BEIRUT — Nearly 5,000 people, including almost 500 Islamic State fighters, have since Monday left the jihadist group’s last bastion in eastern Syria, where IS continues to lose ground, a Britain-based monitor said. Kurdish-led forces, backed by air strikes of the US-led coalition, have been battling since September to expel the jihadists from their enclave in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor. "Around 4,900 people, mostly women and children but including 470 jihadists, have since Monday deserted the last IS pocket in the Deir Ezzor province, including 3,500 that left the area on Tuesday," Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told AFP on Tuesday. The majority of the civilians are family members of jihadists, the Observatory said. They were evacuated on dozens of trucks chartered by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a Kurdish-led alliance fighting IS. In recent weeks the SDF has seized several eastern villages from IS, including Hajin, … [Read more...] about Nearly 5,000 flee last IS enclave in eastern Syria: monitor
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The new food processing facility can provide 35,000 portions per day for airlines including Vietnam Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Asiana Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines and Japan Airlines. — Photo VNAViet Nam News HÀ NỘI — Nội Bài Catering Service JSC (NCS), a member of Vietnam Airlines, inaugurated a new food processing centre on Wednesday, marking its 25th year of foundation and development. The three-storey, 21,000sq.m facility has a capacity of 35,000 portions per day, 3.5 times higher than that of the old centre. The new facility was designed by IO Consultants, which has partnered with the world’s leading airlines through Cathay Pacific Catering Services, Emirates Flight Catering and LSG Sky Chefs. To meet increasing demand and the stringent standards of the catering market, the facility is equipped with advanced technology and equipment lines, meeting requirements on food hygiene and safety standards set by the … [Read more...] about NCS opens food processing facility in Nội Bài Airport
VietNamNet Bridge - The Vietnamese stock market will have opportunities to attract billions of dollars worth of capital if it is upgraded to an emerging market. Vietnam has been added to FTSE's reconsideration watchlist on the secondary emerging market Vietnam has been added to FTSE Russell’s reconsideration watchlist on the secondary emerging market. Banking will get biggest benefits if Vietnam becomes an emerging market. Vietnam’s banks will have to observe the standards in Basel II Accord by 2020, which means that they have to raise regulatory capital to ensure the CAR (capital adequacy ratio). However, experts stressed that the presence in the watchlist doesn’t indicate official upgrading. Vietnam will still be in the watchlist for at least 12 more months before it gets an official upgrade. RELATED NEWS Vietnam closer to key FTSE upgrade Where is foreign capital going? Mai Chi … [Read more...] about Who will benefit if Vietnam is upgraded to secondary emerging market?
This file photo taken on March 26, 2013 shows Chinese actress, singer and producer Fan Bingbing (centre) attending the Viscap fashion show during China Fashion Week in Beijing. — Photo AFPViet Nam News SHANGHAI — One of China’s biggest and wealthiest film stars, actress Fan Bingbing, has disappeared from public view as authorities probe alleged tax evasion by entertainers, sparking growing fan speculation over her fate. The 36-year-old actress, model, and producer has been a household name in China for years and tasted Hollywood success with a role in the 2014 blockbuster X-Men: Days of Future Past. But Fan, usually active on social media, has gone dark online and has reportedly not been seen in public for weeks. "Will Fan Bingbing go to prison?" asked one of hundreds of thousands of recent postings about her on China’s popular Twitter-like Weibo platform, while others speculated she had been banned from movies or was under house arrest. Fan’s troubles … [Read more...] about ’Where is Fan Bingbing?’: Chinese star goes dark amid pay crackdown
BEIRUT — A string of suicide blasts and raids claimed by the Islamic State group killed more than 220 people in southern Syria on Wednesday, in one of the jihadists’ deadliest ever assaults in the country. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the attacks hit several areas of the largely government-held southern province of Sweida, where IS retains a presence in a northeastern desert region. The bloodshed came almost a week into a Russia-backed regime campaign to oust IS fighters from a holdout in a neighbouring province of the country’s south. IS claimed responsibility for the violence, saying "soldiers of the caliphate" attacked Syrian government positions and security outposts in Sweida city, then detonated explosive belts. The Britain-based Observatory said four suicide bombers targeted Sweida city while others hit small villages to the north and east and shot residents in their homes. At least 221 people were killed, including 127 civilians, the … [Read more...] about More than 220 dead in IS attacks on southern Syria
Viet Nam News by Paul Kennedy Now it’s time to get down to business. The domestic leagues around Europe kick off in few weeks’ time and my eyes will be firmly focused on all things Premier League. Clubs in England have been splashing the cash like there’s no tomorrow. And this year’s big spenders, so far, have been my team, Liverpool. Including the acquisition of Virgil van Dijk (£75m) and Naby Keita (£54m) back in January, Liverpool have so far spent a small fortune in 2018, adding Fabinho (£40.5m), Xherdan Shaqiri (£13m) and Alisson (£67m) to their squad. That’s a total of £250m or VNĐ7.6 trillion. So what does that mean for a team that finished fourth last season and haven’t won a major trophy in far too many years? Is it all or bust for manager Jurgen Klopp? If he doesn’t bring silverware back to Anfield come May, will Klopp get the chop? Many feel this is last chance saloon for the German who has … [Read more...] about Is it last chance saloon for Klopp?
