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Monday, July 25, 2011

CAMBODIA: Probe promised after garment workers faint

An investigation has been ordered after nearly 100 garment factory workers fainted at the Hung Wah (Cambodia) Garment Manufacturing factory in Phnom Penh's Dangkor district.

Local media reports suggest chemicals or exhaustion are to blame, and the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training has vowed to investigate.

Earlier this year another mass fainting hit the headlines when several hundred workers were rushed to hospital after collapsing at Puma shoe supplier Huey Chuen, in Phnom Penh's Dangkor district.

A just-released report from the Fair Labour Association says there was a "strong possibility" the incident was caused by a combination of exposure to dangerous chemicals, inadequate ventilation, excessive working hours, and health and safety breaches.

As reported by just-style last month, Puma has accepted the criticisms made in the report and developed a comprehensive remediation plan that includes a clear timeline, as well as a process to verify its implementation.
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Illinois soldier's remains buried after 40 years

Associated Press

GLEN CARBON -- Randy Dalton's family, after waiting 40 years to the day, finally laid him to rest Sunday.

An Army honor guard, in white gloves and dress uniforms, carried Dalton's flag-draped coffin the last few yards to his resting place on the gentle slope of a hill at Sunset Hill Cemetery.

A man dressed as a Union soldier from the Civil War played "Taps." More than 400 people stood silently as seven volunteers aimed their rifles skyward and fired three volleys.

An then the honor guard commander, an Army sergeant, presented each of Dalton's three sisters a tightly folded American flag -- a final gesture to honor the 20-year-old Collinsville man whose body disappeared on July 24, 1971.

That's when the helicopter on which Dalton served as a door gunner was shot down during a reconnaissance mission over Cambodia. Although Dalton was due to return home in a few weeks, he volunteered for the mission to take the place of a friend who'd fallen sick.

"We're just very happy today because this day has finally come," said Gayle Vecchetti, one of Dalton's sisters. "We can finally have our brother where we want him at -- here with our parents."

Linda Kruse, another sister, said the past few days have been an intensely emotional time for her, culminating with her little brother's remains being lowered into the ground.

"I was thinking in terms that we're on a journey, but we didn't know we were on a journey," Kruse said. "And we had come to the conclusion of it now and we never knew we would be here."

Sunday's burial service culminated a nearly 20-year search for Dalton's remains in the jungles of Cambodia.

State-of-the-art forensic techniques, DNA analysis and repeated excavations and interviews with villagers familiar with the crash site led to a breakthrough in 2009: the discovery of the remains belonging to Dalton and another soldier killed when their OH-6A helicopter crashed.

Two hours before Sunday's burial, the parking lot at Sunset Funeral Home was already thick with a phalanx of almost 150 motorcycles belonging to the Illinois Patriot Guard and other volunteers, many of them Vietnam veterans.

Despite Sunday's blistering heat, the motorcyclists said they felt privileged to lead the procession to Dalton's grave site, honoring a man who fought and died for their freedom.

"You can't pass this up," said Tony Renfro, 64, of Belleville, who served as a crew chief on an Army helicopter in Vietnam from 1968-69. "You got to come for this guy. It's a brother."

Renfro said he has taken part in other military burials because of what he went through when he returned home from Vietnam.

"We were treated so badly, that's why we do it," he said. "We don't want their families to go through what we did."

Renfro acknowledged the heavy emotions that military burials kindle within him.

"That's why everybody wears sunglasses," Renfro said, tapping the pair hanging off his T-shirt. "You don't want everybody to see you cry."

The Rev. Scott Dutton, one of Dalton's cousins, delivered a eulogy that led him to recount some of their adventures while growing up.

Dutton recalled how his cousin, as a teen-ager, spent a summer trying to learn how to water ski barefoot.

"Every time we went near the water, he had to try it at least once," Dutton said.

Dutton said it was important to remember Dalton's spirit.

"Randy's enlistment was voluntary. His presence on that helicopter was voluntary," Dutton said. "Today we honor that spirit that cost him so much."
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Vietnam – Cambodia railroad to be built

It is part of the Singapore-Kunming railroad project, so it will be a key railroad for Cambodia to transport commodities to regional and global markets, especially in the framework of ASEAN-China Free Trade Area.

The feasibility study for the construction was implemented by the Chinese Railway Ministry's Third Railway Survey and Design Institute since July 2009 with a cost about 3 million USD funded by China.

As planned, the railroad is 257 kilometers in length, starting in Kampong Speu Province’s Oudong district, pass by Kratie province’s Snuol district and end at Vietnam’s Loc Ninh district in the southern border province of Binh Phuoc.

Experts have finalized the total cost for the construction of the Vietnam – Cambodia is about 686 million USD, according to a feasibility study for the construction begining from Kampong Speu province (Cambodia) to the southern border province of Binh Phuoc (Vietnam).

However, this money is not including the settlement compensations for residents affected by the project.

"The project will provide huge economic benefits to Cambodia, especially on the development of agriculture and mineral resources, as well as tourism sector", experts said. The study result will be submitted to Prime Minister Hun Sen to make decision.

The railway will be part of an intra-Asian railway that runs from Singapore to China via Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. It is expected to be complete within 30 months.
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Abhisit blames Noppadol for on-going border conflicts with Cambodia

Outgoing Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva Monday blamed former foreign minister Noppadon Pattama for conflicts between Thailand and Cambodia over the 4.6-kilometre plot near the Preah Vihear Temple.

Abhisit was responding to Noppadon's comment that the Abhisit government should have approached the border conflicts based on the measure agreed upon by the Samak Sundaravej Cabinet.

But Abhisit said Noppadon and the Samak Cabinet instead caused the current trouble having issuing a Cabinet resolution to allow Noppadon as the foreign minister to endorse Cambodia's unilateral registration of Preah Vihear as a world heritage site.

Abhisit said the endorsement would allow Cambodia to come in to mange the 4.6 km plot around the temple as well so the current government had to rescind the resolution.

Abhisit said Noppadon's action prompted the Army to deploy troops to the area to try to defend Thai territory.

He said the troops were deployed there since the term of the Samak government.
Abhisit said the Democrat-led government would never allow Thai territory to fall to Cambodia.
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