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Posts Tagged ‘York’

Photos of Halong Bay on display in New York

In Uncategorized on August 13, 2010 at 11:22 am

A photo exhibition on Ha Long Bay opened in New York on Aug. 11 as part of campaign to vote for the Vietnamese bay as world natural wonder.

Halong Bay

Fifty photos, depicting the beauty of the Bay, as well as its potential for tourism, bio-diversity and plentiful flora and fauna are on display.


At the opening ceremony of the exhibition, Bui The Giang, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of Vietnam at the UN, stated that the beauty of Halong has been not only in Vietnamese people’s mind, but also attract foreign friends, including Americans. He stressed that the exhibition was held as the fine development of bilateral relations between Vietnamese and American people.


The exhibition will last until Aug. 18.

The final voting stage for world natural wonders will take place between 2010 and 2011.


To voted for Halong Bay, twice recognised by the UNESCO for its landscapes and geological values, please visit the website www.new7wonders.com/nature/en/vote_on_nominees.

Source: SGGP

New York teachers, students visit Vietnam

In Uncategorized on June 18, 2010 at 4:23 am

A delegation of teachers and students from the Trinity High School in New York is on a visit from June 13-26 to study the land and people of Vietnam through their voluntary activities at the Vietnam Friendship Village in Hanoi and visits to landscapes.


This is the fourth time the Trinity High School has sent delegations to Vietnam .


On June 14, the delegation was received by Standing Vice President of the Vietnam-US Association Nguyen Tam Chien, who briefed it about Vietnam ’s renewal process and 15 years of Vietnam-US relations.


He emphasised the Vietnamese people’s wish to foster the relationship with the US , especially in education, economics, trade and humanitarian aid.


On the same day, the US teachers and students joined three lectures on the economic development and renewal situation in Vietnam and the country’s standpoint on globalisation, the feelings of foreigners living and working in Vietnam and the history of Thang Long-Hanoi.

Source: SGGP

Pakistani Taliban behind failed New York attack: US

In Uncategorized on May 10, 2010 at 4:52 am

The United States charged for the first time Sunday that the Pakistani Taliban was behind a Pakistani-American’s failed attempt to detonate a car bomb in the heart of New York City.


“We’ve now developed evidence that shows that the Pakistani Taliban was behind the attack,” Attorney General Eric Holder said on ABC television’s current affairs talk show “This Week.”


“We know that they helped facilitate it. We know that they probably helped finance it, and that he was working at their direction.”


Faisal Shahzad, the 30-year-old son of a Pakistani air force officer, was pulled off a plane to Dubai and arrested Monday for allegedly leaving a sport utility vehicle rigged to explode in New York’s Times Square on May 1.


The United States has responded by stepping up pressure on Pakistan to crack down on Islamic extremists operating in safe havens in tribal areas along Pakistan’s rugged border with Afghanistan.


The New York Times said General Stanley McChrystal, the US commander in Afghanistan, urged Pakistan’s General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani in Islamabad on Friday to quickly begin a military offensive in North Waziristan, the stronghold of Al-Qaeda and the Pakistani Taliban.


And Secretary of State Hillary Clinton starkly warned of “very severe consequences” if a terror attack against the United States were traced back to Pakistan.


“We’ve made it very clear that if — heaven-forbid — an attack like this that we can trace back to Pakistan were to have been successful, there would be very severe consequences,” Clinton told CBS’s “60 Minutes” program to air later Sunday.


Clinton said there had been a “sea change” in cooperation by Pakistani authorities but she added, “We want more.”


John Brennan, the White House deputy national security adviser, charged that Shahzad was trained and funded by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP.


“He had extensive interaction with the TTP. And this is something that we are, again, looking at very carefully, understanding the extent of that interaction and the extent of the direction and guidance that was given to him,” he told Fox News Sunday.


Brennan portrayed Shahzad as having been influenced by the “murderous rhetoric” of Al-Qaeda and the Pakistani Taliban, but told CNN’s ‘State of the Union” show that he had been “very cooperative” under questioning.


He said Shahzad had traveled back and forth six times to Pakistan over the past decade, working with the TTP over a period of several months on his latest trip, which stretched from mid-2009 to his return to the United States in February.


