Monsanto’s controversial present is very much tethered to its dark past. And nowhere is this manifest more than in Vietnam, a country that has borne the brunt of the toxic defoliant it produced and is now facing the growing threat of its infamous weedkillers. Vietnam has embraced a very perplexing relationship with Monsanto, crystalized in the unfortunate irony of allowing the former Agent Orange maker and current producer of the controversial genetically modified organisms (GMOs) back into the country, for all practical purposes, with a clean chit. While Monsanto has repeatedly and consistently denied responsibility for the deaths and other forms of suffering, lasting generations, that have been caused by Agent Orange, there is evidence that the company knew that dioxin, a key ingredient, was toxic. Now, with glyphostate, the active ingredient in the weed killer Roundup that the biotech giant plugs for use along with its GMO seeds, fears about causing cancer in humans have risen … [Read more...] about In Vietnam, Monsanto is guilty until proven innocent
Rules and regulations in school
Muong people in Vo Mieu gather to practice singing. (http://thanhson.phutho.gov.vn) In the early spring, the Cultural House in Vo Mieu feels cheerful as people prepare for cultural exchanges and festivals. Ha Thi Mau and other villagers put on traditional costumes to sing and dance to Muong folksongs. “We have managed to restore our traditional culture and preserved our group’s history. We have upheld our customs and norms in organizing wedding ceremonies and funerals.” Local Muong people love singing and dancing as a way to strengthen neighborliness. The Cultural House is a venue for villagers to share their interests and learn more about Muong culture village. Phung Thi Van said, “Cultural activities in our hamlet are joyful. We support performances which revitalize our culture. We fund art troupes and encourage family members to join them to promote our culture.” Pupils of Thanh Son boarding-school performed gong at a … [Read more...] about Muong people in Phu Tho preserve cultural identity
A few days ago, I got stuck in the middle of a traffic jam caused by a small marketplace on the roadside. I was suffocating when I heard some motorbike taxi drivers gossiping as they fidgeted with their phones. “Smartphones can now do lots of things, right? Even birth registration.” “They are building smart cities, men.” “Will smart cities make the traffic better?” The chit-chat was drowned out by the rumbling of motorbikes moving slowly like no-one was in a hurry. Then I was a bit astonished by what the motorbike drivers just said. It turns out the story of smart cities is spreading more widely than had been expected. It is not confined to the urban elites but has also become a talking point among ordinary citizens. Like how seaports used to mushroom in the recent past, building smart cities has become a fever from north to south, with workshops and seminars taking place in every corner. I have a feeling that cities are scrambling for fear of … [Read more...] about In Vietnam, cities are scrambling to be smart. But can it solve pressing problems?
By Nguyen Quy  June 30, 2018 | 08:08 am GMT+7 A contract termination by the International German School in Ho Chi Minh City against a Vietnamese German employee was deemed illegal. Court upholds previous judgment that a teacher was dismissed in violation of Vietnamese law. A court in Ho Chi Minh City on Thursday upheld a first instance judgment that the International German School (IGS) pays VND2 billion ($87,000) in compensation to a dismissed employee. The compensation was ordered on the grounds that the school had unilaterally terminated an employment contract in violation of Vietnamese law. Vietnamese German Nguyen Viet Hong, 35, had worked for the school since 2013 on a monthly salary of VND88 million ($3,826) plus an allowance of VND200 million a year, the Tuoi Tre newspaper reported. In July 2015, when his employment contract expired, the school didn’t renew it, but Hong continued to work with an unchanged salary. In March 2016, the school … [Read more...] about International German School in Saigon loses appeal in $87,000 compensation case
Viet Nam News HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) has sent a document to leaders of provinces and cities requesting them to secure order and security in schools. The move comes after many recent incidents adversely affected the educational environment, causing public concern. A student of Trần Nhân Tông High School in Hà Nội was hospitalised on March 21 after being hit by a 1.2sq.m chunk of plaster falling from the ceiling at the teacher’s meeting room. In a separate incident in late February, a teacher in southern Long An Province was forced to kneel down and apologise to parents for making their children kneel down in the class for violating school rules. In the document, the ministry asked chairpersons of the people’s committee of provinces and cities to direct relevant agencies in supervising the implementation of Government’s Decree No 80/ND-CP, dated July 7, 2017, stipulating regulations … [Read more...] about Education ministry calls for safety in schools