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Fire engulfs wood workshop, causing huge loss
A fire broke out early on Tuesday at a 500sq.m - timber workshop in a crowded residential area in Đồng Nai Province’s Biên Hòa City, destroying the equipment and wooden products inside.
Locals and firefighting police found it difficult extinguish the fire due to the presence of flammable wooden products along with a large quantity of timber.
A local whose house was next to the burned-down workshop witnessed the incident. He said at about 2am, he heard several explosions and saw that a huge blaze had engulfed the timber workshop. At the time, the workshop was closed and there was nobody inside and no guard.
The resident phoned the city’s firefighting department to inform them about the fire. After 30 minutes, four trucks and dozens of firefighters were mobilised to prevent the blaze from spreading to residential houses in the area.
The fire was finally put out after three and a half hours. All the machines, furniture and timber inside the workshop were completely burnt. Property damage was estimated at several billions of đồng.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Saltwater influx in Mekong Delta to last till June
According to the Southern Institute of Water Resources Research, saltwater influx in Mekong Delta region is predicted to be average level in the dry season of 2016- 2017.
By late this month, the salinity intrusion could be 4 gram a litter which will affect water resource of local people living within 20- 25 kilometers of a coastline.
The condition is likely to last until June if it is not rain and the high salinity on local rivers.
The Southern Institute of Water Resources Research asked the coastal areas need to prepare necessary measures for production in this year’s summer-autumn cultivation.
The saltwater influx could still influence to the coastal areas near Vam Co River due to high flood tide next time.
Hanoi facilitates activities of Evangelical Church of Vietnam (North)
The Hanoi administration is ready to facilitate religious followers’ practicing their religions and contributing to the city’s development, Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung has said.
He made the remark while receiving Pastor John Chadwick Hanmond, a representative of the President of Samaritan’s Purse – a nondenominational evangelical Christian organisation – Franklin Graham, in Hanoi on April 3, Ha Noi Moi daily reported.
Chung informed his guest about local socio-economic development, noting that the city appreciates contributions by the Evangelical Church of Vietnam (North), especially in humanitarian aid for the poor.
He voiced his hope that Protestant pastors, dignitaries and followers will remain united and foster local development.
Local authorities will provide the best possible conditions for the Evangelical Church of Vietnam (North) to conduct activities in 2017, including the ceremony marking 500 years of the Protestant Reformation, he added.
Pastor Hanmond said he is impressed with the city’s development, noting that the Church will support the city’s activities.
He also took this chance to convey the invitation to visit the US in 2017 from Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham to Chairman Chung.
The Hanoi official promised to visit the headquarters of Samaritan’s Purse at an appropriate time.
Tien Giang spends over 215 billion VND on water supply pipelines
The Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang has invested more than 215 billion VND (9.4 million USD) in building water supply pipelines to ensure clean water for residents of coastal districts in dry season of 2017.
Consisting of 183 pipelines with a length of 150,000 metres, the pipeline system was designed to supply water for 7,700 households in Go Cong Dong, Go Cong Tay, Tan Phu Dong districts and Go Cong town, said Nguyen Thien Phap, head of the Irrigation and Flood Prevention and Control Division of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Tien Giang also mobilised all resources to provide sufficient fresh water for residents.
In addition, the Tien Giang Water Supply Company was asked to dredge ponds to increase the capacity of fresh water and reopen free water supply points while raising public awareness of keeping and saving water for dry season.
As a result, no water-shortage was recorded in coastal areas in Tien Giang in the 2017 dry season.
Vietnam to ensure power supply for APEC 2017
The National Power Transmission Corporation (EVN NPT) has developed a plan to ensure power supply for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings in Vietnam.
Vietnam will host about 200 APEC events across ten major cities, with the biggest being the APEC week in central Da Nang city in November.
2017 marks the second time Vietnam will host the APEC, following the first in 2006.
The EVN NPT, a member of the Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) Group, said it completed construction of many projects last year in preparation for the international event, including those to improve the capacity of the 500 kV Da Nang, 220kV Hoa Khanh, and 220kV Ngu Hanh Son transformer stations.
