EVENTS SCHEDULED FOR FEB. 1-10 (daily updated)

Frankenstein Theatre Performances in Vietnam ADGE Europe presents TNT Theatre Britain in: FRANKENSTEIN The Monster and the Myth By Paul Stebbings and Phil Smith inspired by the Mary Shelley novel and the Hollywood movies. Performances in English HANOI OPERA HOUSE Wed 18 Mar 2015, 8 pm - HCMC OPERA HOUSE Fri 20 Mar 2015, 11 am 20 and 21 Mar 2015, 8 pm Tickets information below From ADGE: FRANKENSTEIN is one of the most potent modern myths. TNT revives its internationally acclaimed production in autumn 2014. Too many stage versions and even films ignore that this story is not a novel but a myth that has grown out of Mary Shelley's original; so our production combines Boris Karloff's immense impact with that of the original story to create a fascinating and entertaining new work. This FRANKENSTEIN is a Gothic comedy and a gripping a horror thriller that explores the darker themes within the myth. Should scientific research be held back by irrational prejudice or religious … [Read more...]

Controversy erupts over proposed immigration ban on rule-breaking Vietnamese models, beauties

Vietnamese models Le Tuong Vy (left) and Huynh Thi Thuy Anh, as seen in this  Tuoi Tre  file photo, have been fined by the Performing Arts Department for competing in international beauty pageants without seeking its prior consent.

Members of the public, lawyers, and showbiz celebs in Vietnam have frowned on the national performing department’s proposal to ban models and beauties who have competed in other countries without seeking prior permission from going abroad. Nguyen Dang Chuong, head of the Performing Arts Department under the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism recently said in an interview with a local newspaper that his department will recommend the Ministry of Public Security to bar models and beauties who defy local performing regulations from leaving Vietnam. The proposal came as a drastic, preventive measure to cope with local beauties’ unauthorized competition in overseas pageants in recent years, Chuong added. Six beauties and models were found competing in international pageants abroad without permission last year. The latest example is Dieu Linh, a model in Ho Chi Minh City. On January 9, Linh was fined VND22.5 million (US$1,049) by the chief inspector of the Ho Chi … [Read more...]

Enterprises relish low corporate income tax

A recently-released World Bank report showed that Vietnam’s effective corporate income tax rate (CIT) stands at 15.7 percent, proving to be more attractive than Singapore (17 percent), Indonesia (16.7 percent), Thailand (17.9 percent) and Malaysia (21 percent). "This reflects that Vietnam is giving tax incentives to businesses," said the Doing Business 2015 report as quoted by Vietnam Investment Review. "Vietnam ’s low CIT is contributing to making Vietnam ’s business climate more competitive. Firms from France , Hong Kong and Malaysia that we are advising to invest in Vietnam give a warm welcome to the country’s tax reforms," said Tran Trong Binh, senior associate of French-backed law firm Audier & Partners. "However, such a low CIT itself is not strong enough for the country to attract more foreign investors," he said, adding many foreign investors said that Vietnam’s investment cost is 1.5-2 times higher than in other nations in the region, … [Read more...]

Art & Entertainment News 26/1

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"Impressions on Mongolia" art exhibition opens in HCMC Ho Chi Minh City Union of Literature & Arts Association and HCMC Fine Arts Association will organize art exhibition named "Impressions on Mongolia" from January 27 to February 7 at 81 Tran Quoc Thao, District 3, HCMC. 30 oil & lacquer paintings, over 100 art photos and sketch of 14 female artists in HCMC featuring Mongolia’s culture and life will be on display during the event. The organization board plans to bring this exhibition to Ha Noi in July 2015 on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Mongolia’s independence (11.7.1921-11.7.2015) TNT Theatre tours across Viet Nam The British TNT Theatre will perform Frankenstein – The Monster and the Myth from March 17 to 21 in Ha Noi and HCM City. The play is directed by Paul Stebbings, with music and sound effects by composer Paul Flush. Too many stage and film adaptations of Frankenstein ignore that the story is not just a novel, but a myth that has … [Read more...]

