Efforts made to ease difficulties for flood-hit northern localities

MOSCOW: Rescuers at one of Russia's largest diamond mines were searching late into the night on Friday (Aug 4) for nine miners still unaccounted for after water leaked into an underground shaft with more than 100 workers inside. Russia has experienced several deadly mining disasters in recent years. (AFP/LUCIE GODEAU) Alrosa, Russia's largest diamond producer, said in a statement that "nine people are being searched for" after water broke through into the Mir mine in the Sakha region some 4,160 kilometres east of Moscow. The emergency situations ministry for the region said rescuers were "carrying out a search of the mine's workings in order to find and save people". The water leaked into one of the mine's pumping stations out of a flooded disused crater that contained some 300,000 cubic metres of water, or the equivalent of 120 Olympic-size swimming pools, the emergency situations ministry said. The accident is believed to have been caused by an "uncontrolled increase in the flow of water" out of the mine's abandoned crater into the underground shaft, Alrosa said. It said this was caused by sudden geological processes and the washing away of rocks in the crater but insisted that all of the mine's "equipment has been regularly tested." The Sakha region's branch of the Investigative Committee, which probes serious crimes, said in a statement that it was carrying out a check into possible safety…... [read more]

The council is expected to vote on Saturday on the measures that include a ban on exports of coal, iron and iron ore, lead and lead ore, as well as seafood by the cash-starved state. US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has been leading the charge at the UN Security Council for tougher sanctions against North Korea. (AFP/Jewel SAMAD) UNITED NATIONS: The United States on Friday (Aug 4) presented a draft UN resolution toughening sanctions on North Korea with a sweeping ban on exports of coal, iron, lead and seafood that could deprive Pyongyang of US$1 billion in annual revenue. After a month of negotiations, the United States reached a deal with China, North Korea's main trading partner and ally, on the measures aimed at ratcheting up pressure on Pyongyang to halt its missile and nuclear tests. The United States requested the UN Security Council hold a vote on Saturday on the new raft of sanctions, but the meeting was not immediately confirmed. The draft resolution calls for a ban on all exports of coal, iron and iron ore, lead and lead ore, as well as fish and seafood by the cash-starved state, according to the text seen by AFP. If implemented by all countries, the ban would strip Pyongyang of roughly a third of its export earnings estimated at US$3 billion per year, according to a diplomat familiar with…... [read more]

Trinh Xuan Thanh makes public appearance on TVThe Saigon Times Daily An image of Trinh Xuan Thanh captured from VTV's news broadcast last night - PHOTO: HCMC – Trinh Xuan Thanh, former general director of PetroVietnam Construction Corporation (PVC), made his first public appearance in the prime-time evening news program broadcast last night by Vietnam Television (VTV), admitting he had voluntarily turned himself in to police. National television station VTV’s footage showed Thanh’s handwritten letter admitting his wrongdoing. He said he turned himself in to the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security due to his unstable life overseas as well as his anxiety and regret over his wrongdoing at PVC when hiding abroad. “I decided to leave the country and hide in Germany without careful thought. My family, relatives and friends encouraged me to come back to Vietnam to plead for leniency,” Thanh’s letter wrote. He also took his responsibility for the huge losses at PVC and its subsidiaries. On Wednesday, the German foreign ministry accused Vietnam of kidnapping Trinh Xuan Thanh, who it said was seeking asylum in Berlin, and of taking him home to face accusations of corruption. Germany also ordered an officer at the Vietnamese Embassy to leave Germany within 48 hours, according to local media reports. On the same day, the German foreign ministry asked the Vietnamese Government to send Thanh back to Germany immediately and would examine the Vietnamese side’s request for his extradition and Thanh’s asylum application. At a regular press conference on August 3,…... [read more]

