Last update 7/21/2011 1:00:00 PM (GMT+7)
  

SOCIETY IN BRIEF 21/7

Youth start voluntary activities in Vientiane

Thirty-six members of the Ha Noi chapter of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union began their voluntary activities in Vientiane, Laos yesterday, July 20.

This is the first time the Ha Noi chapter has sent members to Laos for volunteer service.

For one week, the group, including agricultural experts and young doctors and nurses, will travel to Hat Xai Phong district, Vientiane, to provide free medical check-ups, medicine and farming guidance for 1,000 people, present gifts to poor families, teach Vietnamese and share their experiences in youth mission development.

They will also hand over 13 computers and 100 DVDs to local youth union chapters.

Hundreds of young people from HCM City are also taking taken part in this summer's voluntary campaign in Laos from July 16 to 26.

Vietnamese youths will donate six houses and provide free medical check-ups and medicine to 6,000 Lao residents.

They will also present gifts to 700 poor households and 10,000 books to children, as well as 30 computers to Attapeu and Champassak provinces and to Vientiane.

The campaign, which aims to increase friendship and co-operation between Viet Nam and Laos, also teaches residents about agricultural techniques, computers, and safety guidelines in using electricity.

Total expenditure for the campaign was VND200 million (US$10,000), donated by the Sai Gon Investment Group (SGI).

Hanoi wants certain traffic cops to wear masks

Police forces in Hanoi have proposed the government locally lift a ban that forbids traffic police officers throughout Vietnam from wearing dark sunglasses and dust masks, citing health risks.

Colonel Tran Thuy, deputy director of Hanoi Police Department, told Tuoi Tre that his agency wants the ban lifted for certain traffic police officers posted and patrolling at heavily-polluted areas.

Thuy cited the Pham Van Dong – Pham Hung – Khuat Duy Tien belt in Hanoi as being enveloped in dusts, heats and vehicle exhausts and that traffic policemen on duty there have legal rights to protect themselves.

Banning police working at such places from wearing masks and sunglasses will expose them to respiratory and eye diseases, Thuy explained.

However, for those responsible for blowing whistles to monitor traffic, they still must not wear dust masks as this would hinder them from effectively sounding the whistles.

In May, the Ministry of Public Security issued an instruction banning police throughout Vietnam from wearing black sunglasses, from smoking, from reading books and from putting their hands into pockets while on duty at public places.

Besides, they are not allowed to chat, read books, make or answer phone calls not related to work.

Police officers are also not allowed to put their hands into their trousers’ or coats’ pockets when they are on duty patrolling the street, monitoring traffic or when they are in public places.

Also according to the May ban, they cannot eat at restaurants that illegally encroach onto the pavements.

9 Ho Chi Minh City bankers indicted in loan scam

The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Procuracy has prosecuted nine officials from a city branch of the Agriculture and Rural Development Bank for violating lending regulations and causing losses of VND120 billion (US$5.83 million) to the state-owned bank.
They include seven officials -- Nguyen Tam, director of the Tan Binh branch, Pham Viet Van, his deputy, Dang Thi Duyen Nghia, head of the credit department, Do Giao Toan and Ngo Duc Tai, Nghia’s deputies, Vo Duc Hung, head of the evaluation department, Nguyen Van Chinh, an evaluation officer – who directly violated credit regulations.
Nguyen Trong Luan and Nguyen Minh Hoa of the bank’s internal control department have been indicted for dereliction of duty causing serious consequences.
Between November 2005 and March 2008 Tam and his subordinated had granted loans to several companies without evaluating their mortgages or properly examining their loan applications, the prosecutor’s office said.
This had led to a loss of around $5.83 million.

