Social News 20/10
Court hears appeal on VN Pharma’s cancer drug trial


Court hears appeal on VN Pharma’s cancer drug trial, Cham people in Ninh Thuan celebrate Kate festival, HCMC NA deputies proposes to solve difficulties for first metro line, HCMC finds out street flooding reason during mega pump operation

Former VN Pharma’s chairman of the Board of Directors cum general director Nguyen Manh Hung (right, first line), former director of H&C International Marine Trade Company Vo Manh Cuong (left, first line) and seven other defendants are at the appeal court in Hanoi on Thursday. — Photo vietnamnet.vn


The high-level People’s Court in HCM City started hearing an appeal by pharmaceutical company VN Pharma on Thursday, in the case related to the smuggling and forging of documents to import cancer drug.

The case involved former VN Pharma’s chairman of the Board of Directors cum general director Nguyễn Mạnh Hùng, former director of H&C International Marine Trade Company Võ Mạnh Cường and seven other defendants.

In a trial in August, the HCM City People’s Court sentenced Hùng and Cường to 12 years behind bars for smuggling. Cường bought the drugs from an overseas source and later, sold them to VN Pharma. The other seven defendants were given sentences between 18 months and five years of imprisonment.

After the first trial hearing, Hùng and Cường appealed against the court’s judgment, asking for a lighter sentence.

On September 22, the high-level People’s Procuracy in HCM City protested the court’s judgment, asking for clarification on Hùng’s charge, which should have been “smuggling” or “manufacturing and/or trading in fake goods claiming to be curative medicines, preventive medicines”.

The People’s Procuracy also asked for clarification on the alleged irresponsibility of the Drug Administration of Việt Nam (DAV) under the Ministry of Health in allowing Hùng and other defendants to import the alleged fake cancer drugs to Việt Nam, while also giving commission to doctors to prescribe the drug to patients.

Earlier on August 29, Deputy Health Minister Nguyễn Viết Tiến issued a press release clarifying the ministry’s responsibilities in connection with the licensing for VN Pharma to import 9,300 boxes of H-Capita 500mg in 2013. H-Capita 500mg contained capecitabine, which is mainly used to treat breast, gastric and colorectal cancers.

According to the press release, the DAV on October 16, 2013, received a request from VN Pharma to import the H-Capita drug manufactured by Helix Pharmaceuticals Inc of Canada.

The DAV approved the import request two months later on December 30, 2013.

"The DAV conducted the drug evaluation process with right order, right protocols and right regulations without any favouritism," the press release stated.

"According to the law, a drug import request must include the free sale certificate (FSC) and the certificate for good manufacturing practices (GMP).

VN Pharma had all the necessary papers. However, an investigation later uncovered that the papers were expertly forged and the fraud could not be detected with the naked eye," the release said.

The release stressed that the DAV, however, raised doubts about the drugs when it looked into VN Pharma’s drug bidding price, which was suspiciously lower than that of the same type of drugs manufactured by other countries.

The DAV on July 31, 2014, asked VN Pharma to explain the gap, which it failed to do, prompting the DAV to suspend the import and distribution of H-Capita on August 1, 2014.

The DAV in August seized the drugs following an unusual inspection at VN Pharma and reported the case to the police after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that the papers related to Helix Pharmaceutical, the drug manufacturer, were all fake.

Police arrest two over alleged fake pesticides

HCM City police have detained two people for allegedly selling fake pesticides. They seized hundreds of pesticide bottles with fake labels in the case. 

The pair are Nguyễn Thị Dung, 26, from Bình Tân District, and Huỳnh Kim Thiện, 44, from District 6.

On Tuesday, police discovered Dung transporting two boxes containing 76 bottles of fake pesticides with different trademarks.

Searching her store on Hậu Giang Road, police also seized nearly 290 fake bottles of pesticides and several plastic cans and bottles containing chemicals.

Police also inspected her house and found two machines for making bottle caps and many cartons labelled with fake brand names. They also seized similar materials at Huỳnh Kim Thiện’s house.

At the police station, Dung confessed that the trading ring was headed by Vương Mạnh Tôn, 39, who lives in Cần Thơ City.

Dung said that she was responsible for producing large quantity of pesticides under the direction of Tôn.

Police are conducting further inquiries.

Programme to improve management of asthma, COPD patients

Patients in Việt Nam with respiratory problems will benefit from a programme signed on Wednesday between the Ministry of Health’s Medical Service Administration (MSA) and AstraZeneca Việt Nam.

The US$1-million programme is part of the ‘Healthy Lung’ initiative of AstraZeneca that aims to improve the quality of outpatient management of asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) in nine countries in Asia. Việt Nam is the first country to implement the programme.  

It will be executed by the MSA in collaboration with AstraZeneca Việt Nam, the Việt Nam Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases Association, Việt Nam Respiratory Society and the HCM City Society of Asthma and Allergy and Clinical Immunology until 2020.

“Early detection and effective management of asthma and COPD outpatients is a sustainable measure in disease control. Enhancing community’s awareness on disease prevention and health worker’s diagnosis and treatment capabilities would be important activities to ensure patient’s access to early diagnosis and professional treatment services at healthcare facilities,” Director of MSA, Lương Ngọc Khuê, said at the signing ceremony.

The three-year programme will focus its activities on addressing the current gap in asthma and COPD management by raising awareness of these diseases and enhancing access to available treatments through a country-wide patient education project.

In addition, it will work on improving outpatient management of asthma and COPD through the establishment of 150 centres specialising in these diseases nationwide and fully equipped with spirometers and trained healthcare professionals.

It is estimated that over 4.2 per cent of Việt Nam’s population suffers from COPD. It is worrying that most of them are not currently diagnosed due to the lack of medical facilities, poor awareness of patients and limitations on professional skills of public health, according to the health ministry.

It is also estimated that over 300 million people worldwide suffer from asthma with the majority of deaths concentrated in low and middle-income countries such as Việt Nam.

Cham people in Ninh Thuan celebrate Kate festival

The ethnic Cham Brahman people in the central province of Ninh Thuan on October 19 began their celebration of the Kate festival, their most important event in the year.

The same day, a ceremony to receive a certificate recognising the Kate festival as a national intangible heritage was also held.

Thousands of Cham people along with visitors participated in various activities of the festival in Po Inungar shrine, Po Klong Girai and Po Rome towers. The festival was attended by Indian Ambassador to Vietnam Parvathaneni Harish and his spouse, local authorities and representatives from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

On the occasion, many delegations from the Party Committee, the People’s Council and the Vietnam Fatherland Front of Ninh Thuan province visited and presented gifts to dignitaries and policy beneficiaries in the locality.

