By staff writers – Translated by Uyen Phuong
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Songs and music pieces by late musician and author Bac Son, one of the region’s leading artists in music, theatre and movies in the 1980s and 90s, can be seen on a YouTube channel.
|Songs and music pieces by late musician-author Bac Son, one of the region’s leading artists in music, theatre and movies in the 1980s and 90s, can be seen on a YouTube channel. Photo courtesy of the producer|
The channel, Tình Ca Bắc Sơn – Tập Đoàn An Nông (Bac Son’s love songs – An Nong Group), includes many works portraying southern people and their culture by artist Bac Son.
Many documents and articles on the artist’s life and career are also featured.
On the channel, music lovers can search Bac Son’s works arranged by topics by using key words.
“Through YouTube, we hope fans, singers, composers and music producers can work together to introduce Vietnamese music and musician-author Bac Son in particular,” said theatre actress-singer Bich Thuy, one of the channel’s producers.
|Theatre actress-singer Bich Thuy performs songs featuring southern people and their culture written by his father, late musician-author Bac Son. His art is featured on YouTube via the channel, Tình Ca Bắc Sơn-Tập Đoàn An Nông (Bac Son’s love songs-An Nong Group). Photo courtesy of the producer|
Bich Thuy, also Bac Son’s daughter, and her staff have invited dozens of singers and theatre actors to join their filming.
She and her family have encouraged Bac Son’s fans at home and abroad to send information and materials to promote the late composer’s music on YouTube.
Musician-author Bac Son (whose real name Truong Van Khue) was born in 1931 in Dong Nai Province.
He began his writing career in 1952 when he was a teacher. In 1977, he became familiar with folk tunes that feature his love for the south.
He later lived in HCM City and worked as a musician, theatre actor and scriptwriter.
Bac Son wrote more than 500 songs, most of them in praise of southern people and their culture. His songs have been performed by pop stars such as Cam Van and Cam Ly.
He wrote 180 scripts for TV, theatre and movies and also performed in 60 films and TV series.
He died in 2005.
“Bac Son’s art features the beauty of southern culture,” said singer-theatre actress Thanh Hang, who has 30 years of experience in the industry.
The Long An Province Radio & Television has worked with its partner, the An Nong Group, to produce 100 two-act plays about Vietnamese culture and lifestyle written by Bac Son.
Dozens of theatre performers in drama, cai luong (reformed opera) and tuong (classical drama) will be featured.
The first two plays, Đêm Dài Như Biển (Long Night as the Sea) and Con Dế Mèn (A Cricket), starring veteran drama actresses such as Bich Thuy, were filmed and will air in May. These works highlight the lifestyle and characters of farmers living in Mekong Delta provinces.
The next plays will attract cai luong stars such as People’s Artist Bach Tuyet and People’s Artist Ngoc Giau. Young talents will also be included. VNS
According to a survey recently conducted by the US Federal Reserve (FED), the economy in four out of 12 regions of the US seems to be “at a standstill” or registering modest growth, while the economy in four other regions began to fall sharply last month. The economy in four other regions started to decline deeply in November. In its biannual report, the FED said that even in regions that recorded growth, economic activity was still at a lower level compared to the pre-pandemic period.
In the context of the US continuously setting new records regarding the number of new infections and deaths each day in recent weeks, the labour market has also witnessed negative signals. A newly released report by the ADP Research Institute shows that US private-sector job growth in November fell to its lowest level since July, with employers adding only 307,000 new jobs. A senior ADP leader stated that although November saw an increase in the number of new jobs, the pace of job growth continued to slow down. The figure of 307,000 new jobs last month was only equal to 40% of the number recorded in September, proving too few to help the US recover the 19.7 million jobs lost in March and April.
Commenting on the “gloomy picture” of the world’s largest economy, the FED said that the US is undergoing its largest wave of COVID-19 with the number of new infections per day skyrocketing, even at a higher level than the worst days recorded in last spring, forcing local governments to re-impose restriction measures and pushing the economy into more difficulty. Meanwhile, a growing number of economists are concerned that the danger of the health system breaking down before the pandemic ends could push the US economy into a “dual crisis” in 2021.
