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Dozens of boats swept away by heavy flood in Red River

As many as 20 boats and ships were inundated by a heavy flood which hit Bat Xat district, north-western Lao Cai province on July 14, causing estimated property losses of VND8 billion.

Dozens of boats swept away by heavy flood in Red River



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As many as 20 boats and ships were inundated by a heavy flood which hit Bat Xat district, north-western Lao Cai province on July 14, causing estimated property losses of VND8 billion.

Among the sunken ships was a large one with 30 tonnes of cargo on board. Despite rescue efforts by local residents and transport businesses, as of 6pm on July 14, many flood victims had not located their swept-away boats and ships.

Bat Xat district’s agriculture department deputy head Phi Trung Kien reported that around 42.7 hectare of crops were damaged by the natural disaster. Tens of households were evacuated from flood-hit area in Ban Vi, Ban Vuoc and Ban Khoang hamlets.

Torrential rains and landslides also caused traffic congestion in Bat Xat district’s hamlets and communes.

Online World Cup betting ring busted

The Ha Noi Police on Sunday smashed an illegal online betting ring which allegedly took about VND6.68 billion (US$315,290) in bets on World Cup football matches.

The Dong Da District police raided a house on Phao Dai Lang Street on July 6 and arrested Ta Ngoc Hung, 36, the leader of the gang, and three other men while they were taking bets via the Internet.

The police seized VND30 million or $1,416, in cash.

The case is being investigated further.

Also on July 6, the police smashed a VND5-trillion or $235-million online gambling ring in the central province of Thanh Hoa.

Ha Noi launches urban issues hotline

The Ha Noi Department of Information and Communications has set up a free hotline where complaints regarding lighting, electricity, water supply and other urban infrastructure-related problems can be reported.

Nguyen Xuan Quang, the department's deputy director, said the hotline number, (04) 3844 5566, would be available 24 hours a day so that the solutions to the reported problems can be worked out as soon as possible.

He said if a concerned State agency fails to respond to some information, and if the complaint proves to be true, the city authorities would be informed and agency would face disciplinary action.

Additional seven fishermen detained by China

Central Quang Binh province’s Fishery Resource Exploitation and Protection Department on July 12 confirmed that seven local fishermen from Quang Phu commune and their fishing boat QB 93256TS have been arrested and they are currently at a port in Hainan island.

Competent agencies are in the process of verifying the exact coordinates at the time the fishing vessel and crew members were arrested.

According to Colonel Nguyen Van Phuc, Head of Quang Binh province’s Border Guards command, verified sources have confirmed the fishing vessel has been arrested by the Chinese side.

Quang Trach District People’s Committee Chairman Dau Minh Ngoc said, "We have quickly asked the Consular Department of the Vietnam Ministry of Foreign Affairs  to take prompt protective measures to bring the detained fishermen back home as soon as possible and local authorities have also paid visits to encourage families of the ship owners".

Signs for reduced illegal Vietnamese workers in RoK

The number of illegal Vietnamese guest workers has seen a slight drop after six months of implementing a special Memorandum of Understanding under the Korea Employment Permit System (EPS) for Vietnam signed in 2013.

According to Luong Duc Long, Deputy Director of the Overseas Labour Centre under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA), the number of Vietnamese guest workers employed by Korean employers has so far amounted to 5,000 people of which 3,570 have passed Korean language tests and 1,450 have been re-selected by Korean employers after they returned home on schedule under labour contracts.

In the six-month period, 2,179 Vietnamese employees have left to work in the RoK.

The RoK Ministry of Employment and Labour reports the number of Vietnamese guest workers illegally residing in the country has reduced but this is unsustainable.

“It is imperative to properly implement the Government Decree on strengthening the management of Vietnamese guest workers in the RoK to help reduce the number of workers residing illegally in the country to below 30% in the time ahead.” Long said.

Valuable wood seized at Transvina Port

The Hai Phong Port City's border forces, recently confiscated ten tonnes of valuable wood that had been transported via container to the Transvina Port in Hai Phong.