The corporation has directed local units to ensure the operation of the transformer stations and transmission lines and provide regular updates on the lines’ status.
The local units were also assigned to intensify management of the transformer stations, especially in Da Nang, and requested to not cut off the electricity in the second and third quarters of 2017.
The EVN NPT inspected the operation and safety of the Power Transmission Company No.2, the Da Nang Power Transmission Company, and the 220 kV 220kV Hoa Khanh, 220kV Da Nang, and 220kV Ngu Hanh Son transformer stations from March 13-15.
Expressway set to open in 2019
Deputy Prime Minister Trịnh Đình Dũng has urged the two ministries overseeing the Trung Lương-Mỹ Thuận expressway project to speed up construction of the Mỹ Thuận-Cần Thơ stretch so that the entire road can be open to traffic by 2019.
Dũng asked the Ministry of Transport to approve a feasibility study of the Mỹ Thuận-Cần Thơ stretch last month, according to the Government Office.
To resolve any hurdles during the construction process, he has urged the ministry to choose experienced contractors and propose measures to resolve problems for approval to the Prime Minister.
He said the Mỹ Thuận-Cần Thơ stretch should open at the same time as the Trung Lương-Mỹ Thuận stretch in 2019.
Dũng also told authorities in localities where the road section traverses to coordinate with the Ministry of Transport and investors in site clearance, compensation and resettlement.
In addition, agencies, investors and consultants should work with local authorities to step up progress to ensure quality and labour safety.
Dũng has demanded that all agencies must ensure that the project would not affect the environment.
Construction on the Trung Lương-Mỹ Thuận stretch began in 2015 and is expected to be completed in 2019.
The Trung Lương-Mỹ Thuận expressway is 50 kilometres long, and it connects to the HCM City-Trung Lương expressway in Châu Thành District in Tiền Giang Province.
The expressway also connects to Highway 30 in Cái Bè District in Tiền Giang.
The project under the BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) model has an investment of VNĐ14.7 trillion (US$646.3 million).
The four-lane expressway is 14 metres wide and has four intersections and flyovers.
Construction of the expressway has affected 2,300 households in 26 communes and wards from five districts and towns in Tiền Giang.
The expressway’s Trung Lương-Mỹ Thuận stretch extends to Cần Thơ city.
HCM City okays Can Gio bridge
The HCM City People’s Committee has approved a proposal to build the 3.4km Cần Giờ Bridge above the Soài Rạp River linking Cần Giờ District with the city.
The Cần Giờ Urban and Tourism JSC and Trung Nam Construction Investment JSC had submitted a proposal to build the bridge, which will have four lanes and a clearance of 55 metres above the river.
It is expected to cost VNĐ8 trillion (US$351.3 million).
Simultaneously, Rừng Sác Street leading from the river to Cần Giờ will be upgraded and widened by the Cần Giờ Urban and Tourism JSC.
The bridge will help reduce travel time between the rest of HCM City and Cần Giờ District by replacing the Bình Khánh ferry which had become a burden due to the increase in the number of passengers.
In addition to the obvious economic benefits better connectivity will bring, the bridge is also expected to help develop tourism in Cần Giờ.
HCM City stages new play about young volunteers
A new play on young volunteers and their contributions to society will be staged this weekend in HCM City, as part of the city’s cultural activities to mark the 41st anniversary of the HCM City Young Volunteer Force (HYVF).
The 90-minute work, titled Một Thời Để Nhớ (A Time to Remember), is a production directed by Trịnh Kim Chi in co-operation with young screenwriter Trang Trần of the TKC Drama Club, one of the city’s private art troupes.
The VNĐ120 million (US$5,400)-production tells the story of young volunteers living in remote areas of southern provinces during the 1980s.
It has attracted 20 young theatre actors, including Uyên Nhi, Minh Tiến and Phúc Thiện of the TKC. Veteran artists Chi and Mai are also featured.
“We wanted to highlight the brave volunteers’ remarkable work in rebuilding our homeland after the war,” said the play’s female director Chi.
Chi said that HYVF’s members and their contributions to the country were an endless source of inspiration that had helped her young actors perform their roles.
