Germany to clear gays convicted under Nazi-era law

BERLIN – Germany is expected today to approve quashing the convictions of 50,000 men sentenced for homosexuality under a Nazi-era law which remained in force after the war, and offer compensation. The measure follows Britain’s so-called "Turing Law" approved in October, which offered pardons to thousands of men convicted of homosexuality before its decriminalisation in 1967. Contrary to natureGermany’s Article 175 outlawed "sexual acts contrary to nature... be it between people of the male gender or between people and animals". But that move didn’t include those convicted after the war when article 175 was still in force. Convicted under the law as a teenager in 1957, Fritz Schmehling, 74, said time was running out for victims to see justice.

March 22, 2017 07:41 UTC

Wawrinka believes Federer on course for No 1

MIAMI — Roger Federer’s comeback from injury has been so successful that his compatriot Stan Wawrinka believes he can become the oldest world number one in history at the age of 35. Those wins have propelled the Swiss master to sixth in the world as he makes excellent progress aftera six-month layoff caused by a knee injury. Compatriot Wawrinka believes that not only is Federer back in form but he is playing in a noticeably different manner that gives him a chance to return to the pinnacle of the rankings. "For sure he has a shot for number one, he has just won the first Masters final. Federer could face a strong challenge from old rival Rafa Nadal who is seeking his first ever win in Miami after losing in four finals at the Key Biscayne venue.

March 22, 2017 04:52 UTC

Wastewater key to solving global water crisis: UN

PARIS — Recycling the world’s wastewater, almost all of which goes untreated, would ease global water shortages while protecting the environment, the United Nations said in a major report on Wednesday. "Neglecting the opportunities arising from improved wastewater management is nothing less than unthinkable," said Irina Bokova, director-general of UNESCO, one of several UN bodies behind the report issued on World Water Day. Last year, the World Economic Forum’s annual survey of opinion leaders identified water crises as the top global risk over the next decade. The 200-page World Water Development Report details a four-pronged strategy for transforming wastewater from a problem to a solution, said lead author Richard Connor of UNESCO’s World Water Assessment Programme. In Singapore and the southern California coastal city of San Diego, residents already drink recycled water.

March 22, 2017 04:07 UTC

France warns against big cuts to UN mission in DR Congo

UNITED NATIONS — France warned on Tuesday that drastic cuts to the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo would be tantamount to "playing with fire" as the country faces election turmoil. France has circulated a draft resolution to renew the mandate of the peacekeeping mission, but is facing scrutiny from the United States which is seeking cuts to UN peace operations. The United Nations has 19,000 soldiers, police and military observers deployed in the DR Congo, its biggest and costliest peacekeeping mission, with an annual budget of US$1.2 billion. This year, the United States will be providing nearly 29 per cent of the US$7.9 billion budget for UN peacekeeping. In his report to the council, Guterres said 2017 will be a "crucial year" for the DR Congo as it heads toward elections.

March 22, 2017 04:07 UTC

Understanding the VN law on cross-border web sharing

To implement this policy, the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) issued Circular No. 38/2016/TT-BTTTT on December 26, 201, detailing the cross-border distribution of public information. Circular 38 requires that foreign entities providing public information to users in Việt Nam (information providers) shall observe the regulations and laws of Việt Nam and shall cooperate with the MIC in addressing violations, if any. In cases where an information provider provides illegal public information to Việt Nam, or refuses to cooperate with the MIC in addressing violations, Việt Nam’s authorised management agencies may take necessary technical measures to block their access from Việt Nam. The information provider will have 24 hours from receipt of the MIC’s notification to verify and process the issue.

March 22, 2017 02:26 UTC



Dredging oversight a failure

Since 2011, there have been 66 dredging projects registered nationwide. Leaders of the Inland Waterways Administration have admitted that none of dredging projects were bid for. Currently, a dredging project combined with sand mining is based on a survey of inland waterway navigation by the Inland Waterways Administration. The cost of monitoring dredging projects is paid by the investors, so the effectiveness of monitoring is limited. In addition, other measures such as surprise inspections should be carried out to control the dredging projects.

March 22, 2017 02:15 UTC

VN called to tackle overfishing as crisis looms

“We used to catch a lot of fish whenever we went out to sea in the old days. But now all the sea – Bạch Long Vỹ, Trường Sa or Phú Quốc - was empty of fish,” Minh said. Since the start of the year, 16 Vietnamese fishing ships detained by neighbouring countries like Australia, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia and Cambodia for illegal fishing, Minh said. The highest-level legal document regulating the rescue work of the firefighter force is a decision issued by former Prime Minister Nguyễn Tấn Dũng in 2012. However, it falls short of clearly stating specific responsibilities of organisations and individuals in rescue work, leading to confusion and lack of co-operation between different forces, according to the NASC.

