Nghe An farmers worried about fish deaths
Farmers in Nghệ An Province’s Diễn Châu District are deeply concerned about the extraordinary number of fish that have been dying since Saturday.
The deaths are taking place in farming cages in the Bùng River, passing through the communes of Diễn Hạnh, Diễn Nguyên, Diễn Quảng and Diễn Kỷ.
“At about 10am on Saturday, fish in my family’s three farming cages, in which 1.5 tonnes of fish are being raised, started to die en mass,” 63-year-old Chu Văn Thanh, a resident of Diễn Hạnh Commune, said.
He added that his family was distressed because of the huge economic loss.
“The fish were about to be harvested with an estimated value of VNĐ500 million (US$ 22,400),” he said.
A similar occurrence is taking place in farming cages of hundreds of other families along the river.
The locals said this was not the first time fish have died in this area. Fish deaths were also reported in June and July but the quantity of dead fish was much less.
They attributed the recent incident to the polluted river water, which had turned red and had a foul smell.
They felt the most likely reason for the deaths was the discharge of wastewater from a factory processing cassava located in the upstream area of Yên Thành District.
Lê Thế Hiếu, head of the agriculture sector in Diễn Châu People’s Committee, yesterday afternoon said the local authorities had collected water and fish samples for testing.
Mass fish deaths have increasingly been reported across the country in recent days, many of which were caused by improper waste treatment in industrial production.
In particular, the Taiwanese Hưng Nghiệp Formosa Hà Tĩnh Seel Corporation was responsible for 100 tonnes of fish dying, whose carcasses washed ashore along the four central provinces in April.
HCM City cải lương club celebrates birthday
Young and veteran performers from the Cải Lương Club of HCM City’s Youth Cultural House will offer new shows to celebrate the 18th anniversary of the club this week.
The artists will stage a series of cải lương (reformed opera) plays based on historical events and Vietnamese fairy tales. They will perform on a stage with sound and light effects.
“Our 18-year old club is the city’s first and only stage to offer free performances aimed at students and poor labourers. The club is composed of professional and amateur artists from many prestigious stages. It brings people, particularly youth, closer to cải lương, a popular traditional genre of theatre in the south,” said art director Thành Bỉ, one of the club’s founders and also a member of the managing board.
“The club is our own place where artists and audiences can meet and share their love for cải lương,” he added.
Bỉ’s club has attracted dozens of cải lương stars, such as Út Bạch Lan, Bạch Tuyết, Minh Vương, Lệ Thủy and Thanh Kim Huệ, who are knows as masters of the art.
The veterans have performed with young talents, including Thanh Vy, Thanh Tuấn and Lê Thiện, in many plays based on Vietnamese literature.
“I’m very involved in working at the club because I don’t want to disappoint my audience,” said 71 year-old actress Lan. “We stage them for free, but it offers me a big chance to make an impression and show drama lovers what I can do.”
Lan, who has worked with the club’s members since 2001, said all their plays were challenging.
“We’ve tried to help the young actors improve their voice and performance skills in the hopes that they’ll develop a professional career and that the club will become a place for people to enjoy the art in a different way,” she said.
The club is part of the Youth Cultural House’s drive to be recognised as a prestigious cultural centre for young people.
“By having this club, the centre can give low-income people an opportunity to enjoy entertainment and improve their knowledge about art,” Bỉ said.
One of the club’s featured works recently staged is Hoa Đồng Cỏ Nội (Country Flowers), a tuồng (classical drama) play featuring social problems.
The work attracts students from art schools like the HCM City Theatre and Cinematography University and HCM City University of Culture.
More than 1,000 people attended last Sunday.
“We hope our performance will lure youngsters away from online games and cinemas,” said People’s Artist Lệ Thủy, who works as a theatre director for the club.
The club offers free performance on the last Sunday of the month at 8pm at the Youth Cultural House, 4 Phạm Ngọc Thạch Street, District 1.
Vietnam’s national foreign language project under review
With four years remaining, Vietnam’s twelve-year plan to improve foreign language teaching and learning by 2020 will be subject to a thorough review, the country’s education minister has said.
In 2008, the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) introduced the plan for a national foreign language project, Project 2020 for short, which aimed to “renovate thoroughly the tasks of teaching and learning foreign languages within the national educational system in the period 2008-2020.”
On September 17, a seminar chaired by MoET Minister Phung Xuan Nha and attended by government officials and heads of higher education institutions was held in Hanoi to review the project’s progress and to implement its final phase over the period 2016 to 2020.
The minister stressed that it was necessary to review the project after making significant progress, as one “cannot travel fast without solid footing.”