Foreign food and agri-firms set to reap bountiful harvests this year

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VietNamNet Bridge – Many foreign food and agricultural firms are expecting to reap good returns in Vietnam this year. Vu Quoc Tuan, corporate affairs manager of Swiss-owned Nestle Vietnam told VIR that Nestle had just completed a $37 million expansion of its Milo drink factory in the southern province of Dong Nai, doubling its capacity to 100,000 tonnes. It was expected that Nestle Vietnam will experience revenue growth in the double digits. "Nestle has invested nearly $500 million in Vietnam. However, whether it will invest more or not will depend on many factors," Tuan said. Nestle currently runs five factories in Vietnam and employs about 2,000 workers. Le Tran Anh Dung, director of Singaporean-backed Olam Vietnam’s branch in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak, also told VIR that the branch’s total revenue this year would likely grow 200 per cent on-year thanks to favourable market conditions. However, it was expected that revenue for 2015 would grow … [Read more...]

Art & Entertainment News 23/1

Heroic performance wins virtual fireworks competition in Da Nang Tran Anh Tuan from the Da Nang-based Duy Tan University was named the winner of the Virtual Fireworks Competition 2014 yesterday. Tuan's display, titled Phu Dong Thien Vuong (The Heavenly King of Phu Dong Village), beat 30 other entries designed by individuals and teams from HCM City, Can Tho, An Giang, Hao Phong, Hai Duong and Da Nang to win the VND15 million (US$700) cash-prize. "My work demonstrates a fireworks performance on screen that features the power of Vietnamese people through the image of a legendary hero," Tuan said . His friends from Duy Tan University finished second with a prize of VND10 million ($470), while a team from Loc Xoay (Whirlwind) Trading and Information Company came third. Head of the organising committee Pham Kim Son said the competition was a prelude for the Da Nang International Fireworks Competition 2015 to be held on the city's Han River from April 28-29. Son said it would be … [Read more...]

Social News 23/1

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US Embassy announces student exchange openings The US Department of State has announced that it is now accepting applications for its Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (UGRAD) for emerging student leaders from Vietnam. The programme offers study at a U.S. college or university for eight Vietnamese students in which the participants will engage in one semester of undergraduate, non-degree study at an accredited two- or four-year institution. Participants will engage in local community service projects and take part in cultural enrichment activities. The host institutions will also provide participants with academic skill development classes. In addition, participants who do not meet the host institution language requirements will be eligible for two to four weeks of intensive English language instruction in the United States prior to the start of the academic portion of their programme. The programme is managed and funded by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs … [Read more...]

Agriculture Likely to Attract More Investors?

As a researcher in agricultural and rural development strategies and policies, Dr Do Anh Tuan thinks that it is time enterprises rushed into agriculture.Domestic investors get prepared Dr Nguyen Do Anh Tuan, Deputy Director of the Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development (IPSARD) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that Vietnam’s agricultural sector has gathered enough factors that investors look for: Benefit and opportunity. The benefit is the advantage of agriculture, which includes favourable climate, soil, and abundant human resources or labour force. Regarding policy, the Government of Vietnam always focuses on attracting investment capital, particularly FDI, for agriculture, forestry, fishery and rural development. The opportunity is the deepening and broadening integration process, driven by free trade agreements (FTAs) with regions, nations and territories in the world. However, investors will spend their money on … [Read more...]

Billiards and snooker players prepare for SEA Games

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Billiards and snooker players prepare for SEA Games The national billiards and snooker team have convened in Ha Noi and HCM City to prepare for the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Singapore in June. The 20-member team includes veterans Do Hoang Quan, Nguyen Anh Tuan, Ma Minh Cam and Tran Phi Hung, as well as Nguyen Thanh Binh, Nguyen Ngoc Thanh and Pham Thanh Thuy. The players aim to win gold medals in the one-cushion carom and men's nine-ball pool doubles and singles events. After the SEA Games, the players will compete in the three-cushion Carom World Cup to be held in HCM City in August. VN aerobic athletes off to Japan Viet Nam will partake in the Japan junior aerobics tournament on January 23-27. The team includes Ha Vy, Minh Hien, Minh Phuong, Quang Anh, Ngoc Anh and Duc Huy, who will compete in all categories. While this is a Japanese national event, Viet Nam's team were still invited because of their impressive performances in recent international events. … [Read more...]

Corporal punishment prohibited in HCM City’s schools

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VietNamNet Bridge – Educators have been called on to reconsider the "you have to be cruel to be kind" education philosophy which has been applied in Vietnam for hundreds of years. The fact that a sixth grader in HCM City died after she was spanked by a teacher has once again rung the alarm bell over education methods used in Vietnamese schools. The student died after she was beaten on the rear by a female teacher with a ruler just because she had not learned her lesson. The Tan Phu district’s Education and Training Sub-department has released a document stipulating that all corporal punishment is prohibited and that teachers violating the regulations will be strictly disciplined. The ban, a parent commented, would not save the life of the sixth grader, but will help reduce corporal punishment and save the lives of students. "Forgetting to do home exercises, having private talks during the lessons, or having no private blackboards during math lessons all could be … [Read more...]

