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VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES JULY 8

National high school graduation exam concludes
National high school graduation exam concludes hinh anh 1
Students sit for high school graduation examination in the northern province of Vinh Phuc. (Photo: VNA)

Nearly one million students nationwide sat the last test of this year’s national high school graduation exam on July 8, the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) announced at a press conference on the same day.

Safety was ensured at all examination sites and the organisation met the set plan, Le My Phong, Deputy Director of the MOET’s Quality Assurance Department, told reporters.

A total of 989,863 students attended the exam, accounting for 98.75 percent of those registered.

However, 79 students who were supposed to take the exam at 20 locations across the country tested positive for COVID-19, according to Phong. Eighteen of them took the tests while 61 did not.

During the two-day examination, 50 examinees were suspended for violating regulations, most of whom were caught bringing cell phones into examination rooms.

No organised fraud and cheating was reported, Phong said, dismissing rumours of a leak of exam questions on maths and literature circulating on social media.

However, the MOET has requested the Ministry of Public Security to help verify both cases, he noted.

The 2022 exam included five tests – mathematics; literature; foreign languages; natural sciences (physics, chemistry, biology); and social sciences (history, geography, citizen education) for students following the general education curriculum, or history and geography for those following the continuing education curriculum. Students can choose either natural sciences or social sciences tests to take.

President Biden hails positive developments in US - Vietnam relations

United States President Joe Biden lauded considerable progress in the relations between the United States and Vietnam while receiving newly accredited Vietnamese Ambassador Nguyen Quoc Dung in Washington DC recently.

Biden affirmed that the two countries’ relations have made rapid progress in recent times thanks to support of many US politicians in Congress and other circles in the United States.

He recalled the positive outcomes of the May summit between the US and ASEAN in Washington DC, where he welcomed ASEAN leaders, including Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.

The US President extended greetings to Vietnamese leaders and people, welcomed Ambassador Dung to the new US mission and wished the diplomat a successful term.

Ambassador Dung conveyed to President Joe Biden the greetings and invitations to visit Vietnam by senior Party and State leaders.

He affirmed that there is still a lot of room for strong cooperation between Vietnam and the US and that Vietnam is willing to work closely with the US to further promote multi-faceted cooperation, in the interest of the two peoples, for peace and stability, cooperation and development in the region and the rest of the world.

Spokeswoman highlights need to raise citizens’ awareness of foreign countries’ laws, customs

The Vietnamese Embassy in the Republic of Korea (RoK) has contacted the Korean National Police Agency to verify information about 33 Vietnamese citizens detained in the RoK and requested the Korean side to ensure their legitimate rights and interests, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang.

Talking to reporters at the ministry’s regular press briefing on July 7, she noted the ministry has also directed the embassy to closely monitor the case while implementing necessary measures to protect the citizens in accordance with the laws of both nations.

According to the diplomat, the number of Vietnamese people working, studying, and traveling abroad is on the rise. The vast majority of them strictly comply with the laws of their host nations, contributing to creating a good image of Vietnam and its people. However, a small number of Vietnamese have violated laws while abroad.

The ministry and Vietnamese representative missions overseas always maintain hotlines for citizen protection, keep in close contact with local authorities, and coordinate with relevant Vietnamese agencies to take prompt citizen protection measures when necessary, she said.

The ministry works closely with domestic agencies to take measures to handle and solve problems, such as increasing the review and handling of violations and stepping up the communications work to raise citizens' awareness of the laws and customs of host countries, Hang stressed.

It is also necessary to advise citizens to avoid being taken advantage of or violating the law overseas; and to protect their legitimate rights and interests in accordance with the laws of Vietnam and foreign nations involved, she added.

Vietnam ready to cooperate and share experience in combating illegal fishing: spokesperson

Vietnam is ready to work with countries in the region and the international community to strengthen cooperation and share experiences in combating illegal fishing, stated Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang.

At the ministry’s regular press briefing on July 7, when reporters mentioned the US’s wish to cooperate with Vietnam to fight illegal fishing, the diplomat affirmed that Vietnam is interested in the information.

Vietnam's stance on illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing is consistent and has been stated many times, she added.

