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Arrest warrant issued for a woman of human trafficking




Nguyễn Thị Ngọc Ánh, 18, from Phú Thọ Province, is wanted in connection with a human trafficking racket. — Photo courtesy Hà Nội Police Department.



An 18-year-old woman accused of trafficking sex slaves is being hunted by police in Hà Nội.

Detectives in the capital have issued a warrant for the arrest of Nguyễn Thị Ngọc Ánh, 18, from Thanh Sơn District, northern Phú Thọ Province.

Police say the case involves young women from Việt Nam being enticed to Myanmar thinking they were going to work in a casino.

Instead they were forced into prostitution working in brothels.

Ánh is alleged to have herself encouraged women to make the journey to Myanmar.

At the beginning of the year, Ánh and another woman, named only as T, were arrested by police in Việt Nam but Ánh fled, and is currently on the run.

Việt kiều singer releases deep house DVD



Vietnamese-American singer Hương Lan performs on her latest DVD, Hương Lan- Một Đời Sân Khấu (Hương Lan - A Life in the Theatre), which was released in Việt Nam and the US this week. — Photo courtesy of the producer



Vietnamese-American singer Hương Lan released her latest DVD featuring deep house in Việt Nam this week.

The album, Hương Lan- Một Đời Sân Khấu, (Hương Lan- A Life in the Theatre), sends messages about the homeland, love and peace.

It is a production between Lan and her producer, musician and theatre director Trần Vi Mỹ, who has more than 15 years working in the industry.

The album includes folk songs by talented composers Bắc Sơn and Trần Thiện Thanh that shot Lan to fame in the 1970s and 1980s.

Highlighted works are Em Đi Trên Cỏ Non (I’m Walking on Grass), Còn Thương Rau Đắng Mọc Sau Hè and Chiếc Áo Bà Ba.

Vọng cổ (nostalgia) songs, a genre of traditional music used in cải lương (reformed opera), are featured by Lan and guest singers such as People Artist Ngọc Giàu, Meritorious Artist Hoài Linh and pop star Đàm Vĩnh Hưng.

Some performances on the DVD were recorded from the singer’s live show, Một Đời Sân Khấu (A Life in the Theatre), in HCM City’s Hòa Bình Theatre last year. The concert attracted more than 2,000 people.

“I don't have enough strength to stage a live show. I decided to release the DVD, Hương Lan- Một Đời Sân Khấu, to celebrate my 57 years in music,” said the 63-year-old, who moved from Việt Nam to live in France in 1982 before settling in California.

Born in Sài Gòn in 1956, Lan showed her talent in music when she was at school. She began her professional career by singing cải lương under training by her father, famous composer Hữu Phước. She later performed pop music and quickly became a star.

Lan has performed in many concerts and music festivals in France, Canada and the US, and worked with Thúy Nga Paris By Night, a music show produced by Thúy Nga Production in Paris.

She has worked with music producers and entertainment agencies and performed on many albums and videos.

More than 5,000 copies of her DVD, Hương Lan- Một Đời Sân Khấu, have been released in the US by the Paris-based distributor Thuy Nga Productions.

UNDP launches drawing competition on climate change



UNDP launched an art competition to raise people's awareness of the important role of mangroves in protecting lives and minimising the impact of climate change. — Photo courtesy of UNDP



The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has launched an art competition called “Mangroves protect lives and minimise the impact of climate change” for Vietnamese students living in coastal provinces.

The competition will run until November 11 to raise awareness about how mangroves improve the ecological environment, protecting sea dykes and mitigate the effects of climate change in the country.

The awards ceremony will be held in December in the southern province of Cà Mau.

Submissions will be selected based on creativity, clear messages and strong impressions, as well as aesthetics and the use of harmonious colours.

This competition is one activities under the project "Improving the resilience of coastal communities to climate change in Việt Nam" with support from the Green Climate Fund (GCF), UNDP and the Government.

Mekong Delta localities see drop in traffic accidents





The majority of localities in the Mekong Delta region saw a sharp decrease in the numbers of traffic accidents, fatalities and injured in the first nine months of this year, heard a Traffic Safety Day event held in Long Xuyen city, An Giang province on October 10.

According to the National Committee for Traffic Safety, five localities in the region – Kien Giang, Bac Lieu, Tra Vinh, An Giang and Ben Tre - saw a drop of over 30 percent in the number of fatalities caused by traffic accidents.

The falls in accidents were recorded in 11 out of 13 regional localities, contributing to a reduction of 5 percent in the number of road deaths across the whole country, the sharpest decline since 2014.

Nationwide, 12,700 traffic accidents occurred in the first nine months of 2019, killing 5,659 people and injuring9,619 others, representing decreases of 4.28 percent, 5.87 percent and 6.78 percent, respectively.

Khuat Viet Hung, Vice Chairman of the National Committee for Traffic Safety, said that although traffic safety has seen progress over the years, more than 8,000 people die in traffic accidents each year.

“In order to reduce traffic accidents, we need to apply comprehensive measures such as upgrading infrastructure, enhancing State management, applying stricter punishments for violations and increasing awareness of traffic laws,” he said.

He also stressed the need to encourage people not to drive after drinking alcohol.

