Police bust trans-national heroin, crystal meth ring in northern Vietnam

NDO/ VNA – The Party and State always pay great attention to caring for wounded and sick soldiers, as well as the families of the martyrs, who laid down their lives for national independence, freedom and peace, President Tran Dai Quang has said. The President made the remark in a piece of writing on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of Wounded Soldiers and Martyrs' Day (July 27), in which he praised the great contributions of revolutionary contributors and highlighted the tradition of taking care of those who have made significant contributions to the nation. Policies, regulations and communications campaigns on supporting national revolutionary contributors, both in terms of health care and education, have been implemented effectively throughout the localities, he said. Cemeteries and monuments dedicated to martyrs nationwide have been upgraded and embellished, while the search for, collection and identification of the remains of martyrs has been carried out with the greatest efforts, he added. Apart from presenting gifts to wounded and sick soldiers and their relatives, many organisations and individuals have actively joined in with movements to help improve the spiritual and material lives of revolutionary contributors. Thanks to tireless efforts, up to 97 percent of the families of revolutionary contributors have a living standard that is equal to or higher than the average in their residential areas. Many families of revolutionary contributors have made remarkable achievements in poverty reduction and economic development, contributing to the national socio-economic development. In his writing, President…... [read more]

Vietnam’s fast-food segment has become much more competitive as a huge number of chains arrive in the country, but some are now reviewing their business activities while others are departing.  Analysts say that as Vietnam is an emerging market, investors need to follow a reasonable path in order to reap the benefits. Most fast-food brands in Vietnam are “giants” but not all can succeed here.  “Meeting the tastes of customers, which are rapidly changing along with the development of society, is one of the biggest challenges for any business,” Mr. Nguyen Huy Thinh, General Manager of McDonald’s in Vietnam, told VET. Learn to compete McDonald’s opened its first outlet in Vietnam in 2014 and quickly found favor. Mr. Nguyen Bao Hoang was appointed to bring the Big Mac to Vietnam as a Developmental Licensee, with the contract signed the result of cooperation with the UK-based international law firm, Allen & Overy, and the result of a “rigorous” selection process, the fast-food giant said.  McDonald’s attracted 20,000 customers and earned around VND1.5 billion ($71,130) in revenue in its first two days in the country. Similar to Burger King, it also adopted an ambitious plan to have 100 stores within a decade. But four years on, it is yet to expand beyond Ho Chi Minh City. It has introduced Western breakfast dishes such as egg muffin, sausage, hotcakes, and hash browns in a bid to win over picky Vietnamese palates, though it remains doubtful that such fare is appealing to local people. …... [read more]

LONDON (Reuters) - Three decades after approval of the first-ever AIDS treatment, HIV medicine is seeing a new wave of innovation with scientists reporting positive data on Monday for improved drug cocktails and a novel experimental vaccine. Adding to optimism is the success of antiretrovirals in preventing infection - an approach known as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) - as well as growing hopes for an eventual "functional" cure that may keep the virus at bay without drugs. Researchers believe such advances are necessary to stay ahead of a virus that can all too often develop resistance to medicines, despite the use since 1996 of three- or four-drug combinations that mean HIV/AIDS is no longer a death sentence. "New products are needed. The Achilles heel for us is drug resistance because the virus is incredibly quick to mutate," Linda-Gail Bekker, deputy director of the Desmond Tutu HIV Centre in South Africa, said. Bekker is also president of the International AIDS Society, which organized the conference in Paris where the latest clinical results were presented. The race for better and more convenient medicines has made HIV a rich battleground for drug companies such as Gilead Sciences and GlaxoSmithKline, which generate billions of dollars from modern therapies. Both companies garnered fresh ammunition to boost their products in Paris. New clinical data confirmed Gilead's new drug bictegravir, given with older antiretrovirals, was as good as GSK's established dolutegravir and had a similar side effect profile. Gilead filed…... [read more]