Accordingly, Vietnam advocates the sustainable development of the marine economy and fishing industry, with the structure of ships and occupations being suitable to the allowable exploitation of aquatic resources and fully complying with regulations on combating IUU fishing and relevant international conventions and agreements to which Vietnam is a signatory or member. These pacts include the Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of December 10, 1982 relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks; and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)’s Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing.

Hang said Vietnam has built and perfected a legal system on fisheries to ensure effectiveness and efficiency; implemented measures to reduce IUU fishing activities; and stop and prevent Vietnamese fishing vessels from illegally exploiting seafood in foreign waters.

She noted that relevant agencies and coastal localities regularly manage and run communication campaigns to instruct fishermen on how to comply with Vietnam's laws and respect foreign waters established in accordance with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Vietnam also actively and responsibly participates in international forums and regional action plans to combat IUU fishing, and promotes effective and sustainable fisheries management in accordance with international law, stated the spokeswoman.

Measures taken to support Vietnamese citizens facing difficulties in Cambodia: Spokeswoman

Various measures have been taken to protect and support Vietnamese citizens facing difficulties in Cambodia, Spokeswoman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Le Thi Thu Hang said at a press conference on July 7 while answering reporters’ questions regarding the situation of Vietnamese workers being forced to work in the neighbouring country.

Hang said that solutions have been implemented with collaboration between Vietnamese representative agencies in Cambodia and authorised agencies and localities at home, especially localities along the shared border with Cambodia.

She said that specialised working teams have been set up to respond to citizens’ requests, post warnings on websites and social network accounts of Vietnamese representative agencies in Cambodia, and work with Cambodian agencies to support Vietnamese victims.

The Vietnamese Embassy in Cambodia has set up a citizen protection hotline, along with a hotline of the Consular Department to receive reports on victims and other information, while coordinating with authorised agencies at home, especially media agencies, to provide information and raise public awareness of the issue.

Thanks to the efforts of domestic agencies, and with coordination from the Cambodian side, to date, about 400 citizens have been brought home, while guidance and legal support have been supplied to about 1,500 workers meeting difficulties in exiting, traveling and extending their residence or violating the host country's laws, the spokeswoman stated.

Hang said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Vietnamese representative agencies abroad will continue to coordinate with domestic and Cambodian authorities to step up investigations and roll out necessary citizen protection measures.

Exhibition on Australia’s indigenous culture opens in town

From now until July 17, residents in HCMC can get to know Australia’s Indigenous culture at the “Yuendumu Doors” exhibition at Hai An Gallery in HCMC.

The exhibition features 15 of the 30 doors originally painted at the Yuendumu community school in central Australia in the early 1980s. Elders of the Aboriginal Warlpiri people painted the doors with stories from their Dreaming – the Aboriginal belief system about the creation of the world. Each door is not only a masterpiece but also an invaluable repository of Warlpiri knowledge and history.

Australia’s Consul General in HCMC Sarah Hooper said at the exhibition opening event on July 6 that the doors are an important cultural and artistic collection in Australia.

“This exhibition is a rare opportunity for Vietnamese to experience some of Australia’s extraordinary Indigenous culture,” she added.

The exhibition coincides with Australia’s annual NAIDOC Week, which celebrates and recognizes the history, culture and achievements of Australia’s indigenous Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

After surviving the desert wind and sun for 12 years at the Yuendumu school, the original doors are now conserved and displayed at The South Australian Museum. This international touring exhibition was developed by the South Australian Museum in partnership with the National Museum of Australia and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Vietnam trounce Cambodia 3-0 at AFF Women's Championship

The Vietnamese women's team had a good start to the AFF Women's Championship in the Philippines after defeating Cambodia 3-0 in their opener on July 7.

It was not until the 20th minute that Vietnam scored their first goal by a kick of Van Su in the penalty area.

Hai Yen and Thanh Nha continued to break Cambodia’s net for the second and third time in the 32nd and 45th minutes, respectively.

In the second half, no goal was scored.

With three points from the match, Vietnam now rank third in Group B after Laos and Myanmar.

The squad is scheduled to meet Laos on July 9, Timor Leste on July 11, and Myanmar on July 13.

“Take me to the Sun” music gala to take place on July 9

The “Take me to the Sun” music gala will take place on July 9 at the outdoor stage under the foot of the Sun Wheel of Asia Park in the central city of Da Nang.