‘It’s better not to learn at all than to learn from a bad teacher’
Minister Nha said, “it’s better not to learn at all than to learn from a bad teacher,” when addressing the quality of English teachers in the country, a factor he saw as most important in the success or failure of Project 2020.
According to the minister, both the quality and quantity of English teachers in Vietnam are falling short of the project’s requirements.
Shortcomings in training courses for educators were one reason for substandard English teachers in the country, according to Dr. Do Tuan Minh, rector of the University of Languages and International Studies under the Vietnam National University-Hanoi.
Minh said many teachers received only intense training until they met standards set out by MoET, without further training or workshops throughout the course of their career to update their skills.
“Many [teachers] forget the skills and knowledge they have acquired through the training after a short period,” Minh said.
Meanwhile, many teachers ‘beat’ the system by ‘legitimizing’ their teaching standards through training courses at ‘easy’ centers, or by cheating on their tests, said Dr. Pham Van Hung, director of Thua Thien-Hue Province’s Department of Education and Training.
This has led to the alarming trend of teachers paying to illegally obtain language ability certificates without even going through any type of training, the director claimed.
In response, Minister Nha said a new method would be implemented next year whereby the training and re-training of teachers would be based on the needs of specific localities, with the application of technology to allow more regular skill updates.
The minister also promised a limit on the number of authorized training centers to a few trusted ones, a move he hoped would prevent teachers from abusing the system.
Many participants at the seminar agreed that failure to see the purpose of studying foreign languages was one reason why Vietnamese students lacked the motivation to study the subject.
While students in needy areas were reluctant to go through with Project 2020 due to a lack of understanding as to its purpose, students in big cities looked at the project with skepticism, since they preferred being trained and assessed by internationally recognized standards rather than a system that “localizes foreign standards and language ability certificates,” according to Dr. Pham Van Hung.
Other officials at the seminar attributed students’ lack of motivation to the fact that what is being taught in these classes is miles away from the knowledge tested in exams.
“The testing and ability assessment system for foreign languages from high school needs to be changed, especially when it comes to testing students on all four skills [speaking, listening, reading, and writing] in the national high school exam,” stressed Vu Van Tra, deputy director of Haiphong City’s Department of Education and Training.
Pham Van Hung went further, suggesting that universities in the country include foreign language ability as a compulsory requirement for admission, in addition to setting a minimum foreign language standard for graduation.
Minister Phung Xuan Nha encouraged education institutions in the country to ‘import’ recognized foreign language courses to be used in schools, while promoting the use of English in teaching natural science subjects.
MoET also gave the green light for appropriate institutions to offer optional second foreign language courses for students.
Dengue fever cases surge in HCM City
The number of dengue fever cases increased in Ho Chi Minh City in the week from September 9-15 with 563 cases recorded.
It represents an increase of 24% against the average of the previous four weeks.
In total, since the beginning of this year, the city has recorded 11,860 dengue fever cases, up 32% from the same period last year.
The city’s health authorities warned people not to be panic and pay attention to their health as well as act to kill mosquitoes.
For people returning from areas with high rates of dengue cases, they are asked to monitor their health, avoid being bitten by mosquitoes in 14 days and consult health centres if necessary.
Wet week anticipated throughout Vietnam
Vietnam can expect a damp week as rain has been forecast to increase in intensity across the country, according to a local meteorologist.
Thanks to a cold air mass affecting the north, cool weather accompanied by evening rain is predicted in towns and cities in the north, Le Thi Xuan Lan, a Ho Chi Minh City-based weather pundit, has said.
Rain intensity is expected to surge by the weekend due to another weather disturbance, the weather specialist also forecast.
The central region is expected to experience bad weather on September 20 due to the Intertropical Convergence Zone crossing the region.
Downpours and strong winds are anticipated in the south-central area and to expand to the Hai Van Pass, which borders the central province of Thua Thien-Hue and Danang City.
Under the combined effect of the convergence zone and southwesterly winds, torrential rain and high winds are anticipated in the southern and Central Highlands regions in the evening, Lan added.
Several areas in Ho Chi Minh City were inundated due to the combined effect of heavy downpours and a rising tide on September 18.
Of these, Luong Dinh Cua Street in District 2 was submerged in half a meter of floodwater, leading to many vehicles breaking down on the street.
According to the Southern Regional Hydrometeorological Center, water levels in the Saigon and Dong Nai Rivers are forecast to peak at 1.5 meters between 5:00 pm and 6:00 pm on September 19-20..
The tide is expected to rapidly drop after that, the center added.
HCMC rushes to deal with airport flooding
Authorities of HCMC are racing against time to improve rainwater drainage at Tan Son Nhat International Airport which has recently been heavily inundated by torrential downpours.
