The United States will support Vietnam ’s efforts to combatavian and pandemic influenza under a three-year project.The US Embassy in Vietnam on Sept. 23 issued a press release statingthat funding during the first year will be 3.6 million USD. The project will focus on the five provinces of Ha Nam and Hung Yen inthe north, Quang Tri in the central region and Can Tho and Kien Giangin the south of Vietnam as the basis for testing and applying riskreduction practices in local settings.Other provinces will be included as appropriate and feasible.Working particularly at the local level with health, agriculture, andrural development officials, activities will include publiccommunication campaigns and training for animal and human healthworkers to help them and their communities monitor, prevent and controlavian and pandemic influenza. The project will also encourage other villages to take special measuresto reduce the risk and spread of disease, especially in provinces athigh risk of … [Read more...] about U.S. helps combat influenza in Vietnam
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Minh Pham, 33, broke down in tears after expressing regret in a New York courtroom and recognizing the severity of his punishment in America five months after pleading guilty to terrorism charges. A Muslim convert who left Vietnam as a baby and spent most of his life in Britain, Pham travelled to Yemen in December 2010 to receive military training from Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), a group that has claimed repeated attacks on the West. He returned to Britain, where he had left behind his 8-months-pregnant wife, in July 2011 after offering to carry out a suicide attack and being instructed to bomb civilians arriving at London's busiest airport from Israel or America, the court heard. "I made a very serious mistake," Pham told Judge Alison Nathan before choking up at the prospect of spending decades in a maximum-security American jail separated from his family. Dressed in navy prison scrubs, an orange T-shirt and orange canvas shoes, he denied that he had ever intended to … [Read more...] about Vietnamese-born Al-Qaeda recruit sentenced to 40 years in U.S.
The Obama administration partially eased the ban in October 2014 in an effort to help Vietnam improve its maritime security capabilities and in response to “modest” improvements in Vietnam’s human rights record. Vietnamese officials have since called for the ban to be fully lifted. To Hanoi, the continuation of the ban means that relations, including military ties, have not been fully normalized. Here lies the difference in views between the two sides. As Hanoi and Washington began to explore substantive ways to boost ties earlier in the U.S. rebalance to Asia, U.S. officials forged the link between removal of the ban and progress on human rights as a way to maintain leverage. The linkage was made on the premise that Vietnam has an interest in seeking closer security cooperation with the United States in the face of China’s increasingly assertive posture in the South China Sea. The strategic milieu of U.S.-Vietnam relations has evolved since then. While it was … [Read more...] about Fully lifting U.S. lethal arms ban will add momentum to U.S.-Vietnam relations
The rare display of unity and support from Apple's sometime-rivals showed the breadth of Silicon Valley's opposition to the government's anti-encryption effort.Apple's battle became public last month when the Federal Bureau of Investigation obtained a court order requiring the company to write new software to disable passcode protection and allow access to an iPhone used by one of the shooters in the December killings in San Bernardino, California.Apple pushed back, arguing that such a move would set a dangerous precedent and threaten customer security, and asked that the order be vacated. The clash has intensified a long-running debate over how much law enforcement and intelligence officials should be able to monitor digital communications.Apple's industry allies, along with several privacy advocates, filed amicus briefs - a form of comment from outside groups common in complex cases - to U.S. District Judge Sheri Pym, in Riverside, California, who had set a Thursday deadline.Six … [Read more...] about U.S. tech companies unite behind Apple ahead of iPhone encryption ruling
U.S. and Russian officials have given their commitment to a political solution for the deepening Syrian conflict, a United Nations envoy said on Sunday, but Moscow dismissed speculation it was preparing for President Bashar al-Assad's exit. Demonstrators hold a banner during a protest against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad after Friday prayers in Binish, near Idlib, December 7, 2012. The banner reads: "No to peacekeepers in Syria". With rebels now fighting on the doorsteps of Damascus, Assad's forces kept up their now daily artillery strikes and air raids on eastern suburbs as well as some rebel-held districts on the capital's outskirts.U.N. special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi met the U.S. and Russian deputy foreign ministers in Geneva for the second session of tripartite talks in less than a week, apparently in response to rising violence that now threatens to engulf Damascus."All three … [Read more...] about U.S. and Russia still back Syria settlement: UN envoy