The procuracy has also filed charges of swindling against a number of company directors for using fake contracts, share certificates, and invoices as security for these loans.
Among them are Tran Huynh Nghia, director of Cat Phuong Nam Co Ltd and chairman of the Truong Phat Dat Co Ltd, and Pham Duy Soan, director of Truong Phat Dat.
Also charged is Huynh Cong Phuc, husband of Nguyen Thi Phuong Hoa, former deputy director of Reetech, who was dismissed in December 2005 and is thought to be the instigator of the credit scam.
Hoa’s whereabouts are not known and she is wanted by the police.

2 workers assaulted for not joining strike

Two workers at a company in Ho Chi Minh City’s Hoc Mon District have been assaulted for failing to join a workers’ strike since July 11 while several others received threats.
Nguyen Ngoc Tu, 26, of Kim Duc Production and Trading Co was beaten with iron rods by two young men while he was going home from work on his motorbike on July 18.
He suffered serious head injuries and was taken to hospital for emergency treatment.
The same day Nguyen Trong Nhan, 18, said he was stabbed in the back with a sharp object by two men just 100 meters from the company as he was going to work.
Many other workers who had not joined the strike for higher wages said they had received text messages warning them not to go to work failing which they would be beaten or stabbed, Tran Van Giap, head of the company’s Personnel Department, said.
Senior Lieutenant Ngo Tien Hung, head of the Xuan Thoi Son commune police, said merely that he had reported the assaults to the district police.
Yesterday, July 20, the Hoc Mon District Labor Federation, local authorities, and the company management held a meeting with representatives of the striking workers to find a solution.
The workers demanded a wage rise and full salary payment for the striking workers.
But the meeting ended inconclusively.

Man survives after having eye socket thrust

A 23-year-old man has survived an operation after he was thrust into his left orbit with a sword.

Bui Ngoc Tuan, from the central province of Thanh Hoa, Tuesday evening had a row with two cab drivers over the taxi fares after they had taken him together with 10 other people back to their hotel in Dong Hoi City of the central province of Quang Binh.

The ten are part of a group comprising 30 people, also from Thanh Hoa, who dropped by Dong Hoi on their way home after travelling with Tuan to Da Nang and Quang Tri Provinces in central Vietnam.

The cab drivers, after a while, called in a gang who then rushed to attack the passengers with sticks, knives, and swords.

One of them suddenly thrust a 50-centimeter sword into Tuan’s left eye socket. The others were slightly hurt.

Tuan was immediately taken to a nearby hospital, and then sent to Hue central hospital in Thua Thien Hue Province as local doctors said the wound was truly serious.

He survived the operation at the latter hospital though the sword penetrated almost 10 cm deep inside the orbit.

His eye was luckily not damaged and neither did any part of his brain, doctors at Hue hospital confirmed.

Dong Hoi police have detained the taxi drivers, working for Vietnam’s leading taxi service provider Mai Linh, and two members of the gang for investigation.

Train crash claims life

A rail accident killed one person Wednesday morning in Hai Lang District of the central province of Quang Tri, newswire Dan Tri reported.

40-year-old Nguyen Cong Phuoc, from nearby Thua Thien Hue Province, was sloppily crossing the railway section traversing Hai Truong Commune of the district when a train crashed into him.

The collision killed Phuoc on the spot, badly damaging his bike.

Local people say many deadly accidents have taken place recently in this area.

Vietnam, Japan discuss project for human resource development scholarships

Vietnam’s Minister of Education and Training Pham Vu Luan and Japanese ambassador to Vietnam Yasuaki Tanizaki signed a diplomatic note on a project for human resource development scholarships on July 20.  

At the signing ceremony, Minister Luan thanked the Japanese Government for assisting Vietnam in training and developing human resources for the country. Mr Tanizaki affirmed that Japan wishes to cooperate with Vietnam for the long-term. He added that the Japan Human Resource Development Scholarships (JDS) project has played an important part in helping young Vietnamese people to study and make contributions to the country’s development.

The Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) has implemented the Japan Human Resource Development Scholarships (JDS) project since 2000 in the form of non-refundable aid. Since 2010, 304 students have been sent abroad. This year, 29 students have been sent to Japan to follow postgraduate courses in the field of law, business administration, economics, agriculture, information and technology.

The Government of Japan has pledged to fund JPY 329 million to help these students fulfill their goals.

Senior editor trial postponed

The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Court has delayed the trial of a former deputy general managing editor of Tien Phong newspaper who was found extorting money from two Vietnamese companies, local newswire Dan Tri reported.

Phan Ha Binh, 42, was supposed to stand trial Wednesday but the municipal judiciary needs more time to scrutinize some very important evidence related to the case, says Nguyen Trung Ngon, who has been appointed chief judge of the trial.

The trial will be ordered in August, Ngo adds.

According to the indictment, Binh last year wrote a few articles on several affiliates of the HCMC-based Saigon Invest Group (SGI) in order to cause trouble for them.

He then kept demanding money from the group, or else he would have more articles published in the newspaper.

Binh was caught red-handed in October last year receiving VND220 million (then US$10,700) from one of SGI’s subsidiaries, Saigon-Tan Ky Cement Investment Joint Stock Company, at a restaurant in District 3.

He also admitted to investigators that he had requested Luong Tai Investment and Construction Joint Stock Company, based in the same city, to give him $1,000 in return for his holding in secret many incorrect details he found in its prospectus.

Bui Dinh Hung, Luong Tai chairman, gave Binh the money at a coffee shop in District 1.

Work starts on Ha Noi University road

Breaking ground of road No 11 was the first step of a major and long-awaited project to build Ha Noi National University. Construction began yesterday, July 20, with the presence of Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan.

Nhan requested that the Ministry of Construction and a contractor closely supervise progress to make sure the university does not cut corners on the nation's biggest training centre.

Nhan stressed that the project, with its "special significance," should not be approached sluggishly or with low quality work by any means.

He also ordered the university to take heed on human resource training, to well-prepare the nation's leading professional education establishment.

The university, based in Hoa Lac Area in suburban Ha Noi, spans on 1,000ha and is slated for completion by 2020, when it will serve 10,000 students and 60,000 by 2030.

The university is set to become a modern complex. A management building and libraries will be centrally located, with faculties, schools, research centres, dormitories and supporting units surrounding them.

It is expected to reduce the overload that universities in inner districts currently face.

Nhan also suggested the construction ministry to deliver a progress report to the Prime Minister every three months.

In 2003, the Government assigned Ha Noi National University to map out its own project, requesting the first phase be finished by 2009.

However, the project's design did not satisfy the demand to build an advanced university complex.

It was then handed over to the Ministry of Construction at the end of 2008.

Driver attacks street-goers with electric baton

During a conflict with two others in Tra Vinh City, Nguyen Thanh Loc, 35, from District 7, HCM City, used a gun and an electric baton to strike two people unconscious. He also used a gun to threaten others.

The two victims are Le Quoc Dung, 25, and Nguyen Thanh Thao, 29, both from Ward 6, Tra Vinh City.

The police seized the gun with 5 bullets, and the electric baton for investigation, said Lieutenant Colonel Dang Van Thanh, deputy head of the Tra Vinh City Police.

They also temporarily impounded Loc’s car as Loc were found drunk.

Loc would first be given an administrative penalty, pending an investigation into the origin of the weapons, Thanh said.
For the time being, Loc’s acts have not been considered serious enough to warrant a criminal prosecution, the official explained.
Loc told police that at 10 pm on July 17, he was parking on Dien Bien Phu Street when Dung and Thao picked a quarrel with him, blaming him for causing traffic congestion.
He said he used an electric baton only to threaten the two men.
However, witnesses told police that Loc struck both Dung and Thao with the electric weapon, causing them into faintness.
After the attack, Loc waved a gun in front of others to threaten them, witnesses said.
Locals took the victims to a house nearby for care and called the police.
Loc confessed he has no licenses to the weapons, Lam Van Ot, head of the Ward 6 Police, said.