Le Van Nung, Vice Chairman of the An Giang provincial People’s Committee, expressed his hope that the Traffic Safety Day 2019 will help raise public awareness, thus reducing traffic accidents./.

Vietnam, Japan share measures to cope with flash flood, landslides


A conference was held in Hanoi on October 11 to discuss cooperation between Vietnam and Japan in seeking measures and technology to mitigate damage from flash flood and landslides.

Doan Thi Tuyet Nga, head of the Department of Science-Technology and International Cooperation under the Vietnam Disaster Management Authority said that Japan, owning advanced technology in disaster prevention and response, has supported Vietnam in managing risks of natural disasters, especially floods and landslides.

The administration has worked with experts from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to translate documents to serve the building of plans on flash flood prevention and control, she noted.

However, Nga stressed the need of stronger engagement of authorised agencies and scientists as well as support from developed countries like Japan.

Vu Le Minh, an expert from the Department of Science-Technology and International Cooperation, noted that Vietnam is one of the countries hardest hit by natural disasters, including flash flood and landslides.

He noted that as flash flood and landslides often occur in tough terrain, the search and rescue work is difficult.

In August this year, only 15-minute flash flood caused 10 deaths and missing, destroyed 35 houses with total losses of 120 billion VND, he said.

Naoki Imamura from the Water and Disaster Management Bureau under Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism shared a number of measures that Japan has applied to prevent and respond to natural disasters, including the building of dams.

Participants at the event discussed the need to enhance the efficiency of early warning systems, improve public awareness of preventing and responding to flash flood and landslides, apply science and technology in communications, equip localities with warning equipment, and call for involvement of the private sector.

They also proposed that the Government allow the launching of a project to pilot a early warning system and the construction of dams to prevent mud and rocks in a number of risky areas./.

Consultation in mother tongue benefits Vietnamese people in Japan



At the centre in Gunma prefecture



Authorities of many Japanese localities have established one-stop-shop consultation centres to support foreigners, including Vietnamese labourers living and working in the country.

This is part of a policy package approved by the Japanese Government, including a plan to set up about 100 centres of this kind to provide advices and support for foreigners in Japan. Notably, most of the centres have provided services in the Vietnamese language.

The one in Gunma prefecture, where about 5,950 Vietnamese are working and living, is a case in point.

Established in June 2019 and officially becoming operational on July 1, the centre is now providing consultation services in Vietnamese and four other languages, including English, Chinese, Spanish and Portuguese.

Director of the centre Tatsuya Koase told Vietnam News Agency that Gunma is home to many foreigners who often face many difficulties due to cultural differences, adding that through the centre’s services, foreigners will be consulted on essential issues such as procedures for residence registration, employment, education, social welfare, and medical care.

Previously, speaking at a meeting with Vietnamese Ambassador to Japan Vu Hong Nam on October 4, Ichita Yamamoto, Governor of Gunma prefecture affirmed that foreigners in general and the Vietnamese community in particular has become an important part of the socio-economic development of the prefecture.

Local authority always attaches great importance to how Vietnamese people and other foreigners can live and study more comfortably in the prefecture, the official added./.

HCM City busts $130 million online gambling operation



Evidence collected by police after they raided an online gambling ring in HCM City.



HCM City police have smashed a multi-million dollar illegal sports gambling ring.

The gang was running two websites and, said Major General Trần Ngọc Hà, director of Criminal Police Department.

Documents recovered during the raid reveal accounts worth up to VNĐ3 trillion ($130 million).

After a large-scale investigation launched by police under the Ministry of Public Security in collaboration with local police, the authorities on Tuesday arrested 11 people, including Nguyễn Hoàng Long, 39, living in District 7, believed to be the kingpin of the gang.

Police also seized more than US$275,000 in cash, electronic devices and thousands of pages of printed documents from football betting accounts.

Long confessed that he and an unknown man set up the online gambling ring in 2017, sharing profits by the ratio of 70 per cent to Long.

Investigations are continuing.

Hanoi seminar discusses ways to improve air quality


A seminar was held in Hanoi on October 11 to raise public awareness of the city’s efforts to improve air quality and the community’s involvement in the process.

The event was co-hosted by the municipal Department of Natural Resources and Environment, the Vietnam Clean Air Partnership (VCAP) and the Live & Learn Centre.

Speaking at the event, VCAP Chairman Hoang Duong Tung admitted that many air monitoring apps and websites are now available but it is hard to verify their accuracy.

Mai Ngoc Thai, head of the department’s Environment Protection Agency, said Hanoi consumes an estimated amount of over 400 million kWh per electricity and millions of litres of petrol each day, which results in air pollution and greenhouse gas emission.

This year, Hanoi has established and operated 10 automatic air monitoring stations, and built a project on environment monitoring system with 20 fixed, 12 sensor and one mobile monitoring stations.

The city is also working to end the use of coal stoves by the end of next year and embarking on a project on strengthening the management of road vehicles to ease traffic congestion and prevent environment protection for the 2017 – 2020 period with a vision to 2030, and another on noise and dust prevention.

It also pooled the support from the World Bank, scientists and units concerned to find out the origin of dust.

Representatives from non-governmental organisations suggested calling for the involvement of the people belonging to all walks of life to take green measures, adding that eco-friendly firms should be provided with tax incentives and business opportunities./.

