‘Soldados’ film

June 14, 2006

The film, “Soldados: Chicanos in Vietnam,” will be screened at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the InfoZone at Robert Hoag Rawlings Public Library.

The film is based on Charley Trujillo's book about the wartime and postwar experiences of five Chicano soldiers who served in Vietnam, which was an American Book Award winner in 1991. It details the unique position of Chicanos caught between blacks and Anglos in the civil rights struggles in America; and in America's contradictory views of the Vietnam War itself.

The film will be followed by a discussion, sponsored by Veterans Outreach of Community Advocates.

Dylan Welch
June 15, 2006

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Police have busted an alleged World Cup football betting ring in Sydney.

Police from City Central and assisted by the South East Asian Crime Squad, raided three rooms at the four-star Metro Hotel on Pitt Street, about 8.45am and arrested eight people.

Police say the six men from Hong Kong, aged between 24 and 46, and the two women from Malaysia, aged 22 and 23, had more than $20,000 in cash as well as computers, networking equipment, calculators, mobile phones and documents.

The eight flew to Australia three days ago as part of an organised sports betting operation with Asian links, police allege.

The Department of Immigration confirmed the eight had been transferred into the care of the department yesterday, and are  being held at the Villawood Immigration Detention Centre in Sydney's west.

"They were interviewed by the department last night and their visas have now been cancelled because they were not genuine tourists and were allegedly involved in an illegal World Cup betting operation,'' an immigration spokesman said.

"All have been detained and transferred to Villawood Immigration Detention facility where arrangements are being made for their removal from Australia.''

The spokesman said while it was the department's intention to deport the eight, they may delay any deportation if police want the eight to face the charges before being returned to their respective countries.

"We will be liaising with the police … if they do require them to remain in Australia pending charges [police can apply for] Criminal Justice Stay visas,'' the spokesman said.

The eight were charged with unlicensed bookmaking under the Unlawful Gambling Act and are due to appear before Downing Centre Local Court on July 4.

   

   
Vietnamese tend to give top priority to health while buying consumer products, a market survey has found.

Taylor Nelson Sofres (TNS) Vietnam, a unit of the US-based TNS, one of the world’s leading market research companies, said Vietnamese consumers earning over VND5 million (US$313) a month were highly health-conscious.

In commercial hubs like Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, they were careful about nutrition, diet, and exercise, and had periodic health check-ups.

The survey found that next on the list were products related to personal care like fashion and cosmetics.

Consumers were apt to spend much on high-tech recreational gadgets for home like hi-fi DVD players and flat-screen televisions, thanks to improving living standards.

Vietnamese people were increasingly switching to dining out from eating at home and changing their basic money management habits by using banking services.

Advertisements run on television were an important information source and had much influence on consumer preferences.

Ralf Matthaes, managing director of TNS Vietnam, expected the survey results to influence enterprises in designing products.

Source: Tuoi Tre – Translated by Ha Viet

 
00:04' 14/06/2006 (GMT+7)

Soạn: AM 805653 gửi đến 996 để nhận ảnh này
Graham Holliday.

VietNamNet – Graham Holliday, an English guy who speaks no Vietnamese, can spend hours talking about Vietnamese food.

 

After almost ten years living in Vietnam, the guy now is not boastful when he says that “there are not many Vietnamese dishes that I have not tried”.

 

Graham blogs on www.noodlepie.com, where he introduces a variety of Vietnamese dishes. His blog is just more or less like an encyclopedia on Vietnamese food with nearly 100 dishes posted meticulously.

 

The blog introduces many different kinds of food ranging from the most common and simple ones like Che (sweetened porridge made of glutinous rice, bean…), Chao (rice soup), Beef Noodle in Hue style to luxurious and fussy food. These dishes were presented lively with pictures looking mouth watering for any visitors who have ever logged in.

