Over one million people jobless in Q1
A little more than one million people of working age nationwide were unemployed in the first quarter, up by 20,700 compared to the last quarter of 2015, according to an updated report of the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs.
The overall unemployment rate in quarter one was 2.25%, up from 2.18% in the previous quarter.
There were 540,700 unemployed people aged from 15 to 24 in the period, down by 18,700 quarter-on-quarter but still accounting for over half of the total. The jobless rate for this group was 6.63%, lower than in the last quarter of 2015 and the same period last year. However, the rates of young people in urban areas, people aged from 20 to 24 with college degrees, and holders of university decrees or higher remained high at 10.2%, 16.3% and 19.6% respectively.
In quarter one, skilled workers accounted for 441,100 or 44% of the unemployed, up by 23,700 over the previous quarter. Among them, 190,900 had bachelor’s decrees or higher, up 35,400 in number quarter-on-quarter and accounting for over 43% of the number of jobless skilled laborers, followed by workers having college degrees with 27%.
Doan Mau Diep, Deputy Minister of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, said the unemployment rates of young and trained laborers were still high.
Hanoi’s Luong Yen Bus Station to close
Hanoi’s Department of Transport is seeking opinions for the plans to close Luong Yen, one of the city’s biggest bus stations in July.
Luong Yen station went into operation in 2004 as a temporary bus station. The site has deteriorated quickly and becomes the cause of constant congestion in the nearby streets.
In 2010, Vinafood Corporation proposed to cut the area of the station by half to carry out the first phase of their real estate project. VND10bn was spent to reorganise a smaller bus station. In 2012, the corporation proposed to close the station completely even though they hadn’t began the first phase of their project.
The proposal was denied and Luong Yen Station was allowed to continue operating until July 2016 after protests from the Hanoi Transport Association and other firms. Many of the 300 plus coach operators in the city worried that they may be forced into bankruptcy if the station closes.
The bus station currently services 38 routes to 20 provinces and cities with 319 vehicles from 52 transportation firms. But the site is notoriously dirty and passenger services are poor, while parking for taxis and other vehicles remains limited.
Luong Yen is also not included in transport planning until 2030 with view toward 2050, while major stations such as My Dinh, Nuoc Ngam, Giap Bat and Gia Lam will all be upgraded.
According to Hanoi Department of Transport, the first plan is to guide buses in Luong Yen to other stations. The department will work with owners of other bus stations and provincial authorities to rearrange some routes. The second plan is wait for the completion of Co Bi Bus Station, which is under construction in Gia Lam District, then move all buses from Luong Yen to Co Bi.
The department has submitted both plans to the Hanoi People’s Committee.
Dangerous virus found in encephalitis outbreak in northern province
Medical experts from the Ministry of Health have found virus Coxsackie through testing residents in the northern province of Cao Bang’s Quang Lam Commune in Bao Lam District.
From the test result, the Department of Preventive Medicine under the Ministry yesterday arrived at the conclusion saying the cause of the encephalitis outbreak which infected many kids. Deaths from encephalitis were also reported.
Head of the Department of Preventive Medicine Dr. Tran Dac Phu said that the commune had 21 infected kids and seven of them died of the disease.
The first patient had the symptoms of the disease on April 20th and died in the next day at the province’s General Hospital in the northern province of Ha Giang.
All dead kids are under six month old and experienced slight fever, cried, stopped breastfeeding, digestive problem, some had cough, breathing problem, and then convulsion fits, slept soundly and died. Patients died because the disease developed so fast and they were taken to medical facilities too late.
At present, eight kids are being treated and one in serious condition. As of May 27th, no new case was reported .
The National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology took 11 samples for test. Test results showed that no kids are positive for influenza virus yet two of samples are positive for virus Coxsackie A6 – digestive virus – which causes dangerous diseases including encephalitis, Myocarditis, hand-foot-and mouth, conjunctivitis.
Kids are usually infected the virus all year round yet there is an increase of the disease in summer and most cases are in the north. Worse, there is no vaccine against the disease while the infection is transmitted through human to human direct contact with nasal and oral secretions or faecal contamination of the infected.
Accordingly, to avoid infection of the virus, the Department of Preventive Medicine warned to separate ill kids to prevent transmission, increase personal hygiene and wash hand with soap regularly. People must eat boiled food and water, pay attention to food safety and hygiene.
