Thứ Hai, 17 tháng 4, 2017

Social News 17/4

PM green lights two large-scale reservoirs

 PM green lights two large-scale reservoirs, Project to develop Buon Ma Thuot coffee benefits 15,000 farmers, Fire flares again at garment factory, Job fair held for people with disabilities, HCM City seeks approval to speed up bridge project,

Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has given the investment green light to building two large-scale reservoirs with capacities of nearly a million cu.m each..

The Đồng Mít Reservoir in the central province of Bình Định and Cánh Tạng Reservoir in the northern province of Hòa Bình aim to improve irrigation for agriculture production, improve water supply and living standards in the two provinces.

The Đồng Mít Reservoir, with a designed capacity of 89.8 million cu.m, will need an estimated VNĐ2.14 trillion (US$94.1 million) to build. It is expected to boost socio-economic development while improving the local ecosystem and environment in Bình Định’s four districts of An Lão, Hoài An, Hoài Nhơn and Phù Mỹ.

The construction of the reservoir is expected to be completed in 2021.

The Cánh Tạng Reservoir, constructed during 2017-2020, will have a designed capacity of 93 million cu.m, and need a total investment of over VNĐ3.1 trillion (roughly $136 million).

The project, located in  Phú Yên Commune, Lạc Sơn District, will include the building of a river dam, a flood drainage gate and other supportive facilities for a water supply and sewage system.

The reservoir is expected to irrigate about 6,460ha of farmland in 17 communes of Hòa Bình’s Lạc Sơn and Yên Thủy districts, and supply water to the 200ha Lạc Thịnh Industrial Zone in Yên Thủy District.

It is also expected to provide dry season irrigation for 2,500ha in Thạch Thành District, Thanh Hóa Province

Officials said the reservoir would also help restructure the agricultural sector and improve living conditions of people in Hòa Bình’s Yên Thủy and Lạc Sơn districts, as also Thanh Hóa Province’s Thạch Thành District.

As a lower riparian country in the Mekong and Red River deltas, most dams and reservoirs in Việt Nam have been constructed for multiple purposes, including flood control, irrigation, hydropower, water supply and other flow management.

There are about 3,600 reservoirs of various sizes, of which less than 15 per cent are large or medium with capacities of a million cu.m or a height of more than 10 metres.

Siltation from degradation of watersheds is causing a decline in reservoir capacity – some with just 30 per cent of the original capacity remaining, according to a report by the Water Environment Partnership in Asia.

Project to develop Buôn Ma Thuột coffee benefits 15,000 farmers

A project to develop the Buôn Ma Thuột coffee brand is expected to benefit more than 15,000 farmers who live in a poor commune in the Central Highlands province of Đắk Lắk.
The three-year project, developed by the Đắk Lắk Province’s People’s Committee and the provincial Agriculture Extension Centre, aims to help farmers in Êa Tu Commune to replant thousands of old, unproductive trees.
Under the project, advanced technologies will be used in pilot production models while small farming households will be consolidated into a centralised farming area to improve coffee productivity in six villages and six hamlets in Êa Tu Commune.
According to Huỳnh Quốc Thích, deputy director of the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, coffee trees have been cultivated in Đắk Lắk Province for the last 100 years.
Most of the trees are more than 20 years old and produce low yields. The average life span for coffee trees is between 20 and 30 years.
Between 140,000 ha and 160,000 ha of trees need to be replaced in the next five to 10 years, a big challenge for the industry.
The industry is also facing other problems, including small-scale production, poor quality control and outdated processing technologies.
Ten years ago, coffee brought a prosperous life to millions of farmers in the province, but in recent years the productivity and quality of coffee beans have declined.
Coffee trees more than 20 years old account for 23.5 per cent of the area, and trees 15-20 years old nearly 35 per cent, according to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
More than 92 per cent of the coffee trees have not adapted well to disease or to climate change.
In addition, intensive farming and improper use of fertilisers and pesticides have seriously affected soil quality in the province. Many farmers often water trees excessively, washing away nutrients needed for the plants.
Under the project, an agreement between Bình Điền Fertilizer Joint-Stock Company and Vinacafé Biên Hòa Joint-Stock Company, a member of the Masan Group Corp, was signed last month as part of the 6th Coffee Festival held in Buôn Ma Thuột City.
The agreement aims to assist local authorities to create a high-quality, productive coffee-growing area in Êa Tu Commune.
The two companies have been cooperating with the Central Highlands’ Agro-Forestry Scientific and Technical Institute to create linkages among farmers, scientists, businesses and the state in an aim to improve the Buôn Ma Thuột coffee brand.
Located in the northeast of Buôn Ma Thuột City in Đắk Lắk, Êa Tu Commune covers an area of 2,862 ha, of which the coffee plantation area accounts for 1,340 ha.
The commune has 3,617 households with 15,023 people, according to the province’s people’s committee.
The commune has 175 poor households. Their major income comes from agricultural production, mostly coffee cultivation.
Over the past 10 years, the country has exported 1.2-1.5 million tonnes of coffee annually.
Việt Nam ranks second in the world for coffee exports, following Brazil.

