Japan steelmaker to build factory in north

Kyoei Steel aims to produce 1.2 million tonnes of construction steel in Viet Nam by 2020. — Photo vietstock.vn Japanese steelmaker Kyoei Steel Group has announced that it would build a US$200 million reinforcing bars factory in northern Viet Nam. The plant is aimed at boosting the company’s output capacity and reducing costs. Construction is scheduled to start at the end of this year, with the rolling mill expected to begin operations in 2019 and the steelmaking plant to begin by 2020. The Osaka-based group had begun plans to build a 500,000-tonne capacity steelmaking and rolling facility back in 2012 when it started operations in Viet Nam. However, the company suspended all new constructions in 2014 when the market slumped. Currently, Kyoei Steel only rolls steel in Viet Nam. The company processes steel billets bought from outside into bars and other products. However, market conditions in China have led to an increase in billet prices. By setting up this steel factory, the electric furnace steelmaker hopes to cut production costs. Kyoei Steel has already invested $170 million in an electric furnace steel plant in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau. It is also contributing capital to Thi Vai International Port joint venture. Once completed, in March 2018, the port will help Kyoei Steel import more input material, thereby raising its production and transportation capacity to 900,000 tonnes per year. In September 2016, the Nikkei reported that Kyoei Steel aims…... [read more]

ROME: Italy said on Monday (Aug 21) it has found traces of fipronil in two eggs samples, making it the latest country hit by the Europe-wide insecticide scandal, while a batch of tainted frozen omelettes was also withdrawn. Fipronil, which can harm human health, has been discovered in eggs in 17 European countries since the scandal came to light on Aug 1. (AFP/Guido KIRCHNER) The two positive samples were from a total of 114 samples so far tested. One involved Italian-sourced eggs, while the other was still under investigation, said the Italian health ministry. Separately, a regional official said a batch of frozen omelettes containing traces of fipronil had been withdrawn from sale in Milan. The omelettes were supplied by German group Kagerr and distributed by an Italian group, a Lombardy regional official told reporters. He said 127 units from the batch had been withdrawn, but 117 had already been sold to consumers. Fipronil is commonly used to get rid of fleas, lice and ticks from animals but the European Union has banned its use in the food industry. The insecticide has now been discovered in eggs in 17 European countries since the scandal came to light at the start of August, and was even found as far away as Hong Kong. Millions of eggs have been pulled from supermarket shelves and dozens of poultry farms closed, and the European…... [read more]

PARIS: Brigitte Macron, the wife of French President Emmanuel Macron, will represent the country and carry out charity work but not have the official status of First Lady, following opposition to giving her such a title, the presidency announced on Monday (Aug 21). This file photo taken on Jul 14, 2017 shows Brigitte Macron (C), wife of French President, smiling ahead of the start of the annual Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris. (Photo: AFP/Alain Jocard) A proposal by Macron during campaigning earlier this year to create a new First Lady status has been shelved, but the presidency had promised to clarify her position and the resources at her disposal. The former school teacher will have two presidential advisors and her own cabinet, paid for from Macron's budget, and will focus on working with charities helping children and handicapped people. She will also represent France at her husband's side during international summits and meetings and work with the partners of other global leaders to highlight work to combat climate change or domestic violence. An online petition against creating an official First Lady role - which would have required a change in the law or constitution - garnered more than 300,000 signatures in August. An opinion poll in early August showed a majority of French people were also opposed, even though Brigitte Macron is a popular figure. POLITICAL…... [read more]

