By Geoffrey Cain / HANOI Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011
Leaders pose for a photo with delegates from the military during a tea-break at the 11th National Congress of the Communist Party in Hanoi on Jan. 18, 2011
Kham / Reuters
Sarcastic observers joked that the scene — the monotonous non-event held every five years that has become Vietnam’s 11th National Party Congress — summed up the obsolescent state of the communist party itself. For a week starting last Wednesday, 1400 delegates gathered in the capital of Hanoi to set the party’s strategy and voted out some older members of its gray-haired leadership. The outcome? Much of the same, but with a few younger faces — an increasingly rare species in a country where many business-oriented youth no longer join need to join the party. A third of the party’s 15-man politburo, the most powerful committee in the country, stepped down, some citing their ages and health concerns.
Motorists go past a poster promoting the Vietnam Communist Party Congress in Ho Chi Minh City January 4, 2011.
By John Ruwitch and Jason Szep
HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam (Reuters), Jan 13 – Nguyen Duc Tai was on a mission one sweltering January morning in Vietnam’s commercial capital, Ho Chi Minh City.
Flush with cash from his annual bonus, he wanted to buy his wife a new mobile phone, a gift for the coming Tet lunar new year holidays. In a country where the average annual income is about $1,100, a good phone is a big investment. Tai wanted to make the right choice with his 5 million dong ($250).
17 August 2010 Last updated at 04:02 ET
China’s People’s Liberation Army tests missiles in the South China Sea
The growth of China’s military is shrouded in secrecy which could give rise to “misunderstanding and miscalculation”, a US defence department report says.
China has been upgrading its land-based missiles, expanding its submarine force and nuclear arsenal, the Pentagon’s annual report to Congress said.
By PAULINE JELINEK and ROBERT BURNS, Associated Press Writers Pauline Jelinek And Robert Burns, Associated Press Writers – Wed Aug 4, 11:13 pm ET
WASHINGTON – More than 30 years after his death, an Air Force general has been exonerated of charges that he violated presidential restrictions on aerial bombing during the Vietnam War and that he ordered the falsification of records to conceal the missions.
John D. Lavelle was forced to retire in April 1972 at the rank of major general — two stars below the rank he held as commander of air operations in Vietnam — after being relieved of duty for ordering unauthorized airstrikes against North Vietnamese military targets.
In this 1972 file photo, Gen. John D. Lavelle, right, talks with then Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John C. Stennis, D-Miss., before a closed session to hear his case, in Washington.
Seal that prompted the FBI action
A row has broken out between Wikipedia and the FBI over the use of its seal.
In a letter sent to Wikipedia’s San Francisco office, the FBI said that “unauthorised reproduction of the FBI Seal was prohibited by US law”.
“Whoever possesses any insignia…or any colourable imitation thereof..shall be fined…or imprisoned… or both,” the FBI wrote.
China has announced a number of military exercises in recent weeks
A large airborne military exercise is underway in China’s central and eastern provinces and seas.
Fighter jets, spy planes and helicopters, along with 12,000 soldiers, are taking part in the drill.
It is one of several announced in official media in recent weeks.
The exercise follows verbal sparring between the US and China over conflicting territorial claims by China and many South East Asian nations in the South China Sea.
Up to two-and-a-half million people have been affected by devastating floods in north-west Pakistan, the International Red Cross has said.
Rescuers are struggling to reach 27,000 people still cut off by the floods, which are the worst in 80 years.
At least 1,100 people have died and thousands have lost everything.