Fire flares again at garment factory

Fire flared up again at the Taiwanese Kwong Lun-Mekong garment factory in Cần Thơ City yesterday morning, fifteen days after an earlier fire. No casualties were reported.
Six fire trucks and some 50 firefighters were sent to the factory, where the fire was extinguished after 30 minutes.
The fire broke out at about 9am on the first floor, where dozens of workers were cleaning up from the earlier fire that burned from March 23-27.
Initial investigations show that the fire was caused by workers welding iron frames on the first floor, creating a fire that spread to cotton and feathers stored nearby.
The foreign-owned factory is located in the Trà Nóc Industrial Park, specialising in the manufacturing of garments.
A fire broke out at the factory on the morning of March 23, but was brought under control by firefighters that night, then flared up again on March 26. The fire destroyed one million dollars in materials, affecting hundreds of people and some 1,200 workers.

Job fair held for people with disabilities

Some 230 labourers have been hired for work and 340 for vocational training during a job fair for people with disabilities (PWD) held in Hà Nội yesterday.
Held on the occasion of the Vietnamese People with Disabilities Day (April 18), the event attracted some 1,000 participants and 61 enterprises, as well as members of the Hà Nội Disabled People Association and blind associations of the city’s districts.
Products made by disabled people were displayed and promoted at several booths at the fair.
Workshops on taking care of disabled people’s physical and mental health, on business models for disabled people, as well as on the national policies and regulations related to disabled people, were held at the fair.
Also, a festival was held in conjunction with the fair on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the Hà Nội Blind Association.
Additionally, two collectives and 32 individuals were honored at the festival for their achievements in the fields of community service, production, arts and culture, study, and applied information technology.
Several activities were organised at the festival for participants to experience the life of blind people in order to encourage empathy from society for blind people, in particular, and disabled people, in general.
Hoàng Mạnh Cường, president of Đông Anh District’s blind association, said the festival had created opportunities for members of the association to connect with the community.
Each type of disabilities has its own particularity that requires further attention, study and understanding from society, in order to provide disabled people with proper care and support, he said.

City seeks approval to speed up bridge project

The chairman of HCM City’s People’s Committee, Nguyễn Thành Phong, is seeking approval from the Prime Minister for the construction of the Thủ Thiêm Bridge 4 project.

The city has proposed to carry out the project under a build-transfer (BT) model.

The city also asked for permission to select investors among Phát Đạt Corporation Real Estate, Investment Corporation 620, 168 Construction Development JSC, and Tân Thuận Industrial Promotion Company Limited (IPC) .

The 2.16km bridge, connecting Districts 2 and 7, would have six lanes, with a total investment of over VNĐ5,200 billion (US$2.29 billion).

Last year, the city asked the central Government for early implementation of the project, but was not granted permission.

Police indict members of fraud ring

Seven members of multi-level marketing firm Liên Kết Việt have been indicted by Hà Nội police for alleged fraudulent appropriation of assets.

Investigations into the case were completed yesterday.

Management board chairman Lê Xuân Giang, 46, general director Lê Văn Tú, 32, and deputy general director Nguyễn Thị Thủy, 47, are among the accused.

The remaining four accused are members of the business development team, including Trịnh Xuân Sáng, 42, Lê Thành Sơn, 29, Nguyễn Xuân Trường, 50, and Vũ Thị Hồng Dung, 42.

The seven were arrested in February 2016, accused of swindling some 67,000 people and appropriating a total VNĐ2 trillion (US$88.2 million).

Investigations show that Lê Xuân Giang paid investors a total of VNĐ1 trillion ($44 million), of which VNĐ870 billion ($38 million) was paid as commissions.

The remaining money was divided among the seven accused. Giang kept VNĐ871 billion ($38 million), Thủy kept VNĐ36 billion ($1.6 million), Tú kept VNĐ62 billion ($2.7 million).

The remaining four accused received some VNĐ4-16 billion ($176,000-706,000) each.

About 9,000 clients of the firm in 49 provinces were interviewed during investigations, the police said.

Most of the clients said they were tricked into believing that Liên Kết Việt and the BQP Medical Equipment Group Joint Stock Company – founded by Giang– were under the management of the Ministry of National Defence, and that Giang was a colonel in the army, the police added.

Liên Kết Việt was established in 2010 and obtained a multi-level marketing licence from the Ministry of Industry and Trade in 2014. It focused on marketing and trading products under a pyramid scheme.

From March 2014 to November 2015, with a variety of tricks which included forging a fake Certificate of Merit from the Prime Minister, the firm opened 34 branches and representative offices in 27 provinces and cities, recruiting thousands of clients, investors and sellers.

