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Social News Headlines 6/5

 Black bean beetles torment Dong Nai; 36 die in traffic accidents during national holidays; Massive fire breaks out at industrial zone; Hai Phong police seizes over 1kg of drug; Bac Lieu chairman Pham Hoang Be dies

Black bean beetles torment Dong Nai

Black bean beetles have overtaken households in Xuan Thanh Commune in the southern province of Dong Nai Province and seriously disrupted the lives of hundreds of local people, the Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reports.

Residents have been trying a variety of methods to eradicate them, but none of them have proved effective, including insecticides.

Vo Thi Tuyet, a resident in Xuan Thanh Commune, said that thousands of beetles were flying into her house each day, forming dark streams

"I don't know what to do. It's really disturbing," she said.

She said no matter how hard she tried, the beetles reappeared every few days.

Ngo Tran Tien, another resident in the commune, said black bean beetles could be found on the ceilings, floors and walls.

"There are so many bugs that the noise they make sounds like it's raining outside. My family have to sleep in the garden sometimes," he said.

According to locals, black bean beetles reproduce when it was going to rain or in humid conditions.

These bugs do not transmit diseases to humans, but with the thick density in the house, they generate odors that could cause allergic reactions in sensitive areas.

Last June, black bean beetles invaded hundreds of households in An Vien Commune in Trang Bom District, disrupting daily life. People there were told to sweep out the bugs and burn them.

The provincial agriculture and rural development department has admitted there was no effective way of getting rid of this kind of bug.

36 die in traffic accidents during national holidays

Thirty-six people died and 37 were injured in 68 traffic accidents during the national holidays of Liberation Day and Labour Day, which fell on April 30 and May 1 respectively.

According to a report by the National Traffic Safety Committee, the traffic police issued fines for more than 23,000 traffic safety violations, and temporarily seized 48 cars and more than 2,100 motorbikes and other vehicles.

Earlier, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung had sent an official message to the ministries and relevant agencies to improve the management and control over the prices of goods and services during the holidays. The Prime Minister also asked these agencies to ensure smooth transport and social order, especially at tourism sites and entertainment centers.

Massive fire breaks out at Phong Khe industrial zone

Thousands of square metres adjacent to the Thanh Dat paper mill in Phong Khe industrial zone, northern Bac Ninh province, were ablaze for hours despite the inclement rainy weather on May 4.

The fire broke out around 7pm on May 4 at a warehouse located at the Thanh Dat paper mill then rapidly spread to immediately surrounding areas in the Phong Khe Industrial Zone (IZ).

Four fire engines from Bac Ninh and around 20 others from Hanoi were mobilized to combat the fire.

It took three hours for fire and rescue forces to get the blaze under control. The warehouse was completely destroyed, causing huge property losses, but no serious injuries or loss of human lives were reported as workers were on holiday (April 30 and May Day).

*** At around 8pm the same day, an oil ship in Dong Nai river caught fire, killing two and injuring one.

Witnesses said after a big explosion, the ship carrying about 1,000 cubic metre near An Hao wharf in Bien Hoa city, southern Dong Nai province, burst into flame.

Thanks to timely rescue efforts, the blaze was kept under control within two hours.

Functional agencies are identifying the dead victims and conducting an investigation into the case.

Buddha gem statue presented to Truong Sa pagoda

A gem statue of Quan The Am Bo Tat (Avalokitesivara, the Buddhist bodhisattva associated with compassion), was donated to Truong Sa Lon (Big Spratly) Pagoda in Truong Sa district, the central province of Khanh Hoa, on May 4.

The statue was a gift of Tung Van Pagoda from northern Vinh Phuc province to Truong Sa Lon.

Monk Thich Nguyen Cao, head of Tung Van Pagoda, said the statue is 1.6 metres high and weighs 2 tonnes. It is made of semi-precious stone with the face inlaid with gold.

The activity was part of a visit by representatives from many provinces and organisations to the islands of Truong Sa archipelago.

On this occasion, the delegation held a ceremony commemorating the Vietnamese people who laid down their lives for the country’s sea and island sovereignty.-

Visitors flock to President Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

More than 60,000 visitors, including 15,000 foreigners, visited the President Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and relic site in Hanoi during the National Reunification Day and May Day holidays that began on April 30, the mausoleum management board reported in May 4.

On May 1 alone, as many as 24,532 people paid tribute to President Ho Chi Minh at the mausoleum and visited the house in which he lived and worked, as well as Ba Dinh Square and the Ho Chi Minh Museum, the board said.

On the occasion, the President Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Guard High Command, in conjunction with the Military University of Art and Culture, held an art performance celebrating the nation and its former leader, attracting a crowded audience.-

Hai Phong police seizes over 1kg of drug

Police in the northern port city of Hai Phong on April 30 arrested Nguyen Quoc Vuong and seizing 1 kilogram of drug and 1,300 ecstasy pills.