Adults and kids must be hospitalized if they experience fever and digestive problem.
Man accuses plane of damaging roof on landing
A local resident in the north-central province of Nghe An whose house suffered from numerous holes on its tile roof believes that a plane landing too close to the ground is to blame.
Le Van Tien, 56, residing in Nghi Loc District, said the incident happened at 1:00 pm on Friday when his family was taking a nap.
“I woke up as there was plane’s engine noise, which was very loud and close to the rooftop,” Tien recounted. The man then urged his family to run outside, as tiles of the roof started falling from the ceiling.
Tien said that there were no gusts or wind disturbances at the time of incident. After checking the roof, the man discovered it was damaged and about 200 tiles were removed.
The resident then filed a complaint to the Northern Airports Authority (NAA) at Vinh International Airport, calling the authority to looking into the incident.
Upon receiving the complaint, the NAA, security officers of the Vinh International Airport and local police came to examine Tien’s house on Friday afternoon.
Ho Sy Nam, a NAA representative, said on Saturday that reports about the incident had been sent to NAA’s headquarters in Hanoi and the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam.
Nam confirmed that there was a plane landing at Vinh International Airport at the time of incident.
Air traffic and flight route control units are identifying the airline of that aircraft to have further solutions, he said.
Residents in Nghi Loc admitted that they are also afraid of having their houses’ roof torn off, due to plane landings and take-offs, as they live too close to the airport.
Hanoi restaurants want help on smoking ban
Even though a smoking ban in restaurants has been implemented long ago, many restaurants in Hanoi are reluctant to be too strict with customers.
The issue was discussed at the workshop held by HealthBridge Organisation and Hoan Kiem District People’s Committee on May 27. Ngo Thi Thanh Huong, head of Hoan Kiem Department of Health said the district had 323 hotels and over 3,000 restaurants, food facilities. But only 35% were really keen to implement the smoking ban. Most restaurants said smoking was a personal choice of their customers and they were also worried about displeasing them. The restaurants don’t have no smoking areas or if they had, there were no designated no smoking sign.
“They also do not make it a rule among the staff,” Huong said.
Meanwhile, an owner of a restaurant said they had strict rules about smoking. Staff would be fined VND200,000 (USD9) to VND500,000 if smoking indoor. They also put the signs at prime locations but the customers still smoked anyway. They have faced various troubles while persuading people.
“We don’t have punishment for customers and don’t want to refuse them our services. We hope to get help from the authorities and community,” the representative said.
World Health Organisation representative Pham Thi Quynh Nga said restaurants should be tougher as a recent survey done by HealthBridge showed that 82% of customers approved of a smoking ban. Experiences show that restaurants won’t lose customers if they are determined to carry out no smoking policy, in fact, they are given even more support from other customers.
“First, restaurants must have no smoking signs. Then 60% of their job is done. The second step is to train their staff on persuading skills. Dealing with difficult people is another matter and can be done depending on the situation,” she said. “Everyone knows the harmful effects of smoking and inhaling other people’s smoke. It is estimated that for ten people died because of tobacco, one died from passive smoking.”
She went on to say that customers must protect themselves by asking staff to remind indoor smokers of the rules and even refuse to use the services if the problem is not solved.
Ngo Thi Thanh Huong, head of Hoan Kiem Department of Health, said they would ask the restaurants to sign commitments with locality authorities and build suitable punishments.
According to the law on prevention and control of tobacco harms, smokers inside restaurants will be fined VND100,000 to VND300,000. Restaurant owners who fail to follow the law will be fined VND3-5m. In reality, few people have been fined. The Ministry of Health carried out an inspection on 100 hotels and restaurants from November to December 2015 but only fined five facilities.
HCM City leader asked to hasten Ben Thanh-Suoi Tien metro route
Politburo member and Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Dinh La Thang inspected the construction site of the Ben Thanh-Suoi Tien metro route in Ho Chi Minh City on May 28, asking for plans to speed up the progress of the metro project.
He also criticised the city’s Urban Railway Management Board for the delay in implementing the Ben Thanh station package, resulting in the slow roll-out of the entire project.
Hoang Nhu Cuong, deputy head of the city’s Urban Railway Management Board said that relevant units are promptly completing the 20km-metro route passing through Districts 1, 2, 9, Binh Thanh, Thu Duc, Di An and Binh Duong province which was commenced in August 2012 with a total investment of US$2.4 billion.
