Man injured in petrol station fire

Đồng Nai General Hospital yesterday received a 22-year-old man with serious burns all over his body.

The man, from Trảng Dài Ward, Biên Hòa City, is now being treated at the HCM City-based Chợ Rẫy Hospital after receiving first aid at Đồng Nai General Hospital.

The man reportedly smoked while filling up at a petrol station in Hòa Bình Ward, Biên Hòa City, sparking a fire that left him with serious burns.

Petrol station workers put out the flames with fire extinguishers and took him to the hospital.

In another development, the Bình Dương Police yesterday checked the scene as part of their investigation into a boarding-house that went up in flames, leaving three people seriously burnt in Tân Đông Hiệp Ward, Dĩ An Town.

An initial investigation showed that at 2am yesterday, Trần Văn Đông, 26, was sleeping in the boarding-house when he smelled petrol. Then the house caught fire.

Đông shouted for help and ordered his wife, Nguyễn Thị Mai Phương, 26, and Phương’s younger sister, Nguyễn Thị Lan Anh, 19, to run out. But they couldn’t because the door was locked.

They were saved by their neighbours 15 minutes later, but were seriously injured.

Their relatives said two days earlier, Lan Anh had received a threatening message from her ex-boyfriend for saying goodbye to him.

Cham Islanders join power grid

The Cham Islands, 18km off the coast of Hoi An city, gained access to the national power grid on September 3, after a one year construction project to install a 15.5km sub-marine cable system at a total cost of 485 billion VN D $(22.7 million).

Chairman of the islands’ People’s Committee, Nguyen Van An, told Vietnam News that the project is crucial for the islands’ future development.

The Electricity of Vietnam (EVN)’s Central Power Corporation officially switched on the islands’ power with the national grid on September 3, providing 24-hour power for over 2,400 people live in the four villages on the islands.

“It’s a great milestone for the island people. We were eager to have power for years, hoping for a bright future. The islands have been designated a biological tourism complex, featuring different environmentally friendly initiatives, since 2009,” An said.

The sub-marine cable project was 85 percent funded by the State budget. It includes nearly 30km of lines over the islands and six transmission stations. It is expected to boost socioeconomic development and national security and defence of Vietnam’s islands and seas.

About 98 percent of the province’s 1.4 million residents already have access to power. Cham is the newest remote area of the province to connect to the national power grid.

Chairman and General Director of the Central Power Corporation Tran Dinh Nhan said the system will provide power to local islanders 24 hours a day and limit emissions from diesel-driven generators on the area.

He said islanders used power from diesel generators seven hours a day, while renewable energy sources fall short of demand.

In 2010, a solar power station with a 28KW capacity was built on the island. But it only supplied power to 100 households in Bai Huong Commune. The solar power station received funds from SIDA (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency) but it was unreliable due to lack of sufficient sunlight.

Wind power is also an option. But turbines are only able to power single households with a limited supply of electricity.

In 2013, the islands were given access to fresh water for the first time when an 80,000 cubic metre reservoir was built.

The Islands’ chairman said environmentally friendly technology solutions – such as wind power and solar energy – remain a top priority.

Recognised as a world biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 2009, Cham Islands welcome around 100,000 tourists annually, 10 percent of whom are foreigners.

Hải Phòng Police raid dance hall

The Hải Phòng Police raided a dance floor yesterday and temporarily detained two people to investigate allegations that they illegally stored and used drugs.

Sixteen others who tested positive for drugs were moved to the Hải Phòng Education Centre for further diagnostic procedures and questioning.

At midnight on Saturday, the Kiến An District Police raided the Gossip Dance Hall in Ngọc Sơn Ward. The police discovered a number of substances suspected to be drugs and other addictive substances. As many as 81 customers and 43 employees of the dance hall were taken to the police office for investigation.

The owner of the Gossip Dance Hall failed to produce any legal documents regarding public order, fire prevention and control, and workers’ contracts.

The Gossip Dance Hall is one of the most famous dance halls in the northern port city.

Malaysia busts Vietnamese nationals for wildlife trafficking

Authorities in Malaysia have arrested 12 traffickers, including eight Vietnamese nationals, and seized hundreds of parts of highly endangered species following raids on two transnational wildlife criminal networks in the country.

The remaining suspects detained during the operations in late August were two Malaysian and two Chinese nationals.

The arrests are the result of a collaboration between the Wildlife Justice Commission (WJC) and Malaysia’s Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan). The WJC is an international not-for-profit organization based in The Hague, the Netherlands.

The wildlife parts seized during their operations, worth about US$500,000, included elephant ivory, pangolin scales, tiger skins, big cat bones, tiger claws and teeth, bear gallbladders and hornbill beaks.