Vuong, 40, residing in Ngo Quyen district, Hai Phong city, was found to hide drugs in his place.

According to Hai Phong police, Vuong has criminal history record of murder conviction.

Further investigation is underway.

Bac Lieu chairman Pham Hoang Be dies

Chairman of the Bac Lieu provincial People’s Committee Pham Hoang Be has died of serious illness at the age of 59.

After 4 months spent in hospital for treatment, Chairman Be passed away in the early hours of April 30. He had been ill since 2013.

Pham Hoang Be was elected as the Chairman of Bac Lieu Provincial People’s Committee in June 2011.

Born in the southern province’s Phuoc Long district, Be joined the country’s revolutionary cause in December 1972 and took several key positions in the locality.

Funeral details will be announced soon, according to Bac Lieu provincial authority.-

Students learn about Dien Bien Phu victory

Young people in the northern province of Bac Ninh on May 4 had a chance to learn about the Dien Bien Phu victory through a festival named “Echo of Dien Bien”.

During the event, organised by the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union Central Committee, participants took part in a wide spectrum of activities such as watching film screenings, meeting with war heroes, and joining community-based games.

Particularly, they engaged in a computer game called “7554” which is named after the day when the Dien Bien Phu victory was claimed. The game is aimed at helping young people better understand about the campaign 60 years ago.

On this occasion, the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union Central Committee presented gifts to people with difficulties.

Similar festivals are being held in six other cities and provinces nationwide., including Nam Dinh, Hung Yen, Quang Nam, Can Tho, Binh Duong and Ho Chi Minh City.

Vietnamese raise funds for fire victims in Laos

The Vietnam Association in the Lao capital Vientiane on May 3 raised funds in support of victims of a fire that engulfed the city 's central market, Thong Khan Kham, on March 26.

The Vietnamese community in Laos has collected a total of 12,450 USD to help the victims stabilise their lives.

According to Nguyen Van Tu, the association’s president, the fire destroyed many stalls, including 40 belonging to Vietnamese people.

Thong Khan Kham is one of Vientiane's most renowned marketplaces and sells everything from fresh produce to baskets, clothing and tools.-

General Giap statue presented to Dien Bien’s museum

A ceremony was held on April 30 in the northwestern province of Dien Bien to present a statue of late General Vo Nguyen Giap to the Dien Bien Phu Victory Museum.

The bronze statue is 83 cm high and weighs 115 kg.

General Giap was born in 1911 in Loc Thuy commune, Le Thuy district , central Quang Binh province. He passed away in Hanoi on October 4 last year at the age of 103.

As one of modern Vietnam’s most revered figures, his guerrilla tactics inspired anti-colonial fighters worldwide.

Established in 1984, the museum displays 270 objects and more than 200 paintings and photos of great historical value. Many of them honour the Vietnamese war heroes who contributed to the victory of Dien Bien Phu on May 7, 1954, over French forces.-

Vietnamese Buddhists celebrate Buddha’s Birth in Japan

Amid the global atmosphere ahead of the upcoming United Nations Day of Vesak, the Vietnamese Buddhist clergy and followers in Japan held a ceremony celebrating Buddha’s 2558th birthday at Nisshinkutsu Pagoda in Tokyo, on May 4.

The pagoda has long served as a place for the Vietnamese to worship.

Ambassador Doan Xuan Hung highlighted the day of Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death as an occasion for embracing ties among the Overseas Vietnamese in Japan.

The Buddhist monks, nuns and followers are hoped to make more contributions to the development of the Vietnamese community in the host country, Hung said.

Most Venerable Yoshimizu Daichi sent his best regards to the expatriates and expressed his pleasure at the active operation of the Vietnam Buddhist association.

Recognised as a member of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha in 2013, the association is expanding its operation in Japan to increase support for fellow compatriots there.

This year Vietnam will host the United Nations Day of Vesak. Celebrations will be held in Bai Dinh Temple in the northern province of Ninh Binh on May 7-11.

Buddhism has been practiced in Vietnam for over 2,000 years. The country is home to more than 12 million Buddhist followers, 40,000 monks and nuns and almost 15,000 temples, monasteries and other places of worship.

Three police officers killed in car accident

Three police officers died and two others were injured in an auto accident in Phap Van-Cau Gie Highway, when they were on patrol last Saturday.

Senior lieutenant-colonel Dao Vinh Thang, head of the municipal Traffic Police Department, said a car was carrying five police officers to patrol the Ha Noi-Ninh Binh route when a truck crashed into it on the highway in Ha Nam Province.