The transporters reportedly failed to present sufficient documents proving the legal origins of the wood. They said it had been taken from the Thong Nhat Handicrafts Co-operative based in the northern province of Bac Ninh.

The border guard in Hai Phong City is co-operating with the relevant State agencies in the investigations.

Damaged ship anchored Din ong Nai

A damaged 2000-tonne ship, with eight sailors onboard, was rescued and anchored for repairs yesterday in the southern province of Dong Nai, according to the provincial port authorities.

The authorities had received emergency distress signals from the cargo ship on Saturday, after it developed a crack two nautical miles after leaving port in the southern province of Binh Duong. Water rushed into the vessel through the four- centimetre-wide and one-metre-long crack and flooded its engine room.

Initial investigations revealed that the ship took on a wrong route and hit some rocks. However, no oil spills or injuries have been reported.

One dead, eight injured in coach accident

One woman died and eight other passengers were injured in a coach accident yesterday on Highway 1A's section in An Cu Commune, Tuy An District, in the central province of Phu Yen.

The coach was traveling down the Tam Giang mountain pass when it crashed into a lorry heading in the opposite direction.

According to officials, the dead victim was some 40 years old and her identification has not been released. The injured victims are being treated at Tuy An General Hospital.

The coach and the lorry were damaged in the accident.

Vice President presents scholarships to needy children

Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan, Chairwoman of the Vietnam Children Support Fund Council, on July 12 presented scholarships within the programme “Together with children to school” to needy students in Thua Thien-Hue province.

The scholarships, aimed to encourage students to overcome their difficulties go to school, were launched in September 2012 and are being implemented in 47 provinces and cities nationwide.

Nearly 6,400 children who are in difficult circumstances, from ethnic minority groups, or orphans have received scholarships worth more than VND18 billion (nearly US$850,000) under the programme.

Established 22 years ago, the Vietnam Children Support Fund has mobilised over VND4 trillion and assisted more than 28 million disadvantaged children.

On this occasion, the fund presented 110 scholarships worth VND3 million each to needy children, encouraging them to continue their study.

The same day, the Vice President visited and presented relief to 30 families of war invalids and martyrs and Vietnamese heroic mothers in Phu Vang district.

HCM City police smash drug trafficking ring

The HCM City police have arrested six members of a drug trafficking ring in Binh Thanh District.

They also seized 13 cakes laced with drugs, 1,800 ecstasy pills and a gun loaded with 12 bullets.

The first gang member to be arrested, Do Duy Khanh, was caught at the Nguyen Hong-Phan Van Tri crossing in Binh Thanh District, while he was transporting three cakes filled with drugs on a motorbike.

Another drug trafficker, Tran Thi Luong, was held several hours later and the police discovered 1,800 ecstasy pills, 82 grams of drugs and 12 boxes of bullets at her house in Go Vap District.

The ring leader, Vu Hong Son, and the rest of the gang members were arrested, and six cakes laced with drugs and a shotgun[P1] loaded with six bullets were seized from them.

The police have transferred the case to HCM City's Drug Crime Prevention Force for further investigation.

Turkey expects to receive more Vietnamese students

Turkey is implementing new educational policies with the aim of becoming a Global Education Hub, so as to attract more international students, including those from Vietnam.

Accordingly, Turkey has spent US$96 million on 20 Government scholarship programmes and it expects to welcome 200,000 foreign students in 2023 from the current 54,000.

At a recent meeting with Vietnamese Ambassador to Turkey Nguyen The Cuong, representatives from Turkish universities said they desire to receive more Vietnamese students to study in both Turkish and English.

In addition to courses in Turkish, Vietnamese students can attend English-teaching programmes in some public and private schools including Hacettepe University, Ankara University, Akdenzi University, Istanbul University, Ipek and Meddle East Technical University-METU, Fatih University, Koc University, Meliksah University, and University Aviation University of Turkish Aeronautical Association.

To date, there have been 17 Vietnamese students studying in Turkey through Government scholarships, Horizon scholarships, and self-financed study.