Cuong noted that around 50% of the metro project and 80% of the elevated section has thus far been completed. However, some items of the underground sections will be delayed due to changes in city planning.
In particular, the Ben Thanh station package has yet to be implemented because of difficulties in bidding and a lack of capital.
Secretary Dinh La Thang told relevant agencies to form plans to accelerate the progress of the project while ensuring the safety of the project, particularly in residential areas and elevated sections.
He also asked for the synchronous completion of all packages to soon put the metro route into operation to pay debts as the project is using ODA loans.
Vietnam successful at Vietnam international open karate championships
Vietnam claimed first-prize at the inaugural Vietnam International Open Karate Championships which officially wrapped up in the northern central province of Thanh Hoa on May 28 after three days of competition.
The tournament drew the participation of nearly 400 martial artists in 12-13, 14-15, 16-17 and over 18 age groups from 11 countries and territories around the world. Vietnamese athletes were divided into three teams including Vietnam 1, Vietnam 2 and Vietnam 3.
Vietnam 1 claimed first place with eight gold, four silver and six bronze medals, followed by Vietnam 3 with seven gold, one silver and four bronze medals.
The Malaysian team secured five gold, three silver and four bronze medals, coming in third overall.
The event provided a good opportunity for martial artists to gain further competition experience in preparations for upcoming tournaments this year, including the Asian and World Karate Championships.
Earlier on May 27, Nguyen Tran Duy Nhat won a gold medal in the 60kg category of the B Division (Amateur Division) of the 2016 World Muaythai Championships held in Sweden. In the final match, he knocked out Mirbek Sartkalmokov of Kygryzstan in the first set.
The World Muaythai Championships brought together nearly 1,400 martial artists from 100 countries and territories around the world.
Vietjet offers big promotion on zero-fare tickets
Low-cost airline Vietjet has announced that it will launch a big promotion campaign from May 31 to June 2 with hundreds of thousands of super saving air tickets starting at US$0 at www.vietjetair.com for all domestic flights in Vietnam and international routes connecting Vietnam with Singapore, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Myanmar and Malaysia from August 15 to December 31, except holidays.
All passengers flying with Vietjet this summer will have chances to experience amazing travel opportunities with impressive activities such as virtual 3D technology games at airports, gifts, inflight performances and 3D photos contest.
Tickets can be booked from 12:00 to 14:00 at www.vietjetair.com, also compatible with smartphones at https://m.vietjetair.com, or at www.facebook.com/vietjetvietnam. Payment can be easily made with Visa, MasterCard, JCB, and American Express debit and credit cards and ATM cards issued by the 24 Vietnamese banks with Internet banking.
Vietjet continues to increase its modern fleet, and expand its domestic and international network in order to meet increasing travel demand of tourists, individuals and businesspeople. With its high-quality services, special low-fare tickets and diverse ticket classes, Vietjet offers its passengers enjoyable flights with dynamic and friendly flight crew, comfortable seats, hot meals and special surprises from the airline’s inflight activities.
Vietjet is the first airline in Vietnam to operate as a new-age airline with low-cost and diversified services to meet customers’ demands. It provides not only transport services but also uses the latest e-commerce technologies to offer various products and services for consumers. The airline recently won IOSA Certification from the International Air Transport Association after three years of operation. Vietjet was also declared “Best Asian Low Cost Carrier” at the TTG Travel Awards 2015 and rated one of the top three fastest growing airline brands on Facebook in the world by Socialbakers and the favorite airline in Vietnam in 2015.
Women called to create smoke-free homes
A campaign was launched in Hanoi on May 29 to promote the role of women in creating a smoke-free home.
The event was organised by the Vietnam Women’s Union (VWU) and the Ministry of Health to mark World No Tobacco Day (May 31) and the 2015 National Week of No Tobacco (May 25 – 31, 2016).
The ceremony was attended by Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh, VWU President Nguyen Thi Thu Ha, representatives from the Health Ministry, associations, local youths and nearly 900 VWU members.
Speaking at the event, VWU President Nguyen Thi Thu Ha said the campaign aims to promote women’s role in helping family members quit smoking.
It also called on the community to create a smoke-free environment, mitigating smoke-related illnesses, Ha said.
Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh urged authorities at all levels to organise effective activities, especially publicity work, to reduce tobacco harm to society.
