Last update 11/24/2011 1:32:00 PM (GMT+7)


ASEM high-level forum on employment and social policy

An ASEM high-level forum on employment and social policy took place in Hanoi on November 24.

The event was co-chaired by Vietnamese Vice Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Thanh Hoa, and Kristin Schreiber, a representative of the European Commission.

The focus of two plenary sessions was on developing vocational skills and jobs for young people, ensuring social welfare for all people, and providing powerful tools for economic growth, decent employment and social cohesion.

Speaking at the forum, Vice Minister Hoa emphasized the significance of the event in the post-crisis period.

She said the global economic downturn has posed many challenges, particularly for employment, social welfare and sustainable development for all countries over the world.

According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), the downturn has left 205 million people jobless and driven 64 million people into poverty.

On November 25, the ASEM Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) for Labour and Employment will be held to review progress made in the implementation of the “Leiden Framework of Action” adopted in 2010.

Participants will discuss the organization, proceedings and substantive issues for the 4th ASEM Labour and Employment Ministers’ Conference (LEMC 4), which will be hosted by Vietnam next year.

Police seize bike racers using fishing nets

Police in Thanh Hoa City have used fishing nets to catch racers and those driving bikes dangerously in a novel new approach to solving these problems.

Thanh Hoa traffic police officers uses fishing nets to catch illegal racers and those driving bikes dangerously.  (Photo: Tuoi Tre)

The measure has been approved by the Thanh Hoa Province Police Department and is applied only to drivers who illegally race, drive at excessive speeds, or zigzag on streets; not to those who commit normal traffic violations, Lieutenant Colonel My Duy Xuan, head of the city traffic police team, told Tuoi Tre yesterday, Nov 23.

He emphasized that the tactic is used only once racers or others driving dangerously do not stop their vehicles after they have been signaled to do so by traffic police officers.

“Upon finding any illegal activity, we throw the net onto the rear wheel of their vehicles and the net clings to the wheels, forcing the vehicles to stop.

“We have used fishing nets to seize 21 motorbike drivers at several major crossroads and on the section of National Highway 1A that runs through the city,” he said.

He also confirmed that this method of seizure has neither caused any injuries to the drivers seized nor led to any incidents involving others on the streets.

“After nearly a month of applying the tactic, we have yet to receive any complaints from the public,” he concluded.

Mekong River Commission hands HYCOS over to Vietnam

A national conference has taken place in Hanoi to discuss the roadmap for transferring the key functions of the Mekong River Commission (MRC) in order to ensure sustainable development in the Mekong Basin as well as to protect water and food security.

The event was organized on November 23 by the MRC in coordination with the Vietnamese Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

According to the conference, Vietnam will be the first nation out of the four member countries of the MRC to receive the hydrological observing stations of the Mekong Hydrological Cycle Observing System (HYCOS) project from the MRC Secretariat.

Nguyen Thai Lai, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, said Vietnam will quickly implement the transferred functions at its agencies.

The MRC was set up in April 1995 with the signing of an agreement on technical cooperation for sustainable development in the Mekong basin.

Bidding to open emergency door, Taiwanese passenger faces fines

A Taiwanese passenger is facing cash fines after his attempt to open the emergency door during a flight from Taiwan to Vietnam on Saturday, according to local aviation authorities.

Chuang Wen, 81, rushed to open the door just one hour after the flight VN581, operated by national flagship carrier Vietnam Airlines (VNA), had taken off.

Another passenger managed to stop him when Wen was trying to move the emergency handle and press the “Open” button.

The crew immediately arrived at the scene and took the man back to his seat after documenting this rule violation.

The old man then explained he had just wanted to use the restroom, and mistaken the emergency exit for its entrance.

Wen was under close monitoring for the rest of the flight.

He risks fines of up to VND20 million (US$960), according to the local aviation authorities.

Earlier this month, a 22-year-old Vietnamese college student who claimed he was a first-time flyer opened the emergency door while the airplane was on the runway.

The VNA-operated flight,  from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi, was then delayed for over two hours.

