Listing of candidates for upcoming elections being sped up
Preparations for the elections, scheduled for May 23, are being sped up. (Photo: VNA)
As of April 18, a third consultative conference had been held at local and central levels to select eligible candidates for the elections of deputies to the 15th National Assembly and member of People's Councils for 2021-2026.
The meeting held by the Presidium of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee adopted a list of 205 candidates for the upcoming election of deputies to the 15th legislature.
Making and announcing such lists are among the tasks for local agencies and organisations, as assigned by the National Election Council (NEC).
The lists must be sent to the National Election Committee and all-level election committees by April 23 (30 days ahead of the elections), so that the NEC and the all-level election committees will officially announce the candidates at constituencies.
The listing of candidates for NA deputies at constituencies nationwide and for members of People's Councils at local constituencies should be completed no later than April 28.
Meanwhile, official lists of candidates running for NA deputy in constituencies in centrally-run cities and provinces, as well as their biographies, will be publicised by May 3.
Localities should step up communications work to raise public awareness about the elections and facilitate election campaigns, which are scheduled to be concluded 24 hours prior to the elections.
Between May 13 and 23, election groups will regularly inform local voters about polling stations and election time through leaflets and the mass media.
Local election committees will coordinate with relevant agencies and organisations to instruct the settlement of complaints, denunciations, and petitions regarding the lists of candidates and voters and election work.
Settlements should be completed before May 13./.
Workers' average income up in first quarter
Vietnam saw a year-on-year fall in the number of workers joining the labour market in the first quarter but increases in average income, according to Pham Hoai Nam, Director of the Population and Labour Statistics Department at the General Statistics Office (GSO).
Nam said that workers’ average monthly income in the first quarter stood at 6.3 million VND (273 USD), up 339,000 VND compared to the fourth quarter of 2020 and 106,000 VND year-on-year.
On an annual basis, the agro-forestry-fisheries sector recorded the highest rise in average income, 5.2 percent, followed by the service sector with 1.5 percent and industry-construction 0.8 percent.
In particular, the income of those with employment contract increased 556,000 VND compared to the fourth quarter of last year and 132,000 VND over the same time in 2020 to 7.2 million VND per month.
According to Nam, the return of COVID-19 before the Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday changed normal growth trends in the first quarter, with a fall of nearly 200,000 workers in the workforce compared to the same time last year and about 600,000 over the same time of 2019.
The proportion of workers joining the labour market was 66.7 percent in urban areas and 69.9 percent in rural areas.
The GSO reported that among 49.9 million employees, 39.5 percent (or 19.7 million) were employed in the service sector, 32.3 percent (16.1 million) in the industry-construction sector, and 28.2 percent (14.1 million) in the agro-forestry-fisheries sector.
In the first quarter, 57.1 percent of the workforce, or 20.7 million workers, were employed in the informal sector, down 251,700 over the fourth quarter of 2020 but up 525,400 over the same period last year, it said./.
Central Highlands hit by string of minor earthquakes
Five consecutive small earthquakes measuring between 2.6 and 2.9 on the Richter scale have rocked the central highlands province of Kon Tum in less than a week, according to the data collected by the Earthquake and Tsunami Warning Centre under the Institute of Geophysics.
The Earthquake and Tsunami Warning Centre have stated that two consecutive small-intensity earthquakes measuring 2.6 and 2.8 on the Richter scale also hit the districts of Kon Plong and Dak Ha in the region on April 15, with the epicentre's depth reaching 10km and 9.6km, respectively.
The succession of minor earthquakes began on April 13 and April 14 when two small quakes, also with a magnitude of 2.6 and 2.8, hit the Dak Ha region in Kon Tum province, with the epicentre's depth recorded at 12km and 9.8km, respectively.
Furthermore, the centre also revealed that these quakes can be classified as small jolts due to their low risk of causing property damage and loss of human life, adding that these earthquakes are still being strict monitored.
According to experts, the Central Highlands makes up a region that has recorded relatively few earthquakes in comparison to other localities in the northwestern region.
Experts believe that the recent impact of the consecutive quakes in the region can be attributed to fault lines emerging along the rivers which pass through the area.
Australia, UNICEF join hands to aid COVID-19 vaccine delivery in Vietnam
The Australian Embassy in Hanoi and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) have announced a 13.5 million AUD package to support the introduction and delivery of COVID-19 vaccines doses in Vietnam.
The Australia-UNICEF partnership is expected to provide a unique and holistic package that will assist Vietnam across a range of areas vital to the successful delivery of a mass immunisation programme against COVID-19, according to a UNICEF press release published on April 19.
"Our support will help Vietnam purchase cold chain equipment to store and transport vaccine doses to where they are needed around the country, provide training courses and materials to ensure Vietnam's health workers and officials are ready, and assist with the development of immunisation plans in Vietnam's remote provinces to ensure equitable and uniform vaccine coverage", said Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Robyn Mudie.
"Introducing a new vaccine especially for COVID-19 is a colossal task for any government with many important steps involved. Thanks to the partnership with the Government of Australia, UNICEF is committed to work with the Ministry of Health and other partners to support the introduction and rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in Vietnam," said Rana Flowers, UNICEF Representative in Vietnam.
The programme will support Vietnam to reach the prioritised 20 percent of population by the end of 2022 and set the foundation necessary for immunising the remainder of the population as vaccines are rolled out nationwide.
Funding for the programme is drawn from Australia's 523.2 million AUD Regional Vaccine Access and Health Security Initiative, as well as from the nation's bilateral development cooperation programme with Vietnam.
In total, Australia has committed 40 million AUD over three years to support Vietnam's vaccine procurement and delivery efforts./.
Health establishments capable of handling blood clotting from COVID vaccine: Expert
Lower-level healthcare establishments in Vietnam are capable of dealing with blood clotting caused by COVID-19 vaccine thanks to the telehealth system, an expert has said.