Start-up innovation needs to be linked with science and research: workshop

Academic institutions should collaborate with businesses to shorten the gap between innovation, entrepreneurship and science research, a workshop heard on Tuesday.

Speakers at the event ‘Connecting Innovation and Entrepreneurship with Science and Technology’ supported the concept of training students early the tools needed to start a business.

According to Mandy Nguyễn Nhã Quyên, director of Ecosystem Development Start-up Việt Nam Foundation, the start-up ecosystem consists of investors, consultants, researchers and students.

“Eighty per cent of Vietnamese start-ups are business driven, which means they start up their businesses following existing models to meet demand,” said Quyên.

“Only 20 per cent are innovation-driven, which starts from doing research and studying technology to making products.

“These products themselves create advantage of competitiveness for Vietnamese start-ups. Innovation-driven start-ups must start from researchers and universities.”

Joanna Wood, Education Counsellor of the Australian Embassy said the Industry 4.0’s research shows 40 per cent add to global GDP by 2030 – but a new way of working and collaborating is required to maximise benefits.

“It requires governments, institutions, industry and the community to work together if we want to make the most of this opportunity,” she said.

Associate Professor Bùi Đức Thọ, deputy rector of the National Economics University said to enhance the start-up spirit in Việt Nam, the National Economics University established an innovation centre with domestic and international co-operation activities. The university also opened a major in start-up and business and has paid attention to carrying out research.

“Innovation and science technology are not separate sectors. If they stick together, start-up ideas will have more chances of success and research will be soon applied to practice,” he said.

Phạm Hồng Quất, head of National Agency for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialisation Development, Ministry of Science and Technology proposed Việt Nam should create mechanisms and grant autonomy to universities in terms of start-up investment.

Associate Professor Trần Xuân Tú, head of Department of Science, Technology and International Relations of University of Engineering and Technology under Việt Nam National University - Hà Nội, said government should offer assistance and call for investment from businesses to develop start-ups at universities, he said.

The workshop was co-organised by the Australian Embassy in Việt Nam and Vietnamese Ministry of Science and Technology within Skills and Innovation Week which runs from October 8 to 11.

The week is an opportunity for policy makers, knowledge institutes, associations and enterprises to discuss challenges in developing the Vietnamese innovation system and to learn more about best practices from Australia in encouraging economic growth through innovation. — VNS

Health worker accused of stealing from dengue fund

A health worker in southern Tây Ninh Province has been detained by police accused of embezzling money from a fund set up to prevent dengue fever.

Bùi Tuấn Đạt, 36, a member of the health staff at Hòa Thành District’s Healthcare Centre, was detained last Saturday accused of appropriating money from the National Programme on dengue prevention and control for private purposes, reported.

Police also seized one computer and 50 related documents.

An initial investigation alleged that from 2016 to 2018, Đạt signed and legalised documents and vouchers to pay for activities related to dengue fever prevention and control in the locality and then appropriated an amount of about VNĐ100 million (US$4,250) from the fund.

On October 3, the provincial investigation agency issued a decision to prosecute the case.

Police in Tây Ninh Province are continuing their investigations.

Winners of Aus4Innovation Partnership Grants announced

Winners of the first round of the Innovation Partnership Grants, part of the Australian Government’s Aus4Innovation program, were announced today at an award ceremony held in Hanoi and hosted by Aus4Innovation and the Ministry of Science and Technology.

Rebecca Bryant, Charge d’Affaires a.i. of the Australian Embassy and representatives from three winning projects.

Three projects, with allocated funding totaling more than AUD 1.6 million, were selected from 115 applications for their outstanding initiatives and potential positive economic and social impacts.

The three initiatives will be implemented by Australian universities in collaboration with universities and research institutes in Vietnam:
• University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and Vietnamese National University of Engineering and Technology (VNU-UET), who will transfer of a university commercialisation model and demonstrate its application in water treatment and monitoring systems using industry 4.0 technology;

• University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) and Research Institute for Aquaculture number Three (RIA3), who will produce a hormone that will boost productivity of sea cucumber farming; and
• The University of Sydney and the National Health Strategy and Policy Institute (NHSPI), who will introduce a breakthrough methodology to transform breast cancer diagnostic efficacy.

Speaking at the ceremony, Ms. Rebecca Bryant, Charge d’Affaires a.i. of the Australian Embassy said: ‘Deeper, stronger ties between our innovation systems is a key goal for our strategic partnership with Vietnam and the Innovation Partnership Grants provide excellent opportunities to nurture innovative ideas and scale on-going partnerships between Australian and Vietnamese organisations. I’m delighted to see more and more collaboration between the research institutions of our two countries.’

Vice Minister Bui The Duy from the Ministry of Science and Technology commented: ‘The innovation partnership between Australia and Vietnam has proven to be an effective mechanism for the two countries to share best practice and models to enhance the innovation systems in both countries. We hope grants provided under the Aus4Innovation program will set examples of how innovation – particularly when it can jointly developed and implemented – can transform our society and deliver economic, social and environmental sustainability.’