Investigators from the WJC have successfully infiltrated two criminal networks operating in Malaysia; one Vietnamese and one Chinese. Having secured proof of criminal activity, raids were conducted across Kuala Lumpur leading to the arrests and seizures, the WJC said in a statement on September 2.

If convicted, the traffickers will face a fine of up to 500,000 Malaysian Ringgit (US$122,225) or up to 5 years in prison, or both.

Malaysia launches Hanoi-Kuala Lumpur air route

The Malaysia based Malindo Air officially launched a direct route connecting Hanoi and Kuala Lumpur with flight OD572 on September 1, meeting the high travel demand of the two countries’ people.

The OD572 flight will take off at 12:15pm in Hanoi and land at 4:35pm in Kuala Lumpur while the OD 571 flight from Kuala Lumpur will depart at 9:15am in Kuala Lumpur and arrived in Hanoi at 11:15am everyday.

With the new route, Malindo Air has connected Malaysian localities with 40 destinations in 13 countries around the world.

Earlier, the carrier opened the direct air route between Ho Chi Minh City and Kuala Lumpur. The attendance of the carrier in Vietnamese market is expected to contribute to reaching the target of welcoming 36 million international visitors to Malaysia by 2020.

A representative of Malindo Air said that tourism is one of economic sectors contributing most to Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP). The number of Vietnamese visitors to Malaysia reached around 286,000 in 2014 and this figure increased 6.7% in 2015.

Speaking at the launching ceremony, Deputy General Director of the General Department of Tourism Ngo Hoai Chung emphasised that Malaysian market was considered as a major market for Vietnamese tourism sector.

He also added the opening of Hanoi-Kuala Lumpur route would contribute to attracting more visitors to the two countries as well as enhancing the comprehensive co-operation in all fields between the two nations.

Malindo Air committed that the airline would co-ordinate with General Department of Malaysia and travel organisations in Vietnam to offer promotions for tourism stimulation in the coming time.

Programme promotes children’s creativity by making traditional masks

A mask-making event for children was held at Hanoi’s Temple of Literature on September 4 as an event to celebrate the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival.

The event, jointly held by lecturers and students from the Vietnam Fine Arts University (VFAU), the Children’s Fine Arts Club and the Young Designers Club, attracted the participation of hundreds of children.

At the event, children had an opportunity to learn how to make traditional masks and try their hand at producing them by themselves. They also got to colour paper fans and were invited to take part in folk games.

According to fine arts researcher and VFAU lecturer Tran Thanh Hien, the event aimed to create a venue for children to experience traditional fine arts, to promote their creativity and to nurture their love for Vietnamese culture.

Seventh-grader Nguyen Cam Anh shared that she was happy she could make a mask by herself, saying that she would make more to present to all her family members for the Mid-Autumn Festival.

After the event, children could bring home their hand-made products. The organising board will also present a number of masks to children who are receiving treatment at the Vietnam National Hospital of Pediatrics.

President urges educational sector to further reform

President Tran Dai Quang asked the educational sector to continue the effective implementation of the Party and State’s policy on basically and comprehensively reforming education and training.

In his letter to teachers and students on the occasion of the new school year of 2016-2017, the President said the sector needs to focus on developing human resources, especially high-quality personnel, tightening disciplines and paying attention to teaching morality, soft skills, citizen’s conscience and responsibility.

The sector is asked to invest more in education and training in remote and border areas and islands, as well as for those who made contributions to the country’s revolutionary cause.

It must improve the quality of comprehensive education to meet socio-economic development requirements and better serve the country’s industrialisation, modernisation and international integration, he said.

President Quang also wished students nationwide to make tireless efforts to attain great achievements in study and scientific research towards a better life and a more prosperous country.

Argentine students learn about Vietnam

Students of the University of Buenos Aires’ legal department were introduced about Vietnam’s history, culture and socio-economic development at a talk on September 3.

The talk was held by the Argentina-Vietnam Cultural Institute (ICAV) in conjunction with the Vietnamese Embassy in Argentina on the occasion of Vietnam’s 71 st National Day (September 2).

Addressing the event, ICAV President Poldi Sosa said Vietnam’s August Revolutionary and National Day were an encouragement for colonial peoples across the world to rise up for national independence, democracy and social progress.

Prof. Ezequiel Ramoneda from the National University of La Plata reviewed Vietnam’s struggle for national independence and reunification as well as the country’s achievements in regional and international integration, especially its contributions to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

A representative of the Vietnamese Embassy said Vietnam’s economy grows at about 7 percent annually. The country is striving to reach the upper-middle-income status by 2035.

Vietnam has also enhanced its cooperation and friendship with many countries worldwide, he noted.