All of the police officers were taken to Viet Nam-Germany Hospital for treatment.

The Ha Noi police department is working with local police in Ha Nam Province to determine the cause of the accident.

Two children drown in Bac Giang Province

Two children, ages seven and nine, drowned in a pond in An Chau Village, Son Dong District in northern Bac Giang Province, on Saturday.

The two children lived in the district and reportedly could not swim.

Figures compiled by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs show that more than 6,000 children drown every year in Viet Nam, and the number is increasing.

The number of child-drowning deaths in the country is 10 times higher than in other developing countries.

Northern provinces brace for cold weather

A cold spell was expected to hit the northern provinces on Sunday night, bringing rainy weather to the region, the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorology Forecasting said.

The cold air would cause temperatures to drop 3-5 degrees celcius.

Ha Noi should see rain in early morning and at night during the upcoming days.

Education leaders meet at Going Global forum

Over 1,000 leaders of higher education, business and government gathered in Miami Beach from 29 April to 1 May for the 2014 Going Global education conference organised by the British Council, with the theme: Inclusion, Innovation and Impact.

Professor Dr Bui Van Ga, Deputy Minister of Education and Training, chaired a breakfast session focused on higher education partnerships in Viet Nam, and joined Brazilian and Turkish education leaders to talk about the role of internationalisation in the world's fastest growing economies.

The ‘Viet Nam-UK: Partnership for Mutual Development' breakfast session on Thursday welcomed 40 vice-chancellors from leading higher education institutions and organisations.

Participants were introduced to unique and innovative partnerships with employers and researchers that have been enabling the UK and Viet Nam to develop and grow steadily, offering postgraduate qualifications and sponsorship from industry. This model will be used to establish a Viet Nam-UK research led international university led by Aston University in the UK and the University of Da Nang, with strong support from the British Council.

The Viet Nam – UK Institute for Research and Executive Education has already been founded, laying the foundations for the future Viet Nam – UK University.

Professor Tran Ngoc Ca, head of the US-based Science and Technology Office, talked about 10 areas of priority within Viet Nam's strategy for science and technology development until 2020.

He also shared his expertise in developing public - private - community partnerships to facilitate innovation in science and technology and forming collaborations with US partners in key areas such as biotechnology and agriculture and stem cell research.

Ga joined the president of the Education Council of Turkey and the president of the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development of Brazil to discuss the role of internationalisation in emerging economies.

The Vietnamese delegation also held a bilateral meeting with Sir Martin Davidson, chief executive of the British Council, and Martin Williams, director of higher education at the Department of Business, Skills and Innovation. During their meeting, Ga highlighted the areas that the UK and the British Council could provide support.

The Newton Fund, the latest initiative by the British government to provide nearly 400 million pounds to support innovation in 15 focus countries which include Viet Nam, will also be discussed.

Vacationers crowd national hotspots

The country's popular tourism spots have reportedly been overrun during the five-day holiday that began on Wednesday.

In the southern costal city of Vung Tau, all the beaches are full of visitors.

"On May 1 there were 50,000 – 60,000 people coming to the city," Tran Van Truong, director of the city board that manages tourist spots, was quoted as saying by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.

Con Dao island has seen over 1,000 visitors and many others had to change their destination because airlines and ships to the island were full.

At least 68,000 people are visiting Phan Thiet and popular tourist spots near the town like Ham Tien – Mui Ne, Hon Rom, and Doi Duong, 13 per cent higher than a year ago.

"Most of them are Vietnamese and have come with tourism companies," a spokesperson for the Binh Thuan Province Culture, Sports and Tourism Department said.

Tran Phu Street and ports in the holiday city of Nha Trang were gridlocked on May 1 to the influx of visitors. Hundreds of cars had lined up for 3km on Tran Phu near Ben Da Port. Traffic policemen were on the roads from morning to night but could do little to ease the situation.

The overcrowding was also visible elsewhere in the central city. Visitors were tired of waiting to board Vinpearl's cable car.

"My family waited until afternoon to go to Vinpearl hoping there would be fewer people then, but we had to wait for more than 20 minutes for the cable car," Nguyen Thi Ngoc Thu, a visitor from Da Nang, said.

Tourists also flocked to Da Nang, with hotels from three-star upwards reportedly running at 100 per cent capacity.

"Too many tourists have come to the old citadel of Hue," Le Ngoc Sanh, deputy head of Thua Thien Hue Province Culture, Sports and Tourism Department's Tourism Division, said.

While the city only has 7,000 hotel rooms, 17,500 visitors have arrived, 20 per cent higher than last year.

In Thuan An and Lang Co beaches, no rooms are available without prior booking.

The relic sites have been attracting 39,000 people every day.

