What The Papers Say Dec 2017-Jan 2018

(No.6, Vol.7,Dec 2017-Jan 2018 Vietnam Heritage Magazine)

HCMC faces bus terminal shortage
Viet Nam News, 14November
Shortage of space has been identified as the main hurdle to the development of HCM City’s bus services and lack of adequate bus stations. As a result of the shortage, half of the city’s 83 bus stations are on roads and pavements. The rest are in universities, airport and tourist parks. This causes costs to increase while causing disorder and lack of safety. Local residents also complain that the buses, lined up on one side of the road, block access to their houses and shops.

City to build water pipe
Viet Nam News, 17 November
The Saigon Water Supply Corporation began construction Wednesday of an underground water pipe to improve the city centre’s water supply. This will be the city’s largest water pipe, with a diametre of 2.4 metres and length of 10 kilometres. The pipe will start at Thu Duc District and head toward municipal District 1. It will help deliver water from the Thu Duc water plant toward the city centre and nearby districts. Construction will take around three and a half years.

Resolution aims for sustainable Mekong Delta development
Viet Nam News, 20 November
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has signed a resolution to develop the Mekong Delta as part of an effort to cope with climate change. The resolution points out that the Mekong Delta accounts for 12 per cent of the national area and 19 per cent of population, contributes 50 per cent of the rice crop, 65 per cent of aquaculture, 70 per cent of fruit, 95 per cent of exported rice and 60 per cent of exported fish. The resolution also provides numerous comprehensive solutions, such as establishing ecological sub-regions for agriculture as economic development and infrastructure construction, and setting up a master plan for sustainable development in the Delta while adapting to climate change.

Gender inequality in ethnic minority groups
Viet Nam News, 21 November
Gender inequality in ethnic minorities is seen in different fields, including economy, labour, education, training and health care. This was the result of the survey on the socio-economic situation of 53 ethnic minority groups in Viet Nam in 2015 from the gender perspective. Under the survey, 86.3 per cent of male ethnic minorities are literate. The rate of early marriage in ethnic minority girls is higher than boys. In the under-16 age group, the number of girls getting married is three or four times higher than boys. Nearly 40 per cent of ethnic minority women bear their children at home; thus the number of fatalities in ethnic minority newborns is four times higher than Kinh group newborns.

Vietnam’s defense ministry requests tighter management of drones
Tuoi Tre News, 11 October
Vietnam’s Ministry of National Defense has suggested tightening management over the use of camera drones throughout the country. Colonel General Phan Van Giang, deputy minister of national defense, has released a document on the enhanced supervision of unmanned aerial devices and specifically, camera drones. The use of drones has become quite complicated recently, Mr Giang said, adding that several users of such devices had failed to seek permission and flown over prohibited areas.

Vietnam to draft law protecting transgender rights
Tuoi Tre News, 17 October
Vietnam is looking to draft a law to provide official legal status to transgender people, including those who have undergone sex reassignment surgery and those who have not. The country is home to an estimated transgender population of 270,000-300,000, thousands of whom have undergone sex changes in foreign countries, according to Ministry of Health statistics. These people have since faced legal and administrative challenges due to a lack of recognition for their gender identity. Vietnam has made major breakthroughs in improving transgender rights in recent years, including a landmark vote in late 2015 to recognize transgender people for the first time.

Mass tourism changes Sapa
Tuoi Tre News, 24 October
The popular tourist town of Sapa, in the mountainous Lao Cai Province of northern Vietnam, has become a giant ‘construction site’ as countless tourism projects are currently underway. Covering an area of over 24 square kilometers, Sapa is famous for its rustic beauty and romantic scenery. Located at an altitude of 1,500 to 1,650 meters on the side of Lo Suay Tong Mountain, the tourist destination is also favored for its year-round cool climate. It can experience brisk winters and is one of the few locations in Vietnam where snow occasionally falls.

3 moon bears freed after nearly 20 years behind bars in Vietnam
English VNExpress November 7
Three moon bears were handed over by families in the northern province of Ninh Binh to activists on Monday, promising the animals a new life after nearly two decades in captivity.
The animals, two of them female, have been kept in small cages since they were cubs weighing just five kilograms each. Now they are around 100 kilograms but in poor health, local media reported. Initial examinations found they had received multiple injections to extract bear bile, causing their livers and gallbladders to become infected. Members of the animal welfare organization Four Paws International have transported the animals to Ninh Binh Bear Sanctuary, 130 kilometers south of Hanoi. The bears will receive treatment for around three weeks before being released into a semi-wild environment.

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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