Three death penalties, one life sentence for 4 drug traffickers
The death sentence was pronounced on Vu Son born in 1963 and residing in Cua Nam ward, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi, Giang A Khua born in Son La in 1986 and Hoa Dang Son born also in Son La in 1964 and the life imprisonment on Uong Thi Bo, born 1974 in Lien Phuong commune, Thuong Tin district, Hanoi.
The drug trafficking was detected on September 5, 2012 in Xuan Mai town, Chuong My district, Hanoi when policemen found 29 cakes of heroin and one pack of methamphetamine hidden on a car driven by Hoa Dang Son.
During the investigation, they arrested Son who said he had hired Giang A Khua to transport drugs from Lang Son to Hanoi.
The accused confessed that they had trafficked 49 cakes of heroin and nearly 3 kilogram of ecstasy.
Fugitive caught two weeks after jail break
Police in the Mekong Delta provinces of Hau Giang, Tien Giang and Can Tho City yesterday evening caught a fugitive who had broken out of jail in Can Tho City.
Huynh Van Nhi, 27, from Vinh Long Province, was sentenced to 25 years and 9 months in prison for abducting people, robbery and resisting arrest in 2008.
Nhi escaped from jail on November 4 and became involved in motorbike robberies in provinces in the Mekong Delta. He was later caught at an inn in Can Tho Citys Cai Rang District.
Clinically-dead patient saved in Yen Bai: official
The staff at Yen Bai General Hospital in northern Yen Bai province recently saved the life of a patient declared clinically dead after being electrocuted.
Nguyen Manh Cuong, 23, from Nguyen Phuc Ward, was described as being in a deep unconscious state and having turned blue after being rushed to the hospital. Upon
examination, officials said his reflexes were not responding and his blood pressure was not registering. Cuong was then diagnosed as being clinically dead.
Officials report he was electrocuted while transporting construction materials. Though he received emergency medical care, he quickly fell into a coma.
Doctors decided to use emergency medical treatments to keep his brain alive, while restoring the operation of his heart and lungs. After two days in a coma, the patient regained normal reflex responses, reports officials.
Cuong gradually recovered, and after a week his condition is now described as stable.
Dr Nguyen Song Hao, head of the hospitals Emergency Department, said this was an extremely rare case, as the chance of surviving among those who experience clinical death is low, even when receiving quick emergency aid.
Suspect held in bar fire investigation
Nguyen Trong Duy, 28, from the northern province of Ha Nam, was a worker at a mechanical workshop in the Hoang Mai district, which accepted a construction project at the complex’s work site on Ha Noi’s 9 Tran Thanh Tong Street before the building burst into flames.
The fire killed 6 people, injuring another 14. The case is still under investigation.
Following a series of blazes in Ha Noi, the municipal People’s Committee yesterday asked agencies and localities to strictly follow fire-safety regulations, specify the regulators’ responsibilities and firmly handle any violations of fire-safety codes.
Defence ministry assists Philippine typhoon victims
The Ministry of Defence has decided to provide US$30,000 in humanitarian aid to support Philippine soldiers who were severely affected by recent typhoon Haiyan.
The sum, sourced from the Ministry’s Natural Disasters Prevention Fund, will be presented to the Philippine Department of National Defence.
Haiyan swept across the Philippines on November 8, causing huge human and property losses. Government sources said nearly 2,000 people were killed at the height of the storm.
Army units also reported human and property losses after Haiyan made landfall and they deployed rescue work.
On November 10 the Vietnamese government also offered US$100,000 in emergency relief to support flood victims.
Minister says 317 reservoirs problematic
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat said on Wednesday as many as 317 irrigation reservoirs are problematic due to landslides and leakages, including 120 in critical conditions that need upgrade and repair now.
The minister, who continued his responses carried over from the previous day’s Questions-and-Answers session at the ongoing National Assembly sitting, rejected media reports that there are as many as 1,200 ‘water bombs’ nationwide, referring to the crumpling reservoirs. He asserted that such reservoirs need repair, but “that does not means the reservoirs are crumpling that can break soon.”
According to the minister, most of such reservoirs are irrigation works, not hydropower ones, and the majority of them are small-scale ones with the average capacity of less than 200,000 cubic meters of water.
