Meet these men who don’t mind collecting garbage to clean beaches in Vietnam

Two Vietnamese men have gone to great lengths to clear their country’s beaches and streets of litter and pollution in the past few years. On a recent day, a middle-aged man, who usually goes by Tuan – his first name – only, was spotted by a Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper contributor amidst high piles of rubbish and animal carcasses on a street located in La Gi Town in the south-central province of Binh Thuan. The garbage emitted an intolerably foul odor and was riddled with ghastly maggots and mice. Tuan meticulously picked up every piece of litter and put it into large sacks to be collected later by garbage trucks, while burning inflammable items himself. A local said the neighborhood would be filled to the brim with litter but for Tuan’s silent work. Some others said the man has no relatives and first showed up in the neighborhood a few years ago. Almost every early morning and evening, he clears dumping grounds on the streets, which mindless people … [Read more...]

Vietnamese firms urged to demand TPP transparency, spell out concerns

Workers process tra fish for export in southern Vietnam. Photo credit: Tuoi Tre Vietnamese businesses must urge the government to make its negotiations for the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership transparent and also raise their concerns over the deal, an expert has said. Pham Duy Nghia, a lecturer at the Fulbright Economics Teaching Program, said while there have already been 20 rounds of talks since 2010, Vietnamese enterprises do not seem to know how the US-led trade pact would affect them. "In the US, companies in the pharmaceutical, textile, entertainment, and banking sectors are lobbying for the TPP," he told a seminar titled "Vietnamese CEOs under pressure from FTAs and TPP" held by the CEO Club in Ho Chi Minh City on March 24. "Why don’t Vietnamese firms team up and speak up for their rights? "Vietnamese businesses are funding the government’s operations by paying taxes. So why don't they talk to the government so that it can make favorable decisions for them … [Read more...]

World’s oldest person dies at 117 in Japan

The world's oldest person, Misao Okawa, died in Japan on Wednesday, a month after celebrating her 117th birthday. Jiji Press/AFP/File | Misao Okawa (C), the world's oldest person, pictured on March 4, 2015 with her family at a nursing home in Osaka The nursing home where she lived in Osaka said she breathed her last around 7am (2200 GMT Tuesday). On the occasion of her birthday early last month, Okawa, a mother of three, grandmother of four and great-grandmother of six, was one of only a handful of people still alive who had been born in the 19th century. Her birth on March 5, 1898 predated the Wright brothers' first powered human flight by five years, she was already a teenager when World War I broke out and in her 70s by the time of the first moon landing. When she turned 114, she was officially recognised by Guinness World Records as the oldest woman in the globe. Japan, known for the longevity of its people, is home to the world's oldest man -- Sakari Momoi, who … [Read more...]

Social News 1/4

Operation Pacific Angel plane lands in Da Nang A C-130 transport airplane landed at Da Nang International Airport yesterday, as part of Operation Pacific Angel 15, running in Quang Ngai province from March 14 to April 3. The operation included an exchange between the United States Air Force and Viet Nam Air Force and Defence at the airport on the same day, on the capabilities of C-130 airplanes in humanitarian and disaster-relief missions. Operation Pacific Angel is a joint and combined humanitarian assistance exercise led by the United States Pacific Air Forces. The three key programmes of PACANGEL are health services, civil construction and expert exchanges on health matters, providing optometry, dental, women's health and physical therapy, as well as other health services for local patients. Over 2 million foreign visitors to Vietnam in first quarter The number of foreign tourists to Vietnam in the first quarter of this year is estimated to reach 2,007,884, down 13.7% … [Read more...]

HCMC price subsidization program expands social attendance

Ho Chi Minh City will continue mobilizing social resources as many as possible for the price subsidization program 2015 and promote its effectiveness, said deputy chairwoman of the city People’s Committee Nguyen Thi Hong at a conference on March 31. Nakydaco Company produces cooking oil for the price subsidization program in HCMC (Photo: SGGP) Well implementing the program would contribute in attaining the city’s socioeconomic targets for 2015, she said. According to reports at the conference hosted by the HCMC Department of Industry and Trade, 2015 is the 14th year in a row the city carries out the price subsidization program and the third consecutive year it calls on the social attendance. It is one of key programs of the city’s trade industry. Last year, attendees comprise diversified economic sectors and types of businesses.The volume and types of commodities were more than 2013 and selling spots of subsidized goods increased to 8,976. Two years after the … [Read more...]