Earlier this year, the Aus4Innovation program launched the first round of Innovation Partnership Grants, aimed at providing financial support to help scale already tested activities that address emerging challenges or opportunities in any sector of Vietnam’s innovation system. Round two will be announced later this year. This is an important part of the AUD 11 million, four year (2018-2022) flagship Aus4Innovation program to help strengthen the Vietnamese innovation system and prepare for Vietnam’s economic and digital future. It is co-funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and InnovationXchange (IXC), managed by the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and in strategic collaboration with the Ministry of Science and Technology of Vietnam.

Warnings issued for unlicensed Khanh Hoa tourist site

Local authorities of the southern central province of Khanh Hoa have warned travel firms not to organise tours to the local unlicensed tourist site of Mui Doi-Hon Dau for safety concerns.

According to Vo Luc Pham, vice chairman of Van Ninh District, to date, no individuals and organisations have been licensed for operating tourism services at Mui Doi-Hon Dau area.

Many unlicensed wooden boats have been found to transport tourists to the area.

Pham added that local authorities have intensified activities to help raise local residents’ awareness of illegal tourism services. In case, the situation is not improved, fines will be imposed.

To reach the area, besides taking boats, it takes visitors for at least six hours to travel through 12 kilometres of rough and dangerous roads.

Earlier, the provincial border force urged local authorities to tighten control over illegal tourism services in the Mui Doi-Hon Dau area.

The authorities have also been asked to survey the tourism potential of the area. The province could consider developing suitable tourism services for the area.

Two young people drowned on September 22. They were part of a 12 person team of former students of a university in HCM City who came to swim near Mui Doi-Hon Dau area to swim.

Proposal to name Da Nang streets after foreign missionaries arouses controversy

A move to rename Da Nang’s streets after two Portuguese missionaries has been objected to for the colonial context in which they worked.

Alexandre de Rhodes and Francisco De Pina are credited with contributing significantly to Quoc Ngu, the Vietnamese writing system based on the Roman alphabet.

Huynh Van Hung, director of Da Nang’s Department of Culture and Sports, affirmed that the missionaries’ names were being suggested for their role in devising Quoc Ngu.

"The creation of Quoc Ngu helped Vietnamese culture become stronger," said Hung, adding the two were suggested to be included in the list by several historians and cultural researchers.

The rule of multiple Chinese dynasties shaped Vietnamese culture and literature from 207 BC to 939 AD. As a result, the official Vietnamese language was written in classical Chinese (Nho), followed by the development of native Vietnamese script (Nom), before the adoption of Quoc Ngu.

On Monday, Da Nang’s culture department said it was collecting public comments on a proposal to name and rename nearly 140 streets and public sites this year.

Included in the proposal is the renaming of two streets in Hai Chau District after missionaries Francisco De Pina (1585 - 1625) and Alexandre de Rhodes (1593 - 1660).

However, some retired officials have opposed such an honor saying the missionaries’ role in creating Quoc Ngu was rooted in the colonial enterprise.

In response, Hung said that missionaries had come to Vietnam to convert people into Christianity in the 16th and 17th centuries, and it was "too harsh" to say they were associated with the colonialists. The French colonialization of Vietnam started in 1858 and ended in 1954 following the historic Dien Bien Phu battle.

Hung said that many experts have high regard for the two missionaries as well as Vietnamese scholars of the time.

In December, the Da Nang Association of Historical Sciences will hold a seminar celebrating the 100th anniversary of Quoc Ngu.

Hung said experts will continue their conversation about the contributions of the two missionaries, helping the public form an objective view.

In Ho Chi Minh City, a street was named Alexandre de Rhodes in 1995 and it now stands in the heart of the city, running along the major Le Duan Street in front of the Independence Palace.

Da Nang's street renaming proposal is scheduled to be submitted to the city's legislators for approval in December. It has many streets in the central city named after foreign scientists.

Apart from the missionaries, other candidates include Mother Nguyen Thi Suot (1906-1968), a heroine during the Vietnam War. She risked her life to ferry Vietnamese soldiers and artillery in a small wooden boat from 1964-1967.

Vu Xuan Thieu (1945-1972), a pilot martyr who fired two rockets and then rushed his plane into a B52 aircraft of the U.S. Air Force.

The proposal also includes naming a street after Nguyen Dinh Thi (1924-2003), a well-known novelist who also composed songs, poems and plays.

Hanoi promotes itself as safe, friendly city


Turtle Tower in the middle of Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi (Photo courtesy of Bui Van Doanh)



Hanoi has been shortlisted for the World’s Leading City Destination at the 2019 World Travel Awards (WTA), providing an excellent opportunity for the Vietnamese capital to promote itself as a safe and friendly destination for both domestic and foreign visitors.

The local tourism sector is calling for locals and tourists to vote for Hanoi at the WTA’s website, which will end on October 20.

Popular places in Hanoi include Hoan Kiem Lake, the Old Quarter, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Temple of Literature and Thang Long Imperial Citadel.

According to the municipal Department of Tourism, the number of foreign visitors to Hanoi increased by approximately 19 percent between 2015 and 2018. They came from over 190 countries and territories in the world.

In 2018, Hanoi welcomed 26.31 million visitors, a year-on-year increase of 10.4 percent. International arrivals reached over 6 million, up 21.3 percent, the department said.