As images of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un strolling by revellers at a rooftop bar the night before an unprecedented meeting with President Donald Trump circulated around social media sites, U.S. citizens started asking 'Where is Singapore?'. 'Singapore', the tiny Southeast Asian city-state that played host to nuclear talks earlier this week, was the most searched term on internet search engine Google in the United States on Monday with over 2 million hits. Related searches during those 24 hours included 'Where is Singapore', 'Singapore summit' and 'time in Singapore'. Blanket media coverage on Monday included Kim's surprise tour of the iconic Marina Bay Sands hotel and its surrounding gardens, and the first hours of the meeting with Trump in the resort island of Sentosa. Singapore said it spent S$20 million ($15 million) on the summit, a figure that drew the ire of some citizens. However, marketing experts say the coverage generated from the event could be worth more than 10 times … [Read more...] about ‘Where is Singapore?’: Trump-Kim summit a PR coup for tiny city-state
Vietnam can expect its fintech ecosystem to grow in the near future should it pay attention to the funding issue, growing talent in the field, and a legal framework to support such growth. Vietnam is currently ranked second in the number of incubator, accelerator, and innovation labs in the region, behind only Singapore. This is a positive signal for the development of fintech in Vietnam. The country has another advantage in being a young and digitally savvy economy. As per an EY report, around 90 per cent of payments are still in cash. That is the reason why Vietnamese fintech startups have strong focus on payment—47 per cent specialises in this sub-sector, ranking highest in the region. There are also some fintech associations in Vietnam where fintech startups can gather to update, improve their knowledge, seek support, share experiences, and develop a legal framework for this industry. “Fintech companies are still small in scale and the policies and regulations for … [Read more...] about E&Y: Where is fintech in Vietnam?
This year, Pinki, the lead singer of a rock band in southern India, wants to learn to play the guitar. She wants to "strum the guitar like a boy" on stage and use music to forget her journey from a brothel to the band that is hired to perform at weddings and parties, the 19-year-old said. Her new year's resolution comes a year after an Indian court convicted 40 people of buying and selling girls in the southern state of Karnataka - among them Pinki's own abusers. Thanks to her testimony, the woman who trafficked her from her home into prostitution and the man who owned the brothel in the town of Ballari where she worked for eight months before she was rescued were found guilty. "They should have got life instead of the 10 years imprisonment," she said, sitting on her bed, guitar in hand and a teddy bear beside her, in her village home in Andhra Pradesh. "But I don't want to think about it. I want to think about music instead and my boyfriend, who I hope to marry later this year." A … [Read more...] about Finding their voice, trafficked Indian girls testify against abusers
Indian Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj (L) and her Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi (Photo: Raveesh Kumar's Twitter page) New Delhi (VNA) – Indian Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj is visiting Indonesia on January 5-6, with productive outcomes recorded so far. Foreign ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar informed on Twitter that on January 5, Swaraj met Vice President of Indonesia Muhammad Jusuf Kalla and held talks with her Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi. These meetings focused on how to improve the India – Indonesia strategic partnership. Swaraj and Marsudi were scheduled to co-chair the 5th meeting of India-Indonesia Joint Commission and inaugurate the second meeting of ASEAN-India Network of think tanks. While in Indonesia, the Indian minister would also meet with President Joko Widodo and joined a gathering with representatives of the Indian expatriate community here. Sushma Swaraj is on her official trip to three … [Read more...] about Indian Foreign Minister active in Indonesia