Thứ Ba, 20 tháng 6, 2017

Social News 20/6

First national press award on children launched


The first national press award on children is inviting entries from reporters, journalists, collaborators and press agencies across the country from now until March 5, 2018, according to the co-organisers - the Vietnam Association for Protection of Children’s Rights (VAPCR) and the Vietnam Journalist Association (VJA).
Speaking at the launching ceremony in Hanoi on June 16, VAPCR President Nguyen Thi Thanh Hoa said the press plays an important role in bringing the State’s policies and the government’s laws to people, including the Law on Children. It helps translate the law into reality, contributing to child care and education and creating a safer environment for children, she added.
Hoa hoped that the press award on children will provide an opportunity for the media, child-related social organisations, VAPCR and VJA to enhance cooperation in child protection.
The biennial award is designed honour reporters, journalists and press agencies who dedicate themselves to child care, protection and education through their publications.
Entries must cover different aspects of pressing issues on children, their aspirations and the implementation of the Law on Children, and speak out against violations of children’s rights. They may also introduce outstanding individuals with good practices and experiences in child care, protection and education.
The entries might be a single article or broadcast or a series of related articles or broadcasts as a unit published or broadcast on TV or radio in Vietnam from October 12, 2016 to March 5, 2018.
Each contestant is allowed to submit no more than five entries.-
Australian police arrest Vietnamese nationals in cannabis farming investigation
Police in Perth in western Australia have arrested four Vietnamese nationals and frozen bank accounts containing more than US$760,000 as part of an investigation into a cannabis-growing syndicate.
The Australian Association Press reported that a 44-year-old man and a 36-year-old woman are awaiting trial after being charged with dealing in property linked to criminal activity.
Police froze their bank accounts and made the arrests after spotting suspicious financial transactions, it said.
Search warrants carried out at their residences found more than $7,600 in cash.
Two other Vietnamese nationals were also arrested for delivering money to one of the houses. They face deportation for staying in Australia without valid visas.
Australia is fairly relaxed about cannabis. Late last year the Federal Government passed laws to legalize medicinal cannabis to treat patients with painful and chronic conditions with products imported from overseas.
It has also given the green light for licensed companies to legally import, store and sell the drug until domestic production meets local needs.
Binh Phuoc reburies remains of 122 volunteer troops
The southern province of Binh Phuoc on June 9 held a ceremony to rebury remains of 122 volunteer soldiers, who laid down their lives in wartime in Cambodia, at the provincial martyrs' cemetery.
2,223 martyrs’ remains reburied in 2016
The search for the remains of martyrs in battlefields and the repatriation of remains of fallen Vietnamese volunteer troops and experts in Laos and Cambodia to the Motherland have been especially cared by the Vietnamese Party, State, Government and army.
The search for the remains of martyrs in battlefields and the repatriation of remains of fallen Vietnamese volunteer troops and experts in Laos and Cambodia to the Motherland have been especially cared by the Vietnamese Party, State, Government and army.
So far, search team K72 of the Binh Phuoc Military Command has collected and reburied 10,018 sets of remains of fallen troops in many cemeteries in Binh Phuoc province.
Among them, 1,600 sets of remains were found inside the country and 2,392 sets of remains were repatriated in Cambodian; 5,869 sets of remains have been identified while 4,149 sets of remains have yet been named. The province’s search team K72 has also handed over 979 remains to the martyrs’ relatives or their home villages.
Besides, generations of officers, soldiers and people of Binh Phuoc province have been carrying out "gratitude" activities to help ease the pain and improve the material and spiritual lives of the martyrs’ relatives, Vietnamese Heroic Mothers and wounded solders.
Photojournalists’ exhibition opens at capital
A photo exhibition titled “Impression” was co-organised by the Hà N?i Photo Journalist Club and the Hà N?i Journalist Association on the occasion of Vi?t Nam Press Day’s 92th anniversary (June 21, 1925-2017).
135 photos from 38 journalists from across the country captured major political, social and cultural events of the nation during the last 10 years.
Notably among them were Ði?n Biên Ph? Victory 60th anniversary military parade, legendary Gen. Võ Nguy?n Giáp funeral day, the historic flood of Hà N?i in 2008 as well as everyday life moments through the lens of the journalists.
Nguy?n Xuân Chính, a representative from the journalist club, said while some of the photos were not taken by professional photographers all of them were taken by journalists who are working day and night to bring the news to the public.
The exhibition will last until next Monday at 29 Hàng Bài, Hà N?i.
Hai Duong spends over 3.1 trillion VND on building new rural areas
The Red River Delta province of Hai Duong has sped up a national programme on building new-style rural areas with estimated funds of 3.17 trillion VND (140 million USD).
Of the sum, 121 billion VND (5.3 million USD) was sourced from the State budget and the remainder mobilised from social resources.
Hai Duong province aims to have all communes meeting 17 criteria of the programme by the end of 2017. It also aims to have at least 30 new communes satisfying the criteria, raising the total number to 132 communes, or 58.4 percent.
This year, 38 communes in Hai Duong have registered to meet new-style rural area criteria, including six in Thanh Ha district, five in Ninh Giang district and four in Chi Linh district.
To meet the target, apart from stepping up communication campaigns, the province has frequently monitored the programme in all localities to promptly address difficulties.
Hai Duong has also focused on agricultural development projects, boosting local products and providing vocational training on technology for rural labourers.
In addition, the province has been working to link farmer households and businesses to bolster family-based and farming economies.
All localities were also asked to complete essential infrastructure such as irrigation construction and clean water supply and raise public awareness about garbage and wastewater treatment.
By April 30, 102 communes in Hai Duong had been recognised as new-style rural areas, accounting for 45.1 percent of the total number.
WB-funded agriculture project emphasizes on real-life effectiveness
The World Bank-funded project “Vietnam Sustainable Agriculture Transformation” (VnSAT) has quality over quantity in farming since it started two years ago.
The project aims to improve farming practices and value chains in rice and coffee farming in the Mekong Delta and the Central Highlands, the two major good commercial production areas in Vietnam and promote institutional strengthening of public agencies to help implement the country’s agricultural restructuring plan.
After two years of implementation, the project has established a complete organisational structure from central to grassroots levels and carried out a range of tasks.
By May 2017, the VnSAT had assessed 75 farmer organisations with a total of 2,785 households growing rice and 776 others planting coffee that were provided with training on new cultivation techniques – “three reductions, three gains (3R3G)” and “one must, five reductions (1M5R)” a year ago.
3R3G refers to reductions in seed, chemicals, and water and gains in productivity, quality, and economic efficiency while 1M5R means using registered seeds and reductions in seed, chemical fertiliser, pesticide, water use and post-harvest losses.
The results show that some 36 organisations, or 48 percent, have more than 50 percent of their households or growing areas using the practices. 
The Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang, and the Central Highlands provinces of Dak Lak and Lam Dong led the way with all of their farmer organisations achieving positive results.
The majority of organisations in Mekong Delta provinces have seen lower prevalence of the new techniques due to local tradition of sowing by hand that did not allow peasants to effectively control the number of seedlings planted on each hectare. As a result, the number was usually above the project’s requirements.