Associate Prof. Dr. Dao Xuan Co, Deputy Director of the Hanoi-based Bach Mai Hospital and Secretary-General of the Vietnam National Association of Emergency, Intensive Care Medicine and Clinical Toxicology, said the telehealth system has been deployed to 1,500 sites in all of Vietnam's 63 cities and provincial nationwide and will help leading specialists instruct grassroots medical facilities on handling cases of blood clotting in a swift and effective manner.
He said people can rest assured about the safety of vaccines, as cases of blood clotting are "very rare".
If medical establishments at any level encounter vaccinated patients with blood clots, the health sector will be able to mobilise leading experts to conduct consultations and provide treatment guidance via the telehealth system, Co emphasised.
Nearly 80,000 people in 22 cities and provinces in Vietnam have been vaccinated against COVID-19 to date, and there have been no cases of blood clots.
On April 15, the Minister of Health decided to set up a steering committee for COVID-19 vaccination safety, which gathers together ministry officials and leading experts in different specialities to help respond to any circumstance./.
Ho Chi Minh City's preparations for elections examined
National Assembly Vice Chairman Do Ba Ty inspected preparations for the elections of deputies to the 15th legislature and People's Councils for the 2021-2026 tenure in Ho Chi Minh City on April 19.
At the working session with the NA delegation, Vice Chairman of the municipal People's Council Pham Duc Hai reported working plans to ensure social safety and order for the elections.
Accordingly, the municipal Election Committee established sub-committees to serve the elections, held weekly meetings with election committees of 21 districts and Thu Duc city on the progress of the preparations.
A number of seminars were also held to popularise the Law on the Election of Deputies to the National Assembly and People's Councils, the Law on the Organisation of the NA, the Law on the Organisation of Local Administrations, and documents guiding the elections.
So far, there have been 50 nominees for the election of NA lawmakers, 16 of them are women. All hold bachelor degrees and above. Meanwhile, there are 169 candidates running for seats of the municipal People's Council, including 63 women. Up to 165 of them hold bachelor degrees and above.
Director of the municipal Department of Public Security Maj. Gen. Le Hong Nam said local security and order have been basically maintained. The city’s police are working with authorities and competent agencies to protect the elections.
Ty, who is also head of the subcommittee for security, order and health, asked the municipal departments and agencies to continue raising public awareness of the elections, ensuring that it will take place in a democratic and fair manner.
He also urged the municipal police to fight distortions, enhance inspection in major areas, and come up with firefighting plans at voting areas./.
Over 30,000 people flock to Hung Kings Temple
Over 30,000 people flocked to Hung Kings Temple in the northern province of Phu Tho during the weekend on April 17-18, on the occasion of the upcoming death anniversary of Hung Kings and Hung Kings Temple Festival 2021.
Director of the Hung Kings Temple relic site Le Truong Giang said the management board of the relic site has taken a number of measures to ensure safety for visitors amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Hung Kings are commemorated each year on the 10th day of the third lunar month, which falls on April 21 this year, as an occasion for the nation to express gratitude to the ancestors.
This year’s incense and flower offering ceremonies took place on April 17 (the 6th day of the third lunar month) and will go ahead on April 21 at the relic site.
A series of cultural activities will also be planned, including a music show and firework display, a glutinous rice cake making competition, a swimming competition, and a national volleyball tournament, and others.
Legend has it that the eldest son of Lac Long Quan (son of Kinh Duong Vuong) and Au Co (the fairy daughter of De Lai) was made king. He named the country Van Lang and set up the capital in Phong Chau (modern-day Viet Tri city), beginning 18 dynasties of the Hung Kings.
The kings chose Nghia Linh Mountain, the highest in the region, to perform rituals devoted to the rice and sun deities to pray for healthy crops.
To honour their substantial contributions, a complex of temples dedicated to the kings was built on Nghia Linh Mountain, and the tenth day of the third lunar month serves as the national commemorative anniversary for the kings.
The worshipping rituals of the Hung Kings was recognised as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2012./.
Dien Bien: 12 arrested for organising illegal exit
The border guard and police forces in the northern border province of Dien Bien have captured 12 people for organising the illegal exit of 13 foreigners.
On April 18, they detected a suspicious truck stopping in front of a grocery store in Nam Po district's Si Pa Phin commune, with its trunk opened to let five Chinese nationals get out and enter the store.
The driver, Nguyen Duc Giang, born in 1960 and residing in the commune's Nam Chim 1 village, admitted that he was hired by a woman living in Laos to drive the five men to the Vietnam – Laos border area for 2 million VND (86.2 USD) in return. Giang took the Chinese to the store, owned by Sung A Chu, born in 1986 and residing in the commune's Pu Dao village, and called the woman saying he would hire Chu to take the five to the border area.
All the seven men were arrested.
On April 19, the forces caught another 18 suspects, consisting of 10 Vietnamese and 8 foreigners.
The Vietnamese suspects admitted they were hired to drive the foreigners from Lai Chau province's Phong Tho district to the Vietnam-Laos border area.
The cases are under further investigation./.
No new COVID-19 cases recorded on April 20 morning
Vietnam reported no new COVID-19 cases in the past 12 hours to 6am on April 20, according to the Ministry of Health.
The total number of infections in Vietnam was 2,791, including 2,475 recoveries and 25 deaths.
Among active patients undergoing treatment at medical establishments nationwide, 11 tested negative to the virus once, 16 twice and 18 thrice.
As many as 40,150 people who had close contact with COVID-19 patients or entered Vietnam from pandemic-hit regions are currently quarantined across the country, including 531 in hospitals, 24,361 in state-designated establishments and 15,258 at their homes or residences.
According to the ministry, on April 19, additional 3,812 people in 13 provinces and cities got COVID-19 vaccine shots, raising the total number of people vaccinated against the coronavirus in the country to 80,857.
The Health Ministry continued to urge all people to follow the 5K motto – Khau trang (wearing facemask) – Khu khuan (disinfecting) – Khoang cach (keeping distance) – Khong tu tap (no gathering) – Khai bao y te (making medical declaration), in order to live safely amid the pandemic./.
Fireworks show to be held at Hung King Festival
The northern province of Phu Tho has planned to organise a high-range fireworks display to celebrate the Hung Kings’ Temple Festival.