Bus overturns on National 1A, 30 injured

At 7am Wednesday, a bus overturned while traveling on the National Highway 1A through Thanh Hoa province’s Tinh Gia district, injuring 30 passengers.

Two of them are in serious conditions and are treated at the Tinh Gia General Hospital.

The bus was traveling on the North-South route when it met two children walking in the opposite direction.

The driver braked hard but due to the slippery road, the vehicle overturned and tumbled down the field.

It caused a two-hour congestion.

Police are investigating.

State administration reforms to be tested

An assessment tool to evaluate State administrative reforms will be piloted later this year by four ministries and six provinces.

This was revealed on Tuesday at a conference held by the Ministry of Home Affairs and the United Nations Development Programme in northern Hai Phong City.

According to Nguyen Duy Thang, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, development of an assessment tool was of great importance.

Man nabbed for torturing wife with hammer, nails

48-year-old Luu Nguyen Tan has been arrested for torturing his wife with metal chain, hammer, nails and broken glass in Hanoi.

According to police, Tan, who is living in Thanh Xuan district, on Monday got angry upon catching his male domestic helper pulling out his wife’s gray hair.

The jealous Tan beat him so violently the man had to be hospitalized.

Tan did not stop there. He dragged his wife - 47-year-old Tran Thi Thu Hang - into their house where he brutally thrashed her with a hammer and beer bottle from 5:00 am to 20:00pm.

He also hung her up to the ceiling beam with a chain and even cruelly hammered a nail into her ankles and the back of her hands.

Finally, Tan cut his wife’s biceps with broken glass splinters from the beer bottle and then used threads to sew her wounds.

The wife is now in critical condition at the Xay Dung Hospital in the city.

Anthrax back in mountain areas

Around 40 people were confirmed to have come in contact with anthrax, a disease commonly spread by animals, over the past two months in Tuan Giao and Than Uyen districts of the northern mountainous provinces of Dien Bien and Lai Chau.

Anthrax is an acute infectious disease caused by the spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis.

One 40-year-old slaughterer from Than Uyen District was taken to the local health centre after slaughtering a buffalo suspected to be infected with anthrax. He died one day later.

His symptoms included a skin infection of small, raised bumps that itched like insect or spider bites and subsequently developed into fluid-filled blisters. The blisters had black centres of tissue (eschar) with surrounding redness and swelling.

Nguyen Cong Huan, director of the Lai Chau Province's Health Department said Than Uyen District has been known as an anthrax epidemic area in previous years.

To stop the spread of the epidemic, the department sent authorised teams to spray chemicals and inform local residents of prevention methods, Huan said.

"It is hard to destroy the bacterium. Because it must be buried under ground, it takes tens of years to destroy," he said.

Apart from Lai Chau and Dien Bien provinces, Thanh Hoa and Ha Giang provinces once reported cases of anthrax, according to the Ha Noi-based National Hospital of Tropical Diseases.

The hospital's deputy head of Emergency Department, Nguyen Trung Cap said that it is difficult to eradicate the disease in Viet Nam due to its tropical monsoon climate.

Negligence of authorised agencies and local residents' lack of knowledge of the dangers of anthrax pose the potential risk of re-outbreak, Cap said.

People can die in less than three days if they do not receive prompt treatments, he said.

Cap said that anthrax can be spread in three ways: skin contact with anthrax spores, such as from infected animals or animal products including hair, wool, or hides; inhaling anthrax spores; and eating contaminated, undercooked meat.

People are advised to quickly go to the nearest health centres if finding any symptoms of the anthrax.

Ca Mau spends VND200 bln on alluvium project

Ca Mau Province on Tuesday launched a VND200 billion project to build a stone embankment using reinforced concrete materials to prevent alluvium from sliding off, informed Duong Tien Dung, deputy chairman of the provincial People’s Committee.