Given the “dark cloud” overshadowing the economy, US politicians are stepping up with solutions to save the economy from slumping further. Speaking before the US House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services recently, Chair of the FED Jerome Powell warned that many small-sized businesses will not survive through this winter without receiving assistance. He stressed the need to strengthen government aid packages to sustain recovery and help companies and households overcome the current pandemic period. Meanwhile, in his speech preparing for the Senate Budget Committee hearing, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin praised the achievements of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act worth US$2.2 trillion in supporting the acceleration of employment and reducing the unemployment rate to 6.9%. However, he admitted that the mission will remain unfinished until all Americans are brought back to work. He called on the US Congress to soon adopt a new stimulus package to revive the economy.
Previously, a group of 10 bipartisan parliamentarians of the US Senate and House of Representatives also proposed a US$908 billion COVID-19 bailout package. Analysts said that the aforementioned proposal aims to break a month-long deadlock between the Democrats and Republicans concerning a new emergency assistance package for small-sized businesses, unemployed workers, the airline industry and many other industries struggling amid the pandemic. In addition to proposing a new bailout package, Senator Susan Collins of the Republican Party emphasised the urgency of the stimulus package to energise the economy in the context of new infections on the rise across the country.
The aforementioned fact shows that the US economy is facing unprecedented difficulties. However, focusing on stimulus packages alone is still not enough to save the world’s no. 1 economy. To restore growth, the US must first control the pandemic. In his recent speech preparing for the Congress hearing, FED Chairman Jerome Powell also shared the same view by emphasising that “full economic recovery is unlikely until people are confident enough to resume normal activity”.
The chronic congestion on the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange (HoSE) has caused losses for retail investors, making them insecure.
Instead of congestion, and errors, only in the afternoon or near the close like previously, errors are now occurring even in the morning.
For example, on March 5, just after the market opened, the security live board froze and failed to show realtime prices.
Nguyen Kha, a veteran investor in HCM City, said he punched in an order to sell HBC shares on March 3 when it jumped to above VND18,500 (US$804 million), but only half his order was matched, and in the next few days had to sell at below VND18,000 since he needed money, losing VND1,000 per share.
Another investor on HoSE said he has been in a constant state of insecurity recently and cannot do any other work after placing orders since one needs to watch the screen to see if the order is matched.
This insecurity has caused many investors to switch to trading on the Hanoi Stock Exchange (HNX) and UPCoM, causing shares there to skyrocket in terms of both price and trading.
On March 4 UPCoM saw trading worth VND1.7 trillion, twice the normal average.
To tackle the overload at HoSE, the State Securities Commission (SSC) said it is speeding up installation of a new trading system provided by the Korean Exchange (KRX).
Last week it instructed the temporary transfer of shares from HoSE to HNX to much acclaim from both investors and analysts, but a difficult task since listed companies need to get approval from their shareholders.
Besides, it could take securities companies one to two months to meet the technical changes involved in identifying the shares transferred to the HNX.
Some need even six to nine months.
Dr Nguyen Van Thuan of the University of Finance and Marketing told Thanh Nien (Youth) newspaper however that since this solution has the least impact on investors and companies, the SSC could make it not mandatory for companies to get approval.
The settlement between the two exchanges and securities companies is an internal issue, and so the switch could be accelerated, he pointed out.
If the problem lasts much longer, not only investors but also the stock market and the economy itself would suffer badly, he added. — VNS
It moved Brendan Rodgers’s side above Manchester United into second place with 53 points from 28 games with United away to runaway leaders Manchester City on Sunday.
* Earlier Southampton ended a horrendous run of form as they beat bottom club Sheffield United 2-0. Burnley also secured an important point in their quest to stay clear of trouble as they drew 1-1 with Arsenal.
* Wolverhampton Wanderers defender Romain Saiss provided a contender for miss of the season during a 0-0 Midlands derby stalemate away to Aston Villa in the Premier League on Saturday. The draw left Villa in ninth place on 40 points from 26 games with Wolves in 12th spot on 35 points.
* Paris St Germain geared up for their Champions League last-16 second leg against Barcelona with a no-nonsense 3-0 victory at Stade Brestois in the French Cup last 32 on Saturday. Elsewhere, RC Lens, who are fifth in Ligue 1, slumped to a 3-2 defeat at third division Red Star. Olympique Lyonnais advanced by beating Ligue 2 side Sochaux 5-2.
