WFP eyes long-term partnership with Vietnam

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) wishes to foster long-term cooperative ties with Vietnam, WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin has said. She made the statement during a reception for Vietnam’s new Permanent Representative to the WFP Ambassador Cao Chinh Thien, after the ambassador presented his credentials in Rome, Italy, on February 12. WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin (left) receiving Vietnamese Ambassador Cao Chinh Thien. (Source: Vietnam+) The WFP Director expressed her admiration for the significant achievements Vietnam has made over the past years, particularly in rice export. She also highlighted the potential for cooperation between the WFP and Vietnam in the coming time and hoped that the two sides will reach long-term commitment. Vietnam should further participate in the WFP’s policy-making process and shared the country’s experience in using effectively the WFP’s funding with other nations, she said. The WFP leader … [Read more...]

Vietnamese culture highlighted at Australian festival

The land, people and culture of Vietnam were introduced at the 20th National Multicultural Festival, which took place in Australia’s capital city of Canberra from February 12-14. With various cultural publications, souvenirs and traditional dishes like "nem ran" (fried spring roll), "pho bo" (beef noodle soup) and Vietnamese-style sandwiches, the Vietnamese booth attracted a large crowd of visitors. The Vietnamese booth at the 19th National Multicultural Festival. (Photo for illustration) This is the second time the Vietnamese Embassy in Australia has participated in the festival. As one of Australia’s largest annual cultural events, the National Multicultural Festival aims to unite the community and encourage the harmony between nations and cultures. Apart from 463 booths of over 800 organisations, foreign embassies and community groups, the festival also accommodated eight stages, which saw the performances of over 350 artists. More than 270,000 visitors flocked … [Read more...]

VDB urged to restructure for sustainable development

The Vietnam Development Bank needs to accelerate restructuring for more effective operation and sustainable development, Head of the Party Central Committee’s Economic Commission Vuong Dinh Hue has said. Head of the Party Central Committee’s Economic Commission Vuong Dinh Hue addressing the event. (Source: vdb.gov.vn) During his New Year visit to the bank on February 14, Hue urged the Bank to focus on mobilising resources and continuing to handle bad debts in accordance with the Prime Minister’s instructions. Acting Chairman of the Bank Nguyen Quang Dung said the bank has to date mobilised over 47.44 trillion VND (2.12 billion USD) and 135 million USD. It has provided funding for 1,321 projects, totaling nearly 208 trillion VND (9.23 billion USD), with 180.6 trillion VND disbursed so far. The bank is also managing 460 foreign-funded projects with total committed capital of 13.24 billion USD, according to Dung. He reported that the banks’ total … [Read more...]

Singapore sees surge in cybercrime in 2015

Cybercrime in Singapore surged 95 percent in 2015 from the previous year, contributing to a 4 percent rise in the overall crime in the island State, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) said in its annual crime report. According to the SPF, cheating involving e-commerce rose 30.5 percent to 2,173 cases last year, compared to 1,665 cases in 2014. The total sum cheated was about 1.76 million SGD (roughly 1.3 million USD), with the largest amount in a single case at approximately 50,000 SGD. (Photo for illustration: mentalfloss.com) Online scams targeting buyers rose 30.1 percent to 1,887 cases, up from 1,450 cases. The total sum cheated was about 1.34 million SGD. Scams targeting sellers also increased by 25.4 percent to 153 cases. The number of people falling victim to credit-for-sex scams, where culprits use mobile messaging platforms to ask victims to purchase gift cards or virtual credit in exchange for sexual services, surged to 1,203 cases compared to 66 cases in 2014. The total … [Read more...]

Philippines approves two-year export plan

President of the Philippines Benigno Aquino has just approved the Philippine Export Development Plan for 2016-2017, setting out the goals, a strategy and roadmap for the export sector. President of the Philippines Benigno Aquino (Source: philstar.com) The President has signed Circular No. 91 instructing the review of all relevant policies to facilitate the implementation of the Plan. According to the Circular, all concerned government agencies and organisations are to review export-related legal documents in a bid to remove all obstacles in the sector. The Export Development Council is to supervise the implementation of the Plan and work with relevant bodies to develop and revise policies on export promotion. Source: VNA … [Read more...]

