But I didn’t order this: Summer brings scores of new rip-off complaints

This crab is the center of an overcharging complaint recently brought against a restaurant in Nha Trang. Photo courtesy of the tourist Market regulators in the northern province of Thanh Hoa have fined a restaurant VND20 million (US$917) for adding items to a bill to charge a group of tourists extra money. The punishment was meted out following the tourists’ complaint against a restaurant in Sam Son beach town, whose service industry is notorious for overcharging tourists. Officials said the restaurant asked their diners to pay for two bowls of rice that they did not even see. Many other tourists have reported similar problems with restaurants across Sam Son. In a new controversial case, a tourist has accused a restaurant of taking advantage of customers, forcing him to pay VND600,000 (US$27.5) for a boiled chicken. The man said he did not check prices when ordering because he heard that local officials had successfully controlled prices in the tourist town. While many, … [Read more...]

Greece votes in referendum with future in euro in doubt

ATHENS, July 5 – Greece voted on Sunday on whether to accept more austerity in exchange for international aid, in a high-stakes referendum likely to determine whether it leaves the euro-currency area after seven years of economic pain. Staged against a backdrop of shuttered banks and threats of financial apocalypse, the vote is too close to call and may not produce the clear mandate for negotiations that Athens' creditors seek. Greeks are split on whether to accept an offer by creditors that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras calls a "humiliation" and is urging people to reject. Investors and European policymakers say a rejection would set Greece on a path out of the euro, destabilising the global economy and financial markets. "On Sunday we should all send a message of democracy and dignity to the world," Tsipras told tens of thousands of Greeks rallying for a 'No' vote before campaigning ended. Voting on whether to accept more taxes and pension cuts would be divisive in … [Read more...]

Hanoi will host 2021 SE Asian Games: official

Ho Chi Minh City will likely lose the opportunity to host the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in 2021 to Hanoi on grounds of construction cost, according to Vietnamese sports authorities. Vuong Bich Thang, head of the General Department of Sports and Physical Training under the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, announced that information at the end of this week. In addition to hosting the 2021 SEA Games, Hanoi will also be allowed to organize the 8th National Sports Festival in 2018, a tournament held every four years, for the same reason of cutting construction cost. Earlier, An Giang Province in the Mekong Delta was awarded the right to host the 2018 Festival by the prime minister and Ho Chi Minh City was favored as the host of the 2021 SEA Games. "The prime minister has demanded that cities and provinces not build new facilities to host domestic and international sports events in order to save money," Thang said. Accordingly, both An Giang and Ho Chi Minh City are … [Read more...]

Vietnamese businessman keen on promoting local garlic to world

Five years ago, Nguyen Van Dinh, 33, drove his motorcycle around the central Vietnamese city of Da Nang to sell Ly Son garlic, a product from his hometown. Now, 80 tonnes of the garlic has been shipped to Thailand, Dubai, and Singapore. Dinh, who lives on Ly Son, an island district administered by the central province of Quang Ngai, said his decision on selling garlic instead of working as an engineer upset his mother a lot, whereas he is always keen on promoting this product. He initially bought hundreds of kilograms of Ly Son garlic and brought the volume to Da Nang, around which he drove his motorcycle to sell the vegetable of the onion family, and he then started approaching Big C, a French-owned supermarket chain. Ly Son garlic has been known in Vietnam for its distinctive delicious taste that other kinds of garlic cannot compare with, not to mention its benefits for health. As most supermarkets have their own suppliers, Dinh managed to convince Big C to buy only 10 … [Read more...]

Latin America, Vietnam to expand trade

Vietnam and Latin American countries have supplementary business structures, which could help boost economic development. Pham Thi Thu Hang, general secretary of Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), made the remark at a workshop on business opportunities in the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) organised by VCCI and the Mercosur-ASEAN Chamber of Commerce. The businesses include oil and gas exploitation and processing, mining, hydro-electricity, wind-driven electricity, nuclear power, atomic energy, biological products and agriculture. The trade relations between Vietnam and the trade block have seen fast development in recent years, as Vietnam has established trade relations with 33 markets in the region, according to Hang. Vietnam's export turnover to Latin American countries increased by 37% to US$4.7 billion last year, compared with 2013. Meanwhile, imports to Vietnam from Latin America rose by nearly 50% year over year to reach US$4.8 billion. The two-way trade … [Read more...]

