In pictures: Landslide sweeps away road and houses in Can Tho

A landslide occurred early today in Can Tho City's Cai Rang District, sweeping away three houses and more than 50m of a road into the River Can Tho. The Sai Gon Giai Phong (Liberated Sai Gon) newspaper reported another 100m-long road section had also cracked, threatening several houses of local residents in Yen Thuong area in Le Binh Ward. The landslide covered about 20m of the river bank. Several local people told the newspaper that they heard cracking sounds before three roofs collapsed and the surface of a new road broke up and fell into the river within 10 minutes. "I was inside my house, when I heard the cry for help in the neighbourhood. When I rushed out to see what was going on, I saw two wooden houses owned by Mr Tuan and Mrs Hoang being swept away," 55-year-old Nguyen Van Quoc said. "I and some neighbours tried to use ropes to tug the houses. Luckily, we saved the houses of Tuan and Hoang whereas [Luong Bich] Thuy's house fell into the water," Quoc said. Chairman of … [Read more...]

Exports of agro-forestry-fishery hit USD11.4 bln

Export turnover of Vietnam’s agro-forestry-fishery products is estimated to reach USD2.37 billion in May and total USD11.4 billion in the first five months of 2015, down 7.3 percent compared to the same period last year. Seafood production for export. (Photo: VNA) Shipments of main farm produce, including coffee, rice, rubber, and tea experienced a downward trend in both value and volume. In the first five months, around 2.4 million tonnes of rice were shipped abroad for 1.05 billion USD, down 11.4 percent in volume and 14.6 percent in value year on year. China remains the largest importer of Vietnamese rice, making up 33 percent of the market share though cutting its import volume by 28.11 percent. Coffee continued to record a sharp fall in both volume and value. During January-May, Vietnam sold abroad 578,000 tonnes of coffee for USD1.2 billion, down 39.4 percent in volume and 38 percent in value from the same period last year. While recording a rise in volume, rubber, … [Read more...]

Vietnam ready to sell forex to stabilize exchange rate: c.bank

Vietnam's central bank stands ready to help stabilize the dollar/dong exchange rate and will keep the two-percent band movement for the rest of the year, a deputy governor said. The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) "is ready to sell foreign currency for intervention to keep the exchange rate stable within the band committed to at the start of the year", Nguyen Thi Hong said in an interview posted on Wednesday on the central bank's website (sbv.gov.vn). The central bank, which does not regularly report foreign-exchange reserves, said last year the total in June 2014 was $35 billion, compared with $9 billion in 2011. The SBV, which has committed to keeping the Vietnamese dong move within a 2 percent band against the dollar in 2015, on May 7 devalued the dong for the second time this year. The devaluations were intended to spur exports and curb imports. On Tuesday, the government announced a $3 billion deficit for the first five months. In the same period of 2014, there was a $1.52 … [Read more...]

Khanh Hoa vows to develop Phoenix beach project amid criticism

VietNamNet Bridge - The Khanh Hoa provincial authorities have shown their strong determination to develop Phuong Hoang beach (Phoenix) in Nha Trang City, ignoring protests from organizations. The sea city of Nha Trang in the central province of Khanh Hoa has become a "hot spot" of the country as provincial authorities have agreed on the Indian Dewan Group’s project on developing construction works in the east of Tran Phu – Pham Van Dong, the major road which faces the seaside. The group has got permission to implement two projects, including the Phoenix Garden 40-65-storey complex, covering an area of 50,000 square meters, and the 40-45-storey hotel & service complex, covering an area of 10,000 square meters. The Khanh Hoa provincial Union of Science & Technology Association (USTA), former chair of Khanh Hoa People’s Committee, and Secretary General of the Khanh Hoa Tourism Association all have advised against the Phoenix beach development … [Read more...]

Art & Entertainment News 27/5

New World Bridal Fashion Show lures huge crowd Over 3,000 guests joined in the Cinderella Luxury Bridal Fashion Show hosted by the five-star New World Saigon Hotel and bridal.vn last week. A highlight was the Mother Beauty Award where moms showed their talent and paraded in evening gowns and bridal costumes with their daughters and sons on the catwalk and answered a Q&A challenge. A judging panel comprising psychiatrist Ly Thi Mai; second runner-up of Mrs World 2009 Hoang Thi Yen; Nguyen Hoa Tam, general director of Maria Beauty Center; and Chau Thanh Phuong from New World Saigon picked Huynh Thi My Dung, deputy general director of Dai Phuc Vinh Co. Ltd., as the Mother Beauty Queen and Minh Anh as the Cinderella of the Night. Other activities that also drew much attention of participants were a shoes test and a fashion show featuring Joli Poli wedding gown brand. According to the hotel, this year’s event was a big hit compared to its previous wedding fairs as visitors … [Read more...]