Canal A41, which is responsible for half of rainwater drainage at the country’s busiest airport, has been clogged by garbage and encroachments.
A meeting was held between the HCMC Department of Transport, the Southern Airport Authority, Tan Son Nhat, the HCMC Steering Center of the Urban Flood Control Program, Urban Drainage No. 1 Co Ltd, and Tan Binh and Go Vap districts to discuss coping measures.
Bui Xuan Cuong, director of the transport department, said flooding at Tan Son Nhat airport often happens in August and September when there are high rainfalls.
Nguyen Ngoc Cong, director of the HCMC Steering Center of the Urban Flood Control Program, said rainwater at the airport is drained into Hy Vong-Tham Luong Canal in Tan Binh District in the north, Canal A41 in the south, and Nhat Ban Canal from the airport fences to Gia Dinh Park in the southeast.
The most important drainage system of the airport is Canal A41 which runs from the aircraft parking area to Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe Canal. However, A41 is getting narrow due to encroachments, affecting drainage especially at a time of heavy rain.
The old drainage system in the aircraft parking area, which has suffered the most from flooding, has been replaced and connected to Canal A41.
Dang Tuan Tu, director of Tan Son Nhat airport, said dredging and widening Canal A41 is key to reduce flooding at the airport.
Prime Minister asks for faster, quality growth in Hai Phong
Hai Phong city, which is at an important location in the northern key economic region, must post faster quality growth so as to stimulate overall development of the whole nation.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc made the requirement at a working session with municipal officials in the northern port city on September 19.
He highlighted the local advantages that cannot be found in other localities such as being one of the two biggest international seaports in Vietnam, holding a strategic location in the “two corridors, one economic belt” which links with China, and owning favourable infrastructure for tourism. As a major port city, Hai Phong is also a pioneer in integration in the country.
Applauding the fast economic growth and the social welfare benefits that are four times higher than in other localities, he also pointed out certain shortcomings such as unsustainable growth and less-than-expected agricultural production and administrative reforms.
The PM told municipal officials to augment assistance for small- and medium-sized enterprises and support industries while developing logistics services.
Hai Phong must work harder to raise agricultural productivity, overhaul infrastructure development planning and call for more private sector engagement in development projects. It has to protect the environment to turn tourism into a spearhead industry, he noted.
The Government leader also wants the city to be among the top 10 localities in administrative reforms and press on with crime fight.
At the working session, local officials reported that Hai Phong enjoyed the best socio-economic attainments since 2010 in the first nine months of 2016. It is taking the lead in FDI attraction with 2.66 billion USD of FDI invested in the period, up five-fold from the same period last year. Domestic businesses have also poured tens of trillions of VND into big projects, especially in tourism, in the city.
Budget revenue between January and September increased by 42.3 percent from a year earlier to 43.36 trillion VND (1.94 billion USD), fulfilling this year’s target.-VNA
Vietnam attends festival of workers’ party in Belgium
Representatives from the Vietnamese Embassy in Belgium participated in the 7th ManiFiesta Festival of the Workers’ Party of Belgium held in the city of Bredene from September 16-19.
A Vietnamese stall was organised with the aim of introducing to international friends Vietnam’s land and people as well as promoting the nation’s tourism.
ManiFiesta is held annually to tighten solidarity among left-wing parties and workers’ movements from all over the world.
This year, about 25,000 people attended the event, which included cultural activities and 25 seminars discussing a number of issues, such as labourers’ working hours and conditions, and current challenges encountered by the working class.
Pop singer Minh Thuận dies
Minh Thuận, one of Việt Nam’s popular singers in the 1990s, died at Phạm Ngọc Thạch Hospital in HCM City on Sunday after being diagnosed with lung cancer two weeks ago. He was 47.
Thuận began his singing career with his best friend, singer Nhật Hào, in 1990. The duo received recognition from young audiences with ballads and love songs.
At the end of the 90s, he started his solo career and many of his songs were listed in the top 10 of Làn Sóng Xanh (Blue Wave), a prestigious music programme launched by the Voice of HCM City radio station.
Since 2005, Thuận has been invited to play in many TV series and movies like Cô Gái Xấu Xí (Ugly Woman), Thiên Mệnh Anh Hùng (Blood Letter) and Cô Dâu Đại Chiến (Brides’ War).
He also performed in theatre plays Yêu Thầy (Love You, My Teacher) and Đóa Hồng Gai (Rose with Thorns).
