- Four top advisors to Samdech Chea Sim, president of Cambodia’s senate arrested over fake documents
- Cambodia releases 300,000 lobster’s offspring into Tonle Sap Lake
- China, France pledge to deepen military ties
- Roundup: Vancouver film community eyes China business
- China aims to reduce leprosy cases by half by 2020: ministry
- Over 35,000 drug users treated in rehab centers: ministry
- Australia must do more to stop whaling: Greens
- China runs Confucius video in New York's Times Square
- 3 dead, 1 missing after boat capsizes off Australia's New South Wales
- S. Korea's trade surplus shrinks to 1.44 bln USD in Sept.
Posted: 01 Oct 2011 06:26 AM PDT
CAMBODIA, PHNOM PENH, Oct 01, 2011-Four top advisors to Samdech Chea Sim, president of senate of Cambodia have been arrested and put into custody after they were fired from the position over using the false documents and embezzlement.
"The four's arrested related to cheat 51 foreign companies and use fake documents for public letters, destroyed the reputation of Samdech Chea Sim." Gen. Yim Leang, deputy chief of Samdech Chea Sim's cabinet and deputy milatry police commander of bodyguard department of Samdech Chea Sim said:
" The former head of protocol to Samdech Chea Sim, Mrs. Pheng Sokunbory, Chan Kosal, advisor, 61, Polok Hu, advisor, 61and Khie Bora, 50, advisor fired from the position subsequently. Then they were arrested after they used the fake document to cheat 51 foreign companies to gain millions of dollars." Gen. Yim Leang said.
He added according to letter from Samdech Chea Sim, was sent to Samdech PM Hun Sen dated on September 20, 2011 and Samdech Chea Sim has urged cases to be implemented through legal processing.
"The above cases, I myself were granted rights from Samdech Chea Sim to research other irregular documents and arranged the legal mechanisms to complaint the four people." Gen. Yim Leang said.
"We found only 12 documents and we are investigating further documents," he added. On September 23, the military police forces arrested the three including Kosal, Bora, and Ponlok. And On September 28, the military police forces also arrested and detained Madam Sokuntheary Bory while she planned to escape into Thailand through border gate – Chomyeam in Koh Kong province.
Koy Bunna, lawyer for madam Souktheary asked the military police to release her to stay outside the custody citing that his client is the top official.
Posted: 01 Oct 2011 06:13 AM PDT
CAMBODIA, KOMPONG CHHNANG, Oct 01, 2011-Fishery administration of Cambodia on Saturday released 300,000 lobster's offspring into Tonle Sap Lake in a move to enhance its numbers for next generation and stock.
"It will contribute to protecting the natural resources in the country and importantly increase its number for local people," Nao Thouk, head of fishery administration said at the ceremony at Kompong Chhang Province.
In 2011, we gained 60,000 tons of fish and shrimp, are feeding 283,000 crocodiles, hatching over 111 million of fish and shrimp's offspring, he noted. "We have 273 places for hatching the fish and shrimp in the country as we also offered high tech for feeding the fish and shrimp for local farmers." The yield from fish and shrimp increased 6 per cent per year, and the demand also is high for local consumers.
Regarding to crime offenses for fish, the fishery administration cracked down 8490 cases and jailed 82. Last year, Cambodia released 120,000 million. Fish is the main protein for Cambodians and each year, it exported millions of dollar from fish product.
Posted: 01 Oct 2011 01:30 AM PDT
PARIS, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) -- Chinese and French military leaders have pledged to deepen army relations during the 10th strategic dialogue between the countries' defense ministries.
The two-day dialogue, starting here Wednesday, was co-chaired by Deputy Chief of General Staff of the People's Liberation Army of China Ma Xiaotian and Deputy Chief of Staff of the French Army Philippe Combes.
During the dialogue, the two parties discussed defense policies and army construction, regional security and international hot issues, as well as furthering China-France military relations.
The two sides agreed the dialogue mechanism was favorable for deepening strategic mutual trust and broadening areas for cooperation. It was also of positive significance for the two countries in building a new, mature and stable comprehensive strategic partnership based on mutual trust and mutual benefit and with a global perspective.The next round of the strategic dialogue will be held in Beijing in 2012.
