Social News 4/7
Repair of burnt apartment block in HCMC expected to complete on August 15
The apartment block Carina
On June 29, the Hung Thanh Trade - Service - Production - Construction Company (the owner of the burnt apartment block Carina) started repairing it after obtaining the license for repairing Carina Plaza (located in district 8, HCMC) that was burnt in a fire causing 13 people dead.
The water and electricity items will be completed in 30 days and the fire protection system will be done in 45 days from the date of repairing, the Hung Thanh company spokesman said. On 15 August, the repair will be completed. After completion of the mending, the architect will be examined by the Ministry of Construction and residents will be permitted to accommodate.
Previously, on June 28, the HCM City Department of Construction approved the Hung Thanh Company to repair Carina Plaza earlier than expected including the repairing and renovating the basement of towers A and B with an area of over 1,000m².
Those working items also include the mending a number of damaged electrical items from the basement to the 2nd floor; replacement of equipment including electrical cabinets, control cabinets, cable trays, switchgear wires; water pipe system; security cameras ... and some other works. Relating the fire prevention system, the HCMC Department of Construction forced the Hung Thanh company to totally replace with new ones.
Talking with SGGP Newspaper reporter on June 29, representative of the HCM City Department of Construction inspectorate said that in the process of repairing of Carina apartment, mobile inspection teams in the district will coordinate with local authorities to check, supervise the owner's process in accordance with the repair license. The work will be early completed to quickly bring people back, stabilizing their lives.
Lai Chau: Thousands still isolated amidst food shortage in Muong Te
Roads to Pa Ve Su commune are still blocked by landslide debris.
Nearly a week after the heavy floods and landslides that caused severe damage to the northern mountainous province of Lai Chau, thousands of households in Muong Te district are still isolated amidst a food shortage.
According to the statistics, five communes with more than 50 hamlets in the district are still isolated. Despite the maximum forces and machinery being mobilised, most inter-communal roads and inter-village routes have not been cleared due to a large volume of landslide debris. Walking is the only mode to reach these communes, while essential goods’ prices are beginning to increase due to scarcity.
It takes more than an hour to walk to Phi Chi A, the first hamlet in Pa Ve Su commune, which suffered the most during the incident. Although situated only about 20 km from the district’s centre, the hamlet has nearly 50 landslide areas, with a road completely damaged, cutting off the connection between the locale and the outside world. Due to the block, some essential commodities in the commune have started to become scarce with increased prices.
According to Lo Xa Xe, a local shop owner, the price of each packet of install noodles or an egg has increased from VND500 to VND1,000 but he does not have enough goods to sell. Xe had to mobilise all of his seven family members and relatives to carry goods from outside through the landslide areas to the hamlet. They tried hard but only transported over a dozen packets of noodles, eggs, and some other essentials. The limited amount of goods can serve only part of the local need for just one or two days.
Pan Phi Chong, Vice Chairman of Pa Ve Su commune, confirmed that, due to traffic congestion, goods storage in the commune has run out. Difficult transportation has laid a great negative impact on the lives of local people. Apart from the scarcity of goods, the damage caused by floods and landslides in other areas has also affected the lives of more than 600 households with about 2,000 people in the commune.
Not only Pa Ve Su, other communes of Mu Ca, Thu Lung, Pa U and Ta Pa are also isolated. The transport has been paralysed, although Muong Te district has mobilised all means to remove the landslides and make temporary roads to facilitate people’s travel. The district’s working missions have been dispatched to isolated sites to support the victims. According to Mai Van Thach, Chairman of People's Committee of Muong Te district, the damage to local traffic is huge. In the immediate future, the district will focus on clearing the roads to the centres of such isolated communes. However, even in favourable weather conditions, it could take half a month to clear the roads leading to the aforementioned communes, Thach added.