Son Kim Group Chairman Nguyen Hoang Tuan (center left) and GS25 CEO Cho Yoon-sung (center right) shake hands after the two companies signed a contract to jointly operate the convenience store chain in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. (Source: GS RETAIL) Hanoi (VNA) - After the opening of Japan’s first 7-Eleven store in Vietnam in June, the Republic of Korea (RoK)’s GS25 convenience store chain has official announced its intention to enter the market, reported online news website ndh.vn. The entry of GS25 makes it the first Korean brand to join the fierce competition of the Vietnamese convenience store market. GS25 and Vietnamese Son Kim Group have formed a joint venture which will be in charge of operating local GS25 franchises in Vietnam. Accordingly, GS Retail, the convenience store chain’s parent company, holds a 30 percent stake in the venture, while Son Kim holds 70 percent. GS25 is expected to open its first store in Ho Chi Minh City by the end of this year and has set a goal of opening more than 2,500 stores within the next 10 years. GS25 is one of the RoK’s largest convenience stores, accounting for about 30 percent of the retail market in the country. Previously, Son Kim Group has co-operated with GS Home Shopping since 2012. GS Home Shopping and GS Retail both belong to the GS Group. According to the most recent data on the retail market in Vietnam, total revenue reached…... [read more]

Foreigners visit the former imperial capital city of Hue (Illustrative image. Source: VNA) Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnam will introduce and promote tourist destinations in three Australian cities – Perth, Sydney and Melbourne – as part of the 2017 National Tourism Promotion Programme, from August 12 to 19. The initiative is an opportunity to promote the country’s landscapes, people and culture and draw more tourists to Vietnam from Australia, as well as a chance for businesses from both nations to explore co-operation activities and expand their market. Speaking at a conference on tourism promotion on August 3, Hoang Nhan Chinh, head of secretary of the Tourism Advisory Board, said that in the future, the General Department of Tourism, Vietnam Airlines, Hanoi Investment, Trade and Tourism Promotion Centre, and the Tourism Advisory Board would co-ordinate and set up tourism booths at leading global trade shows, such as WTA London in the UK and ITB Berlin in Germany. In 2016, Hanoi spent 2 million USD on CNN (Cable News Network) promoting tourism and investment in the country. This April, CNN telecast a 30-minute programme showcasing some of the capital’s stunning landscapes and its popular spots, including the iconic Hoan Kiem (Returned Sword) Lake, the bustling Old Quarter, as well as some of its signature cuisine. Vietnam aims to welcome 13-15 million foreign tourists this year. Currently, the country’s annual budget on tourism promotion is 2 million USD. To compare, Thailand spends 60 million USD and receives over 30 million international…... [read more]

A view of Vincom Mega Mall Times City in Ha Noi. — Photo vinhometimescity.net Vincom Retail, the Vietnamese mall operator under the property and retail conglomerate Vingroup JSC, plans to launch its initial public offering (IPO) this year, according to Bloomberg. The company aims to mobilise about US$600 million through the sale, which may include a sale of existing shares as well as new stock, people with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg. Vincom Retail is preparing to raise funds as economic growth in Viet Nam raises living standards and increases shoppers’ disposable incomes. The benchmark VN Index this month hit its highest level since 2008, while the Asian Development Bank forecasts the nation’s economy will grow 6.3 per cent this year. The $600 million offering of Vincom Retail is expected to become the country’s second largest IPO in a decade, trailing only the 2007 share sale from Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Viet Nam when it was selected for a government pilot programme for equitisation in the banking sector. The last IPO that topped $100 million came from local airline VietJet Aviation JSC, whose shares are up 48 per cent since they started trading in February. The exact size of the Vincom Retail offering hasn’t been set yet, and the timetable for the listing could slip, the people told Bloomberg. Viet Nam News contacted Vingroup representatives for confirmation, but they declined to comment. The global…... [read more]

Handicrafts: Coracles covered with colourful paintings of ocean scenes and fishing (Source: internet) Quang Nam (VNS/VNA) - The Tam Thanh art community village in Tam Ky city of Quang Nam province has been awarded the 2017 Asian Townscape Award for its colourful murals. Vice Chairman of the Tam Ky city People’s Committee, Nguyen Minh Nam, told Viet Nam News the award was announced at the 2017 Asian Townscape Awards session in Fukuoka city, Japan, on July 27. Nam said the prize was being awarded by UN-Habitat, Asian Habitat Society, Asian Townscape Design Society and Fukuoka Asian Urban Research Centre, and the ceremony will be held in Yinchuan city on September 28-29. “It’s a great honour for us. Efforts were made by local villagers, the city’s administration and artists nationwide,” Nam said. “We also expressed our thanks to the Korea Foundation Community Art Exchange Programme and Korean artists and volunteers for their decoration of the village with colourful murals on moss-covered walls in 2016,” Nam said. Tam Ky city and Tam Thanh commune launched the fishing village of Tam Thanh as a community-based art space for eco-tourism development. It’s also the first project in Vietnam that weaves art space into community lifestyle. The fishing village, with a population of 6,000, is known nationwide and by foreign tourists for the murals in Trung Thanh hamlet. In March, artists from Singapore Technology and Design University, Vietnam’s Fine Arts Association, colleges in Hanoi and local…... [read more]