Posted: 01 Oct 2011 01:30 AM PDT
VANCOUVER, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) -- When the Vancouver International Film Festival kicked off Thursday night, Mayor Gregor Robertson gave a special greeting in Mandarin to a delegation of visiting Chinese film producers.
Robertson, a distant relative of famed Anti-Japan War hero Dr. Norman Bethune, noted the excitement of hosting the Chinese Films Producers Association, saying "the possibility for a really potent partnership exists here highlighting B.C.'s competitive strengths on the international stage."
With British Columbia's reputation as "Hollywood North," a moniker that stuck when U.S. film and television producers first started coming to Canada en masse in the early 1980s to take advantage of a weak Canadian dollar, the province has increasingly been looking for new business to further expand the industry.
After recording 1.31 billion Canada dollars in total film and television production in 2009, mostly from Hollywood, last year saw the number drop to 1.02 billion Canadian dollars, according to the B.C. Film Commission.
The strength of the Canadian dollar, now about even par with the U.S. greenback did not help, nor did a tax incentive from rival production center Ontario to lure new film and TV production business. In turn, B.C. responded by raising the value of its foreign film tax credit to be competitive.
B.C. producers have been looking to China in what they view as huge potential for co-productions, funding and distribution, among other cooperations.
Harry Sutherland, a Vancouver-based producer, currently has financing to develop six pictures "on the Canadian side" over the next two years. As soon as his production company can find a partner in China and "we've got the money in the bank," work can begin on writing scripts in Canada.
The industry veteran, who spends about one of every three months in China, told Xinhua that he has been visiting the country regularly over the past six years, developing projects and talking to people.
A current project, The Tea Merchant's Wife, is to be shot in China next spring. It will be produced independently and distributed through the China Film Group.
"We've put together an equity fund here in Vancouver. It's a development fund because what we realized is where Canada fits in really well with China is, if they want to do international pictures, they need more script development, what we would generally call development," Sutherland said in an interview with Xinhua.
"We spend a lot of time developing projects here, whereas in China, because the industry has grown so quickly, there's less emphasis on development, but there's lots of money for production."
With the script writing in Canada and most of the financing for production coming out of China, Sutherland said his projects are designed so they work economically in the Chinese marketplace first. The Chinese investors get their financing back, and then the Canadian partner controls the international sales to get his investment back.
He points to My Big Fat Greek Wedding as an example of the potential for independently-produced films. The 2002 sleeper hit, a Canadian-U.S. co-production, was made for 5 million U.S. dollars and took in nearly 370 million U.S. at box offices around the world.
Typically, Sutherland is looking to produce films with budgets in the range of 2 million to 5 million Canadian dollars, or what he calls "date movies," genre pictures, thrillers, romantic comedies and action adventures.
"Right now, because of the leveraging financing out of China, it's very easy for us to find the development financing here in Canada. So we're in the end looking at putting in about 30 percent of the actual budget costs out of Canada, but you are getting the full international picture," Sutherland said.
"It's what we call a natural co-production. In other words, both countries are putting in what they do best at a given time."
Wesley Lowe is another looking for financing for his production Staged, a psychological thriller about a North American pianist accused of murdering his Chinese girlfriend. The Chinese-Canadian has been to China 10 times in the last four years, most recently in June, meeting industry people.
It was only now that he felt ready to attempt funding with Chinese partners.
Over the past 12 years, Lowe has written, produced and directed the 1999 short Hanging Out, the 2001 feature Exiles in Paradise, and the 2007 documentary I'm the Canadian Delegate. To his credit, all have made money, albeit in modest amounts, something that has attracted Chinese interest in his projects.
"The fact that I'm able to get on CBC (the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), the National Film Board (of Canada), Telefilm and across the States and a bunch of festivals that's kind of intriguing. Although China is very, very good at having successful films under their home territory, they don't export very well," Lowe said.
He estimates he can produce Staged in North America for 1.5 million to 2 million Canadian dollars, or cheaper in China where production costs are much less.
Other groups looking to get the China business are in post-production and special effects.
Dennis Hoffman, senior vice president and general manager of Method Studios, said as China increases its expanse and the use of services internationally, the studio is very interested in exploring any opportunities.