Politburo’s directive to boost OV work

The Politburo has issued Directive No.45-CT/TW enhancing the implementation of its resolution on work related to overseas Vietnamese (OVs) dated March 26, 2004. The directive noted achievements in realising the resolution which contributed to consolidating and promoting national unity, encouraging OVs to uphold national pride and patriotism, support each other and integrate into the host countries, as well as in maintaining their ties to the motherland. The document also stated shortcomings in the implementation of policies facilitating OVs to preserve national identity and tradition as well as make contributions to national construction, which were not implemented effectively. A part of the OV community has maintained prejudice, stigma, thoughts and actions not in line with national interests while being unstable in their legal status in the host countries. The shortcomings were resulted from the fact that several central and local agencies did not fully understand work related to … [Read more...]

Dropout offers disadvantaged children in Saigon a second chance

Doan Minh Hung with students in the free night class at his rent home in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Dinh Tuyen Doan Minh Hung had been so poor he had to drop out of school at a young age, and so he could see himself in the poor children wandering the streets of Ho Chi Minh City instead of being in school. The sympathy became action six years ago when Hung opened a free night class at his rented home on the city’s outskirts with some help from student volunteers and books donated by kind-hearted people. His class at 166 Phan Anh, District 12, began with five children, but word of mouth kept bringing more and now its strength has swelled to 130. Most of them sell lottery tickets and pick scrap on the streets during the day. The six-year journey has been a real commitment for Hung. "At first I thought I could teach them to read and write myself, but it was complicated," he said. So he had to go to a second-hand book shop to buy a teacher’s guide book.His students are six … [Read more...]

A mother’s love

Located in Ho Chi Minh City's District 10, Nguyen Dinh Chieu School is one of the few public schools in Vietnam to provide free education tailored for visually impaired children. It is the only one of its kind in the southern region. For Nguyen Thi Phuong, 26, and her five-year-old son Dang Nguyen Tuan Kiet, school is their second home, a place where they spent most of the day during the past year. Every day they travel to the school from their home in the Mekong Delta Province of Tien Giang and back, a distance of some 160 kilometers. During their trip, Phuong and her son have to take a ferry to cross a river in Long An Province. They have traveled nearly 60,000 kilometers over the past year. Needless to say, it takes a lot of energy to make such a long trip, but the young mother has never taken a break, rain or shine, sick or well. It is the only school that her son, who has had neither vision nor muscle function since birth, can fit in and get the skills needed to … [Read more...]

UAE group wants to build $500 million parking lot in HCM City

VietNamNet Bridge - EPS Group from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) proposed to build an intelligent parking lot in HCM City in the form of BOT (build - operate - transfer), at a cost of $500 million, at a recent meeting with HCM City’s Chairman Le Hoang Quan. The UAE business delegation. Rustam Ibragimov, representative of EPS Group, said the group has invested in parking lot projects in 19 countries. In HCM City, if its project has been approved, EPS will develop a system of parking areas, traffic monitoring, traffic control center and vehicle warranty, among others. At the meeting, Chairman Le Hoang Quan said the city is calling for investment in projects such as tramway, tourism real estate, underground parking lots, high-rise parking lots and some metro routes. The city’s public transport system can meet only 15% of travel needs and local authorities want to raise the rate to 25-30% in the future by calling for investment in infrastructure projects, including … [Read more...]

American firm uncovers cyber espionage of Asian countries

A decade-long cyber espionage operation for stealing sensitive information from India and several ASEAN countries, including Viet Nam, was discovered by American security firm FireEye. In a workshop on the newly released report, entitled APT 30 and the Mechanics of a Long-Running Cyber Espionage Operation, held in Ha Noi yesterday, FireEye detailed how the threat group APT30 constantly organised attacks on thousands of computers, one at a time, to collect sensitive data from Asian countries, notably Viet Nam, Thailand, South Korea, India and Malaysia. The report by FireEye said APT30 takes a special interest in political developments in Southeast Asia and India, and is particularly active at the time of ASEAN summits, regional issues and territorial disputes between China, India and Southeast Asian countries. More than 200 malwares specifically designed by APT 30 have been found active in computers placed in important government and commercial entities in Viet Nam so … [Read more...]

