What the papers say October - November 2015

No 3, Vol.11 , October – November 2015

Banned chemical substances detected in pig farms
Viet Nam News, 21 September
Some five pig-breeding farms in a southern Tay Ninh Province have been fined for using banned chemical substances, such as lean-meat agents, that have harmful side effects, inspectors said.
Inspectors from the provincial Agriculture and Rural Development Department said five of the nine samples taken by the department from these breeding farms had tested positive for salbutamol, which was banned in 2002.
The farms were fined $3,600 in total, three of them receiving the highest fine of $909 each.
Meanwhile, in southern Dong Nai Province, the Veterinary Department found 17 out of 84 samples have tested positive for salbutamol in the first eight months of the year. Each violator was fined VND15 million ($680).
Last month, more than 300 pig-breeding households in Dong Nai Province signed a commitment to refrain from using banned chemical substances.

Road accidents kill 700 in one month
Viet Nam News, 29 September
There were 1,836 road accidents nationwide between August 16 and September 15 that left 696 people dead and injured 1,692, the latest statistics from the public security ministry said.
The number of road accidents, the number of people killed and injured on the roads increased 7.5 per cent, 6.4 per cent and 6.3 per cent, respectively, compared with last month's figures.

Hanoi drug trafficking cases rise in 2015
Viet Nam News, 30 September
More than 2,500 drug trafficking cases have been detected in Viet Nam since early this year, a report of the capital city's police department said.
A report by the ministry said 3,210 drug dealers were arrested during the period and criminal charges were filed against 2,425 offenders.
The country's north-western region was found to be a key route of drug dealers. Heroin was trafficked from Laos to Hanoi, seen as a key transaction area, before being shipped to the northern provinces of Lang Son and Cao Bang and China.
The methamphetamine sent to Viet Nam and other countries came from Middle Eastern countries and the Golden Triangle. Cocaine was imported from South American countries. Meanwhile, heroin was shipped to China and Australia.

Funding shortage hinders HIV/AIDS fight
Viet Nam News, 30 September
Medical experts are concerned that an outbreak of the HIV virus is likely to return to Vietnam at any time, due to a lack of funds.
It is estimated that Vietnam will need at least $329 million for the programme for 2016-20 period, but it will lack about 11 per cent of the capital. Because the HIV prevention programme will not be a national target programme, it will suffer a big reduction in budget allocation.
About 80 per cent of funding for HIV response in Vietnam comes from external donors, but the funding will be gradually lowered because Vietnam has now been classed as a middle-income country.

20 food poisoning deaths reported in nine months
Viet Nam News, 1 October
The Viet Nam Food Administration said 20 people died in 129 food-poisoning cases nationwide during the first nine months of 2015.
Among them were 28 cases of group poisonings, with 3,436 people getting infected.
The number of food poisoning cases in 2015 fell by 19 (12.8 per cent), while there were 404 fewer cases of infections (10.5 per cent) and nine fewer deaths (31 per cent), compared to the same period last year.
Cases of group poisoning may occur in canteens of industrial and processing parks, due to the use of materials whose origins are suspect or have been produced by small-scale households.
For the first time, Viet Nam will pilot food safety inspections at the district and commune levels, compared to the provincial and city-level inspections in previous years. A total of 172 companies that violated food hygiene and safety regulations have been punished.

HCMC opens second emergency centre
Viet Nam News, 1 October
The HCM City's Department of Health launched the 115 Emergency Centre at Binh Tan District's General Hospital.
It is the city's second emergency centre. The first centre at Saigon General Hospital opened in December last year.
The city will open three more emergency centres at the city's gateways to reduce the number of fatalities due to late emergency aid.

Vietnam to fine those using cellphones while driving
Tuoi Tre News, 10 September
People using cell phones while driving will likely be fined up to $35.60 in the near future, according to a draft decree of the Ministry of Transport detailing penalties for traffic law violators.
Accordingly, a fine ranging from $26.70 to $35.60 has been proposed for this act by the board that drafted the decree.
The penalties are aimed at deterring drivers from using cell phones when driving, a practice that can make them lose concentration, leading to tragic accidents.
This fine is only a small part of the draft decree that also sets out heavier penalties for drunk drivers and those riding motorbikes on expressways in Vietnam.

Ho Chi Minh City to build 3 reservoirs to curb inundation
Tuoi Tre News, 16 September
Work on three reservoirs aimed at preventing flooding will kick off in three districts of Ho Chi Minh City next year, with a total investment of about $57.6 million.
The three lakes, to be built underground, are part of a master plan to build 103 reservoirs of this kind, 875 hectares in area, across the city during the 2016-2020 period, the centre said.
Of the three, the Bau Cat reservoir is the pilot project to construct the first underground lake in the city, the centre added.
The reservoir, which is designed to be 125 meters long, 32 meters wide and 2.5 meters deep, will be able to contain 10,000m3 of rainwater upon completion.
It will help ease floods when rainfall exceeds the existing drainage capacity of 76mm for three hours in an area of about 20 hectares around the artificial lake.