Falling on the first day of the seventh month of the Cham calendar, Kate is the most popular Cham festival in Ninh Thuan. It reminds the ethnic Brahman community of their ancient gods and delivers wishes for bumper harvests and the growth of all beings.  

The Cham people have several distinctive festivals including the Ramuwan, the Rija Nugar, and the Chabun.

There are about 153,000 Cham people in Vietnam, approximately 72,500 of them live in Ninh Thuan. Over 43,000 Cham people, scattered across 12 communes in seven districts of Ninh Thuan, follow the Brahmin religion.

HCMC NA deputies proposes to solve difficulties for first metro line

HCMC National Assembly (NA) delegation should propose the Prime Minister to submit the city’s first metro project Ben Thanh-Suoi Tien to the NA to consider and approve total investment capital at the coming NA meeting.
 
That was suggested by Mr. Le Nguyen Minh Quang, head of the Management Board of Urban Railways (MAUR), at a meeting with the city People’s Committee on socioeconomic conditions yesterday, when many NA deputies expressed concern about capital shortage for the project.

Many deputies agreed with Mr. Quang's suggestion.

According to him, the first underground stretch of the metro route from Saigon Opera House to Ba Son station will be built at the end of October this year. It is expected to come into operation by the end of 2020.

The project has the total capital of US$2.5 billion from loans by Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The funds was approved in 2011 according to right order and procedures, said Mr. Quang.

The Prime Minister approved the report of the project's construction investment by Vietnam Railway Authority under the Ministry of Transport in 2006. Total investment capital was VND17 trillion ($748.32 million) at that time.

Because consultant firm was inexperienced so the total investment capital was then adjusted to VND47 trillion ($2.09 billion).

Afterwards, HCMC hired Singaporean independent consulting firms to assess and determine the number. Basing on that, the city submitted the adjusted funds to the Prime Minister. Relevant ministries and agencies gave their opinions about that. Of these, the Ministry of Planning and Investment permitted to change the total investment capital as per the proposal by HCMC.

In August 2011, the Prime Minister agreed to permit HCMC to approve the adjusted funds. So far, loan amount for the project has neared VND32 trillion ($1.41 billion).

However, the project's construction has been congested as the Ministry of Planning and Investment said that the amended funds is very large but investment policy has not been approved by the National Assembly.

According to Resolution 49/2010 of the NA, projects with the total investment capital of over VND35 trillion must be approved by the NA.

Before changing the investment capital, the HCMC People’s Committee proposed the Ministry of Planning and Investment to assign it to temporarily approve the total investment capital and report the NA Standing Committee about the change in May 2011.

HCMC has sent sufficient reports to the Ministry of Transport annually and authorized by the Prime Minister to report to the National Assembly, said Mr. Quang.

To solve difficulties for the project, Mr. Quang proposed the HCMC NA Deputies Delegation to prose the Prime Minister to submit the issue to the NA to decide total investment capital.

In short term, he suggested the delegation to prose the PM to instruct the Ministry of Planning and Investment to work with the Ministry of Finance to advance on mid-term capital planned for the phase 2016-2020 to pay contractors in 2017 and 2018.

In long term, the delegation should propose the PM to require relevant agencies to disburse official development (ODA) source in accordance with project progress and loan agreements. 

This aims to contribute in boosting the project’s progress, improve investment efficiency and prevent relevant consequences from occurring.

Sharing the same view, deputy Tran Hoang Ngan, director of HCMC Cadre Academy, said that the Government sent two reports about the project to the NA in 2011 and 2012 but it now still meets with procedure problems. So it is needed to review to know if the NA has approved the reports.

The HCMC NA Deputies Delegation should send a collective document to the NA Standing Committee proposing it to reconsider the issue, he said. Vietnam has got foreign loans so the project must be implemented, he added.

Deputy Truong Trong Nghia said that if the capital adjustment was objective, reasonable, for the benefit of HCMC and the country, it must be passed. HCMC NA deputies together would propose the NA to consider and approve.

Deputy Pham Phu Quoc, director general of HCMC Finance and Investment State-owned Company (HFIC), said that HCMC should invite the consulting firm who proposed the initial total investment capital of VND17 trillion to estimate the project to prove the central government that the capital adjustment is convincible and reasonable.

Spring Calendar Phuong Nam wins first prize in calendar design contest

Spring Calendar Phuong Nam Company won the first prize in the category of block and weekly calendar for its calendar “Nhung chu cho than quen” (friendly dogs) at the 2018 spring calendar design contest. 

The organizing committee of the contest late last week awarded prizes to those making calendars with creative and amazing designs on Nguyen Van Binh Book Street in downtown HCMC.

Also in the same category, the company came in second for its calendar “Dong dao”.

In the desk calendar category, Nhat Thong Printing and Packaging Company got the first, second and third prizes for the respective calendars “Ve mien au tho,” “Qua mien giao duong” and “Tuyet tac ngan nam”.

Dang Thien Thu, art director of Spring Calendar Phuong Nam Company, said the award-winning “friendly dogs” calendar tells touching stories about nice dogs around the world with a hope to highlight a meaningful value of life for customers.

HCMC finds out street flooding reason during mega pump operation

Director of the HCMC Department of Transport Bui Xuan Cuong yesterday had an urgent meeting with the Steering Center for Urban Flood Control Program, Binh Thanh district and the investor of the smart pumping system in Nguyen Huu Canh street which was still flooded during a heavy rain on October 17 despite the system’s operation.
 
Director of the HCMC Department of Transport Bui Xuan Cuong yesterday had an urgent meeting with the Steering Center for Urban Flood Control Program, Binh Thanh district and the investor of the smart pumping system in Nguyen Huu Canh street which was still flooded during a heavy rain on October 17 despite the system’s operation.

Mr. Do Tan Long, head of the Drainage System Management Division under the center, said that the sewer system in the street has been cleaned up. The center has arranged workers to cope with problems arising from heavy rains.

Since the principle contract to hire the smart pumping system was signed on October 2, there have been four heavy rains but the street was not inundated thanks to the pumping system. However, the flooding recurred on October 17 during a rain with the precipitation of 45mm.

The center and system investor Quang Trung Industry Joint Stock Company has arrived at the scene to seek reasons for the flooding. The center will send a report to the Department of Transport and relevant sides after examining all sewer routes.