Thach also informed that, at the beginning of the rainy season, the district had inspected the hoarding of essential necessities in its communes and residential areas. In the immediate future, it will be possible to meet some of the needs of the local people; however, if the situation lasts longer, the essential goods will not be enough to serve them. Therefore, the local authorities are trying their best to solve the problems in the coming days, he affirmed.
The recent flooding has claimed one live in Muong Te district, while leaving two others missing and three other injured. Dozens of households have been displaced, while many houses and roads have collapsed. Total losses are estimated at nearly VND40 billion.
The recovery work is still being urgently implemented. In isolated localities, the districts are focusing on mobilising local people to help each other in overcoming difficulties, while directing the concerned forces to find any way possible to supply essential goods for the people in need.
Statistics from the Steering Committees for Disaster Prevention and Control and Search and Rescue in localities in Lai Chau show that the whole province still has ten communes with over 100 hamlets and thousands of households still temporarily isolated due to floods.
World Press Photo Exhibition in Hanoi
The World Press Photo Exhibition 2018 celebrating the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and the Netherlands opened at the Vietnam Fine Arts University in Hanoi.
The exhibition displays pictures which were selected from 73,000 photos of 4,548 authors from 125 countries throughout the world of the 61st annual World Press Photo contest. The event will be organized in 90 cities worldwide, including Hanoi and is expected to attract more than 4 million visitors.
The World Press Photo Foundation is a global platform connecting professional photographers and audiences through visual journalism and storytelling. It was founded in 1955 by a group of Dutch photographers to present their works to international viewers. The constest has now become the world’s most prestigious photography competition, attracting millions of people every year.
The World Press Photo Foundation is a creative, independent, nonprofit organization, based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.It receives support from the Dutch Postcode Lottery and is sponsored worldwide by Canon.
The exhibition on its world-wide tour is held in Vietnam for the first time and will run until July 6.
Danang expects high tourism growth in summer
The central coastal city of Danang has seen robust growth in the tourism sector, thanks to scores of festivals taking place between May and September.
Danang City recorded 1.6 million tourists over the past two months, surging by 26% year-on-year, said Tran Chi Cuong, deputy director of the Department of Tourism of Danang City. He attributed this to a series of festivals and activities, such as the Danang International Fireworks Festival and Danang-Summer Destination 2018 program.
“The occupancy rate of hotels in the city was recorded at 70-90% during the festivals. Danang City, though, provided an additional 7,300 rooms to meet the tourist demand against the same period in 2017,” Cuong told The Saigon Times, adding that the city expected to welcome four million visitors during upcoming festivals, such as the Danang International Marathon.
The latest statistics of the hotel booking website Agoda.com show that Danang tops the list of destinations booked by local tourists between June and August this year, followed by the cities of Bangkok, Singapore, Nha Trang and Hoi An.
A source from the Danang Tourism Department noted it had worked with the municipal authority of Hoa Vang District and travel firms to promote and apply farming-tourism services in the district. In the initial period, some firms helped tourists visit Phong Nam Village in Hoa Chau Commune, Gian Bi Village in Hoa Bac Commune and Thai Lai Village in Hoa Nhon Commune.
Currently, Danang has six organic paddy fields with a combined area of nearly 150 hectares and targets 500 hectares by 2020. Therefore, creating a range of agricultural ecotourism products will make the city more attractive.
New editions of Chamber of Secrets released
The paperback Hogwarts house-themed editions of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
New editions of the second Harry Potter book, Chamber of Secrets, were released in Vietnam by the HCMC Book Distribution Corporation (Fahasa) late last week.
The special Hogwarts house-themed editions were created by Bloomsbury Publishing to celebrate 20 years since the first publication of the book in the UK and some other countries (July 2, 1998).
The covers were designed by illustrator Levi Pinfold, complete with new artwork, house colors, and additional illustrations and content.
The books are available in both hardback and paperback, with four colors representing four Hogwarts houses: Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Slytherin and Ravenclaw.
As well as being house-themed, each cover has its own special array of symbols and details embedded within the main crest, so each house cover is unique.