“What we are trying to do is determine now exactly who helped him, who worked with him and making sure we are able to uncover and then to address successfully these individuals who are trying to carry out other attacks,” Brennan said.


He told CBS’s “Face the Nation” that individuals in Pakistan “have been identified as being complicit in this.”


“Again, we’re working with the Pakistanis right now,” he said. “We’re trying to stay ahead of this curve. We’ve been able to find out things that we didn’t know in the immediate aftermath of this attempted attack.


The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the failed attack a week ago, but it was initially discounted because the plot was so sloppily executed and the bomb so primitive it appeared to be the work of an amateur acting alone.


But US authorities have since concluded that the Shahzad case reflects a change in tactics by Islamic extremists, who have been hammered over the past year by a deadly onslaught of US missile strikes.

When coupled with Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab‘s alleged attempt to blow up a US-bound airliner on Christmas Day with explosives sewn in his underwear, the New York bombing signaled a shift to the use of hastily trained individuals to carry out attacks.

“Abdulmutallab was a singleton on that plane, but he obviously had the links back to Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Shahzad in Times Square had links back. But he drove that vehicle to Times Square alone,” Brennan said on Fox.

He told CNN other people with roots in the south Asian region had been noted traveling back and forth.

“It shows they are trying to take advantage of individuals who may have been able to come to the United States and in some instances acquire United States citizenship. We have to remain on guard against that.”

US lawmakers unveiled legislation Thursday to strip naturalized Americans of their citizenship if they are thought to have joined extremist groups like Al-Qaeda.

Source: SGGP

New York security toughens as bomb suspect charged

In Uncategorized on May 5, 2010 at 12:39 pm

NEW YORK, May 5 (AFP) – New Yorkers faced tougher, more visible security measures as the arrest of a Pakistani-American in connection with the Times Square bomb plot and a widening global investigation kept the city on edge.


“We always have to be vigilant because in the eyes of a terrorist, New York is America and they want to kill us,” city police commissioner Raymond Kelly said Tuesday as the suspect faced charges of international terrorism in the attempted car bombing of New York’s Times Square.


On the subway system, police searched the bags of riders entering some stations Tuesday.

The mailbox at the home of Faisal Shahzad is seen on May 4, 2010 in Bridgeport, CT. AFP photo

More officers than usual were also stationed outside One Police Plaza, the police headquarters blocks from the federal courthouse.


The suspect charged, Faisal Shahzad, 30, allegedly drove a Nissan SUV crammed with a large, but malfunctioning bomb into Manhattan’s busiest neighborhood last Saturday, as thousands flocked to theaters and other tourist attractions.


He was arrested in a dramatic scene at John F. Kennedy Airport just before midnight Monday when his Emirates Airline flight was preparing to take off for Dubai.


The arrest came 53 hours after police found the homemade bomb literally smoldering in the SUV parked outside a theater staging “The Lion King” musical. The teeming Times Square district was evacuated and a huge manhunt got under way.


On Tuesday, Shahzad underwent interrogation about alleged links in the plot to Pakistan. The criminal charges allege that he attended “bomb-making training” in Pakistan’s Wazirstan region prior to the attack.


Attorney General Eric Holder said Shahzad, a naturalized US citizen, had admitted involvement in the bomb attempt.


FBI Deputy Director John Pistole said the suspect, seen in photographs as a fresh-faced, lightly bearded man, was cooperating and “provided valuable intelligence and evidence.”


However Shahzad, born in Pakistan and made a US citizen only last year, did not appear before a judge Tuesday as expected. He has not yet entered a plea.


Officials gave no reason for the delay.


A 10-page criminal complaint filed Tuesday accuses the Connecticut resident of attempting “to use a weapon of mass destruction” to kill people in the crowded center of New York on Saturday.


He also faced four other charges — attempting to kill people in the United States through international terrorism, carrying a destructive device, transporting explosives and attempting to destroy a building.


If convicted, he could be sentenced to life in prison.


One of the most serious aspects of the case, according to officials, are possible ties between Shahzad’s alleged plot and Islamist militants in his family homeland of Pakistan.


In Karachi, security officials said they had detained two people who had been called from Shahzad’s telephone.


A Pakistani official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the pair were relatives of the New York suspect, although they themselves were not being accused of having direct links to the car bomb attempt.