According to the Health Ministry, tobacco causes about 6 million deaths across the world per year. In Vietnam, it kills more than traffic accidents.
Vietnam is one of the four countries with the highest number of smokers at 15 million, costing 14 trillion VND (625 million USD) per year.
Ha Giang: Photo exhibition features sea, islands
As many as 260 photos capturing naval soldiers, sea and islands are on display at an exhibition that opened in Dong Van district, northern mountainous Ha Giang province, on May 28.
Some photos feature a trip by provincial authorities to Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago and DK1 platform in May 2012 to present gifts to soldiers and officials.
The event aims to provide local people with information on Vietnam’s sovereignty over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos.
It also confirms the strategic role sea and islands have in national building and defence.
Kien Giang copes with natural disasters
The Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang is considering all necessary measures to tackle natural disasters, said a local official.
Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Mai Anh Nhin pointed to such shortcomings in the field as failing to anticipate the consequences of recent drought and saltwater intrusion and ineffective communication campaigns.
He urged departments to strengthen the organisation of the Steering Committee for natural disasters prevention and search and rescue at all levels, while building plans for areas that are prone to natural disasters.
It is essential to improve natural disaster prevention, he said, suggesting improving search and rescue capacity in the mainland and at sea.
He recommended upgrading drainage and salinity intrusion prevention systems and speeding up key projects such as building storm shelters for ships and upgrading sea dykes.
According to the provincial Steering Committee for natural disasters prevention and search and rescue, natural disasters and maritime accidents caused economic loss of more than 2.3 trillion VND (103.5 million USD) in 2015 and in the first five months of this year, making up over 30 percent of the local 2016 budget collection plan (over 6.2 trillion VND or 279 million USD). 52 people died, nine remained missing, and 36 others were injured.
The recent drought and saltwater intrusion damaged 86,230 hectares of rice fields and nearly 13,450 hectares of shrimp breeding area.-
Japanese media reps find Vietnam’s Danang attractive
Representatives of Japanese media agencies have been impressed by the natural beauties of Danang during a recent fam trip to the central Vietnamese tourism hub.
While the Japanese arrivals to Danang are increasing, Japan is still behind China and the Republic of Korea in the city’s top three biggest tourist sources, according to the municipal tourism department.
A Japanese media trip has visited Danang to study its tourism environment and potential, as well as touring nearby attractions such as My Son and Hoi An, to promote all of those Vietnamese destinations to audience back home.
The media representatives remarked after the trip that Danang is very attractive to tourists from the East Asian country.
Ozeki Masakooszeki, an Asahi TV reporter, said Danang looks similar to the Japanese city of Osaka, with similar beautiful landscapes.
Masakooszeki has been to Vietnam three times but it was his first trip to Danang. The reporter said his first impression with the central city is the marvelous mountains, seas and beaches, and its dynamic lifestyle.
Mayo Senda, an editor of a local newspaper in Osaka, said the media trip allowed her to have first-hand experience of Vietnam’s friendliless, which she had been told of many times before.
Senda said local people in Danang appear to have special friendliness toward the Japanese whenever they see them on the streets. The editor added that it is also great to see Vietnamese people love made-in-Japan products. “Here almost every motorbike is referred to as a Honda,” she said.
Members of the media trip said they will promote Danang and nearby attractions to Japanese tourists after the visit.
Still, there are drawbacks the Japanese media representatives urge Danang to resolve to increase its attractiveness.
Hideya Nanba, an ex-Fuji TV reporter, said prices in Danang are rising, which may affects tourist arrivals.
If prices keep soaring, tourists may think twice before coming to Danang, Nanba said. While traveling in the central Vietnamese city is still cheaper than in Japan, tourists may choose Hawaii, which has similar natural beauties but cheaper prices, he warned.
Truong Thi Hong Hanh, deputy head of the city’s tourism department, said relevant agencies will review the price listings of tourism service providers citywide. She underlined however that there have been so far complaint about overcharges from tourists.
It is stipulated that tourist businesses in Danang adequately quote prices and any violations such as rip-off will be strictly sanctioned, the official added.
“Compared to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, prices in Danang are at average levels,” she said.
A nonstop flight connecting Danang and Osaka is slated for launch on August 1, according to the Danang’s department of home affairs.
There will be four weekly flights on the new service, hoped to boost Japanese arrivals to the Vietnamese city.
Japanese visitors will also be able to enjoy visa waivers when traveling to Danang.