Vietnam, Latin America to expand trade

Vietnam and Latin American countries have supplementary business structures, which could help boost economic development. Pham Thi Thu Hang, general secretary of Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), made the remark at a workshop on business opportunities in the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) organised by VCCI and the Mercosur-ASEAN Chamber of Commerce. The businesses include oil and gas exploitation and processing, mining, hydro-electricity, wind-driven electricity, nuclear power, atomic energy, biological products and agriculture. The trade relations between Vietnam and the trade block have seen fast development in recent years, as Vietnam has established trade relations with 33 markets in the region, according to Hang. Vietnam's export turnover to Latin American countries increased by 37% to US$4.7 billion last year, compared with 2013. Meanwhile, imports to Vietnam from Latin America rose by nearly 50% year over year to reach US$4.8 billion. The two-way trade … [Read more...]

Flashback: Volunteers devote themselves to helping Vietnam’s national exam contestants

The national high school exam taking place in major towns and cities across Vietnam ended Saturday afternoon with the last test on biology. Instead of taking part in the traditionally separated high school graduation and university entrance exams like previous years, from this year on, students will only sit for one national exam, called the national high school exam. During the 2015 exam contestants were required to take tests on four subjects, including the three compulsory papers on mathematics, literature, and a foreign language; as well as another subject selected from physics, chemistry, biology, history and geography. Candidates were allowed to do extra tests chosen from the specified subjects for a better chance to get into their favorite universities and colleges, as the results of the national exam will be used for both high school graduation and university admission. The exam which is considered the most important of the school student life this year began on July … [Read more...]

Forestry sector reachs the largest growth rate in the past 3 years

The Hanoitimes - According to the Vietnam Administration of Forestry, after two-year implementation of a forestry restructuring plan, forestry production value has increased strongly, reaching an average annual growth of 6.57% per year over the last three years. Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development held a meeting to review the two-year implementation of a forestry restructuring plan in Hanoi on July 3. Vietnam Administration of Forestry said the growth rate of forestry production is expected to hit 9-10% this year. The export value of wood and forestry products witnessed a two-fold increase within the last five years from 3 billion USD per year in 2010-2012 to 6.27 billion USD per year from 2013-2015. Thu Minh … [Read more...]

A campaign titled “Vietnam trademark week” to run from July through October

The Hanoitimes - The Ministry of Industry and Trade announced the upcoming debut of a campaign to promote Vietnamese products nationwide on July 3. According to Ministry of Industry and Trade, this year’s annual campaign, themed "Vietnam trademark week", will run from July through October with the aim to strengthen the bond between domestic producers and consumers. Illustrative image The initiative is part of a long-running "Vietnamese prioritise Vietnamese goods" programme, under which all cities and provinces will build communication channels with a "Proud of Vietnamese goods" slogan by 2020. The programme has thus far helped domestic products win consumer favour. According to the 2014 survey from the Public Opinion Research Institute, 92% of polled participants were interested in the programme and 63 % preferred using Vietnamese goods, increasing 4% from 2010. Thu Minh … [Read more...]

PM: Japanese firms made new opportunities in Vietnam

The Hanoitimes - Vietnam will bring various new opportunities to Japanese businesses, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung affirmed at a business forum of the five countries in the Mekong region in Tokyo on July 3. The business forum of the five countries in the Mekong region was attended by leaders of Mekong countries and representatives from nearly 200 Japanese businesses. It is a chance for both sides to discuss development and business prospects in the region. Mekong-Japan cooperation has greatly benefitted the GMS’s socio-economic development, especially in infrastructure, transport and logistics service. At the forum, participants said that, with a population of 230 million people and increasing income per capita, the Mekong sub-region continues to be one of Japan’s most significant manufacturing bases and consumption markets. Over the past six years of development, Mekong-Japan cooperation has greatly benefitted the GMS’s socio-economic development, … [Read more...]

