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VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES JULY 4

Gov’t examines gains in H1, identifies solutions for H2

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh chaired a conference in Hanoi on July 4 to examine national socio-economic gains in the past six months and look for solutions in the second half of the year. The meeting was connected to all 63 cities and provinces across the country.

In his opening remarks, PM Chinh outlined major global complications that affected Vietnam’s post-pandemic economic recovery. Among them were the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, rising input material and oil prices, inflationary pressure, food and energy security at risk, as well as the mutation of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

However, under the leadership of the Party, alongside the strong support of the National Assembly, and sound performance of the Government, he said Vietnam has achieved many important results in many areas.

According to the PM, the country has well controlled the COVID-19 pandemic, and ensured macroeconomic stability. People’s living standards have improved significantly, while independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity are maintained.

The PM also pointed out problems that need to be addressed in the coming months, including the shortage of medicine, medical equipment and supplies, and the slow progress in public investment disbursement.

He therefore asked leaders of ministries and localities to make an in-depth analysis of advantages and disadvantages, causes, and lessons learned and put forward solutions for the last six months of the year.

In a report presented at the meeting, Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung said the national economy expanded by 7.72% in the second quarter of the year, raising its six-month rate to 6.42%  

The six-month figure is relatively higher than expected and is equivalent to the average level of the years before the pandemic, said Dung.

He also cited local reports, saying many cities and provinces have also obtained high gross regional domestic product (GRDP) growth, with Hanoi registering 7.79%, Bac Giang 24.0%, Bac Ninh 14.7%, and Thanh Hoa 13.41%.

2022 ASEAN plus police music gala to popularise People’s Police

The 2022 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) plus police music gala is a highlight in the communication work on the People’s Police, Minister of Public Security General To Lam has said.

The gala is part of a series of activities organised by the Ministry of Public Security to mark the 60th anniversary of the traditional day of the Vietnam People’s Police (July 20). It aims to strengthen cultural and music exchanges and improve mutual understanding of national identity, country, and people; the work of the Vietnam People's Police in particular as well as the forces of other ASEAN and its partners in general

The gala will take place on July 9-10 on pedestrian streets around Hoan Kiem (Returned Sword) Lake in Hanoi capital. It will bring together police music groups from ASEAN members such as Laos, the Philippines, Brunei, Myanmar, and Vietnam, in addition to those from Japan and China.

Lieutenant Colonel Trinh Anh Thong of the ceremonial troupe of the ministry said more than 120 policemen had spent two months preparing for the event, adding that they will try to improve the performance after collecting comments at a rehearsal held on July 2.

GM Liem back on FIDE standard chess ranking

Vietnamese Grandmaster Le Quang Liem has been back on the International Chess Federation (FIDE) standard chess ranking after two-year absence as he had not competed in this category internationally since 2020.

Liem ranked 23rd with an Elo rating of 2,722, according the latest FIDE ranking released last week. The ranking was topped by Norwegian Grandmaster Magnus Carlsen with 2,864.

Two other Vietnamese grandmasters Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son and his spouse Pham Le Thao Nguyen were also named in the ranking. Son, a standard chess champion at SEA Games 31, was placed 111th with Elo of 2,645 while Nguyen was in the 2,583th position with 2,369.

Last month, Liem claimed the second place at the standard chess category of an international chess tournament in Czech Republic’s Prague.

He will be in Switzerland for the Biel Chess Festival 2022 from July 10 – 25.

VN footballers arrive in Philippines for 2022 AFF Women's Championship

The national women’s football team coached by Mai Duc Chung arrived in Manila, the Philippines, on July 3 for the 2022 AFF Women's Championship that is to run from July 4-17.

Vietnam are to play Myanmar, Timor Leste, Laos and Cambodia in Group B. they are scheduled to take on Cambodia on July 7, Lao on July 9, Timor Leste on July 11 and Myanmar two days later.

Coach Mai Duc Chung is scheduled to take part in a press briefing for Group B matches on July 4.

Before competing in the Philippines, the national team had a training session in France where they were defeated by their hosts 7-0 in a friendly game.