2 killed, 6 injured in villa collapse
Tuoi Tre News, 23 September
A 300m² part of a state-owned villa built by the French in Hanoi 110 years ago fell on Tuesday, claiming two lives and injuring six others.
The block caved in vertically and the broken parts hit many houses on its sides in alleys 105 and 107, burying many people and property.
Before the collapse, more than 30 employees of the Vietnam Railways Corporation had been working in the block. They managed to escape from the place after they saw the block shaking and saw some cracks on its walls.
Local authorities mobilized thousands of policemen, fire-fighters, rescuers, soldiers, and specialized vehicles and equipment for the rescue mission at the scene.

Pollution killing off coral under Phu Quoc Sea
Tuoi Tre News, 28 September
Many coral reefs under the sea of Phu Quoc Island, off southern Vietnam, have disappeared due to climate change and water pollution over the past several years, the local conservation agency has said.
Shrimp, fish, and ‘banh long’ (actinopyga mauritiana) exploitation activities to the west of the island have been detrimental to the marine environment and have destroyed coral and other aquatic animals there.
Statistics showed that 90 percent of the coral in certain locations has been destroyed.

Vietnam exempts visa for foreign spouses of Vietnamese
Thanh Nien News, 30 September
A new government decree has allowed overseas Vietnamese, their foreign spouses and children to visit Vietnam without having to apply for a visa.
Foreign family members of Vietnamese citizens will also benefit from the new policy. They are only required to have a passport that is valid for at least one year and present related identification documents to visa agencies in their areas.
A visa-waiver certificate will then be issued, with validity of up to five years. Foreigners in Vietnam can apply for the certificate at the Immigration Department at the Ministry of Public Security.

Woman sets teenage son on fire for playing online games
Thanh Nien News, 2 October
A 13-year old boy is being treated at a Ho Chi Minh City hospital with severe burns after his mother doused him in gasoline and set him on fire last Friday.
Nguyen Xuan Thanh, a high school student in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong, played truant on Thursday and Friday his mother found him playing online games at an internet shop nearby.
The 32-year old woman reportedly poured gasoline on him and set him on fire.
Authorities said they have already filed charges against the woman, but allowed her to take care of her son.

Vietnam scraps road use fee for motorbikes
Thanh Nien News, 2 October
The Vietnamese government has pulled the plug on a road use fee for motorbikes that officials said is too hard to collect and not worth the bother.
The decision was made at a cabinet meeting Wednesday, where everyone agreed it should be scrapped with effect from January 1 next year.
However, until the suspension takes effect, local governments will continue to collect the fee of $5.2-6.5 a year, depending on motorbikes' engine capacity.
As of June 30 this year nearly $56.12 million was collected from motorbike owners around the country, much lower than the estimated VND2.6 trillion ($114 million) a year, according to the transport ministry's report.

Quy Nhon named among best undiscovered places
Thanh Nien News, 6 October
The UK travel publisher Rough Guides has listed Quy Nhon in the central coast among the top nine authentic escapes in Southeast Asia.
Quy Nhon is the capital town of Binh Dinh Province and fishing is its main industry, as you can see locals swinging along the coast in coracles to travel between boats.
The town is home to long sandy beaches which remain pristine thanks to few tourist arrivals, most of whom are locals.
Tourists can take a xe om (motorbike taxi) to a hilltop to the north of the town to visit Champa towers, which were built between the 11th and 13th centuries.
Quy Nhon offers a wide range of cheap and fresh seafood that tourists can enjoy anytime of day.

Angry mob kills 2 dog thieves
Thanh Nien News, 7 October, 2015
The Dak Lak police are trying to find the people involved after two alleged dog thieves were lynched by an angry mob.
The incident took place at around 2 a.m., when residents in a locality in Buon Ma Thuot town found four suspected dog thieves fleeing on two motorbikes.
After driving for a kilometre, one of the motorbikes crashed and the duo were immediately thrashed by the chasers.
One of them died on the spot while the other died on the way to hospital. Their motorbike was burned.
Dog thefts are common in Vietnam where dog meat consumption is popular.

Following the tunes (“Spring comes to Muong Hum hamlet high up the mountains with heart-rocking distant singing…” ) of talented composer Nguyen Tai ...
In the heart of the darkness of Saigon's backpacker land,ambling along down raucous Bui Vien Street and wishing I had not come out without my ear ...
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