On this occasion, the participating students had a chance to watch films capturing Vietnam’s socio-economic achievements and consequences of Agent Orange (AO)/dioxin the country has suffered from the war.-

Quảng Nam opens Tiên Phước region photo contest

The central province of Quang Nam has launched a photo contest highlighting the beauty of the Tiên Phước region. The contest will run from September to February.

Tiên Phước District’s Culture and Information Centre said the competition is open to all amateur and professional photographers, journalists and freelancers nationwide, as well as to overseas Vietnamese.

The event’s organising committee will select the best photo for exhibition in March 2017.

Tiên Phước, located 30km from Tam Kỳ City, has a mixed culture stemming from the pre-Sa Huỳnh and Champa periods.

The district preserves dozens of old houses, including the memorial house of famous Vietnamese scholar Phan Châu Trinh (1872-1926). Lộc Yên Commune preserves old houses with traditional lifestyle and landscape fatures that have endured for centuries.

It was established as a new district in the central province in late 1816 during the Nguyễn dynasty under the reign of King Khải Định. The district became a base for revolutionary forces during the anti-French war and served as the headquarters of the liberation army during the American war.

The district marked its 100th anniversary in June. It will be an eco tour site of Quảng Nam Province in 2020.

Việt Nam defeat Hong Kong in Asian U-16 qualifier

Việt Nam defeated China’s Hong Kong 5-0 in the final Group D match of the Women’s Asian Football Confederation U-16 Qualifier in the Việt Nam Youth Football Training Centre in Hà Nội on Saturday.

With this win, Việt Nam ranked second out of six teams with 12 points, but the team missed their opportunity for a slot to compete in the event’s final round, as only the top team have the right to move forward.

In other matches, Palestine bested Iraq 1-0, while Australia crushed Uzbekistan 9-1 to top the rankings with 15 points and earned a ticket to the finals.

Quảng Ninh tie with Thanh Hóa in V.League

Quảng Ninh tied with Thanh Hóa 2-2 in the 24th round match of V.League 1 in the central province of Thanh Hóa yesterday.

The two teams played attack to hunt goals after the referee blew the whistle. Thanh Hóa needed a win to lift their hope to reach the top three, while Quảng Ninh Coal also needed three points to maintain their top position in the rankings.

In the 41st minute, Pape Omar Faye opened the score for Thanh Hóa on a corner kick by Trần Đình Đồng.

After the break, Thanh Hóa’s Đào Văn Phong committed an error in the penalty area and received a red card.

Vũ Minh Tuấn found no difficulties in levelling the score for Quảng Ninh with a penalty shoot.

The visitors, Quảng Ninh, opened many attacks on the hosts, and Mai Tiến Thành was issued his second yellow card.

Bùi Văn Hiếu took full advantage of Thanh Hóa’s goalie’s mistake to raise the score for Quảng Ninh to 2-1 in the 86th minute.

In extra time, Thanh Hóa’s striker Emmanuel Sunday levelled the score to 2-2 .

Meanwhile, Hà Nội T&T reached the top ranking after they defeated Sanna Khánh Hòa 1-0.

Văn Quyết scored the only goal from the 11m spot after Thành Lương committed an error in the penalty area.

Elsewhere, Hải Phòng defeated QNK Quảng Nam 2-1, SHB Đà Nẵng crushed Sài Gòn FC 3-1, Hoàng Anh Gia Lai won over Đồng Tháp 5-2, Sông Lam Nghệ An easily beat Bình Dương 2-0 and Long An drew with Cần Thơ 3-3.

Korean culture, dishes presented in major cities

The “Arirang Festival 2016” featuring Korean traditional culture was opened at the Vietnam Exhibition Centre for Culture and Arts in Hanoi on September 3.

The event includes several activities, such as Arirang and traditional culture-art showcase, craft workshop, folk games, Hanbok and taking photos, exhibitions on K-pop, K-drama, K-food fair and other Korean cultural activities.

Visitors will have a chance to enjoy traditional music performances by Chuncheon traditional music crews.

The event is organized by the Korean Cultural Center in Vietnam.

In addition, the K food fair 2016 will be held in Ho Chi Minh City from September 8-11 by the RoK Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) and the Korean Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation.

An exchange between food enterprises including 30 Korean exporters and 60 Vietnamese and regional food importers will be organized at GEM Center in District 1 on September 8-9.

The food fair featuring Korean culture and dishes will take place at the September 23rd Park in District 1 on September 10-11.Gastronomers will be able to experience the culinary and also join in art and culture performances of the two countries at the event.

National Day holiday: 33 killed in traffic accidents

Some 71 traffic accidents occurred across the country during the three-day holiday from September 2 (National Day) to September 4, killing 33 people and injuring another 59.

According to the National Traffic Safety Committee, 70 road accidents claimed the lives of 32 people, while one railway accident killed one.