TV360 Viettel wins broadcasting rights of AFF U19 Youth Championship

TV360 Viettel, an affiliate of the army-run telecom giant Viettel, has secured the rights to broadcast live all 29 matches of the 2022 AFF U19 Youth Championship taking place in Indonesia from July 2 to 15.

It will become the sole broadcaster of the tournament on all platforms including mobile app TV360 and Viettel TV in Vietnam.

The 2022 AFF U19 Youth Championship is getting underway in Indonesia from July 2 to July 15 with the participation of 11 teams. Vietnam are in Group A alongside Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand, Brunei and the Philippines.

HCM City eyes advanced waste-management technologies

The HCM City Department of Natural Resources and Environment is promoting the application of advanced technologies in waste management in order to manage effectively large amounts of waste generated in the city.

The city generates about 9,500 tonnes of domestic waste each day, equivalent to about 3 million tonnes per year. Waste management is now quite complicated, involving a set of actions in collection, storage, transporting, treatment, and a final disposal that is environmentally adequate. Collecting, transporting and treating this huge amount of waste poses challenges to the city authorities, who are seeking to implement advanced technologies to improve performance.

From June, the centre is coordinating with Sài Gòn Computer Technology Co. Ltd (CINOTEC) on a pilot programme using the company’s software application called “uberRac” to manage waste.

Nguyễn Thành Trung, director of CINOTEC, said users can download and install this app on their iOS or Android devices to interact with the app’s waste services such as registering for waste collection, paying fees, monitoring garbage truck routes, registering for bulky waste collection and giving feedback on waste services.

The app is being used by private waste collectors in District 7’s Bình Thuận, Tân Quy, Tân Thuận Đông and Tân Thuận Tây wards and is improving sanitation for those residential areas.

Phan Thanh Tùng, a senior solution consultant from Việt Nam Informatic and Mapping Corporation, said the firm was developing a digital map for solid waste collection in the city.

Last year, 14 waste collection units in the city’s Gò Vấp District began to use the “Grac” app developed by Grac Technology JSC. The move aims to digitise waste management and online payments for waste collection services in the district.

With an online waste market, the app allows scrap dealers and owners of waste to connect. Sellers of waste can take pictures of products they want to sell, such as paper and plastics, and post the images on the app.

Scrap dealers receive information from sellers and then move to the areas where sellers are. The two sides negotiate the prices and make transactions. Owners can post information about old items they have and want to donate.

When these software pieces are linked, they will share databases on waste owners, waste transporters, waste treatment organisations, and waste amounts, which will help authorities more efficiently coordinate the process.

Traditional markets slow to use environmentally friendly plastic bags

HCM City has set a target for 100 per cent of supermarkets and commercial centres to use eco-friendly bags by the end of this year.

Accordingly, small businesses and traditional markets are targeted to reduce 50 per cent of non-biodegradable plastic bags by the end of this year and 65 per cent by the end of next year.

However, traditional markets have been slow to embrace the use of eco-friendly bags.The rate of using eco-friendly bags in traditional markets has only reached 18 per cent.

According to the HCM City Department of Industry and Trade, the demand for plastic bags in distribution systems is currently estimated at 16,548 tonnes per year, of which the volume of environmentally friendly bags accounts for 93.6 per cent, equivalent to 15,490 tonnes.

The amount of plastic bags used in traditional markets is 1,176 tonnes per year, of which the volume of eco-friendly bags accounts for only 12 per cent, equivalent to more than 200 tonnes.

The amount of plastic bags used in modern forms of distribution, including supermarkets and commercial centers, is 15,372 tonnes per year, of which eco-friendly bags account for 99.4 per cent.

According to the assessment of the industry and trade industry, modern distribution channels, such as Saigon Co.op, Satra, Bách Hoá Xanh and Big C, have almost completely converted to using environmentally friendly bags instead of plastic bags.

However, the use of eco-friendly bags in HCM City has not been complete as they are less affordable and convenient to use compared to traditional non-degradable plastic bags.

Green Sculpture event raise awareness of environment protection

A competition and exhibition called Green Sculpture is being held at Estella Place, Thủ Đức City to display sculptures made from recycled materials.

