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What The Papers Say Nov 2013

(No.10, Vol.3, Nov 2013 Vietnam Heritage Magazine)

‘Asian unicorn’
www.thanhniennews.com, 12 October
Thua Thien Hue authorities have announced the establishment of a Sao La Natural Reserve in the Truong Son Mountains near the border with Laos in an effort to conserve the rare mammal sao la - also known as ‘the Asian Unicorn’- that has dwindled to less than 250 individuals worldwide.

PC pirates slowly fade away
www.thanhniennews.com, 12 October
Vietnam’s PC software piracy rate is decreasing two per cent every year and will reach 60 per cent in the next ten years, down from the current 81 per cent, according to the US’s Business Software Alliance (BSA).

Dirty doctors
www.thanhniennews.com, 18 October
Ho Chi Minh City health inspectors have discovered Nguyen Tri Phuong public hospital staff using unauthorized drug and equipment suppliers, doctors embezzling hospital assets, and overcharging patients
The inspectors have ordered the hospital officials to return nearly $33,000 they pocketed by selling unused film and cream for multislice CT scans and cream used in cataract surgeries.

Mixed economic news
www.thanhniennews.com, 21 October
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung told a National Assembly session in October that state budget overspending in 2013 may reach 5.3 percent of the GDP, while the government's goal was to keep it below 4.8 percent.
Dung estimated Vietnam's GDP growth at 5.4 percent this year.
He said inflation has been cut from 18.13 percent in 2011 to 6.81 percent in 2012, and is expected to hover around 7 percent this year.

Seven refineries, no oil
www.thanhniennews.com, 23 October
Vietnam is set to see at least six refineries added to its only existing plant, Dung Quat, in the south-central province of Quang Ngai.
Experts are worried the projects will bring Vietnam more supply than demand, not to mention environmental troubles and financial problems.
Analysts warned that foreign investors, who are tending to shift to bio-fuel production in their countries, could treat Vietnam as a factory to help them use up their outdated technology.
Work began on the Vung Ro oil refinery in Phu Yen Province early this month. Britain-based investor Tachnostar Management Ltd had earlier increased its investment in the project to US$3.18 billion from $1.7 billion in 2007.



Frankenseeds are coming
www.thanhniennews.com, 23 October
Genetically modified (GM) grains can only be used in animal feed if they are certified by a specialist council as posing no risk to the health of humans and livestock, a proposed circular to take effect by year end is expected to say.
They can also be used if at least five countries do so, but this is just the thin end of the wedge, critics say, in allowing farmers to grow GM food despite warnings about environmental impacts and reliance on foreign seed companies.
The government plans to cover half of the country’s arable land with GM crops by 2020.
Vietnam imports four million tonnes of soy and 1.5 tonnes of corn for animal feed every year from Brazil, Argentina, and the US, including genetically modified varieties.

Fatal fireworks
vietnamnews.vn, 14 October
An explosion in the Z121 military fireworks factory in northern Phu Tho Province killed at least 24, injured nearly 100 people, damaged hundreds of houses and other buildings and fired 17,000 boxes of stored fireworks, costing about $2.47 million.
According to the local authority, a technical fault led to the initial explosion.

Stone age discovery
vietnamnews.vn, 21 October
Artifacts left by prehistoric men from 20,000 BC to 12,000 BC have been discovered at the Sua Can Ty archaeological site in Quan Ba District, in the northern mountainous province of Ha Giang.
The findings include nearly 200 relics, mostly work tools made from stone.

Protecting pachyderms
vietnamnews.vn, 21 October
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has green-lighted a $2 million project to conserve small elephant herds and endangered species of fauna and flora found in the same habitat.
The project will also target the illegal elephant trade and dealings in ivory and other parts of endangered animals.
The project will be rolled out in the Kon Tum, Lam Dong, Quang Nam, Ha Tinh, Binh Phuoc, Son La, and Quang Nam provinces where wild elephant herds have been sighted.

VN prof honoured
vietnamnews.vn, 21 October
France's Ecole Normale Superieure de Cachan (ENS Cachan), a prestigious public institution of higher education and research, has presented Vietnamese professor Nguyen Van Hieu with an honorary doctorate degree.
The honour was made in recognition of Hieu's research in physics, as well as his contributions to the co-operation between Vietnamese universities and ENS Cachan.

Quack doc arrested
vietnamnews.vn, 23 October
Hanoi police have arrested the owner of a cosmetic surgery centre, Nguyen Manh Tuong, for allegedly throwing a patient's body into the river after she died during a breast surgery.
The centre had conducted many cosmetic operations without license.

Headshrinkers wanted
vietnamnews.vn, 23 October
The number of people suffering from mental disorders tends to increase due to the pressures of modern life, however, Vietnam has few doctors specialising in the field.
The latest statistics of the Ministry of Health released in March showed that the country has only one mental doctor per 100,000 residents, whereas the rate in Thailand and Japan is 12/100,000 and 25/100,000, respectively.

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