Fishing boat, 11 crew members rescued

 A fishing vessel was found drifting 140 nautical miles off the coast of Đà Nẵng City at around 2.30am yesterday morning and all its 11 crew members rescued.

The boat, DNa 90369TS, suffered an engine breakdown and was cast adrift in the seas near Việt Nam’s Hoàng Sa (Paracels) Island on Thursday.

A rescue ship from the Regional Maritime Search and Rescue Co-ordination Centre No 2 (MRCC2) found the boat and towed it to safety yesterday evening.

The fishermen were in good health and taken home yesterday, officials said.

Mystery ship found

In other news, Colonel Lê Văn Phúc, commander of the city’s Border Guard force, said an investigative team has found that it was steel ship HP4054 that hit fishing vessel QNa 90191 last Saturday.

The vessel had four fishermen from Quảng Nam on board.

Phúc said the dredging ship, HP4054, had left the Tiên Sa Port on the evening of April 8 and collided with the fishing boat before sailing away to Vũng Áng Port in Hà Tĩnh Province.

Three of the fishermen on board were rescued by the border force, while the fourth swam to safety on his own.

The dredger has been escorted by the city’s border force from Vũng Áng Port to Đà Nẵng for further investigation.

Rabies at risk of spreading in Bắc Kạn

Rabies in the northern province of Bắc Kạn was at risk of spreading during the first two months of this year, the provincial people’s committee said on Friday.
According to reports of the provincial people’s committee, from January 6 to March 4 this year, 39 dogs and one buffalo died from rabies in Chợ Đồn, Bạch Thông, Ngân Sơn and Chợ Mới districts.
Seven out of the 39 dogs bit 11 residents.
The provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development asked the veterinary sub-department and local authorities to cull sick domestic animals and instruct locals to avoid transporting, trading and slaughtering dogs and cats. Domestic animals should be vaccinated against rabies, it added.
Earlier, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development asked the Vietvaco National Veterinary Joint-stock Company to support the province with 5,000 litres of Vetvaco-lodine, free-of-charge, to prevent rabies, which would otherwise cost some VNĐ735 million (US$32,600).

Exhibition on Hải Phòng opens in HCM City

An exhibition “Hải Phòng – Nơi Đầu Sóng” (Hải Phòng – The Wavefront) opened at the HCM City War Remnants Museum on Saturday to celebrate the 42nd anniversary of the Unification Day (April 30) and the 127th birthday of President Hồ Chí Minh (May 19).

The event, organised by the museum and the Hải Phòng Museum, showcases more than 200 photos and images and 70 objects of the port city of Hải Phòng from wartime to the present.

The first part of the exhibition includes images and objects focusing on the destruction of Hải Phòng during the American war of destruction against North Việt Nam from 1965 to 1972.

The second part features Hải Phòng soldiers and the people’s fight against the war and their post-war recovery.

Hải Phòng in the present day is the main theme of the last part of the exhibition, introducing the city’s outstanding natural landscapes, sea ports and tourism areas, and its development in economics, education and culture as well.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Nguyễn Văn Phương, director of the Hải Phòng Museum, said, “The exhibition aims to introduce local and foreign visitors, especially people in the South, to a brave Hải Phòng which overcame challenges and difficulties to get victory in the war against the enemy.”

“We are proud to show the great achievements of Hải Phòng in modernisation and industrialisation,” he added.

The event will close on June 30. The museum is located at 28 Võ Văn Tần Street in District 3.

Khánh Hoà beats HCM City 4-1, jump to third place

Zarour Chaher scored a double to help Sanna Khánh Hoà beat HCM City 4-2 in the last match of the V.League’s first leg yesterday.

Chaher opened the score at the 19th minute, before teammate Sadio Diao made it 2-0 six minutes later.

It was 3-0 for the visitors by the end of the first half when striker Lâm Ti Phông netted from a shot to the high far corner of goalkeeper Đinh Xuân Việt.

Sanna Khánh Hòa’s players were very happy after their third goal and loosened their focus, which led to HCM City’s goal by Victor Ormazabal in the remaining time.

HCM City tried to fight back in the second half, but their attempts were not sharp enough to break Sanna Khánh Hoà’s defence.

While the forwards worked ineffectively. the defence made mistake.

Former national Trương Đình Luật fouled Nguyễn Hoàng Quốc Chí in the box. A penalty was given to the visiting side and Chaher was successful, to finalise 4-1.

The win lengthens Sanna Khánh Hoà’s non-losing streak to eight and pushed them to the third position with 23 points, behind defending champions Hà Nội FC and FLC Thanh Hoá

HCM City maintain at No 9 with 15 points.
In the other game, former champions Becamex Bình Dương drew 2-2 with Hải Phòng, which seemed to have been an unexpected result for both sides.
Bình Dương, earning one more point, remains the third team from the bottom.
Hải Phòng failed to grab the leading role after the first leg and fell one step to No 4.
Bình Dương’s goals belonged to captain Nguyễn Anh Đức and Sunday Emmanuel.