Vietnamese film to compete at Berlin International Film Festival

A scene in the film.

PANO – A Vietnamese film, "Father and son and…", by Director Phan Dang Di has been named as one of the eight films to compete for Golden Bear Award at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival from February 5th to 15th. The film stars actress Do Thi Hai Yen and actors Le Cong Hoang and Truong The Vinh. Held annually in February since 1951, the festival is considered one of the most prestigious awards of the world. Translated by Chung Anh … [Read more...]

Social News 18/1

Hand, foot and mouth disease strikes Hanoi A health official from the Hanoi Health Department says a surging outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease in ten districts in Hanoi has infected 36 people so far this year. According to the official, there have been five separate outbreaks reported and there is an especially high risk of a widespread outbreak in Bac Tu Liem district with six infected cases recently reported. There is no vaccine to prevent the disease, the official said. Vietnam recorded 80,685 cases of hand-foot and mouth disease in 2014 including eight deaths while Hanoi reported 1,170 infected cases in 26 out of 30 districts citywide. The disease is a contagious viral illness that commonly affects infants and young children. Symptoms usually begin with a fever, sore throat, painful sores in the mouth. Complications include viral meningitis, myocarditis, and acute pneumonia, which can be fatal. To reduce the risk of catching the virus, both children and adults should … [Read more...]

Youngster takes the plunge in HCM City canal

Tran Viet Anh (front) and a group of friends cycle along HCM City's Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe Canal to spread the message of keeping the canal clean. A few days earlier, he swam in the once-filthy canal to raise money to buy warm clothes for poor kids in the northern mountains.

VietNamNet Bridge – On a chilly day just after Christmas, curious passers-by stopped at Hoang Hoa Tham Bridge in HCM City's District 1 to gawk at a young man who jumped into the Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe Canal. In the poor light at dusk, many peered anxiously, wondering what would happen next. A few seconds later they breathed a sigh of relief: The youngster had merely decided to swim in the canal. Hai Phong native Tran Viet Anh, 24, had taken a bus from Phan Thiet to HCM City after a friend had dared him to swim in what had been for decades an exceedingly dirty canal. At stake was a VND10 million (US$470) donation from the friend — whose name Anh refuses to divulge — for his charity campaign which has taken him on a bicycle to 39 provinces and cities. He is raising money to buy warm clothes and medicines for 1,000 children in Son La Province in the northern mountains. The canal, into which people hitherto only jumped to commit suicide, was recently cleaned … [Read more...]

Many aviation execs dismissed, disciplined

Le Anh According to the ministry, VATM dismissed Le Van Tinh, head of the company’s technical guarantee center and his deputy Nguyen Quoc Phu, for the more-than-an-hour power blackout at the air traffic control tower at the international airport on November 20 last year. The company disciplined Tran Cong, deputy director of Southern Flight Management Company (SFMC) and Phung Minh Tan, head of the company’s technical department, for their responsibilities for the sudden power cut which turned off the radar and made it impossible for the air traffic tower to function properly. The incident affected 92 flights, with 54 of them in operation and the rest about to take off. Regarding the incident in which a Vietnam Airlines plane almost hit a military helicopter above the airport on October 29 last year, a number of SFMC staff were reprimanded, including Tran Minh Bao, head of the approach control center, crew chief Nguyen Van Duong, and air traffic controllers Doan Ngoc … [Read more...]

Social News 15/1

S.Korea firm to sue workers for loss-causing strike Striking workers at a South Korean-invested firm in HCM City will be sued for losses caused to the company. Some 800 workers at Carimax Sai Gon Ltd. Co. went on strike January 3 after the company declined to pass on a mandated rise in minimum wages. Company officials said on January 12 that workers who failed to carry out their duties for five consecutive days would be sacked and sued for losses incurred by the company. Carimax said trade union intervention had failed to resolve the strike. The government decreed last year minimum wages would rise by VND250,000-400,000 (USD11.9-USD19) a month, depending on region, from January 1, 2015. But on December 27, the board of directors at Carimax said that because of 2014 losses, the pay rise would be determined according to each worker's attitude, capability and experiences. It also declared the Tet bonus would be 90% of a worker's monthly wage, but if workers went on strike, the … [Read more...]