In the Central Highlands, most organisations have not met criteria in terms of shade tree, organic fertiliser and production recording.
The VnSAT also evaluated the capability of the organisations to measure their needs of investment in warehouses, drying yards, pumping stations and roads.
The workshop to review the implementation of the project during the first half of 2017 proposed the organisations buy sowing machines and teach farmers how to use them effectively.
Sergiy Zorgya, a senior agricultural economist from the World Bank, said to effectively carry out the project, it is necessary to learn from the real demand of farmers to design effective support for them.
HCMC petitioned to get tough on overloaded trucks


The HCMC Goods Transport Association has proposed the HCMC Traffic Safety Committee ask the city government to take tough measures against overloaded trucks.
Overloaded trucks are not an uncommon sight in the city, said Nguyen Van Chanh, general secretary of the association, and this is unfair for trucking companies that strictly observe load limit regulations. Therefore, the association’s proposal for strict measures is aimed at creating a healthy business environment.
Chanh said overloaded trucks could be found in some areas in District 2, such as Minh Viet weigh station and the area in front of Storehouse C of Cat Lai Port; Nguyen Van Linh Parkway in District 7; and Phu Huu Port in District 9.
The city’s traffic inspectors have handled over 1,700 cases involving overloaded trucks and imposed fines of more than VND17.7 billion in the first half of the year, according to data of the HCMC Department of Transport.
The Ministry of Transport is coming up with a master plan to set up weigh stations by 2020 with a vision towards 2030. There will be 28 stations in the next four years.
Order restored on 116 downtown streets
Law enforcement officers of District 1 in HCMC have restored sidewalk order on 116 out of 134 streets in the city center, said Tran The Thuan, chairman of the district.
The district conducted 46 inspections from mid-January to mid-April and fined owners of 203 cars, towed away six vehicles and 245 motorbikes, and removed 812 sidewalk obstacles. Fines amounted to VND3.2 billion.
Households did away with 3,500 sidewalk obstacles on their own at the request of local authorities.
Thuan added the district plans to allow poor households to sell goods in designated areas on Nguyen Van Chiem Street, multiple streets in Da Kao, Ben Thanh, Nguyen Thai Binh, Nguyen Cu Trinh and Cau Ong Lanh wards, and Bach Tung Diep Park.
However, chaos has relapsed on many sidewalks after the recent urban order restoration campaign, such as Hoang Sa and Ba Le Chan streets, a Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street section between Hoang Sa and Nguyen Binh Khiem streets, Ton Duc Thang Street, Nguyen Hue Boulevard, Children’s Hospital 2, Tu Du Hospital, Ben Thanh Market and Saigon Square, Le Thi Hong Gam Street, Nguyen Thai Binh Street and Pho Duc Chinh Street.
In the coming time, District 1 will establish two teams to check and restore urban order on 116 streets that have been cleared.     
Book Street in HCMC attracts huge crowd
The number of book lovers visiting Nguyen Van Binh Book Street in District 1, HCMC soared in the first half of 2017.
According to the Southern Representative Office of the Vietnam Publishers Association, there were 5,000-6,000 visitors coming to the Book Street on any weekday. At weekends or on special occasions, the number of visitors rose to 10,000 a day.
In the first six months of 2017, the Book Street attracted more than 1.2 million visitors, a sharp increase compared to 2016 with an average number of 4,000-4,500 visitors a day and 1.5 million visitors in the whole year.
Le Hoang, director of the Southern Representative Office of the Vietnam Publishers Association, said book sales have increased significantly. In the first quarter of 2017 alone, the Book Street gained revenue of about VND11 billion (about US$485,000), equal to the revenue of the whole second half of 2016.
Along with Vietnamese readers, the Book Street has lured a large number of foreign visitors. However, according to the HCMC Book Street Company Limited, there are just a few booths selling foreign language books. Therefore, book publishers should select appropriate Vietnamese books and translate them into foreign languages to serve foreign readers.
Besides, the company has made the Book Street more attractive and spacious by adding more green spaces and rearranging the booths.
To meet the high demand of readers, the HCMC Department of Information and Communications has plans to open more book streets in the city, with each able to cater to the citizenry of two or three districts.
IFEZ to support HCM City to become smart city
Chairman of  the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City Nguyen Thanh Phong hosted a reception for Director General of Incheon U-city Corporation Park Byeong Cheul on June 14.
The local government has completed the project on building the city into a smart one in the 2017-2025 period and with a vision towards 2030, said the chairman.
He hoped to receive advices, technical plans and financial solutions from Incheon Free Economic Zone (IFEZ)’s experts on the basis of the conditions of the city.
His counterpart, Park Byeong Cheul said that IFEZ would coordinate with Ho Chi Minh City to establish a group of experts to plan this project, choose operating units as well as giving human resource training support.
Incheon U-city Corporation is a private- public partnership in order to secure funding for system operation through effective business model. The company develops and manages U-City projects for public and private sectors in South Korea and internationally. It offers general system construction, maintenance business, and international consulting business for countries to create smart cities. Incheon U-city Corporation develops and manages Incheon Free Economic Zone (IFEZ). 
Bilingual street signs in HCM City
In an effort to become more friendly to international visitors, HCM City has added English to its safety signs.
The Sài Gòn River Tunnel is one of the first places to go bilingual, with an overhead electronic board having information also in English.
The route is popular with people living in District 2, the main expat area.
But typos and grammatical mistakes have sparked criticism.
Last year the city received 5.2 million foreign tourists and expects 6 million this year.
At the end of 2015 the city had 110,000 foreigners registered as temporary residents.
Last year Vi?t Nam was ranked one of the best places for expats, according to a HSBC survey.
In Asia, it came after only Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan, with very high satisfaction about integration, making friends and social life.
Water project benefits 160,000
Nearly 160,000 residents of eight H?ng (Red) River Delta provinces benefited from a programme for rural water supply and sanitation during the past four years.
The information was reported by Nguy?n Xuân Tùng, deputy director of the National Centre for Rural Water Supply and Sanitation, at a conference held this week in Hà N?i by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the World Bank.
A total of 48 water supply projects were set up to provide clean water for more than 132,700 households. The projects were managed well, providing sufficient clean water reaching regulated norms for residents’ daily lives, said Tùng.
By the 2019 end of the programme, as many as 60 water supply projects will have been be completed, bringing clean water for more than 224,700 households.
In the 2013-16 period the fund disbursed more than VNÐ2.5 trillion (US$110.2 million), making up more than 60 per cent of the programme’s total. This year more than VNÐ540 billion ($23.8 million) will be used, making up more than 13 per cent of the programme’s total fund.
However, several provinces implemented the programme slowly and might not complete the scheduled plan, and need stronger instruction from provincial authorities, he said.
Ð? Van Thành, head of the Rural Water Supply Programme’s Management Board under the MARD, said most provinces followed the regulations and plans.
Several provinces and cities including Vinh Phúc, Thanh Hóa and Hung Yên met difficulties in clearing the ground so the projects could be completed late, he said.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Hoàng Van Th?ng said the programme for rural water supply and sanitation needed co-operation among different sectors and much remains to be done. He warned provincial authorities to pay more attention to proper use of the capital provided. 