No accident on internal waterways was reported during the holiday.

The committee said illegal motorcycle race was seen on national road No.51 on the National Day, and traffic jams occurred on several key routes in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City on September 1 and September 4.

During the period, police nationwide dealt with 23,600 traffic violations, revoking 509 driving licences and collecting 9.4 billion VND (421,872 USD) in fines.

Investigation into petrol firm losses

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has instructed the Government Inspectorate to work with ministries to investigate the gigantic loss of VND3.3 trillion (USD142 million) at PetroVietnam Construction Joint Stock Corporation (PVC) under the management of former chairman Trinh Xuan Thanh.

Speaking at the government’s regular meeting on August 31, the Minister-Chairman of Government Office Mai Tien Dung said the Government Inspectorate would co-operate with the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Internal Affairs on the investigation.

Former of PVC chairman and former chairman of Hau Giang Province People’s Committee Trinh Xuan Thanh has been at the centre of media and public concern in recent months.

Before being assigned to his position in Hau Giang, Trinh Xuan Thanh was the chairman of PVC from 2007 to 2013. In 2012, the company reported surprise losses of VND293 billion (USD14 million). By the end of 2013, the company had total losses of VND3.3 trillion.

After that, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung urged PetroVietnam to investigate the causes behind PVC’s losses and deal with the individuals involved and determine who was responsible. However, the file has yet to close on the investigation.

Between September 2013 and April 2015, Thanh was assigned to key positions at the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s office by former Minister Vu Huy Hoang. In May 2015, he became the vice chairman of Hau Giang Province People’s Committee.

Following the public concerns over the scandal, in June this year, when he ended his term of being Hau Giang Province People’s Committee chairman, Thanh did not stand for re-election.

The PM also ordered the Government Inspectorate and the ministries to investigate the appointment of Trinh Xuan Thanh for key positions at the Ministry of Industry and Trade and being the official of Hau Giang Province although, under his management, PVC made big losses.

It was recently rumoured on social networks that Trinh Xuan Thanh had been arrested as part of the investigation. However, the Minister of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung denied this was the case.

ANZ Bank customers swindled

Two customers of ANZ Bank have questioned the bank’s security after falling victims to a credit card fraud on the same day.

N.M.Linh, a local in Ho Chi Minh City said he opened an account at ANZ two years ago. On August 21, he suddenly received four messages, saying that he had spent VND11,775,000 (USD535) on online shopping on two websites. He immediately called and ordered ANZ Bank to lock his card and then filed a complaint the next day.

ANZ replied that they had received his complaint and the complaint procedure may take up to 120 days. Linh also questioned the accuracy of the SMS banking service because when he received the message, the transaction had happened an hour earlier.

On the same day, T.D.Anh, a local in Hanoi, received 11 messages to notify him that he spent VND30,997,000 (USD1,408) on online shopping on the same websites as in Linh’s case.

“About six to seven transactions were done successfully within five minutes. I quickly called ANZ and asked them to lock my card,” Anh said.

But while contacting ANZ Bank, four more transactions were done. Anh said he also filed complained and received a similar answer to Linh.

“Is there problem with ANZ Bank’s technology and security?” Linh said. “In two different cities, two customers lost money to the same method.”

An ANZ Bank said they had received the complaints and started the investigation in accordance with the bank’s rules and Vietnam’s current regulations.

On August 31, ANZ Bank said they had returned money to both customers.

“120 days is the deadline to give feedback to customers. However, we immediately dealt with these cases after receiving the news. Take these cases as example, if a transaction is determined as fraud, ANZ will definitely return all the money and fees, ensuring the interests of the card holders,” the representative said.

Formosa transfers US$500 million in compensation for fish deaths

The Vietnam unit of Taiwanese conglomerate Formosa Plastics has disbursed US$500 million in compensation for economic damage after it admitted responsibility for April’s mass fish deaths in four central coastal provinces.

Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha was quoted by local media as saying that of the total amount the Vietnamese Government got US$250 million from Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Corporation on July 28 and the remainder last month.

In addition to the cash compensation, the corporation must improve its wastewater treatment system as it pledged to prevent the discharge of harmful industrial waste into the sea from repeating.

More than 100 tons of dead fish was collected along the shores of Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue provinces in April. In late June, Formosa Ha Tinh took full responsibility for a toxic wastewater discharge from its steel complex in Ha Tinh that led to the mass fish deaths across the four provinces, and pledged to compensate US$500 million for economic damage.

Deputy Minister of Finance Nguyen Huu Chi said the US$500 million would be distributed in line with the prevailing regulations. The four provinces have reported plans to support fishermen to overcome the aftermath of what is described as the most serious environmental pollution incident in Vietnam.