In 2009, Thuận surprised audiences and his colleagues when remaking the classic cải lương (reformed opera) play Chuyện Tình Lan và Điệp (The Love Story of Lan and Điệp), which was first staged in 1939. It was part of his effort to pull young audiences closer to the art.
The play starred pop stars Thuận, Cẩm Ly, Đàm Vĩnh Hưng and Thanh Thảo, who have a passion for cải lương but no experience in performing the art.
Thuận’s experiment received a warm welcome from both young and old audiences.
Trần Bảo Ngọc, 32, a freelance graphic designer, said: “I admire Thuận. He is a hard-working and talented artist. When I heard of his death, I felt as if a part of my youth flew away.”
Thuận’s funeral will be held at his house in Tân Bình District on September 19-20.
Ha Long Bay boat operators fined for safety violations
The Ha Long Bay Management board is reminding tourist boat operators to ensure their workplaces are safe for tourists and employees noting 340 citations have been issued so far this year for violations.
Among the transgressions are four boat operators who were fined for serious life threatening breaches along with hundreds of less serious but important safety infractions and hundreds of scamming incidents.
Officials said two of the boats were fined for letting tourists sit on the side rails of the vessels and numerous others for illegal towing of smaller boats that were carrying passengers.
Among the more thoroughly disgusting violations was that of a boat operator who was driving the vessel with his feet, which not surprisingly resulted in more than one accident.
The Management Board has not disclosed the penalties doled out for the violations.
Currently, around 500 tourist boats operate daily at the bay.
Vietnam participates in Belgium’s Manifiesta festival
Vietnamese Embassy in Belgium joined the 7th ManiFiesta Festival of the Workers’ Party of Belgium held in the city of Bredene from September 16-19.
The event provided a good opportunity to strengthen solidarity between left wing parties and workers’ movements around the world.
This year, the festival attracted approximately 25,000 visitors and included cultural activities and 25 seminars discussing issues on labourers’ working hours and conditions, and current challenges encountered by the working class.
The Vietnamese embassy in Belgium attended the festival with a stall introducing Vietnam, its land and people as well as Vietnam’s tourist potential.
Mr Rik vermeersch, President of the Festival hailed Vietnam’s participation in the festival.
ManiFiesta is held annually to tighten solidarity among left-wing parties and workers’ movements across the globe.
MOCST to host int’l tourism and sports conference
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MOCST) has announced it will hold a joint conference with the World Tourism Organization on September 23-25 at the Novotel Danang Premier Han River Hotel.
The conference will be held within the framework of the 5th Asian Beach Games to highlight the inter-connection between tourism and sports and their contribution to socio-economic development in Asia-Pacific countries.
More than 300 delegates and speakers from the World Tourism Organization, UK, Spain, Japan, Republic of Korea, Thailand, Malaysia as well as Vietnam will attend the event, said the MOCST.
Winners of 2016 Good Books Awards revealed
Winners of the annual Good Books Awards were announced at a ceremony in Hanoi on September 18.
The awards are divided into categories, including research, education, economics, management, literature, children’s books and new discoveries.
Winning works of the category of Research are Van minh vat chat cua nguoi Viet (Material civilization of Vietnamese people) by Phan Cam Thuong, Vietnamese version of the book “The Phenomenon of Man” of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin translated by Dang Xuan Thao.
Highest awards of the category of Education include Nhung ghi chep ve quyen tu do lua chon (Notes of freedom of choice) by Nguyen Van Trong, Vietnamese version of the book “The Origins of Intelligence in Children’ of Jean Piaget translated by Hoang Hung.
In the category of Economics, Cu soc thoi gian va kinh te Vietnam (Shock of time and Vietnamese economy) by Tran Van Tho, Vietnamese version of the book “A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty” of Abhijit V. Banerjee & Esther Duflo translated by Nguyen Le Bao Ngoc were honored.
In the category of Management, Mot doi thuong thuyet (Spending lifetime negotiating) by Phan Van Truong, Vietnamese version of the book “A Passion For Success” of Inamori Kazuo translated by Nguyen Do An Nhien earned prizes.
Winning works of the category of Children are A book set titled Co Tich Moi (New Fairy Tales) written by author Nguyen Huong, Vietnamese version of the book “The Story of a Snail Who Discovered the Importance of Being Slow” of Luis Sepulveda translated by Bao Chan.
In the category of Literature, Coi nguoi rung chuong tan the (The Place of the Doomsday Bell Ringer) by Ho Anh Thai, Vietnamese version of the book “The castle” of Franz Kafka translated by Truong Dang Dung were presented awards.