Director of Quang Trung Company Nguyen Tang Cuong said that after the flooding on October 17, the company has inspected, opened four catch pits and found a lot of garbage there. It now continues working with drainage workers to see if there are other things in the sewers or not.

Mr. Cuong said that eight testing times were enough to estimate the pumping system. Still the company was willing to conduct more testing to prove its efficiency to city leaders.
Concluding the meeting, Mr. Bui Xuan Cuong said that according to initial results, the pumping system has operated efficiently.

He suggested the Steering Center for Urban Flood Control Program, Urban Drainage Company and Binh Thanh district to work together closely to create conditions for the investor to function the system. In addition, relevant sides should intensify supervision to prevent littering from blockade sewers.

PM reminds Bac Ninh to look towards hi-tech industrial hub

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has reminded the northern province of Bac Ninh to choose projects that match its plan to develop itself into a hi-tech industrial locality.

Workers package soya milk products at the Vietnam Soya Milk Products Company in the Tien Son Industrial Zone in the northern province of Bac Ninh. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has reminded the province of Bac Ninh to develop itself into a hi-tech industy.

Workers package soya milk products at the Vietnam Soya Milk Products Company in the Tien Son Industrial Zone in the northern province of Bac Ninh. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has reminded the province of Bac Ninh to develop itself into a hi-tech indus
During a working session with provincial authorities in Hanoi on Wednesday, Phuc mentioned challenges facing the province such as high population density, environment pollution in craft villages, insufficient and unqualified human resources, residential planning, among others.

He agreed with a proposal to build Bac Ninh into a centrally-run city and asked for the establishment of a Steering Committee responsible for drafting planning adjustments that take environment, greenery and urban development into account.

The PM stressed the need to gradually switch workforce from agriculture to services while ensuring security, safety and fighting social vices.

At the same time, craft villages, urban and rural areas should be zoned off, he said.
The Government leader agreed with a proposal to add different investment stages of Samsung Display company into a single project, adding that it must ensure that revenues to the State budget and environmental protection remain consistent.

He also approved a scheme to experimentally establish a food safety management board, asking the province to take drastic actions to control food safety and thoroughly check their origin before being put on the market.

In the first nine months this year, the provincial economy expanded by 15.9 percent year-on-year with the State budget collection surpassing VND13 trillion (US$577 million), up 40.4 percent. The industrial production value topped VND628.1 trillion while export value rose 18.4 percent to $18.8 billion.

During the period, Bac Ninh lured $3.1 billion in foreign direct investment, and established 1,495 new businesses with total capital of over VND9.86 trillion.

HCMC sets up business information center in Laos

Ho Chi Minh City Center for Trade Promotion and Investment (ITPC) had a plan to establish a business  information office at ASEAN shopping mall in Vientiane capital of Laos.

The establishment of the office aims to promote the presence of goods and service products of Ho Chi Minh City enterprises in the market.

In addition, the office is to receive information from Laotian enterprises in order to feed back as well as meet trade demand of enterprises from the two sides.

The mall complex is located at a favorable trade position in the heart of Vientiane capital, on the main road connecting with Thailand and near to Lao ITECC.

As plan, ASEAN Mall will provide 300 square meters for showing products from Ho Chi Minh City and city’s investment promotion activities.

New Secretary of Da Nang Party Committee calls for construction of large projects

Newly appointed Secretary of Da Nang municipal Party Committee Truong Quang Nghia delivered his first directions at the 10th Congress of the Da Nang municipal Party Committee, held on October 17.

He asked the related agencies to take full advantage of the support provided by the Government and ministries to promote the implementation of a software park project by Sembcorp group and a project on producing sewing machines by a Japanese investor at the city's high-tech park, so that the construction of the two projects could be commenced at the time of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) Economic Leaders Week in early November.

"If this is done, it would be an encouraging signal for the city's investment attraction. It is also necessary to continue to boost investment promotion after the APEC in order to attract more investment into the city. In addition, directions from the Prime Minister at the Da Nang Investment Promotion Forum 2017 should be concretised", Nghia noted.

He also requested the deployment of specific measures to accelerate the disbursement of public capital to serve socio-economic development, while balancing the capital to repay bondholders in 2017.

The secretary noted that APEC 2017 is a great opportunity for Da Nang to promote its image to the world, thus, all projects serving the APEC must be promptly completed, while ensuring their quality and safety.

Furthermore, he asked that the districts of Hai Chau, Thanh Khe, Son Tra, and Ngu Hanh Son quickly handle the encroachment of pavements, while several other districts were directed to carry out projects on improving the environment.

In addition, Secretary Nghia requested the boosting of investment in hi-tech agricultural production in Hoa Vang; the evaluation of the effectiveness of the six subsidised bus routes in order to make adjustments if needed, and completion of the building of the Dien Bien Phu - Le Do - Nguyen Tri Phuong intersection.

In particular, he called for a review of the tourism projects on Son Tra Peninsula after receiving opinions and directions from ministries, central agencies and the Government.

Hanoi Party leader meets city’s outstanding businesses and artisans

Politburo member and Secretary of Hanoi city Party’s Committee Hoang Trung Hai held a meeting with the outstanding businesses and artisans of the capital city, on October 18.

Hanoi is now home to around 225,700 businesses and 1,350 craft villages. At the meeting, the delegates and artisans shared their views on the obstacles and challenges facing the city’s business community, particularly the issues related to administrative procedures, trade promotion activities, and market expansion programmes.

Speaking at the meeting, Hanoi Party leader Hoang Trung Hai expressed his appreciation for the opinions contributed by the participants, hailing the businesses’ operations for creating momentum to foster the city’s economic growth.

He requested that the city’s functional agencies create the most favourable conditions for businesses in order to support them in improving their competitiveness and raising the quality of products, thus encouraging them to make further contributions to the city’s development.

He also called on the city’s business community to observe the law, apply advanced technology in their operation and attach priority on protecting the environment while conducting businesses.

Since the beginning of this year, Hanoi has welcomed over 18,000 new businesses, he said, adding that there remains space for new businesses to be established and develop further.

VNA, Khanh Hoa sign agreement on tourism development

The national carrier Vietnam Airlines and the People’s Committee of the central province of Khanh Hoa signed a deal to promote investment, trade and tourism and strengthen the image of the two sides on October 18.

Under the agreement, Vietnam Airlines will study increasing the frequency of flights and open new domestic and international routes to Khanh Hoa province. The firm will also offer preferential fares to local tourism and investment promotion delegations and help the province promote tourism at international fairs for the next three years.