These reservoirs were built three to four decades ago when technologies were still slow, and given the climate change now, such irrigation works must be upgraded to cope with weather extremes, Phat said.
“There are 317 reservoirs and lakes suffering from landslides and leakages, including 120 ones in worsening situation. The Government has approved funds for repairing 91 reservoirs, and it is expected the Government will allocate VND580 billion to repair 51 more reservoirs next year,” the minister said.
“For the remaining 900 reservoirs, we will continue asking the Government and the National Assembly for funds to upgrade them to ensure safety,” he noted and called on provincial governments to be more active in finding financial sources to repair lakes in their precincts.
Minister Phat on Tuesday had already proposed the National Assembly to approve VND3 trillion to repair reservoirs nationwide.
Earlier, NA Deputy Le Nam of Thanh Hoa Province told the Q&A session that there are as many as 660 reservoirs in his province, including very large-scale ones. However, due to the poor management and maintenance, numerous reservoirs have become degraded, and two of them broke out in the recent storm, inundating residential areas and National Highway 1A for hours.
In his concluding remarks, NA Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung said that the agriculture ministry and related agencies must take stronger efforts to ensure safety.
Workshop discusses environmentally friendly cities
Environmental experts and scientists discussed the establishment of a set of appropriate criteria to evaluate the environmental sustainability of Vietnamese cities at a conference in Hanoi on November 21.
Urbanisation in Vietnam is moving rather fast, said Nguyen The Dong, Deputy Director General of the Vietnam Environment Administration under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE), adding that cities play a crucial role in the country’s process of economic development and contribute greatly to GDP growth.
Dong noted that many cities are facing serious environmental degradation in green space and biodiversity, caused by a fast-growing population, migration from rural to urban areas and the extensive construction and upgrade of facilities.
Urban planning in Vietnamese cities is not yet coupled with environmental factors, including solid wastes, wastewater, and air pollution from industrial and transport activities.
Thus, the set of criteria looks to build up environmentally sustainable urban areas and cities and keep up with the development trend of cities around the world, also serving as an efficient instrument to assess the sustainable level of Vietnamese cities and the challenges they are facing.
According to the MoNRE Institute for Science of Environmental Management, the set includes six groups of criteria related to water, air, solid wastes, green space, the effective use of energy including new and renewable energy, and transportation.
The criteria also help urban managers clarify priority issues and prepare action plans to balance the aforesaid environmental factors in line with the process of development.
Nha Trang hosts Asia Pacific Conference on Public Health
Vietnam Public Health Association President Professor Le Vu Anh highlighted new reports assessing climate change’s impact on human health, saying Vietnamese authorities will continue planning and preparing for the eventualities these reports discussed.
Nguyen Huy Nga, Head of the Ministry of Health’s Medical Environment Management Department, said Vietnam will focus on identifying the areas most vulnerable to climate change and ensure those areas receive weather event and infectious disease monitoring and early warning systems as soon as possible.
Vietnam is eager to cooperate with all relevant partners to prepare for public health threats arising from climate change.
The two-day conference will hear summaries of 60 reports on 10 main issues related to climate change.
The conference’s organising board also launched the new “Vietnam Journal of Public Health”, an international English language publication covering public health news and research in Vietnam and the world.
Vietnam, Laos Red Cross sign cooperative agreement
Vietnam Red Cross (VRC) President Nguyen Hai Duong and his Laotian counterpart Laoly Faiphengyoa signed a 2014-2018 humanitarian cooperation agreement in Hanoi on November 21.
Under the document, the two organisations will increase information sharing and work closer together to raise their profile at regional and international forums.
The VRC will help train Lao officials to improve their capabilities.
Annual visit exchanges are intended to shape grassroots cooperation agreements, particularly between localities sharing a border.
The VRC presented US$50,000 to the Laos Red Cross, to fund a cow bank project and natural disaster response training courses in 2014.
The agreement follows previous 2006-2010 and 2010-2015 Red Cross agreements between Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, covering disaster preparations, health care, humanitarian relief, and information sharing.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ (IFRC) Chief Representative praised the effective cooperation between its Vietnamese and Laotian divisions when speaking at the agreement’s signing ceremony in Hanoi.
He promised to support the agreement’s implementation.
Eye doctors won’t leave urban areas
The shortage of ophthalmologists (eye doctors) at district level makes it difficult to achieve the aim of reducing the rate of blindness to less than 0.3 per cent of the population by 2020.