The event, held by property developer Keppel Land, Starbucks Vietnam, Kingsmen and Estella Place aims to raise awareness about the impact of plastic waste on the environment and encourage the public to reduce consumption of single-use plastics.

Contestants participating in the competition made sculptures from recycled materials. More than 60 projects have been registered for the competition, mostly by students from universities in HCM City. The organisers have selected the top 12 most impressive works to display at the Estella Place mall from July 1 to July 7. From the above 12 projects, the judges will choose the best projects for first, second and third prizes.

The top three projects will be displayed at Saigon Sport City in District 2, a smart and sustainable urban project, developed by Keppel land and Keppel Urban Solutions.

Vietnamese fairytale-inspired stamp set released

A stamp set inspired by Vietnamese fairytale Cây Khế (The Star Fruit Tree) has been released by Vietnam Post.

One of the most favourite stories of Vietnamese children, Cây Khế contains many meaningful messages praising family relationships, brotherhood, industriousness and life lessons.

The set contains four stamps and one block designed by artist Nguyễn Du from Vietnam Post. Each stamp is 32 x 43mm and the block is 120 x 120mm.

The Star Fruit Tree stamps are priced at VNĐ4,000, VNĐ6,000 and VNĐ15,000. They could be purchased via the Vietnam postal network until December 31, 2023. 

Film on Cơ Tu culture, lifestyle released

The Cơ Tu ethnic group, their culture and lifestyle are featured in a new documentary film released recently in the city and Quảng Nam Province.

The movie celebrates National Tourism Year - Quảng Nam Province 2022 and Cơ Tu Cultural Day activities by Quảng Nam authorities this month.

The film, Mẹ Rừng (Mother Jungle), features Cơ Tu people’s daily life. The stories, challenges, dreams and hopes of Cơ Tu women are highlighted.

Cơ Tu villages near the Bà Nà-Núi Chúa nature reserve - which have developed as eco-tourism sites by Quảng Nam authorities - are also included.

The 22-minute film includes beautiful scenes capturing wild animals and natural forests with pơ mu trees (Fujian Cypress) of mountainous districts in Quảng Nam.

Travel influencers check out Huế to promote local tourism

The first ever media trip titled Visit Huế has just been organised by local authorities for popular Vietnamese travel bloggers and tiktokers to advertise the destination to young people in Việt Nam and all over the world.

Popular Vietnamese travel bloggers and tiktokers visited Huế to help promote the destination to young people in Việt Nam and all over the world in a campaign titled 'Visit Huế'.

Leading tourism influencers such as KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders) and travel bloggers including Lý Thành Cơ, Lê Hà Trúc, Lỗ Hữu Đức Anh, actor Bình An, stylist Monsimi, vlogger Hachi Hachi (Ngô Huy Hà), photographer Vũ Bảo Khánh, tiktoker Melon, Dương Vũ and Hukha (Hà Thị Thu Huyền) joined the trip to the city.

Participants have checked out various local landscapes such as Bao Vinh Ancient Street, Truồi Lake, Bạch Mã Trúc Lâm Zen Monastery and Cầu Hai Lagoon while also joining in entertainment activities such as kayaking and SUP on Tam Giang Lagoon, seeing Huế citadel from a hot air balloon, playing zipline or highwire over hot stream Thanh Tân, and exploring Rú Chá Mangrove Forest. They have also experienced various local delicacies.

The media trip 'Visit Huế' is not only a part of Huế Festival 2022 but also an important PR activity to draw more visitors from inside and outside the country to Huế.

Four localities sign plan to build Ring Belt Road No.3

The HCM City’s People Committee held a conference on Saturday with the participation of leaders from Đồng Nai, Bình Dương and Long An to discuss construction plan of the Ring Belt Road No.3 in HCM City. 

The Ring Road 3 will have a total length of about 76.34 km, with 47.51 km in HCM City (passing through Thủ Đức City and the districts of Củ Chi, Hóc Môn and Bình Chánh) and 11.26 km in Đồng Nai Province (passing through Nhơn Trạch District); 10.76 km in Bình Dương Province (passing through the cities of Dĩ An, Thủ Dầu Một and Thuận An) and 6.81 km in Long An Province (passing through Bến Lức District).