Meanwhile, Khanh Hoa will support Vietnam Airlines’ new routes, while enhancing the capacity of Cam Ranh airport. The airline has also been recognised as the official carrier of major events in the province.

The two sides also agreed to cooperate in supporting media delegations travelling to and from Europe and North East Asia to explore local tourism potential and introduce Khanh Hoa to these markets.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Chairman of provincial People’s Committee Le Duc Vinh said the agreement was expected to help the province have more international flights to and from Cam Ranh International Airport, from European and Asian markets and spread the tourism brand name Nha Trang - Khanh Hoa globally.

Duong Tri Thanh, General Director of Vietnam Airlines, said the agreement marked a new step between the two sides, which would make cooperation more effective.

“Vietnam Airlines commits to performing effectively as a national airline and working with the province to promote the tourism potential of Khanh Hoa," said Thanh.

Currently, Vietnam Airlines and its subsidiary Jetstar Pacific operate four routes connecting Khanh Hoa with cities including Hanoi, HCM City, Da Nang and Vinh with 100 flights per week. 

In the first nine months of this year, the number of passengers to Khanh Hoa on Vietnam Airlines and Jetstar Pacific flights increased by 9 percent compared with the same period last year, reaching over 1.3 million passengers, accounting for 62 percent of total domestic arrivals to the province by air.-

Germany-based club spreads love for homeland’s seas, islands

The Sea and Island Club set up by Vietnamese people in Germany organised an exchange programme with various activities on October 18 to encourage expatriates’ attentions to the homeland’s seas and islands.

The exchange programme featured a map and photo exhibition on Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos, singing and dancing performances, a discussion of initiatives, and raising funds to support soldiers and residents working and living in islands of Vietnam.

The event attracted the participation of Vietnamese Ambassador to Germany Doan Xuan Hung and representatives of Vietnamese businesses, Vietnamese people’s association and the association of Vietnamese students in Germany (SIVIDUC).

Hung highly evaluated the establishment of the club, whose activities have helped enhance overseas Vietnamese’ patriotism and popularise information about the country’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagos among the local Vietnamese community and German people.

He also asked the club to attract more participation of and contribution by expatriates and businesses to support soldiers and residents in Truong Sa islands. 

It should also coordinate with other associations to organise more activities to spread patriotism among the Vietnamese community and give Germans a better understanding of Truong Sa and Hoang Sa, he said.

At the event, SIVIDUC representatives suggested ideas to deal with issues related to water, information and education facing soldiers and residents in Truong Sa.

The Sea and Island Club in Germany was founded in May basing on an initiative of expatriates who had visited Truong Sa since 2014.

Vietnam scraps planned parenthood in revised population policy

For the first time in 50 years, Vietnam has shifted its population policy from ‘planned parenthood’ to ‘maintaining stable birth rates’.

The news was announced at a recent press conference held by Vietnam’s Ministry of Health.

“Between 1960 and 1993, our population policy was to encourage that families should not have more than two children each,” said Nguyen Van Tan, deputy director general of the General Office for Population and Family Planning.

“Now we want to encourage each family to have two children and keep the birth rate as close as possible to the current replacement fertility rate of 2.1 children per woman,” he said.

Instead of a blanket policy to limit the number of births per family, areas with high birth rates would be encouraged to give birth less while those with low birth rates would be encouraged to produce more births, he elaborated.

While families in Vietnam have been allowed to have as many children as they wish without facing legal or administrative punishments since 1993, they are still encouraged to have one or two children, according to Tan.

In 2008, a new directive came into effect, stipulating that members of the Communist Party of Vietnam be penalized for having a third child and expelled from the Party for having any more than three children.

Since 2013, the policy for Party members has been relaxed, when they will only be dismissed for having five or more children.

A recent online survey conducted by the General Office for Population and Family Planning found that 81.3 percent of 700,000 respondents only wanted to have one or two children, with the rest expressing their wish for three or more.

Based on these findings, Tan concluded, there should be no concern over whether Vietnam’s relaxed population policy would result in an unwanted population explosion.

In the 1960s, an average woman in northern Vietnam would give birth to around six children, according to Nguyen Thien Nhan, Party chief of Ho Chi Minh City.

Since the implementation of the two-child policy in the 1960s, the country’s fertility rate had dropped dramatically to three children per woman in the 1980s and two children per woman from 2005 until now, Nhan said.

Ho Chi Minh City currently reports the lowest fertility rate amongst women in Vietnam, at only around 1.45 children per woman, posing a possible threat to the city’s workforce.

If Vietnam is able to maintain a stable replacement fertility rate, its population is forecast to reach 104 million by 2030, and 113-115 million by 2049.

The country currently has an official population of 94 million, the figures that is increasing by 850,000-900,000 per year.
  
Da Nang: Nearly VND1.75 trillion raised for poor women, children

The Association in Support of Poor and Disadvantaged Women and Children in central Da Nang city has raised almost VND1.75 trillion (US$77 million) over the last 15 years for humanitarian aid.

The information was revealed during a conference to review the association’s work in 2002-2017. It helped more than 148,500 children have heart check-ups and nearly 900 children undergo heart surgeries at a cost of VND37.6 billion (US$1.66 million).

About 23,000 poor women were provided with cancer screenings and 488 women diagnosed with the disease received treatment. The association also allocated VND1.7 billion (US$74,827) for the treatment of 1,131 poor women and children with life-threatening diseases.

Additionally, the association provided accommodation for 126 poor single women and supported 450 disadvantaged women and children to have orthopaedic surgeries and rehabilitation.

On this occasion, Da Nang city and the association honoured 21 organisations and 26 individuals for their contributions to the city’s humanitarian efforts in the last 15 years.

Int’l conference on communications technologies opens in Binh Dinh

The International Conference on Advanced Technologies for Communications (ATC 2017) kicked off in the central province of Binh Dinh on October 18.

The event was co-organised by the Radio and Electronics Association of Vietnam (REV) and the IEEE Communications Society. It drew the participation of 150 delegates from 22 nations and territories.

As many as 60 reports focusing on modern technologies were delivered at the conference, including three plenary session reports and 57 official reports.

The ATC 2017 aims to create an international forum for scientific and technological exchanges among Vietnamese and worldwide scientists in the fields of electronics, communications and related areas as well as to gather their high-quality research contributions.

It also strives to enhance research activities and human resources training in electronics, information technology and communications in Vietnamese and international universities and institutes.

The conference runs until October 20.

Top international DJ set for Vietnam return to kick off Asia tour

World renowned DJ Armin van Buuren is going to be bringing the beats back to Saigon this December to kick off his Asia tour, the event’s organizers have announced.