Đức has scored seven goals and leads the national scoring chart.

Nguyễn Vũ Hoàng Dương and Anthony Stevens scored to claim one point for the Hải Phòng side, who were considered a stronger team this match.

In other matches during the 13th rounds, Thanh Hoá drew Sài Gòn 1-1; Long An found their first point after 11 losses in a row in a 1-1 draw with Quảng Nam; SHB Đà Nẵng was tied 2-2 by Cần Thơ; and Hoàng Anh Gia Lai ended their losing streak with a 2-2 score in a match versus Quảng Ninh Coal.

Teams will have about two months to rest before returning for the second leg. During this time, young players are called up by the U20 team will take part in the World Cup in South Korea. — VNS

Cường wins race around Pleiku City

Phạm Quốc Cường of Domesco Đồng Tháp won the eighth stage of the HCM City Television Cycling Tournament yesterday.

The 23-year-old cyclist rode 30 laps around Pleiku City of Gia Lai Province with a time of 50.37min, leaving behind veteran teammate Nguyễn Tấn Hoài and national team member Trịnh Đức Tâm of Gạo Hạt Ngọc Trời An Giang.

The result of this stage, however, is not counted in the tournament’s official ranking.

The next stage is from Pleiku to đi Konplong District of Kon Tum Province in a 100 km. route. In this stage, athletes will need to overcome the 12km Măng Đen Pass. The winner will be named the King of The Mountain.

Vinh, Châu win first place at national chess tournament

Grandmaster (GM) Bùi Vinh topped the National Chess Championship’s first round yesterday in Hà Nội.

Vinh walked away after his rival, Dương Thượng Công of the Army, retired because of an illness.

The host master will next play Tống Thái Hùng of HCM City, who pocketed a surprising win over International Master (IM) Nguyễn Văn Huy.

No 1 seed Trần Tuấn Minh, who has just been granted GM title, defeated Lê Hữu Thái of Lâm Đồng yesterday. Minh stands at No 4 and will play teammate IM Tô Nhật Minh in an all-Hanoian match.

On the women’s side, Ngô Ngọc Châu of the Army won the first position. She was followed by Women’s GM Hoàng Thị Bảo Trâm of HCM City and IM Phạm Lê Thảo Nguyên of Cần Thơ.

The national championship, which kicked off yesterday, attracted nearly 100 athletes from 16 cities and provinces.

They will compete in an 11-match system in standard, blitz and rapid chess events.

The tournament is scheduled to close on April 27.

Vietnamese student union in France holds 7th congress

The Union of Vietnamese Students in France (UEVF) held its 7th Congress at the Embassy of Vietnam in Paris to review its performance from 2015-2017 and elect a new executive board to represent about 6,500 Vietnamese students across France for the next two years.

The congress took place on April 15, with celebrations for the 42nd anniversary of the liberation of southern Vietnam and national reunification (April 30) fast approaching.

Addressing the event, UEVF executive board member Pham Nhat Minh gave attendees an overview of what the union have done over the past two years, including hosting a festival for Vietnamese people in Europe (Festival Lumos) in August last year that attracted nearly 10 overseas Vietnamese student associations from European countries.

The UEVF also worked with the Vietnamese Embassy to organise the Study in France Forum in Hanoi, HCM City, Hue and Da Nang and partnered with the General Union of Vietnamese in France to hold celebrations for Tet holiday, Minh said.

He added that it also held exhibitions on Vietnam’s sea and islands, a beauty pageant for young Vietnamese girls studying in France and several concerts and sporting events.

He later detailed the UEVF plan for the 2017-2019 term.

Speaking at the event, Vietnamese Ambassador Nguyen Ngoc Son lauded the achievements of the union since it was launched 13 years ago. He spoke highly of its contributions to building a Vietnamese community in France and to promoting Vietnam’s image overseas.

The congress voted Nguyen Minh Duc as the new UEVF president and selected five others as members of the union’s Standing Committee.

Kien Giang develops irrigation system

The Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang is paying heed to the development of an irrigation system to cope with climate change, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Mai Anh Nhin has said.

From now to 2020, the province will focus on investment to build irrigation works to control salinity levels from Ba Hon in Kien Luong district to Tieu Dua in An Minh district, as well as ensure water for 800,000 hectares of rice, over 4,000 hectares of other rotating crops growing on rice land and more than 221,500 hectares of aquaculture.

It needs some 3.8 trillion VND (167.4 million USD) from the central budget development investment capital, official development assistance for the national target programme to cope with climate change and promote green growth and local corresponding capital.

The provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development will pour over 900 billion VND (39.6 million USD) into controlling salinity in An Bien – An Minh sea dyke.

