Saturday, August 11, 2012

Indian hockey team finishes last at Olympics

Indian Hockey team touched a new low by finishing at the bottom of the competition after being beaten 3-2 by South Africa in the 11-12 place classification match at the Olympic Games in London on Saturday.

This was the sixth straight loss at the Riverbank Arena for the Indian team, who made a return to the Olympics after failing to qualify for the 2008 Games in Beijing.
The previous lowest position that the country had occupied was eighth at the 1996 Atlanta Games.
For South Africa, Andrew Cronje (8th minute), Timothy Drummond (34th) and Lloyd Norris-Jones (65th) sounded the board, while Sandeep Singh (14th) and Dharamvir Singh (67th) scored for India.
India had finished 11th at the 2006 World Cup in Monchengladbach against the same opponents but this time, their South African rivals turned the table.
It was in the capital of Great Britain that the Indian hockey team had clinched the 1948 Olympic gold medal in what was independent India's first major international sporting achievement.
Thirty-eight years later, when London was the venue of the 1986 World Cup, the Indian team was pushed to the bottom of the 12-team competition, losing the playoff to Pakistan for the last spot

Drought hits corn and soybean US crops

The worst drought in the US in more than half a century has hit corn and soybean production, raising fears over food prices.US Department of Agriculture said on Friday that corn production for 2012 to 2013 would reach only 10.8 billion bushels, the lowest in six years. That's 17 percent lower than the estimates in July.

The prediction for soybean production has also been slashed by 12 percent from the previous forecast to 2.7 billion bushels. US is the world's biggest producer of corn and soybeans. But the key Midwest growing area has been seriously hit by drought and heat waves.Crop prices are already at a record high and the weak harvest could see them soar even higher

Burma News Saturday, August 11, 2012

Pepsi turn to return to Burmese market

Pepsi to return to Burmese market

PepsiCo, one of the world's largest drinks makers, will re-enter the Burmese market, after pulling out of the country in 1977,pepsi  has signed an agreement with a Burmese firm to distribute Pepsi-Cola, 7-Up and Mirinda brands in the country, and it is exploring the option of setting up production there.

The firm's major rival, Coca-Cola, announced plans in June to return to Burma.
The drinks maker has been expanding its operations in developing and emerging markets.

EU asks Bangladesh to rescind aid ban on NGOs

Friday, 10 August 2012

The European Union has urged Bangladesh to ensure humanitarian access to Rohingya refugees from Burma, and to allow humanitarian aid organizations “to do their work for the benefit of all communities.”

Rohingya Muslims trying to cross the Naf River into Bangladesh to escape sectarian violence in Burma. Their boat was  intercepted in Teknaf and forced back to Burma on Wednesday, July 13, 2012. Photo: AFPIn a statement on Thursday, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid & Crisis Response Kristalina Georgieva expressed her concern about the situation of the Rohingyas, and other vulnerable people affected by the unrest in western Burma.

“I strongly appeal to the Government of Bangladesh to act responsibly and offer a helping hand to all those in need and to allow humanitarian aid organizations to do their work for the benefit of all communities,” she said.

In spite of the recent violence in Rakhine State, the population of the refugee camps in Bangladesh has remained stable, said the statement.

“However, the authorities in Dhaka have now requested three international NGOs, who also assist the local Bangladeshi population, to cease their humanitarian activities,” she said, calling for Bangladesh to reconsider its ban.

Georgieva also emphasized the need to create acceptable conditions for the delivery of humanitarian aid in Rakhine State in Burma.

The European Commission, through its humanitarian and civil protection department, has allocated 10 million euro in 2012 aid for the Rohingyas and other communities in need in Bangladesh and Burma.

Myanmar reclaim world Numero Uno rice exporter

Burma could be poised to reclaim its numero uno  position as the world’s top rice exporter, perhaps within three years, say officials, if all goes well. Burma was the world's top rice exporter in the 1960s.

A farmer sprinkles fertilizer on his rice field in Bago District, northeast of Rangoon. Photo: AFP
A farmer sprinkles fertilizer on his rice field in Bago District, northeast of Rangoon. Photo: AFP
A top priority is to give farmers better access to high-quality seeds and fertilizer, officials said.

“In China, every township has a seed production company,” Tin Naing Thein, the National Planning and Economic Development Minister told Reuters this week. “The government will encourage and support them here.”

Western companies including DuPont Pioneer are looking at investments in Burma, which have the potential to boost rice production.

Rice exports could increase as much as 2 million tonnes next year and 3 million by 2015, said Ye Min Aung, the secretary-general of the Myanmar Rice Industry Association. The rice export total last year was 778,000 tonnes.He expects exports to double this year to 1.5 million tonnes. One unknown factor will be the effectiveness of a new agricultural bank set up two months ago to provide credit to small farmers, many of whom are struggling with debt.

Rice mills are another problem. About 80 percent are small-scale, antiquated businesses that struggle to produce the white rice kernels expected by international buyers. As a result, mill losses, measured mostly by broken grains, are 20 percent higher than in Thailand and Vietnam, says Ye Min Aung of the rice industry association.

Several rice exporters are building large-scale mills that can handle as much as 200 tonnes a day, said Tin Htut Oo, head of the new National Economic and Social Development Advisory Committee, a body that advises the government.

“We can increase up to two million tonnes very quickly within one or two years,” he said of rice exports, if all goes well.He also expects fertilizer sales to boom. Expanding that, he says, could produce a big increase in yields.

