What The Papers Say Aug-Sep 2014

(No.7, Vol.4,Aug-Sep 2014 Vietnam Heritage Magazine)

Vietnam, 1-China 0
tuoitrenews.vn, 16 July
China moved its oil rig, Haiyang Shiyou 981, out of Vietnamese waters early 16 July after illegally placing it there for 75 days since 1 May.
The platform will be moved to Lingshui, a coastal county of China’s southern Hainan Island, China’s Xinhua News Agency said.
Over the past two and a half months, Beijing deployed more than 100 vessels, including military ships, to guard the illegal rig, despite Hanoi’s repeated demand for an immediate removal of the platform from the area.
During the time when the rig was placed in Vietnam’s waters, these vessels often rammed or fired their water cannons at local ships. Such attacks have so far injured 15 fishery surveillance officers and two fishermen, as well as damaged 27 boats belonging to Vietnam’s marine law enforcement and Coast Guard forces, as well as seven local fishing boats.

Mot, hai . . .…ban?
tuoitrenews.vn, 19 July
The Ministry of Health has suggested banning the sales of beer and liquor between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. in a draft law for the prevention of ill effects of alcoholic beverages in the community.
Vietnam has a heavy consumption of beer and alcohol and the amount has been increasing year after year. In 2013, Vietnam consumed over three billion litres of beer, ranking third in Asia after Japan and China. 68,000 litres of wine were also drunk. However, people have claimed that it is unfeasible to carry out the ban.

All aboard!
tuoitrenews.vn, 21 July
Construction of the first underground terminal of the Ben Thanh-Suoi Tien metro line in Ho Chi Minh City will begin in July.
The underground terminal will be built under the intersection of Le Loi and Nguyen Hue Streets in front of the Municipal Theatre in District 1.
The system, estimated to cost $2.49 billion, is designed to be 19.7 km long, running from District 1 through Binh Thanh District, District 2, District 9 and Thu Duc District in Ho Chi Minh City before reaching Di An Town, in Binh Duong Province.
The metro line is scheduled to be completed in 2017 and put into operation in 2018, when it can transport about 620,000 passengers per day.

Pricey spelunking
www.thanhniennews.com, 21 July
An exclusive adventure tour into Vietnam's Son Doong Cave, the largest in the world, is fully booked until 2015, Nguyen Van Ky, deputy director of Quang Binh Province's Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism said.
Oxalis Adventure Tours, the sole tour organizer permitted to enter Son Doong Cave, organizes only four caving and trekking tours each month with just eight persons per tour. Each tour lasts seven days and costs $3,000 each tourist.

VN wants Guinness recognition
Vietnam News, 23 July
Vietnam plans to ask official record adjudicators for the Guinness World Records to validate Ho Chi Minh City’s Nguyen Thi Tru as the world’s oldest living person.
The Vietnam Book of Records officials in 22 July  gave a certificate and badge to Tru, who turned 121 in May, recognising her as Vietnam's oldest living person. They also wished her many more years of life.
Born on April 5, 1893, Tru is leading a healthy life and lives with her youngest son, who is 72, in Da Phuoc Commune, Binh Chanh District. She gave birth to 11 children, but only four are alive.

Ride to the roof
english.vietnamnet.vn, 30 July
The cable car system to Fansipan peak, dubbed the ‘Roof of Indochina,’ will be put into operation 30 April, 2015.
Construction of the three-wire cable system, said to be the world’s highest, longest and most complicated, began in November 2013. The Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam is the main lender for the project, which has an investment of nearly $131 million.
Once operational, the system will take visitors to the top of the 3,143m Fansipan within 15-20 minutes, compared to climbing, which would take between one to two days. Its maximum capacity is 2,000 people per hour.
The system is part of the $206.8 million Fansipan Sapa complex, which encompasses a luxury resort, four- and five-star hotels, entertainment facilities, restaurants, and a golf course.

Nguyen Dynasty's royal
documents get certificate
Vietnam News, 30 July
Administrative documents signed by the Nguyen kings (1802-1945) have received the certificate of the Asia-Pacific Region's Memory of the World Programme.
The documents, which have been accorded heritage status by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), include nearly 200,000 pages on laws, decrees, edicts and instructions for resolving problems in various fields such as politics, military affairs, foreign affairs, economy, society and culture.
Among these valuable documents are also those that affirm Vietnam's sacred sovereignty over the Paracel and Spratly archipelagos.

