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Vietnam suspends four officials over Japan aid graft allegations

Vietnam on Tuesday said it had suspended four railway officials following allegations a Japanese firm paid bribes to win a contract linked to a rail project for Hanoi. Japan's leading Yomiuri newspaper reported that the head of Japan Transportation Consultants (JTC) admitted his company had paid kickbacks of 130 million yen ($1.3 million) to civil servants in Vietnam, Indonesia and Uzbekistan to win work tied to projects funded by Japan's Official Development Assistance (ODA).

Vietnam first quarter economic growth seen at 4.96 percent year on year: newspaper

HANOI (Reuters) - Vietnam's economy grew an estimated 4.96 percent in the first quarter from a year ago, the fastest quarterly pace since 2011, and above a 4.76 percent rise in the same period last year, a state-run newspaper reported on Tuesday. The annual growth in the January-March period compared with a 4.75 percent rate in the first quarter of 2012 and 5.9 percent in the same period in 2011, the Vietnam Economic Times newspaper cited government statistics as saying.

Japan to give 100 million yen in aid to vocational school in Vietnam

Japan will provide 100 million yen in official development assistance to a vocational training school run by a Japanese firm in northern Vietnam, officials of a government-backed aid agency said Saturday. The school was established in 2012 by medium-sized Tokyo-based builder Mukai Corp. to provide training to workers so that they can come to Japan to help reduce the labor shortage at construction sites, according to Japan International Cooperation Agency officials.

Ecuadoran lawmaker jailed for slandering president

An Ecuadoran lawmaker has been sentenced in absentia to 18 months in prison for slandering President Rafael Correa, with the judge issuing a warrant for his arrest. Opposition member Clever Jimenez was ruled to have defamed Correa by filing charges against the leader in June 2011 for crimes against humanity, stemming from a controversial 2010 police mutiny that left 10 people dead. The attorney for Jimenez told AFP late Friday that his client was traveling to the southeastern Amazonian province of Chinchipe, which he represents in the National Assembly.

Cuba more than doubles doctors' pay

Havana, Mar 21 (EFE).- President Raul Castro and his Cabinet approved a plan to more than double the pay of Cuba's medical professionals starting in June, official media said Friday. Raises for the more than 440,000 doctors, stomatologists and nurses will vary between 60 and 178 percent. Even so, their salaries will continue to lag far behind what doctors are paid in other countries.

Cuba: Doctors to get pay raise; forecasts $8.2 billion from medical workers overseas in 2014

HAVANA - Cuba is giving hundreds of thousands of medical workers raises that in some cases exceed 100 per cent, official media on the island announced Friday, though pay remains much lower than what medical professionals earn elsewhere. The Communist Party daily newspaper Granma also reported that Cuba expects to take in $8.2 billion this year for the tens of thousands of medical worker it sends to care for the poor in countries such as Venezuela and Brazil.

Cuba gives doctors big pay raise -- to $64 a month

Cuba's doctors got a big pay raise Friday -- to 64 dollars a month, the official Communist Party newspaper Granma said. The hike in pay from $25 a month was to reward health professionals for being the country's top source of hard currency export earnings. President Raul Castro last month rejected pay increases for other state workers, but said they were justified for doctors, dentists and nurses "because at the moment the country's main income is due to the work of thousands of doctors overseas."

China, EU wine industries in deal to end Beijing anti-dumping probe

The Chinese and European wine industries have agreed a deal that will see Beijing end an anti-dumping inquiry into imports from the European Union, China's commerce ministry said Friday. The announcement comes a day before Chinese President Xi Jinping sets off on a visit to Europe. After six rounds of talks since November, the Chinese and EU industries signed a memorandum of understanding on Tuesday to "solve the dispute through cooperation", the ministry said in a statement. wf-kgo/slb/ac

China, EU wine industries in deal to end Beijing anti-dumping probe

The Chinese and European wine industries have agreed a deal that will see Beijing end an anti-dumping inquiry into imports from the European Union, China's commerce ministry said Friday. The announcement comes a day before Chinese President Xi Jinping sets off on a visit to Europe. After six rounds of talks since November, the Chinese and EU industries signed a memorandum of understanding on Tuesday to "solve the dispute through cooperation", the ministry said in a statement. wf-kgo/slb/ac

China blocks tribute to dead dissident at UN rights council

China locked horns Thursday with Western nations after campaigners tried to get the UN's top human rights forum to hold a minute's silence for a dissident who died in detention. Beijing and its allies at the UN Human Rights Council used procedural moves to block an attempt by a coalition of rights groups to pay tribute to Cao Shunli, who died March 14.
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