MARSEILLE: One person was killed and another seriously injured in the southern French city of Marseille on Monday (Aug 21) after a convicted criminal with psychiatric problems drove a van into people waiting at two bus stops, police said. French forensic police search the site following a car crash on Aug 21, 2017, in the southern Mediterranean city of Marseille. (Photo: AFP/Boris Horvat) The incident comes with Europe on high alert following last week's car ramming attacks in northeastern Spain. But Marseille's prosecutor Xavier Tarabeux said there was no evidence of a terror connection and that the driver - who had several convictions for offences including robbery - was mentally unstable. "He was found with a letter from a psychiatric clinic and we are leaning towards treating it as a mental health case," Tarabeux told AFP. The man first drove at speed at a bus stop in the city's northern 13th district at around 9.00am (3.00pm Singapore time), hitting a woman who was rushed to hospital with serious pelvis injuries. The driver of the stolen van then continued to the eastern 11th district, where he slammed into another bus stop, killing a 42-year-old woman. The police caught up with him shortly afterwards in the city's Old Port district, where he was arrested. Several European cities, including London, Berlin and Stockholm, have been targeted in a wave of attacks by Islamist radicals…... [read more]

NEW DELHI: McDonald's said Monday (Aug 21) it is shutting 169 restaurants in India after a legal row with a local franchise operator. A McDonald's in New Delhi pictured in June: the company is to shut 169 outlets in India AFP/CHANDAN KHANNA The fast food chain's Indian subsidiary said it was terminating its agreement with Connaught Plaza Restaurant Ltd (CPRL), alleging breach of contract and payment defaults. The move means all McDonald's outlets in north and east India including the capital New Delhi will close, although the company said it would look for a new partner. McDonald's outlets will remain open in south and west India, where it uses a different franchise operator. "We have been compelled to take this step because CPRL has materially breached the terms of the respective franchise agreements relating to the affected restaurants," the company said in a statement. McDonald's shut over 40 of its restaurants in Delhi in June after they failed to renew their eating house licences, a police registration to operate a place of public entertainment. The fast food restaurant market in India is worth about US$1.5 billion and growing at around 15 per cent a year, according to Delhi-based consulting firm Technopak. With a population of 1.25 billion, more and more of whom have the money to eat out, India is an attractive market for foreign fast-food firms. But foreign operators…... [read more]

MADRAS/CHARLESTON: Emotional sky-gazers stood transfixed across North America on Monday (Aug 21) as the sun vanished behind the moon in a rare total eclipse that swept the continent coast-to-coast for the first time in nearly a century. US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump look up at the partial solar eclipse from the balcony of the White House in Washington, DC. (NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP) Millions of eclipse chasers and amateur star watchers alike converged in cities along the path of totality, a 113-kilometre wide swath cutting through 14 US states, where the moon briefly blocked out all light from the sun. "It was incredibly beautiful. I am moved to tears," said Heather Riser, a 54-year-old librarian from Virginia, sitting on a blanket in Charleston's grassy Waterfront Park where thousands had gathered to watch. Festivals, rooftop parties, weddings, camping trips and astronomy meet-ups popped up nationwide for what NASA expected to be the most heavily photographed and documented eclipse in modern times, thanks to the era of social media. The blackest part of the eclipse, known as totality because the moon blocks all the sun's light from the Earth, began over Lincoln Beach, Oregon at 5.16pm GMT (1.16am, Tuesday, Singapore time). Crowds whooped and cheered at the first sign of darkness. Just inland, more than 100,000 people gathered at Madras, Oregon - typically a…... [read more]

Construction delays at new river bus stations in Ho Chi Minh City mean that the new ferries will be docked until October. The city's first river bus was taken on a test-run down the Saigon River on Monday morning. Five boats will be operating the service when it is finally put into official operation on October 1. The boats on the first route will sail 10.8 kilometers (6.7 miles) from Bach Dang Wharf in District 1 to Linh Dong Station in Thu Duc District, passing through District 2 and Binh Thanh District. With 12 stops in total, the entire trip will take half an hour, cutting a third off the time it would take to travel by road and costing just VND15,000 (66 cents). The city’s transport department said work on the waiting rooms at Bach Dang Wharf and Binh An Station in District 2 has yet to be completed. Department director Bui Xuan Cuong told Thanh Nien (Young People) newspaper that it is the city's first river bus service, so it wants to make it as satisfying and convenient for passengers as possible. Poor quality could push passengers away, he said. Saigon has more than 1,000km of inland waterways, so the river bus service should ease traffic and attract more tourists, he told local media on Monday. The second route from Bach Dang Wharf to District 8 is scheduled to open in early 2018. The two routes are said to have cost an estimated VND120 billion ($5.28 million).... [read more]