The assessment was made by Associate professor Do Nhu Hon, deputy head of the National Steering Committee for Prevention and Control of Blindness and director of the National Ophthalmology Hospital yesterday.
The latest statistics show that more than 400,000 people in Viet Nam are blind in two eyes, and 2 million others are blind in one eye.
Causes of the blindness include cataracts, glaucoma, trachoma and other refractory diseases.
Another 3 million children aged under 15 have refractory diseases, which can led to blindness if not properly treated.
More than 30 per cent of blind people do not know that their disease could have been prevented or cured, They also did not know where to seek treatment.
Viet Nam has nearly 1,600 ophthalmologic doctors working in State and private hospitals.
“This is sufficient, however, the problem is that they are congregated in big provinces and cities,” said Hon.
During the past two years, the ophthalmologic universities and schools have trained more than 200 specialised doctors and 130 masters, however, most of them refuse to work at district level or in poor areas.
Some provinces, such as Kon Tum and Gia Lai in the Central Highlands, have only three eye doctors. The central province of Quang Nam has 1.5 million people, but only five eye doctors.
Nguyen Hong Mai, a doctor at the National Ophthalmology Hospital, said that she did not want to work at a district hospital as the hospital lacked equipment for eye check-ups and treatment.
“If I worked there for several years, a lot of my knowledge would be lost as I would not have an opportunity to apply it,” she said.
Mai said that if the State wanted to attract eye doctors to work in district hospitals, it should invest in equipment so that the doctors can do their job properly.
US offers protective equipment to Vietnamese vets
The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has provided 4,000 sets of personal protective equipment to Vietnam, the US Embassy in Hanoi announced on November 20.
The provision aims to help animal health workers respond quickly to potential new outbreaks of avian influenza, infectious disease and other emerging pandemic threats.
The equipment provides critical protection for those working on the frontlines of avian influenza and pandemic outbreaks, said USAID Mission Director Joakim Parker.
The supplies, including 1,000 masks, 1,000 goggles and 4,000 gloves, are being sent to regional centres and provinces throughout the country most at risk of bird flu or in greatest need of the supplies.
This aid package, valued at US$50,000, comes at the request of Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, with technical support from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Since 2005, USAID has provided over US$50 million in support of Vietnam’s programmes to combat avian influenza, including more than 64,000 complete sets of personal protective equipment.
Minimum wage set to rise
Decree 182 will see increases of up to VND2.7 million (US$130) per month, and will apply to enterprises, co-operatives, household businesses, foreign companies and international organizations operating in Viet Nam.
The new arrangement replaces the current Decree 103/2012/ND-CP, applied from December last year and which also stipulated minimum payments for Vietnamese staff.
The minimum wage will be applied in four different regions in Viet Nam with four separate benchmarks determined by living standards in each area.
The thresholds will be VND1.9 million, VND2.1 million, VND2.4 million and VND2.7 million, accounting for an increase of VND250,000-350,000 compared with the current minimum wage.
The regulation also stipulates skilled workers that have received vocational training or a higher level of training must be paid at least 7 per cent more than the regional minimum wage for workers.
Issued to protect employees from being underpaid, the Decree also encourages enterprises to pay their employees more than the region-based minimum wages.
The new Decree will take effect on December 31 this year.
Salaries in Viet Nam are set to rise 11.5 per cent in 2014, equivalent to 4.9 per cent after inflation, according to a forecast from professional services company Towers Watson Vietnam.
The forecast was based on a survey conducted from June to September this year by the company, which collected information from approximately 110,320 incumbents from 312 companies in Viet Nam.
According to Towers Watson’s forecast, pay rises in Viet Nam and China will top those in East Asia after inflation, with salaries across Asia Pacific are set to rise an average 7 per cent in 2014.
The company predicts that salaries in Hong Kong and Singapore will rise 4.5 per cent, while India and Japan will see 11 per cent and 2.3 per cent increases, respectively.
The forecasted pay rise for next year, however, is still slightly lower than this year’s actual salary increase at 11.7 per cent.
“Given the fact that inflation is expected to be under control, there would be no room for a significant jump in salary increases in 2014,” said Trang Vu, global data services manager at Towers Watson Vietnam.