Health care giant Eli Lilly reaches out to Vietnam

The US-based Eli Lilly and Company, one of the world’s pharmaceutical giants, has opened a representative office in Ho Chi Minh City, making Vietnam the 11th destination in Asia that it has reached out to.

Lilly will focus its global expertise and stellar history on diabetes and oncology treatment, its Vice President and Director of Asian Operations Jannine Oosthuizen said at the opening last week.

“These are areas in which Lilly has an extremely strong history and an extensive commitment to research and development. An unrelenting culture of innovation saw us invest almost US$5.3 billion in research and development last year,” he added.

The company is also known as the first to commercially introduce insulin as a means of treating diabetes.

In Vietnam, diabetes has affected nearly 5 million people, a number that has grown by an unprecedented 211 percent in the past decade. The country also records one of the highest cancer prevalence rates in the world with about 150,000 new cases every year.

HCM City hires more teachers

The HCM City Education and Training Department plans to recruit nearly 4,600 teachers for the academic year that begins next month.

Le Hong Son, the department's director, said it had received 5,192 applications from teachers seeking jobs.

The results of the recruitment will be announced on July 25, he added.

The city needs 960 teachers for kindergarten, 1,694 for primary school, 1,372 for secondary schools, and 403 for high schools.

Universities and colleges are expected to have 108 new lecturers for the upcoming school year.

According to a department report, the city has spent VND23.6 billion (US$1.13 million) on preparing facilities and buying and installing new equipment for schools.

This year, there will be 1,527 new classrooms, including 501 in outlying areas.

Nationwide support for coast guards, fishermen

President of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL) Dang Ngoc Tung and senior Ho Chi Minh City officials visited and presented gifts to fishermen in the central province of Quang Ngai on July 12.

The move aims to offer assistance to officials and fishermen who are safeguarding national sovereignty at sea.

Tung granted a fishing monitoring equipment worth VND300 million (US$14,200) to a fisheries trade union in An Hai commune, Ly Son district, and VND400 million (US$19,000) to fishermen.

Over 200 gifts, each worth VND1 million, have reached the hands of fishermen’s relatives.

On the occasion, the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group donated VND110 million (US$5,240) to two fisheries trade unions in An Hai and An Vinh communes.

The Ho Chi Minh City chapter of the VGCL also handed over VND1 billion (US$476,000) to the provincial fisheries trade union and the same amount to its members whose boats are damaged.

Earlier on July 11 in the central city of Binh Dinh, Dutch company De Heus presented over VND117 million to the fund for local fishermen.

In the central province of Thua Thien-Hue, trade union members raised VND250 million in support of law enforcement officials and fishermen.

Hue University offered VND240 million to Coast Guard Zone 2 in the central province of Quang Nam.

The same day, a music contest in the central province of Phu Yen also raised VND20 million for the work.

New TV tower built in northern Nam Dinh province

The construction of a 160-metre TV tower was started in the northern province of Nam Dinh on July 14.

It is designed to serve about 8 million viewers in surrounding areas, once being operational from later this year.

The new tower of the national Vietnam Television network is built at a cost of VND21.6 billion (US$1.03 million) at the site of the old one, which collapsed during a storm in 2012.

Nam Dinh is located at the heart of the south of the Red River Delta and considered as a key area for extending broadcast range of terrestrial television, which is part of the Government’s plan to digitise this kind of transmission.

Agro-produce safety emphasised

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat, yesterday, urged stricter measures against manufacturers of low quality agricultural products.

At yesterday afternoon's online conference held to discuss the management of agricultural and seafood products and food safety, Phat demanded the revoking of licences of violators and making information about them public.

"We cannot let anyone profit by harming people," he said.

He stressed the fact that the legal base for punishment has always been in place, implying that there was no excuse for not imposing punishment.

He suggested to local authorities that they consider ranking product quality from A to C (A meaning meeting standards, B meaning average and C meaning substandard and possibly dangerous) on packages to allow people to know and make their own choices.

He asked local authorities to focus on busting the trade in substandard and fake goods, especially the circulation of fake plant protection chemicals in the last few months of the year.