According to the US criminal complaint, Shahzad admitted “after his arrest that he had received bomb-making training in Waziristan, Pakistan.”


The alleged visit to the Al-Qaeda and Taliban stronghold presumably occurred during a five-month trip the complaint says Shahzad made to Pakistan, returning February 3 without his wife.


He told immigration officials on return to United States that he’d been visiting his parents, the complaint said.


President Barack Obama praised police for their swift work.


“This incident is another sobering reminder of the times in which we live,” Obama said, adding: “We will not be terrorized, we will not cower in fear.”


New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg vowed that militants would fail to intimidate “the greatest city in the world” and also warned he would not tolerate any backlash against local Muslims or Pakistanis.


All night after Shahzad’s arrest, the FBI searched his home in Bridgeport, Connecticut, hauling belongings into the street and marking evidence with yellow tags.


According to security officials, the bomb would have created a “fireball” and “mayhem” had it gone off.


But it was also so poorly constructed that it failed to go off, gifting detectives a mass of evidence, ranging from the car itself, the bomb, and even house keys left in the vehicle.


“That smoking car turned into the smoking gun that led to the capture of Faisal Shahzad, who allegedly put a bullseye on Times Square,” US Attorney Preet Bharara said.


What remains unclear is how Shahzad, by then one of the most wanted men in America, managed to buy a ticket, clear passport control and board an airplane at JFK on Monday.


Officials on Tuesday denied he could have got away.


“I was never in any fear that we were in danger of losing him,” Holder said.


New York has been on constant watch since the September 11, 2001 attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center, killing almost 3,000 people.


So far, the only group to claim responsibility for the would-be bombing is the Pakistani militant group Tehreek-e-Taliban. US officials quickly dismissed the credibility of the claim.

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Source: SGGP

Champa altar house to be displayed at New York Museum

In Vietnam Culture on January 17, 2010 at 4:00 pm









The antique Van Trach Hoa altar house was found in Thua Thien Hue Province in 1991. (Photo: SGGP)


The anitque Van Trach Hoa altar house has been chosen for display at the New York Museum in New York, the US, from February 2 to May 2, said a representative of the History and Revolution Museum of Thua Thien Hue Province.








 

The altar house was found in 1991 at Van Trach Hoa temple, Phong Thu commune, Phong Dien district.


The two-level antique is made from stone with Hindu carvings on each of its four sides.


According to an expert, the alter house dates from the 9th-10th century and was made by the Champa ethnic minority.


Along with the Van Trach Hoa altar house, 113 other antiques from the north, central and southern regions have been chosen for display at the New York Museum.


Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

Legal minefield awaits 9/11 trial in New York

In World on November 14, 2009 at 10:32 am

Trying the five men accused of the September 11 attacks poses a unique challenge to US prosecutors forced to sift through torture-tainted evidence to present before a jury of New Yorkers still scarred by the strikes.








US Attorney General Eric Holder holds a press conference at the Justice Department in Washington, DC. (AFP Photo)

Friday’s announcement also sent President Barack Obama’s Republican foes but also some of his Democratic allies howling and was blasted by families of the nearly 3,000 victims of the strikes.


Attorney General Eric Holder vowed the co-conspirators would stand trial “before an impartial jury” and expressed confidence that “we’re going to be successful in the prosecution efforts.”


But some lawyers expressed doubts after the Obama administration announced that the five men, including mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, would be tried in a US federal court in New York.


The trial will open just steps from Ground Zero, once the home to the World Trade Center destroyed in the attacks.


“It is inconceivable that we would bring these alleged terrorists back to New York for trial, to the scene of the carnage they created eight years ago, and give them a platform to mock the suffering of their victims… and rally their followers to continue waging jihad against America,” said Senator Joe Lieberman, an independent who usually votes with the Democrats.


Suzanne Lachelier, a military attorney for the men, said she was “very worried that it will not be possible to find jurors who have no opinion and who have not suffered from the attacks.”


Beyond finding an objective jury in a city still traumatized by the attacks, a myriad of other problems face prosecutors, including the reliability of the evidence at hand.


During his years in US custody, Sheikh Mohammed was subjected to harsh interrogation techniques, and was waterboarded 183 times.