While the retail sector in Viet Nam is expected to see the biggest pay rises at 14.5 per cent in 2014, the financial services sector, for the first time in recent years, will see a rise of only 10 per cent, down from 2013, the company predicted.
Urban planning needs shade of green
Rapid urbanisation meant that many cities lacked green space, Dong said, a problem that was intensified by population growth and immigration from rural to urban areas.
Moreover, urban planning programmes neglected the growing problems of waste and fumes discharged from traffic and industrial production.
Given Viet Nam’s ostensible goal of creating environmentally sustainable cities, these issues needed to be addressed, the deputy head urged.
The Institute of Science for Environmental Management has introduced six groups of criteria for assessing whether a city is environmentally sustainable.
Relating to water, air, solid waste, green space, efficient energy use and traffic, the criteria aim to help decision-makers issue policies that can balance environmental protection and urban development.
Viet Nam is now home to 750 urban areas. About 30 per cent of its population lives in cities.
Environmental accolades awarded
Fifteen organisations and individuals in the southern province of Binh Duong received certificates of merit yesterday for protecting the environment.
Organisations won four, while two were awarded to residential communities and the rest were presented to leaders of local associations representing women, youth and farmers.
An American man who lives in Di An Town’s Dong Hoa Ward was recognised for cleaning Tay A Street every day, setting a good example for local residents.
The awards aim to raise people’s awareness about environmental protection, according to vice director of the province’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment Ngo Quang Su.
Red Cross societies increase aid work
The Red Cross Societies of Viet Nam and Laos will work together on humanitarian programmes during the 2014-18 period as part of a bilateral co-operation agreement inked yesterday in Ha Noi.
Under the agreement, signed by the Viet Nam Red Cross Chairman Nguyen Hai Duong and his Laos counterpart Laoly Faiphegyoa, the two sides will collaborate on humanitarian programmes and Viet Nam’s Red Cross will help train staff for the Laos counterpart.
At the signing ceremony, the Viet Nam Red Cross donated US$50,000 to help Laos’s Red Cross implement humanitarian projects, including cow bank and human resource training projects for 2014.
The Viet Nam Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies called for further support from local and international communities to help victims of typhoon Wutip in Viet Nam.
The 2,114,739 Swiss Francs (US$2.345 million) provided on October 7 by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to support the immediate needs of thousands of Vietnamese people dealing with the aftermath of Wutip was only 37 per cent of what was needed, they said.
“More has to be done. A financially secure foundation is necessary for humanitarian organisations like the Viet Nam Red Cross to react, not only at the start of an emergency,” the federation said.
Developing Da Nang faces growing pains
At a seminar on international co-operation sponsored by Japanese cities to discuss comprehensive urban development, and held on Wednesday in Da Nang City, Iwata said
a survey from JICA showed that the central city will face traffic congestion by 682,000 vehicles, of which 94.1 per cent will be motorbikes.
“The city will also face challenges in dealing with deficient apartments for medium and low income people. Living standards and current infrastructure will become a burden to the booming population and 10 million tourists by 2030,” Iwata said.
“Da Nang is very vulnerable to climate change and disasters, which would lower living conditions for 2.5 million people during the next 17 years,” he added.
He suggested that the city should develop a smart traffic system, including Bus Rapid Transit, Light Rail Transit, parking and pedestrian areas to deal with future challengesbrought on by rapid urbanisation.
Iwata also said Da Nang has yet to connect to the world market due to its small scale economy, poor logistics and limited international flights.
He added that the city is less well-known than Hoi An and Hue due to less promotion of its tourism.
Vice chairman of the city Phung Tan Viet said Da Nang has boosted co-operation in urban development with Japanese cities and JICA.
He said Da Nang and Japan’s Yokohama had signed a Memorandum of Understanding on technical co-operation in the fields of eco-friendly development, education, science, economics, environment and investment.
The central city also seeks investment from the private sector and science organisations in ecological urban development, he added.
As scheduled, JICA will help Da Nang improve its Lien Chieu water supply plant and Tien Sa port’s second phase with US$86 million sourcing from the Asia Development Bank.
Funds will also be used to relocate the city’s railway station and rebuild Lien Chieu Port in the next few years.
Five more Da Lat flowers to be certificated
The city’s economic office said the right to use the trademark of rose, daisy, auspicious flower, carnation, gladiolus will be given to 42 organisations and individuals specialized in planting and trading flowers in Da Lat.