Nearly 1.95 trillion VND (85.9 million USD) will be spent on upgrading irrigation systems to prevent saltwater intrusion and preserve fresh water for agricultural production at the Long Xuyen quadrangle, the eastern Hau river and U Minh Thuong National Park.

Authorities also called for central budget investment in building Cai Lon and Cai Be sewage treatment systems.

The irrigation facilities will help Kien Giang shift to growing climate change adaptive crops and animals, and develop a sustainable and environmentally-friendly agriculture.

Efforts to get 30 million people covered by social insurance

Vietnam aims to have of its workforce covered by social insurance by 2020. To achieve this target, policies are needed to increase the number of insurees.

13 million workers in Vietnam are currently covered by compulsory social insurance and 200,000 more are covered by voluntary insurance.

Vietnam’s total workforce is projected to be 60 million by 2020, half of whom will have social insurance.

But to increase the number of insured from 13 million to 30 million will be a real challenge, said Doan Mau Diep, Deputy Minister of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs.

He said, "Under the 2014 Social Insurance Law, social insurance is compulsory with labor contracts of more than a month. Currently, 60% of Vietnam’s workforce works in unstructured sectors and sectors that lack formal labor relations. This law encourages those workers to voluntarily obtain social insurance.”

In the near future, a number of incentives will be implemented to make it easier for workers with compulsory insurance and those who don’t have labor contracts to obtain voluntary insurance.

The Vietnam Social Insurance Department has increased communications to address the problems of discontinued and delayed contributions.

Deputy Minister Doan Mau Diep said, “The 2014 Law on Social Insurance allows the Vietnam Social Insurance Department to establish and inspect collections for social insurance.”

The expansion of voluntary social insurance is expected to attract more than 40 million customers. Changes concerning insurers, contribution methods, and benefit mechanisms have been made to fine-tune incentives. These regulations will come into force in 2018.

Grandpa walks the length of Vietnam

In Vietnam, a trip across the country is a dream for many young people. When it comes to this trans-Vietnam trip, most youths turn to motorbikes, but some even take bicycles.

Now meet 64-year-old Tran Ngoc Cong. He decided to up the ante by walking.

Cong began his adventure on February 2 after testing himself with a six-day, 170km (105 miles) walk from Huu Nghi Border Gate in the northern province of Lang Son to his home in the capital early this year.

His family disapproved of his plan at first, but the determined grandfather would not take no for an answer.

For the past two months, the old man has been walking 30km every day in all kinds of weather on his journey of self-discovery.

Cong said he spends approximately VND300,000 (US$13.2) per day and always carries fresh water, hats and raincoats.

Most of his journey has taken him down National Highway 1, but he sometimes follows Google Maps to stroll along picturesque seaside roads.

“Young people trek, climb mountains and even cross Vietnam on bicycles. I chose to walk from north to south to make the most of my trip,” the old man said.

Having already visited several different countries, Cong said there are still many beautiful places in Vietnam that he wanted to see. He said he does not regret his decision because it has given him many memorable experiences like any other “normal” tourists, such as visiting museums and natural heritage sites, or spending the night in Hoi An and having a mud-bath in Nha Trang.

The image of an old man walking alone on the streets has made local people curious. Some even stop to offer him a lift or a place to stay for the night.

“Around 39 people have offered me a free ride. Two young people even thought that I didn't have money and insisted on giving some for a bus fare,” Cong recalls.

Sometimes he had to lie and say he was undergoing treatment that requires him to walk 30km each day so that people would let him continue his trip.

He also ran into bad people. On the Co Ma Pass in the central province of Khanh Hoa, a young man drove up to him on a motorbike intending to rob him.

Cong gave him his old backpack, which had some clothes and a bottle of water inside. It made the robber think that I had mental health issues and was just wandering around,” he said.

Given all ups and downs of his journey, Cong has finally reached the finish line in Ca Mau Province in mid-April as scheduled.

For him, the support he received from family, friends and strangers is the most valuable thing he got out of the adventure, which many would consider too risky for an old man.

Off-site citation to be imposed on expressway linking Saigon, Dong Nai

CCTV footage of traffic violations on the Ho Chi Minh City - Long Thanh - Dau Giay Expressway in southern Vietnam will be provided to local police for off-site citation starting May 1.

The plan was announced by Vietnam Expressway Services Engineering (VECE), a joint stock company in charge of operating the expressway, which connects Ho Chi Minh City with neighboring Dong Nai Province.

The 55-kilometer expressway runs from the southern metropolis through Long Thanh Town in Dong Nai Province before reaching its end at Dau Giay Town in the same province.

The VND20.63 trillion (US$920.98 million) expressway was built over a period of six years, completed in August 2015.

According to VECE, starting May 1 it will provide relevant authorities with images and footage collected from surveillance cameras installed along the expressway for penalizing traffic violators.