At the conference, leaders of the four localities signed regulations and plans to ensure the progress of the project. 

Under the project, the belt road will have six lanes designed for speeds of 80-100 km/h for commuting and two lanes for emergency stops.

Its total investment is estimated at VNĐ75.4 trillion (US$3.2 billion). It is expected that the entire project will be completed in 2026.

The capital source for implementing the Ring Road 3 is allocated from the State budget. Accordingly, the central budget will allocate 50 per cent, and the localities of HCM City, Đồng Nai, Long An and Bình Dương are responsible for the other half.

North-South railway among top 10 sleeper train journeys worldwide

Vietnam’s Thong Nhat (Reunification) Express, also known as the North-South railway route, has been listed among the top 10 best sleeper train journeys globally, according to The Travel magazine of Canada.

The Canadian magazine reports Vietnam is a hugely popular country to visit among backpackers traveling around Southeast Asia.

“Given how long and narrow the country is, a sleeper train is a great way to get from the northern capital city of Hanoi to the southern city of Ho Chi Minh without riding on a motorbike,” says The Travel.

It notes that the sleeper train route is most suitable for budget travelers as it typically only costs around US$26 for a journey that lasts between 32 and 37 hours.

The magazine also reveals that passengers are able to choose from several seat classes, depending on how much they are willing to spend on a ticket. These include third class which has hard wooden seats, second class which has soft seats with access to an AC, second class sleeper which has six beds per compartment and AC, or first class sleeper which has four beds per compartment with AC.

Rounding off the list of the top 10 best sleeper train journeys are Paris to Venice on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, Zambia to Tanzania on the TAZARA Railway, London to Scotland on the Caledonian Sleeper, and Moscow to Beijing on the Trans-Siberian Railway. This is in addition to Delhi to Mumbai in India on the Maharajas’ Express, Pretoria to Cape Town in South Africa on the Blue Train, Oslo to Bergen in Norway, Bangkok to Chiang Mai in Thailand, and Cusco to Arequipa in Peru on the Belmond Andean Explorer.

Five subsidised bus routes to be halted

Bac Ha Ltd. Co. has suddenly announced to suspend five subsidised bus routes from August 15 this year.

In a report issued on Friday, the company said that they had stopped labour contracts ahead of schedule with all staff that serve the routes from August 15.

According to the company, they suffered great losses due to the prolonged Covid-19 pandemic and the petroleum price hike has also worsened the situation. In response, the firm has decided to scale down operations.

Within 14 days since the contract suspension, the company will fully complete payments as well as insurance procedures.

Hanoi’s public transportation, including buses, has suffered a 30-50 percent fall in revenues over the past two years due to Covid-19 and the petroleum price rise.

Dak Lak to hold durian festival

Krong Pak District in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak will organise the 2022 Durian Festival in September, said a local official.

Ngo Thi Minh Trinh, vice chairman of Krong Pak District, said that preparations for the festival were underway. The locality sees the event as a chance to promote its durian products and other kinds of fruits.

Krong Pak is home to 5,841 hectares of different kinds of crops, including 3,700 hectares of durian. Last year, its durian output reached 45,000 tonnes. Nearly 600 hectares of durian owned by 500 households currently have VietGAP certification.

The durian harvest in Krong Pak lasts from August to November.

Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Da Nang among top best cities in Southeast Asia

The travel magazine Travel & Leisure of the United States has recently listed three Vietnamese localities - Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, and Da Nang – as the 10 top best cities in Southeast Asia.

While announcing its 2022 Best Awards in Asia, the magazine ranked Da Nang third, Hanoi fifth and Ho Chi Minh City eighth in the top ten list.

In this category, Bangkok and Chiang Mai of Thailand are among the top 10 best cities in the region, with Bangkok selected as the best city. The Thai capital is one of the most visited cities by tourists in the world.

Meanwhile, Sheraton Saigon Hotel was honored in the category of the best city hotel in Vietnam in 2022. Capella Hotel Hanoi and Park Hyatt Saigon were also in the top 10.