Producers and traders are required to strictly abide by the regulations of production technique and packaging to ensure quality.
The certificate will be valid for three years. The granting of the certificates to above-mentioned kinds of flower will help improve competitiveness and consolidate the trademark in the market.
Cymlidium was granted the first certificate of this kind in 2012.
Tuyen Quang to build 20 solid waste treatment facilities
The solid waste will be collected, sorted, recycled, and fully treated in the facilities’ advanced technology, helping the locality mitigate environmental pollution, especially in urban areas and industrial parks.
Local authorities also plan to complete policies to improve management in the field, launch a number of campaigns to raise public awareness of the issue, and increase the ability of urban environment companies in waste treatment by 2015.
Religious affairs in NW Vietnam reviewed
A meeting to review religious affairs in the northwestern region in 2013 was held in Yen Bai province on November 21.
Though religious followers account for only six percent of the total population in the region, many new issues have arisen regarding religious affairs, especially among Protestants, according to a report.
Some wrongdoers have made corrupt use of the right of religious freedom to divide national unity, especially among the ethnic minority people.
However, after seven years implementing the Prime Minister’s directive 01/2005/CT-TTg on tasks towards Protestantism, the situation has been stabilised, the report said.
Followers’ living conditions have been improved and solidarity between religious and non-religious people and the local authorities has also been strengthened, it added.
The report further said that localities in the region have strengthened information dissemination and education to raise people’s awareness of the Party and State’s policies on religion and belief and encourage them to follow the policies.
However, there are still some shortcomings in the tasks, especially the operation of 20 new religious organisations in the region. The leaders of some organisations which operate illegally have made use of religious freedom to damage national unity and cause political and social disorder.
In the coming time, religious affairs in the region will focus on the further popularisation of the Party and State’s policies and legal documents, upholding the role of Party and youth organisation members and village patriarchs to deal with religious issues at the grassroots level.-
Child injuries still high in Dong Nai province
The southern province of Dong Nai has recorded 4,300 child injuries, including 31 deaths and 35 cases of sexual abuse, the local authority has said.
The reasons behind the situation are inefficient child protection and lack of budget for such programmes.
The provincial Women’s Union said it has mobilised its members, families and the whole community to take care and protect the 558,000 children under 16 years old that live in the province as well as limiting sexual abuse and violence on children.
Furthermore, the union chapters and relevant agencies have implemented a vaccination programme for under-one-year-old children against six types of disease as well as guiding over 63,000 parents on how to make nutritional porridge for children. As a result the malnutrition rate of children under five years old has fallen to 14.5 percent.
However, programmes to care for and protect children currently lack grassroots officers and uniform cooperation between the levels of local departments and agencies, in particular taking care of children’s physical growth in school along with the development of children’s minds.
28.5 bln VND in aid sent to Quang Nam’s flood victims
The central province of Quang Nam received support in cash and kind worth over 28.5 billion VND (1.35 million USD ) for the victims of typhoon Nari and the recent floods in the locality as of November 21.
Of the total, the Fatherland Front Central Committee donated 1 billion VND; Ho Chi Minh City, 1 billion VND; Binh Duong province, 500 million VND; and the Vietnam Bank for Industry and Trade, 1,000 tonnes of rice, according to the provincial aid committee.
Quang Nam province’s Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee chapter is calling for further support from international and domestic philanthropists to help the victims overcome the disaster’s consequences.
Initial statistics show that the flood inundated more than 77,700 houses, 58 schools, 150 hectares of rice and over 1,000 hectares of crops, and swept away 935 animals and 23,750 heads of poultry in the locality.-
Disabled children in Ha Giang enjoy free surgery
The voluntary programme, under the auspices of the Dutch Child Care Centre 2, is aimed at improving local medical competence and also aiding disabled children. Children will receive support for travel and food expenses.
The 168 beneficiaries aged between 8 and 12 months old suffer from cleft lip and palate conditions, visual impairments, and disabilities in urinary organs.
On the occasion, leaders of the Ha Giang People’s Committee and members of the Fund for Vietnamese Children presented gifts to the young patients.
Ha Giang is one of the provinces with the highest rate of disabled children in the country with most from ethnic minority groups living in remote and border crossing areas.-