What The Papers Say Feb - Mar 2018

(No.1, Vol.8,Feb -March Vietnam Heritage Magazine)

12 million US dollars for unexploded devices removal
Vietnam News, the national English daily newspaper, announced that central Quang Tri Province would receive $12 million to resume the search for and defusal of unexploded explosive devices left by the United States Army after the war in the province.
The fund comes from the US Department of State and other international sources; and the Mines Advisory Group (MAG) will do the job, commencing this year. An estimated 85,000 residents in the province will benefit from the project, which will benefit locals by helping them reclaim the soil, not to mention making it generally safer.
Quang Tri was on the border between North and South Vietnam during wartime. It received tons of bombs released by the US Air Force, making the province the top locality for unexploded devices both on land and underground. Wartime explosive devices occupied 83 per cent of its total land area.
The province also has the highest percentage of disabled people caused by post-war explosive devices in the country, more than 80 per cent.

4,300 illegal railroad crossings exist
Also on Vietnam News, the country’s railway authorities said there are at least 4,300 illegal and unofficial railroad crossings around the country. These crossings account for 70 per cent of all rail-related accidents.
Illegal crossings have been a headache for the railway sectors for decades and it also reflects the ill-planned residential areas across the country. More importantly, residents living nearby the railroads endure the nuisance from crossing the railroads.
The railway sector said they would need at least $75 million in 2017-2020 to address long-standing rail accident hotspots at illegal level crossings. Nearby residents are enthused at the prospect of having safer trips.

Air in Hanoi fresh only 38 days in 2017
Tuoi Tre, one of the leading Vietnamese language newspaper, carried a story saying that Hanoi residents burned 528 tons of pressed coal a day for cooking. The pressed coal releases large volumes of CO and CO¬¬2 while burning.
The coal is favoured by housewives as well as street eateries thanks to its low cost and the large amount of energy it produces. However, Hanoi has the most severe air polluted city in the country.
The scientists who provided the research results for Tuoi Tre revealed that Hanoi residents enjoyed only 38 days of fresh air in the entire year of 2017.

Vietnamese spend almost 0.5 billion dollars for fast food each month
Thanh Nien, another leading Vietnamese language newspaper in the country, revealed that Vietnamese spent $573 million a month for fast food. A big amount for a country that is famous for family tradition, which said most Vietnamese prefer meals at home at least twice a day.
Fast food market segment, however, is dominated by foreign suppliers, including Lotteria, KFC, Dairy Queen, Domino’s Pizza, Burger King, Starbucks and McDonald’s.
The number of fast food consumption means Vietnamese are contributing much to the growth of international brands while they harm both local business and culture.

Vietnamese spend 416 million dollars for imported beef
Dan Viet, an online newswire, said in a report that Vietnamese spent almost 416 million to consume imported beef in 2017, giving another shock over food consumption by Vietnamese.
The report said the beef is mainly imported from the US, Australia, and India. But it also included the luxurious Kobe beef from Japan. The amount of $416 million equals to 41,000 tons of beef and it makes people curious about the consumption by Vietnamese while local beef is much cheaper and domestic husbandry sector is struggling to survive.

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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