A GS25 store in South Korea. — Photo usefultips25.blogspot.com After the opening of Japan’s first 7-Eleven store in Viet Nam in June, South Korea’s GS25 convenience store chain has official announced its intention to enter the market, reported online news website ndh.vn. The entry of GS25 makes it the first Korean brand to join the fierce competition of the Vietnamese convenience store market. GS25 and Vietnamese Son Kim Group have formed a joint venture which will be in charge of operating local GS25 franchises in Viet Nam. Accordingly, GS Retail, the convenience store chain’s parent company, holds a 30 per cent stake in the venture, while Son Kim holds 70 per cent. GS25 is expected to open its first store in HCM City by the end of this year and has set a goal of opening more than 2,500 stores within the next 10 years. GS25 is one of Korea’s largest convenience stores, accounting for about 30 per cent of the retail market in the country. Previously, Son Kim Group has co-operated with GS Home Shopping since 2012. GS Home Shopping and GS Retail both belong to the GS Group. According to the most recent data on the retail market in Viet Nam, total revenue reached US$118 billion last year, a year-on-year increase of 10.2 per cent. Viet Nam is also evaluated as a country whose population age is suited to convenience store chains, with 57 per cent of…... [read more]

VietNamNet Bridge – The Tam Thanh art community village in Tam Ky City of Quang Nam Province has been awarded the 2017 Asian Townscape Award for its colourful murals. Handicrafts: Coracles covered with colourful paintings of ocean scenes and fishing. Vice Chairman of Tam Ky City’s People’s Committee, Nguyen Minh Nam, told Viet Nam News the award was announced at the 2017 Asian Townscape Awards session in Fukuoka City, Japan, on July 27. Nam said the prize was being awarded by UN-Habitat, Asian Habitat Society, Asian Townscape Design Society and Fukuoka Asian Urban Research Centre, and the ceremony will be held in Yinchuan City on September 28-29. “It’s a great honour for us. Efforts were made by local villagers, the city’s administration and artists nationwide,” Nam said. “We also expressed our thanks to the Korea Foundation Community Art Exchange Programme and Korean artists and volunteers for their decoration of the village with colourful murals on moss-covered walls in 2016,” Nam said. Tam Ky City and Tam Thanh Commune launched the fishing village of Tam Thanh as a community-based art space for eco-tourism development. It’s also the first project in Viet Nam that weaves art space into community lifestyle. The fishing village, with a population of 6,000, is known nationwide and by foreign tourists for the murals in Trung Thanh Hamlet. In March, artists from Singapore Technology and Design University, Việt Nam’s Fine Arts Association, colleges in Hà Nội and local painters started painting a coracle for an exhibition in Tam…... [read more]

VietNamNet Bridge – Anti-retroviral (ARV) therapy and methadone maintenance therapy are expected to be offered at more health facilities in Viet Nam to achieve the UN’s 90-90-90 goals by 2020, according to the Viet Nam Administration for HIV/AIDS Control. Participants at a three-day national conference in HCM City are discussing the best treatment models for substance-use disorders and HIV infections. —  Photo: VNS “The integration (of ARV and methadone maintenance therapies) will be expanded in the country as many provinces and cities have had good results from the pilot programmes on integrated treatment,” said Dr Pham Duc Manh, deputy director of Viet Nam Administration for HIV/AIDS Control (VAAC). Manh spoke at a three-day national conference on treatment of substance-use disorders and HIV, which began on Thursday in HCM City. The UN goals aim to have at least 90 per cent of all people with HIV know their status and 90 per cent receive sustained ARV therapy. The goals also call for 90 per cent of all people receiving ARV therapy to be eventually diagnosed with viral suppression.  To help reduce the number of staff and costs at health centres, Manh said that addicts living with HIV should have access to ARV therapy and methadone maintenance therapy at the same health facility. Prostitutes and MSM (men who have sex with men), and other groups at a high-risk of HIV transmission, could also benefit from integrated treatment. At least 34 per cent of the country’s drug users are infected with HIV, according…... [read more]




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