 

“Why did you name it noodlepie?” “In Vietnam noodle is in so many different kinds such as Bun, Mi, Pho while pie is very common food for Westerners. Noodlepie is where western and Vietnamese foods meet, where sausages meet the noodle,” explained Graham.

 

Since it was first launched in April 2004, Noodlepie has attracted nearly 2,000 visitors and has twice been nominated for the Bloggies Competition, which was rated as “Oscar for personal blogs”.

 

Although it has just been awarded the Consolation Prize, for Graham, the most important thing is the more people know about the blog, the more popular Vietnamese food gets.

 

Gaining the confidence of foreign visitors is something that makes Graham happiest. Many visitors wrote that they prefer to go to places recommended in the blog to following travel magazines directions as they said, “If Graham says a place is worth seeing then it’d never be wrong.”

 

Sometimes he becomes a guide to provide information on what to do, to eat and where to see in Vietnam for tourists who wish to travel in Vietnam.

 

Writing and traveling a lot (Graham has been working also as a freelance journalist for The Guardian, Scotland Magazine, Sunday Herald, Time Magazine and so on), he chose Saigon as a place to settle down. “The reason is my wife is working here and Saigon is famed for its delicious dishes,” said Graham.

 

Graham’s principle is to try everything, even if they are strange foods. Luckily he has never had any problems with food poisoning.

 

Usually he is a very quiet man but when talking about food Graham can talk for hours without getting bored.

 

He just found a small restaurant where they serve Bun Mam (noodle mixed with sauces in District 10 run by a woman. He decided to send the dish to the Food Festival 2005 organized by TasteEverything.org, and won the Prize of Great Dish of TasteEverything.

 

Many Vietnamese people were proud that such a common food from their country was listed in prize awards together with 29 other dishes from all over the world.

 

Graham said it would be a great thing for Vietnam to use its various kinds of good food to advertise for the country’s tourism.

 

“It is difficult for Vietnam to compete with Thailand in terms of beautiful beaches and to be compared with Cambodia with all its Wats, but Vietnam has the advantage to competing with other countries in terms of food,” said Graham.

 

Eating on streets is a special thing of Vietnam especially traditional food, which is very Vietnamese. Using this to make a plan to advertise the tourism here would see an increase in number of tourists coming to the country.

 

(Source: Tuoi Tre)

Trustee who opposed Nguyen-Lam says accusations of racism are 'disgusting.'

By DEEPA BHARATH
The Orange County Register

 
 
Previous stories

 

WESTMINSTER – A 3-2 vote by the Westminster school board to rescind the hiring of Kimoanh Nguyen-Lam as the district's new superintendent hinged entirely on her lack of relevant experience and not on race, a trustee said Wednesday.

Jo-Ann Purcell, who cast the sole vote last month against hiring Nguyen-Lam, said she was deeply offended by allegations of racism that came during a packed, emotional meeting Tuesday night from Trustees Sergio Contreras and Blossie Marquez, who voted in favor of the hiring.

Purcell said she was concerned that Nguyen-Lam lacks experience – whether it's working hands-on in an elementary school classroom or dealing with day-to-day challenges as an assistant principal or principal.

"Saying that the three white board members voted against a minority candidate is the most disgusting, insulting, uneducated remark I've ever heard," Purcell said. "Dr. Lam is a lovely, bright lady who is very educated."

But Marquez on Wednesday repeated her contention that the vote was racist and sent a negative message to the residents of one of the most diverse cities in Orange County.

"It's a very sad day for Westminster," said Marquez, president of the school board. Nguyen-Lam, 46, is associate director at the Center for Language Minority Education and Research at Cal State Long Beach and a trustee at the Garden Grove Unified School District.

The board voted 4-1 on May 23 to hire Nguyen-Lam. But Tuesday, Trustees Jim Reed and Judy Aherns changed their positions to tilt the vote against Nguyen-Lam, who would have been the first Vietnamese-American superintendent of an Orange County school district.