* Barcelona continued their rampant run of domestic form to beat Osasuna 2-0 away from home on Saturday and move to within two points of La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid, with Lionel Messi setting up goals scored by Jordi Alba and teenager Ilaix Moriba. The victory followed Barca’s heroic second leg comeback win over Sevilla to reach the Copa del Rey final on Wednesday and notched a 13th league win in 16 games, while they are unbeaten since losing at Cadiz on Dec. 5.
* Faced with a poor penalty record this season, Eibar again turned to goalkeeper Marko Dmitrovic in Saturday’s La Liga game at Cadiz but the move did not pay off as they suffered a 1-0 defeat. Eibar dropped to 18th in the standings and into the relegation zone having failed to win any of their last nine league games.
* Two goals from Alvaro Morata helped Juventus come from behind to beat Lazio 3-1 in Serie A on Saturday, closing the gap on leaders Inter Milan to seven points. The win moved Juve on to 52 points, one behind AC Milan. Milan and Inter are in action on Sunday and Monday respectively.
* Champions Bayern Munich roared back from two goals down to beat Borussia Dortmund 4-2 on Saturday with a hat-trick from Robert Lewandowski, to remain two points clear at the top of the Bundesliga. Bayern are on 55 points, two ahead of RB Leipzig, winners 3-0 at Freiburg. Dortmund dropped to sixth on 39.
* A 77th-minute goal by Patrik Schick gave Bayer Leverkusen a 1-0 win at Borussia Moenchengladbach on Saturday to snap a five-game winless run and lift them back to fifth place in the Bundesliga. Leverkusen are fifth on 40 points, three behind Eintracht Frankfurt, who drew 1-1 against VfL Stuttgart. VfL Wolfsburg are third on 45 points following their 2-1 loss to Hoffenheim.
* Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng suffered a knee injured in their 4-2 victory over Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga on Saturday but the extent of the damage is not yet known, coach Hansi Flick said. The central defender went down injured without an opponent involved when his left foot seemingly got stuck in the grass and he was taken off in the 70th minute.
* Southampton forward Danny Ings could face a few weeks out after sustaining a muscle injury in their 2-0 Premier League win at Sheffield United, manager Ralph Hasenhuettl said on Saturday. Ings went to ground early in the contest at Bramall Lane and was replaced by Che Adams in the 13th minute, as Hasenhuettl was left frustrated by another injury to his influential striker.
* Norwich City forward Teemu Pukki struck a brace while midfielder Todd Cantwell marked his return from a calf injury with a goal as the Championship leaders beat Luton Town 3-0 to stay 10 points ahead of second-placed Watford. Norwich have 76 points from 35 matches, with Watford their nearest rivals following a 1-0 home win over Nottingham Forest in an early encounter where defender Adam Masina netted his first goal in more than a year.
* Rangers fans flouted coronavirus lockdown restrictions to gather outside Ibrox before and after their team’s 3-0 win over St Mirren to move within a point of the Scottish Premiership title on Saturday. Goals by Ryan Kent, Alfredo Morelos and Ianis Hagi continued Rangers’ 100% home record with a 16th win and they will be champions if Celtic fail to beat Dundee United on Sunday.
* Sevilla slumped to a surprise 2-1 defeat at struggling Elche in La Liga on Saturday to complete a miserable week of three consecutive losses. Sevilla head to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Tuesday with the daunting task of overturning a 3-2 deficit from the first leg of their last-16 tie.
* The South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) has decided to suspend this month’s double header of World Cup qualifiers for Qatar 2022 amid concern over the COVID-19 pandemic and strict quarantine restrictions. The 10 South American teams were due to play two games on March 25/26 and March 30.
* Real Madrid’s top scorer Karim Benzema is back for Sunday’s derby away to La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid, coach Zinedine Zidane said, no doubt hoping the striker can restore some attacking flair to the side, which has struggled for goals in his absence.
* Norway’s Therese Johaug put in another blistering performance to win Saturday’s 30km classic race, streaking away from the start to take her fourth gold medal of the FIS Ski World Championships. Her compatriot Heidi Weng took second and Sweden’s Frida Karlsson followed with the bronze.