The quality of seawater on the central coast was declared as safe for swimming and fish farming at a conference held last month to publicize research results on the waters of the four provinces after the serious environmental incident.

The Department of Food Safety under the Ministry of Health said last month fish caught in the provinces might not be good for consumption though seawater was safe, and it would take more time to check their safety.

Nguyen Ngoc Oai, deputy director of the Vietnam Directorate of Fisheries under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said relevant agencies and the four provinces have determined losses caused by the incident for people in the provinces.

Under the agriculture ministry’s Document 7268, local authorities will show people how to farm fish in the waters of the provinces and to fish offshore.

However, the ministry advised fishermen not to catch fish in certain sea areas including those 1.5 kilometers from the shores of Son Duong Island in Ha Tinh, Nhat Le in Quang Binh and Son Tra Islet in Thua Thien-Hue as marine life will take time to recover.

The Government has decided to expand the list of recipients of financial support for the impact of the mass fish deaths. They include owners of fishing boats of more than 90 HP and their employees, owners of seafood trading enterprises with cold storage facilities and their employees, fish sauce and shrimp paste businesses, and fish farming facilities.

Oai said Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue reported about 3,900 tons of aquatic products in stock. The Ministry of Health has been assigned to cooperate with relevant ministries and agencies to test the products and allow safe seafood for consumption.

Tainted products will be destroyed and their owners will get compensation equivalent to 70% of the value of the products, according to Oai.

Vietjet marks new routes with 150,000 promotional tickets

The low-cost carrier Vietjet on September 5 announced 150,000 promotional tickets priced only from 0 USD under ” 12pm, It’s time to Vietjet ” campaign to mark its three new routes of Ho Chi Minh City-Kaohsiung, Hanoi-Taipei and Hai Phong-Seoul.

The promotion will run within September 6, 7 and 8 from 12h to 14h daily at www.vietjetair.com and is applied for Vietjet’s all international routes, including the new ones, from October 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017.

The promotional tickets can be booked from 12h to 14h at www.vietjetair.com (also compatible with smartphones at https://m.vietjetair.com ) or at www.facebook.com/vietjetvietnam (just click the “Booking” tab). Payment can be easily made with debit and credit cards of Visa, MasterCard, JCB, and American Express and ATM cards issued by 2 9 Vietnam’s banks that have been registered with internet banking.

The Ho Chi Minh City -Kaohsiung route will be launched on December 12, 2016 with five return flights a week on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. The flight, which lasts 3 hours 30 minutes per leg, departs from Ho Chi Minh City at 02:10 and lands in Kaohsiung at 06:30 (local time). The return flight takes off at 08:15 and lands in Ho Chi Minh City at 10:45.

The Hanoi-Taipei route will be operated on a daily basis from October 30, 2016 with the flight time of 2 hours 45 minutes per leg. The flight takes off from Hanoi at 14:15 and lands in Taipei at 18:00 (local time). The return flight departs at 19:10 and arrives in Hanoi at 20:55 (local time).

The Haiphong-Seoul route will be launched on December 12, 2016 with four return flights a week on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday. With 5 hours per leg, the flight takes off at Cat Bi International Airport at 23:45 and lands in Incheon International Airport at 06:00 (local time). The return flight departs at 07:15 and arrives at 10:40.

With the three new routes, Vietjet operates a total of 20 international routes to 15 destinations across the region, looking to boost the regional trade and integration.

Vietjet is the first airline in Vietnam to operate as a new-age airline with low-cost and diversified services to meet customers’ demands. It provides not only transport services but also uses the latest e-commerce technologies to offer various products and services for consumers.

Currently, the airline boasts a fleet of 40 aircraft, including A320s and A321s, and operates 300 flights each day. It has carried nearly 25 million passengers to date.-

Moc Chau hosts int’l air balloon festival

Visitors to Moc Chau district in the northern province of Son La can view the beautiful plateau from above on air balloons during the International Air Balloon Festival 2016.

The festival takes place from September 1-4.

“The festival aims to introduce and promote a new and modern tourism product of the district, and thereby enhance the tourism attraction of Moc Chau Plateau to both domestic and international friends,” Nguyen Thi Hoa, Vice Chairwoman of Moc Chau District’s People’s Committee, said.

“The event is also expected to promote agricultural products of Moc Chau,” she added.

Jointly held by the local People’s Committee and the Ballooning Media Company, the festival will kick off by viewing the sunrise on the air balloons. Three air balloons flying stably, two air balloons flying freely, four mini air balloons and one airship will be part of the event.

The air balloons that fly stably will take off from the central square in the district, which is located in subzone 14. The air balloons that fly freely will also lift off from the same spot and land at Nong Truong Moc Chau Town.