Delegates discuss ways to enhance regulators’ expertise as it relates to the WTO agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) in the Asia-Pacific region at a workshop held in HCM City on August 21. — VNS Photo Bo Xuan Hiep Improving the ability of regulators to conform to the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) agreement of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) will help APEC economies avoid trade impediments and have better access to international markets, experts said at a workshop held on Monday in HCM City. Ninety delegates from 21 APEC-member economies met to discuss ways to improve regulatory expertise and skills in developing technical regulations. The workshop was held within the framework of the third Senior Officials Meeting (SOM 3) now being held in the city. Nguyễn Văn Khôi, deputy director general of Việt Nam’s Department of Standards, Standardisation, Metrology and Quality under the Ministry of Science and Technology, said: “We hope that economies will be able to use the information provided by the workshop to produce higher quality regulations and reduce the chances that proposed measures could impede trade.” The TBT Agreement aims to ensure that regulations, standards, testing and certification procedures do not create unnecessary obstacles to businesses, especially small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) SMEs in Việt Nam face many challenges in applying the TBT Agreement, according to Khôi, who chaired the workshop. “The workshop is expected to have benefits for all APEC economies and for the multilateral trading…... [read more]

Delegates discuss ways to enhance regulators’ expertise as it relates to the WTO agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) in the Asia-Pacific region at a workshop held in HCM City on August 21. — VNS Photo Bo Xuan Hiep Improving the ability of regulators to conform to the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) agreement of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) will help APEC economies avoid trade impediments and have better access to international markets, experts said at a workshop held on Monday in HCM City. Ninety delegates from 21 APEC-member economies met to discuss ways to improve regulatory expertise and skills in developing technical regulations. The workshop was held within the framework of the third Senior Officials Meeting (SOM 3) now being held in the city. Nguyen Van Khoi, deputy director general of Viet Nam’s Department of Standards, Standardisation, Metrology and Quality under the Ministry of Science and Technology, said: “We hope that economies will be able to use the information provided by the workshop to produce higher quality regulations and reduce the chances that proposed measures could impede trade.” The TBT Agreement aims to ensure that regulations, standards, testing and certification procedures do not create unnecessary obstacles to businesses, especially small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) SMEs in Viet Nam face many challenges in applying the TBT Agreement, according to Khôi, who chaired the workshop. “The workshop is expected to have benefits for all APEC economies and for the multilateral trading…... [read more]

VietNamNet Bridge – The Ministry of Education and Training decided to temporarily stop online Math and English competitions from the new school year 2017-18 for a more in-depth review, said deputy head of Secondary Education Department Nguyen Xuan Thanh. The Ministry of Education and Training ordered online Math and English competitions to stop. — Photo news.zing.vn “Knowledge competitions such as online Math and English contests have met requirements of applying knowledge acquired from subjects learned at school. However, the competitions which have been organised for many years need a thorough review in terms of format and content to meet requirement of students’ capacity enhancement following educational reform criteria,” Thanh said. It means the schools will no longer use results of these competitions to get priority for admission to grades six and 10 (the first grades of lower and upper secondary schools). Thanh said this removal will not affect admission results of specific schools. Thanh said online contests for students are held voluntarily after school. In May, the ministry asked local departments of education and training and secondary schools under the ministry’s management to reduce the number of competitions for teachers and students because there are too many competitions causing overlap and pressure for both. The number of competitions is proposed to be cut by half Many of the competitions, according to Thanh, simply check students’ knowledge and limit their opportunities to practise, experience and develop soft skills. Many prove impractical and face social opposition. The ministry asked local departments to…... [read more]




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