Working people in Saigon build fires in rare cold (photos)

In the past few days, working people light up fires along Ho Chi Minh City’s streets to warm themselves up in the wee hours, which is quite an uncommon sight for one of the country’s hottest cities. Tuoi Tre"> In the past several days, the temperature in Ho Chi Minh City has occasionally dropped to 18 degrees Celsius in the wee hours at a time when locals are poised to celebrate Tet (traditional Lunar New Year.) Tet falls on February 19 this year. Migrant working people defy the cold in the small hours to get ready for a day’s work and save more for their upcoming Tet or trips back home. Groups of construction workers, "xe om" (taxi drivers) and peddlers in District 6’s Kinh Duong Vuong street, District 8’s Nguyen Van Linh, Binh Tan District’s National Highway 1 and District 9’s Thu Duc intersection were seen grouping over blazing fires at midnight on Saturday. After the flames die out, piles of ashes are left behind, which are … [Read more...]

Government News 21/1

Military officer meets with Lockheed Martin executive Deputy Defence Minister Sen. Lt. Gen. Truong Quang Khanh had a meeting with Executive Vice President of the US-based security and aerospace corporation Lockheed Martin Patrick M. Dewar in Hanoi on January 20. The Deputy Minister welcomed Patrick M. Dewar and spoke highly of Lockheed Martin’s cooperation with Vietnamese companies, particularly in information technology. Dewar thanked the officer, saying his corporation looks forward to further opportunities to collaborate with the Vietnamese Defence Ministry. Vietnam prioritises all-round cooperation with Japan Vietnam hopes to further deepen the friendship and multi-dimensional cooperation with Japan, considering this one of the top priorities of the country’s foreign affairs policy. Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai made the statement while receiving Chairwoman of the Japanese Committee for Foreign Affairs and Defence Katayama Satsuki in Hanoi on January … [Read more...]

Hai Phong to embrace trade links with Uruguay

The northern port city of Hai Phong, a major sea gateway and transport link for Vietnam, wants to increase its trade and investment cooperation with Uruguay, Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Duong Anh Dien told Speaker of the Chamber of Representatives of Uruguay Anibal Pereyra. Hai Phong has long been considered the biggest northern seaport in Vietnam and is focusing on socio-economic development and trade cooperation expansion with foreign countries including Uruguay, Dien said at a reception in the city on January 20. Besides advantages in marine transport, the city has well-developed road, railway and aviation transport, noted Dien. The Uruguayan Speaker said his visit, spanning from January 18-22, is intended to strengthen the bilateral friendship and cooperation. He noted that the establishment of the Uruguayan Embassy in Hanoi in 2011 is a vivid demonstration of the long-term cooperation between the two countries and confirms the important role and position of … [Read more...]

EVENTS SCHEDULED FOR JANUARY 20-31 (daily updated)

Symphony Concert with Spanish Conductor David Gómez Ramírez Fri 30 Jan 2015, 8 pm Vietnam National Academy of Music 77 Hao Nam, Hanoi You are invited to a symphony concert with: Conductor: David Gómez Ramírez Piano Soloist: Vu Ngoc Linh and the Hanoi Philharmonic Orchestra Program L.V. Beethoven Overture Egmont P.I. Tchaikovsky Concerto No 1 for piano and orchestra Interval F. Mendelssohn Syphony No.3 About Conductor David Gómez Ramírez David Gómez Ramírez is one of the most promising young conductor and composer in Spain. He has been director of the Lira Saguntina Symphony Orchestra in Valencia, as well as director of the Conservatory of Music "Joaquin Rodrigo" in Sagunto, Valencia since 2007. He has been the resident conductor in Seville and Coutances (France) Orchestre. During the past seven years, he has conducted all the major Spanish orchestras and he appears as a guest conductor in Europe (Italy, France, Portugal, The Netherlands, in Asia and in South … [Read more...]