More care for policy beneficiaries by the Defense Ministry

PANO - In 2015, the Ministry of National Defense has taken care of 1,400 Vietnamese heroic mothers and provided them with a monthly allowance of VND 500,000 each. Besides, it also assisted convalescent centers for national contributors with various facilities and extracted VND 1.9 billion from its gratitude fund to build 27 houses and make army uniforms for war invalids and sick soldiers. (Photo for illustration) Over VND 10.6 billion was also extracted from the national defense enterprises' funds from their after-tax profit to buy ambulances and essential equipment for convalescent centers of war invalids and sick soldiers. In addition, the whole-army units provided jobs for 68 people, who are wives or children of war martyrs or invalids according to the ministry's directions. Translated by Trung Thanh … [Read more...]

Festivals pray for good harvest in new year

The annual Tich Dien (ploughing) festival to pray for a year of favourable weather and bumper crops took place in Doi Son commune, Duy Tien district, the Red River Delta province of Ha Nam, on February 14 or the seventh day of the first lunar month. Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan joined crowds of guests, local officials and residents at the festival. The annual Tich Dien (ploughing) festival in Ha Nam province (Source: nhandan.com.vn) Legend has it that in 987, King Le Dai Hanh came to the foot of the Doi Mountain to hold the first ploughing ceremony. The festival then became a tradition and was held through many dynasties before falling into oblivion. The tradition was restored in 2007. The same day, the Hanoi Department of Agriculture and Rural Development held a Xuong Dong (going to the field) festival and launched the annual tree-planting spring campaign in the city’s farming district of Phu Xuyen. Addressing the event, Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Hoang … [Read more...]

Deputy PM visits Ha Nam province on Tet festivals

PANO - Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc visited and extended Lunar New Year greetings to the Ha Nam provincial authorities and people on February 13th on the occasion of Lunar New Year (Tet) Festival. Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (left) presenting flowers to the province's leader. (Source: hanam.gov.vn) At the working session, Secretary of the provincial Party Committee Mai Tien Dung briefed the Deputy Prime Minister on the province's socio-economic achievements and the results of the local all-level party congresses over the past year. Notably, the province also paid much attention to care for local policy families and needy households while maintaining political security and social order during Tet holidays. For his part, Deputy PM Phuc highly valued the province's results and urged them to continue effectively implementing the resolutions of the party congresses at all levels with the focus on economic development and integration. Translated by Anh Tien … [Read more...]

Crowds of tourists flock to Hai Duong during Tet

Famous historical and cultural tourism sites in the northern province of Hai Duong have attracted a large number of holiday-makers during the Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday, which began from February 8. According to Le Duy Manh, vice head of the management board of Con Son – Kiep Bac relic site, the special national heritage served about 80,000 tourists as of February 13. Tourists visiting the Dao Co (Stork Island) relic site The Tranh temple in Ninh Giang district greeted around 7,000 visitors a day during the last seven days. Meanwhile, the national relic site Dao Co (Stork Island) in Thanh Mien district and Bia temple dedicated to Tue Tinh, a famous doctor in traditional medicine, in Cam Giang district each reported up to 10,000 tourists. Management boards of the relic sites worked closely with local authorities to ensure security and social order during the Tet holiday, the longest and most important festival in the year. Source: VNA … [Read more...]

How today Tet in Hanoi differs from its past?

Hanoi has changed, obviously as its citizens' habit of welcoming Tet. Flowers for decoration on Tet holidays Hanoians are fond of flowers as a decorative item for their homes, especially during Tet holidays. Peach blossom is preferred most for the biggest holiday of the year. Thus, the Hang Luoc flower market has existed over 500 years and provided millions of peach branches for Hanoians. At present, the market dramatically dwindled. New flower markets have emerged, stretching from Yen Phu, Au Co, to Lac Long Quan streets. A few days before Tet, these roads became 'a flower river', offering mostly peach blossom. Old: A Hanoian girl selects Tet flowers Today: a girl looks for a peach branch for Lunar New Year festival Special Tet markets at year end Tet markets are not just for serious shoppers but for everybody to breathe in the festive air and enjoy the colorful spectacle. Long ago, the phrase "sam Tet"(buying things for Tet) was spoken with passion by Vietnamese … [Read more...]

