Drought wreaks havoc on various regions

A watermelon farm in Quang Ngai Province is damaged by flash floods. Flash floods inundate thousands of hectares of crops in Quang Ngai, Quang Nam and other provinces - PHOTO: HS

Staff Writers The center said weather conditions nationwide have turned worse this year than last year, and forecast that water shortages in south-central provinces would not ease until September despite sparse rain in other parts of the region in the past days. Rainfalls in central coastal provinces in April-September could be low. Drought comes early in central region As forecast by the center, water levels in rivers in the central and Central Highlands regions would decline by 30-90% towards August compared to the average levels of previous years. Hoang Duc Cuong, director of the center, said drought has struck Quang Tri, Quang Binh, Khanh Hoa, Ninh Thuan and Daklak provinces. Alarmingly, the water volume in reservoirs in Khanh Hoa and Ninh Thuan provinces has dropped to as low as 10-15% of their holding capacities. In Binh Thuan Province, the water volume of Da Bac Reservoir in Tuy Phong District has plummeted to 600,000 cubic meters, equivalent to 7% of its capacity of … [Read more...]

CAAV tells carriers to keep two crew members in cockpits

Aircraft of Vietnam Airlines and VietJetAir sit at Noi Bai International Airport. Local carrier and relevant units are told to review their procedures and policies concerning security, safety of pilots in the cockpit and propose amendments, if necessary, to prevent any out-of-control situations caused by intentional acts of pilots - PHOTO: BINH NGUYEN

Le Anh The new rule requires that if one of the two pilots leaves the cockpit during phases of flight, the chief flight attendant must replace him or her. The rule of two aims to detect anything abnormal during the flight and take preventive measures in a timely manner, Lai Xuan Thanh, director general of CAAV, told the Daily last Friday. He clarified that if there are only two pilots and one of them goes out of the cockpit, the chief flight attendant will have to be present in the cockpit until the pilot gets back. Thanh said CAAV will cooperate with relevant agencies to review and propose appropriate mental health tests or medical checks for pilots. Airlines and relevant units are also told to review their procedures and policies concerning security, safety of pilots in the cockpit and propose amendments, if necessary, to prevent any out-of-control situations caused by intentional acts of pilots. Commenting on the new rule, a representative of Vietnam Airlines said the … [Read more...]

City to take bold measures against SMS spam

A subscriber reads an unwanted text message on his mobile phone. According to the HCMC Department of Information and Communications, SMS spam and fraudulent texts in the city have fallen in the first quarter of this year - PHOTO: KIEU GIANG

Chi Thinh Le Quoc Cuong, deputy director of the department, told reporters last week that the department will take drastic steps to crack down on SMS spam in line with the Ministry of Information and Communications' Directive 82/CT-BTTTT. Some mobile service providers have warned their customers of fraudulent texts and calls and applied technical measures against spam. In the coming time, mobile carriers will be required to inform customers of service charges and come up with better solutions to protect their clients. According to the department, SMS spam and fraudulent texts in HCMC have gone down in the first quarter of this year. Earlier, the Authority of Information Security said SMS spam sent during the Lunar New Year holiday (Tet) declined. Telecom firms reported that they had blocked 28,000 mobile subscribers sending out SMS spam. However, SMS spam has not been under control as mobile carriers such as VNPT, Viettel and MobiFone/VMS have not worked out consistent … [Read more...]

LienVietPostBank aims for high profit this year

Thao Nguyen The bank’s other targets include total assets of VND135 trillion, chartered capital of VND9 trillion and outstanding loans of VND82 trillion. It expects to mobilize VND115 trillion and pay a 2015 dividend for shareholders at 8%. The targets are higher than what the bank achieved last year. Shareholders received a 2014 dividend of 6%, well below the 10% target. Nguyen Duc Huong, vice chairman of LienVietPostBank, told the meeting that the bank’s pre-tax profit of VND535 billion last year was VND109 billion lower than in the previous year as it spent more on its network expansion, risk provisions and technology. Pham Doan Son, general director of LienVietPostBank, said lending exceeded VND50.07 trillion last year and the ratio of overdue debt to outstanding loans stood at 1.23%. Revenue from foreign currency trading on the inter-bank market increased nearly 40% in 2014 against 2013. Turnover from foreign currency transactions between LienVietPostBank and … [Read more...]

