Homemade explosives easy to buy, but take heavy toll in Vietnam

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A young Ho Chi Minh City man has not attempted to create explosives since losing his left hand when an unintended explosion took place on February 3. Photo courtesy of Tuoi Tre Explosives are as easy to buy in Vietnam as meat, and playing with them as if they were toys has become a trend among the youths, some of whom were victims of accidents last month. The price for playing with explosives often comes in blood and bone. Vietnamese laws only allow fully state-owned companies to become licensed to use, trade or produce industrial explosives, but Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper uncovered that online forums have been up and operating for several years, which now have many members who gather online to discuss producing explosives and related activities. The members said there are hundreds of combinations of chemicals that produce different explosive sounds and colors. They mentioned more than ten destinations where such chemicals can be obtained in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, including … [Read more...]

Serious traffic accident kills three, injures many

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In a serious traffic accident at 7.45am this morning, August 22, three people were killed and several others injured when a truck rammed into a 50-seater passenger bus on the Da Lat-Nha Trang Route in Sar Commune of Lac Duong District in Lam Dong Province. According to initial information, a 50-seater bus belonging to the Phuong Trang Transport Company traveling from Dalat to Nha Trang was hit by a sand truck, which was coming from the opposite direction. Among the three killed was one truck staff, 40-year-old Nguyen Van Hoi, a resident of Da Lat; an unidentified passenger; and one assistant bus driver, 25-year-old Cao Minh Son, from Quang Binh Province. … [Read more...]

Activities launched to support students during entrance exams

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The Student Support Center in Ho Chi Minh City has announced that the program Tiep Suc Mua Thi (Support Students in University Entrance Exam) which was launched by the Vietnam Students' Association will resume from June 3 till the end of the exams. Under the program, students' associations, students support centers and youth unions of 40 universities and colleges in the city will offer free meals, bus tickets, maps and free or inexpensive lodgings to candidates and their relatives. Quach Hai Dat, director of the HCMC Students Support Center, said the center had prepared 60,000 free meals and 40,000 lodging houses, including more than 8,500 gratis ones, for candidates from low income families. Dat added that the center along with Phuong Trang Transport Company will pick up 100 poor students from the southern provinces of Tay Ninh, Dong Thap, Tien Giang, Ben Tre and the central province of Binh Thuan to bring to exam venues in the city for free. In addition, the organizers will … [Read more...]

Transport firms on road to higher fares

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Scores of Ho Chi Minh City-based transport firms are weighing up hiking fares on the back of escalating fuel costs. illustration photo The recent fuel price surge on March 29 made a number of transport firms mull plans to hike fares. Accordingly, a litre of petrol jumped 10 per cent to VND21,300 ($1.02) from VND19,300, while a litre of diesel rose from VND18,300 to VND21,000. The increase followed an 18 per cent hike on February 24. Ho Chi Minh City Union of Transport Cooperatives director Phung Dang Hai suggested a 10 per cent hike to current fare levels. "Otherwise, transport firms can not offset operating costs," Hai said. The 10 per cent hike was also the ceiling level members of the Ho Chi Minh City Taxis Association will shortly apply, said its chairman Ta Long Hy. Sixteen out of 32 taxis firms are reportedly operating in the southern growth engine and they will soon add VND600 to VND1,000 per square kilometre to current fares. Ho Chi Minh City Goods Transport … [Read more...]

National Day brings sudden boom to travel industry

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A four-day weekend means travel will be popular and keep the transportation sources busy during Vietnam's National Day. During the National Day holiday, Hanoi's My Dinh Bus Station expects to see an increase in the number of passengers traveling on shorter routes to Viet Tri City, Thai Nguyen City, Cam Pha Town, Cao Bang and Thanh Hoa provinces as well as longer routes such as Vinh City, Son La, Ha Giang and Dien Bien provinces. Nguyen Manh Tien, Manager of the My Dinh Bus Station said, "We will coordinate with transportation companies to mobilise 60 additional buses [for the holiday]. We are determined to strictly adhere to safety regulations and keeping our passengers in the best of care while using our services." Tien added, "This year's National Day holiday is close to the great celebration of Hanoi's 1,000 year anniversary so there will be a massive number of tourists visiting the city." Nguyen Nhu Truc, Manager of Gia Lam Bus Station shared, "The number of passengers … [Read more...]