Sustainable forests project launched


A project on sustainable forests, jointly implemented by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), has officially launched.
The project, entitled ’Promotion of Sustainable Management of Production Forests by Forest Companies in Vi?t Nam’, will be carried out in the period between 2017 and 2019, with a total funding of 692,185 euros (US$772,000) and a counterpart fund of 55,000 euros ($61,000).
The project was assigned to the Vietnamese Academy of Forest Sciences (VAFS), as the project owner, and DFS and HessenForest (Germany), as consultants to provide technical support.
The three main objectives of the project are strengthening sustainable forest management in the selected State forest companies; establishing a training centre for sustainable forest management and forest certification, and replication of capacity building for forest companies and related agencies through training courses.
Currently, sustainable forest management and forest certification is one of the top priorities in the forestry sector in Vi?t Nam, according to forestry experts on Wednesday.
The Forestry Development Strategy 2006-20 has set a target of having at least 3 per cent of production forest areas certified as managed in a sustainable fashion by 2020, the experts said.
However, the implementation of sustainable forest management and forest certification in Vi?t Nam was far behind the expected targets.
To promote sustainable forest management and forest certification in Vi?t Nam, one of the current priorities was to build the capacity of forest owners and stakeholders for sustainable forest management.
With the support of the project, the training centre for sustainable forest management and forest certification will be established to deliver the training courses to forest owners across the country from 2018.
This is a first model of training centre in Vi?t Nam on sustainable forest management and certification that will be built on a joint co-operation between forestry research institute and forest companies (for demonstration activities).
It is expected to make significant contribution to capacity building for the stakeholders in the field of sustainable forest management in Vi?t Nam, contributing to the implementation of forest sector restructuring project.
As of 2016, about 205,000ha of forest are certified for sustainable forest management.
Yesterday, the project launch workshop was held in Ðông Hà City of Qu?ng Tr? Province with the participation of representatives from Vietnam Administration of Forestry, International Cooperation Department, and Agriculture and Rural Development departments of Qu?ng Bình, Qu?ng Tr? and Th?a Thiên-Hu? provinces and project partners.
U15 national contest to open in August
Hosts Tây Ninh will play Hoàng Anh Gia Lai in a Group A opener of the National U15 Football Championship.
The draw for the tournament to be held in Tây Ninh Province was held in Hà N?i yesterday.
The tournament, known as the Thái Son B?c Cup, will field eight teams who qualified in April.
The teams, divided into two groups, will compete in a round robin format from August 2. Two top teams from each group will advance to the semi-final round. The winners will walk away with VNÐ50 million (US$2,200) after the final on August 12.
It is the second year in a row that the Thái Son B?c Electric Equipment Trading Company is sponsoring the tournament.
Bùi Ðình T?, Thái Son B?c director, said the sponsorship was part of the company’s support for youth football in the country. He said he believed it would help strengthen and develop the game in the country, especially after the recent success of the U20 team. 
Firms reject clean production initiative
Many businesses have refused to join a clean production and energy efficiency project because they don’t find attractive enough incentives, experts said at a conference on June 15.
The conference was held to review implementation of the five-year Vietnam Clean Production and Energy Efficiency Project (CPEE) that closed this month.
“To encourage firms and to reach a more ambitious goal, more attractive incentives are needed,” Nguyen Dinh Hiep, vice chairman of the Vietnam Energy Conservation and Energy Efficiency Association, said at the conference.
The World Bank-funded CPEE project aimed to strengthen capacity for effective delivery of the national energy efficiency programme in key industrial sectors. This would improve energy efficiency and reduce associated greenhouse gas emissions.
The project had set goal of improving energy efficiency to more than 360,000 TOEs (tonnes oil equivalent) and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 1.25 million TCO2 (tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent) by 2017.
“However, only 70 per cent of the goals have been met,” said a representative from the Department of Science, Technology and Energy Efficiency under the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
The department estimated that the project would help save 249,000 TOEs of energy and reduce emissions by 933,000 TCO2 this year.
To date, about 89 per cent of the project’s investment has been disbursed, and disbursement of the remaining funds would continue, officials said, without elaborating.
The World Bank estimates that Vietnam can effect energy savings of 11 per cent with proper investment in energy consumption.
Experts also said that Vietnam needs more policies that encourage firms to save energy and promote energy efficiency in the long term.
Programme gives free genital reconstruction surgery to 230 children
Doctors from the US and Italy have provided free genital regeneration operations for 230 Vietnamese children, and given free consultation and check-ups to 800 other patients since August 2011 under a programme entitled “Thien Nhan and Friends”
The information was released at an event in Hanoi on June 15 held by Kim Dong Publishing House and the programme, which was launched six years ago by the Asia Injury Prevention Foundation.
On the occasion, the publishing house introduced the book “Journey of love, diary of Thien Nhan”, which notes difficulties in the journey to reconstruct genitals for Phung Thien Nhan, a young boy with genital problems whose story of overcoming a difficult past after being abandoned by his natural mother and attacked by wild animals inspired the whole nation. 
The publishing house’s editor-in chief Vu Thi Quynh Lien said all money collected from selling the book will be provided for the programme, supporting genital regeneration surgery for kids with genital defects. 
Since 2011, the “Thien Nhan and Friends” programme has coordinated with many hospitals in Vietnam in conducting genital examinations and reconstruction operations for poor Vietnamese children suffering from severe genital birth defects or loss of genitals from accidents twice a year.
In the framework of the programme, Vietnamese pediatric urologists will attend a workshop in Italy in October this year to learn experience from their Italian colleagues in the field.
The programme was inspired by Thien Nhan, an infant discarded at birth and left to die in a jungle. He suffered total loss of genitals and loss of one leg from a brutal mauling by wild animals. He has since been adopted by journalist Tran Mai Anh and lives happily with his new family in Hanoi. He is the official Goodwill Ambassador.
BarCamp Mekong 2017 to be held in Can Tho
The BarCamp Mekong 2017, the first event of its kind in the Mekong Delta region, will be held in Can Tho city on June 18, expected to draw at least 30 speakers and 500 listeners.
BarCamp is an open workshop where all people can register and present any topics they like and feel useful. Therefore, the BarCamp Mekong 2017 is described as a “party of ideas” serving the community. 
According to Lam Sieu Hai, a representative from the organiser ETM Vietnam, the new feature of this event is that topics which are voted most will be presented first. 
The organising board has prepared three well-equipped presentation rooms and listeners can move freely among the rooms to get topics of their concern, he added.
The BarCamp Mekong 2017 aims to connect and share ideas, especially those on start-ups, as well as create a venue for young people to show off themselves, said Nguyen My Thuan, Vice Chairwoman and General Secretary of the Can Tho Business Association.
The organising board has to date received 43 topics in various fields such as online business, students’ start-ups, English and effective learning methods, body language, health, technology, and soft skills, she revealed.
Vietnam sends heartfelt condolences to British fire victims’ families
Spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry Le Thi Thu Hang on June 15 extended the deepest condolences to the UK government, people and families of the victims of the recent fatal fire.