Both hardback and paperback editions come with fun features on the inside such as an illustration of the chosen house’s common room, a written introduction to that house, and a mini-feature on house-elves.
A hardback book is priced at VND475,000 while the paperback edition costs VND250,000. Buyers who place an order on www.fahasa.com will be entitled to a 25% discount.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is the second novel in the Harry Potter series, written by British author J. K. Rowling.
The plot follows Harry's second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, during which a series of messages on the walls of the school's corridors warn that the "Chamber of Secrets" has been opened and that the "heir of Slytherin" would kill all students who do not come from all-magical families. These threats are found after attacks which leave residents of the school "petrified" (frozen like stone). Throughout the year, Harry and his friends Ron and Hermione investigate the attacks.
Former BIDV chairman expelled from Party
The former chairman of the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV), Tran Bac Ha, has lost his membership of the Communist Party of Vietnam as he has been found responsible for lending irregularities.
At a meeting held in Hanoi on June 27-28, the Party Central Committee’s Inspection Commission decided to remove Ha, 61, from the Party. He also served as secretary of the Party Committee of BIDV.
Ha violated the principle of democratic centralism as well as working regulations, procedures and regulations on lending, financial guarantees, investment and debt management, according to a statement issued by the commission after its meeting.
Ha was found to be involved in the process of approving loans totaling VND4.7 trillion (US$204.7 million) for 12 companies involved in a criminal case at the Vietnam Construction Bank.
The commission also found Doan Anh Sang, former member of the standing board of the Party Committee and deputy general director of BIDV, and Tran Luc Lang, member of the standing board of the Party Committee and deputy general director of BIDV, accountable for the VND4.7 trillion loans.
As a result, the 57-year-old Sang also lost all his Party posts while the 51-year-old Lang got an official warning.
The commission said the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) must also be responsible for BIDV’s lending violations and asked the SBV’s Party Committee to seriously practice criticism, draw lessons from these infringements, and discipline those responsible, promptly review, amend, and supplement banking regulations, and strengthen inspection and oversight of credit organizations.
Le Nam Tra, former secretary of the Party Committee and former chairman of the State-owned MobiFone Telecommunications Corporation, was expelled from the Party for his serious violations in a now-cancelled deal in which the mobile carrier acquired a 95% stake in pay TV firm AVG, according to the statement of the Inspection Commission.
The commission, whose 27th session was chaired by its head Tran Cam Tu in Hanoi, also dismissed Pham Dinh Trong, head of the Department of Corporate Management under the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC), from the Party for his involvement in the deal.
Cao Duy Hai, vice secretary of the Party Committee and general director at MobiFone, was dismissed from all his Party posts.
Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Pham Hong Hai was reprimanded. MobiFone is a State-owned business under the MIC.
The Inspection Commission also suggested the Party decide whether to discipline a former and a current leader of the MIC. They are Nguyen Bac Son, former Party Central Committee member and former Secretary of the Party Committee and former Minister at the MIC, and his successor Truong Minh Tuan, who are holding these three posts.
Mobile carrier MobiFone and local pay TV operator AVG decided in March this year to call off the controversial deal in which the former acquired a 95% stake in the latter for VND8,889.8 billion (around US$387.3 million). The two sides agreed to cancel the stake acquisition contract on March 12.
As of this May, AVG’s shareholders returned more than VND8.5 trillion to MobiFone to get back the 95% stake.
After its 26th session from May 28 to 30, the Inspection Commission concluded that the Party Committee of the MIC had committed serious violations in the case.
The 64-year-old Nguyen Bac Son must be held accountable for the violations and shortcomings of the Party Committee of the MIC in his 2011-2016 tenure, according to the commission.
Meanwhile, the 57-year-old Truong Minh Tuan must also take responsibility for the violations and shortcomings of the Party Committee of the MIC in the 2011-2016 tenure in which he was serving as deputy minister.
As secretary of the Party Committee and Minister of the MIC since April 2016, Tuan was mainly accountable for the violations and shortcomings of the Party Committee in the 2016-2021 tenure.