The 15-minute high-range firework show will take place at the Van Lang Park in Viet Tri City on the evening of April 20, or the 9th of the third lunar month. The fireworks will sparkle following a show on Vietnam's legendary origins.
On April 18, a swimming competition will be held at a lake within Van Lang Park, meanwhile at the Hung King Temple, a competition to make Banh Chung and Banh Day – the two traditional dishes offered to the Hung Kings – will be organised.
On April 18-21, a volleyball tournament will take place at the provincial gymnasium. Other activities within the festival framework include xoan singing performances at local temples in Viet Tri, street music programmes like the Viet Tri Live Music event and an exhibition featuring ornamental plants.
The organisers have Covid-19 prevention measures prepared as regulated by the Ministry of Health for the event.
National squad to gather in Quy Nhon ahead of World Cup qualifiers
The Vietnamese national men's football team are due to participate in a short training camp on May 10 in Quy Nhon city in the south-central province of Binh Dinh as they prepare for their remaining qualification games in the Asian region for the 2022 World Cup.
The decision to train in Quy Nhon is due to the climate in the south-central city being similar to that of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) where the World Cup qualifiers will be held, according to the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF).
Footballers called up to the national team will then travel to Hanoi for further training before flying to the UAE on May 28.
Le Hoai Anh, general secretary of the VFF, said local players will be vaccinated against the SARS-CoV-2 virus on April 19 and April 20 at the Military Hospital 108.
The Vietnamese squad must then have samples taken as part of COVID-19 testing 72 hours before departing for the UAE. Upon landing in the Middle Eastern country, the entire team will then have a second test.
Moving forward, Vietnam are scheduled to take on Indonesia on June 7, Malaysia on June 11, before playing hosts the UAE on June 15, as announced by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).
The national men's football team are currently leading Group G with 11 points after five matches played. The target is to hold on to the top place and progress to the third qualifying round in the Asian region for the first time in history.
Outstanding archaeological achievements in past decade announced
The Institute of Imperial Citadel Studies announced outstanding achievements in archaeological studies, technology application, museum display and design and promotion of Vietnam's cultural heritage on April 18 on the occasion of its 10th founding anniversary (April 28, 2011-2021).
Director of the institute Bui Minh Tri said that over the past decade, the institute have actively and creatively carried out and well fulfilled its missions assigned by the Prime Minister and the Chairperson of the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences.
The institute's achievements in scientific research are demonstrated through the implementation of the project of revising, studying and assessing the value and making a scientific record of the Thang Long Imperial Citadel relic site and the task of excavating the Nen Chua relict site in the southern province of Kien Giang, which is part of the project on researching the Oc Eo-Ba The and Nen Chua archaeological relic sites.
In addition, the institute has also left impressions through the organisation of the project on showcasing vestiges and objects in the basement of the National Assembly House in Hanoi and another on promoting the cultures of Dinh-Tien Le dynasties at Hoa Lu relic site in the northern province of Ninh Binh./.
HCM City ceremony to commend outstanding overseas Vietnamese
Ho Chi Minh City will hold a ceremony on April 20 to honour 33 outstanding collectives and 17 individuals of the Vietnamese community abroad, according to the city's Committee for Overseas Vietnamese.
The activity aims to recognise and encourage the expatriates with prominent achievements in assisting Vietnamese citizens in production and business activities, scientific researches, medicine, educational and training cooperation, and social and charitable activities between 2018 and 2020.
They include Assoc. Prof and Dr Vu Minh Khuong, a senior lecturer at the Singapore-based Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy; Dr Nguyen Duc Thai, a Vietnamese in the US now lecturing at the HCM City University of Medicine and Pharmacy; Dr Nguyen Huu Le, a Vietnamese in Australia and Chairman of the TMA Solutions company; and Bui Van Tuan, Chairman of the Delta E&C Japan.
More than 5.3 million Vietnamese people are living in 130 countries and territories worldwide. Overseas remittances into the country reached 15.7 billion USD in 2020.
In particular, the remittances into HCM City reached a record high of 6.1 billion USD last year, up over 15 percent from 2019. The figure stood at 1.45 billion USD in the first quarter of 2021, up 10 percent year on year./.
Goalkeeper Van Lam officially joins Cerezo Osaka after end of quarantine period
National team goalkeeper Dang Van Lam concluded two weeks of quarantine in Japan on April 17 and is set to be presented to fans of J-League 1 side Cerezo Osaka Club on April 18.
According to the Cerezo Osaka’s official website, Van Lam will officially debut to the club's fans ahead of their match against Urawa Reds on April 18.
The premiere will take place at the Nagai Stadium at 13:00 p.m. on April 18, according to Vietnamese time, and will be broadcast live on the club’s official Facebook page.
Van Lam originally arrived in Japan on April 3 and has now completed two weeks of compulsory quarantine as part of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic prevention efforts.
After the presentation tomorrow, the 28-year-old goalkeeper will then officially begin training sessions with his new teammates, with his aim to feature in the “derby Osaka” between Cerezo and Gamba on May 2.
By joining Cerezo Osaka, Van Lam will also become the first Vietnamese player to play in the J-League 1, Japan’s highest professional league.
Before that, other popular Vietnamese players such as Cong Phuong, Tuan Anh, and Le Cong Vinh previously played in the J-League 2.
Throughout May, Van Lam will have the opportunity to play in five matches in the J-League 1 before flying to the UAE to join the Vietnamese national team as they participate in qualifying matches for the 2022 World Cup in early June.
Binh Thuan: Dead whale brought to shore
Fishermen in Phan Thiet city, the south central province of Binh Thuan brought a carcass of a whale (respectfully called Ca Ong by locals) to the shore for burial on April 17.
The fishermen found the gray whale, 15 metres in length and more than four tonnes in weight, dead at sea on April 16.
Vietnamese coastal residents believe whales are sacred animals that help fishermen at sea. Therefore, they often rescue the animals or bury the dead ones in solemn ceremonies.
According to local practice, fishermen exhume whales' graves after three years, and bring the remains to the local temple for worshipping.