Nation sets off for national holidays

With all public and private offices closed for four days on national holidays, tens of thousands of residents in big cities are preparing to come back hometown or flock to tourist hotpots, causing a dearth of bus, airplane and train tickets. Nguyen Thi Huyen Trang of HCM City 's district 4 had to stand two hours in the queue this week to buy a bus ticket for April 29 to Bao Loc Town in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong. She said she is going to her hometown to visit her parents during the long holiday starting on April 30, the Liberation Day. She was afraid bus tickets will not be available and so buy well in advance. Phuong Trang Transport Company, one of the major operators on this route, has no tickets left for April 30. It has also run out of seats on the HCM City-Gia Lai province, HCM City-Buon Ma Thuot routes. Thuong Thanh Hai, deputy head of HCM City 's Eastern Bus Terminal, said the number of passengers travelling during the holiday is likely to be 100 … [Read more...]

Nation hits the road for national holidays

Nguyen Thi Huyen Trang of HCM City 's district 4 had to stand two hours in the queue this week to buy a bus ticket for April 29 to Bao Loc Town in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong. She said she is going to her hometown to visit her parents during the long holiday starting on April 30, the Liberation Day. With all public and private offices closed for four days, she was afraid bus tickets will not be available and so búy well in advance. Phuong Trang Transport Company, one of the major operators on this route, has no tickets left for April 30. … [Read more...]

Quality coaches for Tet deficient

HCMC - Most transport companies in HCMC and other provinces announced on Monday that deluxe coach service for the Lunar New Year holidays, or Tet, has been sold out. As observed by the Daily on Monday at Mien Dong Coach Station in Binh Thanh District in eastern HCMC, most ticket agents shook their heads when passengers asked for tickets to their central and northern provinces. The hustle to buy deluxe class tickets at the Mien Dong Coach Station - Photo: Quoc Hung Tet falls on January 26 and the height of this season's transport demand will be from January 15 to January 24. According to Mien Dong Coach Station, demand for coach service is up 10% over last year. Vu Ngoc Duc of Phuong Trang Transport Company told clients on Monday that there were no more tickets to Qui Nhon, Danang, Nha Trang, Dalat and other provinces over these nine days. "We only have 20 coaches through Mien Dong Coach Station, not enough for the higher demand," Duc told the Daily. He said the company on Monday … [Read more...]

Home-made explosives pose danger to community

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There are many websites available that teach people how to make explosives at home, even though home-made dynamite has injured and disabled many people, a Tuoi Tre investigation has found. A young man who lost his left hand in an explosion he causedPhoto: Tuoi Tre >> 'Time bombs' in HCMC>> Directors weigh in on movie explosives>> Amateur videos of city explosions that killed ten>> Deadly blasts, killing 10, caused by movie props?>> 10 killed in home collapse caused by explosion One website has been operating for three years and is run by a Vietnamese person. The site has a forum that attracts many members from around the country, where people discuss how to make an explosive with different chemicals. Based on instructions posted in the forum, people can make different explosives through various formulas depending on their taste and budget. The most popular explosive is one that gives off a loud noise and colorful flash when detonated. However, … [Read more...]