The 58-year-old Pham Hong Hai was also responsible for the committee’s violations during the 2011-2016 and 2016-2021 tenures. Besides, the 48-year-old Pham Dinh Trong was found to have committed a slew of serious violations while advising the ministry’s leaders on the project.
The 57-year-old Le Nam Tra was mainly responsible for submitting a decision to the ministry to seek approval for the project, and directly signing many relevant documents in violation of the prevailing regulations.
Cao Duy Hai aged 57 also committed serious violations as he advised the council to submit a draft decision to the ministry on project approval and execution, and signed many relevant documents against the regulation.
The Inspection Commission also concluded that the Ministries of Planning-Investment, Finance, and Public Security, the Government Office, and the People’s Committee of Binh Duong Province were also accountable for the case.
Pawning can be a gamble
Many pawn shops in Hà Nội are operating around the clock during the World Cup to serve customers who have lost money betting on football.
"Last weekend, at 6am, a 40-year-old man riding on motorbike came to the shop and pulled out his wife’s degree from his pocket with his identity card, trying to pawn it. But I refused,” Kiên, owner of a pawn shop in Đặng Dung Street said.
He explained that he couldn’t use the degree as collateral.
Another story involving football betting was told by police of Bình Tân District, HCM City.
On June 27, police arrested Nguyễn Minh Hồ, 38, living at An Giang Province on suspicion of the theft of State property.
Hồ was suspected of stealing an ambulance from the Triều An Hospital parking lot, and was later found and arrested. He said from the beginning of the World Cup, he had lost VNĐ100 million.
He slept in a pagoda and then went to the hospital for free food to save money for bets.
One day, on the way to back home to An Giang Province, he went to Triều An Hospital for food. He found the ambulance there with the key in the ignition.
When he was driving on the HCM City-Trung Lương Expressway, toll station staff reported him to local police, probably because he looked nothing like a medical worker.
Thang Long Warriors beat Saigon Heat at VBA
Defending champions Thang Long Warriors vs Saigon Heat at the VBA League on July 1. — VBA Photo
Defending champions Thang Long Warriors came from behind to beat Saigon Heat 69-57 in the Việt Nam Basketball Association (VBA) League on Sunday.
Despite playing away at the raucous Hà Nội University of Education gymnasium, the Heat started strong, opening up a 15-9 lead in the first quarter, thanks to eight points from Trần Đăng Khoa and Dư Minh An with five.
The home team battled back however, with Predrag Lukic’s charges cutting the lead to 27-26 going into the half.
Hồng Gia Lân and Tim Waale helped the Heat open up a lead in the next period at 44-36 with under a minute to go. However, Jaywuan Hill and Tô Quang Trung poured in six points in only 58 seconds, helping the capital side pull within two points at 44-42.
In the last quarter, the visitors faded, while the Warriors’ only grew in strength, scoring 27 in the last 10 minutes to secure a nice 69-57 victory.
American Hill was the MVP of the game, with 22 points, 14 rebounds and three assists.
In other games, led by Tâm Đinh, De Angelo Hamilton and Nguyễn Phú Hoàng, Cantho Catfish crushed HCM City Wings 104-77 at Hồ Xuân Hương Gymnasium in HCM City.
The Heat will next face Danang Dragons on July 3, while the Warriors will face the Catfish on July 5.
Coach Em bids farewell to Sài Gòn FC
Coach Phan Văn Tài Em (second, left). — Photo zing.vn
Phan Văn Tài Em has resigned as coach of V.League 1’s side Sài Gòn FC following poor results of the team in the league.
Em is the second coach to quit during the event. Earlier, Thanh Hóa club’s coach Marian Mihailalso left after four rounds.
Under the guidance of Em since early this year, Sài Gòn FC have had three wins, four draws and 10 losses to rank at the bottom of the score chart, with only 13 points after 16 rounds.