During the ministry’s regular press conference in Hanoi on June 15, Hang said the fire is a regrettable and heart-rending incident. 
She said there has been no information about Vietnamese people falling victim to the fire.
The fire occurred in a high-rise apartment building in west London at 12:54am on June 14, killing at least 17 people and injuring dozens others, but the death toll is expected to rise.
Hanoi pilots free swimming class for children
Given increasing incidences of drowning, the Hanoi Red Cross Society has opened a free swimming class for children in suburban districts to equip them with skills to prevent drowning.
At the class, teachers provide basic knowledge about prevention of drowning as well as first-aid skills. After theory work, children practice swimming. After the class which is scheduled to last 15 days, learners are expected to know how to swim and first-aid skills.
This programme was piloted in Dan Phuong district, and then expanded to all other suburban districts.
Statistics from the Ministry of Labour, Invalids, and Social Affairs show that 6,400 people die of drowning every year, with more than 50 percent being children and juveniles. This implies that such free swimming classes are critical to reduce drownings.
HCM City customs officials bust marijuana smuggling cases
Customs officials at Tan Son Nhat international airport in Ho Chi Minh City seized nearly 12kg of marijuana smuggled from the US to Vietnam in May and June.
The traffickers used new and sophisticated methods by hiding marijuana in dried fruits bags and boxes of clothes, canned food and confectionery.
Since 2014, customs officials in the airport have uncovered 26 cases of drug trafficking, with a combined total of more than 100 kg of cocaine, heroin and methphetamine and more than a tonne of Khat leaves.
Nhon-Hanoi Station metro project from vanguard to turtle
After seven years of construction, Nhon-Hanoi Railway Station metro rail project has been delayed many times and so far completed only 35 percent of work volume with investment capital increasing by half.
According to the latest adjustment, the project will be completed in 2021, meaning six years behind plan.
For the last many years, residents living along the route have to suffer dust, traffic jam and unsafety conditions. Xuan Thuy street, home to many universities, is nearly congested every day because of the project’s road works.
85 year old Hoang Anh Tuan says that local people want the project to soon complete so that their life can return back to normal but they have seen only few workers on the construction site or even no workers in some stretches.
After a worker carelessly dropped a five kilogram steel pipe on the nearby pavement, worrying locals, Hanoi Urban Railway Management Board and French Systra consultant company asked contractors to stop construction and review labor safety operations.
Previously, the project was halted after two consecutive labor unsafety cases, threatening passers in 2015. Of these, a crane suddenly fell onto two houses in Cau Giay street, hurting two people. A 10 meter iron beam fell in front of the house at number 265 Ho Tung Mau street, Tu Liem district, Hanoi. Fortunately, no one was injured.
Nhon-Hanoi Railway Station metro line was initially expected to be the first urban railway project coming into operation to contribute in reducing traffic jam in Hanoi. Still it has become one of the most sluggish disreputable works in the capital city.
Starting in 2006 with the total capital of EUR783 million from official development and reciprocal funds, the project was scheduled to be built in 2010.
However, the work was put off and restarted in September 2010. Afterwards, it continued deferring until 2015. Price escalation has rocketed investment capital by EUR393 million to EUR1,176 billion.
Another credit agreement with French Development Agency was signed in 2016 to supplement an extra of EUR69 million for the project, raising the total amount to EUR1,245 billion. The deadline to complete the project was lengthened to 2018 and recently to till 2021.
Site clearance and slow construction of main bid packages have been believed to be the top reason for the sluggish progress and capital skyrocket.
The investor of the bid package no.1 has many times changed construction firms for poor capacity. The contractor of the third package has demanded US$40 million in contract cost raise due to slow site clearance. Sytra consultant required an extra of $23 million to extending contract time.
Deputy chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Nguyen The Hung admitted that the project’s capital skyrocket has been because the project’s unexperienced and unqualified investor has much depended on foreign consultants who have not had profound understanding of Vietnam’s regulations.
According to head of the Hanoi Urban Railway Management Board Nguyen Cao Minh, the Hanoi People’s Committee has made drastic instructions in site clearance after deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung required to speed up the project to solve traffic jam inner the city.
Some bid packages have showed positive changes but some have still been slow because of problems in bidding process and assessment, technical design approval and estimates.
So far, only 40 percent of work on stations on the ground has completed while underground stations have not started construction. Ngoc Khanh station alone faces residents’ objections because of substandard designs.
The Government’s inspectorate has decided to launch an overall inspection over the project from May 16 to June 26. With current problems, experts worried that the project will continue delaying after 2021.
Film studio combined with ecotourism to be built in Bu Dang
People’s Committee in the southern province of Binh Phuoc has just approved the project of Trang Co Bu Lach tourism complex development covering an area of 348ha in Bu Dang Distict.
As per the project, a film studio combined with ecotourism in Trang Co Bu Lach Complex will include space of cultural village where exhibits cultural artifacts of ethnic minority in the province. 
A 40 hectare wildlife reserve area; resort; entertainment area and exhibition area of agricultural produces are designed in the project.
Binh Phuoc Province People’s Committee Chairman Nguyen Van Tram said that the project will combine with other nearby complexes such as Ba Ra Mountain Complex, cultural conservation area S’Tieng Sok Bom Bo, historical monuments of the wartime’ region headquarter Ta Thiet to make the province’s specific complexes.
Apple snails attack rice crop in Quang Tri
Farmers in central Qu?ng Tr? Province is struggling to cultivate rice in the summer-autumn crop season due to the outbreak of apple snails, an invasive species that attacks rice plants.
A report by authorities in the province’s Cam L? District said apple snails have eaten newly-sowed rice in 50 hectares of the district.
Farmers in Cam L?, a week ago, discovered their rice plants had been eaten. They later found many apple snails in the paddies, with hundreds of snails per one square metre.
Some farmers did their re-sowing, but the plants continued to be eaten. The farmers are waiting for support from the local authorities to stop the outbreak of the snail attacks. They made several efforts, including chemical spraying, but failed to kill the snails.
Experts said the high frequency of rains this summer reduced the time for the soil to dry, before cultivation, and this created favourable condition for the growth of apple snails.
The snail, which has the scientific name of Pomacea canaliculata, is an invasive species to Vi?t Nam. The country’s agricultural authorities, four decades ago, mistook the snail’s economic effect and imported the snail for breeding around the country.
Condolences sent to Portugal over forest fires
President Tran Dai Quang on June 19 sent a message of condolences to his Portuguese counterpart Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa over human and property losses caused by forest fires in central Portugal.
The same day, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh also extended his sympathies to Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva over the disaster. 
The devastating forest fires broke out on June 17 in Pedrogao Grande city, about 200km south-east of Lisbon capital city, killing at least 62 people and injuring over 60 others, five of them seriously. 
The combination of high temperatures and strong winds appeared to have contributed to the rapid spread of the fires. Portugal is suffering a severe heat wave with temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius in many areas.
More than 1,000 firefighters are still battling the blaze, which spread to neighbouring regions of Castelo Branco and Coimbra on June 19. 