In addition, Travel & Leisure also announced top ten best islands in Southeast Asia, with Phu Quoc and Con Dao of Vietnam ranked fourth and tenth respectively. In this category, Phuket Island of Thailand was honored as the best island in Southeast Asia in 2022.

Alliances formed in mission to alter behaviours

To address the plastic waste issue, the industry and trade sector is adopting increasing efforts to implement Vietnam’s National Action Plan on Management of Marine Plastic Waste, which covers the rest of this decade.

With roughly two million tonnes of plastic trash released each year, Vietnam is among one of the heaviest plastic polluters in the world. The action plan was released at the end of 2019, and more businesses than ever are initiating cleaner strategies and methods, as heard at a talk show on Innovative Solutions and Substitutes for Single-use Plastic towards Green Consumption, hosted by VIR.

Le Viet Nga, deputy director of the Department of Domestic Market under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) said at the talk show that the ministry has organised many programmes for sustainable consumption, green growth, and cleaner production in the last few years. Many policies for businesses, as well as for the advocacy of consumers, are aimed toward green, clean, and sustainable products.

The 2019 directives were followed by documents promulgated in the National Strategy on Green Growth for the 2021-2030 period, with a vision for 2050.

In order to comply with Vietnam’s commitments to regional and international cooperation mechanisms on the disposal of plastic waste, the MoIT has inspected the compliance with regulations on waste and plastic scrap management in businesses and industrial and handicraft clusters, and tightened control over environmental pollution.

General Nguyen Chi Thanh Museum inaugurated in Hue

A museum dedicated to General Nguyen Chi Thanh (1914 – 1967) was inaugurated in Hue City on June 2 to mark the 55th death anniversary of the talented general.

Covering 650 sq.m at 144 Dang Thai Than Street, the museum was upgraded from the General Nguyen Chi Thanh Memorial House, which was constructed in 2011 in a traditional Hue architectural style.

The museum displays nearly 400 documents, objects and photos on the life and revolutionary career of General Thanh as well as his significant contributions to the revolutionary cause of the country and of Thua Thien Hue Province in particular.

The works on display are arranged into various topics featuring the homeland and family, the revolutionary career, and the important milestones in the general’s life, as well as the people’s recognition for the general.

Many of the exhibits were introduced to the public for the first time, including articles and speeches by General Thanh, and documents from the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) on the general.

Nguyen Chi Thanh, whose real name was Nguyen Vinh, was born on November 1, 1914, in Quang Tho Commune, Quang Dien District, Thua Thien Hue Province. He took the post of Director of the General Department of Politics of the Vietnam People’s Army in 1950 and was brevetted general in 1959.

HCMC honors 248 outstanding workers’ families

A ceremony honoring 248 workers’ outstanding families who overcame difficulties and challenges to build a happy family for child wellbeing and development was held at Dam Sen Cultural Park in HCMC’s District 11 on July 3.

The event aims to honor the traditional cultural values of Vietnamese families and give a chance for families to exchange and share their experience in building a cultural family towards the sustainable development of families in the period of industrialization and modernization of the country.

The event was co-organized by the Trade Unions and Youth Unions of processing and industrial zones in collaboration with HEPZA (HCMC Export Processing and Industrial Zones Authority) Business Association (HBA).

HCMC aiming at turning 80 percent of waste into power by 2025

Ho Chi Minh City People’s Council yesterday cooperated with HCMC Television, and HCMC Information & Communications Department to hold the monthly ‘Citizens Ask – Government Answer’ session, themed ‘Managing Household Solid Waste Collection and Treatment’. Difficulties in collecting and transporting waste as well as a clear direction from the municipal authorities regarding this matter were mentioned.

Deputy Director of Global Green and Clean Environment Technology Co. Ltd. Nguyen Thanh Trung shared that even after transforming into a business or cooperative, individual private garbage collection teams still maintain their usual separated operations in inconsistent time, and with different service fees.

More importantly, waste collection is a labor-intensive job with a shift of 8-12 hours per day, yet the salary is not satisfactory, at VND7-8 million (US$300-340) a month. That explains why there is a reduction in human resources in his company from 60 employees before the pandemic to only 45 now. This asks for a proper support policy for workers to feel at ease performing their duties.