Petrolimex to sell large stake to JX Nippon Oil & Energy

The Viet Nam National Petroleum Group (Petrolimex) is accelerating negotiations with its strategic Japanese investor, JX Nippon Oil and Energy, to sell 15-25 per cent of its stakes through a share issue to raise charter capital. If the share sale is completed, the State holding in the group would be reduced to about 75 per cent, said Dinh Viet Tien, chief of Petrolimex's Supervisory Board at its annual shareholders' meeting yesterday. This move is in line with the Petrolimex' equitis-ation plan approved by the Prime Minister in May, 2011, to raise its charter capital from VND10.7 trillion (US$493.1 million) to VND12.5 trillion ($576 million). The Ministry of Industry and Trade represents State ownership in Petrolimex with a 95-per-cent stake. Petrolimex signed a memorandum on strategic co-operation with JX Nippon Oil and Energy last December. The group expect collaboration with the Japanese investor, who has strong financial capacity with 37 per cent of market shares in Japan, … [Read more...]

Vietnam banks hiding bad debt

Banks in Vietnam are underreporting bad and doubtful debt by as much as 10 times so their numbers look better and to avoid investigation of their loan portfolios, an economist said. Tran Du Lich, former deputy head of the HCM City Institute of Economic Research, said banks were reporting bad debt rates of three percent, but inspections by the State Bank of Vietnam show the real rates were 10 times higher. "With the high bad debts, banks must have a hedge fund of higher value, which will affect their business results as well as their prestige, so they want to hide their bad debts," Lich said. Bad debt levels announced by the State Bank of Vietnam, credit rating organisations such as Moody's Investor Services, and the International Monetary Fund are higher than the rate reported by the banks, he said. Some experts said banks were reluctant to report accurate levels for fear of attracting scrutiny, which can expose irregular investment activities. Moody's said In mid-November 2013 … [Read more...]

CAAV plan seeks to tighten baggage security

The Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV) has issued a plan for better management and prevention of theft of passengers' baggage and cargo, and to ensure aviation security. Customs check security at the Noi Bai International Airport. The Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam has issued a plan to ensure aviation security. — VNA/VNS Photo The plan has been issued following an incident in which the personal belongings of a group of passengers going from Bangkok, Thailand, to Hanoi by Vietjet Air last Saturday were stolen from a suitcase. The suitcase's lock had been broken. The CAAV has been checking all regulations related to the process of receiving, delivering and transporting passengers' luggage, to add more necessary regulations. It aims to tighten management and assign detailed responsibility to organisations and individuals at different stages of the luggage-handling process. The CAAV asked agencies in the aviation sector to check all employees who are … [Read more...]

Vietnam, IUCN join hands to preserve aquatic resources

The Viet Nam Marine Turtle Conservation Action Plan will be implemented over the next decade under a Memorandum of Understanding between Viet Nam and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The Directorate of Fisheries under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) signed an MoU with IUCN on Friday on the conservation and development of aquatic resources. The two bodies will co-operate to conserve marine species and ecosystems in Viet Nam, promote information exchanges and technical assistance for globally threatened marine species, manage Marine Protected Areas more effectively, and build sustainable finances for conservation and development of aquatic resources. Viet Nam has zoned off 16 national marine conservation sites, MARD Deputy Minister Vu Van Tam said at the signing ceremony. He added that he hoped the MoU would produce practical results to protect aquatic plants and animals. VNS … [Read more...]

Vietnam pulls plug on resort part of project that threatens Nha Trang ecosystem

The administration of the south-central province of Khanh Hoa has suspended a multibillion-dollar resort project on a Nha Trang beach, dealing a blow to the provincial chairman’s utopian dream of making the resort city more beautiful than the U.S. island of Hawaii. India’s Dewan International Vietnam will no longer be allowed to implement the part covering more than 74 hectares along the Nha Trang beach of its Phoenix Beach project, Pham Van Chi, former head of the province’s Committee Party, said after a meeting on Tuesday. The meeting was attended by many former leaders of Khanh Hoa, who discussed how the project would be treated following public protests that it would destroy the ecosystem of the famed beach city. The Indian firm was licensed in October 2014 to carry out the project, consisting of many resort facilities and skyscrapers on the Nha Trang beach and on a land plot running south to Tran Phu Bridge. The project is also expected to cover part … [Read more...]