The entrance fee for the festival is 30,000 VND (1.4 USD) per person, the fee to get on the air balloons flying stably is 150,000 VND (6.8 USD), while that to get on the air balloons flying freely is 6.5 million VND (296 USD) per person. Flying time is between 40 and 60 minutes.

The pilots of the air balloons are from Taiwan (China), Thailand, Holland, India and Vietnam. A team of 15 staff members has also been trained to serve the flights.

The highlight of the event is Vietjet Airlines’ air balloon. Some 25m in height, 18m in width and a flight distance of 5km, the air balloon can reach a height of 150m and will represent Vietnam at upcoming international festivals in 2017.

The second part of the festival is The Night of Light of the Air Balloons programme, which includes the We Feel the Beat musical night with the participation of many renowned singers, musical and comedy bands, in addition to community dancing and a fire phoenix performance.

Work starts on Saigon Silicon City Centre

The Silicon Saigon Park JSC on August 30 started the construction of the 480 billion VND (21.6 million USD) Saigon Silicon City Centre on August 30.

Covering a total area of over 11,000 sq.m in the Saigon Hi-Tech Park, the centre forms part of the 52ha Saigon Silicon City project worth about 40 million USD.

The project is expected to make HCM City a smart city meeting international standards that attracts many high-tech investors, thus helping the city and Vietnam in general narrow their scientific-technological development gaps with other countries in the region and the world.

Chairman of the Silicon Saigon Park JSC Nguyen Minh Hieu said the centre aims to serve technological research and development, connect overseas Vietnamese companies operating in the fields of high-tech and support industry and international groups specialising in the research and application of technological transfer, while creating a healthy and friendly investment climate following the model of the US’s Silicon Valley.

Le Thanh Liem, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, said the Saigon Silicon City Centre project is significant and meaningful as it helps promote high-tech development in the southern metropolis and encourage Vietnamese abroad to invest in their homeland, thus contributing to national development, he added.

“Golden week” to lure tourists to Thua Thien-Hue

The Hue Monuments Conservation Centre launched the “golden week” promotional programme from September 2-8, offering visitors a wide range of ticket deals.

The event is part of the activities to mark the National Day (September 2).

Visitors will enjoy free admission to King Thieu Tri Mausoleum and An Dinh Palace when purchasing tickets for a tour to Imperial City – King Minh Mang Mausoleum – King Khai Dinh Mausoleum.

Similarly, free admission will be allowed to King Gia Long Mausoleum, King Thieu Tri Mausoleum, Hon Chen, and An Dinh Palace for those who buy tickets for a tour through Imperial City – King Minh Mang Mausoleum – King Tu Duc Mausoleum – King Khai Dinh Mausoleum.

A discount of 50 percent will be offered to student groups during the period.

Tickets for Royal Court Music concerts at Duyet Thi Duong Theatre will be available at half the normal price for shows from 10:00 to 10:40 and 15:00 to 15:40 every day.

Since 1994, the Complex of Hue Monuments has hosted 33 million visitors, including 12 million foreigners.

In 2015, the complex welcomed over 2.3 million visitors.

In the first seven months this year, 1.36 million tourists visited the site, including 750,000 foreigners.

Vietnam – attractive destination for Russian tourists

Vietnam has become an attractive destination in Southeast Asia for Russian tourists, according to the Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR).

The Russia’s Sputnik radio cited the ATOR statistics as showing that Vietnam ‘s tourism is on a positive growth. The country welcomed 204,400 Russian visitors in the first six months of 2016, a year-on-year rise of 21 percent.

Russian arrivals in 2015 were down 7 percent from the previous year. The market has fully recovered thanks to a visa policy introduced last year that allows Russians to stay in Vietnam for up to 15 days without a visa.

The Vietnam Administration of Tourism (VNAT) and the Russian Administration of Tourism (Rostourism) signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate on tourism promotion.

Vietnam aims to welcome 400,000 Russian tourists in 2016 and one million by 2020.

Six lorises rescued

Education for Nature-Việt Nam (ENV) yesterday said it had rescued six lorises, whose scientific name is Lorisidae, three days after they were advertised for sale on line by wild animal traffickers.

Last Tuesday, an ENV volunteer informed the organisation that some people had advertised on a social network to sell the lorises on a well-known forum about pet trading.

ENV reported the information to the HCM City Environment Police.

Last Saturday, the ENV staff, in co-ordination with the police, nabbed Lê Huỳnh Trí Ngọc, 28, and Mai Văn Nhí, 26, from the central city of Nha Trang.

The lorises are currently being looked after at the HCM City Environment Police. They will then be transported to a rescue centre.

Also last week, a gibbon was rescued in the Central Highlands province of Đắk Lắk thanks to information from a volunteer.