Art & Entertainment News 20/1

Cheo Theatre stages traditional opera with a twist A new show combining Cheo (traditional opera) and Water Puppetry is currently being staged daily between 5.30 and 6.30pm at the Ha Noi Cheo Theatre, 15 Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street. Entitled "Long Thanh Dien Xuong" or the Thang Long Citadel Singing Show, the act features folk dances, traditional opera, Xam singing (folk music performed by blind beggars), and Chau Van (chamber singing performed through trance rituals in honour of Mother goddesses), which are either illustrated through or mixed with Water Puppetry. VTV1 to broadcast documentary on Son Doong Cave A latest documentary on the biggest cave known in the world—Son Doong—located in the central province of Quang Binh, will be broadcast on VTV1 on February 14. The documentary will feature magnificent scenes from inside the cave that still carry ancient traces of animal and plant drawings, as well as of the people, who made the great contribution of discovering the … [Read more...]

Social News 19/1

Court jails 27 for gambling The people's court in Cao Bang Province yesterday sent 27 people to prison for organised gambling. According to the court reports, on January 10, 2014, the Cao Bang police raided a guest room in the province and found four people engaging in illegal gambling. They also seized VND742 million (US$34,500) in cash from the site. Further investigations showed that the four persons were part of a larger gambling network that also organised gambling in the province from October 2013 to January 2014. The gambling network comprised 27 people, who received prison terms varying from one to six years. Several other persons were given probation. According to the Criminal Code, gambling is illegal in Viet Nam. Work begins on Ha Noi ring-road link Construction work on the Trung Hoa-Ring Road 3 intersection in the capital city, which will include two tunnels, began on Sunday, the Thang Long Project Management Board has announced. Vu Xuan Hoa, head of the Board, said … [Read more...]

Social News 18/1

Hand, foot and mouth disease strikes Hanoi A health official from the Hanoi Health Department says a surging outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease in ten districts in Hanoi has infected 36 people so far this year. According to the official, there have been five separate outbreaks reported and there is an especially high risk of a widespread outbreak in Bac Tu Liem district with six infected cases recently reported. There is no vaccine to prevent the disease, the official said. Vietnam recorded 80,685 cases of hand-foot and mouth disease in 2014 including eight deaths while Hanoi reported 1,170 infected cases in 26 out of 30 districts citywide. The disease is a contagious viral illness that commonly affects infants and young children. Symptoms usually begin with a fever, sore throat, painful sores in the mouth. Complications include viral meningitis, myocarditis, and acute pneumonia, which can be fatal. To reduce the risk of catching the virus, both children and adults should … [Read more...]

Leather firm asks for permission to pay fines by instalments

VietNamNet Bridge – Hao Duong, a leather firm hit with record fines for polluting the environment, has been trying to delay payments of fines, saying it has financial difficulties. The HCM City Department of Natural Resources and the Environment in November 2014 imposed a fine of VND6.3 billion on Hao Duong for discharging untreated waste water into the environment. The company was told to pay VND2 billion in fines for "administrative violations" and VND4.3 billion for "illegal benefits". One year before that time, the police discovered Hao Duong Company pumping waste water into Dong Dien River with a capacity of 2.100 cubic meters per day. The watchdog agency, after analyzing a waste water sample, concluded that the concentration of pollutants was higher than the permitted levels by tens to hundreds of times. However, Hao Duong still has not paid the fine. The city’s environment department, citing Article No 79 of the law on sanctions against administrative … [Read more...]

Social News 15/1

S.Korea firm to sue workers for loss-causing strike Striking workers at a South Korean-invested firm in HCM City will be sued for losses caused to the company. Some 800 workers at Carimax Sai Gon Ltd. Co. went on strike January 3 after the company declined to pass on a mandated rise in minimum wages. Company officials said on January 12 that workers who failed to carry out their duties for five consecutive days would be sacked and sued for losses incurred by the company. Carimax said trade union intervention had failed to resolve the strike. The government decreed last year minimum wages would rise by VND250,000-400,000 (USD11.9-USD19) a month, depending on region, from January 1, 2015. But on December 27, the board of directors at Carimax said that because of 2014 losses, the pay rise would be determined according to each worker's attitude, capability and experiences. It also declared the Tet bonus would be 90% of a worker's monthly wage, but if workers went on strike, the … [Read more...]