Nguyen Ngoc The, Director of the Ministry of Public Security's Department of Rural and Agricultural Security concurred with the minister.

He said central and local governments needed to focus their resources on dealing with food safety violations, stressing on the need to involve people in this work for it to make a difference.

"Only when people have the confidence to report to the local government about violations will things change," The said.

"Poor quality plant protection chemicals will not only affect the health of the people but also the future and the wellbeing of the country."

Phat agreed, saying that the government did not have a policy yet to encourage people's involvement in preventing bad agricultural products from coming into the market.

Nguyen Van Dong, Director of the Agriculture Department of the southern province of Hau Giang, said that the current punishment towards violators had not been strict enough.

He said if a manufacturer committed three violations, his operation licence should be revoked.

A representative from the agricultural department of the northern Hung Yen Province, said the authorities needed to expand their inspection to non-licenced manufacturers who are now rampant in certain localities.

According to Nguyen Nhu Tiep, Director of the Department for Agricultural and Seafood Products Quality Management, so far this year, more than 14,300 manufacturers of food products have been inspected. Of those, over 1,584, or 11.6 per cent, have been found to have violated safety regulations.

The number of violators in the manufacturing sector and those trading agricultural materials is even higher, with nearly 22 per cent (more than 800 out of 3,750 inspected).

The agriculture ministry said that in the near future, it would submit a report on smuggling prevention, with a focus on work against the smuggling of plant protection chemicals to the Prime Minister's office, the Minister of Public Security and Minister of Trade and Industry.

Long An speeds up work on new port

The provincial authority of Long An has asked the Dong Tam – Long An joint stock company to accelerate construction of Long An International Port to better use the dredged passage of Soai Rap River.

According to the investor of the project, site clearance has been completed on over 90 per cent of the 147 ha of land under the project.

Pier No 1 is scheduled to become operational by the end of this year.

The request was made after the second stage of the project to dredge Soai Rap River was completed.

Forty kilometres of the river running through HCM City and Long An and Tien Giang provinces are now accessible to vessels of up to 50,000 tonnes.

The project to develop the port aims to promote import and export of goods and materials from Long An Province and the Mekong Delta.

Mekong provinces will be able to export all kinds of goods through the port by ship or by land without transporting the goods to HCM City.

Campaign to promote a green summer

The 21st Green Summer Campaign was kicked off throughout the country this weekend, in a bid to boost widespread youth volunteer activities.

The campaign will take place for nearly a month, with the focus of volunteer activities scheduled in cities and provinces in the Central Highlands and the southern region. Some activities will also occur in Laos. Officials have targeted participation by approximately 90,000 young people and students.

In HCM City yesterday, the HCM City Students Association and the Youth Union organised a launching ceremony for the 21st Green Summer Campaign, with an initial participation by more than 4,000 youngsters.

Nguyen Thi Thu Ha, HCM City Party deputy secretary, who attended the ceremony, expressed her appreciation for the Green Summer Campaign and praised the young volunteers for their contributions towards the general development of the community.

Immediately following the ceremony, several awareness-raising activities, such as encouraging people to stop running their motorbike engines at red lights or handing out 500 paper bags, were begun.

The same day, the southern province of Soc Trang also launched the youth volunteer campaign, which will see more than 500 college students, including those from other southern provinces of Can Tho, Hau Giang and Vinh Long, and from HCM City, along with local students, participate in volunteer activities in the province's remote and disadvantaged areas.

The volunteers will help clean roads, distribute information about hygiene to ethnic groups, and offer advice about rice farming.

Earlier on Friday, the southern province of Vinh Long also launched the summer campaign, with the participation of more than 1,200 students from 13 colleges and vocational schools.

Activities include offering education of soft skills to adolescents in residential areas, helping children with their summer homework and assisting the police in directing traffic.

Nguyen Huynh Thu, deputy secretary of the provincial Youth Union, said the Green Summer campaign is a good opportunity for the youth to improve their own soft skills.

Tuber project addresses root causes of waste

Cassava and yam play an important role in food and income security for farmers, but growers can suffer huge losses after harvesting and during processing if they fail to employ the proper methods.