In the first nine months of 2019, Hanoi served more than 21.5 million vacationers, up 9.5 percent against the same period last year, including over 4.7 million foreigners, up over 10 percent.

Tourists from Asian countries account for 60 percent of the international visitors who arrive in Hanoi, followed by Europe at nearly 24 percent, America at 9 percent, Australia at 5.5 percent and Africa at 0.5 percent.

Nguyen Manh Than, Chairman of the Hanoi Tourism Association, said many foreign visitors chose Hanoi to visit thanks to the beautiful natural landscapes, rich culture, safety and hospitable locals.

In recent years, Hanoi has been hailed as one of the most attractive destinations in the region and the world by prestigious international organisations such as “Asia’s Leading Destination” and the “World’s Leading Destination” in 2018.

In 2019, Hanoi won the Travelers’ Choice Awards and was ranked among the 25 leading destinations in Asia, and the 25 world’s leading places on TripAdvisor website.

CNN listed Hanoi along with Phu Quoc Island in the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang as the best travel destinations in Asia in 2019.

Many highlights of Hanoi were recently listed in the CNN’s article suggesting 13 memorable experiences for foreign visitors in Vietnam such as “search for the best pho in Hanoi”, “make vermicelli noodles in Cu Da village”, and “ride the Reunification Express (officially known as North-South Railway)”.

Most recently, Hanoi has been ranked fifth among the seven best places in Asia for solo travellers by Bigseventravel.

The Italian tourism website described Hanoi as a hectic, crazy and often confusing city, and a wonderful base from which to explore the north of Vietnam, including the world natural heritage site of Ha Long Bay in the northeastern province of Quang Ninh and the popular resort town of Sa Pa in the northern mountainous province of Lao Cai.

According to Mastercard’s Asia Pacific Destinations Index, Hanoi ranked 15th among the 20 leading destinations in the region.

Given huge opportunities from the tourism sector, Hanoi has made significant investment in improving the quality of tourism products and services as well as developing infrastructure and promoting the image of the capital to domestic and foreign visitors.

The city has coordinated with the CNN to promote its image through short advertising clips.

After completing the deal for 2018-2019, the capital has signed another contract with CNN for 2019-2024.

Advertising videos produced and broadcast by CNN such as “Hanoi-Cradle of Heritage” and “Hanoi-Heart of Vietnam” have attracted a lot of foreign viewers.

Tran Duc Hai, Director of the municipal Tourism Department, said Hanoi is a member of the Council for Promoting Tourism in Asia (CPTA) and Tourism Promoting Organisation for Asia Pacific Cities (TPO).

The city has close cooperation ties with most major cities in Asia such as Tokyo (Japan), Seoul (the Republic of Korea), Bangkok (Thailand) and Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), as well as European cities like Paris (France), Moscow (Russia) and Frankfurt (Germany), he added./.

Scholarships given to 150 poor university students in southeastern region




Tuoi Tre (Youth) Newspaper, the Ho Chi Minh City Youth Union and HCM Television held a ceremony on October 12 to grant scholarships to 15 new university students with difficult circumstances in seven southeastern provinces and cities.

The scholarship is only the first support for new university students to pursue their study as well as an acknowledgement of their efforts in learning, said Le The Chu, Editor-in-Chief of Tuoi Tre Newspaper.

He wished the new students will try their best to study well to make their future brighter.

In 2019, the newspaper is coordinating with 63 provinces and cities to present scholarships worth 14 billion VND (603,460 USD) in total to over 1,200 new students with difficulties across the nation.

Over the past 17 years, with the goal of not letting any new student give up study dream due to difficult circumstances, the programme has granted more than 19,300 scholarships to new students, with a total value of 134 billion VND (5.77 million USD)./.

Conference reviews new-style rural area building programme in education



Organisations and 80 individuals receive certificates of merit from the Ministry of Education and Training at the conference



The Ministry of Education and Training held a conference in central Da Nang city on October 12 to review the implementation of the national target programme on new-style rural area building in the field of education and training for 2010-2020.

According to the ministry’s report, as of June 2019, total investment in the programme in the field of education and training in the 2011-2019 period reached 462.79 trillion VND (19.95 billion USD). Funding for the programme was mainly from local budgets and other legal sources.

The conference heard that after nine years of implementing the programme in this field, provinces and cities across the country have recorded positive results.

As many as 52.44 percent of the number of communes nationwide met the criterion No. 5 as infrastructure and teaching equipment in educational establishments have been constructed and upgraded, helping to improve the quality of education at the grassroots levels.

By December 2018, preschool education for 5-year-old children at the communal level reached 99.9 percent. Meanwhile, in term of primary education, 99 percent of six-year-old children were enabled to go to school. The quality of secondary education has been gradually improved.

The rate of literacy has rapidly increased, with many localities have achieved the target of literacy, while the quality of education in ethnic minority and mountainous areas has been improved with the fast and strong development of the semi-boarding ethnic minority school system.

Speaking at the event, Deputy Minister of Education and Training Le Hai An praised efforts made by education and training departments and divisions, and relevant agencies in giving advice and directing the implementation of criteria set for the education sector.

He asked education and training departments and divisions to step up inspection, examination and evaluation of educational institutions in the coming time.