In the category of The new discoveries, prizes belonged to Nhung thieu thoi lo lung (hanging young days) by Hanh Nguyen, Vietnamese version of the book “The One-Straw Revolution” of Masanobu Fukuoka translated by the XanhShop group and Vietnamese edition of the book “The Feminine Mystique” translated by Nguyen Van Ha.
The Good Book Awards is co-organized by the Institute for Research of Education Development (IRED) and Phan Chau Trinh Fund. The prizes aim to honor the translators and introduce good books to readers.
Contest on traffic safety launched
Over 700 members of the Ho Chi Minh City Youth Communist Union yesterday partook in a festival on traffic safety at the Youth Cultural House in District 1.
The festival aims to increase awareness of traffic safety among young people and expects them to join hand in building a friendly traffic environment.
At the festival, young people also experienced safely driving skill in models and study how to safely drive through games.
Also at the festival, the city Youth Communist Union and Nahi Company launched online contest for traffic safety. Designed for each category of ages, the contest is expected to have 8,000 prizes for participants.
Hospital managers criticized for irresponsible behaviors
People’s Committee in the northern province of Son La yesterday criticized managers of the Son La Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases Hospital for irresponsible behavior when it did not support vehicles to take dead patient home.
In a meeting with the Department of Health and the hospital, Chairman of People’s Committee Cam Ngoc Minh said that the authority has asked the health sector in the province to carry out the state policy to support the poor.
The Department of Health was urged to increase supervision to medical facilities to prevent dead patients with contagious diseases from taking them home on motorbike without applying measures to prevent virus into the environment.
Moreover, the health sector should provide free vehicle to these families whose economic condition is so poor that they can not afford a vehicle to take their dead relatives home especially ethnic minority people in remote districts.
In its report to the Ministry of Health’s Department of Medical Examination and Treatment about the case of Ms. Lo Thi Phanh, who was taken home on a motorbike, director of the Son La Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases Hospital Luong Van Tuan admitted his erroneousness because the hospital had not clearly explained to the dead woman’s relative and support them free vehicle.
Before, Lo Thi Phanh in Muong Sai Commune in Quynh Nhai District was admitted to the infirmary. Yet she was succumbed to the disease. Her relative was forced to transport the body of deceased woman back to the hometown 120 kilometer far from the hospital by motorbike after not being able to afford a decent form of transportation.
Not only Lo Thi Phanh but also 57 year old man in Quynh Nhai who was also taken to the infirmary for emergency treatment yet he succumbed to her poor condition after one hour later. The infirmary did not provide vehicle for his relative; subsequently, his son took his father home by motorbike.
Hanoi-Lang Son rail service ends
Hanoi Railway Transport Corporation has stopped the operation of a high-quality railway route linking Hanoi and the northern mountainous province of Lang Son due to a lack of passengers.
The route was launched in May last year, using modern South Korean-produced trains.
The service only offered four trains every day between Hanoi and Dong Dang. The service took 3 hours and 35 minutes, a remarkable 3 hours less than the previous timetable. The highest fares were VND105,000 (USD4.80).
However, a Hanoi Railway Transport Corporation representative admitted that since it started running, only a few passengers had used the route. The maintenance fees for the trains has been high, resulting in big losses for the company.
Campaign launched to encourage use of approved helmets
A communication campaign on encouraging the wear of standard helmets was launched in Hanoi on September 18.
The campaign will be carried out for one month across the country by the Vietnam Youth Federation Central Committee and the National Traffic Safety Committee.
Under the theme “Live young and civilized – Confidently wearing standard helmets”, practical activities will be conducted including presenting standard helmets to Youth Union members and organising training courses on motorbike driving for youngsters, along with promotional activities on social media.
At the ceremony, Nguyen Phi Long, Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union Central Committee said casualties in motorbike accidents in Vietnam has been high, in many cases due to poor quality helmets people wear.
He reported that similar campaigns were conducted in major cities nationwide with the participation of over 9,000 youth union members in the last two years to raise public awareness on the importance of wearing standard helmets, as well as enhance citizens’ sense of responsibility when participating in traffic.
From January to August this year, traffic accidents nationwide saw a year-on-year decline in the numbers of cases, deaths and injured, with 13,612 accidents, claiming 5,728 lives and wounding 11,781 others.-
Russian food week in Hanoi
A Russian food week, themed “A Taste of Russia”, will take place from September 19 to 25 at Hanoi Daewoo Hotel.
The event, held by the Embassy of Russia and Hanoi Daewoo Hotel, aims to promote Russian cuisine and culture and strengthen the Vietnam-Russia relationship.
At the event, guests will experience traditional Russian food and drink, including sturgeon and Beluga vodka, and watch cooking shows by cordon bleu chef Nosikov Anton and his colleagues.
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