week.


Iranian officials are “comfortable that he was in fact used by this organization, and comfortable that he does not pose a threat to them and that he can leave and go back to the United States,” Prosper said.


Iran had accused Taghavi of passing $200 in cash to an Iranian man tied to Tondar. Taghavi, who regularly visits Iran to conduct business and see family, had received the money from a friend in California with instructions to pass the cash to an Iranian, according to Prosper.


“I didn’t do anything wrong. Someone just asked me take this money to help someone,” Taghavi told ABC News.


“Sometimes I feel relief, sometimes, I feel angry. What happened? Two-and-a-half years for what?” he said.


His family had said he has diabetes and was in poor health, and his lawyer has asked Iran to free him on humanitarian grounds.


Prosper said Taghavi won’t able to leave until this coming week because of conditions attached to his release. While Taghavi never was charged formally or presented with paperwork indicating a charge, Prosper said there is a case within the Iranian justice system. He plans to meet with a judge in the next week in hopes of getting that case dismissed.


The best way to describe the situation, he said, is that the case is suspended and Taghavi is free to leave.


“We welcome the release of Reza Taghavi from detention in Evin Prison in Iran, and are pleased that he will soon be reunited with his family. We urge Iranian authorities to extend the same consideration to Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer, and other detained Americans by resolving their cases without delay,” said State Department spokesman Noel Clay.


Fattal and Bauer are two American hikers jailed in Iran since they were arrested near the Iran-Iraq border in July 2009. The Iranians released Bauer’s fiancee, Sarah Shourd, a month ago.


Prosper said he and Taghavi will visit the southern Iranian city of Shiraz, site of an April 2008 bombing at a mosque that killed 14 people. Iranian authorities blame the group that Taghavi is suspected of being involved with, and told Taghavi to meet with victims of the attack.


“He feels aggrieved. He feels used” by his friend back home who provided the cash, Prosper said.


Prosper had five direct meetings with Iranian officials since Taghavi was jailed. Three were in Iran, one in New York and one in Europe.


A family representative, Ric Grenell, said Taghavi planned to hold a news conference upon his return to the United States.

Source: SGGP

Experts warn of 10mln TB deaths in next five years

In Uncategorized on October 14, 2010 at 2:27 pm

AFP – A mother and her son wait for anti-tuberculosis pills at a clinic on October 13, 2010 in Alexandra township

JOHANNESBURG (AFP) – Ten million people will die of tuberculosis in the next five years if global funding to fight the disease is not increased, the Stop TB Partnership warned.


The Partnership, a coalition of governments, non-profits, companies and international organisations, said 47 billion dollars (34 billion euros) are needed to save five million lives between now and 2015, including two million women and children.


“We need a plan to stop these completely unnecessary deaths,” said Rifat Atun, chair of the Partnership’s coordinating board, at the launch of the coalition’s 2011-2015 “Global Plan to Stop TB”.


“If we are able to carry out this plan, we will treat 32 million people and save five million lives,” Atun said.


Each year, nine million people contract TB, which hits hardest in the developing world. Most cases occur in Asia (55 percent) and Africa (30 percent), with India and China alone accounting for 35 percent of all cases, the Partnership said.


Close to two million people die of the contagious lung infection each year — most from treatable cases, it said.


“Tuberculosis is an ancient disease. It should have been eliminated by today,” said Mario Raviglione, director of the World Health Organisation’s Stop TB department.


“The pandemic is slowly declining, but far too slowly.”


The Partnership called for renewed efforts to help the most vulnerable patients — the more than one million HIV positive people who contract TB each year and the 400,000 to 500,000 people who develop multi-drug resistant TB.


Half a million HIV positive people die from TB each year, a quarter of all AIDS deaths, said Paul de Lay, deputy executive director of UNAids.


“There is a terrible link between HIV and TB,” he said.


The coalition said 10 billion dollars are needed to fund research to develop a vaccine, new medications and faster and more effective testing. It said its goal by 2015 is to have three new drug regimens and four vaccines in Phase III clinical trials, the final step before drugs go to market.


It said funding to fight the disease has lagged in the past five years, adding that it needs to make up a funding shortfall of nine billion dollars from the last five-year cycle amid limited private-sector interest in the disease.


“Pharmaceutical companies don’t invest enough in TB because it’s not a profitable market,” said Christian Lienhardt, senior research advisor for the Partnership.


“It’s a poor people’s disease, so TB medication will never be a blockbuster.”


The Partnership said affected countries would not be able to fully fund the fight against TB, and called on international donors in high-income countries to kick in 2.8 billion dollars a year over the next five years to make up the funding gap.


Tuberculosis is a contagious bacterial infection that spreads by air. An infected person can spread the disease to about 15 other people per year.

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Source: SGGP