The good news is that people are today living healthier and longer lives, said Nguyen Van Tan, deputy head of the Department, noting that lifespans have increased by 33 years just over the past five decades. In 1960 the average life expectancy in Vietnam was 40 whereas in 2012, the latest year for which statistics are available, it was 73. Most importantly for younger generations, by reshaping their education plans, they could see their participation in the workforce last longer, which would increase their lifetime earnings and standard of living. It would also be a virtual gold mine for them later in life during retirement. Citing statistics from the World Bank he noted that within 20 years one in seven Vietnamese would be aged 65 or older, and this would create a wider gap between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ in the absence of proper planning. Mr Tan made the comments at a symposium in Hanoi touching on critical issues related to the country’s changing population trends such as its impact on the macro economy, the role of women, health, retirement and societal issues in general. In addition, at the conference, Mr Tan outlined priorities for the Department of Population and Family Planning over the coming years as they relate to the role of women; health inequality; sustainable development; climate change; and using demographic data to better understand the country’s population dynamics. The country is at a demographic crossroads, he said.…... [read more]

ASEAN enjoys half century of dynamic, comprehensive development (Source: asean.org) Hanoi (VNA) – After 50 years of development, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has been internationally recognised as a comprehensive regional cooperative organisation and a cohesive and dynamic political-economic entity that contributes to global connectivity. The association has an important role and position in the Southeast Asian and Asian-Pacific regions with profound political, economic, cultural and social influences.  A spirit of solidarity, consensus and mutual support and respect, along with harmonious combination of national and community interests have helped enhance the association’s position. Over the past half century, ASEAN has proved itself a leading factor in ensuring a peaceful environment, security and cooperation for regional development, illustrated through the bloc’s efforts to cooperate in politics and security and build codes of conduct to increase mutual understanding and prevent conflicts in the region. ASEAN has also established collaboration with important partners in the world, while initiating and playing a key role in several regional cooperation frameworks, especially the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) – the only mechanism for dialogues and cooperation in political and security matters in Asia-Pacific. The association has created favourable conditions for important partners outside Southeast Asia to contribute to the settlement of common security challenges, helping reinforce peace and security in the region.   [Sport event celebrates ASEAN’s founding anniversary] More countries around the world have shown interest in Southeast Asia. The Treaty of Amity and Cooperation initiated by …... [read more]

NDO – To achieve the objective of rapid and sustainable development, the central coastal province of Quang Ngai should focus on improving the implementation of ethnic minority support policies, with a priority on poverty reduction, Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh has said. The deputy PM, who is also a Politburo member, held a working session with the key leaders of Quang Ngai province on Monday to discuss the implementation of ethnic affairs in the locality. At the working session, Chairman of Quang Ngai People's Committee Tran Ngoc Cang said that ethnic minority work has received special attention from Quang Ngai leaders across all levels, especially in poverty reduction in ethnic minorities and mountainous areas. The province has effectively implemented programmes and policies, which have resulted in positive achievements in reducing the rate of poor households. By the end of 2016, the rate of poor households in the whole province decreased to 13.5%, of which mountainous districts decreased by 4.83% (from 46.7% to 41.9%). However, the Quang Ngai leader also pointed out several weaknesses that need to be overcome, such as unsustainable results in poverty reduction, with a range of newly emerging poor and near poor households, investment resources for poverty reduction programmes has not met the set target and the limited effectiveness of several projects to reduce poverty. In the last six months of 2017, Quang Ngai strives to reduce the rate of poor households in mountainous districts by 5.54% per year, in accordance with…... [read more]

An estimated 600 people, aged 18-25, gave out free hugs to friends, brothers and sisters, and strangers during an event to celebrate the International Free Hugs Day at Savico Megamall in Long Bien District, Hanoi, on July 23. Hanoians give out free hugs to share love in Int’l Free Hugs Day. The event, in its fifth year, was held by Free Hugs Hanoi under the theme “Yeu thuong xin dung de do – Free Hugs Time” (Love, don’t leave it there – Free Hugs Time). It offered an opportunity for everybody to get warm hugs from other people and spread messages of love and friendship. Mai Ngoc Tram, a member of the organizer, said the event aims to help everybody to get closer and she hopes the society would be more open on how people behave towards each other. Sharing love in such a way will help fire enthusiasm among young people and spread joy in the community, she noted. The Free Hugs Campaign was initiated in 2004 by an Australian man known only by the pseudonym “Juan Mann”. The campaign became internationally famous in 2006 after a music video on YouTube by the Australian band Sick Puppies went viral and has been viewed over 74 million times. International Free Hugs Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of July. VNA... [read more]