Summer youth volunteer campaign launched in Nghe An
A line-up of voluntary activities including Green Summer and Red Flamboyant campaigns will be included in the 2016 Summer Youth Volunteer Campaign, which was launched in the central province of Nghe An on May 29.
Themed “Youth join hands in building new-style rural areas and civilised urban areas”, the campaign will focus voluntary activities on 111 disadvantaged communes, 431 border communes, Mekong Delta provinces hit by saltwater intrusion, drought-stricken localities in the South Central and Central Highlands regions and outpost islands.
Along with developing infrastructure in those localities, the campaign also provides free medical check-ups for 400,000 local people and present health insurance cards to 50,000 residents in poverty-stricken and border communes.
Speaking at the launching ceremony, Vo Van Thuong, Head of the Party Central Committee’s Information and Education Commission, said that the campaign must be organised massively across the nation in diversified forms to attract youths’ participation. Youth unions at all levels need to work with international volunteer organisations to better voluntary activities.
He urged the steering board of the campaign and volunteers to choose activities suitable youth’s strengths and in line with the new style rural area building programme.
After the event, local youths carried out some voluntary activities such as collecting garbage and cleaning beaches in Cua Lo town, providing free medical examinations and medicines in Nghi Loc district and joining firefighting efforts in Nam Dan district.
On the same day, the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union’s chapters in many provinces and cities nationwide organised activities in response to the campaign.
Hanoi builds another inner-city flyover
The Hanoi People’s Committee on May 29 held a ceremony to kick off construction of a flyover connecting O Dong Mac and Nguyen Khoai with a view to easing traffic congestion on the Ring Road 1 while ensuring traffic flow for vehicles from Tran Khat Chan street to Nguyen Khoai dyke.
According to Vu Van Vien, Director of the municipal Department of Transport, the steel flyover, with a length of 232 metres and width of 12 metres, will be built at a total cost of 168 billion VND (7.5 million USD).
Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony, Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung hailed efforts made by relevant units in completing procedures to start work on the flyover, making contributions to reducing traffic jam in one of the most important roads in the city.
He asked the units to speed up the construction and ensure safety and quality, adding that the construction department needs to continue studying measures to assure traffic flow on the Ring Road 1 and other roads in the city.
Earlier. Hoang Minh Giam-Nguyen Chanh flyover, the capital city’s eighth steel flyover, was opened to traffic after five years of construction.
It spans a length of 595.7 metres with two nine-metre lanes, allowing vehicles to run at speeds of up to 40km per hour.
National External Information Service Awards 2015 presented
A total of 70 best works of the National External Information Service Awards 2015 were honoured at a ceremony in Hanoi on May 28.
There are six first prize winners, 13 second prize winners, 18 third prize winners, and 33 consolation prize holders in five categories: print newspaper, online newspaper, radio broadcasting, television broadcasting and press photo.
This is the second time the awards have been organized by the Party Central Committee’s Information and Education Commission and the Central Steering Committee for External Information Services.
The Vietnam News Agency (VNA) submitted 181 entries this year, of which 15 won prizes.
The work “August-September 1945, the historic turning point of the Vietnamese nation” by Huu Ngoc from the VNA’s French-language newspaper Le Courrier du Vietnam, and the multi-media work “Vietnam’s development after 70 years” by a group of reporters from VNA’s electronic newspaper VietnamPlus won two first prizes.
As the only news agency in Vietnam, the VNA has 10 units providing external information services which made the agency the nation’s leading external information channel.
According to the organising board, the awards this year received 737 entries from domestic and foreign press and media agencies, a 43 percent increase from last year.
They included 319 entries in the category of print newspaper, 158 in the category of online newspaper, 56 in radio, 103 in television and 68 in press photo.
The entries were created in 11 languages: Vietnamese, English, French, German, Russian, Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, Lao and Bulgarian. Entrants varied remarkably, including professional and amateur journalists from domestic press agencies, foreign journalists, ambassadors, experts, researchers, and Vietnamese expatriates. In particular, there are 15 entrants who are foreign journalists, directors, politicians and scholars.
Entries also came in a great many varieties of genres and contents, which covered all aspects of the country’s political, economic, cultural and social life, and outstanding events in Vietnam, the region and the world in 2015.