Earlier, Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa announced three days of national mourning for the victims of the forest fires. 
In 2016, many fires ravaged the country with 40 homes being destroyed and 5,400 hectares of land burned.
Remains of two American servicemen repatriated


Việt Nam has repatriated remains believed to be of US soldiers who died during the Việt Nam War.
At a ceremony at Đà Nẵng International Airport on Sunday, Việt Nam handed over boxes containing two sets of remains, one set submitted by locals and the other found by a Việt Nam-US team during their 127th joint search between April and June 2017.
The remains have been examined by Vietnamese and American forensic specialists, who concluded they could belong to US servicemen who went missing during the war. They recommended the remains be brought back to Hawaii for further review.
The ceremony marked the 141th handover of missing American soldiers’ remains since 1973.
The previous repatriation was also held in Đà Nẵng in April, during which three sets of remains were transferred following a joint search between February and April this year. 
Hà Tĩnh road named after first journalist martyr
A plaque marking the naming of a road after legendary journalist Trần Kim Xuyến was unveiled at a solemn ceremony in the central province of Hà Tĩnh on Saturday. 
Xuyến, known as Việt Nam’s first journalist martyr, was the first leader of Vietnam News Agency (VNA).
Trần Kim Xuyến Road runs through Phố Châu Town in Hương Sơn District.
Born in 1921 in Hương Sơn, Xuyến was appointed Deputy Director of the Ministry of Home Affairs’ Việt Nam Information Department after the 1945 August Revolution. He was directly in charge of the Vietnam News Agency at the time. He was also a deputy of the first National Assembly. 
He laid down his life on March 3, 1947, at the age of 26, becoming the first revolutionary journalist to die in battle. 
The Trần Kim Xuyến road, more than 2km long and 20m in width, runs from the Phố Châu intersection to Hồ Chí Minh Road. 
Underlining the significance of the event, VNA General Director Nguyễn Đức Lợi said that it reflects the national philosophy: “When drinking water, remember its source.”
It was also a tribute to Xuyến by the Party, State, Hà Tĩnh authorities and people, as well as VNA staff, he said. 
The event is an acknowledgement of the VNA, the first press agency nationwide that was awarded the titles of “Hero of the People’s Armed Forces” and “Labour Hero in the Reform Period,” he said. 
During the wars against French and US forces, generations of VNA journalists and technicians were present at all battlefields, Lợi said, adding that more than 260 of them sacrificed their lives for the nation. 
Speaking at the event, Võ Hồng Hải, Vice Chairman of the Hà Tĩnh People’s Council, called on Party committees, authorities and organisations of Hương Sơn District  at all levels to set up communications and popularise the life and career of Xuyến. 
Thailand’s Supreme Patriarch greets Vietnamese ambassador
The Supreme Patriarch of Thailand His Holiness Somdet Phra Arayawongsakhatayan said the relationship between the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS) and the Thailand Buddhist Sangha (TBS) has made noted strides over the past time.   
At a reception for outgoing Vietnamese Ambassador Nguyen Tat Thanh on June 18, the Supreme Patriarch reviewed the warm welcome of President Tran Dai Quang and other high-ranking Vietnamese leaders for a delegation of Thai and Annam-nikai Buddhists during their first-ever visit to Vietnam last March. 
He said the VBS plays an important international role, which has been demonstrated through Vietnam’s hosting of the United Nations Day of Vesak (Buddha's Birthday, Enlightenment and Passing Away) in 2008 and 2014 and its bid to host the next event in 2019. 
The Thai royal family has always paid attention to the Annam-nikai sect which has greatly contributed to the development of Buddhism in Thailand, he said, recalling its contributions to the requiem for King Bhumibol Adulyadej on March 21.
The host also highlighted activities organised by Vietnamese pagodas in Thailand, which, he said, have helped bring pragmatic ties to the public. 
For his part, Ambassador Thanh congratulated Somdet Phra Arayawongsakhatayan on his appointment as the 20th Supreme Patriarch of Thailand and his upcoming 90th birthday. 
He thanked the support of Thailand’s royal family, Buddhist Sangha and Government for Vietnamese pagodas in the host country. 
The diplomat noted his hope that the TBS will continue to create favourable conditions for Vietnamese Buddhists to learn at Buddhism schools in the country, contributing to enhancing mutual understanding between the two countries and tightening relations between their Buddhists.
Khanh Hoa: More than 25 million USD for flooding, erosion prevention
The central coastal province of Khanh Hoa plans to spend more than 580 billion VND (25.52 million USD) on 60 infrastructure projects to prevent flooding, river erosion and saltwater intrusion in 2017-2018.
The investment includes more than 360 billion VND (15.84 million USD) sourced from state budget while the province and its districts will invest 99 billion VND (4.35 million USD) and 114 billion VND (5 million USD), respectively. 
Erosion at the riverbank is endangering hundreds of households in Dien Khanh District and Nha Trang city. The most serious case is the riverbank along Cai River in four communes in Nha Trang city that needs almost half of the total investment, or 250 billion VND (11 million USD), to build embankments. 
The erosion has affected 150 houses in which 600 people reside in Vinh Thanh Commune and more than 350 houses inhabited by 1,000 people in Vinh Trung, Vinh Phuong and Vinh Ngoc Communes.
It has also hit the banks of the Dau Stream in Dien Thanh Commune, the Cho River in Dien Xuan Commune, Dien Khanh District and the riverbanks of Lop River and Dinh River in Ninh Hoa town and Can River in Cam Ranh City.
It was estimated that floods at the end of 2016 caused landslides along 5.3 kilometres of riverbank in Khanh Hoa.
Lowlands in Cam Thinh Dong Commune, Cam Ranh City face serious flooding with water 0.5 – 1 metre deep in the wet season and saline intrusion in the dry season that affects up to 100 hectares of farm lands.
According to the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the area is home to about 750 households with 3,000 people.
Some 100 billion VND will be used to build canals and dykes in Cam Thinh Dong while 70 billion VND will be spent to construct canals in Dien Dien and Dien Khanh Communes, Dien Khanh District to prevent saltwater intrusion.
Bac Ninh provides HIV/AIDS health insurance support
The northern province of Bac Ninh has become the first locality nationwide to provide health insurance support to all people living with HIV/AIDS and taking antiretroviral (ARV) treatment.
The assistance is part of the province’s efforts to fulfil the UN 90-90-90 goal, which targets 90 percent of all people living with HIV knowing their HIV status, 90 percent of all people with diagnosed HIV receiving sustained antiretroviral therapy and 90 percent of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy achieving viral suppression. 
The support is sourced from the leftover funds from the 2016 health insurance fund.
According to the provincial Centre for HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control, as of the end of April 2017, the province had 2,448 HIV-infected patients and more than 1,000 people living with AIDS, while 958 had died from AIDS.
In the first four months of this year, Bac Ninh recorded 58 new cases of HIV infection.
Since 2015, Bac Ninh has welcomed two projects for HIV/AIDS prevention, including a Global Fund project to supply free ARV to HIV/AIDS patients. However, the supply will be cut off from July 1, 2017 when ARV will be covered by health insurance. This will pose difficulties to the needy, most of whom are living in poverty.
