PM supports modern bus, rail system for Ha Noi
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has approved a US$59 million project to get Ha Noi people off their motorbikes and out of their cars.
The idea is to get them onto to an improved public transport system, including the development of a Ha Noi metropolitan rail line.
The investment includes $53.2 million of official development assistance (ODA) from the Asia Development Bank and the Clean Technology Fund, and $5.8 million from Ha Noi’s People’s Committee.
The four-year project, which will start next year, is aimed at providing an ecologically balanced, civilized and modern urban public transport system.
The Ministry of Finance has been assigned to work with selected agencies to implement the financial structure of the project.
Construction of the Ha Noi Metro Line 3 began in September, 2010, with a total investment of $1 billion.
The 12.5km railway will have 12 stations, passing through the districts of Tu Liem, Cau Giay, Ba Dinh, Dong Da, and Hoan Kiem.
It is scheduled to come into operation in 2015. Trains will have a maximum speed of 80km per hour and be backed by an automatic ticket system.
Flash flood’s last victim is still missing
Vice chairman of the communal People’s Committee Tran Duc Hoa said four men, aged 30-34, had set up camp at a shed near a local stream when they went into the forest to gather wild orchids last Friday night. The last victim was caught up by the floodwaters at midnight.
Some 90 local soldiers and rescuers discovered the bodies of three of the men about 300 metres from the shed on Saturday morning after a six-hour search.
Phan Cong Thang, chairman of the communal People’s Council, believed this flash flood was the largest the commune had ever seen because it swept away many tall trees, with a height of 15 metres and trunks with a diameter of 1 metre, as well as rocks weighing tens of tonnes.
Man charged after deadly boat accident
Ha Giang Police have begun legal proceedings against a 26-year-old man for violating the Law on Waterway Transport, killing three people in a boat accident early this month.
On November 12, Dang Van Bien from the ethnic Dao minority group was transporting seven people by boat past the Nam Am Hydroelectricity reservoir.
His boat upturned and three passengers drowned and the remaining passengers were saved by a local man.
Three die in motorbike collision
The fierce collision was between two motorbikes travelling at high speed in opposite directions. A blazing fire broke out immediately as one of the motorbikes was carrying petrol to sell at a nearby market.
Local police and authorities are investigating the case and working to identify the victims.
Police nab pen-gun maker in Quang Ninh
Police in the northern province of Quang Ninh’s Cam Pha City arrested a man on Thursday for illegally manufacturing and storing military weapons.
Pham Hung, 26, was found with a pen-shaped gun last Sunday. A police raid on his house uncovered bullets and gun-making equipment.
The man admitted to the police that he had produced and sold two pen-shaped guns. The case is under further investigation.
Water supply returns to Ha Noi district
More than 70,000 households in five districts in Ha Noi had their water supplies turned back yesterday after a broken pipe in the area was repaired.
The broken section along the city’s Thang Long Highway disrupted water supplies from the Da River in the northern province of Hoa Binh to local residents in the districts of Hoang Mai, Thanh Xuan, Cau Giay, Tu Liem and Thanh Tri for nearly a day.
Repair work took nearly 20 hours to complete, and cost around VND2 billion (US$95,000), according to Nguyen Anh Viet, director of the Viet Nam Water Company (Viwaco).
Heavy traffic on the highway had ruptured the pipe, the third such incident in the city, Viet said.
Diplomats’ spouses hold charity bazaar in HCM City
On display at the event, the 20th of its kind, were foods and foodstuffs and other household utensils from many countries around the world.
There was also a raffle to win prizes worth at minimum of US$100, including Vietnam Airlines’ return tickets to France, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, China, Dubai, the Philippines, and other destinations.
Lucky draw winners had the chance to stay in five-star resorts in NhaTrang, Danang, Vung Tau, Con Dao and PhanThiet, or get lunch or dinner vouchers at top class restaurants and hotels in Ho Chi Minh City, and luxury spa breaks.
Santa Claus brought festive cheer to the event, and children were able to have their picture taken with him.