They also introduced the great achievements made in the “Doi moi” (Reform) process and national development and defence; promoted images of Vietnamese land, culture, and people to the world; timely and vividly communicated the Party’s guidelines and the State’s policies and laws; refuted fabricated information and distorted arguments on Vietnam; and provided detailed information on domestic and international issues of public concern such as sea and island sovereignty, borders and territory, ethnic and religious affairs, democracy and human rights.
Speaking at the awards ceremony , Politburo member and permanent member of the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat Dinh The Huynh congratulated the individual and group prize winners and declared the second National External Information Service Awards 2015 a success.
He stressed that at present, external information services are benefitting from numerous new opportunities while also facing an array of difficulties and challenges.
Hence, the agencies providing external information services need to continue raising awareness about the importance of the work, regularly renovate and improve the efficiency of the services offered, and push forward with the implementation of the Politburo’s Strategy for the Development of External Information Services in the 2011-2020 period, so as to help promote Vietnam’s prestige and standing, and win over the assistance of the international community and overseas Vietnamese communities, ultimately creating favourable conditions for the cause of national development and defence.
Outstanding works among the prize winning entries will be selected to be published in foreign languages to serve external information work.
First star anise festival opens in Lang Son
Star anise products were nudged closer to both domestic and foreign enterprises at the first star anise festival, which took place in Van Quan town, Van Quan district, the northern mountainous province of Lang Son on May 27-28.
Booths displaying star anise products, a quiz on this kind of tree as well as a conference to evaluate the plant cultivation, processing and trade in the province were included in the festival.
According to Nguyen Que Anh, chairman of the provincial association of star anise production and trade, the festival created a venue for farmers and enterprises to exchange experience on star anise plantation and processing.
Together with encouraging growers to apply advanced technology in cultivation to increase productivity and quality, the festival served as an opportunity to draw investments in star anise product development, he noted.
Lang Son province is currently home to over 35,000 hectares of star anise, the largest area in the country. The plant is grown in Van Quan, Binh Gia, Cao Loc, Trang Dinh and Van Lang districts.
Star anise brings an annual income of 200 billion-300 billion VND (8.9 million-13.4 million USD) for 15,000 local households. It has also helped reduce poverty in the locality in the past few years.
Train ticket prices from Sài Gòn to be reduced
Sài Gòn Railway Transport Joint-stock Company will reduce ticket prices on some railway routes: Vinh-Sài Gòn ; Sài Gòn-Quảng Ngãi-Sài Gòn; Nha Trang-Quy Nhơn-Nha Trang, Đỗ Quang Văn, the company’s director has said.
From May 26 to June 30, the ticket price for Nha Trang central coastal city-Quy Nhơn Province and its return route will be reduced by 10 per cent, the official said on Thursday.
From June 1 to 30, passengers on SE21 train to Sài Gòn from Vinh central city’s station will see reductions of 5 per cent while ticket price reductions of 10 per cent will made on SE26 and SE25 trains on routes: Sài Gòn-Quảng Ngãi-Sài Gòn on some fixed days in the week, according to Văn.
Passengers of the SE26 train departing from Sài Gòn station to Long Khánh every Thursday and Friday, and those of SE25 train from Quảng Ngãi to Sài Gòn on Saturday and Sunday will have ticket prices slashed by 15 per cent.
The company will also adjust the ratio of reductions to some underprivileged passengers including war invalids, the elderly and students.
Tickets for the elderly (above 60) will drop by 15 per cent (compared to 20 per cent previously) and those for children (between 6-10 years old) will drop by 25 per cent (50 per cent previously).
Đà Nẵng to celebrateVN -Thailand ties
A photo exhibition and trade-fair will be held at the Hàn Market Trading Centre on June 1-6, to mark the 40th anniversary of Việt Nam-Thailand diplomatic ties.
A Việt Nam-Thailand cuisine festival will also be held at the location. There will be 50 pavilions at the show. The city will also host an investment promotion in Đà Nẵng for Thai businesses during the fair.
The city’s union of friendship organisations said the event will draw the participation of Vietnamese and Thai businesses.
As scheduled, Bangkok Airways will launch its new route between the central city and Bangkok on May 25, with four flights a week to boost investment and trade between central Việt Nam and Thailand.
The central city attracts around 700 tourists from Thailand annually.
Đà Nẵng is situated at the end of the East-West Economic Corridor – linking Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Việt Nam. It is connected by 19 international routes with it hosted 4 million tourists in 2015.