IPU members commit to transformative action on global peace

(VOV) - Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) members have pledged to take the necessary action to carry forward proposed new sustainable development goals (SDGs) due to be adopted later this year. The success of the SDGs would transform the world and the lives of people globally, affirmed delegates at an April 1 discussion in the framework of the ongoing 132nd IPU Assembly in Hanoi. IPU members shed light on sustainable development based on human rights, poverty eradication, peace and security in the Hanoi Declaration, adopted at the conclusion of the five-day 132nd IPU Assembly in the Vietnamese capital city. Endorsing a proposed and ambitious set of 17 goals, IPU members committed to translating them into enforceable domestic laws, to hold governments to account, and pledged to align budgets with national sustainable development plans. The Hanoi Declaration, the result of a debate on "The Sustainable Development Goals: Turning Words into Action," highlighted the need for … [Read more...]

Vietnam government urged to sell infrastructure to local investors

Phu Quoc Airport on the southern resort island of Phu Quoc. Photo: Mai Vong Following the transport ministry’s refrain over the past month that it plans to privatize infrastructure, including seaports and airports, economists have said local investors should be its first choice. Vietnamese businesses, many of whom have proved to be capable, can help the economy grow and at the same time allay concerns about national security when it comes to projects in "sensitive" locations, they said. The economists voiced their support amid growing interest among local businesses in seaports and airport terminals being offered by the transport ministry. Low-cost Vietjet Air, for instance, wants to buy operating rights for a domestic terminal at Hanoi’s Noi Bai Airport, while Jetstar Pacific, another budget carrier, targets a terminal in Da Nang airport. T&T Group, a real estate company based in Hanoi, is interested in the sole airport in Phu Quoc island. Property giant Vingroup … [Read more...]

Art & Entertainment News 1/4

Dogma Prize 2015 calls for entries The organizer of the self-portraiture contest Dogma Prize is calling for entries from artists. Local and foreign artists should submit their entries from April 1 to July 7 at the website Self-portraits are a must but contestants can freely choose the genre of art they like, such as sculpture and photography. The first prize is VND120 million (US$5,569). Artworks shortlisted for the final round will be exhibited at the HCMC Fine Arts Museum for one week starting from July 8. The contest in 2013 attracted more than 400 artworks, 45 of which were chosen for the final. Initially, the Dogma Prize was open to Vietnamese artists only but this year foreign and domestic artists can take part. First giant IMAX theater to be launched with ‘Furious 7’ Ready for a big car chase? The seventh installment of the famous action series "Fast & Furious" will premiere in Vietnam on a giant screen at the country’s first IMAX … [Read more...]

Vietnam tourism numbers plummet as Chinese, Russians keep away

A foreign couple with their child at a beach in Nha Trang. Photo credit: Khue Viet Truong/tcdulichtphcm Foreign arrivals in Vietnam fell for the 10 straight month in March, which also recorded the biggest year-on-year drop of 23.4 percent. Figures from the General Statistics Office show that foreign visitor numbers dropped to around 543,000 in March, nearly 30 percent fewer than in February. With January and February figures also down from last year, first quarter arrivals plunged 13.7 percent year-on-year to around two million. Increases in the number of visitors from traditional markets like Japan and South Korea failed to make up for the 40.4 percent drop in arrivals from China, the major market. Travel agencies said customers from China and other Chinese-speaking places have not come back since the tensions last summer, when China’s deployment of an oil rig in the East Sea ignited widespread anti-Chinese sentiment. There were also 11.1 percent fewer tourists from … [Read more...]

Japan to grant Vietnam $1bn in aid for power, traffic development

Vietnam will receive US$1 billion from Japan in official development assistance (ODA) loans to fund seven power, infrastructure, education, and environment projects. The diplomatic note on the grant was signed by Vietnamese Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh and Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam Hiroshi Fukada in Hanoi on Tuesday. The loan, which is meant for the 2014 fiscal year, is ready for disbursement within 2015, according to the agreement. The 2014 fiscal year began on April 1 last year and concluded on March 31 this year. The ODA grant is intended to help Vietnam implement seven projects, including the construction of the 9.87 billion yen ($82.5 million) Thai Binh 1 thermal power plant in the northern province of Thai Binh and a 29.78 billion yen ($249 million) power distribution network. About 14.91 billion yen and 1.06 billion yen from the grant will be earmarked for two power supply systems, in the southern province of Dong Nai and the northern city … [Read more...]