Hotel Nikko Saigon reaps awards

The Saigon Times Daily Presented by Rakuten Travel, Golden Award 2014 is granted for hotels with the highest booking volume, revenue, guest satisfaction and consistent competitive pricing. For the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice 2015, Hotel Nikko Saigon is the winner among five-star hotels in HCMC in the category "Top 25 Luxury Hotels in Vietnam," marking its third win in a row of TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice awards, which are based on the ratings of thousands of people who posted reviews on the travel site over the year. The hotel is also honored with the Award of Excellence 2014 by Booking.com based on total reviews in 2014. It achieved an overall guest review score of 9.2/10, the highest score among all five-star hotels in the city. … [Read more...]

IPU Assembly focuses on security issues

The Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly, ongoing for the first time in Hanoi, continued its discussions on March 30 with emphasis placed on the sustainable development, environmental protection and regional and global security. Secretary General of the Association of Southeast Asian Countries (ASEAN) Le Luong Minh highlighted challenges and joint efforts of the region to increase sustainability and environment improvement in the development process. Despite ASEAN’s possession of 80% of the world’s biodiversity and 40% of all species in the world, according to Minh, the eco-system in the region has been under serious threat in recent years. The rapid increase of population, fast economic growth and the development gap between countries in the region have been putting huge pressure and caused severe environmental impacts such as water, land and air pollution, environmental deterioration in cities, forest fires, and overexploitation of natural resources and … [Read more...]

Vietnam’s position in Lee Kuan Yew’s strategic vision

Late Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew

Regional academics have described how the strategic vision of late Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew nurtured the relationship between Singapore and Vietnam, who are now special partners within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Associate Professor Alan Chong from the S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) is an expert in Singapore’s external affairs policies. He has explained to Vietnam News Agency correspondents how the country first looked for a special relationship with Vietnam after the Cold War had ended. Lee Kuan Yew, who was already seeing Singapore developing rapidly, was invited to advise the Vietnamese government in designing a development master plan for the country, Chong said. This plan triggered the quick development in relations between the two nations; a process which is continuing today, as there is still room for cooperation growth in the fields of tourism, education, agriculture and biotechnology. Associate Professor … [Read more...]

PKO: UN strongly supports Vietnam

Delegates at the working session. Photo: Vietnam+

PANO - UN Under-Secretary for Peacekeeping Operations (PKO) Hervé Ladsous on March 28th received Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh, Deputy Defence Minister of Vietnam, at the UN Headquarters. The UN official spoke highly of Vietnam as it sent a delegation to the UN Chiefs of Defence Conference. He stressed that the act shows Vietnam's high determination and responsibility in joining UN PKO activities in the coming time. He confirmed that the UN strongly supports Vietnam in UN POK activities, particularly in training of the Vietnamese POK forces. For his part, the Vietnamese officer highly appreciated the UN support for Vietnam over the past time. He reconfirmed Vietnam’s policy in joining UN PKO, which states that Vietnam participates in the UN PKO with the highest responsibility. As planned, Vietnam will send more staff officers, a level-2 field hospital, and sappers to UN peacekeeping missions shortly. Translated by Huu Khoi … [Read more...]

Vietnam’s FDI disbursement surges in first quarter

Photo: seatimes.com.vn

Disbursement of foreign direct investment (FDI) increased 7 percent to end at 3.05 billion USD in the first quarter of the year, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment's Foreign Investment Agency. The amount attracted compared to last year fell significantly however. As of March 20, the country licensed more than 1.83 billion USD in FDI, equivalent to just 55.1 percent of the same period in 2014. Of the total, 1.21 billion USD was poured into 267 newly licensed projects and the remainder was added to 102 operating projects. The agency's newest report noted that the first quarter saw newly-registered FDI drop by 40.6 percent, while the amount of capital added to existing projects fell by 51.8 percent. Manufacturing and processing remained the most attractive sector to foreign investors during the period, as it absorbed 1.4 billion USD, accounting for 76.6 percent of the total capital registered in the country. Estate trading ranked second, luring approximately 202 … [Read more...]

Former military doctors gather in Hanoi

Generals in a joint photo at the get-together.

PANO - A get-together was held in Hanoi on March 29th for former military doctors of Army Corps 3, who fought in the Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands) battlefield during the national resistance war. Sr. Lt. Gen. Nguyen Van Duoc, Chairman of the Vietnam Veterans' Association, and many generals and former military doctors attended the event. At the event, delegates recalled their glorious days overcoming many difficulties to combat the enemy in the battlefield, and successfully save soldiers' lives, contributing to fulfilling all assigned missions. The former officers now are keeping in touch with each other through a liaison board to share life's experience and continue contributing to the nation in the new context. Translated by Trung Thanh … [Read more...]