No further details on the performance have been revealed. Last year, Jakarta and Singapore were also part of his global tour.

Van Buuren performed in Hanoi in late 2015, when he promised to return.

The 40-year-old artist, who is also a record producer and remixer, was ranked the No. 1 DJ by DJ Mag for four years in a row between 2007 and 2010, and has been held No. 4 position since 2015.

In 2014, he was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording for his single “This Is What It Feels Like” featuring Trevor Guthrie.

Martin Garrix, currently the world’s No. 1 DJ, performed in Saigon in September last year and DJ Afrojack was on set in December.

DJ superstars Skrillex, Tiesto and Zedd also played the city in 2015.

Can Tho University to expand cooperation with German universities

Can Tho University wants to develop links with leading universities from Germany in tertiary autonomy and governance.

Rector of Can Tho University Ha Thanh Toan expressed the wish at a working session with Director of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in Ho Chi Minh City Berndt Tilp in Can Tho city on October 17.

Toan said his university aims to become a key research centre in the Mekong Delta, especially in hi-tech agriculture. 

Therefore, he hopes the DAAD will help connect Can Tho University with German universities.

He noted that Can Tho University has signed several cooperation agreements with German training and research centres such as Bonn University, University of Cologne, The Hanns Seidel Foundation, and Munich Partners of WISDOM Project Phase II.

Since 2000, Germany has sponsored 11 projects worth 1.7 million EUR for Can Tho University. Forty-two lecturers from the university are pursuing post-graduate education in Germany.

Tilp said DAAD is interested in cooperation with universities in the Mekong Delta, particularly Can Tho University, in post-graduate education and scientific research.

He introduced scholarships at German universities, adding that in 2016, 13 Vietnamese students won scholarships as part of a cooperation programme between the Vietnamese Government and DAAD.

Efforts exerted to search for martyrs’ remains in Cambodia

The Military Command in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai on October 18 launched a campaign to search for and repatriate Vietnamese soldiers who died in wartime in Cambodia.

The work during the 2017-2018 dry season manifested the gratitude for the sacrifice of Vietnamese martyrs in Cambodia.

In that dry season, which will last until the end of April, the search team will carry out their work in Rattanakiri, Preah Vihear and Stung Treng provinces.

Established in 2001, Gia Lai’s search team has to date found and repatriated 1,374 sets of remains of Vietnamese soldiers.

During the 2016-2017 dry season, 29 sets of remains were repatriated.

Two more cities complete new-style rural area building 2017

Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue, Head of the Steering Committee for the national target programme on new-style rural area building has recognised that Lang Son city and Sa Dec city have completed their 2017 new-style rural area building tasks.

Lang Son city had all three communes, namely Mai Pha, Hoang Dong, Quang Lac recognised by the provincial People’s Committee as new-style rural areas in 2014, 2015, and 2016, respectively.

The localities have built concrete roads in all communal and 88.67% of village road networks. All locals have access to a constant and safe electricity supply. 

The annual income per capital reached VND27 million (US$1,188). The poor household rate in the three communes fell to one percent.

According to the report from Sa Dec city’s Steering Committee, all three communes in the city have completed the new-style rural area building tasks.

The annual income per capita reached VND32.2 million (US$1,400), 99.8% of locals have access to safe electricity and all of them have access to hygienic water.

All schools in the three communes meet national standards. The poor household rate is 4.5%. 91.66% of local labourers have regular work.

Vietnam scraps planned parenthood in revised population policy

For the first time in 50 years, Vietnam has shifted its population policy from ‘planned parenthood’ to ‘maintaining stable birth rates’.

The news was announced at a recent press conference held by Vietnam’s Ministry of Health.

“Between 1960 and 1993, our population policy was to encourage that families should not have more than two children each,” said Nguyen Van Tan, deputy director general of the General Office for Population and Family Planning.

“Now we want to encourage each family to have two children and keep the birth rate as close as possible to the current replacement fertility rate of 2.1 children per woman,” he said.

Instead of a blanket policy to limit the number of births per family, areas with high birth rates would be encouraged to give birth less while those with low birth rates would be encouraged to produce more births, he elaborated.

While families in Vietnam have been allowed to have as many children as they wish without facing legal or administrative punishments since 1993, they are still encouraged to have one or two children, according to Tan.

In 2008, a new directive came into effect, stipulating that members of the Communist Party of Vietnam be penalized for having a third child and expelled from the Party for having any more than three children.

Since 2013, the policy for Party members has been relaxed, when they will only be dismissed for having five or more children.

A recent online survey conducted by the General Office for Population and Family Planning found that 81.3 percent of 700,000 respondents only wanted to have one or two children, with the rest expressing their wish for three or more.

Based on these findings, Tan concluded, there should be no concern over whether Vietnam’s relaxed population policy would result in an unwanted population explosion.

In the 1960s, an average woman in northern Vietnam would give birth to around six children, according to Nguyen Thien Nhan, Party chief of Ho Chi Minh City.

Since the implementation of the two-child policy in the 1960s, the country’s fertility rate had dropped dramatically to three children per woman in the 1980s and two children per woman from 2005 until now, Nhan said.

Ho Chi Minh City currently reports the lowest fertility rate amongst women in Vietnam, at only around 1.45 children per woman, posing a possible threat to the city’s workforce.

If Vietnam is able to maintain a stable replacement fertility rate, its population is forecast to reach 104 million by 2030, and 113-115 million by 2049.

The country currently has an official population of 94 million, the figures that is increasing by 850,000-900,000 per year.

Chairty shows what living with autism is like

Have you ever imagined how would you react if all unnoticeable occurrences in our lives suddenly became clear and overwhelmed your senses? Or what information overload would be like?

Nguyễn Thị Hồng Xuân, from Hà Nội, had to remove her headphones and burst into tears after she watched a short 360-degree virtual reality video. The video, using Google Cardboard Virtual Reality, let her experience what it’s like to suffer sensory overload.

The video put Xuân in the shoes of an autistic child. Xuân was joining a project held to help people experience what it is like to be an autistic child, to give them a better understanding of autism.

Autism is a neuro-developmental disorder characterised by impaired social interaction and communication, according to health experts. 

“It is unbelievable that everything is so hard for an autistic child. Those with autism can’t block out background noise like the rest of us. At the same time, all surrounding sounds come together and overload their hearing,” Xuân told Tuổi trẻ (Youth) newspaper.

“It is really terrifying as they have to struggle with that condition every hour and every day,” she said.