HCM City swimmer breaks records left and right

VietNamNet Bridge – Five records were broken on the closing day of the National Short-Course Swimming and Fins-swimming Championships in Da Nang yesterday, March 31. Swimmer Tran Duy Khoi. HCM City dominated the field, collecting 25 gold, 14 silver and eight bronze medals over the five days. Their showing demonstrated a depth of talent. Long An's side came in second in the rankings with a tally of six gold, five silver and 10 bronze medals. Quang Ninh came in third, bagging three gold, three silver and one bronze medal. Swimmer Tran Duy Khoi brought home an additional three golds yesterday – one for a team and two for individual events. The three wins added to his impressive five-day collection bringing his total to a record 11 gold medals. Over the course of the competition, Khoi broke four national records. Khoi, 18, clocked 1min 58.64sec in the men's 200m backstroke, shaving a just over a whopping 58sec off the previous record set by Hanoian Do Huy Long in … [Read more...]

Sports News 1/4

14 teams to compete in football championship The National Second Division Football Championship will provide three tickets to the top three teams for the next season of V-League 2, the Viet Nam Football Federation said. Fourteen teams will take part in the championship. They have been divided into two groups, and will compete in a two-leg, round-robin format. The top two teams of each group will advance to the final round. The top three teams of the division will be promoted, while the team that comes last will be relegated. The group stage of the championship will be held from April 16 to June 26, while the final will be held from July 3 to 6. HCM City win Martial Arts Cup The National Viet Nam Traditional Martial Arts Cup ended on Monday, March 30, with HCM City claiming the top position. Hundreds of martial arts fighters compete at the national competition in Binh Dinh Province. —- Photo Hosts Binh Dinh came second, followed by Quang … [Read more...]

World famous speed films

(VOV) - Speed films such as "Speed", "Gone in 60 Seconds" or "Fast & Furious" are considered the masterpieces of the world, which are most favourite all time. 1. Grand Prix (1966) Grand Prix is a 1966 American action film with an international cast. The picture was directed by John Frankenheimer. The story follows the fate of four Formula One drivers through a fictionalised version of the 1966 Formula One season. Sub-plots in the film revolve around the women who try to live with or love the racers with dangerous lifestyles. The married Sarti begins an affair with a magazine writer, Louise Frederickson (played by Saint), while Aron has a brief romance with Stoddard's unhappy wife Pat (played by Walter). A race day accident at Monaco involving Jordan-BRM teammates Pete Aron and Scott Stoddard leaves Stoddard critically injured. During Stoddard's recovery, Aron becomes involved with his wife who seems determined to leave Scott. At the same time, drivers Jean-Pierre Sarti and … [Read more...]

Over 4.6 million Vietnamese kids under five suffer from nutrition disorders: expert

Over 4.6 million Vietnamese children under five have nutritional problems, Doctor Do Thi Ngoc Diep, director of the Ho Chi Minh City Nutrition Center, said Sunday at a conference. During the conference, entitled "Stronger Brain from Stronger Nutritional Absorption" organized by Mẹ & Con (Mom and Child) newspaper, attendees said children under five in Vietnam often suffer obesity or malnutrition due to their imbalanced regimen. They added that kids with the troubles consume less milk, vegetables, and fruit than children with normal development. Doctor Nguyen Anh Tuan from the University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Ho Chi Minh City added that the ordeals are even worsened by the fact that children often have problems with digestion since they are in the period of improving their digestive system. Many parents do not have a proper knowledge of the growth of their children so they incline to force them to eat as much as they want, Dr. Tuan said. The brain accounts for only two … [Read more...]

Over 2 million foreign visitors to Vietnam in first quarter

(VOV) - The number of foreign tourists to Vietnam in the first quarter of this year is estimated to reach 2,007,884, down 13.7% against the same period last year, announced the General Statistics Office of Vietnam (GSO). Of them, 1,700,480 travelled by air (down 8%) while 18,058 by sea (down 36.7%) and 289,346 by land (down 35.8%). In the reviewed period, the predominant increases came from the Republic of Korea (up 31.4%), Finland (28.2%), Spain (10.8%), Singapore (7.1%), Italy (6%), the US (2.9%), Japan (0.8%) and Germany (0.2%) against last year. The number of domestic visitors in the first three months is estimated at 19.5 million and the tourism sector earned VND96,359 billion in revenue, a year-on-year increase of 1.9%. … [Read more...]