Participants at a recent workshop discussed these losses, which could be up to 60 per cent of yam harvests and 30 per cent of cassava.

The workshop was held to review an EU-funded project to reduce such losses.

These could be physical as well as economic losses through discounting or processing low-value products.

Post-harvest physical losses were exceptionally high and occurred throughout the food chain from being on-farm, trading, transport and handling in processing, distribution, retail and consumption, said Ben Bennett from the Natural Resources Institute under the UK's University of Greenwich.

Losses in economic value were also high, he said. For example, cassava prices came down by up to 80 per cent within a couple of days of the harvest.

In Viet Nam, around 28 per cent of cassava is affected by economic losses. Losses from bio-wastes come in various forms. For example, peeling losses can be between 15 and 20 per cent.

Under the three-year project GRATITUDE ("Gains from losses of root and tuber crops"), starting in January 2012, there were concerted efforts to improve the post-harvest management of cassava and yams, thus leading to reduced physical losses, economic losses through valued-added processing and valorisation of waste products.

GRATITUDE focuses on finding new ways of reducing waste during the production of food crops, developing new products such as snack foods from the crops and seeking new markets.

There were three main outputs that address the postharvest losses for this project, said Director Keith Tomlins.

These included reduction of physical losses by implementing better storage, valued additions and reduction of physical and economic losses in yam and cassava processing through new processing and management methods.

The project would also focus on using waste such as peels, liquid waste, and spent brewery waste, so that higher value products could be produced for human consumption, including snacks, mushrooms and animal feed, he said.

The impact of these interventions would be to reduce postharvest losses by 50 per cent, he said.

The project brings together 16 project partners from Ghana, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Portugal, Thailand, the United Kingdom and Viet Nam. It received close to 3 million euros of funding from the ‘Food, agriculture and fisheries, and biotechnology' Theme of the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).

It started by launching pilot schemes to reduce waste in Nigeria, Ghana, Viet Nam and Thailand.

Currently in Viet Nam, cassava is used to produce starch on a significant scale, which generates a lot of waste. Also produced is low-grade cassava flour that is manufactured from dried cassava chips and used for non-food applications.

An alternative to these products, suggested by the Gratitude Project, is the production of High Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF) that produces less waste than the starch process and could also be used for food applications.

One of the products that can be made using HQCF as an ingredient is bread, a popular commodity in Viet Nam.

Part of the research under the project looks at the consumer acceptance of bread made with HQCF as a partial substitute for wheat flour.

At the School of Biotechnology and Food Technology under the Ha Noi University of Science and Technology (HUST), HQCF bread was produced on a trial basis. Preliminary results showed that the bread containing HQCF was almost equally as acceptable as the bread made with 100 per cent wheat flour.

The results obtained from this study will be the basis for the School of Biotechnology and Food Technology at HUST to collaborate with manufacturers in cassava processing, with the goal of developing markets for HQCF.

Health minister visits hospitals to seek ways to ease overcrowding

On a visit to two city hospitals yesterday, Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien urged them to reduce their workload to relieve inconvenience to patients and improve outpatient treatment.

A Ministry of Health's delegation led by the minister visited Viet Nam National Cancer Hospital's branch in Tan Trieu Commune and the National Hospital of Endocrinology's branch in Tu Hiep Commune, both in Ha Noi's Thanh Tri District, to inspect the initial results of the project to ease hospital overload.

After making a tour of the two hospitals, Tien expressed her appreciation at the managements and staff of the hospitals in raising the quality of medical treatment and catering to the customers' needs.

She asked for more work, however, to be done to improve the quality of outpatient treatment and reduce hospital procedures to relieve the inconvenience to patients.

She said the two hospitals needed to get more involved in providing training and knowledge transfer to non-central hospitals to ease the overload on the major hospitals.

Tien also asked the hospitals to take full advantage of their existing facilities even while investing in new equipment to serve their customers better.