A resident from Krông Kma Town in Krông Bông District called the hotline number 18001522 with information that a gibbon was being raised by a family.

A volunteer in Đắk Lắk Province came to the spot to verify the information and collect evidence on the case.

The gibbon was rescued by the Krông Bông Forest Management Unit.

HCM City begins work on modern archive

Construction of a modern archive that will cost VNĐ490 billion (US$2.2 million) in the first phase began in HCM City’s Bình Tân District on Sunday.

Lê Hoài Trung, deputy director of the city Department of Home Affairs, said two main buildings would be built, one of 18 floors with 20,639 square metres for the archive and the other measuring 8,487 square metres for public purposes.

The centre would house all kinds of documents related to the administration and science and engineering and film negatives, he said.

To apprise international friends of the city’s policies, culture, and history, the archive will employ encryption technology to make the documents available on the internet, he said.

Many cultural activities, exhibitions, and others would also be held at the centre in future, he said.

Lê Thanh Liêm, deputy chairman of the city People’s Committee, attended the groundbreaking for the archive and urged the Department of Home Affairs to co-ordinate with relevant agencies to ensure the first phase is completed by 2018.

Mass fish deaths reported in Vũng Tàu City

Fish have died en mass in farming cages in the southern province of Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu.

The dead fish were first found floating in the water in farming cages in Vũng Tàu City’s Long Sơn Commune last Friday, said Trịnh Văn Năm, a local resident.

Năm said he lost 2 tonnes of silver pomfret fish and cobia fish in just three days.

Farmer Huỳnh Văn Sa said he was raising 13,000 silver pomfret fish which all died. His losses were estimated at VNĐ600 million (US$26,900).

Huỳnh Văn Thêm, deputy head of Bà Rịa -Vũng Tàu Province’s Veterinary Bureau, said it has co-ordinated with relevant agencies to investigate and took samples to determine the cause of the deaths.

Initial investigations found that low oxygen content in water could be to blame, local experts said.

Too much rain water together with pollution caused a decline of dissolved oxygen, they said.

Local authorities estimated that the incident has caused damage of more than VNĐ3.5 billion (US$157,000) to breeders.

The provincial Agriculture and Rural Development asked the People’s Committees to work with relevant agencies to identify the cause of the deaths and help mitigate the consequences.

3-month-old elephant found dead at Yok Don national park

A 3-month-old elephant calf has been found dead in Yok Don National Park in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak, the third death in this year.

The baby elephant was found lying dead on its side near a stream in the park in Buon Don District, Do Quang Tung, director of the park, said on August 30.

“The animal’s body was decomposed, and there were no signs showing the calf had been attacked,” Tung said.

“This means the death is caused by natural factor, not by human impact.”

The elephant was 0.7 meters tall and weighed about 100 kg, according to the park’s director.

The calf was a member of an elephant herd of some 14 individuals that frequently flock at the area.

There were many elephant footprints at different sizes surrounding the site, which shows that other members in the herd were possibly trying to cure the baby elephant, Tung said.

The body was then destroyed by the national park’s forest rangers and local authorities to keep the surrounding clean.

The baby elephant was the third to be found dead at Yok Don National Park this year, following the deaths of an age-old elephant in July and a calf in April.

The elephants allegedly died after being stuck in mud, according to the park officers.

Vietnamese doctors successfully remove ‘turtle shell’ on 10-year-old girl’s back

Doctors at Ho Chi Minh City Children’s Hospital 1 successfully removed a turtle-shell-like mole on the back of a 10-year-old girl after a 3-hour surgery on August 29.

Dao Trung Hieu, the hospital vice director, said Tran Thi Ngoc Tham of Soc Trang Province, who suffers from congenital melanocytic nevus, has recovered several hours after the surgery from 10:20 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.

“The mole weighs 1.05 kg (2.2 lbs) and measures 22 cm (8.7 inches) in diameter,” he said. After it was removed, doctors covered the area with skin grafted from her thigh, he said.

Six doctors and 5 medical workers involved in the surgery, he said.

The hospital is supporting the poor patient with hospital fees and food.

Tham’s mother, Thach Thi Da Ni, 34, said she was born with the birthmark measuring the size of “a mandarin orange”, and it has been growing over the years.

Tham quit school after being repeatedly teased by others as the “turtle-shell girl” but Ni has no money for her treatment, she said.

Tham has a 12-year-old brother who does not have congenital abnormality.

Foreign diplomats in Vietnam now eligible for five-year residence cards

Temporary residence cards with validation periods of up to five years will now be granted to foreign diplomats living in Vietnam under a new ministerial circular set to take effect next month.

The Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs on June 30 issued a circular laying out guidelines for the extension of temporary residence permits and the issuing of visas and temporary residence cards to foreigners in Vietnam within its jurisdiction.