The first 420 meters of underground embankment have been built on some hardest-hit areas, with VND7 billion being sourced from a local fund.

In the next phase, more soil will be pumped and protective forests planted to reinforce the alluvial plain.

HCM City offers winning bus user free ride in 15 years

Ho Chi Minh City is encouraging its citizens to use public buses by offering lucky draws for those who travel on public buses between August 1 and October 31; the jackpot being free bus tickets for the next 15 years.
The promotion program, launched by local Department of Transport, is an attempt to reduce rising gridlocks in the city and bears the slogan “Keep the ticket and win big prize using buses”.
It is applicable only to passengers using public bus services that are subsidized by the government.
Accordingly, all passengers are to jot down their personal information on the back of the ticket and put in a box each time they travel.
The tickets will be collected and subjected to three prize draws, one in each month.
Winners will be announced on the 15th of September, October and November.
One jackpot winner will be allowed to travel free on state-subsidized public buses for one and a half decade.
5 second prizes offer free bus tickets for 10 years, 10 third prizes free tickets in 5 years and 100 consolation prizes free tickets in 3 years.
HCMC has been spending nearly VND1 trillion per year on bus subsidization.

Two arrested after rare langurs shot

Central Ninh Thuan Province Police yesterday, July 20, charged two men with illegally hunting rare animals.

Rangers from Nui Chua National Park caught the men, Nguyen Xuan Tuan, 37, and Dao Minh Khach, 18, from central Khanh Hoa Province on Tuesday while they were allegedly hunting black-shanked duoc langurs.

The rangers seized one shotgun, 11 cartridges - and 15 dead black-shanked duoc langurs.

Black-shanked duoc langurs are one of Viet Nam's endangered species.

HCMC seizes thousands of smuggled Chinese products

The Ho Chi Minh City Market Management Department on Tuesday seized over thousands of smuggled goods from the Tan A warehouse on Nguyen Van Luong Street, Ward 11, District 6.
The products include ventilation fans, electricity fuses, light switches and fabrics without invoices and receipts.
There are also some incense burners and dishware with unauthorized labels, the market management authorities said.
Most of the goods have Chinese and Taiwanese origins and are owned by more than 40 companies, Do Thi Thanh Loan, deputy head of the market management team 3A, said.

Bridge collapses under massive truck

Binh Cach Bridge in Tien Giang southern province collapsed Tuesday night after a truck carrying 40 tons of rice traversed it. The bridge only has a load limit of 8 tons.

The vehicle fell into the river below.

Traffic on Provincial Highway 879 connecting the southern provinces of Tien Giang and Long An was blocked for several hours.

Preliminary investigation found that the truck’s driver, Nguyen Thanh Tam of Long An went over the 22m steel bridge despite knowing its capacity.

Nguyen Van Hung, director of the Tien Giang Department of Transportation, said: “the bridge would be repaired today” (Wednesday).

VFF leader present gifts to Hoa Binh war invalids

President of the Viet Nam Fatherland Front Central Committee, Huynh Dam visited and presented gifts to the families of war invalids and soldiers in the northwestern province of Hoa Binh yesterday, July 20, in the lead to the War Invalids and Soldiers' Day (July 27).

Among those visited were 96-year-old Heroic Vietnamese Mother, Nguyen Thi Thi Meng in Cu Yen Commune, Luong Son District, whose only son was killed during the war in 1972. Eighty-seven-year-old Nguyen Thi Lam in Hoa Binh City's Phuong Lam District, and wounded soldier Nguyen Ba Duong in Tan Thinh District, Hoa Binh City also received visits.

The same day, at a working session with the provincial authorities, Dam said the province should use its strengths to promote socio-economic development and quickly implement the Resolution of the 11th National Party Congress. Measures to curb inflation, stabilise the macro-economy and ensure social welfare in the locality were also encouraged.

VNN/VOV/VNS/Tuoi Tre

 
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