“Torture can be a means to dismiss the case,” warned Adam Thurschwell, a death penalty expert who is part of the defense team.


Holder said he expected to push for the death penalty against the five currently held at Guantanamo, where they have already been charged with murder under the military commissions system.


Mohammed and his co-defendants spent years in secret CIA prisons where they were subjected to other interrogation methods, such as sleep deprivation, being forced to stand for long hours in uncomfortable positions or played loud music incessantly.


Given the sensitivity of the case, few experts believe the assigned New York judge would throw it out. But because the post is a life appointment, the judge is independent and free to act as he or she thinks best under the law.


Now that the Obama administration has decided to move the case onto American soil, prosecutors will have to begin the painstaking task of building a case to put before a jury.


“If the prosecution wants to use evidence of later statements, they would have hearings on its admissibility that might require the torture statements to be disclosed,” said Thurschwell.


“Torture plays a mitigating role because all of the details of what happened to the defendant are relevant in the sentencing phase.”


The defense could argue that any declarations by their clients made after they were mistreated are tainted evidence because they were obtained under coercion.


Questions will also be raised over what they said to FBI interrogators when they arrived at Guantanamo in 2006, years after their capture, and read their rights.


The spotlight will also be on their declarations to the military tribunals at the US naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, especially in the case of Ramzi Binalshibh, who his lawyer says suffers from severe mental problems.


Such difficulties mean it could be years before the trial opens.


“We can’t gloss over the question of torture and enhanced interrogation… but on the other hand we can’t be afraid of our own laws,” said former military prosecutor John Hutson.


“These are going to be hard cases and hard fought.”


If the men are convicted, all attenuating circumstances will come into play as concerns sentencing.


But some of the five men have expressed a clear wish to die as martyrs.


Should they win the right to represent themselves in court, they may refuse to present any evidence that could act in their favor in a bid to be sentenced to death.


Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

New York to pay 9/11 tribute at vacant Ground Zero

In World on September 11, 2009 at 7:37 am

 New York will lead tributes Friday to victims of the 9/11 attacks in a ceremony at Ground Zero where work on replacements for the World Trade Center, and even a memorial, remains mostly stalled.


On the eighth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks by Al-Qaeda militants riding hijacked airliners, mourners will remember the 2,752 people who died in the destruction of the Twin Towers in Manhattan.


They will also mourn those who died in the attacks just hours later on the Pentagon outside Washington and on a fourth plane, which crashed in Pennsylvania after the passengers overpowered the hijackers.


Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other officials will attend the now annual ritual at Ground Zero, when every name is read out and moments of silence mark key events, such as the impact of the two hijacked planes, and the collapse of the towers.


Powerful lights will send beams skyward from the site at nightfall.


Despite a deep desire to properly remember the tragedy, constant financial and legal wrangling has slowed work on replacing the enormous Twin Towers to a snail’s pace.








A man looks out toward the World Trade Center site from the Millenium Hotel near the 9/11 Memorial Preview Site August 2009, in New York City

The financial crisis and downturn in the real estate market have made speedy renewal of the neighborhood even less likely and frustration is rising.


“It has become increasingly clear that New Yorkers should be embarrassed by the debacle that is represented by the failure of government officials to have successfully rebuilt Ground Zero,” Barry LePatner, a construction attorney, said.


“Unfortunately, the only conclusion that can be drawn from a careful study of their actions at this important site is an attitude that the public be damned.”


In theory, five new skyscrapers are planned, with a park and memorial in the middle, and a transport hub. But many now think that there is no market for all five towers.


For now, the site strikes casual observers as merely a large hole, although work on foundations of several key elements is well underway and the frame for the future Freedom Tower is rising.


A poll last week by Quinnipiac University found that two thirds of New Yorkers think even the memorial will not be ready in time for the 10th anniversary in 2011.


“They don’t expect to have any part of Ground Zero ready by the tenth anniversary,” Maurice Carroll, director of the university’s polling institute said.


“We’re getting fed up with the continual lack of progress at Ground Zero. And we think it’s important that there be some signs of movement this year,” Carroll added.


According to the poll, 25 percent of New Yorkers said the slow pace made them “ashamed,” the highest number to give that answer since it was first asked in 2006.


Source: SGGP