The circular is pursuant to the Law on Entry, Exit, Transit and Residence by foreigners in Vietnam dated 2014.

According to the circular, set to take effect on August 31, diplomats falling under the NG3 visa category are eligible to apply for temporary residence cards valid for up to five years, but to the point at least 30 days prior to the expiration of their respective passport.

NG3 visa holders are members of diplomatic missions, consular offices, and representative offices of intergovernmental bodies including those under the United Nations, together with their spouse, children under 18 years of age, and personal assistants, according to Vietnamese laws.

Those bodies and organizations that invite the applicants to Vietnam or guarantee their stay in the country are responsible for submitting their temporary residence card application to either the Directorate of State Protocol under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (for those working outside of Ho Chi Minh City) or the city’s Department of External Relations.

The applications are to be handled within five working days.

The circular also details guidelines for applying for the extension of temporary residence permits for NG1, NG2, and NG4 visa holders, with the maximum extended validation period of 12 months, which must expire at least 30 days prior to the expiration of their respective passport.

Vietjet opens two new int’l routes to Taipei, Kaohsiung

Low-cost carrier Vietjet on August 29 announced the opening of two international routes connecting Hanoi with Taipei and Ho Chi Minh City with Kaohsiung (Taiwan) as part of its network expansion plan.

Tickets are now available for Hanoi-Taipei and Ho Chi Minh City-Kaohsiung with prices only from VND310,000 (US$14) and from VND210,000 (US$9) respectively.

The Hanoi-Taipei route will be operated on a daily basis from October 30, 2016 with the flight time of 2 hours 45 minutes per leg. The flight takes off from Hanoi at 14:15 and lands in Taipei at 18:00 (local time). The return flight will depart at 19:10 and arrives in Hanoi at 20:55 (local time).

Meanwhile, the Ho Chi Minh City-Kaohsiung route will be launched on December 12, 2016 with five return flights a week on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. The flight, which lasts 3 hours 30 minutes per leg, departs from Ho Chi Minh City at 02:10 and lands in Kaohsiung at 06:30 (local time). The return flight takes off at 08:15 and lands in Ho Chi Minh City at 10:45 (local time).

On the same day, it also declared to increase the flight frequency on the Ho Chi Minh City-Tainan route to five return flights a week.

Accordingly, the Ho Chi Minh City -Tainan will have five return flights a week on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from October 30, 2016 with flight time of 3 hours 15 minutes per leg. The flight leaves Ho Chi Minh City at 10:30 and arrives in Tainan at 14:45 (local time). The return flight takes off at 15:45 and lands at 18:00 (local time).

Other international routes of Ho Chi Minh City-Seoul and Hanoi – Seoul will be served with A321 aircraft (230 seats) instead of A320 aircraft (180 seats).

Vietjet is the first airline in Vietnam to operate as a new-age airline with low-cost and diversified services to meet customers’ demands. With its high-quality services, special low-fare tickets and diverse ticket classes, the carrier offers its passengers enjoyable flights with dynamic and friendly flight crew, comfy seats, amazing hot meals and special surprises from the airline’s inflight activities.

Currently, the airline boasts a fleet of 40 aircraft, including A320s and A321s, and operates 300 flights each day. It has already opened 53 routes in Vietnam and to international destinations such as Thailand, Singapore, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, China and Myanmar. It has carried nearly 25 million passengers to date.

Danang City hotline takes English queries

Foreigners can now call (+84) 0511 1022 for information on best places to go to in Danang.

The hotline of Vietnam’s central hub, Danang City, has been officially extended to assist and receive feedback in English from foreign tourists and organizations since August 25.

The move comes after the city hotline at (+84) 0511 1022 has been receiving on average 400 calls in English each day, the government portal reported on August 26.

Foreigners will now be able to call the hotline for addresses of local restaurants, accommodation, tourist sights and upcoming events. The city also plans to include information on policies and administrative procedures.

After the trial period, Danang wants to extend the hotline to become a regular source of information in English available everyday from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., said Pham Truong Quoc Vuong, the deputy director of Danang Community Information Services Center.

The fully functioning hotline is expected to be ready for the fifth Asian Beach Games (ABG 5), scheduled from September 24 to October 3 and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit 2017, which will take place in October.

Last April, Danang merged 200 hotlines into one number (0511-1022) to receive and process queries from the public. Calling from a landline in Danang only requires dialing 1022.

The call costs VND200 (1 cent) per minute. Landline calls from other provinces and from mobile phones will need to add the area code 0511 and calls cost VND888 per minute.

Danang has recently computerized various services, including one-stop shops, residential management, public transport and water supervision. The city also plans to become a smart city by 2020.


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