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Anti-State agitator gets sentence reduced

 The Appeal Court of the Supreme People’s Court in Ho Chi Minh City on August 14 commuted the prison sentence for a defendant convicted of “conducting propaganda against the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.”

Anti-State agitator gets sentence reduced

The Appeal Court of the Supreme People’s Court in Ho Chi Minh City on August 14 commuted the prison sentence for a defendant convicted of “conducting propaganda against the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.”

Pham Nguyen Thanh Binh, born in 1983 and a resident of HCM City, has his sentence reduced from three years to two years, pursuant to Article 88 of the Penal Code.

The court also required Binh to be put on probation for three years after he finishes his prison term.

According to the indictment, in early 2012, Binh became acquainted with Nguyen Xuan Chau, who heads a reactionary organisation in Australia, via the internet.

He agreed to write eight articles for Chau with contents distorting the Party’s guidelines and the Government’s management, as well as slandering Party and State leaders.

Chau then posted the articles on the internet with the aim of inciting the public to rise up against the State.

During the investigation process, Binh showed a sincere and cooperative attitude and asked for clemency.

Baby's party raided for drugs, man detained

Police in the Mekong City of Can Tho yesterday prosecuted and detained 45-year-old Truong Van Sang from Ninh Kieu District for allegedly using and storing illicit drugs.

Another 22 people were fined after testing positive for drugs, including Sang's three accomplices.

According to police, at a party held by Sang for an accomplice's month old baby last Thursday night, Sang offered drugs to more than 50 others before being caught in the act by police.

Quick testing methods proved that 19 suspects had shown positive. Police also seized a large amount of drugs including methamphetamine, amphethamine and ketamine at the site.

Further investigations are continuing.

KOICA helps develop waste recycle technology

The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and Hanoi University of Science and Technology have agreed on a project to research waste recycle technology.

Under the 2013-2015 agreement singed in Hanoi on August 14 the Republic of Korean government will provide US$1.5 million in non-refundable aid to build a centre for developing recycling waste technology.

The project will not only improve research and analysis methods but also transfer waste recycle technology with a focus on electronic waste (e-waste).

The e-waste recycle is considered an effective solution to deal with serious environmental issues caused by discarded electronic devices such as television sets, telephones and computers.

The research of e-waste recycle will also help save natural resources for sustainable growth.

Coordination needed for methadone therapy development

The wider deployment of methadone maintenance therapy to treat heroin dependence in the country was discussed at a conference in central Danang city on August 14.

Participants urged relevant agencies and authorities in 30 provinces and cities to cooperate in copying with the scourge of drug addiction with higher efficiency.

The event was co-organised by the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Popularisation and Education and the Health Ministry.

There are 170,000 drug users in Vietnam and 17,000 of them have been treated under the “Methadone maintenance treatment” programme over the past five years.

After a two-year treatment course, around 14 percent of the patients have still used drugs, 2 percent engaged in family violence and only 1 percent committed legal violations while nearly 76 percent of them got employed.

Methadone treatment has proved an economical form as its daily cost is about VND15,000 (US$0.7) per person in Vietnam.

The programme aims to provide drug replacement therapy to 80,000 addicts in 30 cities and provinces by 2015. But its successful implementation requires more funding, a stable supply of methadone, competent legal documents and a proficient staff, said the participants who joined finding tours of methadone treatment facilities in Danang.

Vietnam, UNODC sign drugs and crime control programme

Vietnam and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) have signed a document on the national programme against drugs and drug-related crime over the 2012-2017 period.

The signing ceremony took place in Hanoi on August 14 in the presence of Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Cao Viet Sinh and UNODC Vietnam Country Director Zhuldyz Akisheva.

The national programme covers five subprograms: anti-transnational organized crime and illegal trafficking; anti-corruption and money laundering; anti-terrorism; criminal justice and HIV/AIDS prevention and control.

Total non-refundable aid for the 2012-2017 national programme costs US$14,457,700.

Addressing the signing ceremony, Sinh said the national programme demonstrates closer cooperation between the Vietnamese Government and the UNODC in realizing their joint plan against drugs and crime for the 2012-2017 period.

He expressed confidence that with the great efforts of Vietnamese agencies and the UNODC and strong support from UN organizations and donors, the national programme would positively contribute to implementing national strategies and targets for drug and crime control.

Jeremy Douglas, UNODC regional representative for Southeast Asia and the Pacific,  said that the programme would help Vietnam adopt UN conventions and protocols in which the UNODC played a global supervisory role.

In addition, it would assist Vietnam in coordinating effectively with Southeast Asian nations in drugs and crime control, he added.

Underground cables pact reached

A co-operation agreement between power and telecom enterprises in HCM City will facilitate the work of removing overhead power lines, phone and television cables and burying them underground.

The agreement was signed on Tuesday between the HCM City Power Corporation (EVN HCMC) and five enterprises - Viettel Group, HCM City VNPT (Viet Nam Posts and Telecommunications Group), Saigontourist Cable Television Co Ltd, FPT Telecom Company and HCM City Electric Power Trading Investment Corporation.

The agreement aims to prevent repeated digging of roads and pavements to bury lines due to a lack of co-ordination between different agencies.