March 22, 2017 02:03 UTC

Data problems hinder IT application in health insurance

HÀ NỘI – Incomplete data is among the issues hindering the application of information technology in health insurance, according to a report by the Ministry of Health’s Health Insurance Department. As part of a health insurance medical information system rolled out last June and described as the optimal solution to ensure transparency and prevent insurance fraud, the transmission of electronic data in health insurance management and payment is facing challenges due to continuous changes in local health service facilities, said the report. Others issues, according to the report, relate to the difficulties in hiring IT service companies to help health insurance agencies follow the Government’s rules on using information systems in health insurance. A lack of both quantity and quality of IT facilities such as computers and network servers at local health insurance agencies is also hindering the application of IT in their management works. Moreover, most health care workers have not been trained in IT and find it hard to adapt to the medical information system.

March 22, 2017 02:03 UTC

Major haul

Customs officers in the northern port city of Hải Phòng yesterday seized a container suspected of containing Khat leaves. Khat contains Cathinone, an amphetamine-like stimulant said to cause strong euphoria. The initial check showed goods in the container are dried herbal packed in 353 carton boxes that weighs around 2.8 tonnes. – VNA/VNS Photo Lâm Khánh

March 22, 2017 02:03 UTC

A happy nation is no Utopian concept, it’s a matter of survival

It is a sobering thought that Vietnam has been ranked 94th of 155 countries in the UN’s World Happiness Report 2017. Visitors and other observers still see Việt Nam as a happy and optimistic country. Born and raised in Việt Nam, I seem to have things covered: a home I love, a career I like, and some peace of mind. Bhutan has backed its rhetoric with action, prioritising GNH (Gross National Happiness) over GDP. "People always ask how can you possibly have a nation of happy people?

March 22, 2017 02:03 UTC

Dialysis treatment extends patients’ lives

HCM CITY — More than 26,000 people receive regular dialysis treatment in the country, which helps prolong their life. Dr Võ Đức Chiến, head of Nguyễn Tri Phương Hospital in HCM City, said that effective dialysis helps prolong the life of patients with the condition. Chronic kidney failure cannot be cured, he said, adding that patients diagnosed at the end stage of kidney failure must have dialysis for the rest of their life. Nutrition“The most important thing is to provide guidance on nutrition for patients,” Bùi said. During dialysis, patients should take vitamins and eat nutritious diets with meals having enough protein, fat and other nutrients to avoid malnutrition and anaemia, he said.

March 22, 2017 02:03 UTC

Israel to help VN build community centers

HÀ NỘI — Israel and Việt Nam signed an agreement yesterday on establishing a series of community centres based on an Israeli-developed model. The agreement was signed in the presence of Israeli President Reuven Rivlin who is on an official visit to Việt Nam. The first center will be located in Hà Nội. “It’s great that Việt Nam wants to supplement formal education with informal education,” President Rivlin told Việt Nam News. The 700 centres operating in Israel offer after-school activities, lifelong learning courses, social activities for the elderly and disabled, community meeting venues, and much more.

March 22, 2017 02:03 UTC

Tillerson to skip NATO meeting next month

WASHINGTON – US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will skip a NATO meeting in April but travel to Russia the same month, fuelling fears about Washington’s commitment to the alliance. Toner said the decision was not unprecedented, and that secretaries of state had missed the April foreign ministers meeting in 2003 and 1999. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg was in Washington for meetings at the Pentagon ahead of Wednesday’s coalition talks, but he refused to respond to questions on Tillerson’s decision. He also dismissed the State Department’s attempt to build up this week’s anti-IS meeting, saying the April foreign ministers’ meeting is crucial preparation for the full NATO summit that Washington "can’t miss". Another former ambassador to NATO, Harvard professor Nicholas Burns, said: "Of course Secretary Tillerson should be at the NATO meeting.

March 21, 2017 22:18 UTC

Prospects bright for VN packing firms

HCM CITY — Việt Nam’s packaging industry continues to expand, driven by growing demand for food and beverages processed and packaged in a modern way, according to experts. "It is vital that brand owners understand its importance to create the right packaging," he told at a press conference held on the opening day of the 2017 Propak Vietnam exhibition. It has attracted more than 400 exhibitors from 28 countries and territories, including 11 international group pavilions from Germany, China, India, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Italy, BT Tee, general manager of SES Vietnam Exhibition Services, said. Conferences and seminars would be held on the sidelines of the expo, including on water quality and management for food processing and improving the quality of rice and rice-based products. The event at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre, jointly organised by SES Vietnam Exhibition Services and VCCI Exhition Service, is expected to attract more than 7,500 trade visitors.

March 21, 2017 15:11 UTC

Petrol prices see sharp decline

HÀ NỘI — The retail price of petrol fell VNĐ708 to reach VNĐ17,314 (US77 cents) per litre at 3pm on Tuesday. The ministries said the decrease was due to lower petrol prices in the world market. Over the past 15 days, the average petrol price was $62 a barrel, $4 lower than the previous fortnight. In the latest price adjustment on March 6, the petrol price was reduced by VNĐ76 per litre to VNĐ18,022 while that of E5 was VNĐ58 lower, reaching VNĐ17,760 per litre. An said the average petroleum price this year in Việt Nam could be higher than that of 2016 but the rise was less than 10 per cent.

March 21, 2017 13:52 UTC




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