The event is part of the “Enjoy Danang Summer Festival 2022” which is co-organised by Sun Group and Da Nang city from June 11 to August 15. It aims to help restore the local tourism industry while affirming the city’s position as one of Asia’s leading destinations.

The gala, entitled “Living as the sunlight”, comprises five chapters.

The opening chapter will be a cultural space of contemporary folk music, with an exceptional performance combining various types of music of ethnic groups from all over the country, reflecting the cultural identity of the Vietnamese people.

Chapter 2 will introduce the audience to contemporary pop music while Chapter 3 brings Hip-hop music with the participation of famous Rapper Karik and the male musician, singer Only C, who has created numerous hits for Vietnamese pop stars like Ho Ngoc Ha and Noo Phuoc Thinh. It is expected to bring a youthful, fresh, and international musical atmosphere. Chapter 4 and Chapter 5 will bring high explosive music, rock, and electronic dance music (EDM).

The final part of the gala will be a 15-minute fireworks display, taking the audience on an emotional rollercoaster and reminding them of the seasons of the International Fireworks Festival, which once lit up the city of the Han River in the summers before the pandemic.

Tropical depression likely to form in East Sea

A tropical low-pressure system is likely to form in the East Sea, reported the National Center for Hydrology Meteorology Forecasting on July 7. 

It is expected that a tropical convergence range will appear and sweep through the middle of the East Sea tomorrow, leading to the occurrence of a low-pressure zone triggering thundery showers in the territorial waters from Binh Thuan to Ca Mau and the middle of and southern East Sea including the Spratly Islands from July 9 to July 11.

The low-pressure zone is anticipated to develop into a tropical depression. 

Hydrology meteorological forecasting centers of Asia- Pacific Region also predicted that a tropical depression will be likely to churn in the middle of the East Sea in the next three or four days before moving toward the central territorial waters. 

This afternoon, the Standing Office of the National Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control sent an official letter to require steering committees of the coastal provinces and cities from Da Nang to Ca Mau to regularly monitor the weather situation affected by the tropical depression in the East Sea, provide timely its position and path to captains and vessel owners working at sea so that they can proactively move to safe places, ensure safety on people and property, regularly keep in touch with vessels and arrange rescuers on duty to promptly cope with the bad situation ahead.

HCM City’s industrial production expected to enjoy breakthrough

Strong recovery of the domestic market and consumption demand and continuous growth of Ho Chi Minh City’s industrial production are assessed as positive signs allowing businesses to expect a breakthrough in the rest of 2022.

A survey on business trends in the fields of processing and manufacturing in the city shows that production and business activities in the second quarter of 2022 (Q2) compared to Q1 have improved, with 32% of enterprises saying their business was better, 39.1% steady, and 28.9% more difficult.

The forecast for the production and business situation in Q3 is more positive compared to that of Q2, with 38.3% of enterprises assessing better, 39.3% stable, and 22.4% more difficult.

According to the municipal Department of Industry and Trade, the city’s Index of Industrial Production (IIP) in June 2022 increased by 5.2% month-on-month and 11.5% year-on-year. The index in the first half of this year rose by 3.1% over the same period.

Chairman of the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham) Alain Cany said that Vietnam’s green growth potential is attractive to European investors.

According to him, foreign investors’ confidence in the Vietnamese market remains stable during turbulent times, therefore the FDI poured into the country has been maintained.

Khanh Hoa posts 308-million-USD trade surplus in first half

The south-central coastal province of Khanh Hoa enjoyed a trade surplus of 308 million USD in the first half of 2022.

In the reviewed period, it earned 790 million USD from exports, while spending 481.3 million USD on imports, up over 31% and nearly 50%  respectively compared to the same period last year.

Of the figure, the export values of domestic and FDI enterprises reached 513.7 million USD, and 276.4 million USD, respectively.

Seafood products, and ships and spare parts were the biggest contributors to the locality’s export turnover with 560.8 million USD, making up nearly 71% of the total.

In addition, six exports posted turnover of between 10-100 million, including coffee, textiles, wood and wood products.

The US is the largest importer of Khanh Hoa’s products in the period, with a total value of 198.8 million USD, 55% higher than that of the same period last year. It was followed by the Republic of Marshall Islands, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan (China), and Germany.