Around 11,000 visitors, or triple the normal number, have come to Phong Nha cave in the central province of Quang Binh. Another 5,000 visited tourism places in the vicinity of the cave.

In HCM City, the number of travellers going by ferry at Binh Khanh and Cat Lai was significantly higher than normal. More than 30,000 people went to the Mekong Delta by bus on May 1 alone.

April 30 and May 1 are holidays for National Liberation Day and International Labour Day, and many organisations have given their staff Friday off after they worked the previous Saturday.

War veterans recall memories of Dien Bien Phu

War veterans and ex-youth volunteers recalled their memories of fighting in Dien Bien Phu battle at a get-together in Hanoi on May 4, an activity marking the 60th anniversary of Vietnam’s victory over the French colonial rule on May 7.

Speaking at the event, Chairman of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan underscored the significance and great historical value of Dien Bien Phu victory, adding that the national unity and strength of the Vietnam People’s Army is critical to each triumph achieved by its forces.

He expressed his gratitude and respect for President Ho Chi Minh and General Vo Nguyen Giap – commander in chief of the campaign, as well as thousands of soldiers, youth volunteers and civilians for their heroic services and sacrifices that made the victory possible.

On the occasion, the VFF presented gifts to attendees and its former officials.

The same day, a music show was held in Hanoi to celebrate the anniversary.

Vietnam-Laos border belt road opens to traffic

The Pom Lot-NuaNgam-HuoiPuoc belt road in the northwest province of Dien Bien opened to traffic on May 4 to mark the 60th anniversary of Dien Bien Phu victory.

Built at a cost of VND1.3 trillion (US$61.1 million) from the government bond source, the concrete road is nearly 80 km long and 5.5 m wide.

Almost 100 km from Dien Bien Phu city, it is an important route connecting National Road 279 with the HuoiPuoc national border gate on the Vietnam-Laos border line.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Deputy Defence Minister Do Ba Ty underlined the importance of the road for promoting socio-economic development and ensuring security and defence in the locality and the northwest region.

It also plays an important role in protecting the country’s border sovereignty, he stressed.

According to the provincial People’s Committee Chairman Mua A Son, the route will help connect Dien Bien with Laos’s northern provinces. It is also expected to be a gateway for international integration in the country’s northern region.

Constructed in 2009, the road has been mostly finished, helping shorten the distance between Dien Bien Phu city and the Lao city of LuangPrabang.

New museum commemorates Dien Bien Phu victory

A new museum which celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Dien Bien Phu Victory will be inaugurated on May 5.

Tourists will learn about the victory through the photos and objects displayed at the new Dien Bien Phu Victory Museum. It has been rebuilt from the old museum which was established in 1984 on one of the many relic sites in the northern province of Dien Bien. It houses many valuable documents and objects related to the historic Dien Bien Phu campaign.

The victory played a decisive role in ending Vietnam's resistance war against the French forces and in bringing new momentum to Vietnam's revolution and the struggle for peace, national independence and socialism.

The battle occurred in Dien Bien between March and May 1954 under the command of General Vo Nguyen Giap. The victory led to the signing of the 1954 Geneva Accord in which France agreed to withdraw its forces from the colonies in Indochina.

Located in Muong Thanh District, Dien Bien city, the old museum displays 270 objects and more than 200 paintings and photos of great historical value. It also has huge outdoor exhibits such as artillery guns, cannons, tanks and machine guns.

It was upgraded at the end of 2003, and its exhibition sections were reorganised to give visitors a panoramic view of the nine-year long resistance war against the French and the remarkable Dien Bien Phu victory.

Spread over a total area of 7,000 square metres, the new museum has about 1,000 objects divided into five exhibit sections, featuring the strategic location of Dien Bien Phu, the enemy's scheme at Dien Bien Phu, the Party's guideline regarding preparations for the Dien Bien Phu Campaign, the impact of Dien Bien Phu at home and abroad and the present-day Dien Bien Phu.

The indoor exhibition area in the new museum is triple the size of the old one.

On the occasion, a statue of late General Vo Nguyen Giap was donated to the museum April 30.

Measuring 83 centimetres in height and weighing 115 kilograms, the bronze statue sits in the commemorative room of the museum. It is an expression of gratitude for the great contributions made by the general to the Vietnamese revolution, particularly the Dien Bien Phu victory.

It also helps to educate Vietnamese people, especially the younger generations, about the moral values and talents of General Giap, who was born in 1911 in the central province of Quang Binh. He passed away in Hanoi last year at the age of 103.

Along with the statue, the room also has photos of heroes of the People's Armed Forces, and the youth volunteers who transported supplies to the battlefield during Dien Bien Phu campaign.



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