Vietnam counter-terrorism police probe bus station blast

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The Ministry of Public Security on Friday sent a counter-terrorism team to investigate an that injured three people at a bus station explosion in the Mekong Delta City of Can Tho the day before. The main suspect, La Hoang Sang, 28, was detained by Can Tho police on Friday. Sang was one of the injured, the others being his girlfriend Duong Thi Thuy Trang, 19, and another passenger Tran Van Thanh, 27. Footage from security cameras at the bus terminal waiting room of Phuong Trang Bus Company in Ninh Kieu District on Thursday showed Sang and Trang entered the site, carrying a backpack, colonel Phan Minh Tan, vice director of Can Tho's police department told Thanh Nien. A moment later, when the couple and three other passengers were waiting for the bus back to Ho Chi Minh City, the bag somehow caught fire and exploded, Tan said. All the victims were sent to Can Tho General Hospital for burns treatment, but were discharged later that same day. Sang told police that … [Read more...]

Three people get burns in an explosion at bus station in Can Tho City

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Three people got burns and panic-stricken hundreds of passengers rushed out of Phuong Trang bus station in Hung Vuong Street, Ninh Kieu District of the Mekong delta City of Can Tho on February 28 when an explosion occurred. La Ngoc Phu, Phuong Trang Company's director, said the company's camera recorded two passengers, a man and a woman, stepped into the waiting room with a bag. Suddenly, a blast took place causing burns to three people including two passengers and a friend of theirs. Three victims are Duong Thi Thuy Trang, 19; La Hoang Sang, 28, both are Ho Chi Minh City natives and Tran Van Thanh, 28 in Ninh Kieu District. They were rushed to the Can Tho General Hospital . On the day, senior lieutenant-colonel Vo Van Thang said La Hoang Sang confessed to bring one kilogram of KCL03, one kilogram of active coal, half a kilogram of sulphur and a tube of iron glue in his bag. As he read the formula to make blast, he bought these chemicals to make it due to his … [Read more...]

BIDV unveils merger plan with MHB

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Thao Nguyen BIDV will seek approval of shareholders for the merger at its annual general meeting (AGM) tomorrow. The merger will result in a possible share swap at a 1:1 ratio, meaning a MHB share will be converted into a BIDV share. MHB will also present the plan to shareholders at its AGM on the same day. According to a leader of the central bank, the agency has given the nod to the share swap ratio. BIDV’s chartered capital is eight times larger than that of MHB and by the end of 2014, BIDV’s total assets were 14.5 times greater than those of MHB. However, as the State still holds a majority stake at the two lenders, the nature of the merger is just gathering State ownership into one lender. In fact, MHB shareholders will benefit from the 1:1 ratio. On the over-the-counter (OTC) market, MHB shares are trading at VND9,000-11,000 each while the price of BIDV shares (BID) is around VND18,000 each. MHB is not regarded as an ailing bank as its financial … [Read more...]

Tien Giang improves public awareness of climate change adaption

A conference revising the Child-centered Climate Change Adaption project was held in the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang on April 17. Funded by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), the 8.1 billion VND (385,000 USD) project has been implemented in seven communes: Gia Thuan, Kieng Phuoc, Phuoc Trung, Tan Dien, Vam Lang, Binh Xuan and Binh Dong from April 2013 to April 2015. The project consist of two parts—developing adaption competency with climate change among the community and vulnerable children as well as implementing planting and breeding models suitable to climate change. The project has introduced climate change and natural disaster risk information to local schools to improve preparedness and resilience for people and children in the affected areas. The project has also supported paddy planting and organic breeding models in five communes, helping to increase local income.-VNA … [Read more...]

Foreign businesses still hurt by bribes in Vietnam: report

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A competitiveness measure report released Thursday paints a tad brighter picture of the business environment in provinces and cities across Vietnam, which is however still marred by unofficial expenses that keep burdening enterprises. Enterprises were more optimistic about their operations in Vietnam, but the number of firms forced to pay unofficial charges was on an upward trend, Professor Edmund Malesky said at a ceremony to unveil the Vietnam’s Provincial Competitiveness Index 2014 (PCI) report in Hanoi. Prof. Malesky is the primary author and lead researcher of the annual report, initiated by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the U.S. Agency for International Development a decade ago. The report finds that 16.3 percent of foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs) increased their investment in existing operations and 65.1 percent added new employees to their payrolls. These enterprises, however, "acknowledge higher frequency and scale of unofficial side … [Read more...]