Along with strengthening communications on HIV/AIDS prevention, the province plans to popularise the rights of health insurance card holders, especially among high-risk groups.
However, many HIV/AIDS patients still struggle to buy health insurance due to a lack of legal documents.
Quang Nam: Free cataract surgeries for policy beneficiaries
As many as 500 policy beneficiaries and poor people in the central province of Quang Nam received free cataract surgeries at the provincial General Hospital on June 18.
The programme was jointly held by the National Institute of Ophthalmology (VNIO), the Vietnam Youth Federation and the Vietnamese Young Doctors Association as part of the activities to mark the 70th anniversary of Vietnam War Invalids and Martyrs’ Day (July 27).
The operations were carried out in a mobile eye surgery coach, which is equipped with modern eye examination devices and equipment like ophthalmic ultrasound scanner and ophthalmology surgery microscope.
VNIO Director Dr Nguyen Xuan Hiep said Quang Nam province has a high rate of blindness caused by cataract. The mobile cataract surgery campaign would make significant contributions to bringing light to the blind in the locality, he said.
The VNIO’s statistics show that 70 percent of Vietnamese in rural areas and poor people have eye-related diseases but they could hardly get access to healthcare services. The mobile cataract surgery campaign, launched in 2007, has improved eye care for tens of thousands of patients in impoverished regions.
Start-up competition for students held in Da Nang
The final round of the Da Nang Startup Runway 2017 took place in the central city on June 17 with the participation of 10 outstanding teams.
The competition, which jointly held by the University of Economics – the Da Nang University and Cork Academy of Ireland as part of a project sponsored by the Irish Aid, drew more than 80 teams in the qualifying round.
The C-Tek group won the first prize with the combination of a coat and a sleeping bag. The team received a cash prize worth 10 million VND (440 USD) and a training course at the Rubicon start-ups centre of the Cork Academy.
TOMATO group came in second with online fashion shopping app EZCLO and WHATEVER group finished third with pet care app Petla.
All the three teams come from the University of Economics - the Da Nang University.
Assoc. Prof. Dr Nguyen Manh Toan, Rector of the University of Economics, said the competition offered opportunities for students to sharpen their skills and practice foreign languages. It also enhance the start-up spirit among university students in Da Nang in particular and Vietnam’s central region in general.
Responsive activities to climate change in agriculture
Measures to tackle climate change’s impacts were the main theme of a recent conference on the agricultural sector in the context of implementing the Paris Climate Accord.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development reported that the agricultural sector has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emission by eight percent and even by 20 percent if receiving support from the international community.
Data has shown that climate change has caused negative impacts on agriculture, especially through erosion of river banks, estuaries and coastal areas.
In 2015, Việt Nam joined the Paris Agreement Accord with roughly 200 other countries to begin implementing national plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
The ministry has devised an action programme to deal with climate change in 2016-20, targeting reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent every 10 years.
President meets former volunteer soldiers in Cambodia
President Tran Dai Quang on June 17 met with Vietnamese former volunteer soldiers who helped Cambodia in the 1979-1989 period. 
At the meeting, the President said he was moved to meet the Vietnamese volunteer soldiers, who stood side by side with the Cambodian people in the struggle against the genocidal Pol Pot regime, helping the neighbouring country gradually revive and develop.
He praised achievements recorded by the Vietnam-Cambodia Friendship Association over the past time as well as the initiative to admit the veterans to the association, contributing to enhancing the traditional friendship and comprehensive cooperation between the two countries. 
The Cambodian State and people as well as the Vietnamese Party, State and people have appreciated great contributions and sacrifice of the volunteer soldiers, the leader stressed. 
He urged the Vietnam-Cambodia Friendship Association to further spread information about the fine bilateral relations among Vietnamese and Cambodian people, especially on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the two countries’ bilateral ties.
President Quang tasked authorities of different levels with supporting the association in organising the Vietnam – Cambodia Friendship Year 2017.
He assigned the presidential office to work with relevant agencies to ensure welfares for former Vietnamese volunteer soldiers, who helped Cambodia during its past struggle against the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime. The office was also demanded to propose authorised agencies commend and reward units and individuals that are yet to be honoured. 
He also urged organisations and businesses to help former volunteer soldiers in Cambodia visit the country this year on the occasion of 40 years since the end of the genocidal regime in Cambodia.-
NGOs urged to unite to protect kids
Many public organisations and NGOs operate in the field of children protection in HCM City but do not work closely with one another, according to experts.
Speaking at a workshop on the child abuse and trafficking situation and ways to combat them held on June 16 by the HCM City Child Welfare Association, they said these organisations should collaborate to develop a common strategy and action plan to improve the effectiveness of measures to safeguard children from abuse and trafficking.
Without such cooperation, they could well duplicate each other’s work, leading to a waste of human resources, they said.
Ly Thi To Mai, a member of the HCM City Association for Child Rights Protection’s lawyers panel, said not only girls but also boys face a grave risk of abuse and trafficking.
“The latest case, which I do not know how to resolve, involves a 12-year-old boy in District 9 who was seduced by a 28-year-old man. The boy dropped out of school to go and live with the man.”
When Mai met the boy and asked him if he was seduced, he denied it.
“How to protect such boys?”
Nguyen Van Tinh, deputy head of the children protection and care division of the city Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, said many families with boys are not aware of the risks and allow them to stay at others’ places overnight.
In the city, there have been 100 cases of child sex abuse and violence in the last 18 months, he said.
But in reality, many more are unreported by victims’ families for various reasons, he added.
Nguyen Minh Giang, programme manager at anti-trafficking NGO Pacific Links Foundation, said Vietnam is a country with a high incidence of trafficking.
“Of the victims aged less than 18 trafficked in the UK, the number of Vietnamese is the highest.”
Colonel Phan Van Tang of the HCM City Police’s criminal police division admitted the police are yet to uncover a single child in the city trafficked to other countries.
According to Mai, social organisations in the city should have programmes to propagate the skills and knowledge required to prevent children abuse and trafficking.
More mock courts should be held in schools, she added.
Pham Dinh Nghinh, head of the Social Welfare Centre for Children, said such courts should also be held in residential areas and industrial parks to warn people.
Hanoi values contributions of news agencies
Hanoi authorities had a meeting with representatives from central-level and Hanoi news agencies on June 17 on the occasion of the 92th anniversary of Vietnam Revolutionary Press Day (June 21, 1925 – 2017).
Chairwoman of the municipal People’s Council Nguyen Thi Bich Ngoc acknowledged the press’ role in capturing Hanoi’s growth progress and building the image of a dynamic capital city.
She expected the news agencies to continue covering the local political and socio-economic affairs as well as reflecting the voice of the city’s residents, organisations and businesses, which could be conducive to its policy making and management.
Participating journalists took note of the city’s prompt disclosure of pressing issues, but urged local authorities to be more open to the public.
Previously, as the press day came closer, leaders from the municipal Party Committee, People’s Council and People’s Committee visited and congratulated journalists at the Vietnam News Agency, the Radio Voice of Vietnam, and People’s Army Newspaper, among others.
