What the papers say July - August 2015

No 3, Vol.8 ,July – August 2015

Unusual cold weather hits Sapa in northern Vietnam
Viet Nam News, 6 July
Sapa, the favourite resort town in northern Vietnam, is going through the second winter in only six months.
The town became suddenly cold on Monday morning and many people had to wear extra coats to deal with the temperature, which fell to 12.6 degrees Celsius (54.7 degrees Fahrenheit) at 7 a.m., right in the middle of summer.
The cold weather is even stranger considering the country has been going through the hottest year in a decade, with heat wave gripping northern and central Vietnam for months now.

Fishermen complain over Chinese action
Viet Nam News, 15 June
The Vietnam Fisheries Association has denounced Chinese ships for obstructing the rescue of Vietnamese fishermen and attacking Vietnam's fishing vessels.
In a recent statement sent to ministerial agencies, the association said the actions were inhuman and violated the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Vietnam's rescue vessel SAR 142 was blocked by a Chinese ship on May 31 while it was on the way to save a distressed fisherman on fishing boat QNa 90927 TS near Tri Ton Island of Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago of Vietnam.
Earlier, Vietnamese fishing vessel BD 96680 TS was attacked by a Chinese coast guard ship while it was fishing at 15 degrees of the north latitude and 112 degrees east longitude in Viet Nam's Hoang Sa waters.

Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica to undergo years-long major
Viet Nam News, 18 June
A large-scale restoration, which may take several years, is expected to start on the 135-year-old Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica in three months.
Restorers were poised to visit France and meet producers of coloured glass and tiles that may go well with the church's architecture.
According to officials, damage is most serious in the edifice’s tile roofs due to accumulative rainwater, which leads to further structural impairments and imperils its overall force sustaining system.
The bell tower, which is over 60 metres tall, also poses a safety challenge.
Built in 1877 and opened to the public in 1880, the 135-year-old church has not seen any major restoration.

Beached dolphin rescued in Vietnam beach town
Viet Nam News, 22 June
A dolphin found stranded on a beach of the resort town of Vung Tau was rescued and released back into the sea by local residents on Thursday.
Beach residents found the dolphin, which is about 1.5 metre (5ft) long and weighed about 60 kg.
As it looked weak, they decided to take it to a snail farming pond nearby to take care the dolphin.
After four hours, the dolphin recovered well and was released back to the ocean.

Rhino horn demand plunges
Viet Nam News, 25 June
Rhino horn demand has decreased by 77 per cent in Hanoi and 38 per cent across Vietnam, more than a year after a campaign was launched to eliminate its use.
The Humane Society International and the Vietnam Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora started the campaign in 2013.
Vietnam needed to spread the message that South African authorities have injected poisonous chemicals into rhinos' horns to prevent them from being illegally killed there.
According to the Vietnam Customs Department of Anti-smuggling Investigation, most rhino horn is transported by plane from South Africa. In the first 6 months of the year, the department seized four illegal rhino-horn traffickers.

Hoi An faces risk of losing beach to coastal erosion
Viet Nam News, 29 June
Experts and authorities in a central Vietnamese province that houses a UNESCO-recognized old town have been spooked by the grim prospect that a stunning beach along its coastline could disappear altogether due to alarming soil erosion.
Cua Dai Beach, which is a gem of Hoi An Town's tourist industry and a major draw to international tourists, is being wiped out by sea waves at an alarming rate.
The beach has seen relentless, devastating coastal erosion since October last year, with the damage spiraling out of control recently.
Experts at several seminars held to address the issue have unanimously agreed that the malady is mostly put down to hydroelectric dams, which block the silt and sand currents from upstream, and rampant sand mining along the Vu Gia-Thu Bon, a major river system in the area.

Work-related lung disorders affect many
Thanh Nien News, 26 June
Nearly 28,000 people suffer from occupational diseases in Vietnam, reports released at a scientific conference on lung cancer and work-related lung diseases in Hanoi said on Wednesday.
The number could be higher, the reports at the conference organized by the National Lung Hospital said, adding there were six work-related lung diseases.
Nearly 2 million workers, or nearly four per cent of the country's workers, underwent health examination in 2012, the health ministry said.