Keo Pagoda Festival-one of biggest Spring festival

(Cinet)- The annual Keo Pagoda Festival, which is one of biggest Spring festival, lasts three days from 13th to the 15th in Thai Binh province. Many religious and traditional rituals and customs are held in celebration of the Buddhist monk who rendered great merits to the people and the country. The festival also hosts different traditional cultural activities, reflecting the life style, which is imbued with traits of the Red River Delta's agricultural culture, of a riverside residential area. On the 13th day of the ninth lunar month, the festival commences with a ceremony of procession of palanquin in celebration of the 100th day death anniversary of monk Khong Lo. The procession brings the altar, incense table and big and small boats to the three-entranced gate in the morning. On the afternoon of the 13th day of the ninth lunar month, there takes place a boat racing. Spectators and fans flock to the banks of the Red River, standing along a distance of several kilometers. After … [Read more...]

‘Project Panic’ rather than love may keep Britain in EU

A British Union Jack flag is seen flying near a face of the clocktower at the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain, February 1, 2016. Photo: Reuters/Toby Melville Panic rather than love may keep Britain in the European Union when voters cast their ballots in a referendum, probably in June, on whether to stay in the 28-nation bloc under Prime Minister David Cameron's "new settlement". While few may be swayed by the lightly amended membership terms, a plunging currency, tumbling share prices and fears for property values could drive enough Britons to opt at the last minute for the status quo rather than a leap into the unknown. That was how the British political establishment managed by the skin of its teeth to hold the United Kingdom together in 2014, when Scottish voters tempted by the centuries-old dream of regaining independence from England ultimately chose safety. It is also a plausible scenario for the EU vote, especially since a decision to leave would reopen the Scottish … [Read more...]

Turkey shells northern Syria for second day -monitor

Residents stand near a picture of Syria's president Bashar al-Assad in Wafideen Camp, which is controlled by Syrian government forces, in Damascus suburbs, Syria February 13, 2016. The text on the picture reads in Arabic: "Because we are Syrian, we love you, down with the conspiracy, it's done." Photo: Reuters/Omar Sanadiki The Turkish army shelled positions held by Kurdish-backed militia in northern Syria for a second day on Sunday, killing two fighters, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said. Turkey on Saturday demanded the powerful Syrian Kurdish YPG militia withdraw from areas that it had captured in the northern Aleppo region in recent days from insurgents in Syria, including the Menagh air base. The shelling has targeted those areas. Turkey has been alarmed by the expansion of Kurdish sway in northern Syria since the start of the conflict in 2011. The YPG controls nearly all of Syria's northern frontier with Turkey, and has been a close ally of the … [Read more...]

Modi urged to make reality match ‘Make in India’ hype

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks during the inauguration ceremony of the 'Make In India' week in Mumbai, India, February 13, 2016. Photo: Reuters/Danish Siddiqui Thousands of people and mascots of lions swarmed the weekend opening of a "Make in India" drive to attract foreign direct investment, pitched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as "the biggest brand that India has ever created". The week-long event, the boldest since Modi launched the initiative to emulate China's export miracle back in 2014, seeks to "spark a renewed sense of pride in India's manufacturing", its marketing blurb says. But even as the Make in India hype scales new heights, some bosses question Modi's delivery on promises to make it easier to do business, while marketing experts caution against creating unrealistic expectations. "When you over-communicate and you under-deliver, the biggest risk is that you begin to lose trust," said Chandramouli Nilakantan, CEO of Blue Lotus Communications, a … [Read more...]

Uprising by national heroines commemorated

(VOVworld) - A ceremony marking the 1976th anniversary of an uprising led by the Hai Ba Trung (Trung Sisters) against foreign invaders was held in Me Linh district, Hanoi, on Saturday, with the presence of Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan. Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan offered incense to commemorate the Trung Sisters. (Credit: laodong.com.vn) In 40 AD, the Trung Sisters staged an uprising against the Han invaders from China. In only a short period of time, the uprising regained the entire territory of Vietnam at the time. After the victory, Trung Trac – the elder sister – became King and chose Me Linh, where the fight was launched, as the capital. A temple was built after their death to commemorate Trung sisters’ contributions to national defense. A festival is held on the sixth day of the first lunar month annually, the day the uprising began, which falls on February 13 this year,– to pay homage to the Sisters. The Hai Ba Trung Temple Festival will last … [Read more...]