Together caring for disadvantaged children

The Provincial People’s Committee has issued a plan to implement the scheme Caring for the helpless orphans, abandoned children, children affected by HIV/AIDS, children of victims of toxic chemicals, children with severe disabilities and children affected by natural disasters, which is based on community in 2015. The plan’s objective is to develop care forms for children with especially difficult circumstances relied on the community; gradually narrowing the gap in living standards between children with specially difficult circumstances with normal children in residence. Children with difficult circumstances in Song Hinh district getting supported money and gifts by philanthropists 14-year-old Pham Van Truong in Xuan Tho 2 commune (Song Cau town), a victim of Agent Orange, in a small body and shrunken legs, causing him unable to walk. Ms. Nguyen Thi Lan, Truong’s mother, said: "When he was born, he was normal, but since the 6th year, his limbs gradually … [Read more...]

“Made in Vietnam” label popular in RoK, Singapore

The Hanoitimes - Lotte and Saigon Co.op have announced plans to substantially increase the stock of Vietnamese goods on the shelves of their stores in the RoK and Singapore during the upcoming year. During a recent conference, Le Ngoc Dao, deputy director of the HCM City Department of Industry and Trade, emphasized that the 2015 price stabilization program will also provide support for local businesses to increase exports. This year, banks will provide loans of VND 11.850 billion to the price stabilization program at interest rates ranging from 0.5% to 2%. Notably, banks will also provide supplementary credit packages of VND 900 billion to support businesses. Hong Won Sik, Lotte Mart Vietnam General Director said it also began to stock the shelves of its stores with Vietnamese goods in the RoK, which generated revenue of US$250,000 last year. Illustrative image Saigon Co.op Deputy Director Nguyen Thanh Nhan said his supermarket also exported Vietnamese goods to the Fairprice … [Read more...]

11-year-old girl wounded in wartime shell blast

Y Minh, 11, receiving treatment at a local hospital in Quang Binh province after a wartime shrapnel shell suddenly explodes, severely injuring her. Photo courtesy by the hospital. An 11-year-old girl seriously injured in an explosion believed to be caused by a Vietnam War-time ordnance on Sunday is now in stable condition, doctors said. Local farmers said they heard a bang on Sunday afternoon and found the girl, Y Minh, lying on a field in Quang Binh Province, central Vietnam, suffering numerous wounds in her body. She was rushed to a local hospital, where doctors said the shrapnel hit her chest and punctured one of her lungs, causing a severe pulmonary edema. Doctors said they have performed surgery to remove the shrapnel from her body. Minh said she found a "metal ball" in the field, and when she threw it away the ball went off. A report by the Red Cross branch in Quang Binh said all 159 communes in the province are contaminated with unexploded ordnance (UXO), which caused 49 … [Read more...]

Indonesia: Military drills launched to cope with Islamic extremists

Indonesia launched military exercises in the eastern island of Sulawesi on March 31 as part of broader efforts to crack down on militants with suspected links to the Islamic State (IS) group. The drills are amid heightened government concerns over a rising number of Indonesians pledging loyalty to IS and attempting to join fighting in Iraq and Syria. IS is a potential security threat and Indonesia is preparing forces to respond to that, said military spokesman Major General Mochamad Fuad Basya. He added that the exercises are routine and similar drills will be held elsewhere in the country. Indonesia has the world's largest Muslim population, the vast majority of which practice a moderate form of the religion. It saw a spate of militant attacks in the 2000s, the deadliest of which was a nightclub bombing on the holiday island of Bali that killed 202 people, most of whom were tourists. Police have been largely successful in dismantling domestic militant cells since then. … [Read more...]

Vietnam heads to Qatar for AFC U23 Championship finals

Striker Nguyen Cong Phuong. Source: VNA Vietnam are heading to Qatar for the AFC U23 Championship finals after crushing Macau 7-0 in their last Group I match at the Shah Alam Stadium in Sepang, Malaysia, on March 31. They finished second in the group with six points behind Japan, who defeated Malaysia 1-0 in the later game. Vietnam raced to a 6-0 lead in the first half, but were only able to add one more goal after the break. Strikers Nguyen Cong Phuong and Thanh Binh scored a hat-trick each after mid-fielder Ho Ngoc Thang's opener. Vietnam went into the game knowing they had to win, and wasted no time in kicking off their 3-4-3 formation. It took only three minutes to open the scoring when Thang broke away from three Macau defenders to beat goalie Ho Man Fai. Macau were considered underdogs from the start of the tournament, but instead of focusing on training, their players tried to relax and went shopping a day ahead of the match. As a result, they allowed Vietnam to … [Read more...]