SEOUL (AFP) - Former US president Jimmy Carter flew out of North Korea Friday after securing the release of an American citizen and a pledge from Pyongyang that it wants to resume nuclear disarmament talks. The Nobel peace laureate left the reclusive communist state with Aijalon Mahli Gomes, an African-American who was jailed for illegally crossing into the North from China in January. "At the request of president Carter, and for humanitarian purposes, Mr Gomes was granted amnesty" by North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il, said a Carter Center statement. Gomes, 30, was first detained in January and sentenced in April to eight years of hard labour and a fine of about 600,000 dollars for illegal entry into North Korea. The US State Department said it welcomed his release, while stressing anew that Washington played no official role in Carter's mercy mission. "We appreciate former president Carter's humanitarian effort and welcome North Korea's decision to grant Mr Gomes special amnesty and … [Read more...] about Carter leaves N.Korea with freed American
American express open forum
The Hanoi Times - The International People's Tribunal of Conscience opened a trial in support of Vietnamese Agent Orange/dioxin victims in the French capital city of Paris on May 15. The trial is being held under the initiative of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL), in collaboration with many other organiations such as Equal Rights, the France-Vietnam Friendship Association, the International Human Rights Association, the Committee for the Van Canh Friendship Village and the Movement for Peace.The court aims to create a forum for AO/dioxin victims, from both Vietnam and abroad, to express their opinions and call on the world community and peace-lovers to support the victims.Former Vice State President Nguyen Thi Binh, President of the Vietnam Peace and Development Fund, were joined by nearly 200 people, mainly overseas Vietnamese and good-will French and foreigners, at the hearing.Three AO/dioxin victims and three scientists working in the health, … [Read more...] about International tribunal for AO victims opens in Paris
Vietnam's premier pledged to subject state-owned companies to competition and allow greater foreign ownership of banks as the government seeks to revive growth and join a key trade agreement. Over the next five years, Vietnam's state companies will focus on areas such as infrastructure that "the private sector cannot or does not want to invest in," Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said in an interview in New York on Sept. 27. The government plans to devalue the dong as much as 2 percent by the end of the year and let foreign companies own up to 49 percent of local banks in the "near future," Dung said Vietnam's economy faces its most severe slump in at least a decade, hurt by slower lending as banks strain under the weight of bad debt incurred largely by the state sector. Removing protections for state companies would help Vietnam in seeking greater access to the U.S. market to strengthen its economy, and underpin efforts to boost political ties. State enterprises will need "to … [Read more...] about Vietnam prime minister opens door to foreign investors
According to Dr Vu Tien Loc, VCCI President, the main function of the forum is to develop channels of public-private dialogue promoting policy relating to the American market, and submitting members' recommendations to authorities of the two sides to ensure a level playing field for all Vietnamese economic sectors and Vietnam-US relations. The forum will also serve as the bridge for meetings and exchanges between businesses of the two countries promoting economic cooperation and investment, assisting businesses on economic information and cooperation opportunities, increasing cooperation with US-Vietnam business associations, the US-Vietnam Trade Council as well as the US-ASEAN Business Council, to promote comprehensive economic cooperation between Vietnam and the US. The forum will also organize promotion activities and trade links such as training courses, workshops, seminars, conferences, market surveys, trade fairs and other activities. Minister of Government Office Nguyen Xuan … [Read more...] about Vietnam-US Business Forum: Increased Cooperation in Trade and Investment
Applicants line up outside the US consulate in Ho Chi Minh City on May 28. Photo by Tuan Anh If one were to take a tour around the premises of consulates in Ho Chi Minh City, one would easily notice that the United States Consulate always attracts the largest number of applicants, waiting from dawn in the longest queue of them all, just for an interview. Understandably, the recent reports on US visa scam (http://www.thanhniennews.comhttp://www.thanhniennews.com/index/pages/20130606-catching-up-with-the-vos.aspx) and (http://www.thanhniennews.comhttp://www.thanhniennews.com/index/pages/20130531-the-big-visa-scam.aspx), in which the former Head of Non-Immigrant Visa Department, Michael T. Sestak, secretly sold each visa for tens of thousand dollars, have sparked public outrage. But the fact remains that he would not be a successful visa salesman if there weren't many Vietnamese people willing to buy them at any cost. This raises a disturbing question: why are we Vietnamese so eager … [Read more...] about An American Dream or a Vietnamese mirage?