Based out of Los Angeles with offices in six cities around the world, Method offers 3D animation/CGI, matte painting and conceptual design, among other services.
With visual effects potentially costing up to 60 percent of a production's budget, depending on a story's needs, Hoffman said where Method could be of help to Chinese productions is in increasing the level of quality of the work they are doing at present.
"I know that there is discussions going on about joint Canadian- Chinese production, part of that is also, from my understanding, the Chinese producers also want to expand the quality and type of storytelling that they are doing right now."
Rick Cederlund, co-general manager of Deluxe Vancouver, a provider of traditional and digital cinema services, called the China film industry an "interesting market.""It's very important with a growing market like China where there is tremendous penetration of film. The expansion in theaters in China, the delivery systems in China, offer us a very large marketplace and the connection between Western Canada and the Pacific Rim is very significant."
Posted: 01 Oct 2011 01:29 AM PDT
BEIJING, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) -- China plans to decrease leprosy rates by 50 percent over the next 10 years, according to a joint plan to fight the infectious disease issued by the Ministry of Health and ten other ministerial-level institutions.
The prevalence rate is targeted to be brought down to one case per 10,000 people by 2015. The rate will further shrink to one in every 100,000 people by 2020 in at least 98 percent of the country's counties, according to the plan.
A total of 500,000 cases of leprosy have been reported and treated for free throughout the country since the founding of the People's Republic of China on Oct. 1, 1949.
The number of leprosy cases has plummeted over the past 62 years, but the country still faces challenges in fighting the disease, the plan said.
Leprosy, an infectious disease that has affected humanity for over 4,000 years, is primarily characterized by skin lesions and progressive physical debility, and can cause permanent nerve damage.
Despite sustained efforts -- and considerable success -- in bringing the disease under control, leprosy is still a serious disease in some parts of China and people who have been cured of the disease continue to face discrimination.More than 1,700 new cases have been reported annually in the past five years. The provinces of Sichuan, Yunnan, Guizhou and Hunan and the Tibet Autonomous Region are most affected by the disease, according to the plan.
Posted: 01 Oct 2011 01:28 AM PDT
BEIJING, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) -- Judicial authorities have set up 59 provincial-level rehabilitation centers and treated more than 35,000 drug users in these centers through the country's efforts to curb drug-related crimes and maintain social stability.
The centers receive substance abusers who enter voluntarily or are forced into treatment, said Chen Xunqiu, vice minister of justice.
The centers are exploring ways to help drug addicts break their habits, recover from psychological or mental problems and better integrate themselves back into society, Chen added.
In addition to treating addiction, the centers offer psychological consultation and vocational training to patients, according to the ministry.
Altogether, these centers have about 7,000 beds, 202 doctors and 141 psychologists, with about 5,000 substance abuse patients currently receiving treatment.The number of registered drug users in China neared 1.4 million as of the end of 2010, according to figures from the Ministry of Public Security.
Posted: 01 Oct 2011 01:28 AM PDT
CANBERRA, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) -- Following reports that Japan will soon start this season's whale hunt in the Antarctic, Australian Greens leader Bob Brown on Saturday said Australia must do more to stop whaling.
Japanese newspaper Yomiuri earlier reported Japan's research whaling hunt will go ahead later this year, and it suggested the Japanese government will boost the whaling budget by about 26 million U.S. dollars.
Senator Brown claimed that Australia has not done enough to stop the practice and he will raise the matter with Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd.
"Australia should have a naval presence down there, it should be having footage of what's happening with the whales to give to the rest of the world, it should be raising the diplomatic objections both in Japan and elsewhere round the world," he said in a statement released on Saturday. "As ever the Greens will be pursuing this in the Senate where both the big parties always back off."
He said the reported decision of Japan to boost the whaling budget on killing whales must rate as one of the most stupid public relations decisions of any equivalent nation in recent times.
"It is 26 million U.S. dollars wasted on defending the indefensible," Senator Brown said.
"The question the world will ask is why not put this money into cleaning up the other great environmental disaster -- the Fukushima nuclear complex."