Thirty years of Meeting of Women Parliamentarians

The 30th anniversary of the Meeting of Women Parliamentarians and the 20 th anniversary of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action was marked at a ceremony in Hanoi on March 30. The Meeting, an activity held before the opening the Assemblies of the Inter-parliamentary Union (IPU) since 1986, is a forum for female parliamentarians to exchange information, experiences, and viewpoints on issues of shared interest. The increased participation of female parliamentarians has been seen at the IPU Assemblies, from 10 percent of attendees in the first years to more than 30 percent as of late. More gender-related matters have also been included in the working agenda and attracted greater attention from delegates, said Vice Chairwoman of the Vietnamese National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, who is Chairperson of the 21st Meeting of Women Parliamentarians at the ongoing 132nd IPU Assembly. At the 21st Meeting on March 28, participants reviewed the 20-year … [Read more...]

Swedish Parliament visits transformer plant in Bac Ninh

Mr. Urban Ahlin (the second from the left) at the working visit with ABB's management team. (Photo: M.V)

(CPV) -Mr. Urban Ahlin, Speaker of the Swedish Parliament on March 30th led a delegation to visit ABB’s transformer factory in Bac Ninh province on the sideline of his official visit to Vietnam on the occasion of Sweden’s participation in the 132nd General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU-132) in Hanoi. At the working visit, Mr. Urban Ahlin lauded ABB’s considering environmental criteria in crucial business decisions and engagements to obey environmental principles in its business activities in Vietnam. He was introduced production lines in ABB factory and its green products which were provided to numerous projects in Vietnam such as Phu My Thermo-power plant, Hai Van tunnel, Uong Bi Thermo-power plant, Dung Quat oil refinery plant, Tri An hydro-power plant and Phao mountain mining project. ABB in Vietnam is part of ABB Group, a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility, industry, and transport and infrastructure customers to … [Read more...]

IPU Assembly focuses on sustainable development, security issues

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Photo: VNA The Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly, ongoing for the first time in Hanoi, continued its discussions on March 30 with emphasis placed on the sustainable development, environmental protection and regional and global security. Secretary General of the Association of Southeast Asian Countries (ASEAN) Le Luong Minh highlighted challenges and joint efforts of the region to increase sustainability and environment improvement in the development process. Despite ASEAN’s possession of 80 percent of the world’s biodiversity and 40 percent of all species in the world, according to Minh, the eco-system in the region has been under serious threat in recent years. The rapid increase of population, fast economic growth and the development gap between countries in the region have been putting huge pressure and caused severe environmental impacts such as water, land and air pollution, environmental deterioration in cities, forest fires, and overexploitation of natural … [Read more...]

A miniature Dalat

The old street of Dalat in the late 19th and early 20th century is recreated at the basalt tunnel

Ngo Khac Lich However, for a must-see tourist destination like Dalat City, building a luxury resort is a very normal thing. But Dung wanted his project to be different and attractive to all visitors to this Central Highlands city. An idea came all of a sudden when one of his close friends from Saigon visited him and his project. Noticing basalt soil, getting wet with rain, stuck hardly to the shoes, his friend said: "This soil could be used to make solid houses." Then a daring thought came to Dung’s mind: "Why don’t we build a project completely from basalt?" A short time after that day, Dung started building a house all from basalt from the area in his resort in 2010. Covering an area of 150 square meters, the basalt project was successful beyond his expectations and surprised all people who used to call Dung "crazy man" when pouring money in such a project. In that house’s area, Dung built a Vietnamese map with Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) … [Read more...]

French firms to showcase wines in Vietnam

Guest join in a wine tasting event last year - PHOTO: COURTESY OF ORGANIZER

Kieu Giang The event, arranged by Business France Vietnam, will gather over 200 local wine experts to taste creations from some of the most popular wine making regions in France, including Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Cognac, Languedoc-Roussillon, and Rhône. The organizer also expects to enhance trade cooperation between the two countries. The participating firms include Advini, D.A.D., Delice Wine, Distillerie Vinet- Delpech S.A.S., Domaines Paul Mas, and Louis Max. According to statistics of the organizer, Vietnam is one of the most dynamic wine markets in Asia with average annual growth of 10% by 2016. France is still a leading exporter of wines to Vietnam. For further information, contact Ms. Oanh at (08) 3520 6890, or via email thanhoanh.tonthien@businessfrance.fr or Ms. Mai at (04) 3944 5855, email: mai.nguyenthithanh@businessfrance.fr or visit the website www.ubifrance.com/vn. … [Read more...]