Few cooperatives consume farm produce

Trung Chanh The Mekong Delta had had 1,928 active farming cooperatives as of the end of last year but a mere 8% of them could purchase products of their member farmers and only 18% could supply agricultural materials for them. Nguyen Thien Nhan, president of the Central Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee, said limited supply of farming inputs like fertilizer and plant protection drugs and low consumption have made it hard for farmers to earn higher incomes. According to Nhan, individual farmers are unable to negotiate to buy agricultural materials at competitive prices and find it hard to sell their products to modern sales channels such as supermarkets. "A single household cannot do this but a cooperative can," Nhan said. Agricultural cooperatives in other countries have done a much better job than their counterparts in Vietnam. For instance, cooperatives in Japan consume up to 90% of rice, and 50% of vegetables, fresh milk and beef for farmers. They supply 95.4% of … [Read more...]

Farmers benefit little from rice storage program

Trung Chanh The Vietnam Food Association (VFA) said 128 selected enterprises and cooperatives had fulfilled their targets for the rice storage program, which lasted from March 1 to April 15. The program aimed to stop rice price drops during the peak harvest time and ensure high profit for farmers. However, Le Minh Duc, former director of Long An Province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the annual program has not brought about as many benefits to farmers as expected. This year, rice and paddy prices in the Mekong Delta inched up by around VND100-200 per kilo during the first days of the program but then declined gradually. Many agricultural experts has raised concern over the problem for years. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development also organized a number of meetings to better the program but failed to reach a solution. At a conference in March, leaders of the agriculture ministry admitted that the program was just a measure to intervene … [Read more...]

A O Show to perform in Europe over three years

(From L-R) Jean-Michel Puiffe, director of Scene nationale de Senartto in France, director Tuan Le, musician Nguyen Nhat Ly and producer Vo Thanh Trung are seen at a press conference to announce A O Show’s Europe tour - PHOTO: KIEU GIANG

Kieu Giang The local firm Lune Entertainment and French theater Scene nationale de Senartto will jointly bring the contemporary art show to European audiences. Starting from this June, A O Show will begin its tour at national theaters in France. During this tour, 25 people including the show’s creators, artists, musical instrument players and technical staff are expected to have four to six months performing in Europe a year. The first trip will take place from June 14 to July 4 at Festival de Fourvière in Lyon, France and Festival Athens in Greece while the second will cover dozens of locations in France from November 11 to February 4. Jean-Michel Puiffe, director of Scene nationale de Senartto, a veteran who has had 30 years in theater operation in France, once watched A O Show and it captivated him. Then, he decided to join hands with the show’s operators to bring it to Europe. "I’m honored to introduce this program to European spectators. Within … [Read more...]

Art & Entertainment News 17/4

Daytime Disco at Saigon Outcast Daytime Disco, an all-day event of music and games, will be held at Saigon Outcast on Saturday. There will be house music performed by DJs Jack Barry from South Africa, Joey T from the UK and Noches from Spain. Splash pools, water toys, and drink specials will also be on offer. Participants can bring their own stuff to blow bubbles, juggle balls, hoops to hula and water guns to spray. The event will be from 1pm to 11pm at 188/1 Nguyen Van Huong Street, District 2. Entrance costs VND80,000. Product fair to promote green living The first Saigon Green Fair promoting environmentally friendly products and services and a healthy lifestyle will be held at the Cafe d'Anver on Saturday and Sunday. The fair will showcase organic foods and beverages, organic body care and home care products, accessories, and arts and crafts. It will feature green travel, a creative corner for children, lucky gifts and a community corner. The event will take place from 9am … [Read more...]