The Obama administration is promising to step up assistance to Syrian rebels after concluding Damascus used chemical weapons against opponents of President Bashar al-Assad, but the military options facing the United States are no easier than before.President Barack Obama has been slow to move toward military assistance for Syria's opposition in the past and is likely to continue to move judiciously, looking to work with allies in any intervention in the country's civil war."Thankfully the president is being cautious about his military options. This is not a place where America can go it alone," said David Solimini, a vice president at the Truman National Security Project think tank.The Obama administration's possible military choices range from limited one-off missile strikes from ships - one of the less-complicated scenarios - to bolder operations like carving out no-fly safe zones.White House officials on Thursday played down the prospects of a no-fly zone, citing the open-ended … [Read more...] about U.S. military options in Syria remain challenging
The United States and Russia have helped ship out nearly 16 kilograms (35 pounds) of highly enriched uranium from Vietnam as part of a global campaign to reduce the use of nuclear fuel that could also provide material for bombs.The move - making Vietnam the 11th country from which all highly enriched uranium has been removed in the last four years - was announced during a meeting in Vienna on how to prevent potential bomb ingredients from falling into the wrong hands.There are about 1,440 tonnes (1 tonne = 1.102 tons) of highly enriched uranium (HEU) and 500 tonnes of plutonium stockpiled and in nuclear arms globally, says the Nuclear Security Governance Experts Group (NSGEG) lobby group. Most of it is under military guard but some for civilian uses is less stringently secured.Analysts say that radical groups could theoretically build a crude but deadly nuclear weapon if they had the money, technical knowledge and materials needed."With this accomplishment (in Vietnam), we will have … [Read more...] about U.S., Russia remove potential atom bomb material from Vietnam
Iran said on Sunday it was open to a U.S. offer of direct talks on its nuclear program and that six world powers had suggested a new round of nuclear negotiations this month, but without committing itself to either proposal. Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi arrives at the 49th Conference on Security Policy in Munich February 3, 2013. Diplomatic efforts to resolve a dispute over Iran's nuclear program, which Tehran says is peaceful but the West suspects is intended to give Iran the capability to build a nuclear bomb, have been all but deadlocked for years, while Iran has continued to announce advances in the program.Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said a suggestion on Saturday by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden that Washington was ready for direct talks with Iran if Tehran was serious about negotiations was a "step forward"."We take these statements with positive consideration. I think this is a … [Read more...] about Iran hedges on nuclear talks with six powers or U.S.
Prominent al-Qaida and Afghan Taliban fighters asked Pakistani militants in a pair of rare meetings to set aside their differences and step up support for the battle against U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan, militant commanders said Monday. Pakistan imposed ban on Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan The meetings were held in Pakistan‘s tribal region in November and December at the request of the Afghan Taliban’s leadership council. They could indicate the militants are struggling in Afghanistan, or conversely, that they want to make sure they hit U.S. forces hard as the Americans accelerate their withdrawal this year. That could give the Taliban additional leverage in any peace negotiations. “For God’s sake, forget all your differences and give us fighters to boost the battle against America in Afghanistan,” senior al-Qaida commander Abu Yahya al-Libi told Pakistani fighters … [Read more...] about Al Qaeda, Taliban uniting with Pakistani terrorists against U.S. in Afghanistan
Photo: VGP The U.S. President’s visit to Viet Nam, a crucial event in the two nations’ relations, will promote the bilateral relationship and create a foundation for enhancing the two sides’ relationship in the future, affirmed Mr. Dung. It will create an opportunity for both to deepen the Comprehensive Partnership relations with specific and realistic agreements, he added.The visit is expected to form comprehensive cooperation in security, investment and trade between the two sides, the Chairman said, suggesting the U.S. actively respond to issues of mutual concerns in bilateral and regional relations.At the meeting, the two officials discussed specific issues in the two nations’ relations and projects invested by the U.S. investors in Viet Nam. By Thuy Dung … [Read more...] about Chairman of Government Office welcomes U.S. Assistant Secretary of State