Illustration by Trịnh Lập By Paul Kennedy One of the greatest Formula One drivers to ever get behind the wheel of a car passed away last week at the age of 70. Austrian Niki Lauda was world champion on three different occasions in 1975, 77 and 84. Other than his meticulous skills and total professionalism, Lauda will also be remembered for his fierce battles on the track with Britain’s James Hunt, a driver who can only be described as chalk to Lauda’s cheese. Their head-to-head race for the title in 1976 was immortalised in the 2013 movie Rush with German-Spanish actor Daniel Bruhl playing Lauda. If he had been alive come April next year, no doubt Lauda would have visited Việt Nam for the F1 race planned for Hà Nội, the first time the capital has ever hosted such a prestigious event. But what exactly would he have thought about the whole thing? Lauda was a stickler for making sure just about everything … [Read more...] about Nothing but the best will do for F1 in Hà Nội
Outside looking in
I have spent over 40 percent of my adult life outside of my home country, never content with having my soul controlled by geography, to paraphrase George Santayana. I carry a U.S. passport but it doesn’t define me. I am a U.S. ex-patriot and global citizen who calls Vietnam home. It was during my first visit to Hanoi 23 years ago this month that this country - with its tragic yet inspirational millennia-long history - cast its spell on me. After moving here in 2005, I joined a select group of expats – an estimated 100,000 of them, according to official sources - who live in the midst of 97 million Vietnamese. Love us, love us not As a foreigner, I am one of those strange creatures from a distant planet, walking enigmas who evoke a panoply of emotions, ranging from interest and curiosity to indifference, contempt, and fear. As outsiders, we are sources of income, role models, fonts of wisdom, bearers of all things good, easy marks, and importers of evil … [Read more...] about On the outside looking in: A US American in Vietnam
Liverpool's Xherdan Shaqiri celebrates after scoring against Manchester United at Anfield. (Photo: AFP/Paul Ellis) Everyone is looking for the same thing, too: Players who can turn contenders into champions and save doomed teams from sinking without trace. No pressure, then. Finding them in the crowded and chaotic January market is quite another thing, too, because by this stage of the season, you are probably getting someone another club is happy to let go. That is why a good recruitment team is gold dust for every Premier League club. Of course, it doesn't take much for scouting to go wrong. Here's my review of the good, the bad and the ugly. THE BEST BUYS XI Possibly the most spectacular examples of scouting and signing are Leicester's purchases of N'Golo Kante - rated No 2 central midfielder in the FC 100 - for only £5.5 million and Riyad Mahrez for just £400,000. The pair were later sold to Chelsea and Manchester City, respectively, for a combined total of £90m. … [Read more...] about Premier League clubs” good, bad and ugly transfers of 2018 and what to expect in January
Viet Nam News Outside Looking In Brian Spence* The threat of a trade war between the US and China has created considerable volatility in Asian markets in recent weeks. Investors fear that it poses a continued threat to the growth of Vietnamese companies and, potentially, to Vietnamese economic growth. These concerns are valid, but to my mind, demand greater scrutiny. An important point to note is that this volatility may feel uncomfortable, but it is not unusual. It comes after a sustained benign period in markets and volatility levels have only moved back to where they were in mid-2016 and remain at around half of their five year peak. While periods of low volatility are enjoyable while they last, the volatility we’re seeing today is a more normal pattern for stock markets. However, that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t examine the underlying causes of that volatility. In this, we can place the blame squarely at the mounting trade war between the US and China. … [Read more...] about Should trade tariffs matter to investors in Việt Nam?
One morning in April, an organ donor was brought into an operating room in Hanoi, all alone. Not long after, the recipient was brought in, with a whole family waiting outside, and a man in suit. By the afternoon, the kidney had been successfully transfered from the donor to the recipient. The man in the suit received a load of cash from the recipient’s family, and off he went. For doctors and nurses, the long hours just meant another to hundreds of operations they perform, but for the poor family waiting outside, they had just spent every penny they had on a kidney for their son. The son, Binh*, is a 24-year-old engineer. On the verge of losing a bright future at such a young age due to chronic kidney disease, Binh made the call himself to buy a healthy kidney from the black market. He wanted to leave the chapter of hemodialysis behind. Days of needles For the past five months, Binh had been on hemodialysis every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Two large needles were laid out … [Read more...] about For kidney patients in Vietnam, it is either hemodialysis or organ black market