On the occasion, the Ministry of Education and Training presented certificates of merit to 41 organisations and 80 individuals for their great contributions and performance in implementing the programme./.

First national press award for disaster prevention launched


The first National Press Award for Disaster Prevention and Control 2019, themed “Mitigation of losses due to natural disasters - Proactive adaptation to climate change starting from the community”, was launched in Hanoi on October 12.

The launch ceremony was jointly held by the Central Steering Committee for Disaster Prevention and Control, the Ministry of Information and Communications, the Vietnam Journalists Association and the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Hoang Hiep, who is also head of the award organising committee, the organisation of the award shows the important role of information work as one of the effective solutions to raise the awareness of authorities at all levels and people of reducing disaster risks.

The award aims to honour and reward collectives and individuals who make practical contributions to communications on disaster prevention and control. It also helps raise the sense of responsibility of organisations and individuals in the work.

The award will receive entries in five types of press including print newspaper, e-newspaper, radio, television and press photo. All Vietnamese citizens, including professional and amateur reporters, with suitable works will be eligible.

The entries are those in Vietnamese published on mass media between January 1, 2019 and March 31, 2020. They must be submitted from October 12, 2019 to March 31, 2020.

The award announcement and presentation ceremony will be held next May on the occasion of the National Week for Disaster Prevention and Control./.

Vietnam responds to Int’l Day for Disaster Reduction



Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Hoang Hiep speaks at the event



The Central Steering Committee for Disaster Prevention and Control, UNICEF and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) held in Hanoi on October 12 a ceremony in response to the International Day for Disaster Reduction to review impacts of natural disasters and climate change in recent years, thus defining orientations for future coordination activities.

Addressing the event, MARD Deputy Minister Nguyen Hoang Hiep said that the International Day for Disaster Reduction (October 13) aims to call for countries’ attention to fostering global culture of risk awareness and disaster reduction.

This year's theme is based on Target (d) of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030: 'Substantially reduce disaster damage to critical infrastructure and disruption services, among them health and education facilities, including through developing their resilience by 2030', with the message of “Build to Last”, which is very suitable for Vietnam in the current period, he said.

He expressed his hope that with the efforts of the Vietnamese Government and people, as well as the support of international organisations in terms of technical support solutions and disaster prevention facilities, Vietnam will increase its resilience against climate change and reduce damage caused by natural disasters.

At the event, leaders of the agriculture ministry signed memoranda of understanding on cooperation in the framework of the Partnership for Environment and Disaster Risk Reduction (PEDRR). This activity will mark an important step to lift the comprehensive and close cooperation between the Vietnamese Government and partners in preventing, fighting and reducing disaster risks and climate change impacts.

Also at the ceremony, Caitlin Wiesen, Resident Representative of the UN Development Propgramme (UNDP) in Vietnam, presented awards to winners of the “Saving the Earth” Comic Contest, themed “Children create Superhero to fight against natural disasters and climate change”.

Held for Vietnamese children aged between 10 and 15, the contest aimed to raise children’s awareness of disaster prevention and create conditions for them to promote creativity and show their thoughts and dreams of disaster prevention and climate change adaptation.

The General Department of Disaster Prevention and Control, UNICEF and the Voice of Vietnam (VOV) jointly launched a contest to find initiatives on disaster combat and climate change adaptation for coastal residents.

At the end of the ceremony, deputy head of the Central Steering Committee for Disaster Prevention and Control Tran Quang Hoai introduced three activities, including the “Be va cac vi than” (Kids and Genies) programme, a contest on disaster prevention for members of the Ho Chi Minh Vanguard Children’s Union, and a ceremony to launch the first national press award on disaster prevention and control./.

Music show marks 10 years of Vietnamese composer’s Swiss recognition


A music performance celebrating 10 years since Vietnamese composer Nguyen Van Quy was awarded the cultural heritage award Patrimoenia took place in Geneva, Switzerland, on October 11.

Ambassador Duong Chi Dung, head of Vietnam’s permanent mission in Geneva, and Vietnamese Ambassador to Switzerland Le Linh Lan attended the event.

In 2009, Quy received the award from Switzerland-based Patrimoine & Gestion SA fund at the Swiss embassy in Hanoi.

He has been known for having written nine sonatas for violin and piano and was referred to as “Vietnamese Beethoven”.

His Sonata No.5 and No.8 were performed by pianist Marie-Anouch Sarkissain and violist Ken Lila Ashanti, followed by performances of Vietnamese’s dan bau (monochord) artist Ta My Hanh and members of a Vietnamese community in Geneva.

Born in Hanoi in 1925, the composer was awarded the second prize of the Vietnam Musician Association for the Sonata No. 4 in 1995 and the Sonata No. 8 in 2005./.

Nearly 100% of families have access to housing in HCM City: census


A majority of families in HCM City have access to housing, accounting for 99.8 per cent of the city’s population, according to a new population census report released yesterday.

Of the total 2.5 million families, the city has only 39 homeless families. On average, for every 100,000 families, two do not have homes, according to the population and housing census report issued by the city’s Statistics Office.

Speaking at a press briefing yesterday, Huỳnh Văn Hùng, chief of HCM City Statistics Office, said: “This indicator has gradually improved over the last 10 years, from 0.9 per 10,000 in 2009 to only 0.2 per 10,000 this year. The proportion of families having housing is 99.8 per cent. The average housing area per capita this year is 19.4 square metres per person.”