The provincial Department of Industry and Trade has been tasked with organising events in July to connect trade cooperation between suppliers of products in the central and Central Highlands regions and export businesses. Khanh Hoa sets a target of 1.365 billion USD in export turnover in 2022.

HCM City aiming at turning 80 percent of waste into power by 2025

HCM City aims by 2025 to recycle at least 80 percent of household solid waste into power.

The plan was announced at the monthly ‘Citizens Ask – Government Answers’ session with the theme, ‘Managing Household Solid Waste Collection and Treatment’.

The session was held by the City's People Council and HCMC Information & Communications Department on Sunday.

At present, the city has received six project proposals with a total handling capacity of about 10,500 tonnes of waste.

In addition, at the session, Deputy Director of Global Green and Clean Environment Technology Co. Ltd. Nguyễn Thành Trung said that even after transforming into a business or cooperative, individual private garbage collection teams still tend to maintain their usual separate operations at inconsistent times with different service fees.

This makes management difficult for the Government.

More importantly, waste collection is a labour-intensive job with a shift of 8-12 hours per day, yet the salary is not satisfactory, at VNĐ7-8 million (US$300-340) a month. That explains why there has been a reduction in human resources at Trung's company from 60 employees before the pandemic to only 45 now. 

Director of the HCMC Department of Natural Resources and Environment Nguyễn Toàn Thắng said that it is necessary now to support these companies to hire more people and train them properly.

Thắng said that the city has financially supported 68 projects, with a value of over VNĐ80 billion ($3.4 million), to merge individual private garbage collection teams together. Since 2017, 2,700 such teams have been brought together to establish 250 legal entities, with more than 20,000 workers.

HCMC encouraging residents to register for passport online

Due to the increasing registration for passport in Ho Chi Minh City lately, the Immigration Office (PA08) of the HCMC Department of Public Security has instructed needy people to apply for this procedure online via the National Public Service Portal or the Public Service Portal of the Ministry of Public Security to avoid long waits and crowds.

Coming to the office of PA08 at 8:00am on July 6, Nguyen Thi Phuong from Tan Binh District discovered that waiting tickets have been delivered out. She was then instructed to carry out this level-4 service online via the National Public Service Portal. Owning a valid chip-based citizen ID card and a SIM card under her own name, it took her only 10 minutes to complete the necessary procedure and pay the fee online. Her result will be notified within 8 business days via an SMS to her phone number or an email to her address. Signing up for passport delivery at door, she now does not need to come to PA08 anymore.

Not owning a SIM card under his own name, Pham Thanh Quoc from District 12 cannot finish the procedure online. Seeing the convenience of this registration method, he immediately updated his personal information with the service carrier of his SIM and will revisit the National Public Service Portal via his smart phone to complete the passport registration soon.

Many other citizens, after being carefully instructed, were also able to finish their registration online without any waiting to apply in person. Possible problems arisen in this procedure are guided to solve so that the procedure can be done.

HCM City kicks off Red Spring blood donation campaign

Thousands of local residents in HCM City participated in the annual blood-donation campaign Hành Trình Đỏ (Red Journey) that kicked off on Thursday in HCM City.

The Red Journey, one of largest-scale blood donation communication and mobilisation campaigns, marked its tenth anniversary this year, attracting hundreds of thousands of voluntary blood donors to give more than 40,000 units of blood, he said.

The campaign also helped raise public awareness on the need for blood donors, he added.

More than 760 units of blood were donated in the first day of the campaign, according to the HCM City Humanitarian Blood Donation Centre.

It is expected to collect around 4,000 units of blood during the campaign that runs until July 10.

It is being organised by the Steering Committee for Voluntary Blood Donation in HCM City in coordination with the Việt Nam Red Cross Society-HCM City chapter.

At the event, twelve people received the Prime Minister’s Certificate of Merit for their repeated voluntary blood donations. Some of them with the rarest blood types had donated blood more than 50 times. 

Northern rail stations to be upgraded

The upgrade of stations along rail roads in northern Vietnam will cost an estimated VND475 billion, according to the Railway Project Management Unit (PMU) under the Ministry of Transport.

The Railway PMU has sent the upgrade project’s feasibility study to the Ministry of Transport for approval. According to the PMU, the project’s investment would be financed by the State budget in the 2021-2025 midterm public investment plan.