Briton found dead in Hoi An
Authorities are investigating what appears to be the suicide of a British man who was found hanging in his house in the resort town of Hoi An in central Vietnam.
Colonel Nguyen Duc Dung of Quang Nam Province told the media on May 29 that the man was identified as Nicholas Robert Shirra, 51.
According to Dung, at 1.05 a.m. Sunday Shirra’s family called local police to report that he appeared to have hung himself in their house in Cam Thanh Commune.
Colonel Dung said Shirra had lived in Cam Thanh Commune with his Vietnamese wife since 2010.
The police is “working with the local foreign affairs department and government… to investigate and determine the cause and manner of death,” Dung said.
Festival for disabled children launched
A two-day festival for disabled children ended yesterday in the Hòn Tằm Island Tourism Site in Nha Trang Bay, in the central province of Khánh Hòa.
The festival was held in reponse to the annual Việt Nam Action Month for Children which was first launched in 2013.
As many as 650 disabled children, and 180 teachers from 35 disabled children centres in 25 provinces and cities in central, Central Highlands and southern areas joined the festival.
During the festival, disabled children took part in different activities including swimming, playing football, drawing, colouring plaster statues and singing. They also received health examinations.
Sets of presents, worth VNĐ30-50 million (US$1,300-2,200), were given to disabled children centres joining the festival.
Children, mothers to receive free Vitamin A
Children aged 6 months to 36 months and new mothers nation-wide will be given free vitamin A supplements during a national campaign to be launched this week on Micro-Nutrient Day.
Deputy Director of the Nutrition Institute under the Health Ministry Lê Bạch Mai said the institute had distributed more than 6.71 million doses of vitamin A capsules as part of the campaign.
“In 22 impoverished provinces, the vitamin will also be given to children aged 6 months to 60 months, and more than 1 million deworming tablets will be provided to children aged between 24 and 60 months,” Mai said.
Running under the theme “Use micro-nutrient-fortified food every day,” Micro-Nutrient Day falls on June 1 and 2 this year. It will provide opportunities for promoting communication across the country to raise the public’s awareness of the importance of micro-nutrients and ways to increase the consumption of them in daily meals. New mothers are encouraged to initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth and to give newborns no food or drink other than breast milk during the first six months.
Mai said the addition of vital micro-nutrient supplements iodine, vitamin A, zinc and iron to one’s daily meals was a fundamental step in preventing malnutrition.
The NIN survey conducted in 2015 said nearly 33 per cent of pregnant women, 25.5 per cent of women of reproductive age and nearly 28 per cent of children aged under 5 suffered from anaemia. Some 13 per cent of children aged under 5 suffer from vitamin A deficiency, as their daily meals meet only about 65 per cent of the necessary intake. Last year’s figures indicated that 25 per cent of children aged under 5 had stunted growth, while 14.5 per cent were underweight.
Bình Thuận traffic accident’s cause confirmed
The People’s Committee of southern Bình Thuận Province has confirmed the cause of a traffic accident which killed 13 and injured 39 people on National Highway 1 session through the province early this week.
The committee announced the results of an investigation into the accident on Friday.
The accident occurred at about 4pm on May 22 when Trần Công Định, driver of a Sơn Quy coach tried to pass a truck moving in the same direction.
After passing through the head of the truck, the coach crashed head-on into a sleeper bus numbered of the Phương Trang transport company driving in the opposite direction.
The sleeper bus was traveling from Quảng Ngãi to HCM City.
The collision was so strong that it caused the two vehicles turn across the highway.
Phương Trang sleeper bus immediately went up in flames then the fire spread to the other two vehicles.
The provincial authority reported that Hàm Thuận District Police was co-operating with Unit C54 of Ministry of Public Security and others provincial security agencies including PC44, PC45, PC54 to strengthen their materials and work with vehicle owners to define civil liability and responsibility for the incident.
The identities of all 13 killed in the accident were confirmed early this week through DNA testing.
Director of the provincial Transport Department Phạm Văn Nam said the bodies had been transferred to the respective families to manage the funeral arrangements after DNA samples were taken.
Bảo Việt Insurance Company processed the victims’ insurance claims as the Phương Trang compay had bought insurance for the vehicle owner at Bảo Việt Sài Gòn Insurance – a subsidiary of Bảo Việt Insurance Company — at a rate of VNĐ70 million (US$3,100) per passenger and VNĐ10 million ($448) per driver and conductor.