Another Cham tower relic unearthed in central Vietnam
Tuoi Tre News, August 2
Archeologists from Hanoi recently unearthed another Cham relic of great historical value in Danang City in central Vietnam.
According to the archeologists from Hanoi University of Social Sciences and the Humanities, a Cham tower relic in Hoa Vang District’s Hoa Phuoc Commune, boasts at least three foundations dated from the late 10th century.
In a similar vein, locals in central Ha Tinh Province unearthed a valuable antique statue while renovating Ca Temple. Cham areas are remnants of the Kingdom of Champa (between the 7th and 18th centuries).

Ranger arrested for bribery
www.thanhniennews.com, 3 August
Police in the northern province of Thanh Hoa in early August arrested a provincial forest ranger who allegedly took more than $4,700 worth of bribes from a rare wood trafficker.
Le Duc Hai, head of the mobile rangers division of Thanh Hoa Forest Management Department, was arrested as undercover police caught him receiving bags of money from the trafficker at the door of his office.

Vietnam takes preventive measures against Ebola
Thanh Nien News, 5 August
Vietnam's Ministry of Health has instructed relevant agencies to step up preventive measures against the highly fatal Ebola virus which has killed more than 800 people in West Africa so far this year.
Provincial health agencies will coordinate with immigration authorities to monitor international visitors, especially arrivals from countries experiencing outbreaks.
Suspected cases will have to be quarantined and have submitted to lab tests.

Family donates sea, island papers
Vietnam News, 5 August
A family with connections to the last Vietnamese dynasty donated precious documents on Vietnam's sovereignty over the sea and islands to the State.
The Le family from Tuy Phong District passed on the papers to authorities in the central province of Binh Thuan.
Written in Vietnamese using Han-Nom (Sino Vietnamese) characters, they include two royal decrees by Nguyen kings.
The documents demonstrate that the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945) took great care to protect the nation's sea and islands.

Vietnam hosts third gay pride parade
Tuoi Tre News, 3 August
Around 300 activists led a colourful parade through Hanoi on August 3 in the nation's largest ever gay pride event, as Vietnam shows signs of increasing tolerance of sexual difference.
Homosexuality remains taboo in Vietnam, but a series of gradual advances, including the removal of fines for same-sex wedding parties, have been welcomed by the LGBT community in recent years.
In 2012 lawmakers even briefly considered legalising gay marriage but it did not work.

Vietnam's minimum wage to increase $14-18 per month in 2015
Thanh Nien News, August 6
The National Wage Council recommended that the government increase Vietnam's minimum monthly salary by VND300,000-VND400,000 (US$14-18) in 2015.
The draft proposal was approved by 64 percent of the agency’s members on Wednesday and will be submitted to Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung for approval next month.

US grants $1m to fight HIV/AIDS
Vietnam News, August 6
The US is providing nearly US$1 million for a two-year project to combat HIV/AIDS in southern Vietnam, including HCM City.
The programme, launched in August 5 by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), focuses particularly on HCM City, Can Tho, and An Giang, where there is a high rate of HIV carriers and at-risk populations.
Together with civil society and non-governmental and mass organisations such as the Women's Union, USAID helps deliver prevention, care, and treatment and advocates policies to improve access to and the quality of HIV/AIDS services.

HCM City to install street cameras
Thanh Nien News, 6 August
Authorities in HCM City have announced a plan to install surveillance cameras on streets throughout District 1 to improve security in the downtown area starting in April of 2015.
Surveillance cameras will be installed on every street in downtown Ho Chi Minh City to feed images back to a district police control center. These smart cameras will also adjust red lights based on traffic flows.
The street cameras will also detect speeding or illegally parked vehicles for subsequent fines.
Cameras will also be installed on traffic police vehicles to prevent corruption, according to the project.

Illegally imported ivory seized in
HCM City
Vietnam News, 7 August
Custom officials in HCM City in August 6 announced that they had seized three elephant tusks from Africa worth nearly VND3 billion (US$144,200).
Elephant ivory is forbidden to be imported or exported from Viet Nam. Custom officials are holding further investigations.
The ivory was apparently sent from France to a Vietnamese residing in Ly Thuong Kiet Street of Da Nang City.

Large-scale illegal logging
Vietnam News, 8 August
Police seized a truck carrying more than 10 m³ of high-value melanorrhea laccifera wood cut into hundreds of logs in the central province's Nam Giang commune in 7 August  morning.
Preliminary investigations showed that the timber, which is illegal to harvest, was transported from the reservoir of Bung River 4 Hydropower Planet to that of Bung River 6 Hydropower Plant, then tied together to flow along the river to Dai Loc commune.

Silkworm cocoon cultivation at Co Chat Village, Phuong Dinh Commune, Truc Ninh District of Nam Dinh Province has long been praised in folk songs for ...
A short while ago, I was asked if the Vietnamese fondness for eating snails were a consequence of the former French presence here.
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