‘Chicago’ to be staged in Ho Chi Minh City

The “Profile of International Activity in US Residential Real Estate” report published by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) in June 2017 showed that foreign buyers spent a total of $153 billion on purchasing residential property in the US between April 2016 and March 2017, increasing 49 per cent compared to the previous 12-month period.  Foreign buyers purchased a total of 284,455 residential properties in the US, an increase of 32.4 per cent from the previous year. The number of units purchased made up 5 per cent of existing home sales. According to the report, the average purchase price of foreign buyers in 2017 was $536,852, up 12 per cent from 2016. The median purchase price of foreign buyers was $302,290 in 2017, up 9 per cent. For the first time since 2007, Vietnamese buyers reached 2 per cent of the total purchases, equal to approximately 5,689 properties. This put Vietnam on the list of the top ten foreign buyers of residential properties in the US, replacing Russia in the ninth place. Based on the figures in the report, it is estimated that Vietnamese people spent between $1.7-3 billion on US residential properties during the period. Major foreign buyers of US residential property in term of units purchased (Source: NAR) In a news release on the NAR website, chief economist Lawrence Yun, said, “The political and economic uncertainty both here and abroad did…... [read more]

War veteran ​Dao Thien Sinh has sent some 40,000 letters to families of martyrs, informing them of their kin’s grave locations. ​(Photo: VNA) Hanoi (VNA) - The family of martyr Luong Khanh in Nha Trang city couldn’t hold back the tears when they received a letter from a stranger informing them of the location of Khanh’s grave. The martyr had been dead for years but the family couldn’t afford to search for his body. The informant was veteran Dao Thien Sinh in Vinh Khanh district of the south central coastal province of Khanh Hoa. Since 1976, Sinh has sent about 40,000 letters to martyrs’ families and relatives, supplying them with information he learned from trips to cemeteries nationwide. “Since we heard about my elder brother’s death, every day my mother longed for a letter which might inform us of the place he was buried,” Sinh recalled. Understanding the mother’s pain and martyrs families’ thirst for news, Sinh decided to start travelling to cemeteries. At 20, Sinh fought in the Quang Tri battle field until Liberation Day on April 30, 1975. Four years later, he re-enlisted to fight in Cambodia. Returning from both battlefields, he began a normal job. Using his free time, first he travelled to cemeteries close to Khanh Hoa province to search for his brother’s grave where he also found many unmarked graves. Then he started collecting information engraved on the graves and began writing letters to martyrs’ families. “My father-in-law is…... [read more]

VietNamNet Bridge – At noon last Friday, five households of the Capital Garden apartment building on Ha Noi’s Truong Chinh Street had their power and water supply cut. Capital Garden residents protest the building investor’s violations and actions. - Photo news.zing.vn It was not the public utilities companies that had cut their supply, but the building’s investor, the Kinh Do Group. For more than half a year, 60 out of 200 households in the complex had refused to pay service and parking fees to the building management, protesting what they said was inordinately high charges. “The company has not transferred power grid to Dong Da Electricity Company. Power and water prices are determined by Kinh Do. Residents have to pay without getting bills from the investor,” a resident named Trung told news.zing.vn. Others complained that without bills, they did not know for how many days they were being billed, or how much power they have actually consumed. Apart from the inconvenience caused to the apartment residents/owners, there are serious legal questions that arise in this situation. Even if residents do not pay their utility bills, does a building management firm or investor have the right to cut off water and electricity supplies? Were the residents given sufficient notice before this action was taken? Is it legal in Viet Nam for private firms to buy and sell electricity for a profit? The answer to these questions can have significant impacts investor-buyer relations in the real estate sector. Apartment resident Trung also…... [read more]