Violations including wrong-way driving, parking or stopping in undesignated areas, speeding, overloading and littering on the expressway will be submitted to authorities for review, VECE said in its announcement on April 15.

The company is also looking to publish images of violating vehicles that have been confirmed by relevant authorities on media platforms to inform citizens against such violations.

Nguyen Thi Hoai Phuong, deputy director of VECE, said the move was aimed at ensuring obedience of traffic regulations on the expressway, thereby improving its safety records and service quality.

Last month, a smart control center incorporating an intelligent transportation system (ITS) was launched, providing 24/7 surveillance over the southern expressway with its system of 68 cameras connected to monitors at the center via a closed circuit.

Traditional Musical Instrumentalist and Ensemble Festival opens

The Traditional Musical Instrumentalist and Ensemble Festival 2017 opened in Thanh Hoa city, the central province of Thanh Hoa on April 15.

The event features the participation of over 900 artists and actors from 35 public art units, music academies, conservatories, institutions of cultural and art training across the country.

Scheduled to run until April 23, the festival offers audience members an opportunity to enjoy 80 traditional musical instruments performances at some 35 shows.

The festival aims to popularise and promote values of national music, especially Vietnam’s traditional musical instruments, such as string instruments, wind instruments and percussion.

The Traditional Musical Instrumentalist and Ensemble Festival is part of cultural activities to celebrate the cultural day of ethnic groups in Vietnam.

The ethnic culture day is held annually to preserve and promote traditional cultural values of the country’s 54 ethnic groups. It also helps consolidate solidarity, attract tourists and popularise cultural heritages.

Bamboo and rattan weaving honoured at Hanoi ‘s Old Quarter

A wide variety of bamboo and rattan weaving products from Phu Vinh village, Chuong My district, Hanoi, are being displayed at a programme which began on April 14 at Kim Ngan Temple in Hang Bac Street, Hoan Kiem District.

Kim Ngan Temple was transformed into an installation arts space, with various products made from bamboo and rattan, including lanterns, paintings, vases, baskets, tables, chairs and decorative boats. They were weaved by talented bamboo and rattan weavers in Phu Vinh trade village.

In addition, visitors to the exhibition can find information introducing the handicraft of bamboo and rattan weaving in Phu Vinh village, from its origin, tools, techniques and outstanding artisans.

Notably, artisan Nguyen Van Trung, who has spent his whole life working as a bamboo and rattan weaver, will perform different stages of bamboo and rattan weaving.

In addition, he will talk about the history of the craft as well as his passion for preserving this traditional handicraft.

Phu Vinh bamboo and rattan weaving village is one of many well-known traditional trade villages in Hanoi with a history of nearly 400 years. It was officially recognised as a traditional trade village in 2002.

With their creativity and skillful hands, Phu Vinh artisans have created hundreds of different weaving techniques to make highly attractive products that have been sold widely on both domestic and foreign markets.

The programme honouring Phu Vinh bamboo and rattan weaving products and artisans is expected to help promote the capital’s traditional cultural values to Vietnamese people as well as international friends.

The programme will run until May 7.

Film month celebrates National Tourism Year 2017

A film month marking the ‘Lao Cai - Northwest National Tourism Year’ 2017 will take place nationwide from April 25 to May 23.

The film month will also celebrate major holidays such as Liberation Day (April 30) and International Labour Day (May 1) and President Ho Chi Minh’s birthday (May 19).

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism assigned Cinema Department coordinating with Nam Phuong (Hongngat Film) Media Company Limited, Thien Ngan Film Joint Stock Company, Central Science and Documentary Film Company Limited, Department of Culture and Sports, Department of Culture, and Sports, Cinema Companies and Film Distribution and Screening Centre of provinces and cities.

The films including ‘Bien cuong’ (Boder), ‘Toi thay hoa vang tren co xanh’ (Yellow Flowers on the Green Grass), ‘Tren dinh A Mu Sung’ (On top of A Mu Sung), ‘Quay phim chien truong’ (Filming the battleground).

The 2017 National Tourism Year, themed ‘Northwestern Colours’, aims to attract more local and foreign investors to the northwestern region.

The region will focus on eight typical tourism products, including community-based tourism, terraced rice fields, flower seasons and mountain trekking. The region has 12 areas reserved for development under the national strategy on tourism development in the period through 2020, including the Dong Van Karst Plateau, the Ban Gioc Waterfall, Mau Son Mountain, Ba Be Lake, Tan Trao, Dien Bien and Hoa Binh Reservoir.

Four national tourist attractions that feature in the strategy are Lao Cai city (Lao Cai province), Pac Po historical site (Cao Bang province), Lang Son city (Lang Son province), and Mai Chau district (Hoa Binh province). The northwest region comprises eight provinces, namely Dien Bien, Ha Giang, Lao Cai, Yen Bai, Hoa Binh, Lai Chau, Son La and Phu Tho.