Royal Caribbean gives port upgrade
Thanh Nien News, 6 July
The US-based cruise line Royal Caribbean International has invested $5 million to upgrade a major port in Central Vietnam to bring more cruisers to the country.
Work is scheduled to finish by the end of this month to make it ready for cruise ships of more than 360 metres long like the Quantum of the Seas, which is currently the second-largest cruise ship in the world and one of the most luxurious.
John Tercek, vice president of commercial development at RCI, said that while improving its infrastructure, Vietnam also needs to promote itself as a cruise ship destination to attract tourists with deep pockets.
He added that many cruisers have known about Brazil, Russia, Thailand and Singapore, but they are not very sure what to do when stopping by Vietnam.

Killing festivals to be eliminated
Tuoi Tre News, 6 July
Vietnamese Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism Hoang Tuan Anh has recently confirmed the elimination of brutal festivals in which animals are killed as a sacrifice to god.
“As the Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism and a National Assembly deputy, I confirm that the barbaric animal sacrifice rituals in festivals, such as the pig slaughter festival in northern Bac Ninh Province or the buffalo killing fest in Phu Tho Province in the north-eastern region, must definitely be terminated and disposed of,” the minister said at a conference on reviewing the festival management during the first six months of the year held in Hanoi early this month.
He also expressed his resolve to end those festivals, saying that if those events keep being organized, it will prove the state management agencies’ impotence and indifference to public opinion.

Reserve recognized as World Biosphere Reserve
Tuoi Tre News, 12 June
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) earlier this week recognized Lang Biang natural reserve in the Central Highlands of Vietnam as a new World Biosphere Reserve.
Lang Biang Biosphere Reserve, covering a total area of about 275,440 hectares, hosts rich biodiversity including many threatened species.
The newly recognized biosphere reserve includes one large primeval forest area with a core zone in Bidoup-Nui Ba National Park, which is rated as one of four centres of biodiversity in Vietnam.
Local and international scientists noted this area is home to 153 species in the Vietnam Red Book and 154 species listed on the Red List of the Switzerland-based International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

Firm reconstructs sacred whale’s skeleton
Tuoi Tre News, 15 June
Ngo Xuan Pha, board chairman of Bao Toan Automobile Co., said that his company had rebuilt a whale’s skeleton, which measures 33 metres in length and four meters in width and 100 metric tons in weight.
The company purchased the skeleton from a local residing on Phu Quoc Island.
The reconstruction only brought the bones 30 percent back, as they have sustained irreversible damage after some 60 years of burial, according to authorities.
The skeleton is currently placed inside the Nha Mat Complex in Bac Lieu City so that locals and tourists can admire it and pay their respects to the animal.

Scholar gives rare East Sea records to State
Tuoi Tre News, 16 June
A Hue researcher has presented copies of rare Vietnamese royal chronicles to the National Boundary Committee under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The researcher believes the books could serve as evidence of Vietnam's sovereignty over the Truong Sa (Spratly) and Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelagoes.
He said Dai Nam Thuc Luc (Great South Real Record) was a trusted collection of documents that justified Vietnam's sovereignty over the two archipelagos.
In the chronicles of the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945)’s Minh Mang era, the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa are described as part of Vietnam territory.
Other records show how the dynasty's emperors deployed personnel to the islands and controlled fishing in the area.

Veteran musicologist Tran Van Khe dies at 95
Tuoi Tre News, 28 June
Professor Tran Van Khe, known as the master of traditional Vietnamese music, died at the age of 95 early on Wednesday.
Professor Khe, a veteran musicologist, academician, writer and teacher, as well as performer of traditional music, died at Gia Dinh People's Hospital. He was suffering from various illnesses of the lungs, heart and kidney.
Professor Khe was born in 1921 in My Tho City in southern Vietnam.
The researcher fulfilled his childhood passion for the music of his country by working his way through college in France in the early 1950s.
He was the first Vietnamese person to get a doctoral degree in musicology in France. He was a professor at Sorbonne University in Paris and was a honorary member of the International Music Council (UNESCO).

Vietnamese designer wins Japan's Fukuoka Prize for helping develop fashion
Tuoi Tre News, 8 July
Vietnamese designer Dang Thi Minh Hanh was named the winner of the arts and culture category of the Fukuoka Prize, which honors people for their contributions toward developing fashion and promoting outstanding culture in Asia. The prize aims at honoring individuals and organizations for conserving and developing the diversity of Asian culture.
Hanh is the second Vietnamese to win the award after historian Phan Huy Le who collected the academic prize in 1996.
Hanh is a fashion designer specializing in ‘ao dai’.
She is well known for her creative, unique designs which impress both local and international enthusiasts.
Jun Yanagi, an envoy of the Japanese Embassy, said that he has seen a lot of Hanh’s designs and is greatly moved because those are exquisite artworks which make him feel the beauty of Vietnamese women.

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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