Small is beautiful, say South Koreans making plans to marry

The night before their wedding, Kim Kwang-yoon and Cho Jin-oh were up until 2 a.m. with the bride's mother, setting tables. Their marriage venue: a room in the basement of Seoul city hall, rented from the government for $60. With South Korea's average wedding expenditure last year at nearly $64,000, or about double that of the United States, more citizens are spurning lavish events for smaller functions as the economy slows, the age at marriage rises and parents nearing retirement have less money to splurge. South Korean weddings are typically a show of status, with hundreds of guests and expensive gifts. The average expenditure, from a survey by wedding planner Duo, excludes the cost of housing, traditionally provided by parents. "I felt that if I don't like getting invitations from people I don't know very well, they would feel the same. I wished for my wedding to be celebrated by people I wanted there," said Cho, 32. She and her 34-year-old husband paid the $10,000 cost of their … [Read more...]

Cheeky Sanchez penalty clinches Chile’s first Copa

SANTIAGO, July 4 – Chile won the Copa America for the first time on Saturday when a cheeky penalty from Alexis Sanchez clinched a shootout victory over Argentina and glory for the host nation's golden generation in front of their own fans. The two sides were deadlocked 0-0 after 90 minutes and when another half an hour of extra time failed to produce a goal, the contest was destined to be decided by penalties. Lionel Messi stepped up to score Argentina's first spot kick but, as the first three Chileans converted unerringly, Gonzalo Higuain and Ever Banega missed. That left the stage set for forward Sanchez, who made up for a quiet game by dinking the ball into Sergio Romero's net to send the capacity crowd at Santiago's National Stadium into raptures. "Our whole idea was to win something, we knew that this was the moment," goalkeeper Claudio Bravo told reporters. "This is a privileged generation and now it is time to enjoy it. We are not used to winning anything so … [Read more...]

Vietnam’s heritage cave system wins second UNESCO title for biodiversity

Inside Son Doong Cave at Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park. Photo: Ryan Deboodt/http://www.ryandeboodt.com Phong Nha-Ke Bang, a UNESCO world heritage site recognized for its geodiversity, has won the second title from the UN body for its biodiversity. Representatives from all 21 member countries of the World Heritage Committee approved the national park's application at a meeting in Germany Friday. Local authorities in Vietnam have requested the biodiversity recognition since 2003, when UNESCO named the park in the central province of Quang Binh a world natural heritage for outstanding geological history and structure. The park, which is more than 123,000 hectares (nearly 304 million acres), is home to a stunning network of 400 million-year-old caves including the world’s largest Son Doong. Foreign and local explorers have praised the caves, saying they are among the world’s most beautiful. A WWF report in 2000 said Phong Nha-Ke Bang is one of 200 biodiversity centers … [Read more...]

Vietnamese man regrets having most teeth removed to end jaw pain

Do Ha Bac (R) now has only three teeth left. Photo credit: VnExpress A man from Binh Dinh Province in central Vietnam suffered constant jaw pain and decided to have his teeth pulled, one by one, in the last 20 years. But when he visited a doctor this week, he had to face a painful truth: it's not the teeth that caused the pain. Doctors told Do Ha Bac, 49, that blood vessels were putting pressure on his trigeminal nerve and they had to separate them. After the procedure, which doctors said was much more complicated than it might sound, Bac did not feel the pain anymore. Bac said his lower jaw started to hurt 20 years ago, making him almost unable to eat or sleep. He said it felt like toothache and whenever the pain became overbearing, he would ask a dentist to remove one or some of his teeth. He now has three teeth left. "It was still so painful. So I went to the provincial general hospital only to find that my teeth were just fine," he told news website VnExpress. Doctor said … [Read more...]

Vietnam still unsure about plan to legalize sports betting

More than five years after the legalization of sports betting was officially discussed for the first time, Vietnam's government is still struggling to finalize a draft decree aiming to regulate the business. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has recently ordered the Ministry of Finance to continue consulting with related agencies in order to complete the draft and allow people to bet on horse and greyhound races, and football matches. The order was made at a recent meeting, after many agencies expressed concerns about some of the rules being drafted, including how much one should be allowed to bet a day, a source told Thanh Nien. Under the finance ministry's proposal, the maximum limit is set at VND1 million (US$46). In 2013, the government also suggested the same level when polling the opinion of the National Assembly's Standing Committee. Many lawmakers at that time said the limit was low. Nguyen Van Hien, chairman of the parliamentary judicial committee, for instance, proposed … [Read more...]