Nguyen-Lam said Wednesday that she was "very disappointed, but not entirely surprised" by the decision. She said she was initially relieved to "stay out of all the mess," but that she felt bad for parents who'd counted on her arrival.

"How could three board members so easily ignore and invalidate the concerns and voices of so many people who were there (Tuesday)?" she asked.

Friday, June 9, 2006

Group questions school board's decisions.

By DEEPA BHARATH
The Orange County Register

 
WHAT’S NEXT
The group announced it would hold a rally in support of Nguyen-Lam on Thursday at 6 p.m. outside the school district an hour before the regularly scheduled school board meeting.
 

WESTMINSTER – The school board’s hiring and firing of a respected member of the local Vietnamese community has sprouted a grassroots group that is questioning trustees' decisions and demanding answers.The informal group, which calls itself Keep our Voice, Keep KimOanh Coalition, organized its first meeting this morning outside the Westminster School District building on Cedarwood Avenue.

Attorney Daniel Do-Khanh, who heads this group, said the school board’s decision has confused community members and left them with more questions than answers.

"This was a very thorough selection process," he said. "How could (KimOanh Nguyen-Lam) be qualified one week and unqualified a week later?"

Phu Nguyen, president of the Vietnamese American Community of Southern California, said Nguyen-Lam has inspired and touched the lives of many students, especially those who cannot speak English.

On May 23, trustees voted 4-1 to hire Nguyen-Lam, but rescinded the hiring a week later in a 3-2 decision, with two board members changing their minds. They said they believed Nguyen-Lam lacked relevant experience.

Trustee James Reed said this week that he initially felt pressured by the search firm and other board members to pick Nguyen-Lam.

Nguyen-Lam, who works as associate director for the Center of Language Minority Research and Education at Cal State Long Beach, has said she will pursue legal options to try to clear her name.

She was not at today’s meeting. Do-Khanh said he was not currently her attorney.

County Supervisor Lou Correa, who spoke to the group, said he was saddened by the board’s actions and knows Nguyen-Lam is qualified for the position.

"I’m glad you’re doing this," he said. "Elected officials must answer to what happened and why."

Prague, June 12 (CTK) – The police detained four male and two female Vietnamese in Prague who allegedly traded in people and forced their female compatriots into prostitution in Prague and in southern Bohemia in end of May, Blanka Kosinova, spokeswoman for the squad for uncovering organised crime (UOOZ), told CTK today.

She said that the police found in home searches drugs, a large quantity of piratical CDs as well as a young male Vietnamese whom the gang allegedly kept for one and a half months and forced his parents to send them money for his alleged debt.

The organised group of suspects was accused of traiding in people and of procuring and all of them have been taken into custody. They face up to 12 years in prison if found guilty.

The UOOZ police had monitored the gang from last November. Six Vietnamese traders allegedly looked in their native country for girls to do auxiliary work and waitresses in restaurants in EU countries.

The interested persons had to pay 6500 dollars for the arrangement of all formalities in Vietnam. But they only got legally to Russia where they were contacted by people smugglers who took them illegally via Ukraine, Slovakia or Poland to the Czech Republic.

They used lorries as well as cars, but some had allegedly to go on foot.

The UOOZ detained at least 25 Vietnamese citizens who reached the Czech Republcc this way last August.

Kosinova said that after they crossed the Czech border, they let themselves be caught by the police and ended up in asylum facilities.

Gang members then contacted the detained girls and sent them further on to Germany or Britain or forced them into prostitution in order to repay an alleged debt arising from the cost of food, accommodation and securing of forged documents.

The police took action against the groups at the moment when they found out that the suspects are going to leave the Czech Republic forever.

The respective police action with the code name Tu Dia (Dangerous Zone). The young Vietnamese was also uncovered during the action. His alleged debt rose to 13,000 dollars. The suspects threatened to kill or sell him unless his parents pay for him, Kosinova said.

The police have also contacted their German colleagues and handed them a list of girls who may be staying in Germany.

ms/dr