The city’s total population as of April 1 was nearly 9 million, with males accounting for 48.7 per cent.

HCM City remains the most populous city, with 9.35 per cent of the country’s total population, according to the report. The urban population is 7.12 million (79.23 per cent) and rural population 1.86 million (20.77 per cent).

Since 2009, the average annual population growth rate in rural areas in the city has been 4.47 per cent per year compared to urban areas of 1.77 per cent per year, showing a strong rate of urbanisation in rural areas.

Population distribution is uneven, mostly concentrated in central districts with a very high population density. Most inner districts are at an “unsafe” level of population density, with over 8,000 people per square kilometre.

In recent years, the city has taken efforts to extend the population to areas beyond the central areas, which has resulted in a decrease in population in inner districts and increase in other districts, especially outlying districts.

All of Việt Nam’s 54 ethnic groups live and work in HCM City, the largest of which is the Kinh ethnic group (94.8 per cent). The gender ratio in the city is 95 males to 100 females.

The city’s educational level has improved, with 92.9 per cent of the city’s population of high school age currently attending school. The literacy rate of the city’s population aged 15 and above is 99 per cent.

The country has about 4,800 homeless families. For every 10,000 families, 1.8 do not have homes, according to the General Statistics Office.

Việt Nam’s population reached 96.2 million people as of April 1, ranking 15th in the world and third in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), according to the preliminary results of the National Population and Housing Census released in July.

The census conducted by the General Statistics Office is taken every 10 years to provide an accurate picture of changes in population and housing throughout the country.

Việt Nam is one of the most densely populated countries in the region and the world. Population density is currently 290 people per square km, an increase of 31 people compared to 2009.

Hà Nội and HCM City have the highest population density in the country. Hà Nội has 2,398 people per sq km and HCM City has 4,363. 

Ninh Thuận Province finds goat farming lucrative to expand



Goats are raised naturally in Ninh Thuận Province.



Ninh Thuận, the largest goat breeding locality in southeastern Việt Nam, is expanding its herds as they offer farmers high incomes and it has natural advantages in raising the animals.

Ngô Tý, who breeds goats in Thuận Nam District’s Phước Dinh Commune, said he used to farm cows and sheep but finally decided to switch to goats because this requires little investment and the animals require less care and get few diseases.

Tý let his goats graze on a hill near home, releasing them in the morning and herding them back home in the late afternoon.

In the beginning he had 10 goats and the number had increased to 60 now, he said.

Earlier this month he sold five goats for meat and earned nearly VNĐ20 million (US$860), he said.

Traders buy goats at VNĐ100,000-130,000 (US$4-6) a kilogramme for meat and VNĐ140,000-160,000 ($6-7) for breeding purposes.

Females can give birth twice a year, each time delivering two or three kids. Kids reach a weight of 25-30kg in six to eight months and can then be sold, according to farmers.

Many farmers also raise goats exclusively in sheds without letting them out to graze, and this method reduces the period of raising them for meat to between four and six months.

The south-central province has 138,000 head of goats, according to its Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Its dry and hot weather is suitable for raising bovids, especially goats.

They are mostly allowed to graze naturally on hills and pastures.

Goats are one of the province’s 12 ‘specific products’.

The National Office of Intellectual Property granted a trademark for Ninh Thuận goats in 2017.

In recent years provincial authorities have been teaching farmers effective goat breeding models.

In Bác Ái District’s Phước Trung Commune, for instance, the commune farmers association has set up a group with 12 members who raise females for producing kids.

The association helps the members by teaching them breeding techniques and providing market information.

Đạo Văn Nhớ, head of the group, said members have an interest in breeding goats and so exchange experiences and help each other with breeding techniques and disease prevention efforts.

“So the group is very efficient.”

The members have 159 kids.

To improve the quality of goats, province authorities have tightened food safety management and use electronic stamps to trace the origin of goat meat.

The province will continue to help farmers expand efficient goat farming models and teach them breeding techniques, according to the department. 

Young people contribute to success of rural development


Nguyễn Văn Phúc in his pigeon farm. Photo


Hà Nội leads the country in implementing the national programme on agriculture development and new-style rural areas.

After 10 years, the capital city has successfully improved its rural areas and encouraged young people to implement innovative agricultural models, reported online newspaper

A pigeon farm in outlying Sóc Sơn District is one example.

The farm is owned by Nguyễn Văn Phúc, a resident of Hiệu Chân Village in Tân Hưng Commune, who was one of ten honoured as an outstanding youngster in Hà Nôi last year.

Every year, he earns billions of đồng from breeding pigeons, the paper said.

“Ten years ago, I returned from Russia with a degree in informatics and easily found a job with a good salary in Hà Nội,” said Phúc.

But he never felt happy working for someone else.

After getting married and having children, he wanted to do something that would help his young family.

He decided to quit his job in the city and return home to start his own business.

With a modest capital of VNĐ30 million (US$1,300), he opened a pigeon farm, sparing two floors of his house for the birds.

The first attempt ended in failure. Hundreds of the birds died after a few months due to his lack of knowledge and experience.