VietNamNet Bridge – A series of Vietnamese art films have been released in recent years, many of which have won international prizes and been highly appreciated by film critics. However, the genre has not yet gained popularity as it has not drawn much interest from domestic viewers and has often been doomed to financial failures. Film for art or film for commercial At least five art films have been released in the second quarter of this year, including ‘Cha Cong Con’(Father and Son), ‘Lo To’ (The Lottery), ‘Co Can Nha Nam Nghe Nang Mua’ (Motherhood), ‘Da Co Hoai Lang’ (Two Fellow Countrymen), and ‘Dao Cua Dan Ngu Cu’ (The Way Station). Based on novels, drama, or inspired from documentaries, the films tell stories of people’s tragedies. However, they have not reached the expected revenue, even the film ‘Father and Son’ lost VND 5 billion (US$220,000) as its total budget was VND 18 billion (US$792,000) while its gross has been estimated at around VND 13 billion (US$ 572,000). Poster of the ‘Cha Cong Con’ (Father and Son) film by director Luong Dinh Dung An art film is typically a serious artistic film which explores the psychological developments of characters and opens up meditations and requires viewers to contemplate meaning rather than only containing entertainment factors such as cinematic skills, all-star film casts, and love or action scenes. While commercial films target to attract viewers to the cinema, art films provide a way for producers to make their individual mark on the…... [read more]

Handed over by her mother to an agent at the age of 10, Titi was crammed into a truck in the tiny West African nation of Benin and driven across the border into southwest Nigeria. Titi feared the worst. She recalled how a previous employer in Nigeria had welcomed her with a thin mat and a leather whip. "Sometimes, she beat us," said Titi, recounting the businesswoman who had flogged the girls for the smallest mishaps, such as breaking a plate. Bed had been the floor. "Sometimes, she didn't give us breakfast till after 1 p.m.," Titi, now 14, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation from Lagos, where she works for a "nicer" family - cleaning, cooking and caring for children for 18 hours a day. Titi is one of countless young girls working as domestic servants in cities across the nation, far from their own homes in rural Nigeria or neighboring countries such as Benin. Many girls are sent away by their parents who cannot afford to feed or school them, while others provide for their families - sometimes acting as the main breadwinner. Some girls, like Titi, are abused, cut off from their relatives, denied an education and left with nowhere to turn. With Nigeria facing its first recession in 25 years, rampant unemployment and booming population growth, activists fear more and more girls may be forced into housework as families plunge deeper into poverty and so-called agents seek out profits. Halting this phenomenon presents a huge challenge.…... [read more]

NDO – The Central Steering Committee for Disaster Prevention and Control and the National Committee for Search and Rescue has issued joint Telegraph No. 29 to coastal provinces and cities from Quang Ninh to Da Nang, the northern localities and concerned ministries and agencies to be ready for Storm Sonca, the fourth large-scale storm to hit the East Sea this year. According to the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting (NCHMF), a tropical depression experienced in the afternoon on July 23 intensified, becoming the fourth storm in the East Sea so far this year. At 7am on July 24, the centre of the storm was approximately 17.3 degrees north latitude and 111.3 degrees east longitude, about 180km to the southeast of China’s Hainan Island. The strongest wind speeds then were between 60 and 75km per hour. In the following 24 hours, Sonca is forecast to move at 10km per hour to the west-north west. At 7am of July 25, its centre is predicted at 18.2 degrees north latitude and 108.9 degrees east longitude, in the sea area of the southern part of Hainan Island. It could continue sustaining wind speeds of 60-75km per hour. The dangerous area in the next 24 hours will be from 16.5 to 20.5 degrees north and in the west of the 113th meridian east. In the next 24-48 hours, the storm will move between west and northwest at some 15km per hour, causing landslides in the vicinity of Thanh Hoa to Quang Binh provinces and degrading…... [read more]

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