Greece: protests in Athens over pension reforms

(VOVworld) - Thousands of demonstrators gathered in Athens on Saturday in solidarity with farmers who have blocked dozens of highways and border crossings in recent weeks in protest over a pensions overhaul. An estimated 12,000 people gathered in the Greek capital's central Syntagma Square outside Parliament. More than half were members of the communist-leaning Pame trade union, offering support for the huge wave of farmers who arrived in Athens from the countryside Friday to protest against the reforms. Farmers are seen on a tractor during a protest against planned pension reforms in front of the Parliament building in Athens, Greece. – Reuters pic, February 13, 2016. On Friday evening, around 10,000 protesters waving black flags, including thousands of farmers, marched through Athens, in protest of pension reforms. On Saturday, protesters clashed with police in front of the agriculture ministry and on a motorway outside the city. The farmers are angry about government … [Read more...]

WFP to strengthen long term partnership with Vietnam

(VOVworld) - The World Food Program (WFP) hopes to strengthen its long term partnership with Vietnam, said WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin on Friday in Rome while receiving the credentials of Vietnamese Ambassador to the WFP Cao Chinh Thien. WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin (L) and Ambassador Cao Chinh Thien. Photo: Vietnamplus Ms. Cousin called for Vietnam’s further contributions to WFP policy making and food provision. She asked Vietnam to share its experiences in efficient use of WFP aids in the past and in natural disasters’ prevention and rescue by sending Vietnamese experts to take part in WFP’s activities when asked. Ambassador Cao Chinh Thien reiterated the Vietnamese government’s willingness to responsibly take part in activities of the UN and the international community, especially humanitarian ones, within Vietnam’s capacity. … [Read more...]

Vietnam promotes nuclear energy

Director of Nuclear Energy Administration of the Ministry of Industry and Trade Hoang Anh Tuan (VOVworld) - Vietnam will promote nuclear energy to replace conventional power generation and reduce green house gases. Director of Nuclear Energy Administration of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Hoang Anh Tuan said geometric and environmental survey in location of two nuclear power plants in Ninh Thuan province has been completed while training on operation and safety rules are accelerated. He said: "Nuclear energy development is an important section of Vietnam’s strategy to promote atomic energy. We have run surveys on uranium sources for later commercial exploitation and selection of safe technology for Ninh Thuan nuclear power project. We will make sure the nuclear power project to be implemented safely and efficiently to ensure power security." … [Read more...]

More than 5,000 pregnant women in Colombia have Zika virus: government

Colombian women listen as a health worker distributes information how to prevent the spread of the Zika virus, at the transport terminal in Bogota, Colombia January 31, 2016. Photo: Reuters/John Vizcaino More than 5,000 pregnant Colombian women are infected with the mosquito-borne Zika virus, the country's national health institute said on Saturday, as the disease continues its rapid spread across the Americas. Cases of the virus total 31,555, the institute said in a epidemiology bulletin, among them 5,013 pregnant women. Zika, which has spread to more than 30 countries, has been linked to birth defect microcephaly and to neurological disease Guillain-Barre syndrome. Total reported Zika cases increased by 23 percent over last week's figures, while the number of pregnant women with the virus was up 57.8 percent. Much remains unknown about Zika, including whether the virus actually causes microcephaly. Brazil is investigating the potential link between Zika infections and more than … [Read more...]

Vice President attends Tich Dien Ploughing Festival

(VOVworld) – Vice State President Nguyen Thi Doan attended Tich Dien or the Ceremonial Ploughing Festival which opened on Sunday in Ha Nam province. Thousands of local residents and visitors attended the traditional annual farming celebration to pray for good weather and a bumper harvest. Music and dance performances and cultural activities were held during the festival such as drum beating, folk singing, parade, and incense offering. The first Tich Dien festival was held in 987 AD during the reign of King Le Dai Hanh in the then capital Hoa Lu, today Ninh Binh province where the king himself acted as master of ceremonies and personally ploughed the field. The festival reflects the importance role of agricultural production in Vietnam’s economy. Tich Dien festival is considered a cultural highlight of the first days in the New Year that helps younger generations better understand of traditional customs. … [Read more...]