To highlight her play’s theme, Chi used revolutionary songs, such as Cô Gái Mở Đường (Young Female Volunteers Maintain the Roads), Em Là Thanh Niên Xung Phong (She’s a Young Volunteer) and Em Ở Nông Trường Em Ra Biên Giới (She Works at a Farm, She Goes to the Border), written by famous musicians Xuân Giao, Trịnh Công Sơn and Quỳnh Hợp.
“I faced challenges playing a young girl who volunteered to live and work in remote areas. But I’ve improved my performance skills,” said 21-year-old actress Nhi, who stars in a leading role.
Nhi and her colleagues have worked with Lê Thị Mai, former member of the force, to improve their acting skills.
“I volunteered to work in Kiên Giang and Cà Mau provinces in 1976 when I was 21 years old. I’m very happy to help young actors. Through their work, I hope audiences will learn more about our work,” said Mai.
Mai and her colleagues attended the play’s premiere at District 6’s Cultural Centre last week.
Một Thời Để Nhớ will be staged on Saturday and Sunday night at the centre, which can be found at 170 Kinh Dương Vương Street in District 1.
Workshop spotlights late Party chief’s life and career
The life and career of late Party General Secretary Le Duan was spotlighted at a workshop in Hanoi in April 3.
The event was organised by the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics and the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Information and Education on the occasion of the late Party chief’s 110th birthday (April 7).
In his speech, head of the Commission for Information and Education Vo Van Thuong said the event aims to honour late Party General Secretary Le Duan, who made great contributions to the Party and nation’s revolutionary cause.
It also educates on revolutionary ideals and promotes emulation movements among people from all walks of life and soldiers nationwide, he added.
Thuong underlined the need to follow the example of late Party General Secretary Le Duan’s steadfast will.
It is also necessary to pursue national independence and socialism and uphold patriotic spirit and national unity towards realising the country’s industrialisation and modernisation and international integration, he noted.
Participants agreed that late Party General Secretary Le Duan is a shining example of faithfulness to the Party and nation’s revolutionary ideals.
Most of the papers presented at the workshop noted Le Duan as a strong and steadfast communist, an outstanding leader and a great thinker whose initiative contributed to the successes of Vietnam.
Le Duan, real name Le Van Nhuan, was born on April 7, 1907 in Bich La village, Trieu Dong commune, central Quang Tri province’s Trieu Phong district. He was the Party’s First Secretary and then the Party General Secretary from 1960 to 1986.
His leadership helped the Party to successfully guide the people to carry out revolutionary missions in both the North and South of the country, contributing to the country’s victory in the resistance war against the US in 1975, as well as national construction and defence after that.
ROK may cease taking Vietnamese laborers as more overstay
The Republic of Korea (ROK) may not further an agreement to take on Vietnamese workers if Vietnam fails to reduce the number of its laborers overstaying their visas to work illegally, a labor ministry official was quoted as saying.
ROK has already blocked people from dozens of locations in Vietnam to apply to work in ROK in 2017 due to a high rate of illegal workers, even though Seoul said it was now recruiting 3,600 Vietnamese labors, the labor ministry has said.
Vietnam has sent 40,000 people to work in ROK by the end of 2016, but ROK advised that 39% of them had overstayed and been working illegally, said Dang Sy Dung, deputy director of the ministry's Department of Overseas Labor Management.
"If this problem is not fixed, it is certain that the number of locations to face the blocking will rise, and we even have to face the possibility that ROK will stop the agreement," Dung was quoted by Tuoi Tre newspaper as telling reporters on April 3.
In 2012, ROK stopped renewing a labor agreement signed with Vietnam in 2004 because the number of Vietnamese workers overstaying their visas to work illegally in ROK rose to more than 50%. Seoul resumed the agreement only in December 2013 after the rate of illegal workers was cut to 38%.
This year ROK needs Vietnamese workers for jobs in manufacturing, construction, fishery and agriculture and its blocking spares several localities in the two coastal provinces of Ha Tinh and Quang Binh, which have been hit by the Formosa environment disaster last year.
Vietnam and ROK have pledged to work closely on measures to reduce the high rate of illegal workers, with ROK planning to impose more fines on the companies which employ illegal workers from Vietnam, the overseas labor management department said in a report on its website.