"As the world celebrates a hundred years since Amundsen got to the South Pole, it will also condemn Japan sending grenade tipped harpoons down south to turn the Antarctica sea red," he said.In a move to put an end to Japan's whaling program in the Southern Ocean, Australia in May lodged a written submission with the International Court of Justice to argue Japan's whaling activities have breached international obligations. Japan must file its counter-memorial to the International Court of Justice by March 9 next year.
Posted: 01 Oct 2011 12:36 AM PDT
JINAN, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) -- A video presentation featuring the ancient Chinese sage Confucius and his home province of Shandong began showing in New York's Times Square on Saturday (Beijing Time), according to the Information Office of the provincial government.
In the 30-second video, Confucius greets the audience with a traditional Chinese courtesy by bowing with his hands folded in front.
The black-and-white image of Confucius was taken from a painting by renowned Tang Dynasty painter Wu Daozi (680-759). A stone carving based on the original painting is kept at the Confucius Temple in Qufu, Confucius' birthplace in eastern China.
The video also shows some of Shandong's scenery, including the Confucius Temple, Mount Taishan, the Yellow River and the port city of Qingdao where Olympic sailing competitions were held in 2008.
Starting Saturday, the video will be shown on a 238-square-meter screen in the Times Square to promote a confident and gracious image of China.
"I think the video will receive a warm welcome," said Liu Chang, deputy editor-in-chief of Nouvelles d'Europe and a professor at Communication University of China.
Confucius and his school of thought are widely recognized throughout the world, he said.
"When former French President Francois Mitterrand visited Confucius' hometown during a visit to China in 1983, he took out a French version of the 'Analects of Confucius' and read it aloud before the tour guide tried to explain who Confucius was."
The sage, who lived about 2,500 years ago, has been at the center of Chinese civilization for nearly two millennia.China began setting up Confucius Institutes in 2004 to publicize Chinese language and culture throughout the world. More than 300 Confucius Institutes have been established in over 100 countries.
Posted: 01 Oct 2011 12:36 AM PDT
SYDNEY, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) -- Three people died and one is missing after a boat overturned in waters off the New South Wales (NSW) south coast in Australia, NSW Police said on Saturday.
Shortly before 2 p.m. local time on Saturday, police and emergency services responded to reports that a vessel with five people onboard had capsized in waters off Batemans Bay.
Police said they found one person safe and well, while three bodies were retrieved from the water.
A search is under way for the missing person, police said.Police will conduct an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident.
Posted: 01 Oct 2011 12:35 AM PDT
SEOUL, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's trade surplus shrank to 1.44 billion U.S. dollars in September due to surging imports that marked the record monthly high, a government report showed Saturday.
According to an e-mailed statement by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, the country's trade surplus stood at 1.44 billion dollars in September, sharply down from 4.41 billion dollars a year earlier.
The September figure, however, grew more than 70 percent compared with 479 million dollars the previous month, and the nation's trade balance has remained in the black for the 20th consecutive month last month.
Import growth outpaced the rise in exports, which account for around half of the Asia's No.4 economy. Exports grew 19.6 percent on-year to reach 47.12 billion dollars in September, while imports stood at a fresh record high of 45.68 billion dollars last month, up 30.5 percent from a year earlier.
Export growth slowed in September amid external uncertainties such as the spread in the European fiscal crisis and the faltering U.S. recovery, but strong demand for key export items, including petroleum products and automobiles, contributed to continuous growth of exports, according to the statement.
Exports of oil products, autos and steel products increased by 56.8 percent, 40 percent and 39.6 percent each in September from a year earlier, but shipments of semiconductors, mobile devices and ships contracted 4.2 percent, 7.5 percent and 32.7 percent respectively over the cited period.
By region, exports to emerging nations led the September growth. Shipments to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China jumped by 43.2 percent and 20.5 percent on-year last month respectively, while exports to Japan, the U.S. and Europe grew 48.7 percent, 15.9 percent and 11.2 percent each over the same period.
Meanwhile, imports surged to a new record high in September due to solid demand for raw materials. Inbound shipments of natural gas, crude oil and coal increased by 83.3 percent, 41.4 percent and 39.5 percent each in September on an on-year basis due to rising commodity prices, according to the statement.By region, imports from Japan rose 10.6 percent on-year in September due to robust demand for petrochemical products, while inbound shipments from the U.S. grew 33.8 percent amid growing demand for chips and steel products.
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