Ho Chi Minh City surpasses revenue targets

Ho Chi Minh City. — File Photo

Budget revenue for HCM City last year reached VND164.23 trillion (US$7.7 billion), 8 per cent higher than the year's target and a year-on-year increase of 4.73 per cent. The figures were released during a conference held last Friday to review tax operations in HCM City. Le Xuan Duong, deputy head of the HCM City's Tax Department, said last year domestic revenue (excluding budget collections from crude oil) exceeded the target to reach VND129.5 trillion ($6.07 billion), an increase of nearly 9 per cent over the previous year and four per cent higher than the year's target. The budget collection from the economic sector in the city, for the first time, surpassed the city's target last year to top $92.5 trillion ($4.3 billion), accounting for more than 70 per cent of total domestic revenue. Le Thanh Hai, secretary of the Party Committee of HCM City, said tax collection from the city's four key industrial sectors had increased significantly over the past years and contributed up to … [Read more...]

Art & Entertainment News 10/1

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Vietnamese publisher releases ‘Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang’ Kim Dong Publishing House has released a Vietnamese version of the delightful children’s novel ‘Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang: The Magical Car’translated by Hoang Anh. The novel, which was first published in 1964 by Ian Fleming two months after his death, tells the story about a racing car Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is a story that Fleming created for his son Caspar at bedtime. It is a tale about a magical car that flies, floats and even thinks. This enjoyable story follows Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the Pott family as they embark upon adventures that take them to the sky, the sea and beyond! Familiar to many through the original book, the 1968 classic film starring Dick Van Dyke also helped mark the story an enduring classic for children and adults throughout the world. Vietnam-Japan Festive Day to blast off at Royal City Thousands of youth and students from universities, … [Read more...]

Digital music thrives in Vietnam, but at a price

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In today’s Internet age, digital music has gained a preponderance in the music market in Vietnam – just as in other countries – but it remains plagued by poor quality and rampant copyright infringements. The year 2014 has seen a further explosion of digital music, with many songs enjoying huge popularity. Young singers such as Son Tung M-TP, Truc Nhan, and Truong Thao Nhi have been catapulted to fame with several online hits. The POPS Awards 2014 was recently launched for the first time in Vietnam by POPS Worldwide – a local company which is a pioneer in the country’s digital entertainment sector – to honor digital entertainment works. The organizer handed away prizes to young singers during their award presentation ceremony in Ho Chi Minh City on December 10. Other local music awards including Lan Song Xanh (Blue Wave) and Zing Music Awards (ZMA) also boast digital music prizes. ZMA’s list of the year’s most notable songs … [Read more...]

Top places in major cities to celebrate New Year

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(VOV) - We’ve scoured Hanoi and HCM city to compile this bucket list of the best places to ring in the New Year. The New Year holidays come but once a year, so it’s worth it to make them memorable. Countdown festivals Yamaha Clear Men Countdown kicks off at 8pm on December 31 at the August Revolution Square in front of the Hanoi Opera House. This year’s programme features performing artist Do Kim Phuc, the Microwave rock band and rocker Pham Anh Khoa. The annual Heineken Countdown gets underway at 9pm on December 31 at Thien Quang Lake with the participation of singers Ho Ngoc Ha, Tuan Hung, Hoang THuy Linh, Bui Anh Tuan, Kimmese, Rapper Boogie, DJ Kruise, Drew Tudose… Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi has organized a countdown festival on December 31, showcasing the unique products of ethnic minority groups in mountainous areas including brocade, silver jewellery and other handicrafts. An art firework programme and laser light shows blasts off at the … [Read more...]

Woman does chores for charity

Doing good: Nguyen Hoang Thai Tram asks people to hire her as a domestic help to raise funds for charity. She advertises herself on Facebook and has received many labour contracts. — Photo courtesy of Thai Tram's facebook

VietNamNet Bridge – "I can cook and sing. I'm inspirational and a good listener. I have seven years of experience in sales and marketing." This is how Nguyen Hoang Thai Tram of HCM City, 27, advertised when she decided to hire herself out as a household helper for charity. "I can do housework, walk with you, listen to you and look after your children," her ad continued. "I refuse illegal work and other unsuitable things." One day while riding her motorbike, Tram wondered how she could help the HIV-positive children she visits regularly at the Mai Tam Centre in Thu Duc District near her house. She decided to write a facebook status asking people to hire her for VND200,000 an hour, with all proceeds going toward Christmas presents for the children. Tram said she wants to bring them the exciting feeling of having new things. "I know, for children, the feeling of trying new clothes, removing the tags and opening a box of new toys, is so wonderful," Tram said. She works as a … [Read more...]