Phan Thiet city has many temples to worship Ca Ong, with Van Thuy Tu being the largest. It is keeping a whale skeleton, which is 22 metres long, the largest in Southeast Asia./.
Biodegradable bags gaining in popularity
With pollution only seeming to get worse, many people have decided to make the change to biodegradable paper bags, which can be reused multiple times and pose no health hazards whatsoever. The new sustainability trend is becoming more popular for everyone.
By using paper bags instead of nylon bags or plastic boxes, this outlet has won the hearts of environmentally-conscious customers, despite the relatively high cost.
Paper bags are considered a sustainable packaging option for their biodegradability. With eye-catching designs, they have found favour among shoppers.
There are now many options replacing plastic products that customers can choose from to help protect the environment and living a greener, healthier life./.
Con Dao island home to one of 25 most beautiful beaches worldwide
The Bai Dam Trau beach in Con Dao island in Vietnam's southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, has been listed among the 25 most beautiful beaches in the world, according to a recent article published by Travel Leisure magazine.
"Trying to select Vietnam’s most beautiful beach is tough, but Bai Dam Trau in the Con Dao islands is certainly a top contender," the article says.
"With distinct golden sand, soft swells, and shady groves of bamboo and evergreen trees, it’s the kind of place to spend the day gently swinging in a hammock with a beach read and walking in the surf with a freshly hacked coconut," the article adds.
Topping the list is Saud Beach on Luzon island in the Philippines, followed by Elafonissi Beach in Greece and Nungwi Beach in Tanzania.
Along with the Vietnamese beach, the list also sees two other representatives from the Asian region, including Railay West in Thailand and Radhanagar in India.
Last year, Travel Leisure magazine placed Vietnamese hotel The Reverie Saigon in the southern hub Ho Chi Minh City at 57th position among the 100 best hotels globally.
In 2019, the ancient city of Hoi An in the central province of Quang Nam made it into the magazine's list of 15 most beautiful cities across the world./.
Operations of Vietnamese aircraft grind to a halt due to COVID-19
During the first quarter of the year the nation had a total of 39 planes which underwent maintenance, while their flight operations were suspended due to the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, according to data released by the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV).
The grounded jets are among 269 airplanes registered as Vietnamese currently, a rise of 13 from the same period from last year. These comprise 247 flat-winged jets of Boeing, Airbus, ATR and Embraer as well as 22 helicopters.
In an effort to minimise the risks caused by flight-stopping preservation, Dinh Viet Thang, director of the CAAV, has request that domestic airlines rotate operating aircraft as a means of ensuring that the maintenance of flight stops is no longer than one month.
In the event that an aircraft is serviced for over one month due to malfunction, breakdown, or insufficient configuration, the airline must then report this to the CAAV before getting their approval, with the exception of aircraft currently in their maintenance period.
Furthermore, Thang also urged all airlines to consistently perform regular maintenance, along with monitoring, updating, and thoroughly complying with regulations and instructions set out by manufacturers with regard to flight-stopping maintenance. In addition, the CAVV director went on to underline the need to intensify inspection and conservation methods as part of the maintenance and flight stoppage process, along with immediately dealing with abnormal phenomena as swiftly as possible.
This comes following a large number of flight stopping aircraft, aircraft manufacturers, and engine builders issuing technical instructions and alternate procedures in a bid to help aircraft operators as they conduct engine protection as set out in aircraft maintenance manuals.
Hung Kings Volleyball Cup 2021 gets underway in Phu Tho
Viet Tri city in the northern province of Phu Tho hosted the start of the Hung Kings Volleyball Cup 2021 on April 18 to mark the occasion of commemorating the death anniversary of the Hung Kings, the country's legendary founders.
The tournament features the participation of 140 volleyball players from across the country who are set to compete in both the male and female categories.
Immediately following the conclusion of the opening ceremony, VTV Binh Dien Long An club won a ticket to progress to the final round in the women's category after recording a convincing 3-0 win over Information-Communications Command–FLC club.
The Hung Kings Volleyball Cup is organized by the Vietnam Volleyball Federation and has been held annually in Phu Tho province since 2004.
Furthermore, the competition is also an important part of the national volleyball system which aims to discover talents capable of representing the Vietnamese at future international tournaments, including the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games which will be held in Vietnam later this year.
The tournament is scheduled to last until April 21.
FIFA helps digitalise soccer data system in Vietnam
As the international governing body of football, FIFA have agreed to assist the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) to deploy a programme aimed at digitising the soccer data system FIFA Connect, as agreed upon on April 14 during a virtual meeting.
The FIFA Connect Programme will therefore assist members as they register all of their stakeholders in a systematic way in order to keep track of players, coaches, and referees, wherever they are in the world.
The programme will provide a unique FIFA ID code for every individual who has a role within the football organization. The code is used like a digital football passport number which holds relevant information detailing the history of each stakeholder.
The deployment of the programme in Vietnam will get underway in May. The data system contains various pieces of information about footballers, their clubs, and referees during the V.League 1 and V.League 2 seasons. It is expected that the scheme will be enforced before July.
17 new bridges open to traffic in Long An Province
Seventeen bridges were inaugurated in the southern province of Long An on April 15 as part of the Rural Bridge Programme funded by enterprises following an appeal by former President Trương Tấn Sang and Nông Thôn Việt magazine.
Nine bridges in Tân Hưng District were built with funding worth VNĐ9 billion (US$389,930) provided by Đỗ Thị Kim Liên, chairwoman of the Green Vietnam Fund.
They facilitate transport of goods and ensure safety, especially of school-going children.
Saigon Thương Tín Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Sacombank) provided VNĐ5 billion ($216,292) to build six bridges in Vĩnh Hưng District.
Nutifood donated VNĐ1.6 billion ($69,213) to build two more bridges in the district.
These eight bridges along a road between Vĩnh Bình and Vĩnh Thuận communes will replace old ones that were severely degraded.
Over the last four years, the Rural Bridge Programme – Nông Thôn Việt magazine has carried out more than 300 bridge and sewer projects in Long An, Đồng Tháp and An Giang provinces at a cost of more than VNĐ300 billion ($12.9 million).
