US provides additional $3m for dioxin clean-up

DIOXIN

US President Barack Obama has signed a bill to provide an additional US$3 million for environmental remediation of dioxin contamination and related healthcare activities in Vietnam, the US Embassy said in Hanoi on May 29.

This funding follows a US$ 3-million grant in 2007, which assisted projects on health care and mitigation of dioxin effects in Vietnam.

One-third of the US$ 6 million is reserved for healthcare activities, which are already underway, said the Embassy. The remaining is intended for environmental recovery activities, including assessment of environmental impact in coordination with the Vietnamese Government. The US will work with authorized Vietnamese agencies to hammer out environmentally sound

designs and plans to remove dioxin from soil and sediment in areas around the Danang Airport in central Vietnam, a hot spot during the Vietnam War.

Also under these grants, disabled people in Danang city will receive job training and placement, orthopedic surgeries and prosthetic facilities.  In addition, scholarships will be provided to disabled children.

Source: VOV

Compiled by Minh Nguyen

Vietnam joins regional efforts to combat influenza A/H1N1

Vietnam will prevent A/H1N1 flu

Vietnam will prevent A/H1N1 flu

Vietnam is willing to work with other ASEAN countries by sharing information and contributing to stocks of medicines to prevent and if necessary combat a possible outbreak of A/H1N1 flu in the region, said a health official.

 

Director of the Health Ministry’s Preventive Medicine and Environment Department Dr. Nguyen Huy Nga stated this on the sidelines of an ASEAN health ministers meeting, with China , Japan and the Republic of Korea also taking part, which opened in Bangkok, Thailand, on May 7.

The country has also activated its warning system and stepped up the monitoring of travellers, particularly those at border gates, the official added.

Participants at the meeting will share their experience, access the effect the disease could have on the region, and look at more efficient ways of handling a potential widespread outbreak of the disease.

Senior officials and experts from the 10 member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and their three partners at the talks also met with the representatives of a number of international organisations in Bangkok .

The latest statistics show that more than 1,900 cases of influenza A/H1N1 flu have been confirmed in 24 countries and territories worldwide and 44 people have died from the disease.

Recently, the World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Director for the Western Pacific, Shin Young Soo, praised the Vietnamese health sector for its preparations and readiness to cope with influenza A (H1N1). 

The WHO representative stated this at a meeting with Vietnamese Health Minister in Hanoi on May 5. He also pledged that WHO will continue its support and investment for the Vietnamese health sector in the future. 

Source: VNA

Compiled by Minh Nguyen

Use of dioxin is a crime against humanity

An Agent Orange victim in Vietnam. Photo: VNA

An Agent Orange victim in Vietnam. Photo: VNA

The International People’s Tribunal of Conscience in Paris made its final judgment on May 18, concluding that the use of dioxin by the US military in Vietnam from 1961 and 1971 was a war crime against humanity.

After examining evidence and the testimonies of 27 victims and experts, the tribunal found that the US Government and chemical manufacturers were well aware of the fact that dioxin is one of the most dangerous chemicals known to man, causing prolonged serious consequences not only to humans and the environment but also to the Vietnamese economy.

The tribunal concluded that the US Government is guilty of using dioxin and damaging the environment, defined as “ecocide”. The chemical companies are also guilty of collusion with the US Government’s actions.

The tribunal asked the US Government, and the chemical companies who manufactured and supplied AO, to fully compensate the AO victims and their families.

The tribunal also demanded they restore the environment to what it was before the war and eradicate any dioxin from Vietnam and its waters, especially hot spots around former US military bases.

To carry out the verdict, the tribunal recommended that a Commission on AO be established to assess the amount of compensation to be allocated to each victim, family and community.

The AO Commission will have to determine the amount needed to provide specialised medical facilities, rehabilitation and other therapeutic services to treat the victims and their families.

It will also estimate the cost of studying the contaminated areas and the future cost of restoring the environment. On top of this the Vietnamese State should be compensated for the cost of supporting the victims and cleaning up the environment.

The tribunal suggested that the commission be comprised of people of eminence in the fields of medicine, science, law, epidemiology, agriculture, ecology and representatives of civil society and to submit their recommendations within one year of its creation.

The requisite amounts defined by the commission shall be paid by the US Government and chemical companies into a trust fund set up for the victims and their families, which would also pay for the restoration of the environment.

Over 1.13 billion Euros (1.52 billion USD) a year is currently being paid by the US Government to US Vietnam veteran victims of AO and this figure could be employed as a guide for the AO Commission’s calculations.

The tribunal’s final judgment will be sent to Vietnam’s State President Nguyen Minh Triet, US President Barak Obama, UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon, and the Human Rights Committee.

Answering correspondents’ queries at a press conference after the tribunal, judges said that the tribunal was not only aimed at supporting AO/dioxin victims but also condemned the use of chemical weapons that are in use in conflicts around the world.

Source: VNA

Dad’s Not Alfie

Alfie used to believed to be the dad of the girl. Photo: The Sun

Alfie used to believed to be the dad of the girl. Photo: The Sun

A 14 year old boy name Tyler Barker was the real father of the baby that 13-year-old Alfie Patten thought was his, according DNA tests.

Schoolboy Alfie believed he had become Britain’s youngest dad after 15-year-old girlfriend Chantelle Stedman gave birth to daughter Maisie in Eastbourne, East Sussex.

It can now be reported that the 15-year-old boy who lives on the same estate as Chantelle in Eastbourne, Tyler Barker, is in fact the father of baby Maisie, who was born on February 9.

This boy is read dad. Photo: The Sun

This boy is the read dad. Photo: The Sun

The result can be revealed after East Sussex County Council failed in an attempt to ban details of the case. A judgment, made last month by Mrs Justice Eleanor King, said Chantelle had been called a “slut” by four people she did not know, ITN says.

Chantelle told the court she “was crying a lot every day” and feared that the name-calling would never stop.

The judgement revealed Alfie was “extremely distressed” when he was told he was not the baby’s father in March, ITN says. At the time the story was published Alfie said he “thought it would be good to have a baby”.

Earlier this year, Alfie’s dad Dennis told how the teenage boy wanted to be a devoted father and that he had been heading to the hospital every day to see Maisie.

The story has since renewed calls for better sex education in England, which has the highest rate of teenage pregnancies in western Europe.

Source: The Sun and Yahoo News