Many other people had the same feelings after watching the video. They could not imagine how terrible it is to suffer such sensory overload. Some of them had to cover their ears as they could not bear it.

When you talk to someone, you can focus on their voice. However, for an autistic person, all surrounding sounds compete for attention at the same time, with the same sound level and speed, from birds’ singing, car horns, mobile phone ringing, a child’s crying to the sound of wind and water, said Nguyễn Hạnh Duyên, a member of the ‘Act 4 Vietnamese Autism’ or A4A Group which is carrying out the project.   

The project, named ‘Try to live like me’, is designed to encourage people to learn more about the condition. It has been conducted in central Quảng Nam Province and Đà Nẵng City from July and is expected to end in November.   

“Research shows that autism is a lifelong neurodevelopmental disorder or impairment of the growth and development of the brain or central nervous system. The senses of people with autism will therefore be more sensitive. They can hear and see more clearly than normal people and also feel more pain even when being slightly hit,” Duyên said.

“This results in difficulties and misunderstandings in the communication and behaviour of autistic people,” she said.  

“Many people ask what autism is, whether it is a standard disease or a hereditary disease. Some people even misunderstand that autistic people are arrogant and do not want to play with others,” Duyên said.

“The project is expected to help those without autism understand more about autism and have more sympathy for those with autism and encourage people to join works that can support autistic people,” she added.

The A4A group was established five years ago. Most of its members are young, aged between 15 and 30. The project is part of their activities to support children with autism.

They plan to publish an online magazine on autism in the future to share more information about autism.

According to the World Health Organisation, for every 160 people in the world, one person has autism. No official statistics on the number of autistic people have been published in Việt Nam; it has been estimated that there are 160,000 people with autism living in the country. 

Int’l farming support key: official

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Lê Quốc Doanh on Wednesday hailed international scientific research organisations for their contributions to Việt Nam’s agriculture development, in the context of devastating natural disasters due to climate changes.

Speaking at a meeting with representatives from the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research on Wednesday in Hà Nội, the deputy minister recognised the support from organisations including Worldfish, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in helping the agriculture sector implement projects in fishery breeding, rice cultivation and production, and reduce the environmental risks in livestock breeding.

“One of the key solutions for the successful implementation of the agricultural sector’s restructuring goals is the application of science and technology, so the strengthening of co-operation in the field of scientific and technological research with international organisations always attracts attention from the Government and agricultural agencies,” said Doanh.

Research needs to be reformed in line with technological process and with co-operation between national and international agencies, according to the deputy minister.

Dr Bjorn Ole Sander from the IRRI said the organisation, one of Việt Nam’s most active agricultural international supporters since 1963, pledged to assist Vietnamese partners in increasing productivity, reducing inputs such as pesticides, fertilisers, water, labour and seeds and improving the quality of rice.

The scientist revealed the IRRI bank of rice genes had preserved a rich collection of natural genes, an important resources for research on rice adaptable to climate change in Việt Nam.

He also said IRRI research could help both reduce post-harvest losses and optimise supply and product quality.

Meanwhile, Dr Nguyễn Việt Hùng, Chief Representative of the ILRI in East and Southeast Asia, said the ILRI had been working with Việt Nam since 2007 in areas including
mitigating risks resulting from agricultural systematic changes, developing science and technology in animal husbandry as well as solutions for the development of animal husbandry in connection with markets.

Hùng said currently, ILRI research was being expanded to ensure husbandry development integrated with environmental protection.

In the last few years, Doanh said, particularly last year and the first nine months of this year, the country had been suffering from continuous natural disasters including the most recent tropical depression, which caused huge damage to national agricultural production. Floods due to heavy rains hit many regions in the north and the centre of the country.

The deputy minister cited northern Hòa Bình and Nam Định povinces as typical examples of losses caused by floods, with Nam Đinh bearing the loss of a total of 50,000ha or a reduction by 100,000 tonnes of rice this year.

Despite such hardships due to impacts from natural disasters, Doanh confirmed the agricultural sector’s restructuring was moving in the right direction, reflected in its growth, added value and particularly through its export turnover.

It is estimated that the sector will reach total turnover worth US$35 billion this year, up $3 billion over the last year. It is also expect to supply jobs for about 10 million farmer households or more than 68 per cent of the population, contributing about 22 per cent of GDP to the national economy and 35 per cent to the national export value.

Woman arrested for alleged subversion activities

Hà Tĩnh Province police have arrested Trần Thị Xuân, 41,  for alleged "activities to overthrow the Government".

Police yesterday announced that the woman living in Thạch Kim Commune in Lộc Hà District was arrested based on Article 79 of the Penal Code.

They said they would initiate a full investigation into the case. 

President requests absolute security for APEC 2017 events

President Tran Dai Quang has requested the Ministries of National Defence and Public Security not to let any mistake happen during the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week scheduled to take place in the central city of Da Nang from November 6-11.

At a working session with officials of the two ministries and relevant offices in Hanoi on October 18, President Quang stressed that the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week is the most important event of the APEC Year 2017 with the participation of heads of state and over 10,000 delegates from 21 APEC economies as well as representatives from both domestic and foreign enterprises and press agencies.

He noted that the regional and global political-security situations have seen complicated and unpredictable developments with a series of armed, racial and religious conflicts, terrorism activities and territorial disputes, while Southeast Asia have also witnessed new instabilities, especially those related to terrorism and sovereignty disputes.

Together with “peaceful evolution” strategies and sabotage plots by hostile forces and criminal activities, these are latent threats to security and order of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week, he said.

The State leader asked the Ministries of National Defence and Public Security, the security-health subcommittee and localities involved to review and complete their plans to safeguard the meeting and backup schemes to deal with arising problems.

It is necessary for relevant forces, agencies and localities to coordinate closely and assign specific tasks for each unit in order to avoid being on the defensive in all circumstances, he stressed.

President Quang requested concerned forces to ensure absolute security for heads of state, heads of delegations, ministers and delegates attending the event, with the priority given to preventing terrorism, fire and explosion, and ensuring traffic safety, food safety and hygiene.

Deputy Minister of Public Security Bui Van Nam said since the end of 2016, the ministry has coordinated with other relevant agencies in ensuring security and safety for six senior officials’ meetings, six ministerial meetings and hundreds of meetings held in eight provinces and cities across the nation.

Established in 1989, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum comprises Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong (China), Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, the US and Vietnam.-

NA leader inspects flood aftermath settlement in Yen Bai

National Assembly (NA) Vice Chairman Do Ba Ty on October 18 inspected the settlement of flood and landslide consequences and visited flood victims in the northern mountainous province of Yen Bai.