The project, once approved, will help enhance cargo throughput and boost transport activities in the region.

Under the project, three passenger stations – Gia Lam, Cam Giang, Hai Duong, and four cargo stations – Vat Cach, Dong Dang, Lang Son, and Xuan Giao, will be upgraded.

The Railway PMU proposed a timeline to implement the project. The project approval process and design work would be done in the second half of this year, while the selection of contractors and work on the project were scheduled to begin in 2023-2025.

The Railway PMU also planned to mobilize capital for the upgrade in phases, with some VND8.4 billion set for 2022, around VND143 billion for 2023, some VND190 billion for 2024, and some VND134.3 billion for 2025.

HCM City to push swimming skills to prevent child drowning

HCM City seeks to teach 50 per cent of local children aged six to 16 how to swim by 2025 and 60 per cent by 2030, according to its recently approved drowning prevention programme.

The programme aims to have 90 per cent of households have access to information, knowledge and skills on child drowning prevention by 2025.

The city is trying to reduce for child drowning deaths by 10 per cent by 2025 compared to 2020, and 20 per cent by 2030.

Deputy Minister of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyễn Thị Hà said that child drowning prevention is one of the top priorities in the National Action Plan to prevent and combat child accidents and injuries in 2022.

The city requested relevant authorities and organisations to raise awareness about the prevention of drowning for locals and organise swimming lessons for children.

According to the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, drowning is among the top 10 causes of death of children aged five to 14.

There have been 113 such deaths in the country this year as of May. 

HCMC keens on developing affordable houses for low-income workers

HCMC will develop 2.5 million square meters of the social housing development plan in the 2021-2025 period or around 35,714 affordable apartments to meet the needs of low-income workers.

At the end of April, social housing projects were kicked off at Linh Trung Export Processing Zone 2 and Long Truong Ward in Thu Duc City, Binh Hung Commune in Binh Chanh District, and a resettlement house project at Thanh Da residence in Binh Thanh District.

The HCMC People’s Committee has set a goal this year of rebuilding 14 Grade-D (Dangerous) old apartment buildings and spending VND500 billion (US$21.4 million) to upgrade 246 Grade-B and Grade-C blocks in the 2016-2020 period.

The city will also check and adjust the planning of appropriate land areas for social housing development, and reconstruction of apartment buildings in accordance with population density, ensuring the feasibility of projects to attract investors.

The municipal authorities plan to solve problems and obstacles of 37 commercial housing projects that have set up a part of their land fund for social housing construction.

There are currently 474 old apartment buildings in the city in need of renovation. The city planned to renovate 237 buildings in the 2016-2020 period. However, only two old buildings have been rebuilt. In addition, the slow removal of houses on/along canals and sluggish resettlement of the life of affected residents have slowed down the projects, said Director of the HCM Department of Construction Tran Hoang Quan.

New COVID-19 subvariants reported, HCM City ready to reactivate field hospitals

Health officials in Ho Chi Minh City are considering reopening field hospitals to receive and treat coronavirus patients following the emergence of new subvariants of the Omicron variant – BA.4 and BA.5 – in the city.

The number of COVID-19 cases in Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City in particular is on the rise again due to the appearance of two new subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 of the Omicron.

In Ho Chi Minh City, the first cases of BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants were detected on July 4 through random testing by the municipal Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (HCDC).

HCDC reported the number of new COVID-19 cases in the city has increased slightly over the past three weeks, with more than 50 cases detected per day compared to approximately 30 cases previously.

Ho Chi Minh City, the most populous locality in Vietnam, established many field hospitals last summer to ease pressure on other hospitals when the coronavirus outbreak reached its peak.

With the virus being brought under control months later, most of these field hospitals were dissolved, and F0 cases could come other hospitals for medical examination and treatment.

Currently, the three-storey field hospital No. 13 with 1,000 beds is suspending admission, but it has been asked to get services ready to use, said Nhu.

Subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 are said to spread 10-13% faster than Omicron relatives BA.1 and BA.2, and indicate the potential for reinfections to become more common.

However, most clinical data suggest that vaccination can prevent disease progression and the need for hospitalization.

Source: VNA/SGT/VNS/VOV/Dtinews/SGGP/VGP/Hanoitimes

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