Hand-foot-mouth cases drop in HCM City

Four months of intensified efforts to fight the hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) has seen the number of cases fall remarkably from its peak period, according to HCM City's Preventive Medicine Centre.

The peak period for the disease in HCM City was in late June and early July when children's hospitals were treating at least 160 children and receiving around 100 new cases everyday. Many kindergartens were closed during that time.

The number of new cases has fallen to around 50 per day at the moment. There was one fatality in September, down from seven in August.

From early this year to the end of September, HCM City, the country's most populated city, had the highest number of HFMD infections and fatalities. Nearly 11,000 patients were hospitalised in the first nine months of the year and 29, mostly children, succumbed to the disease, which had spread to 13 of the city's 24 districts.

Whenever there was a likely surge in HFMD cases, the centre, Health Department, and People's Committee met frequently to hear reports, analyse the situation and discuss further preventive measures, said Tran Thu Manh Sieu, director the Preventive Medicine Centre.

He said the centre maintained contact with the most infected areas, providing information on preventive measures and antiseptic medicines to schools and families. Twelve inspection teams were set up to constantly monitor steps taken to prevent and control the spread of the disease in the city's 24 districts.

The People's Committee approved dozens of billions of dong from the city budget to help fight the disease, Sieu said.

There is no vaccine or drug to combat HFMD, but high standards of personal hygiene can significantly reduce the risk of infection.

The number of new infections and fatalities still remains high throughout the country due to poor public awareness and maintenance of hygiene, according to the Preventive Medicine Centre under the Ministry of Health.

Eleven provinces and cities still have a high number of patients with HFMD and it remains on an upward trend in several, including Thanh Hoa, Quang Ninh, Ninh Thuan and Khanh Hoa.

Since early this year, more than 90,000 cases have been reported in 63 provinces and cities nation-wide. More than 150 people have died from the disease, most of them children under five.

Killing pregnant woman, man condemned to death

An appellate court in the southern province of Dong Nai yesterday, Nov 23, sentenced a 26-year-old local man to death for murdering and robbing a girl and a pregnant woman last year.

Nguyen Thien Kim, hailing from the provincial capital Bien Hoa City, had appealed to the court for leniency but it said his crime was too serious for any such.

Kim confessed he had killed Chau Kim Phuc, the 15-year-old girl from the city, with an electric wire on July 7, 2010.

An acquaintance of Phuc’s family, Kim said to the girl – when she was home alone – that her father had asked him to make some installation on her laptop, and told her to take him to the equipment upstairs.

He strangled Phuc with the wire when she was turning on the computer in her father’s bedroom.

The man then fled in a taxi after taking away the laptop, a camera, some jewelry, and over VND7 million (US$336).

He hid them all at his home except for the jewelry which he had sold at VND13 million ($625).

The killer also admitted, under constant questioning by local police who had visualized a link between this case and another two months earlier, to murdering Vo Thi Hong Thanh in retaliation against her husband who had badmouthed him.

On May 16 last year, Thanh came to Kim’s house to say prayers with his father, a Protestant pastor, as usual.

Knowing the woman was six months pregnant, Kim enticed her into his room for a book on pregnancy.

He throttled Thanh with another electric wire when she was following him into the room.

Kim took her cellphone and jewelry worth VND25 million ($1,200) prior to wrapping the body in a blanket and locking it up in his room.

The murderer threw it into a deserted well in the backyard in the evening.

He then neutralized the smell from the body by pouring detergent down the well once in two days.

France helps build Ca Pass tunnel

A signing ceremony of credit support worth US$800-900 million for the Vietnam’s Ca Pass tunnel project was held in Paris on November 22.  

The French Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank (CA-CIB) and the Societe Generale Group (SG) and the Vietnamese Deo Ca Investment Joint Stock Company signed a memorandum of understanding for the project.

The Ca Pass tunnel is a key project for the network of national highways linking the northern and southern parts of the country. The tunnel has attracted great attention from foreign credit institutions due to its high feasibility.