Ty and his entourage visited some bereaved families and households whose property was washed away by floods in Van Chan district and Nghia Lo town.

He appreciated the local military and militia forces and youths who have helped residents to address flood consequences. He asked them to continue efforts to assist local people swiftly deal with disaster impacts and stabilise their lives.

At a working session with the delegation, provincial leaders proposed the NA and Government send teams to the province to assess loses, find out causes and provide technical support to rebuild damaged roads and irrigation works. 

They called on the Government to give urgent financial assistance to repair 78 important traffic and irrigation works with estimated costs of around 400 billion VND (17.6 million USD).

The NA leader requested Yen Bai authorities to focus on efforts to help residents stabilise their lives, solve environmental problems to prevent diseases, and proactively repair damaged traffic, irrigation and other infrastructure works. He also asked the province to use aid in an effective, fair, transparent and timely manner.

Yen Bai has reported 18 deaths, 10 people missing and nine others injured in the recent downpours and floods. Nearly 2,000 houses were damaged while more than 140 households were evacuated due to landslides and flash floods. 

Floods also devastated more than 900ha of crops, tens of thousands of livestock and poultry, and over 42ha of aquaculture area. Total damage was estimated at over 700 billion VND (30.8 million USD).

Project ensures sustainable food value chain in Southeast Asia

The Hanoi University of Science and Technology (HUST) on October 18 convened the fourth meeting of the NutriSEA project management board under the Erasmus capacity building in higher education programme. 

The event attracted representatives from universities in Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Hungary, Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam which are the project’s partners and several food enterprises. 

Speaking at the event, HUST Vice Rector Dr. Huynh Quyet Thang said the project has improved the capacity of lecturers and students via new approaches taught at short-term courses in countries which have strengths in the food industry such as Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Portugal and Hungary. 

Coordinated by Ghent University of Belgium and Royal University of Agriculture (RUA) of Cambodia, the project is known as the Network of Universities and Enterprises for Food Training in Southeast Asia (NutriSEA). 

It runs from October 2015 to October 2018 with the participation of 14 member European and Southeast Asian universities, including HUST and Hue University of Vietnam. 

Its long-term goal is to ensure a sustainable food value chain by increasing added value to natural food materials in Southeast Asia and set up a regional food network with stakeholders such as businesses and universities. 

With nine components, the project seeks to renovate tertiary and post-tertiary food education in six partner universities in Southeast Asia, including the RUA and Chea Sim Kamchaymear University of Cambodia, Yangon University and Yezin University of Agriculture of Myanmar, HUST and Hue University of Vietnam. 

On this occasion, HUST also plans to hold a seminar on food quality and safety management on October 20, with an aim of increasing inter-sectoral cooperation between partner universities and businesses at home and abroad. 

With more than 150 scientists, lecturers and corporate representatives, the event will discuss food quality and safety management system, risks to food safety, food production and consumption chain, among others.

Legislative leader pays fact-finding trip to flood-hit Hoa Binh

National Assembly Vice Chairwoman Tong Thi Phong on October 18 paid a fact-finding trip to Da Bac district in the northern mountainous province of Hoa Binh where she inspected the settlement of consequences caused by recent downpours and floods.

In Dong Nghe and Dong Ruong communes, Phong conveyed the regards and sympathy from Party and State leaders to local officials and residents over great loses in humans and property.

Having spoke highly of the support and assistance provided by administrations at all levels, sectors and people for affected residents, she asked the provincial authorities to continue supplying food, water and clothes to flood victims in Da Bac district.

Phong handed over 5 million VND to each of three bereaved families and 2 million VND to each of 18 households whose homes were swept away during the floods. The money was contributed by the NA Office.

In addition, NA Vice Chairwoman Tong Thi Phong, Head of the Party Central Committee’s Organisation Commission Pham Minh Chinh and Minister of Public Security To Lam also donated 150 million VND in total to Da Bac district.

According to the province’s steering board for disaster prevention, search and rescue, total damage caused by prolong downpours and floods in Hoa Binh has exceeded 800 billion VND (35.2 million USD).

By 4pm on October 16, floods had killed 24 people, injured 12 others and left 10 missing in Hoa Binh. Up to 19 dead and missing people were in Tan Lac district while 11 others were reported in Da Bac district. Mai Chau and Kim Boi districts recorded two deaths each.

While more than 1,000 houses were inundated and damaged, all rice and other crop areas in the province were affected by heavy rains and floods with over 10,000ha completely inundated.

PM reminds Bac Ninh to look towards hi-tech industrial province

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has reminded the northern province of Bac Ninh to choose projects that match its plan to develop itself into a hi-tech industrial locality. 

During a working session with the provincial authorities in Hanoi on October 18, Phuc mentioned challenges facing the province such as high population density, environment pollution in craft villages, insufficient and unqualified human resources, residential planning, among others. 

He agreed with a proposal to build Bac Ninh into a centrally-run city and asked for the establishment of a Steering Committee responsible for drafting planning adjustments that take environment, greenery and urban development into account. 

The PM stressed the need to gradually switch workforce from agriculture and services while ensuring security, safety and fighting social vices. 

At the same time, craft villages, urban and rural areas should be zoned off, he said. 

The Government leader agreed with a proposal to add different investment stages of Samsung Display company into a single project, adding that it must ensure that revenues to the State budget and environment hygiene remain the same. 

He also gave nod to a scheme to experimentally establish a food safety management board, asking the province to take drastic actions to control food safety and thoroughly check their origin before being put on the market.

In the first nine months this year, the provincial economy expanded by 15.9 percent year-on-year with the State budget collection surpassing 13 trillion VND (577 million USD), up 40.4 percent. The industrial production value topped 628.1 trillion VND while export value rose 18.4 percent to 18.8 billion USD.

During the period, Bac Ninh lured 3.1 billion USD in foreign direct investment, and established 1,495 new businesses with a total capital of over 9.86 trillion VND.

Administration academy asked to step up IT application in training

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has asked the National Academy of Public Administration to step up the application of information technology into its training programme towards the formation of a digital administration system amidst the fourth industrial revolution.

Speaking at a ceremony on October 18 to start the academy’s new academic year 2017-2018, PM Phuc said that the academy should make changes in the national administration to seize opportunities and give a boost to startups, innovation and creativity.

As one of the most important pillars of an effective administrative system, public servants should promote their creativity, integrity and responsibility, he said.

The PM asked the academy to improve its curriculum in order popularise a transparent and professional administrative system like in Northern European countries, New Zealand and Singapore.