Under the regulations of the IMO 2017, the benchmark for the gold medal is from 25 points upwards and those for the silver and bronze medals are from 19 points and 16 points, respectively. Vietnamese students participating in the IMO 2017. Photo: vnexpress.net Accordingly, Vietnam won four gold medals and the winners are Hoang Huu Quoc Huy (Student at Le Quy Don Gifted High School, Ba Ria - Vung Tau province, 35 points); Le Quang Dung (Student at Lam Son Gifted High School, Thanh Hoa province, 28 points); Nguyen Canh Hoang (Student at Phan Boi Chau Gifted High School, Nghe An province, 28 points); Phan Nhat Duy (Student at Ha Tinh Gifted High School, Ha Tinh province, 25 points). Of them, Hoang Huu Quoc Huy is one of the three students achieving 35 points at the IMO 2017, the perfect score of this year’s event. Two other Vietnamese students, namely Pham Nam Khanh from Hanoi - Amsterdam Gifted High School with 21 points and Do Van Quyet from Vinh Phuc Gifted High School, Vinh Phuc province, with 18 points, respectively won a silver and a bronze medals. The Vietnam team ranks third among 112 participating teams at the IMO 2017, after the Republic of Korea and China. This ranking is also the highest a Vietnam mathematical team has obtained to date after the 43 International Mathematical Olympiads. The IMO is an annual world-scale mathematics contest for high school students. The…... [read more]

Rita Rasimaite burst into tears Saturday morning when police told she that her beloved bicycle, which was stolen three days ago, was found and the suspected thief was arrested. The 26-year-old Lithuanian biker realized that someone stole her bike from the front of her hostel in District 1 the next day after she reached Ho Chi Minh City in the night of July 18. The southern city was the final stop of her cycling journey across Vietnam, lasting more than 3,600km from north to south within the past two months. Rita Rasimaite poses when stopping by the northern city of Hai Phong, in this photo posted on her Facebook page Colonel Nguyen Nhat Thanh, deputy head of the District 1 police unit said on Saturday morning they had found the suspect and retrieved Rasimaite’s bike. According to the police, Le Van Viet, 51, residing in Bui Vien Street, District 1 initially admitted that he stole Rasimaite’s bike on the morning of July 19, before selling it to a local man at the price of VND2 million (US$88). Two days later, Viet was caught red-handed in an attempt of stealing an electric bicycle on Nguyen Trai Street in District 1. After checking CCTV footage filmed nearby Rasimaite’s hostel, and through investigation measures, police got Viet to admit his theft. Le Van Viet is seen at a police station in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 1 on July 22,…... [read more]

A veteran artisan from Vietnam’s Mong ethnic minority has created a thriving business over the past decade by promoting her community’s hallmark brocade and single-handedly marketing it on a global level. Vang Thi Mai, a 55-year-old businesswoman hailing the ethnic Mong community in Lung Tam Commune, Quang Ba District in the northern mountainous province of Ha Giang, founded the Lung Tam Lanh (flax) Cooperative in 2006 as a way to promote her people’s traditional ‘lanh’ attire and decorative goods. Lanh (flax) brocade clothing has been at the heart of the ethnic community’s daily and spiritual lives for centuries. Whether attending festivals or getting married, a Mong person can be easily identified by their lanh outfits. Even in death, Mong are dressed in the traditional garb in order to be recognized and embraced by deceased ancestors. After a recent business trip to Hanoi – about 300 kilometers away – Mai called a meeting with 130 of her cooperative’s members to gather feedback on new designs featuring ‘extreme’ colors and unique raised patterns. There was a time when the cooperative faced a barrage of criticism for avant-garde renovations to traditional Mong weaving. Over time, however, opponents to the art form’s ‘modernization’ were won over as the group began receiving larger orders and higher pay. With stable monthly incomes averaging VND3-6 million (US$130-261), workers and artisans at the cooperative are no longer forced to rely solely on crops grown throughout the rocky fields covering…... [read more]