Social News 13/1

Ministry warns of hand, foot, mouth disease The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has warned northern and central localities about a high risk of foot-and-mouth disease spreading during the cold weather. The ministry said the cold weather created favourable conditions for the disease to spread. Statistics from the ministry's Department of Animal Health on January 12 showed that foot-and-mouth disease had hit the provinces of Son La, Thanh Hoa, Lao Cai and Ha Tinh. Minister Cao Duc Phat has instructed authorities in the four provinces to work with local people to avert the spread of the disease. "Local breeders should be shown how to stop the disease spreading through their animals," he said. Phat also urged the localities to tighten inspections of animal shipments and slaughter houses, as well as spraying chemicals to sterilise affected areas. The ministry previously supplied 5,000 litres of chemicals for Dak Nong Province to stamp out the disease in late … [Read more...]

Social News 11/1

Skyscraper project on Han River bank cancelled In an interview by Sai Gon Giai Phong Newspaper yesterday, Da Nang's Party Secretary Tran Tho said the project to build a skyscraper dubbed a "lighthouse" on the Han River in the central city will be cancelled. Mr. Tran Tho said that Da Nang city People’s Committee has just given approval to implement the project but not yet agree to carry out the project on the river. However, after receiving the objection from the public and architects, the city authority decided to cancel the project, he said. Mr. Tho said that he had requested the city’s government to look for a new place to build the skyscraper. After the city committee approved the project, many architects and municipal development experts raised their voice against the project. They said that project would damage landscape of river that has helped the city become one of the most beautiful cities in Vietnam In addition, the project’s investor- investment … [Read more...]

Social News 8/1

Health authority tests strange snail to verify cause of fishermen’s deaths The Department of Food Safety in the central province of Ha Tinh sent the snail, that caused the deaths of three fishermen on January 5, to the Ministry of Health’s Food Administration of Vietnam. Dr. Phan Van Hung, head of the Department of Food Safety, yesterday said that his department will test the snails to verify soon the deaths of the three fishermen. As newspaper released yesterday, three fishermen including Tran Xuan Thuc and Tran Van Duong both at 29 year old and Duong Van Tinh, 22 in Tinh Gia District of the northern province of Thanh Hoa died after eating strange snail though they were taken to the province’s General Hospital for emergency treatment by border safeguards. The test result is hoped to be soon publicly released to warn the community of the strange snail. Ministry vows to take drastic measures against unsafe food As public concerns over contaminated food have been … [Read more...]

Art & Entertainment News 8/1

Local rock music gaining popularity As many as 20,000 rock music lovers took part in RockStorm7 night concert which was held in HCMC on December 27. This was seen as a highlight in the local music industry, manifesting the vigorous sprit of rock music. RockStorm7 undoubtedly created an unforgettable music feast among rock enthusiasts with the participation of six bands playing different styles of rock including Stevans from Switzerland and SPF from Thailand. There are currently more than 10 leading rock bands in Vietnam such as Buc Tuong, Microwave, Ngu Cung and Unlimited. Perhaps due to the fact that this type of music is too strong and overwhelming for a majority of people, rock music is only available at bars, clubs and a few music festivals without much attention from the media. Therefore, the possible way to connect rock music and its lovers is by means of album launch and promotion on digital platforms. However, issuing albums is also seen as a challenge for bands because … [Read more...]

Social News 7/1

Fire burns down 12 houses in Ca Mau A gold shop in Thoi Binh District in the southern province of Ca Mau caught fire yesterday evening (January 6). The fire quickly spread to and burnt down eleven more houses nearby. At around 6:45 p.m, the fire started from Tan Phat gold shop and then quickly spread to nearby houses at Thoi Binh Market area due to strong wind. Local police sent three fire engines and many firefighters to the site. The incident caused power loss for Thoi Binh town for a short time. By 8:00 p.m, the fire was controlled. According to initial statistics, at least two gold shops and 10 houses were destroyed, causing big loss. Luckily, no human loss was reported. The investigation is being conducted. Three fishermen die of strange snails Though border safeguards in the central province of Ha Tinh yesterday rushed to save three fishermen but their efforts have been unrewarded. As being informed that three fishermen in serious condition after they ate snails, border … [Read more...]