Four-month wood export value hits 2.1 billion USD

Producing wood products (Photo: VNA) Wood exports gained the highest value among Vietnam’s farm exports in the first four months of this year, hitting nearly 2.1 billion USD, a year-on-year increase of 6.2 percent. According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, the US is still the largest importer for Vietnamese wood and wooden products, with the value of 762 million USD. It was followed by Japan and China with import values of 306 million USD and 289 million USD, respectively. According to Huynh Van Hanh, Vice Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City’s Association for Fine Arts and Wood Processing, the situation is due to a reduction of wood production in the main exporting countries such as Italy and Germany because of the ripple effects of the economic downturn in Europe. Additionally, Vietnamese wood exporters were also active in taking advantage of European markets to expand their market share there. The formation of the ASEAN Community, which is scheduled to … [Read more...]

This Chinese heir gave his dog two gold Apple watches

Dogs love wearables. Thought you were splurging by purchasing an Apple Watch for yourself? Think again. The 27-year-old son of China’s richest man took to social media site Weibo to post photos of his dog wearing not one but two gold Apple Watches. According to Shanghaist, the caption on the photos reads: "I have new watches! I'm supposed to have four watches since I have four long legs. But that seems too uncouth so I kept it down to two, which totally fits my status. Do you have one?" Apple's gold watches retail for between $10,000 and $17,000 each depending on specifications and currently have a three- to four-week wait time. Wang Sicong is the son of Wang Jianlin who is worth about $34 billion and runs the real estate development company Dalian Wanda. Chinese billionaires probably have reason to splurge. The Shanghai Composite Index is soaring again and is up more than 50 percent so far this year. … [Read more...]

Children’s blindness rate fourth highest in Asia

About 3 million out of 22.7 million Vietnamese children are facing weak eyesight, while 23,000 of them suffer from bilateral blindness, representing the fourth highest rate in the Asian region. The figures are announced at the ceremony to launch the Flying Eye Hospital (FEH) programme, conducted by the Orbis organisation and the Vietnam National Institute of Ophthalmology at Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport on May 26. The FEH is conducting a 2-week training course for 130 medical personnel, along with free check-ups and treatment for more than 160 patients with eyesight problems from May 25 to June 5. The FEH earlier launched training courses and eye check-ups in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue. Orbis, an NGO dedicated to vision treatment worldwide since 1982, has been working in Vietnam since 2000 and has helped establish five eye care centres for children in Hanoi, Hue, Danang, Ho Chi Minh City and Binh Dinh. … [Read more...]

Sketches of General Vo Nguyen Giap displayed in Hanoi

Some 40 sketches and eight oil paintings featuring General Vo Nguyen Giap are being showcased at an exhibition which opened on May 26 at the Vietnam Military History Museum. The displayed art works, which are on public display for the first time, were created by famous artist Van Duong Thanh, often during her visits to the General’s house in 1999. In a foreword for the painting collection, Swedish Ambassador to Vietnam Camilla Mellander said that the paintings create an overwhelming impression of the life led a Vietnamese national hero. The exhibition will run until June 8. Born in Phu Yen province, Thanh is the youngest painter to have a painting on display at the Vietnam Art Museum, titled White Daisy. She is one of the most recognised female artists in Asia. She is also Vietnam’s first female painter to teach arts in Sweden. VOV/VNN … [Read more...]

Interesting destinations in Vietnam’s East Pole

(VOV) - Mui Doi - the East Pole of Vietnam is an attractive destination for adventurous tourists. Meanwhile, Mui Dien is an ideal place for couples to take wedding photos. Mui Doi is located in Hon Gom Peninsula, Van Thanh Commune, Van Ninh District, Khanh Hoa Province. It is called Mui Doi (double capes) for two rocky promontories jutting out into the sea. Not far from it is a small island named Hon Dau. It is about 100km from Nha Trang City. Mui Doi is around 40km from Mui Dien. With a beautiful natural landscape formed by numerous spectacular pieces of rocks, they constitute two attractive tourist destinations. Tourists can choose either way, by land or by sea, to discover the beauty of this landscape. To come to Mui Doi, tourists have to cross 10km of desert. Mui Doi becomes an ideal place for couples to take wedding photos. 5am is the best time to enjoy sunrise Xuan Dung fishing village A lighthouse built by the French in 1890. … [Read more...]