The illegal workers, all coming from impoverished neighborhoods, have said they decided to overstay their visas because it was easier to find good income in ROK.
Vietnamese workers in ROK receive a minimum wage of more than US$1,000 a month and work 40 hours a week, according to official reports. Back home, by comparison, workers would receive a minimum wage of between US$120-US$175 and often have to work extra hours.
Vietnam has been sending more than 100,000 people each year to work overseas in the past five years as part of a government program to reduce poverty, while last year the number beat the annual target by about a quarter to reach 126,000, the labor ministry said.
NGO, enterprise promote better sanitation for remote Vietnamese children
Around a hundred elementary school students from a disaster-prone coastal commune in southern Vietnam has attended an a recent event to improve their hygiene practice.
Entitled “School-based Communication Campaign on Washing," the event was held at Tan Thanh 1 Elementary School in Tan Thanh Commune, Go Cong Dong District, Tien Giang Province, by the international non-government organization Save the Children, with the sponsorship of Samsung Engineering.
At the event, the 4th and 5th graders learned how to wash their hands through songs and quizzes, collected and classified garbage, and planted new plants in their schoolyard, before they received gifts from the organizers.
“Washing your hands actually prevents many diseases, some of which can be fatal for young children," Save the Children Vietnam Country Director Dragana Strinic told Tuoi Tre News at the event.
“So learning the basics of hygiene and how to wash their hands can sometime be life-saving, although many people do not think about it,” she added, saying dirty hands could cause diseases including diarrhea.
“It’s really important for schoolchildren to know those skills and use those throughout their life, and hopefully to teach other children and adults, parents, and the community.”
Representatives from Samsung Engineering also joined hands to paint the walls of the school’s latrine to give it a new and neat look.
Saturday’s event to raise hygiene awareness was part of a project building resilience against natural hazards and improving access to clean water and sanitation among vulnerable coastal communities in Tien Giang.
With the support from Samsung Engineering, the project is meant to cover four disaster-prone coastal communes in Go Cong Dong and Tan Phu Dong Districts.
It will directly benefit approximately 4,020 people, of which 45 percent are children, the organizers said.
According to Save the Children, with its 32km long coast, Tien Giang, in the low lying north-east area of the Mekong Delta, is extremely vulnerable to sea level rises and tropical cyclones, and is susceptible to flooding during heavy rains.
Among the issues faced by the region is access to clean water, particularly during the dry season.
Through its study, the NGO found that the pipe water system did reach 45 percent of the four communes' population, however, only half of that percentage actually has access to it because the water pressure is too weak to reach more remote locations.
All of the households inteviewed by Save the Children also indicated a lack of knowledge on safe water and did not recognize the quality of different water sources.
The shortage of safe water, together with inadequate sanitation practices, has resulted in water-borne diseases such as diarrhea and other gynecological illnesses.
In an effort to improve the situation, the project is intended to implement a number of measures, including building the capacity of local governments and community members, improving access to safe water through the installation of rainwater harvesting systems and flood-safe latrines, facilitating access to clean drinking water in schools through schemes that use solar energy in the distillation process, and more.
The project launched at the beginning of February and is expected to run until the end of this year.
Ho Chi Minh City plans to invest in smart parking
A series of projects on the construction of smart parking garages has been laid out in a bid to resolve the parking space problem in Ho Chi Minh City.
Local investors have recently put forward multiple plans to build multi-story parking lots at nine major hospitals in the southern hub, where parking space is always in high demand.
During a recent meeting with the municipal People’s Committee, En-Parking Japan, a company specializing in developing smart car parks also suggested the construction of the modern parking models at four locations in District 1.
Accordingly, a nine-story smart parkade that can accommodate 130 cars will be set up at Lam Son Square, situated behind the Municipal Theater, while a six-floor garage will be constructed at 23/9 Park.
Two other multi-story smart parking lots will be established at Tao Dan and Le Van Tam Parks, each with a capacity of about 144 automobiles.
According to the city’s Department of Transport, the smart parking garages will notify users of the slots available at the time of parking.
Some will also be equipped with a smart system that can automatically arrange vehicles.