* American boxer Claressa Shields scored a unanimous points victory over Canada’s Marie-Eve Dicaire on Friday to become the first undisputed world champion in two different divisions in the four-belt era. Shields, 25, retained her WBC and WBO light-middleweight titles, won the vacant WBA belt and also took Dicaire’s IBF crown after all three judges at the Dort Federal Event Centre in Flint, Michigan, scored the fight 100-90 in the American’s favour.
* Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy is irreplaceable and the club will look to ease the goalscoring burden on the English striker by strengthening the squad in the summer transfer window, manager Brendan Rodgers said. Vardy is Leicester’s top scorer with 14 goals in all competitions this season but has netted just once in his last 13 appearances.
* World number one Novak Djokovic has said he will return to the court at this month’s Miami Open having recuperated from a muscle tear suffered during his Australian Open title defence. The 33-year-old Serbian suffered the injury during a third round match at Melbourne Park but that did not stop him from clinching a record-extending ninth Australian Open title and his 18th Grand Slam.
TOKYO — When a huge earthquake and tsunami struck Japan on March 11, 2011, devastating towns and triggering nuclear meltdowns in Fukushima, a stunned world watched the chaotic struggle to contain the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.
An onslaught of waves sparked by the 9.0-magnitude quake crashed into the northeastern coast, killing nearly 20,000 people and crippling the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant.
More than 160,000 residents fled as radiation spewed into the air.
At the time, some – including Prime Minister Naoto Kan – feared Tokyo would need to be evacuated, or worse.
“Fukushima is stamped for the rest of the history of nuclear energy,” said Kiyoshi Kurokawa, head of an investigation that concluded the disaster was “profoundly man-made”.
The government has spent about $300 billion (32.1 trillion yen) to rebuild the tsunami-devastated Tohoku region, but areas around the Fukushima plant remain off-limits, worries about radiation levels linger and many who left have settled elsewhere.
Decommissioning of the crippled plant will take decades and billions of dollars.
Japan is again debating the role of nuclear power in its energy mix as the resource-poor country aims to achieve net carbon neutrality by 2050 to fight global warming.
But an NHK public TV survey showed 85% of the public worries about nuclear accidents.
Energy policy was left in limbo after Shinzo Abe led his pro-nuclear energy Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) back to power the year after the disaster, ousting the novice Democratic Party of Japan, whose image was tainted by its handling of Fukushima.
“They sort of left things adrift,” said Tobias Harris, senior vice president at consultancy Teneo and author of a book about Abe.
‘Result of collusion’
Kurokawa’s commission, appointed by parliament, concluded in 2012 that the Fukushima accident was “the result of collusion between the government, regulators and Tokyo Electric Power Co” and a lack of governance.
Abe resigned last year, citing poor health, and his successor, Yoshihide Suga, has announced a goal of net carbon neutrality by 2050.
Proponents say nuclear power is vital to decarbonization. Critics say cost, safety and the challenge of storing nuclear waste are all reasons to avoid it.
“Those talking about atomic power are people in the ‘nuclear village’, who want to protect their vested interests,” former Prime Minister Kan told a news conference last week.
The mass demonstrations against nuclear power seen in the wake of 3/11 have faded, but distrust lingers.
A February Asahi newspaper survey found that nationwide, 53% are opposed to restarting reactors, compared with 32% in favour. In Fukushima, only 16% backed bringing restarting units.
“Ten years have passed and some people have forgotten. The zeal is gone,” said Yu Uchiyama, a University of Tokyo political science professor.
“Restarts are not happening, so people think if they just wait, nuclear power will disappear.”
Nuclear future bleak?
Only nine of Japan’s 33 remaining commercial reactors have been approved for restarts under post-Fukushima safety standards and only four are operating, compared with 54 before the disaster.
Nuclear power supplied just 6% of Japan’s energy needs in the first half of 2020 compared with 23.1% for renewable sources – far behind Germany’s 46.3% – and nearly 70% for fossil fuels.
Extending the lifespan of Japan’s 33 existing commercial reactors to 60 years, there would be only 18 in 2050 and none by 2069, said Takeo Kikkawa, an adviser to the government on energy policy.
Newer business lobbies are pushing for renewable energy.
“Japan is a resource-poor country so we should not casually abandon the nuclear option,” Kikkawa told a media briefing.
“But in reality, the future of nuclear power is bleak.”
(1 Japanese yen = $0.0094)