He laid out three main tasks for the academy in the new academic year, including renovating its training programme and organisational structure, building a 20-year strategy, and turning it a regional-level training centre of management officials.

Following the ceremony, PM Phuc held a working session with leaders of the academy, during which he affirmed that the academy should focus on improving its efficiency to contribute to administrative reform in Vietnam.

Associate Prof. Dr. Dang Xuan Hoan, director of the academy, pointed to a lack of legal foundation to complete its management and governance system as well as its personnel contingent.

PM Phuc asked ministries and sectors to support the academy’s development. He assigned the Ministry of Home Affairs to issue policies to make research activities of the academy as part of the ministry’s operations.

Lotte awards scholarships to HCM City university students

Fifty four outstanding students from nine universities in HCM City received scholarships from the Lotte Foundation at a ceremony on Wednesday.

Each scholarship was worth US$350 after the Korean foundation increased the value by $150 this year.

The students are from the University of Social Sciences and Humanities; the University of Economics HCM City; the University of Finance and Marketing; the HCM City University of Foreign Languages and Informatics; the HCM City University of Food Industry; the HCM City University of Agriculture and Forestry; Hoa Sen University; Tôn Đức Thắng University; and the HCM City University of Industry.

Park Noh Wan, the Korean consul general in HCM City, who attended the event, congratulated the awardees and said: “I believe the students will contribute to Việt Nam’s development as well as building a friendship between Việt Nam and Korea.”

Vũ Nguyệt Thắng, one of the awardees, thanked the Lotte Foundation and said the scholarship is not just financial support but also a great motivation for the students.

The Lotte Group, which has had a presence in Việt Nam since 1996, has been a significant contributor to the community, especially to education.

The Lotte Foundation was founded in 1983 in Korea by the group’s chairman, Shin Kyuk-Ho, and has since been awarding scholarships to outstanding disadvantaged students.

It has been present in Việt Nam since 2008 and granted scholarships to hundreds of university students in Hà Nội and HCM City every year.

Comedy, drama in HN’s Spanish Film Festival

A Spanish film festival opened last night in Hà Nội with the world premiere of Thị Mai, the first Spanish movie to be shot in Việt Nam. Entitled Eye on Spain, the festival includes five films - comedies, dramas and thrillers - reflecting Spain’s cinematographic zest.

Spain ranks fourth in Europe and eighth in the world in terms of cinematic productions.

Thị Mai is a comedy directed by Patricia Ferreira. It is a classic tale of west-meets-east with a hilarious Spanish-Vietnamese twist and a star-studded cast from Spain and Việt Nam. It tells the story of a woman called Carmen.

When Carmen discovers that her late daughter wanted to adopt a Vietnamese child, Carmen does not hesitate to travel to Việt Nam to bring the adopted child back home with her. 

Her two best friends, are each undergoing a crisis of their own, and when they hear of their friend’s crazy plan they jump on the plane with her without thinking. Lost in the bustle of Hà Nội, the three women meet a whole new world of possibilities and two men who, unwittingly, will change their lives forever.

The movie was screened in Spanish with Vietnamese subtitles at the National Cinema Centre with a  presentation by director Ferreira and producer Larry Levene speaking about filming in Hà Nội and Hạ Long Bay.

Other award-winning movies at the festival include Las Ovejas No Pierden El Tre (Sidetracked), Truman,Vivir Es Facil Con Ojos Cerados (Living is Easy with Eyes Closed) and La Caja 507 (Box 507).

The comedy-drama movie Truman has been awarded dozens of national and international prizes since its premiere in Spain in 2015. It will be shown on Friday at 7pm in Spanish with Vietnamese and English subtitles.

Living is Easy With Eye Closed was the big winner at the 2013 Goya Awards, taking six top prizes including best film, best director and best leading actor. It will be shown in Spanish with Vietnamese and French subtitles at 5pm on Saturday.

The Spanish Film Festival is being held by the Spanish Embassy in Hà Nội to mark the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Spain and Việt Nam. Besides the five screenings, the festival will include a reception at the Embassy, a round table discussion between film-makers from the two countries and other activities to strengthen ties with the Vietnamese industry and explore opportunities for future collaboration.

Climbing competition to be held at Saigon Outcast

Push Climbing will host its first climbing competition for both amateurs and professionals at the outdoor bar Saigon Outcast on October 21-22.

There will be four categories, including novice men and women, and an open event for men and women. There will be music and BBQ party during the event.

Saigon Outcast is located at 188/2 Nguyễn Văn Hưởng Street in District 2. More information can be found at http://www.saigonoutcast.com/saigon-outcast/rocktober-climbing-fest-2017/.

Workshop highlights significance of October Revolution

A workshop discussing the historical significance of Russia’s October Revolution took place in Hanoi on October 18, attracting scientists, researchers and managers from universities and agencies. 

The reports focused on the themes of the October Revolution of Russia – theoretical and practical values, lessons for Vietnamese revolution, and the October Revolution and the current age. 

They reviewed the development of socialism in countries and global socialism movements over the past century. 

Participants agreed that the October Revolution remains a significant event in history, awakening the liberation cause of the working class and helping launch socialism movements worldwide.

The event was organised by the Communist Review and People’s Army newspaper and the Academy of Journalism and Communication on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution (November 7, 1917).

Da Nang: Nearly 1.75 trillion VND raised for poor women, children

The Association in Support of Poor and Disadvantaged Women and Children in central Da Nang city has raised almost 1.75 trillion VND (77 million USD) over the last 15 years for humanitarian aid.

The information was revealed during a conference to review the association’s work in 2002-2017. It helped more than 148,500 children have heart check-ups and nearly 900 children undergo heart surgeries at a cost of 37.6 billion VND (1.66 million USD).

About 23,000 poor women were provided with cancer screenings and 488 women diagnosed with the disease received treatment. The association also allocated 1.7 billion VND (74,827 USD) for the treatment of 1,131 poor women and children with life-threatening diseases.

Additionally, the association provided accommodation for 126 poor single women and supported 450 disadvantaged women and children to have orthopaedic surgeries and rehabilitation.

On this occasion, Da Nang city and the association honoured 21 organisations and 26 individuals for their contributions to the city’s humanitarian efforts in the last 15 years.

Court hears appeal on VN Pharma’s cancer drug trial, Cham people in Ninh Thuan celebrate Kate festival, HCMC NA deputies proposes to solve difficulties for first metro line, HCMC finds out street flooding reason during mega pump operation
 
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