US NGO presents gift to handicapped children in Tien Giang

Mar. 13 (VNA) -- * U.S. NGO Presents Gifts Worth USD 48,000 to Handicapped Children in Tien Giang Province

Hope Heaven International Ministries - a non-government organisation, NGO - of the U.S. has presented 309 wheel chairs and other facilities worth USD 48,000 for handicapped children in southern Tien Giang province.

The province now has 49,000 handicapped people with 62 percent being children.

High dioxin pollution found in soil of former US airbases

Ha Noi, March 14 (VNA) -- High dioxin pollution is still found in the soil of former US airbases in southern Viet Nam, reports the Viet Nam Red Cross's Fund for Agent Orange Victims Executive Director, Le Cao Dai.

Dai says a 1998 Canadian study shows that a high level of dioxin (897 ppt) still exists in soil of a former airbase in A So village of A Luoi district, central Thua Thien-Hue province, and nearby areas.

Dioxin levels in the surveyed area is 15 times higher than in non-toxic chemical sprayed areas.

US pledges basic living conditions for Vietnamese in Samoa

Ha Noi, Mar. 9 (VNA) -- Basic living standards will be ensured Vietnamese employees working at the bankrupt Korean-owned garment company, Daewoosa, on the South Pacific island of American Samoa.

U.S. State Department official, James Wulff, told the Viet Nam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL) in Ha Noi in a meeting on Mar. 8 the standards would include accommodation, electricity and running water supply, while their food bill will be paid by charity organizations.

Vietnam Airline and UPS cooperate in aircargo service

Ha Noi, March 6 (VNA) -- The national flag carrier, Vietnam Airlines, has signed a commercial cooperation agreement with the United Parcel Service, UPS, of the United States to use Boeing 757F to carry cargo.

The agreement will have UPS supplying the aircraft and Vietnam Airlines providing 35 tonnes of cargo for a flight every Saturday linking Ho Chi Minh City, North America, Europe and Japan.

The flights herald comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam Airlines and the UPS.

Spokeswoman lists efforts in drug control

Drug control is a fierce battle in Vietnam that concerns all society, says Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Phan Thuy Thanh.

Though Vietnam is a developing country with limited financial resources, it gives high priority to the struggle against drugs.

"The government has established a National Committee for Drug Control under the direct chairmanship of a deputy prime minister," she says.

"The 10th National Assembly passed the Drug Control Law at its eighth session on December 5, 2000, which will become effective from April 1, 2001."

US and British organisation help provinces

Ha Noi, Mar. 3 (VNA) --

* US Organization Helps Thua Thien-Hue Province Build Medical Stations

The US Pacific Command (USPACOM) will help central Thua Thien-Hue province build three medical stations in flood-prone Phu An, Quang Loi and Phong Son communes.

Construction estimated to cost VND 2 billion (USD 142,800) will be carried out early this month and is expected to finish before this rainy season.

* Prudential Presents Gifts to Children in Lai Chau Province

San Francisco Delegation Visits Ho Chi Minh City

A delegation from U.S. San Francisco city, led by Mayor Larry Over Street paid a visit to Ho Chi Minh City from Feb. 25-28.

The two sister cities agreed to open a webside on the internet to provide information about business activities and investment possibilities.

Officials also exchanged views on establishment of an air route from Ho Chi Minh City to San Francisco and San Francisco's help to set up a library in Ho Chi Minh City for development of electronic libraries.

Senior US State Department official visits Vietnam

Ha Noi, Feb. 28 (VNA) -- U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Ralph Boyce visited Viet Nam between Feb. 27 and 28 to work with the Foreign Ministry.

He met with Permanent Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Dinh Bin and had working sessions with Deputy Foreign Minister Le Cong Phung and several ministry officials.

Measures to boost Viet Nam-U.S. relations, particularly the ratification of the Bilateral Trade Agreement, which the two countries had signed in July 2000, were discussed at the meeting.

Amb.Le Bang's interview on BTA

Ambassador Le Bang's interview
on the Bilateral Trade Agreement
With the US Chamber of Commerce's Journal

FM Spokeswoman on U.S Human rights report

Ha Noi, Feb. 27 (VNA)-- The U.S. State Department's yearly human rights reports contains many remarks that are neither fully objective nor accurate about Viet Nam, says Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Ms. Phan Thuy Thanh.

Ms. Thanh, who was responding to questions by AP, Reuters and AFP reporters in Ha Noi on Feb. 27, described the review as "an intervention into the internal affairs of other countries," that was counter to the United Nations Charter."

It was an unacceptable action, she said.