Organisers expected to receive more than 2,000Vietnamese and foreign visitors to the fair.
The Consular Club is a fundraising organization comprised of spouses of the Consuls General, trade representatives and Consulate staff members in HCM City. They actively take part in charity work supporting needy people in Vietnam.
Over the years, the club has granted scholarships to poor students, provided free healthcare services, built schools, bridges and rainwater purification facilities and assisted in flood relief strategies.
Bill Gates Foundation helps expand Internet access in Vietnam
The Ministry of Information and Communications and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) representatives, on November 23 installed and activated free internet access facilities in 16 provinces across the country.
The facilities were opened in Bac Kan, Cao Bang, Lang Son, Phu Yen, Khanh Hoa, Kon Tum, Gia Lai, Dak Lak, Lam Dong, Binh Thuan, Ninh Thuan, Bac Lieu, Hau Giang, Ca Mau, Vinh Long, and Dong Thap.
Each internet access point is also equipped with printers, projectors, headphones, and other tools, helping locals expand their computer and information technology skills and broaden their perspective on their socio-economic situation.
Installing the facilities is part of the second phase of the BMGF-sponsored project “Improving the ability to use computers and public internet access in Vietnam”.
Implemented by the Ministry of Information and Communications over 2011-2016, the project’s budget exceeds US$50 million.
The new facilities will give locals access to free internet in public libraries and 50% discounts when accessing the internet at communal post offices.
OVs in France help flood victims
The overseas Vietnamese (OV) community in France has donated almost EUR5,000 in support of flood victims in Vietnam’s central region.
At a fundraising event on November 24, former Deputy Chairman of the Association of Vietnamese People in France Nguyen Thanh Tong said that after receiving the information about the numerous storms hitting in the region this year, the association sent EUR2,000 home to help the victims overcome difficulties.
He said the money raised will be used to build a concrete school on a high location for local students, which can also act as a shelter for residents during floods.
In 2010, the association donated teaching aids worth more than EUR11,000 to needy students in flood-ravaged Ha Tinh province.
Spain to change Vietnam aid policy
The Spanish government will adjust its development aid policy towards Vietnam after the Southeast Asian nation has made marked progress in socio-economic development.
The local press reported the Council of Ministers of Spain has decided to rescind its development aid package worth EUR3.5 million it committed to a poverty reduction programme in Vietnam in November 2011.
Spain informed Vietnam of its decision, reasoning its aid recipient has made greater strides in implementing millennium development goals than expected.
Together with the decision, the Spain Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) also announced Spanish aid will be focused on projects suitable for Vietnam’s new development periods.
Several foreign countries have adjusted their development aid policy towards Vietnam. Sweden and the Netherlands recently cut their development aid, while Finland, Ireland and Norway renewed their cooperation policies with Vietnam.
Annual festival for Vietnamese students in Italy
Despite cold weather, more than 200 Vietnamese students and young people recently gathered in Marzabotto town in central Italy for their second annual festival.
Highlights of the event were a football tournament and an art performance for Vietnamese students from across Italy.
The festival received support from Vietnamese nationals in Italy, local people and the council of Marzabotto.
Nguyen Thanh Tung, president of the Vietnam Students’ Association in Italy (ASVI), said despite financial difficulty, ASVI has received special assistance from the Vietnamese Embassy in Italy and other Vietnamese philanthropists to maintain and expand operations, attracting more members.
Established in August 2007, ASVI has carried out various activities to support Vietnamese students studying at Italian schools. They provide information about studies in Italy, seek accommodation for the students, and share experience with members, helping them feel at ease during their study and life in Italy.
The association has also launched humanitarian campaigns to assist their compatriots in the homeland, including one to support children in mountainous regions.
Since its operation, ASVI has organised 10 football tournaments for Vietnamese students in Italy.
Eliminating violence against women
The message was delivered at a meeting in Hanoi on November 24 by the Vietnam Farmers’ Association, the Vietnam Women’s Union and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in response to International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
Domestic violence against women is a growing global concern, adversely affecting people’s health, living conditions, and family happiness.