“You can imagine in a few years' time the use of fertilizer in Burma will at least double. I wouldn't be surprised if it tripled. That is a big area of investment,” he said.No country's rice appetite is quite like Burma’s, which boasts the world's highest annual rice consumption at 210 kg (460 lb) per person, making up 75 percent of the country's diet, according to government statistics.

Turkey foreign minister travels to Rakhine State

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who is leading a delegation of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on a visit to Rakhine State, met with Burmese President Thein Sein in Naypyitaw on Thursday.

Burmese President Thein Sein, left, shakes hands with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu during a meeting in Naypyidaw on August 9, 2012. Davutoglu arrived in Burma on Thursday, and he will visit Rakhine State on Friday. Photo: AFP
Burmese President Thein Sein, left, shakes hands with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu during a meeting in Naypyidaw on August 9, 2012. Davutoglu arrived in Burma on Thursday, and he will visit Rakhine State on Friday. Photo: AFP
The officials discussed events in Rakine State, where the foreign minister is scheduled to deliver material aid and medicine on Friday.

Davutoglu, who is also the OIC secretary, will travel to the riot-hit Rakhine State on a fact-finding mission and the result of the findings will be presented to the upcoming OIC meeting, said Turkish officials.

The Turkish foreign minister is the second foreign official to have access to Rakhine state to monitor the situation after United Nations human rights envoy Tomas Ojea Quintana ended his six-day trip last Saturday.

The discussion also included trade relations, with Davutoglu noting that the current trade figure of US$ 100 million a year is expected to increase to US$ 500 million in five years, according to an article in The New Light of Myanmar, the state-run newspaper, on Friday.Officials expect to sign a memorandum of understanding on trade cooperation and investment deals, with Turkey keen to invest in edible oil manufacturing and the energy sector.

The Turkish International Cooperation Agency plans to establish a Burmese office to provide assistance to Burma in cooperation with local organizations, Davutoglu said.While in Burma, the minister will visit a war cemetery in Meiktila, where Turkish soliders are buried.

Thein Sein said he was “disheartened by hairsplitting” in the media in reports about the unrest in Rakhine State. The pictures of “genocide” spreading on the Internet show incidents in another country, and not things happening in Burma, he said.He said food and drugs for 60,000 homeless people are needed in Rakhine State. The government is cooperating with UN agencies and nine NGOs, he said, and disease prevention measures are being carried out in Rakhine State, which is experiencing heavy rains.

Gemba invited Suu Kyi to visit Japan

Burma’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi said she would like to visit Japan when the cherry blossoms bloom, which means around March next year.

Suu Kyi made the remark during a visit with Japan's goodwill ambassador to Burma, Yohei Sasakawa, when they met in the capital of Naypyitaw during the weekend.

Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba invited Suu Kyi to visit Japan during his visit in December

International Days and Weeks

UN Days, Weeks and Years > International Days and Weeks
 UN calls on Member States and other organizations to mark  International days in ways which reflect their priorities.
World Health Organization (WHO) leads World Health Day and World No-Tobacco Day,

UN Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) leads World Water Day and International Literacy Day, 
UN Environment Programme (UNEP) leads World Environment Day etc.

Some UN agencies also have their own international days,
 WHO's World TB Day 
UNESCO's World Philosophy Day
The following list does not include agency-specified days.
27 International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust
20 World Day of Social Justice (as of 2009)
21 International Mother Language Day
8 International Women's Day and
United Nations Day for Women's Rights and International Peace
21 International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
21-28 Week of Solidarity with the Peoples Struggling against Racism and Racial Discrimination
22 World Water Day
23 World Meteorological Day
4 International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action
7 World Health Day
23 World Book and Copyright Day
3 World Press Freedom Day
15 International Day of Families
17 World Information Society Day (formerly World Telecommunication Day)
21 World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development
22 International Day for Biological Diversity (formerly December 29, changed in 2001)
25-June 1 Week of Solidarity with the Peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories
29 International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers
31 World No-Tobacco Day
4 International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression
5 World Environment Day
17 World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought
20 World Refugee Day
23 United Nations Public Service Day
26 International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking and
International Day in Support of Victims of Torture
First Saturday International Day of Cooperatives
11 World Population Day
9 International Day of the World's Indigenous People
12 International Youth Day
23 International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition
8 International Literacy Day
15 International Day of Democracy
16 International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer
21 International Day of Peace (formerly the opening day of the UN General Assembly, changed to a set date as of 2002)
During last Week World Maritime Day
1 International Day for Older Persons
4 - 10 World Space Week
5 World Teacher's Day
First Monday World Habitat Day
Second Wednesday International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction
9 World Post Day
10 World Mental Health Day
16 World Food Day
17 International Day for the Eradication of Proverty
24 United Nations Day and
World Development Information Day
Disarmament Week
6 International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict
14 World Diabetes Day
16 International Day of Tolerance
Third Sunday World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims
20 Universal Children's Day, and
Africa Industrialization Day
21 World Television Day
25 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
29 International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People
1 World AIDS Day
2 International Day for the Abolition of Slavery
3 International Day of Disabled Persons
5 International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development
7 International Civil Aviation Day
9 International Anti-Corruption Day
10 Human Rights Day
11 International Mountain Day
18 International Migrants Day
19 United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation
20 International Human Solidarity Day

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