Only 20 pairs of pigeons survived.

But he was not discouraged. He bought another 30 pairs to breed.

Learning by himself and working hard, the flock started to grow bigger.

Overcoming the difficulties in breeding the birds, the next challenge for the IT engineer-turned-farmer was to find customers.

“I had to take every pigeon to restaurants in Hà Nội to sell,” said Phúc.

“As an IT engineer, I set up a website and a fanpage to market my products,” he said.

“The number of clients started to increase, and sometimes I was unable to fill all the orders,” he said.

After 10 years, the small pigeon farm has turned into five in Hà Nội’s Sóc Sơn District and Thái Nguyên Province, creating stable jobs for more than 10 employees.

The farms bring in monthly income of VNĐ250-300 million (US$11,000 -13,000).

Like Phúc, Nguyễn Văn Kết in Sóc Sơn District’s Bắc Phú Commune quit his job as an ad designer to return home and work as a farmer.

Kết started a frog breeding business in 2006 after watching an online clip. Initially, he worked part time.

He bred 5,000 frogs in his 50sq.m-garden. Every day, after fishing work in the office, he spent time with his frogs to watch their habits.

He found more information online.

Kết never used antibiotics with the animals, but fed them herbs and garlic.

“I wanted to supply the market with safe and clean products,” Kết said.

Gradually, the part-time job turned into a full time career. His farm expanded to 7,000 sq.m, which could earn VNĐ700-800 million (US$30,000-35,000) per year.

In addition to being sold nationwide, his frogs were exported to many countries in Southeast Asia.

Phúc and Kết are young people who dared to work with a strong will of getting rich from their homes in rural areas.

They are pioneers for rural youngsters to make their home land better and better. 

ADB helps Thừa Thiên-Huế mitigate risks of natural disasters



Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee of central Thừa Thiên-Huế Province Nguyễn Văn Phương delivers a speech at a workshop held on Thursday to launch an ADB-funded project to help mitigate natural disasters. — Photo



The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Thursday launched a project to help mitigate risks of natural disasters in Huế Imperial City, central Thừa Thiên-Huế Province.

The project has a total investment of US$2 million sourced from the Urban Climate Change Resilience Trust Fund (UCCRTF) managed by the ADB.

Huế City will be provided with technical assistance and disaster insurance for some public properties.

The project, which will be carried out throughout 2024, includes the collection of a public property database and design of appropriate insurance solutions.

Such activities are hoped to back the development of a comprehensive disaster risk management strategy for the city.

Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyễn Văn Phương said ADB is one of the leading units supporting the province to minimise natural disaster risks in recent years.

He mentioned other assistance projects of the bank such as biodiversity conservation, climate change adaptation and sustainable forest management, and green urban development.

Thomas W.Kessler, Principal Disaster Risk Insurance & Finance Specialist at the bank, said disaster risks in Việt Nam are estimated to cause direct losses of an average of $1.4 billion each year.

The project not only aims to design a specific insurance solution to Huế City but also considers the feasibility of expanding the project to other cities and provinces across Việt Nam, he added.

It is part of the green secondary cities development project worth $12.8 million sourced from the Special Climate Change Fund, the UCCRTF, and the Global Environment Fund which is carried out in Huế City, Vĩnh Yên City (northern Vĩnh Phúc Province) and Hà Giang City (northern mountainous Hà Giang Province).

Second fixed blood donation site opens in Hà Nội



A local citizen donates blood at the fixed blood donation site in Thanh Xuân District. — Photo Vietnamplus



The National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion opened its second fixed blood donation site in Hà Nội on Thursday.

It is located at the Medical Centre of Nhân Chính Ward – No 132 Quan Nhân Street, in Thanh Xuân District.

This is the second fixed blood donation site opened by the institute this year.

The first one was opened in June at Hoàn Kiếm Medical Centre – No 26 Lương Ngọc Quyến Street in the heart of Hà Nội’s Old Quarter.

So far 1,400 people have registered for blood donation and more than 1,200 units of blood have been collected.

Director of the institute, Bạch Quốc Khánh, said the opening of fixed blood donation sites in Hà Nội aimed to develop the blood donation activity.

The sites are expected to make it more convenient for locals to donate regularly. People will also get free medical consultation and blood testing at the sites instead of going to hospitals.

Blood donation campaigns have attracted many Hà Nội’s citizens. The number of donators is increasing year on year, according to Khánh.

In 2018, Hà Nội collected more than 223,000 blood units. However, this still could not deal with blood shortage in Hà Nội and other localities. 

Two Lao nationals arrested for drug smuggling



Two Lao nationals are arrested in central Quảng Bình Province for smuggling drugs into Việt Nam.



Two people have been arrested trying to smuggle 100,000 methamphetamine pills into Việt Nam.

The Border Guard Command at central Quảng Bình Province say both men, aged 40 and 42, are Lao nationals.

It is one of the biggest drugs haul seized on the the province's border.

The pair were arrested at around 8am on Thursday at a border area in Dân Hóa Commune, Minh Hóa District.

Guards found them carrying parcels containing some 100,000 pills which were later tested to be methamphetamine.

They have admitted to attempting to smuggle the drugs from Laos into Việt Nam.

The case is under investigation.


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