Those most vulnerable are women and girls who are subject to emotional, physical and sexual abuse and maltreatment.
A recent survey reveals 58% of questioned Vietnamese women at least suffer one of those abovementioned forms of violence; half of the respondents never speak out; and 87% have yet to seek support from public services.
Nguyen Quoc Cuong, Chairman of the Vietnam Farmers’ Association, attributed gender inequality in society to rising incidences of domestic violence, stating male involvement and their behavior are crucial in combating domestic violence.
Uong Chu Luu, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam National Assembly, said Vietnam is currently one of the leading countries in implementing policies and laws on promoting gender equality and putting an end to violence against women.
The issuance of the Gender Equality Law in 2006 and the Law on Domestic Violence Prevention and Control in 2007 laid an important legal foundation for protecting women’s rights.
An exhibition on gender equality and a street march were among various activities held the same day to mark the event.
Youth festival strengthens Vietnam-China solidarity
A Communist Youth League of China (CYLC) official has reiterated the importance Chinese officials attach to the upcoming 2nd Vietnam-China Youth Festival involving around 3,000 young Vietnamese.
“Preparations are completed and we are ready to welcome around 3,000 young Vietnamese delegates,” CYLC official Wan Xuejun told a VOV correspondent in Beijing on November 22.
Nearly 9,000 outstanding young delegates of both countries will attend the festival, the second of its kind, in China’s Guangxi province from November 24-27.
Wan said China will send five ministerial, agency, and local representatives to participate in the event that itself spans seven Guangxi provincial cities.
He expects the festival will help Vietnamese and Chinese youth perpetuate the traditional bilateral friendship, laying firm foundations for strengthening the comprehensive strategic cooperation partnership between the two countries.
Vietnamese delegates will conduct exchanges, enjoy music and dance performances, and tour a number of businesses, schools, residential areas, and Vietnam-China Friendship Programme projects.
They will also have the opportunity to experience Chinese home-stays, fostering friendship, mutual understanding, and trust between the younger generations of both countries.
Vietnam attends education seminar in Singapore
Around 500 Southeast Asian educators gathered for a seminar during Singapore’s 2013 Education Exhibition over November 20-22.
The Vietnamese delegation included representatives from the Ministry of Education and Training, principals, and high school teachers.
Unanimously agreeing education is the most important influence on national socio-economic development, seminar speakers focused discussions on the 21st century challenges facing the education sector and its most recent methodological and practical attempts at adaptation.
Associate Professor Dr Nguyen Xuan Thanh, Vice Director of the Vietnamese Ministry of Education and Training’s Department of Secondary Education, said the meeting offered Vietnamese educational administrators and teachers a chance to learn from the experiences of leading international experts.
He highlighted the education reform debates, applicable to Vietnam, that combine questions of teaching content and language.
The 2013 Singapore Education Exhibition featured almost 50 booths displaying teaching equipment and modern educational technology from companies and organisations based in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, China, and India.
Campaign launched to eliminate violence against women
A campaign calling for an end to violence against women was launched in Hanoi on November 22.
Addressing the opening ceremony, Chairwoman of the National Assembly’s Committee for Social Affairs Truong Thi Mai said the Law on Domestic Violence Prevention and Control has been in force for five years, creating a legal foundation for dealing with gender inequality and domestic violence in Vietnam.
She said she hopes the campaign, which will run until December 10, will help raise the awareness of the community, especially men, so that the country can make progress in the fight against domestic violence.
The committee will make every effort to create an equal and advanced environment for women and children, she said.
Vice Chairwoman of the Vietnam Women Union Tran ThiHuong pledged that the union will implement anti-domestic violence programmes effectively.
UN Resident Coordinator to Vietnam Pratibha Mehta affirmed that the elimination of violence against women and children cannot be successful without the involvement of men.
The UN commits to further cooperating with Vietnam to ensure that women and children are empowered to raise their voice, she said.
According to statistics in 2010, 58% of Vietnamese women suffered from either mental, physical or sexual violence.
In response to International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, a poster exhibition with a gender equality theme was held in Hanoi the same day.
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