The construction of this type of parkade will be completed in a shorter time than underground parking basements, thus resolving parking lot issues in a faster manner.
Many investors have been increasingly interested in developing parking lots at local hospitals, parks, and schools, as they can see the huge potential of such projects.
Competent agencies have supported the idea of building smart parking lots at nine of the city’s infirmaries, stating that developers should devise a detailed plan this month.
Regarding the four smart car parks in the downtown area, Nguyen Van Tam, deputy director of the municipal transport department, said that the parking system would be very useful and could be in use for up to eight or 10 years.
Tran Vinh Tuyen, vice-chairman of the city’s administration, has encouraged local businesses to invest in building parking lots across the metropolis.
The high demand for parking space is not only present in the downtown area but also in other parts of the city, Tuyen continued.
These projects will be carried out by the private sector, the official said, adding that developers could collect service charges and place ad banners at the facilities.
However, businesses should determine a reasonable rate and be transparent in their operation of the parking lots, he noted.
Cần Thơ workers to get help to find jobs
The 1,300 workers of Taiwanese garment firm Kwong Lung-Meko, whose Cần Thơ City factory was destroyed in a fire, will get help to find jobs, the city’s trade union said.
Huỳnh Ngọc Thạch, president of southern Cần Thơ City’s Trade Union, said on Monday that after the fire, which occurred on March 23, the trade union, the city’s labour department and Cần Thơ Industrial Zone’s management board have joined hands to support the garment workers.
Of the 1,300 workers, Kwong Lung-Meko has arranged jobs for 200 workers. Việt Tiến Garment Company offered employment to another 150 workers. The remaining 950 workers are expected to get jobs in other garment companies in the city soon, Thạch said.
Lâm Văn Lợi, Kwong Lung-Meko’s head of human resources department, said the firm would re-employ as many workers as possible as soon as it can, once the survey on usable machines is complete.
On Monday, the Cần Thơ City Trade Union and other donors gave 920 gifts to workers, including VNĐ500,000 in cash, rice and other necessities.
The blaze started in the morning of March 23 on the top floor of a five-storey building in Trà Nóc Industrial Zone in Cần Thơ, where the garment firm Kwong Lung-Meko stores fabric. Hundreds of workers were forced to flee but no casualties were reported. On Sunday evening – just four days after the original incident – the blazed reignited.
Kwong Lung-Meko specialises in feather processing and garment production.
Its factory covers about 17,000sq.m and has about 1,300 workers in the Trà Nóc Industrial Zone, about 15km from downtown Cần Thơ.
Woman uses drug to plunder driver’s property
Police investigators in Thu Duc District yesterday said they arrested Phan thi Kim Loan, 47, for probe of murdering and property robbery.
The victim is a taxi driver, 51, in Ho Chi Minh City’s Thu Duc District. Before, on March 26, while passing by the alley No.47 , a waste collector detected a dead man in a taxi. Frightened, she called out for help and informed police officers who soon rushed the driver to a nearby hospital for emergency treatment yet he died.
Through investigation, police officers discovered the driver’s assets such as money, mobile phone disappeared; accordingly, they arrived at a conclusion that the man was robbed. The culprit has controlled him to the alley and robbed him.
With their skills, police officers in Thu Duc District verified Loan who are famous for deploying anesthetic to rob people’s property to be the customer on the taxi.
In the police station, Loan confessed to be culprit of the robbery. She intended to rob those who want sex. On March 25, she and another woman invited man to have sex in a street in District 12. Later, she called the taxi and seduced the man to Thu Duc District. On the way, she bought beef jerky and 4 beer cans which she put drug into. When the driver fainted, she searched for money and mobile phone.
The woman is a professional anesthetic user. 6 years ago, she was arrested for causing 20 cases of robbery with anesthetic. One year ago, she finished serving her sentence in prison yet she returned to the same way.
Investigators thought her to be a culprit of other cases so they expanded probe.
Hanoi proposes to build model of urban government
The Hanoi Municipal Party Committee held a conference on April 3 to gather opinions from ministries, sectors and central agencies on the draft report on evaluating the five-year implementation of Resolution No. 11-NQ/TW of the Politburo on the direction and development tasks of Hanoi for the 2011-2020 period and three-year implementation of the Law on the Capital City.