To date, nine out of 20 projects that are targeted for completion this year have been fully implemented, burying 11 kilometres of medium-voltage and 19 kilometres of low-voltage power lines, said Nguyen Anh Vu, head of EVN HCM City's public relations department.

By the end of the 2015 year, 400km of medium-voltage lines and 500km of low-voltage lines in the city's inner districts 1 and 3 would be put underground, he said.

The city hopes to have all power lines and communications cables in 14 other districts buried between 2016 and 2020, he said.

Lines and cables in administrative areas, commercial centres and new urban areas in the remaining districts would also be buried during the 2016-20 period, he added.

Plenty of textbooks for new school year

Publishing houses and bookstores have allayed concerns of parents and students saying there will be sufficient supply of textbooks at reasonable prices for the new school year (2013-14) beginning next month.

The Viet Nam Educational Publishing House has so far published more than 90 million copies of textbooks for students nationwide.

They are being sold at stores run by the publishing house as well as other companies at the same price across provinces and cities nationwide, said Nguyen Minh Khang, deputy general director of the company.

The HCM City Books and Educational Equipment Joint Stock Company said it has received nearly 5.1 million textbook copies for distribution in the city.

As of now, the company has supplied nearly 90 per cent of textbooks to schools in the city. Just 500,000-600,000 copies are left at its stores.

The company has called for a promotion programme that offers discounts of 10-12 per cent at all stores over the next two weeks, Khang said.

Other bookstores are also offering discounts for textbooks and learning devices.

Bookstores of the HCM City Book Distribution Corporation and the Phuong Nam Corporation have been offering 5-10 per cent discounts on textbooks since June.

For ethnic minority students and students in disadvantaged areas, the Government has launched several support programmes including one that will provide them with VND70,000 (US$3.3) each per month for nine months every year to buy textbooks, notebooks and learning devices.

The Ministry of Education and Training has carried out a programme since 2008 to collect old textbooks in order to gift them to poor students.

Under this programme, the company has gifted textbooks as well as learning and teaching aids to school libraries in disadvantaged areas, Khang said.

Other organisations and many schools in the country have also collected old textbooks to be given to poor students.

According to the Viet Nam Educational Publishing House, 40 per cent of the students in the country currently use old textbooks and 10 per cent borrow textbooks from school libraries.

UN report on transnational crime announced in Hanoi

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) unveiled its report, titled “Trans-national Organised Crime in East Asia and the Pacific: a Threat Assessment” in Hanoi on August 14.

The report describes in detail operation mechanisms of trans-national organised crimes as well as gives estimates of the proceeds gained by criminal gangs through activities involved in human trafficking, migrant smuggling, drugs, counterfeits and plants and animal smuggling.

In presenting the report, UNODC Chief Representative in the Southeast Asian and Pacific region Jeremey Douglas said that transnational crime is now a global concern as illegal profits of criminal groups in East Asia and the Pacific alone can also cause social instability for the entire world.

The report estimates that regional criminal gangs and groups can earn about 90 billion USD each year from illegal activities, 13 times higher than the GDP of Laos. In which, the trade of fake products brings biggest profits with 24.4 billion USD, followed by the smuggling of wood (17 billion USD), heroin (16.3 billion USD) and methamphetamines (15 billion USD).

Vietnam, UN work together against drugs and crimes

Vietnam and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) have inked a document outlining a national programme on drug and crime prevention for the 2012-2017 period.

It was signed by Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Cao Viet Sinh and UNODC Vietnam Country Manager Zhuldyz Akisheva.

The programme, with a budget of nearly 14.5 million USD to be funded by non-refundable aid, includes five sub-programmes, dealing with trans-national crimes, corruption and money laundry, terrorism prevention, criminal justice and reducing HIV/AIDS and drug demand.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Deputy Minister Cao Viet Sinh said the programme is a joint effort by the Vietnamese Government and UNODC in implementing their joint plan for the 2012-2016 period.

He expressed belief that with the concerted efforts of both sides, as well as support of donors, the programme will make positive contributions to the implementation of national strategies and goals on preventing and combating drugs and crimes in Vietnam .

Each sub-programme under the project will have their specific targets defined basing on research and evaluation of risks, he said.

It will assist the ratification of international conventions and protocols supervised by UNODC, while supporting the process of adopting relevant laws in Vietnam ’s legal system.

Besides, the programme will help Vietnam strengthen its coordination in the field with its neighbouring countries and other Southeast Asian ones, he added.

“Learning by doing” methodology to spread nationwide

The “La main à la pâte” (Learning by doing) pedagogic methodology is expected to be applied across primary schools in Vietnam by 2015 as training courses are underway.

Created by a French Nobel Laureate in Physics (1992) Georges Charpak, this inquiry-based science technique allows teachers to help their students acquire and approach a range of knowledge and information in an active manner. It is popular in France.

On August 14, some 54 officials and teachers from teachers’ training universities and colleges nationwide began learning this methodology in central Binh Dinh province.

They are coached by French experts Maryvonne Stallaerts and Elisabeth Plé during the course, which has been jointly organised by the Ministry of Education and Training and the Association Rencontres du Vietnam.

As many as 1,500 officials and teachers across the country have been trained in the “La main à la pâte” method since it was introduced to Vietnam in 2002.



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