Deteriorated wastewater treatment systems cause pollution in Nghe An
Hundreds of households in Dien Van, Dien Ky and Dien Hong communes, Nghe An Province’s Dien Chau District, are complaining about the environment being polluted by wastewater from a local industrial zone.
Local people have complained their lives have been badly affected since the Dien Hong Commune Industrial Cluster discharged wastewater into the environment. Even though there are three wastewater sedimentation lakes, they seem to be abandoned. The wastewater is then discharged into the irrigation canal for the fields.
The industrial cluster has a lot of scrap collectors and a large amount of rubbish. The locals said they also had to suffer the smoke coming from iron and steel processing workshops.
Nguyen Hong Trung, chairman of Dien Hong Commune People’s Committee, said, “There are 41 facilities operating there. They mostly collect steel scrap and recycle plastic. We have reported the situation to higher authorities many times but the problem hasn’t been dealt with.”
Dien Hong Commune Industrial Cluster was approved by Nghe An People’s Committee in 2003. It covers 10ha with 11 firms and 30 household businesses. The wastewater treatment system has deteriorated and has been nearly abandoned.
The Department of Economy and Infrastructure in Dien Chau said the pollution was caused by the deteriorated wastewater treatment system in the cluster. When the cluster was opened, its infrastructure lacked synchronous investments. That’s why Dien Chau District People’s Committee are having plans to rebuild the clusters’ infrastructure.
“We’ll upgrade and rebuild all sewers and wastewater sedimentation tanks this year,” said Truong Van Duc, head of Dien Chau District Department of Natural Resources and Environment.
Kon Tum to host cultural festival for ethnic groups next month
Kon Tum Province will host the first Culture, Sports and Tourism Festival for Ethnic Groups in the Central Highlands from May 28 to 30.
The festival will be jointly organized by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Kon Tum government, with the participation of the five Central Highlands provinces of Kon Tum, Gia Lai, Daklak, Dak Nong and Lam Dong, the central province of Quang Nam and the southern province of Binh Phuoc.
Under the theme "Preserving and Promoting Traditional Cultural Values of Ethnic Groups in the Central Highlands during the Nation's Integration and Development Process", the event enables participating localities to introduce their unique traditions, culture and tourist attractions.
The artists and artisans will have the opportunity to exchange experiences, learn about the culture of other provinces and raise public awareness about the preservation of traditional cultural values. The event is also a chance for businesses to seek partnerships and boost investment in the Central Highlands.
The three-day festival will feature a wide range of activities such as cuisine booths, traditional fashion shows, traditional music instruments' shows, sporting events, traditional games, tourism promotion programs, an exhibition on the culture of different ethnic groups in the Central Highlands, tours to well-known attractions in Kon Tum Province and cooking competitions.
The first Culture, Sports and Tourism Festival for Ethnic Groups in the Central Highlands expects to attract some 1,200 participants, including artists, artisans and athletes from the seven participating provinces, officials from Government departments, security officers, health workers and volunteers.
People's Procuracy asserts 137 million liters of fuel linked to Trinh Suong as fake
A representative of the People's Procuracy of Dak Nong Province during a court hearing on April 16 put forward many arguments to uphold that 137 million liters of fuel in a substandard fuel production ring linked to fuel trader Trinh Suong, chairman and director of My Hung Co., Ltd, are fake.
The trial on April 16 continued after the provincial People's Procuracy released an indictment recommending sentences against fuel tycoon Trinh Suong, with 12-13 years behind bars for producing and trading in fake goods.
During a trial session on April 14, a lawyer of Suong cited Point b, Article 8, Clause 3 of Decree No.185 dated in 2013 as stipulating that goods whose quality is below 70% are considered fake items and requested the Procuracy to re-determine whether the amount of fuel blended by Suong was fake or not.
However, the People's Procuracy representative said that the lawyers of Suong had misunderstood Clause 3. Article 8, Clause 3, of the decree includes eight points regulating the definition of a fake product. Any item violating one of these eight points is considered fake. Meanwhile, the lawyer only mentioned Point b without taking into account the remaining points.
The People's Procuracy representative added that the fuel blended by Suong had violated Point a, Article 8, Clause 3, stipulating regulations on goods without use value, function; goods with use value, functions not in line with the nature and name; goods with use value, functions not on par with their registered, announced use value, functions. Therefore, the local People's Procuracy asserted that the fuels blended by Suong are fake.
HCMC meets requirement for loan disbursement extension for second metro line
The HCMC government has written to the Ministry of Finance, affirming that it met the German Development Bank's (KfW) requirement to extend the deadline to disburse a loan of 240.75 million euros (US$288 million) for the city's second metro line project and adjust the time to pay off the loan.
According to the city, it signed two agreements with KfW on the loan in 2011, the local media reported.
In 2019, when the project's completion deadline was adjusted, the city proposed the bank extend the deadline to disburse the loan to 2026 and that it would start paying the loan from 2027.
However, KfW said it could extend the loan disbursement deadline to the end of December 2024. It would continue extending the deadline in accordance with the reality and the project's progress.
As for the requirement for the deadline extension, the Management Authority for Urban Railways (MAUR) of HCMC must sign an appendix with the consulting firm of the project, Implementation Consultant (IC), or work out an alternative plan to ensure consultancy for the project.
MAUR has worked with IC on the appendix many times but IC asked the city to make payments for incomplete items and those ineligible for payment and the workload in signed appendices to continue its consultancy for the project.
According to the municipal government, it could not meet IC's requirement as the requirement went against regulations on contract management. As a result, the two sides could not reach a consensus.
MAUR later held a meeting with other sponsors to replace IC.
The metro line project was designed to be 11.2 kilometers and pass through districts 1, 3, 10, 12, Tan Binh and Tan Phu. Its investment was estimated at VND47.8 trillion.
The project includes seven main packages from CP1 to CP7, of which the CP1 to build an office building and auxiliary items at the Tham Luong Depot has been completed, while tenders for the six others have yet to be held.
Work on the project was planned to start in 2022 and be completed in 2026.