The conference saw the presence of Politburo member and Secretary of Hanoi municipal Party Committee Hoang Trung Hai.
The draft report underscored the significance of the two documents to the construction and development of Hanoi at present and in future.
In order to fulfil the objectives and tasks of socio-economic development by 2020, Hanoi offered the Politburo and the central bodies four groups of content on accelerating the progress of major projects in the city, building a number of specific policies and mechanisms for the city, as well as enhancing the Law on the Capital City and the building of urban government.
Meanwhile, after three years of implementation, the Law on the Capital City has helped enable the effective realisation of the Party’s viewpoints and policies on building, developing and managing the capital.
The four-chapter, 27-article law contains the position and role of the capital city, and the responsibilities of the National Assembly, Government, ministries, branches and people in protecting and developing the city, as well as regulations to protect the capital’s culture, education, science and technology, housing development and traffic and land management.
At the conference, leaders of ministries, central agencies and department suggested additional results in the building of new-style rural areas and urban planning, as well as administrative reform, organisational and personnel work.
Regarding future directions, they proposed the capital city devise more effective measures to utilise land resources and improve mobilisation of social resources.
Innovative fashion show moves from runway to poolside
A fashion show and pool party at the same time? No, you’re not dreaming.
Cacdemode will be hosting the Saigon Soul Pool Party - Fashion Show and Charity Event with beautiful host and MC Kiko Chan featuring beautiful models, singers and dancers on April 8. This fashion show is being held to support the Seam the World Charity and their awesome Environment Project to turn unused city space into plant purifying gardens to provide clean air to the community.
Saigon Soul has become an institution for many expats, locals and travelers as the liveliest Pool Party & Dayclub in Saigon. Hundreds attend the parties every weekend in the elegant surroundings of the New World Saigon Hotel pool.
The party will be hosted by rising supermodel Kiko Chan, who has been voted as “the most beautiful flight attendant in Asia-Pacific” by 40 online magazines, and receiving considerable coverage from within Vietnam and abroad. DJs Ryan Wik, Rory Thomas, and Nina Nova will be spinning house music at the event.
Tickets are priced at VND150,000 per person upon arrival. There are five VIP cabanas available at the event. Participants are advised to arrive early for seating.
For information or cabana booking, access www.saigonsoul.com, instagram.com/saigonsoul on Instagram or their Facebook page.
Quang Nam responds to int’l day for mine awareness
Thousands of youngsters gathered in a ceremony in the central province of Quang Nam on April 4 to launch activities responding to the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action.
The event was jointly held by the State Steering Committee on the National Action Programme on Settling Consequences of Unexploded Ordnance (known as Steering Committee 504), the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union Central Committee and the People’s Committee of Quang Nam.
Vietnam is among countries with serious unexploded ordnance (UXO) pollution and suffers from the most severe war consequencesin the world.
It is estimated that around 800,000 tonnes of UXO were left across the country after the war ended, mostly in the central region. More than six million hectares of land in the country is bomb-and mine-polluted, accounting for 18.82 percent of Vietnam’s total area.
At least 100,000 people have been injured and killed by bombs and mines since 1975, while the environment and natural resources have been affected, the report said.
In central regions such as Nghe An, Ha Tinh, QuangBinh, Quang Tri, ThuaThien-Hue, QuangNgai and BinhDinh, there have been 22,800 UXO victims, 10,540 of whom died.
Deputy Minister of DefenceSenior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh, who is head of the Steering Committee 504, said that since the war ended, more than 2,000sappers have died and got injured while performing bomb and mine clearance tasks.
Despite their great and silent efforts and sacrifice, the country has yet to completely avoid UXO-caused accidents, he said, stressing that the most effective measure is to mobilise the engagement of the whole political system and social organisationsin raising public awareness of preventing UXO accidents.
During the event, the organising board presented 30 gifts, each worth 12 million VND,to victims of post-war bombs and mines.
On the occasion, Quang Nam also opened an exhibition featuring efforts to address UXO consequences, which will run until April 8.