Discharge from Southeast Asia’s largest hydropower dam in northern Vietnam early this week has shocked and killed at least 280 tons of fish, causing farmers over $500,000 of losses. The Hoa Binh hydropower plant in the namesake province started releasing water for the first time on Tuesday, sending out an average of 2,400 cubic meters (630,000 gallons), enough to fill an Olympic swimming pool, every second. Hoa Binh’s disaster response and rescue team said the release has flooded 6 hectares (15 acres) of rice fields and killed 39.5 tons of fish by Friday, Vietnam News Agency reported. It also caused landslides that directly threatened 13 families, leaving cracks on several houses. Two men were drowned as their boat capsized on a flooded field in Hoa Binh on Thursday, but the deaths have not been associated with the release. The dam effect reached further to the neighboring Phu Tho Province, killing at least 240 tons of farmed fish by Wednesday, Tran Quang Hoai from the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control said at a meeting, as quoted by Dan Tri. He said the sudden rise of water has caused shocks. The dead fish are worth an estimated VND11.7 billion ($515,000). The dam, which is 128 meters (420 feet) high and 970 meters long, is set to open the third flood gate on Saturday. Officials said the release has been properly informed to Hanoi and other northern provinces. It was conducted after heavy downpours raised the dam water…... [read more]

Qatar's emir called on Friday for dialogue to resolve a political crisis pitting his country against four Arab states, saying any talks must respect national sovereignty, but the call was unlikely to end the rift. In his first speech since four Arab countries severed ties with Doha, a defiant Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani said life was continuing as normal despite what he described as an unjust "siege". Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut ties and imposed sanctions on Qatar last month, accusing it of financing extremist groups and supporting terrorism, which the emir denied. "Qatar is fighting terrorism relentlessly and without compromise, and the international community recognizes this," Sheikh Tamim said in the televised speech. He spoke hours after U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the United States was satisfied with Qatar's efforts to implement an agreement aimed at combating terror financing, and urged the four states to lift their "land blockade". It also comes days before Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, who had supported Qatar in the crisis, was due to visit Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to try to resolve the rift. Earlier this month during a round of shuttle diplomacy, Tillerson signed a deal with Qatar to fight terrorism financing, part of efforts led by Kuwait to try to resolve the most serious rift in the Western-allied Gulf in decades. An official comment from the four Arab countries had yet to be issued, but a Saudi royal court advisor described it…... [read more]

VietNamNet Bridge – War veterans and Agent Orange victims in a Can Tho City ward are receiving assistance from an unexpected quarter – former comrades-in-arms in more comfortable economic circumstances. War veteran Pham Dinh Han (left) and an employee in front of his store in the Sat Market, An Lac Ward, Ninh Kieu District, Can Tho City. Over the last few years, many struggling veterans in the city’s Ninh Kieu District have been given interest-free loans to start or develop their own business. Pham Dinh Han, 65, is one veteran who has led the way in raising funds and assisting other former soldiers. He is now a member of the ward’s Association of War Veterans and also head of its Association of Agent Orange Victims. “After the war, many veterans faced another fight. They were struggling to earn a living,” Han said, adding that he had also experienced the ups and downs of being a soldier and a war veteran. “I wanted to do something to help them stabilise their lives, expand business and create more jobs for local residents,” Han said. Teenage fighter Han, born in the northern province of Phu Tho, had to leave his hometown and family in his early teens and move to Thai Binh Province with his aunt. When he was 18, during the American war, he volunteered to join the army, and traveled to the south of Viet Nam. Today, he tells his wife and children that although he lost 61 per cent of…... [read more]

Vietnam’s Ministry of Transport has requested a temporary hold on tourism services using double-deckers in several big cities, pending new guidelines from the prime minister. The decision was announced only seven months after Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc approved a five-year pilot program in November 2016 for double-decker tourism in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Quang Nam, Hue, Lam Dong and Kien Giang. Though Hanoi and Da Nang have already introduced their own fleet of double-deckers for tourists, the trial program has been temporarily put on hold until new directions are given by the premier, the transport ministry said in a document on Thursday. A double-decker is seen in Da Nang on July 20, 2017. Photo: Facebook/yeudn In March 2017, the transport ministry began soliciting feedback on a draft plan on employing passenger buses to boost tourism. As of last month, the ministry received responses from its finance, public security, and tourism counterparts, as well as authorities from the seven localities where the pilot program was launched. While the transport ministry did not specify whether the responses have cast the double-decker program in a negative light, it did request that the pilot program be ceased, “pending final feedback on the March 2017 draft plan from the prime minister.” The two-story bus service had its test run in Hanoi on June 31, using open-top buses equipped with an automated voice system to introduce and share details about each tourist destination on…... [read more]




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