Social News 27/12

Sleeper bus collides with container truck, injures 6 Some six passengers were injured when their sleeper bus collided with a container truck early today on the My Phuoc – Tan Van Expressway in the southern Binh Duong Province's Hiep Thanh Ward. The accident occurred while the sleeper bus, carrying 19 passengers, was travelling from HCM City to Binh Duong. The cause of the accident, which left the bus in a wrecked state, remains unknown. The injured were treated at the Binh Duong General Hospital. Local police are investigating the case. Unions prepare Tet support for workers Trade unions in southern localities will support workers with gifts and bus tickets during Tet, which falls in the middle of February this year. In Binh Duong Province, the provincial Federation of Labour planned to give free bus tickets to 1,220 workers from central and northern provinces to travel home for the holiday. The federation is giving 10 per cent more workers tickets than last year. The … [Read more...]

Art & Entertainment News 22/12

National television festival wraps up The 34th National Television Festival wrapped up in Hue on Saturday, ending four days of film screenings, workshops and competitions. The judges awarded prizes to nearly half of the 513 entries submitted for consideration at the festival. Tran Binh Minh, general director of Viet Nam Television and chairman of the festival organisers, said the entries reflected many aspects of life in the country and were produced using new technology. However, he added that many of them were not creative enough and he expected a breakthrough at next year's festival in Quang Binh Province. The award winners covered the protection of Vietnamese sovereignty over the Paracel (Hoang Sa) and Spratly (Truong Sa) achipelagoes; and environmental protection at a time of rising pollution and illegal deforestation. This year's festival welcomed 116 production units with over 500 programmes based on music, children's programmes, documentaries, reports, science and … [Read more...]

Art & Entertainment News 20/12

Twelve sites recognised as national relics Twelve archaeological, historical and architectural relics around the country have been recognised as national relic sites by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. The Ky Anh ancient rock rampart in Ky Lac commune, Ky Anh district, Ha Tinh province. The list consists of three archaeological, seven historical and two architectural relics, located in 10 provinces: Son La, Thai Nguyen, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Thua Thien–Hue, Quang Nam, An Giang, Binh Phuoc, Long An and Khanh Hoa. Three archaeological relics named are the Loi Citadel in Thuy Xuan and Thuy Bieu wards, Hue City, Thua Thien–Hue province; Hoa Diem relic in Cam Thinh Dong commune, Cam Ranh city, Khanh Hoa province; and Khe Ho ancient rock ground in Hang Chu commune, Bac Yen district, Son La province. The seven historical sites comprise three in Thai Nguyen, including the complex of Muc Temple and Huong Ap pagoda in Pho Yen district; the relic where the Brigade 308 … [Read more...]

Social News 13/12

Vietnam climbs 16 notches in transport infrastructure: WEF The availability and quality of transport infrastructure of Vietnam moved 16 steps to rank 74/138 in 2014, according to the Global Enabling Trade Report 2014 released at the recent World Economic Forum (WEF). In terms of the Enabling Trade Index (ETI), the WEF placed Vietnam at a position that is higher than other four ASEAN member countries – Laos (91st), the Philippines (96th), Cambodia (113th), and Myanmar (138th). The ETI is conducted every two years by the WEF, with a focus on the four main modes of transport: road, air, railroad and seaport infrastructures. Air connectivity and sea line connectivity are also taken into consideration by the WEF before it announces the Index. Former banker’s accomplices admit law infringement Some accomplices of Nguyen Duc Kien, former vice chairman of Asia Commercial Bank (ACB), said depositing VND718 billion at VietinBank was illegal but Kien insisted he did not … [Read more...]

Social News 12/12

Crackdown on smugglers creates border control turmoil A crackdown on smugglers has created turmoil at Vietnam-China border crossings, notably at Mong Cai Border Gate in Quang Ninh Province, which is being flooded with people going back and forth between the two countries as gangs probe for weak spots in border control. Officials said Mong Cai Border Gate processed 10,000 people on December 6. The crowdness has been going on over the past month following the arrest of a smuggling gang on November 2, which prompted an increase of inspections by border gate security along the border. Mong Cai has been reinforcing security and inspection of the imported goods to identify smugglers, with all adjacent road crossings blocked to force people through the main border gate. Most of people going through Mong Cai Border Gate use "border citizen cards", which grant them them a duty-free allowance of VND2 million worth of goods a day. Any more than that attracts a customs tax of about 30 percent … [Read more...]