Breakfast @ Tuoi Tre News – July 5

Let us rise and shine with brief news items on Tuoi Tre News today: Society -- Nguyen Quang Dien, deputy chair of the People’s Committee of Ben Thanh Ward in downtown Ho Chi Minh City, said on Saturday the committee has launched inspections and detained several unregistered "xich lo" (three-wheeled vehicles) operating on streets closed to Ben Thanh Market following a Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper exposé, published earlier this week, of them blatantly ripping off their foreign passengers. Business -- Ngo Quang Vinh, director of the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism in the central city of Da Nang, told a Saturday meeting that the city has devised plans to turn itself into a destination for international cruisers and yachts. The city will also be among the destinations for the 2015-2016 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, an international sport event meant to promote tourism images of participating countries. The racers, to compete for 11 months, will depart from … [Read more...]

Donating gifts to three typical policy households

In the evening of July 2nd, at Tuy Hoa city, Mr. Vu Trong Kim, Vice Chairman cum Secretary General of the Central Committee of the Vietnam Fatherland Front and the delegation visited and presented gifts to 3 typical policy households, each household received 1 million dongs. Mr. Vu Trong Kim donating presents to 2 policy households of Mr. Nguyen Van Kiet and representative of Mrs. To Thi Ro’s family These households are of Vietnam heroic Mother, Ngo Thi Muoi in Long Thuy hamlet, An Phu commune; Mr. Nguyen Van Kiet wounded (Binh Kien commune) and Mrs Thi Ro, typical martyr family (Hoa Kien commune). On this occasion, Mr. Vu Trong Kim graciously visited, encouraging policy households to continue to overcome difficulties, getting ahead in life, well-implementing policies of Party and State, becoming mirror for many people to learn and follow. Source: Phu Yen Newspaper Translated by TRONG HAO … [Read more...]

DPM Hoang Trung Hai checking the progress of Ca Pass Tunnel project

On July 2nd, DPM Hoang Trung Hai and governmental delegation checked the progress of Ca Pass Tunnel project. DPM Hoang Trung Hai (4th from left) inspecting the works through Ca Pass Tunnel Reporting to DPM Hoang Trung Hai, leaders of Deo Ca Investment JSC, project investor, informed that Ca Pass tunnel project, with the total length of over 13km, was designed, built motorway standard with design speed of 80km/ hour. In particular, Ca Pass tunnel has over 4.1 km length, two parallel tunnels 30 meters apart, each tunnel nearly 10 meters. Co Ma tunnel is 500m long, having similar designs as Ca Pass tunnel. The project was commenced in November 2012, with total initial investment of more than 15,600 billion dongs; Ca Pass tunnel is implemented under BOT form (Build - Operate - Transfer) and Co Ma tunnel as BT form (build - transfer). In two important categories of project, Co Ma tunnel has investment level of over 570 billion dongs that was communicated in November 2014, … [Read more...]

China lobbies hard ahead of Manila’s South China Sea arbitration case

An aerial file photo taken though a glass window of a Philippine military plane shows the alleged on-going land reclamation by China on Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, west of Palawan, Philippines, May 11, 2015. REUTERS/Ritchie B. Tongo/Pool/Files China's claims to the disputed South China Sea will come under international legal scrutiny for the first time this week, but while Beijing has officially refused to take part in the case filed by the Philippines at a U.N. tribunal, it has made its presence felt. Indeed, Manila's international legal team was heading to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague to initially argue that the five-judge panel has jurisdiction to hear the case, Philippine Foreign Ministry officials told Reuters. That is because of concerns China raised in a public position paper in December about the tribunal's jurisdiction over the matter, according to court statements. A little-noticed decision by the tribunal's panel in … [Read more...]

Hillary Clinton accuses China of hacking U.S. computers

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton accused China on Saturday of stealing commercial secrets and "huge amounts of government information," and of trying to "hack into everything that doesn't move in America." Clinton's language on China appeared to be far stronger than that usually used by President Barack Obama's Democratic administration. Speaking at a campaign event in New Hampshire, Clinton said she wanted to see China's peaceful rise. "But we also have to be fully vigilant, China's military is growing very quickly, they're establishing military installations that again threaten countries we have treaties with, like the Philippines because they are building on contested property," said Clinton, who was secretary of state from 2009 to 2013. "They're also trying to hack into everything that doesn't move in America. Stealing commercial secrets ... from defense contractors, stealing huge amounts of government information, all looking for an advantage," she … [Read more...]