Exhibition explores Irish women in history
Stormy Petrel, an image and sound exhibition about Irish history, is being held in Hà Nội.
Stormy Petrel explores the forgotten history of a group of revolutionary women couriers operating in Ireland 100 years ago.
Stormy Petrel is a sound, light and image collaboration developed by Irish artists Orla Ryan, Alanna O’Kelly and Brian Hand. It is being curated by CUC Gallery Director Phạm Phương Cúc.
The exhibition begins with the symbolism of the Stormy Petrel, the world’s smallest seabird and a metaphor for change, whose appearance announces an approaching storm.
This year marks the centenary of Ireland’s 1916 Easter Rising, a seismic moment on Ireland’s path to independence.
“For many years, the role of women in the rising was overlooked,” Ireland’s Ambassador Cait Moran said.
“The 100-year commemoration has righted this by recognising the powerful role played by Irish women during this period,” added Moran.
“In 1916, the Stormy Petrel bird was an international symbol of revolution and anti-colonial sentiment. This exhibition looks at the role of women couriers who provided a ‘human telegraph’ during the rebellion,” she said.
This year is significant for Việt Nam and Ireland, as both countries mark the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between them. The exhibition is one of many cultural events celebrating this anniversary.
“We hope the exhibition will showcase contemporary Irish and visual arts in Việt Nam, while prompting a conversation about the role of women in revolution, history and political life, whether in Việt Nam or Ireland,” said Moran.
The exhibition will run until June 28 at the Vietnamese Women’s Museum located at 36 Lý Thường Kiệt Street, Hà Nội.
Int’l Day for Children programmes kick off
Entertainment centres in HCM City offered new shows last weekend on the occasion of the International Day for Children (June 1).
Đầm Sen Tourist Park in District 9 offered a variety show, Mùa Hè Hạnh Phúc Cho Em (Happy Summer for Children), performed by singers, dancers and puppeteers from traditional art troupes. It premiered on Saturday and will be performed daily until mid-June.
The park’s annual festival, Fruits of Southern Region, opens on Wednesday, with hundreds of stalls displaying local fruits and vegetables and dishes.
At the nine-day event, a cuisine party will offer many sweet cakes and soups at discounts of 40 per cent to attract children and parents.
The Children’s Cultural House in District 1 will stage a circus and drama, Sen Hồng Cho Em (Pink Lotus for Children), on Tuesday, featuring music, dance, pantomime and circus tricks. The show is about national heroes to help young audiences learn about the country’s history.
Many games, exhibitions, paintings and sports competitions will also be featured.
More than 150 poor children from the city’s 24 districts will be invited to enjoy the two-day event.
They will get gifts of toys and candies donated by local organisations.
Two prestigious art troupes for children, the IDECAF Drama Troupe and Hồng Vân Drama Troupe, will stage new plays on the natural world and animals for children aged between five and 13.
IDECAF’s Bảo Tàng Quái Vật (Museum of Monsters), staged by actors Thành Lộc, Hữu Châu, Bạch Long and Đình Toàn, tells stories about dinosaurs and mammoths.
The play Câu Chuyện Về Chú Heo Con (Story of Little Pig), staged by young artists at Hồng Vân Theatre, highlights love and friendship.
These performances combine the traditional genres of circus and puppetry with modern music and dance.
The producers have invested in costumes and sound and light effects to dazzle young audiences.
The shows opened on Friday and will continue to be staged on June 1 and 2, and every weekend until July.
“We will offer quality shows for children that have a cast of interesting characters as well as different theatrical styles,” IDECAF stage director Đình Toàn said.
Meanwhile, cultural houses for children are set to hold contests in cooking, painting, story-telling, singing and dancing that will highlight topics like peace and love.
Several thousand toys and other gifts collected by charity organisations and individuals will be presented to disadvantaged children living in open houses and shelters in the city.
Volunteers from universities will visit and play with the kids.
The Workers Cultural House’s Ngày Hội Trẻ Em Khuyết Tật (Festival for Disadvantaged Children) attracted 700 students from primary schools for disabled children around the city yesterday.
The event offered free music and song performances and games.
“I enjoyed singing and dancing at the festival. I also made new friends. I hope to come back to the event next year,” Hoàng Như Quỳnh Hoa, who is in fourth grade at the Nguyễn Đình Chiểu School for Blind Children, said.-