Gala promotes Vietnamese culture in Cuba
Vietnamese culture has been introduced to Cuban friends at a gala night in Havana University held by the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union’s chapter in Cuba. 
With 12 performances, the Alma Vietnam 2017, featured Ao Dai (Vietnamese traditional long dress) and traditional dances, along with songs depicting the spiritual life of Vietnamese people as well as praising heroic mothers and soldiers who laid down their lives for the nation.
This year’s event also saw the participation of Cuban artists. 
First held in 2015, the annual programme has helped intensify the solidarity among Vietnamese students in the Caribbean country.
Can Tho in merry mood with Yoga Day
More than 1,500 people in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho took part in the third International Yoga Day on June 17.
The mass yoga practice is part of the series of activities to mark the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Vietnam and India and 10 years of their strategic partnership.
Addressing the event, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Le Van Tam said it is a people-to-people exchange activity that aims to boost mutual understanding between Vietnamese and Indian people.
Can Tho and India have worked together in various projects in agriculture, information technology, and human resources training, he said, wishing for more joint cultural exchanges between the sides in the future.
Can Tho hopes to welcome art troupes, investors and tourists from India, the official stressed.  
Smita Pant, Indian Consul General to HCM City, said yoga is a key to a healthy and balanced body and mind.
She said she hopes the day will help increase the population of Yoga practitioners in Can Tho.
The event is scheduled to run in Hanoi, Vinh Phuc, Vinh, Da Nang, Nha Trang, Long An, Can Tho, and Dong Nai from June 17 to July 2, and finally reach Ho Chi Minh City on June 25.
Thanh Hoa busts smuggling of 1,200 synthetic pills


Police in the central province of Thanh Hoa, on June 15, captured a man for transporting 1,200 synthetic pills.
Ho Van Po, born in 1962, was caught red handed on the 15C national highway’s section in Nhi Son commune, Muong Lat district.
Po currently resides in Laos’ Houaphan province.
The case is under investigation.
Over 394 billion VND spent on gifts for revolutionary contributors
A budget of over 394.6 billion VND (17.36 million USD) has been earmarked for gifts to revolutionary contributors in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the War Invalids and Martyrs Day (July 27, 1947-2017).
Under a plan submitted to the President, there will be two categories of gifts, with those for heroic mothers and seriously injured war invalids worth 400,000 VND (17.6 USD) each, and those for war invalids with less severe injuries and martyrs’ families, worth 200,000 VND (8.8 USD) each. 
The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) is in charge of the tribute programme.
According to MoLISA Minister Dao Ngoc Dung, the country has over 9 million people recognised as having rendered service to the revolution and the country, making up nearly 10 percent of the total population. More than 1.4 million of revolutionary contributors and their families are receiving monthly allowances.
Photo contest on climate change launched
A photo contest themed “People and nature in the context of climate change for sustainable development” was launched on June 16 by the National Hydro-meteorological Service (NHS) under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment in conjunction with the Vietnam Pictorial of the Vietnam News Agency. 
The contest forms part of activities marking the 50th anniversary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP)/World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) Typhoon Committee and the 50th session of the committee to be held in Vietnam in 2018. 
It also aims to promote Vietnam’s contribution to multilateral international cooperation while affirming the country’s position as one of the 14 members of the UNESCAP/WMO Typhoon Committee.
Since Vietnam officially joined the committee in 1979, the country has received support from the committee as well as the WMO and the UN Economic Commission for Asia and Far East (UNECAFE), the predecessor of UNESCAP, in research and training, thus serving the hydro-meteorological forecasting in the country. 
The UNESCAP/WMO Typhoon Committee is an intergovernmental organisation established in 1968 under the auspices of the UNECAFE and the WMO in order to promote and coordinate the planning and implementation of measures required for minimising the loss of life and material damage caused by typhoon in Asia-Pacific. 
NHS Deputy General Director Tran Hong Thai, who is also head of the photo contest’s organising board, said the event is due to raise public awareness of natural disaster prevention and mitigation, and promote the role of the hydro-meteorological sector in managing and exploiting the hydro-meteorological forecasting network to serve the country’s sustainable development. 
The contest will last from June 16-September 30, 2017, calling for the participation of professional and amateur Vietnamese photographers both at home and abroad. 
Topics will focus on impacts of the nature, people joining hands in the context of climate change, and efforts to mitigate natural disasters to serve sustainable development.
Children taught about participation rights
More than 40 children aged from 9 to 14 from south eastern localities including Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Binh Duong, Binh Phuoc, Dong Nai and Tay Ninh, were taught about the participation rights of children at a course in Binh Duong on June 16.
The course was held by Department of Child Care and Protection under the Ministry of Labours, Invalids and Social Affairs in coordination with Binh Duong province, with the aim of providing basic knowledge for children when joining group activities as well as how to notice signs of abused children. 
The participants were taught skills to exercise their participation rights, skills in negotiation, planning and self-protection, among others.
The same day, a conference took place in Ho Chi Minh City to look for ways to prevent and stop the abuse and trafficking of children.
According to statistics of the city’s Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, there were 104 cases of child abuse reported in the city during 2016 and the first half of 2017.
Nguyen Van Tinh, deputy head of the Child Care and Protection Office under the Department said that many families of the victims did not report their cases to authorities, making it more difficult for investigation.
Lawyer Tran Thi Ngoc Nu stressed the necessity to raise awareness for women, as mothers should report and calmly gather evidence when there are signs that their children are victims of abuse.
Participants suggested that stricter penalty should be imposed on child abuse criminals while law enforcement agencies should be more flexible in collecting evidence. They also called for specialised training for female police officers on child abuse investigation.
Thai Binh University of Medicine and Pharmacy honoured by Cambodia
The Thai Binh University of Medicine and Pharmacy in the Red River Delta province of Thai Binh hosted a ceremony on June 16 to receive Friendship Orders bestowed by the Kingdom of Cambodia on the university staff and 12 lecturers.
Established in 1968 with its original name as the Thai Binh University of Medicine, the university was tasked with training human resources, transfer science-technology and provide public healthcare services and products to care for and protect people’s health.
In 1982, the university was entrusted by the State to train doctors for Cambodia.
Assoc. Prof. Dr Hoang Nang Trong, rector of the university, said over the past 35 years the university has always created the best conditions for foreign students, including those from Cambodia, to pursue their studies. It has trained 426 Cambodian students to become doctors, he said.
In the 2016-2017 school years, the university received 26 more Cambodian students, increasing the total number of Cambodian students studying at the university to 178, he noted.
Most of them pursue education under the signed agreement between the Vietnamese and Cambodian governments, he said.
Cambodian Ambassador to Vietnam Prak Nguon Hong spoke highly of the cooperation in medical training between the university and his country.
Many Cambodian doctors trained at the university have made active contributions to the country’s public healthcare, he noted, stressing that this demonstrates the deep friendship, solidarity and mutual assistance between the two neighbouring nations over the past five decades.
On the occasion, the Cambodian Embassy in Vietnam presented the friendship orders to the university staff and its 12 outstanding lecturers.
The same day, the university held a graduation ceremony for 31 Lao and Cambodian students.
