PHOTO BY AFP: In this picture taken on August 30, 2011 prisoners from a local prison in the southern province of Binh Phuoc sign papers as they are freed under an amnesty decision granted by the State. Vietnam is all set to produce the the chemicals needed to administer lethal injections by itself. For more than 500 prisoners on death row, the wait continues. Now, it appears as though they will be executed with homegrown poison. Vietnam is all set to produce the toxins needed to administer lethal injections by itself after an European Union (EU) ban on the sale of such drugs has stalled the executions of 532 inmates. The latest move comes on the heels of heated debate among lawmakers, several of whom have proposed that Vietnam consider switching back to the firing squad. Analysts say that high public support for death penalty as a criminal deterrent has also played a crucial role in pushing the government to act. The Ministry of Public Security is currently in touch with … [Read more...] about Vietnam to make lethal drugs on its own
Make muscles grow
At a press conference aimed at announcing the business results of PetroVietnam Group (PVN) in the first three quarters, Phung Dinh Thuc, PVN general director, highlighted its achievements in service provision, which generated VND122 trillion, up 61% year-on-year. Thuc forecast service revenue in 2010 would hit VND150 trillion and help to bring PVN's total earnings above VND400 trillion. Internal strength PVN's outstanding results regarding service supply are ascribable to its focus on internal strengths. This conglomerate has asked its member companies to give priority to internal service providers, which effectively translates into a potential annual loss of up to VND74 trillion facing non-members. … [Read more...] about When Conglomerates Flex Their Muscles
- At the Stonecutters Island army base in Hong Kong, camouflage-clad Chinese soldiers lunge forward with fierce yells, making stabbing motions with their daggers. There's a communal shout of admiration from the crowd watching the display on the army's home territory, which is opened up once a year to the public as a goodwill gesture. "We've done a lot of work on our image in Hong Kong," says sailor Yu Bin, as he helps visitors clamber up onto a warship. "I don't think people should be scared, because after all, we're here to defend the country." Beijing has long argued its army is primarily defensive, aimed at safeguarding China's territorial sovereignty. But the speed of China's military development is unnerving its neighbors and the United States. Senior Chinese officers insist China's People's Liberation Army, or PLA, is decades behind the U.S. Army, thus justifying 20 years of almost continuous double-digit hikes to the military budget. Many Chinese agree, like Lai Pau Mok, … [Read more...] about China’s growing military muscle: A looming threat?
As China prepares to start sea trials of its first aircraft carrier, possibly as early as July 1 to coincide with the 90th anniversary of the ruling Communist Party, foreign analysts will be watching to see how quickly the Chinese Navy can bring its power projection ship into service. It may not be smooth sailing. The handful of countries with carriers have spent years learning how to operate them. Moreover, China's refurbished Soviet-era vessel, the Varyag bought from Ukraine in 1998, comes with inherent design limitations, even though it has been modernised. Its ski-jump launch deck and lack of a catapult system limit the munitions load on the combat jets it will have on board. Their range will also be limited because the Varyag cannot launch refueling tankers to extend the distance the jets can fly from the carrier. Nor can it carry fixed-wing airborne early-warning planes. Instead it must use helicopters, a much less effective alternative. The fighter-bomber chosen for … [Read more...] about China flexes maritime muscle to ‘win war without fighting’
This year, the government adopted new incentives, simplified administrative procedures relating to credit, tax, land, construction, and imports-exports, and reduced business conditions. A wide range of meetings and forums between the government and entrepreneurs were held, while innovations and start-ups were encouraged. Impressive figuresImportant decisions for the development of the private economy were made, including the Law on Supporting Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and dozens of decrees on slashing business conditions. 80% of the total 1,100 proposals from the business community were dealt with. All this resulted in more than 120,000 new enterprises, the most in the 17 years since the Law on Enterprises was adopted. More than 25,000 enterprises resumed operation and 17.5 billion USD Foreign Direct Investment was disbursed, a 10-year high. Vu Tien Loc, President of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said: “At the beginning of its term, the government … [Read more...] about Government makes progress in improving business environment