Director of the HCMC Department of Natural Resources and Environment Nguyen Toan Thang informed that the city has financially support 68 projects, with a value of over VND80 billion ($3.4 million), to gather individual private garbage collection teams into official businesses. Since 2017, 2,700 such teams have been brought together to establish 250 legal entities, with more than 20,000 workers.

As to upgrading waste treatment technologies, Vietstar Co. reported that legal procedures to build a waste incineration plant to harness power is too complicated. Vietnam Waste Solutions Co. Ltd. proposed that HCMC should welcome capitals from professional investors, who will then select appropriate waste handling technologies and be legally responsible for their choices.

Over 18,000 volunteers take part in exam assistance program

Vietnamese Students' Association (VSA), Student Assistance Center in HCMC in collaboration with Thien Long Group launched the program called Tiep Suc Mua Thi (assistance for candidates in the national high school graduation examination) in HCMC on July 2.

This year’s campaign attracted more than 18,000 students who are divided into 16 groups offering assistance to candidates at 158 exam sites, such as providing candidates with information related to the exam, resolving emergencies, ensuring security and helping regulate traffic near testing locations during the national high school examination period from July 6-9, Director of the Student Assistance Center in HCMC, Le Xuan Dung said.

The exam assistance program has two phases running from May to July. In the first stage, volunteers offered health care and helped students study online and prepare for the upcoming examination.

The program will also hand over 60 scholarships worth VND 2 million each and gifts to disadvantaged students affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

TV series with artists allegedly arrested in Spain suspended from airing

Vietnam Television (VTV) yesterday announced that actress Lan Phuong will participate as the first guest in the second season of the TV show titled Cuoc Hen Cuoi Tuan (weekend appointment) which will be aired on VTV3 channel at 8 pm on July 2, replacing actor Hong Dang who allegedly involved in a legal problem in Spain.

Additionally, VTV decided to suspend the broadcast of TV series, including “Huong Duong Nguoc Nang” (The sunflower on the opposite side of the sun) and "Moscow in the leaf changing season" starring actor Hong Dang.

According to Assoc. Prof. Dr. Le Anh Tuan, Director of Vietnam National Academy of Music, musician Ho Hoai Anh who is currently a lecturer in the academy has been suspended from work under a decision launched in an urgent meeting between the Vietnam National Academy of Music and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

The Majorca Daily Bulletin previously reported that Spanish police arrested two famous Vietnamese artists for allegedly raping a 17-year-old British girl on Mallorca island. The two have been released on bail and banned from leaving Spain. Spanish authorities have confiscated their passports and asked them to wait for the decision.

Seven universities in Viet Nam meet int'l accreditation standards

Seven Vietnamese universities meet international accreditation standards, according to the Ministry of Education and Training.

They are Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology under Viet Nam National University (VNU)-Ho Chi Minh City, University of Science and Technology under Da Nang University, Ha Noi University of Science and Technology (HUST), Ha Noi University of Civil Engineering; University of Science under VNU-Ha Noi, Ho Chi Minh City based-Ton Duc Thang University and International University under VNU-Ho Chi Minh City.

Up to 177 educational facilities at university and college levels satisfy the national standard on educational quality, the ministry said.

Earlier, three Vietnamese universities were named in the top 1,000 universities worldwide, according to the latest QS World University Rankings 2023. They are Duy Tan University in the central city of Da Nang, Viet Nam National University in Ho Chi Minh City and Ha Noi National University.

Meanwhile, five Vietnamese universities were named in the Times Higher Education (THE)'s Asia University Rankings 2022.

Foreign minister to attend 7th Mekong-Lancang Cooperation ministerial meeting

Vietnamese Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son will travel to Bagan, Myanmar, to attend the 7th Mekong-Lancang Cooperation (MLC) Foreign Ministers' Meeting.

Under the theme "Solidarity for Peace and Prosperity", the meeting will evaluate the progress made in the implementation of the Five-Year Plan of Action on Mekong-Lancan Cooperation (2018-2022) and exchange views on the new draft Five-Year Plan of Action for 2023-2027.

Founded in 2016, the MCL consists of six member countries, namely Thailand, China, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Viet Nam.

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

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