Thousands flock to Trang An festival in Ninh Binh

Thousands of people and visitors flocked to the 2017 Trang An Traditional Festival which officially kicked off on April 15 at Suoi Tien temple under the Trang Tan ecological tourism area in Ninh Binh province.

The festival is held annually to celebrate Saint Quy Minh Dai Vuong, a general under the reign of the 18th Hung King.

During the two-day festival, numerous rituals imbued with cultural identities of the ancient city of Hoa Lu (now Ninh Binh province) were held, including boat and palanquin processions and a dragon dance on the river.

A wide variety of cultural and arts activities of 11 provinces and cities, including performances of folk songs which were recognised as intangible cultural heritages of humanity such as Quan ho (love duet), Xoan (a special art form in Phu Tho province), and Nha nhac cung dinh Hue (Hue royal Court Music), will be the highlight of the event.

Visitors to the festival will have a chance to enjoy specialties of the province and several other localities. Furthermore, the setting of the Hollywood blockbuster ‘Kong: Skull Island’ was reproduced at the ecological tourism complex and is open free-of-charge to visitors.

The festival is one of practical activities to celebrate the country’s major events in 2017 as well as promote the image of the land and people of Vietnam, including Ninh Binh province, to international friends.

Addressing the opening ceremony, Vice Chairman of Ninh Binh provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Ngoc Thach said that Trang An Festival aims to educate the public on the patriotic tradition and the spirit of great national unity among people, particularly younger generations.

The event is also an opportunity to pray for a peaceful country and prosperous people, fair winds and good crops.

51 outstanding ethnic minority youth honored

The Youth Union in Ho Chi Minh City yesterday honored 51 outstanding ethnic minority young people at an ethnic culture festival which celebrates the diverse culture of ethnic groups.

51 ethnic minority young people are those who studied well and greatly contributed to the movements of Youth Communist Union and charity activities.

At the festival, over 1,000 youths watched photos of 54 ethnic groups in the country; enjoyed musical performances of folk instruments and made traditional handicraft products and partook in folk games.

On the same day, the Union held a competition Olympic for Marx, Lenin subject and Ho Chi Minh ideology.

505 candidates from 85 teams of universities and colleges citiwide took part in the competition. It is scheduled the prize-giving ceremony will be held on May 18.

Candidates will compete on the subjects such as learning and following Uncle Ho example, basic principles of Marxist-Leninism, Ho Chi Minh ideology, the 10th and 12th Party resolution, matters relating to history, economy, culture of Vietnam and HCMC as well as the application of  Marxist-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh ideology into reality.

Fire occurs in Kwong Lung – Meko Co. in Can Tho

Can Tho's Fire Prevention and Fighting Police Department said that a flame suddenly burnt inside Kwong Lung – Meko Company in Tra Noc industrial park at 9:45 am yesterday.

After receiving the information, the city Fire Department sent three fire trucks and 50 fire fighters to the scene. At 11am, the blaze was extinguished.

The functional agencies continue investigating reasons.

Accordingly, it seems the second consecutive fires happened in the Kwong Lung – Meko Company in recent two months.

Another fire occurred in Ho Chi Minh City this morning

A big flame suddenly burnt into a clothing unit at No.13 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street in Tan Phu district, Ho Chi Minh City at 5am today.

The flame quickly spread out 11 neighboring houses due to many clothing and the easy materials insides the place.

The local people moved property out of the scene.

After receiving the information, the functional forces and Fire Prevention and Fighting Police Department of Tan Phu district sent six fire trucks and firefighters to the scene.

By 6am, the functional forces extinguished the blaze. However, the flame burnt again and the firefighters continued praying water to extinguish the blaze.

The fire completely destroyed two houses and properties. Fortunately, nobody was hurt and killed in the fire. The case is under investigation.

Exhibition raises marine environmental awareness

An exhibition called “Altered Cloud II” aiming to raise the awareness of the community for the protection of the marine environment opened at Then Café in Hue City from April 15-28.

The project is a long journey of some giant kites that are flown in the areas damaged by garbage, including plastic bottles, plastic bags, and other types of waste.

The artists collaborated with local residents and kite artists in Hue City to create the kites from the garbage collected from those areas.

The project offers a new approach to marine pollution issue and a means of spreading knowledge on, and protecting, the marine environment in particular and the environment in general.

The display is one of the activities of the biennial Hue Traditional Craft Festival 2017 themed “The Quintessence of Vietnamese Crafts” that will be held in Hue, the capital city of Thua Thien-Hue Province on April 28-May 2.

30 year old dialysis patient gives birth safely

A women undergo regular hemodialysis for seven years gave birth safely several days ago.

30 year old Nguyen Thi Mo from the Northern Province of Thai Binh with renal disease for seven years came to Bach Mai Hospital in Hanoi for consultation when she got pregnant, said Dr. Nguyen Huu Dung, head of the hospital’s Hemodialysis Ward.