“Sài Gòn have not had satisfactory results, so I want to give up this position to another person. I think I do not have much experience in the national premiere league. I hope the club will perform better in the other games to prevent disqualification,” Em said.
Assistant coach Nguyễn Thành Công will temporarily replace Em to lead the team in the match with Nam Định for the 17th round this Sunday.
Em is a retired Vietnamese footballer who last played as midfielder for ĐồngTâm Long An. He is a former member of the national football team and was awarded the Vietnamese Golden Ball in 2005.
VTF Junior Tour in Tây Ninh
Nguyễn Thị Phương will compete for the Hà Nội team in the VTF Junior Tour. — Photo courtesy of organisers
The Việt Nam Tennis Federation (VTF) Junior Tour, the Hải Đăng Cup, began in the southern province of Tây Ninh on Thursday.
The event drew the participation of 235 players from 23 teams nationwide, including Đồng Nai, Sơn La, Sóc Trăng, Thái Nguyên, Becamex Bình Dương and Bạc Liêu.
Participants will compete in the men’s and women’s singles and doubles categories in different age groups.
Winners will walk away with cash bonuses and points for their national ranking.
The finals are scheduled to take place on July 6.
Vietnamese, German businesses commit to fight wildlife crimes
Representatives of 40 Vietnamese and German companies in Viet Nam pledged to adopt a zero-tolerance policy towards wildlife crimes at a workshop here today.
They agreed to take a public stand against the buying, gifting and consumption of wild animals and pass on the message to their clients and staff throughout their companies.
The event, organised by TRAFFIC with funding from WWF-Germany and Intelligentmedia behavioural change communication company, aims to encourage the business community to step forward to handle social and environmental issues.
“Wildlife trafficking is transnational by nature and bears repercussions that are felt worldwide. It is an issue that resonates with the German people, and we are pleased with this opportunity for German and Vietnamese companies to come together and spread a united message against this crime,” said Katharina Trump, programme manager, anti-poaching, WWF-Germany.
Through the workshop, participants were given an opportunity to learn how to enact a corporate social responsibility (CSR) policy to attract environment-conscious clients, increase competitiveness and mitigate potential risks.
The workshop featured sessions on how companies could construct meaningful messaging to incorporate CSR activities that would be effective in combatting wildlife crimes and lead to a change of practices among their colleagues and customers. Participants learnt that adopting these policies could strengthen the reputation of their businesses by ensuring they were not inadvertently participating in wildlife crime.
The event is the latest in a series of activities organised by TRAFFIC with different companies and civil society organisations, such as Vietnam Chamber for Commerce and Industry, Vietnam E-Commerce Association and the Vietnam Automobile Transportation Association, which work towards the eradication of animal trafficking by encouraging companies to take a strong stand against wildlife crimes.
TRAFFIC’s efforts to encourage companies to integrate wildlife protection into their CSR activities have spanned the business, tourism and hospitality sectors. Anti-trafficking messages have been put up on buses, websites, events and other platforms, reaching some 250,000 people.
“Support and leadership from the business community are integral to the fight against wildlife trafficking. We are pleased that today these companies have stepped forward and are ready to be the champions of a very important cause,” said Sarah Ferguson, head of office for TRAFFIC in Viet Nam.
National junior chess champs starts in Hải Phòng
The National Junior Chess Championship started in Đồ Sơn City in the northern province of Hải Phòng on July 3.
The event attracted the participation of 940 players from nearly 40 teams across the country including Hà Nội, HCM City, Cần Thơ, Đà Nẵng, Thừa Thiên – Huế, Quảng Ninh and the Military team.
Participants will compete in the boys’ and girls’ categories across a number of age groups in rapid, blitz, standard and traditional chess formats.
According to the event’s organisers, the best players will be selected for the national teams to compete in the upcoming international events.
At the recent ASEAN Age Groups Chess Championship in Davao, Philippines, Việt Nam sent 109 chess players and they won 70 gold, 52 silver and 30 bronze medals.