Workshop discusses action plan for green growth in building sector
A workshop was co-held by the Ministry of Construction and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) in Hanoi on June 16 to implement the action plan for green growth in the building sector.
Speaking at the event, Le Trung Thanh, Director of the Department of Science Technology and Environment at the Ministry of Construction, stressed the side-effects of economic development which have caused pollution, resource exhaustion, and energy crisis over the past few years.
Vietnam is among countries suffering the most from impacts of climate change, for example, sea level rise, droughts and flooding so that the government has designed a national action plan for green growth from 2014-2020.
With support from the USAID’s “Vietnam Clean Energy Programme: Energy Efficiency Promotion”, the Ministry has formulated the action plan for the building sector by 2020 with a vision to 2030.
The program offers building owners free technical support to provide building energy simulations that can help them achieve substantial energy and Green House Gas (GHG) reductions for their newly-designed and retrofitted building demonstration projects. 
It also offers training on integrated design, building energy simulation and incorporation of energy code requirements into construction processes. Furthermore, it provides urban managers and leaders with the expertise from American green building and sustainable urban energy development experts.
USAID Vietnam Director Michael Greene said Vietnam is among countries with the fastest urbanisation that leads to an increase in GHG. Energy consumption may triple between 2010 and 2020, he noted.
He underlined the necessity to integrate the Vietnam Energy Efficiency Building Code (VEEBC) into the building sector’s action plan for green growth.
So far, some 3,000 architects, engineers, project managers, government officials and practitioners from 40 provinces have benefited from the program’s training courses, receiving technical knowledge and skills to effectively enforce and implement the VEEBC. The program has surveyed 280 buildings to develop a national database on building energy performance.
President meets chiefs of Vietnamese representative offices abroad
President Tran Dai Quang presented the President’s decisions to appoint chiefs of Vietnamese representative offices abroad for the 2017-2020 tenure at a ceremony in Hanoi on June 16. 
At a following reception, he asked them to continue fully grasping and effectively implementing the Party’s and State’s resolutions and decrees on external affairs and global integration, particularly the Resolution adopted by the 12th National Party Congress and the Resolution No.6 NQ/TW by the Party Central Committee (12th tenure). 
They were requested to realize productively the key external relations tasks of maintaining a peaceful and stable environment and gathering foreign support; firmly safeguarding national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity; and improving the country’s stature on international arena. 
The host underscored the need to fully grasp comprehensive diplomacy, under which, political diplomacy should be soundly combined with economic, cultural, and national defence-security diplomacy.
He asked the diplomats to make the best use of opportunities and solve challenges to best serve the nation’s sustainable development and security goals.
As protectionism is emerging worldwide, the chiefs of Vietnamese representative offices should continue boosting global integration in ways that match the country’s conditions and interests, he said, adding that they are tasked with properly position Vietnam in the world’s mainstream that suits national interests. 
He noted that they must properly settle border and territorial issues by pooling support of the international community in political and legal terms while mobilizing the Vietnamese nationals abroad to stay united and look towards the homeland. 
On behalf of the diplomat, Vietnamese Ambassador to Cambodia Vu Quang Minh expressed honour to hold such noble responsibility and vowed to do the best to fulfill the missions entrusted by the Party, State and people.
Son La: illegal drug transporters arrested
The police of Song Ma district, the northern mountainous province of Son La, have detained two men for illegally transporting 10 cakes of heroin (about 3.5 kg). 
The arrested are Song A Trang, 23, residing in Phieng Pan village, Mai Son district, and Giang A Tung, 20, in Na Nghiu commune, Song Ma district.
They were arrested in Le Hong Phong village, Na Nghiu commune, Song Ma district on June 19. 
They confessed that they bought the heroin from a strange man in the border area and intended to sell to earn some profit.
The case is under investigation. 
Son La borders Laos and is home to some ethnic minority groups.
Da Nang ensures power supply for APEC 2017
The central city of Da Nang has exerted efforts to ensure stable power supply for the socio-economic development of the city as well as activities of the APEC 2017 that the city will host in November this year.
According to the Da Nang Power Company, on June 17, the city’s commercial power production hit 10 million kWh per day.
The production rose over 8.3 percent over the peak figure in 2016 and 25 percent over the average daily production since early this year.
The city experienced a hot month in June with the record demand for power. The total power consumption on June 17 was 473MW, with daily use of 10.027 million kWh, the city’s highest figures so far. 
Earlier this month, the city put into operation an upgraded transformer of the Hoa Khanh 2 110kV transformer station in Hoa Khanh industrial park, Lien Chieu district.
Gov’t jobs open to non-City residents
People who are not residents of HCM City can now apply for civil service jobs.
The chairman of the city’s People’s Committee, Nguyễn Thành Phong, officially announced that the criterion requiring household registration in the city for civil service applicants has been abolished.
Lê Hoài Trung, deputy director of the city’s Home Affairs said the move was expected to ensure fairness for all applicants, the Tuổi trẻ (Youth) online newspaper reported.
At present, almost all local State agencies only recruit candidates with household registration in the city. Trung said the city is in need of 500 civil servants this year.
He added that the Ministry of Home Affairs requires successful applicants to be qualified in both written tests and interviews, instead of only written tests as before. Thus, the city will apply the model to recruit civil servants this year, he said.
Huỳnh Thục Phương, a third-year student of the Foreign Trade University in HCM City, said the move was appreciated. “No one can choose where to be born, and using the criterion of household registration for employment creates a disadvantage for applicants living in other localities who want to work for State agencies in this city,” she said.
Đỗ Thị Ngọc Linh, a fourth-year student of HCM City University of Physical Education and Sports, said the decision opens up opportunities for migrants like her to get a Government job.
Nguyễn Quang Hiếu, a fourth-year student of Việt Nam National University in HCM City, said removing the residence criterion means local students will have to compete more fiercely to get a Government job.
Unlike HCM City, many localities in the country do not require household registration as a recruitment criterion for Government jobs, including Cần Thơ and Đà Nẵng. — VNS
More than $25 million planned for flooding, erosion prevention
The central coastal province of Khánh Hoà plans to spend more than VNĐ580 billion (US$25.52 million) on 60 infrastructure projects to prevent flooding, river erosion and saltwater intrusion in 2017-18.
The investment includes more than VNĐ360 billion  ($15.84 million) sourced from State budget while the province and its districts will invest VNĐ99 billion ($4.35 million) and VNĐ114 billion ($5 million), respectively.
Erosion at the riverbank is endangering hundreds of households in Diên Khánh District and Nha Trang City. The most serious case is the riverbank along Cái River in four communes in Nha Trang City that needs almost half of the total investment, or VNĐ250 billion ($11 million), to build embankments.
The erosion has affected 150 houses in which 600 people reside in Vĩnh Thanh Commune and more than 350 houses inhabited by 1,000 people in Vĩnh Trung, Vĩnh Phương and Vĩnh Ngọc communes.
It was estimated that floods at the end of 2016 caused landslides along 5.3 kilometres of riverbank in Khánh Hòa.
According to the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the area is home to about 750 households with 3,000 people. 

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