A meeting was convened which doctors discussed the case carefully and then the woman was hospitalized under doctors’ observation. When her pregnancy is 33 weeks, doctors performed a C section to take out the baby.

The mother and her baby were discharged.

A study carried out by a European center during past ten years in Belgium, Denmark, France and British showed that only 52 percent of neonates of 23 women who got pregnant while undergoing hemodialysis have chance to survive during the pregnancy.

Patient Nguyen Thi Mo is the third case who gives birth safely while undergoing hemodialysis in Bach Mai hospital.

Pregnancy in women with chronic renal insufficiency possesses much higher maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality when compared to women with normal renal function.

Bus ticket prices increase during national holidays

Bus ticket prices on the Reunification Day on April 30 and International Labor Day on May 1 will increase by about 40 percent higher than normal days since April 28, according to Director of the Mien Dong (Eastern) Bus Station in Ho Chi Minh City, Nguyen Ngoc Thua.

Accordingly, fares on bus routes from Ho Chi Minh City to Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Binh Duong, Binh Phuoc, Dong Nai will see a 30 percent jump; ticket prices on routes from HCM City to the central highlands provinces, Binh Thuan, Nha Trang will rise 40 percent.

Meanwhile coach fares on routes from Ho Chi Minh City to the Mekong Delta provinces, such as Tien Giang, Ben Tre, Can Tho, An Giang, Dong Thap and Kien Giang will increase from 20-40 percent.

Additionally, Saigon Railway Transportation Company will plan to add more trains from HCM City to Pha Thiet, Nha Trang and Quy Nhon on national holidays; and give a discount of 10-50 percent for students, the elderly and groups of 10 or more persons.

The national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines (VNA) will fly 175 additional flights on 8 local routes to meet increasing travel demand on the Reunification Day and International Labor Day.

The domestic routes to benefit from this program are from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to Da Nang, Nha Trang and Phu Quoc. VNA will operate additional flights from April 27 to May 3.

Air and train fares jump for upcoming holiday

Air and train ticket prices during the Reunification Day (April 30) and International Labor Day (May 1) holiday have soared due to high demand.

According to some ticketing websites, most ticket prices of flights from April 28 to April 30 have increased sharply. For example, Vietjet Air has hiked the fare for the Hanoi-Phu Quoc service on April 28 to more than VND3.1 million (exclusive of taxes and fees) from VND1.7 million on April 27. Meanwhile, tickets for Vietjet’s Hanoi-Phu Quoc flights on April 29 are fully booked.

Similarly, Vietnam Airlines charges VND3.3 million on April 28 on this same route, compared to more than VND1 million on April 27.

The price hike also applies to other routes such as Hanoi - Nha Trang, HCMC - Phu Quoc and HCMC - Danang.

Representatives of airlines said that due to high travel demand during the holiday, they have to add flights and increase ticket prices to offset their higher operating costs.

Meanwhile, train tickets from HCMC to tourist destinations like Nha Trang also recorded a strong increase. For example, the fare for the HCMC – Nha Trang route has edged up to VND216,000 from VND141,000, while the price of tickets on a sleeper carriage

has increased to VND482,000 from VND337,000 before the holiday.

Prices of bus tickets to other provinces such as Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Binh Duong, Dong Nai, Lam Dong and Quang Ngai during the holiday have also soared 30-40%.

In related news, Vietnam Airlines announced to add 175 one-way flights on eight domestic routes during the upcoming holiday, with a total supply of over 180,000 seats, up nearly 25% compared to ordinary days and 15 % over the same period last year.

Extra flights during the peak period from April 27 to May 3 mainly focus on routes from Hanoi and HCMC to tourism destinations such as Danang, Nha Trang and Phu Quoc. Vietnam Airlines adds over 100 flights for Hanoi/HCMC - Danang routes, 40 flights for Hanoi/HCMC - Phu Quoc routes and 18 flights for Hanoi/HCMC - Nha Trang routes.

Vietnamese arrivals to Taiwan up 90% in two months

Taiwan (China) received 47,000 Vietnamese people during the first two months of this year, up 90% against last year’s January-February period.

vietnamese arrivals to taiwan (china) up 90% in two months hinh 0 Half of the arrivals were holidaymakers and the rest came to Taiwan for study, work and business operations, said a representative from Taipei Tourism Bureau.

The number of Vietnamese nationals to Taiwan increased from 146,300 in 2015 to 196,600 people in 2016. However, the figure is still lower than regional countries like Malaysia (474,000 people), Singapore (407,200) and Indonesia (188,700).

According to Taipei Tourism Bureau, the growing number of Vietnamese arrivals to Taiwan is attributable to promotional campaigns and budget tours.

The bureau is set to launch more carry out advertisement programs in Ho Chi Minh City in September.


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