18-year-old son in Mekong Delta kills mom for jewelries

The earthen jar in which Dat dumped his mother's body inside for 24 days. Photo: Tuoi Tre.

The police in the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang has detained a 18-year-old man living in Rach Gia City for killing his mother for her jewelries, the deputy chief of the local police agency told Tuoi Tre on Monday. The local police agency has decided to arrest Nguyen Kha Dat, who was born in 1997, for further investigation to prosecute him on two counts of murder and robbery, said Colonel Hoang Quoc Viet, deputy chief of the municipal police division in charge of social crimes (PC45). At the investigation agency, Dat claimed that he killed his mother, Nguyen Thi Minh Trinh, 42, at their house at night on March 5, after his mother refused to offer him the money he needed to buy a new motorbike, said the police agency. Dat said he pushed his mother so that she fell backwards on the floor after a fierce argument with her. After that, seeing his mother wearing many pieces of gold jewelries, Dat thought of killing her for the jewelries so that he can sell for money to buy a new … [Read more...]

Vietnam, DPRK officials discuss to boost co-operation

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Vice Chairman of the National Assembly Huynh Ngoc Son (VNA) NDO/VNA - Vice Chairman of the National Assembly Huynh Ngoc Son hosted a reception for Choe Jin-su, Chairman of the Democratic Front for the Reunification of Korea, on March 30. The Chairman is in Hanoi to attend the 132 nd Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. As a traditional friend of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Vietnam shares the delight of the DPRK’s achievements during its nation-building and development process, Son said. Vietnam intends to consolidate and strengthen the two countries’ time-honoured friendship for the benefit of their peoples and for peace, stability, co-operation and development in the region, he stated. The host also suggested both sides maintain visits and meetings between Party, State and Parliament offices, and added that Vietnam wants to boost its economic ties with the DPRK through market economy principles. The guest recalled the … [Read more...]

IPU highlights water governance for sustainable development

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Photo: VNA The central role of people in managing the effective use of water resources for sustainable development was the main focus of dicussions of the Standing Committee on Sustainable Development, Finance and Trade of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Hanoi on M arch 29 and 30. Participants offered their opinions on the draft Resolution "Shaping a new system of water governance: Promoting parliamentary action on water". Other key agenda points included human rights, especially those of women and children, in using water resources effectively and sustainably; the serious impact of water shortages on livelihoods and development; and the respect of signed international laws, agreements and conventions on water. Deputy Head of the Economic Affairs Committee of Vietnam’s National Assembly (NA) Nguyen Van Phuc called on countries sharing water resources to enhance cooperation in issues concerning international water resources. He stressed the need to consider the … [Read more...]

VN shares foreign policy with foreign legislators

Deputy PM, FM Pham Binh Minh - Photo: VGP

VGP – Deputy PM, FM Pham Binh Minh on Monday shared Viet Nam’s foreign policy with nearly 2,000 participants to the plenary session of the ongoing 132nd Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly. Deputy PM, FM affirmed that the foreign policy aims to achieve peace, cooperation and development, thus the country expects to be come a reliable friend and partner of all nations and a responsible member of the international community. Viet Nam always attaches importance to friendly relations with all countries, especially neighboring and regional countries, perseveringly strives to work with the global community to build a fair and equal international order on the basis of multilateralism, the UN Charter and international laws. The Southeast Asian country also appreciates the role and voice of multi-lateral institutions and forums which deal with security and development issues. It is now an active and responsible member of a number of international organizations and forums like … [Read more...]

Vietnam, DPRK officials discuss to boost cooperation

Vice Chairman of the National Assembly Huynh Ngoc Son hosted a reception for Choe Jin-su, Chairman of the Democratic Front for the Reunification of Korea, on March 30. The Chairman is in Hanoi to attend the 132nd Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. As a traditional friend of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Vietnam shares the delight of the DPRK’s achievements during its nation-building and development process, Son said. Vietnam intends to consolidate and strengthen the two countries’ time-honoured friendship for the benefit of their peoples and for peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region, he stated. The host also suggested both sides maintain visits and meetings between Party, State and Parliament offices, and added that Vietnam wants to boost its economic ties with the DPRK through market economy principles. The guest recalled the traditional friendship between the two countries, which was initiated and nurtured … [Read more...]