Transport Ministry wants four localities to invest in Ring Road No. 3
The Ministry of Transport has asked HCMC, Dong Nai, Binh Duong and Long An to determine whether they can invest in sections of the Ring Road No. 3 project passing through their localities and propose execution plans if they agree to develop the sections.
According to the ministry, due to the necessity to develop the ring road early and the tight State budget, it called for the involvement of localities in the project.
The ministry has updated the required investment and construction and site clearance costs in each locality.
If localities agree to invest in the sections of Ring Road No. 3, they should work out plans to exploit the land fund along the road and propose State support if needed. If they propose the Ministry of Transport take charge of the construction of the project, they must state whether they can take responsibility for the entire site clearance cost.
Relating to the project, the Dong Nai government on April 12 held a meeting with the My Thuan Project Management Board under the Ministry of Transport to prepare for the road section in the province.
The section in Dong Nai has two segments–1A and 2A. The 1A segment will have a total length of over 8.7 kilometers and start at an intersection with provincial road 25B in Nhon Trach District and end at an intersection with the HCMC-Long Thanh-Dau Giay Expressway in HCMC's Thu Duc City.
The Ministry of Transport has approved the prefeasibility for the segment with an estimated investment of VND5.3 trillion, sourced from official development assistance loans and the reciprocal capital. Work on the 1A segment will start next quarter.
The 2A segment was designed to be some five kilometers long, start at an intersection with Ben Luc-Long Thanh Expressway and end at an intersection with provincial road 25B.
According to the Ministry of Transport, the Ring Road No. 3 project has an important role in developing transport services between HCMC and the southern key economic zone.
Under a decision approved by the prime minister, the project would be completed before 2020. However, only 16.3 of 89 kilometers of the road have been put into service.
The required investment for the project was estimated at over VND60 trillion, including VND32.7 trillion for construction and VND27.3 trillion for site clearance.
Special policies and tours needed to promote educational tourism
During a workshop held on April 16, 2021, as part of the Famtrip organized by the Danang City Department of Tourism from April 14 to 17, 2021, participants said Danang's tourism industry needs to offer specific policies and tours to attract guests to participate in educational tourism.
Educational tours should focus on research, culture, experiential and teambuilding activities. The pricing policy for such tours must synchronously include promotions from travel companies and accommodation to transportation and tourist sites.
The workshop saw the participation of representatives from schools nationwide.
Nguyen Cong Hoan, Head of the Faculty of Tourism, University of Finance and Marketing in HCMC, said the educational tour is mainly for students to learn about destinations rather than just focus on entertainment. Therefore, this type of tour must offer spiritual culture or ecotourism.
"Visiting the craft village will be attractive to students," said Hoan, elaborating that students who join the tour in Danang can, for example, study the process of making fish sauce at the renowned Nam O fish sauce village.
Nguyen Ngoc Truc from the Faculty of Interdisciplinary Sciences, National University of Hanoi, had a similar opinion, saying that educational tours should be designed with more research experience, such as studying the history of the Marble Mount or the marble craft village.
Meanwhile, representatives of some other schools such as FPT University, Danang University or Hanoi National Economics University stressed on the pricing policy. According to them, a good policy will help woo students who are potential customers. Besides, schools need synchronous promotions from tour suppliers for travel and accommodation.
"We will seek ways to establish a working group whose members are enterprises offering promotional packages for educational tourism," said Cao Tri Dung, Chairman of Danang Tourism Association, adding that the association will work with other parties, including airlines, to offer reasonable prices for this kind of tour.
Reportedly, educational tourism is part of a wide range of activities to implement the master plan to promote Danang tourism. Accordingly, the municipal tourism industry identifies the domestic market as the main tourism market in the current period.
"In order to diversify the tourist markets, we have found that the educational tourism trend is very popular among schools and businesses. This tour must combine practical experience, relaxation and entertainment activities," said Tan Van Vuong, Deputy Director of Danang Tourism Department.
Top legislator mulls over deputies' affairs for upcoming elections
National Assembly (NA) Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue chaired a meeting with the NA Standing Committee's working commission for deputies' affairs in Hanoi on April 19.
At the session, the commission suggested policies are needed to recruit a specific number of experts as full-time deputies when building personnel options and conducting the process of nominating candidates for the election of deputies to the NA.
The NA Chairman highlighted a large number of works to be done in preparation for the upcoming elections of deputies to the 15th legislature and all-level People's Councils for the 2021 – 2026 tenure.
He asked the commission to work with the office of the National Election Council (NEC) to direct and provide guidance on the works.
Underscoring the preparation for the elections as the foremost task, Hue requested the commission collect results of provincial-level third consultative conferences to soon make a report to the NEC.
After the elections, the commission will have to conduct a series of works, including preparation for the summarisation of the elections and developing a training programme for elected deputies, among others.
Hue also asked the body to begin building a project on enhancing deputies' working capacity right from now./.
NA Vice Chairman inspects election preparations in Cao Bang
A working delegation led by National Assembly Vice Chairman Nguyen Duc Hai on April 19 inspected preparations for the elections of deputies to the 15th National Assembly and People's Councils at all levels for the 2021-2026 tenure in the northern mountainous province of Cao Bang.
Hoang Xuan Anh, Chairman of the provincial People's Committee, deputy head of the Steering Committee for the Elections and Chairman of the provincial Election Committee, said as of April 18, the preparations for the elections in the province had met requirements.
In the second consultation conference on March 17, the Standing Board of the provincial Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee agreed with the list of 12 candidates for the election of deputies to the 15th legislature, with 100 percent approval votes.
During the third consultation conference on April 15, a list of eight people eligible for the election of NA deputies and a list of 83 candidates for deputies of the provincial People's Councils, and 526 running for seats in the district and municipal-level People's Councils were approved.
As of April 18, as many as 161 communes in the province had publicised a list of constituents in 1,004 voting areas.
The delegation asked the province to enhance the election inspection, as well as devise COVID-19 prevention and control plans during the process.
NA Vice Chairman Nguyen Duc Hai also required the province to thoroughly deal with issues related to complaints and denunciations during the work, ensuring openness and transparency in line with the law./.