Under the project to ease hospital overload, Viet Nam National Cancer Hospital (also known as K Hospital) has opened a new branch in Tan Trieu and worked to streamline its operations as well as reduce the examination time, according to the hospital's Director Bui Dieu.

Dieu said the hospital had managed to partly ease the overload by boosting outpatient treatment and decreasing inpatient treatment, simplifying examination procedures and increasing IT applications.

In similar attempts to ease the overload, the National Hospital of Endocrinology has set up new faculties and brought in more beds, according to the hospital's report to the minister.

It has also managed to reduce the examination time by simplifying procedures for medical tests.

UNDP-funded project aims to protect wetlands

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has approved a project to conserve wetland areas and establish two more wetland preservation areas in Thai Binh and Thua Thien-Hue provinces.

The project, sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme's Global Environment Facility (GEF), will be carried out during the next four years at a cost of over US$18 million.

According to the Prime Minister's Decision 1131/QD-TTg signed on July 9, the project will be carried out by the Viet Nam Environment Administration and the People's Committees of Thai Binh and Thua Thien-Hue provinces, under the management of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

The decision seeks to create laws for the conservation of wetlands, establish two new wetland preservation areas, improve the ability of provincial-level governments in protecting and exploiting wetlands and reduce threats from local livelihoods to the areas' environments and biodiversity.

The project also aims to raise public awareness about the value of wetland ecosystem, targeting sustainable management and the use of larger linked landscapes.

Viet Nam is home to many of the world's important wetland areas, including the Lang Sen Preservation Area in Mekong delta Long An province, Mui Ca Mau National Park in southernmost Ca Mau province and Tram Chim National Park in Mekong delta Dong Thap province.

Company fined for causing pollution

The Tuan Cuong Plastic Co Ltd in Minh Hai Commune, Van Lam District, the northern province of Hung Yen, has been fined nearly VND220 million (US$10,400) for creating pollution.

The company discharged waste water, which exceeded the regulated level by 10 times, polluting the local water resources of Chi Dao and Minh Hai communes, according to local authorities.

The company had been fined for a similar violation in December last year.

The Tuan Cuong Company has been operating for nearly 10 years, manufacturing a variety of bags for supermarkets. However, the company used substandard materials and an improper waste water treatment system during their manufacturing process.

Bastille Day celebrated in HCM City

The Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations (VUFO) and the Vietnam-France Friendship Association (VFFA) jointly hosted a reception in HCM City on July 14 marking the 225th anniversary of French National Day.

Speaking at the event, Vietnam Ambassador to France and VFFA President Le Quoc Hung expressed his pleasure with the developing relations between the two nations.

He spoke highly of the decision by the governments to elevate their relationship to that of equal partners in a strategic partnership, noting in particular how the decision has benefited HCM City and the French Rhones- Alpes Region.

“The Association has served as an important bridge to help effectively implement community development projects in HCM City with the funding totalingVND4 billion each year,” Hung said.

For his part, French Consul General in HCM City Fabrice Mauries said both nations boast huge potential for developing multi-faceted cooperation in the future..

The same day, HCM City’s Institute for Cultural Exchange with France (IDECAF) opened a documentary photo exhibition on France by famous photographer Nguyen Xuan Khanh.

The one-month event is being held to mark 40th anniversary since the establishment of France-Vietnam diplomatic ties.

An Giang intensifies efforts against human trafficking

Officials in the southern province of An Giang, one of human trafficking hotspots, learned necessary skills during a training course on July 10-11 to fight the scourge.

Bordering Cambodia along a line of 96.6km, An Giang boasts a vast system of waterway and roads, two international border gates and national ones, which make it easier for smugglers and their victims to cross the border.

Since 2011, the province has received and offered assistance to 23 victims coming back from China, Cambodia and Malaysia, most of them poor and lured with promises of high-paying jobs overseas, and then end up in brothels or slave factories.

As a joint effort between the Japan International Cooperation Agency and provincial social groups, a free hotline 18008077 is now available to handle all relevant cases, including judicial assistance and mental care for the victims.

Source: VEF/VNA/VNS/VOV/SGT/SGGP/Dantri/VIR

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