Seventh National External Information Service Awards launched
The seventh National External Information Service Awards were launched during a press conference in Hanoi on April 19.
The awards aims to honour outstanding writers and works in the field of external information.
Speaking at the launch, Vice Chairman of the Party Central Committee's Commission for Information and Education and deputy head of the standing board of the steering committee on external information work, Bui Truong Giang, said that with important achievements over recent years, Vietnam has been widely hailed in international media.
The country's current prestige and stature has provided a source of inspiration for staff involved in the external work at home and abroad, thus creating more meaningful and valuable external information works, he said.
Through six editions, the awards have secured a reputation for quality and prestige and become a forum for Vietnamese and foreign writers to exchange professional expertise and open up a creative space for those working in the field.
Submissions can be in any language and must be published as an article in a print newspaper, online newspaper, or website (licensed by competent agencies), radio broadcast, TV broadcast, press photo, landscape photo, or book, from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021. They must be sent to the Radio the Voice of Vietnam – the standing agency of this year’s awards, before July 15.
Prizes will be presented to winners in late August.
Entries must reflect the Party and State leaders' external and internal activities, the Party and State's policies and stances on international issues, the settlement of issues related to national sovereignty, and international issues of public concern, in a correct and timely manner.
At the same time, they must affirm Vietnam's role, stature and prestige in the international community, helping to popularise its people, history, and culture.
Last year, the organising board received about 1,300 entries in nine categories and 17 languages. The number and quality of entries improved significantly compared to previous years./.
NA Judicial Committee asked to promote core role in NA operations
National Assembly (NA) Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue has requested that the NA Committee for Judicial Affairs continue promoting its core role in the legislature's activities, while chairing a working session with standing members of the committee on April 19.
This was the first working session between the top legislator and the committee after Hue was elected as chairman of the 14th legislature at the 11th sitting.
Participants pinpointed problems in the committee's operation and made proposals relating to the organisation and structure of the committee, judicial reform, and the mobilization of experts in participating in the committee's activities.
NA Chairman Hue stressed that the quality and efficiency of the NA's activities rely on many factors and are measured by the quality and effectiveness of its committees' operations.
He therefore asked the judicial committee to make plans for continuing to reform and increase the quality and efficiency of its operations.
The committee must remain ready to work with the Party Delegation to the NA in building a draft resolution on continuing to perfect the law-ruled socialist State for submission to the Party Central Committee, and to raise the efficiency of coordination between the NA, its Standing Committee and the Party Delegation to the NA with judicial agencies./.
Hanoi ceremony marks 60th anniversary of Cuba's Giron victory
The 60th anniversary of Cuba's Giron victory was celebrated with a ceremony in Hanoi on April 19 held by the Ministry of National Defence, the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations (VUFO), and the Vietnam-Cuba Friendship Association.
Addressing the ceremony, Deputy Minister of National Defence Sen. Lt. Gen. Nguyen Tan Cuong emphasised that the Giron victory on April 19, 1961 was a great source of support for national liberation and the struggle against imperialism in Latin America and Third World countries as a whole, helping to firmly safeguard the revolutionary administration and marking a decisive turning point in the Cuban revolution on the path towards socialism.
It was also a triumph of justice that has been increasingly affirmed via the achievements of the Cuban people over the last six decades of national construction and development, he said.
On this occasion, on behalf of the leaders of the Ministry of National Defence, Cuong offered his congratulations on the success of the eighth National Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba, held from April 16 to 19, and voiced his belief that under the leadership of its new Party Central Committee, Cuba will reap more achievements on the path towards socialism.
With regard to bilateral relations, the deputy minister noted that the fraternal solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between the Vietnamese and Cuban Parties, States, armies, and people have long been treasured and nurtured by generations of the two countries' leaders, becoming a role model in relations in the era.
He thanked Cuba for standing side-by-side with Vietnam during its fight for national liberation as well as its ongoing national development and defence efforts, adding that the timely mutual assistance in fighting COVID-19 is also demonstration of their sentiment for and consistent trust in each other.
Apart from people-to-people diplomacy, defence cooperation has also gradually become an important pillar in bilateral ties, helping strengthen the countries' defence capacity to protect their respective Parties, regimes, and people as well as independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity, Cuong said.
Appreciating the sincere sentiments the Vietnamese Party, State, army, and people have had towards his country over the last 60 years, Col. Juan Miguel Garcia Montano, Military Attaché of Cuba to Vietnam, affirmed that the two countries' relations have overcome the test of war and numerous ups and downs in history, and promoting these ties is the first and foremost task in both sides' foreign policies.
He also pledged to make further contributions to cooperation and friendship, including in defence, between the two countries./.
Seminar discusses promoting gender equality in NA election
A seminar was held in Hanoi on April 19 to discuss promoting gender equality in the election of female deputies to the National Assembly and People's Councils.
Chairwoman of the NA Committee for Social Affairs Nguyen Thuy Anh told the seminar that the rate of female deputies in the 14th legislature (26.72 percent) and People's Councils for the 2016-2021 tenure was higher than those in previous tenures but yet to meet expectations.
According to the Law on the Election of Deputies to the NA and People's Councils, the rate of female candidates for the elections of deputies to the NA and People’s Councils must reach at least 35 percent, she said.
Permanent NA Vice Chairman Tran Thanh Man said that among 888 candidates nominated by localities, female candidates for lawmakers accounted for 48.65 percent, deputies of provincial-level People's Councils 41.76 percent, and those in district-level and communal-level People's Councils 42.36 percent and 39.05 percent, respectively.
He hoped that the rate of elected female deputies will meet the requirements of the Politburo's Resolution No 11 on women's affairs during the country's industrialisation and modernisation.
Man suggested that female candidates be aware of their strengths to present action plans succinctly and persuasively.
Female candidates at the seminar also learned about communications and personal branding skills and had their questions answered relating to difficulties in the election.
The event will last till April 20./.
Environmental protection – Foundation for development in Da Nang
Environmental protection will be placed at the centre of decisions and policies in central Da Nang city under a project aiming to build the locality into an environmentally-friendly metropolis during the 2021-2030 period.
The municipal Department of Natural Resources and Environment hosted a press conference on April 19 regarding the project, which will mark a breakthrough in the cause of environmental protection and sustainable development in Da Nang.
In the project, environmental solutions have been integrated with socio-economic development strategies, planning schemes, and plans. The project also focuses on administrative reform and the application of achievements from the fourth Industrial Revolution.
Da Nang will mobilise resources from different economic sectors and increase budget spending on environmental protection, while calling for the involvement of businesses, socio-political organisations, and the public in the task.
The enhancement of State management will be in tandem with improvements to public awareness about environmental protection.
Director of the provincial Department of Natural Resources and Environment To Van Hung said that with total investment capital of over 15 trillion VND (652.28 million USD), the project's objective is to maintain and upgrade the existing environmental criteria.
Da Nang expects to become an ecological urban area by 2030 that is environmentally safe for people, investors, and tourists.
As part of communications activities for the project, the department announced the organisation of the first-ever water festival, to promote the precious nature of water and raise public awareness about water resources protection./.
HCM City starts second phase of COVID-19 vaccination
Ho Chi Minh City's health sector began the second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination for medical workers and those who have contacts with people entering Vietnam via Tan Son Nhat International Airport on April 19.
Director of the municipal Health Department Nguyen Tan Binh said that until April 30, 45,190 doses will be given to medical personnel working at public and private health establishments and hospitals of the Health Ministry, while additional 2,000 doses will be injected into those working at the airport.
A total of 9,050 medical workers who get the first shot during the first phase will get the second shot this time.
To ensure safety, the department has requested all inoculation places to make thorough preparations and make plans to cooperate with the closest hospitals to deal with any possible post-vaccination incidents.
According to the department, the municipal health sector has more than 60,000 medical workers./.
108 Military Central Hospital marks 70th anniversary
The Hanoi-based 108 Military Central Hospital held a ceremony on April 19 to mark its 70th founding anniversary (April 1) and receive the "Labour Hero in the Renewal Period" title.
Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, Secretary of the Central Military Commission, was among the distinguished guests at the event.
On behalf of the Party and State leaders, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam presented the hospital with the "Labour Hero in the Renewal Period", a noble title of the State bestowed upon those with particularly excellent achievements in their duty performance.
Applauding the hospital's proud attainments, he said its medical workers and scientists have made breakthrough development in both quantity and quality, and that they have mastered the most cutting-edge medical equipment and complicated techniques to save patients with fatal illnesses and conduct historic organ transplant surgeries.
The hospital has done a good job of providing in-depth training for lower-level hospitals to help with developing the national healthcare network, Dam said, noting that it is also a bright example of reforming the management model.
Though the 108 Military Central Hospital is a military establishment, it has not limited its activities to giving medical examination and treatment to those serving in the army or conducting studies and training in military medicine, but it has brought into play its advantages to contribute to public health care, which has in turn helped enhance the hospital's military medical capacity, according to the Deputy PM.
The official told the hospital to push ahead with developing personnel with political firmness, good morality, and high professional capacity; step up scientific research and intensive training; boost cooperation with domestic and international healthcare, research, and training establishments; work to equip itself with the most up-to-date technologies and techniques; and stay ready to respond to any disaster or war condition.
He also requested continued efforts in COVID-19 prevention and control while asking ministries and sectors, especially the Ministry of National Defence and the Ministry of Health, to create the best possible conditions for the hospital to fulfill its glorious but also heavy duties.
In his remarks, Hospital Director Lt. Gen. Mai Hong Bang recalled that the Yen Trach Central Hospital, the predecessor of the 108 Military Central Hospital, was set up in the Viet Bac revolutionary base 70 years ago, with a military medical team of only 30 members.
Throughout the wartime and the Renewal period, the hospital has weathered every difficulty and challenge and is now one of the five special national hospitals and among the leading scientific research and medical training centres in Vietnam./.
HCM City coach slams Nam Dinh time-wasting
HCM City FC coach Alexandre Polking slammed Nam Định for time-wasting at the end of his side’s 3-2 defeat on Sunday, but Nam Định coach Nguyễn Văn Sỹ insisted what his side did was within the limits of fair play.
At Thiên Trường stadium in Nam Định, the home team won thanks to two goals by Ossou Konan and one from Rodrigo Dias while Lâm Ti Phông's brace wasn't enough for HCM City to take anything.
The turning point came after a beautiful free-kick from Rodrigo Dias in the 67th minute to make the score 3-2. Tempers flared in the dying minutes and Phan Văn Hiếu of Nam Định and City star Lee Nguyễn received red cards in extra time.
After the match, Polking said he wasn't happy to see the home team wasting time by committing fouls to preserve their lead.
“What I saw here today in the last 12 minutes is not good for the league at all. It’s a shame for me to see that. I would never do that for a team to win a game. Never,” he said, referring to time-wasting from Nam Định.
Polking congratulated Nam Định’s players and said the referee did the right thing in adding on a lot of extra time but lambasted the home team’s efforts to slow the game by throwing the ball away when it went out of play and players staying down.
“It’s not good for the league he said,” adding, “this is (from) 20 years ago.”
Nam Định's coach Nguyễn Văn Sỹ disagreed with Polking’s statement and said his opponents would have done the same thing if roles were reversed.
“HCM City would have done that too if they had been in the same situation," Sỹ said.
"The dedication of the players in this match was amazing. I hope they keep their determination in the next matches. This is a worthy result for the club and the fans of Nam Định.
"They said my team bought time, but they also have to look in the mirror. HCM City also injured my players. What we did to preserve the score is completely within the limits of football," said the 49-year-old.
Nam Định currently sit sixth in the table with 15 points after 10 games, while HCM City are in 12th place with only 10 points – only one point away from bottom.
In the next match, Nam Định will meet Than Quảng Ninh, while HCM City will face defending champions Viettel.
Source: VNA/VNS/VOV/VIR/SGT/Nhan Dan/Hanoitimes
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