Misty Tam Dao – an ideal getaway for tourists

Con Co Island in the central province of Quang Tri (Source: VNA)   Quang Tri (VNA) – Con Co Island in the central province of Quang Tri will become the 11th island nationwide connected to the national power grid. An agreement to this effect was signed between the Quang Tri province People’s Committee and the Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) in Dong Ha city on August 10. Accordingly, the EVN will supply power to 26 households,11 agencies and sectors, along with other public facilities on the island, which are using diesel-generated electricity.  The EVN has assigned Quang Tri Power Company to ensure round-the-clock electricity connection for the island. Founded in October 2014 under the Prime Minister’s decision, Con Co has built a number of facilities, including a water supply system, a health centre, schools and roads to serve travel demand of local residents and tourists. The two existing diesel-run generators on Con Co have provided electricity for the islanders for only 17-19 hours. Located 30 km from the mainland, Con Co island, which crosses the 17th parallel, is considered an “outpost watch” due to its location.  Covering 2.3 square kilometres, it is one of the most magnificent islands of the central region with its diverse ecosystem.-VNA... [read more]

Vietjet currently has six routes connecting Viet Nam and Taiwan, making it the carrier operating the most flight services between Viet Nam and Taiwan. — VNS Photo Vietjet on Thursday began selling tickets on its newest international route from Ha Noi to Kaohsiung (Taiwan) at a price starting from zero dollars. Slated to be operational on October 29, the new route will meet the significant demand of individuals, tourists and businesspeople travelling between these two attractive destinations for tourism and business, Vietjet said in its statement. The Ha Noi-Kaohsiung route will operate on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday with one return flight per day and three hours per leg. The Ha Noi-Kaohsiung flight departs from Ha Noi at 7.30am (local time) and arrives in Kaohsiung at 10.45am (local time). The return flight takes off at 11.45am and lands at 1.35pm. With this recently-announced international route, Vietjet currently has six routes connecting Viet Nam and Taiwan, making it the carrier operating the most flight services between Viet Nam and Taiwan. Beside to this route, Vietjet said it is also giving away hundreds of thousands of promotional tickets applied for other international routes from now until August 13 between noon and 2pm. The travel period for these promotional tickets, selling from zero dollars, is from September 1, 2017 to March 24, 2018. — VNS ... [read more]

VietNamNet Bridge – The Ministry of Transport (MoT) has asked concerned organisations to investigate two consecutive breakdowns in which a train was derailed twice at Yen Vien Railway Station on the Ha Noi-Lao Cai railway route last Sunday and Monday. The SP2 train carrying about 120 passengers is derailed twice at Yen Vien Railway Station on the Ha Noi-Lao Cai railway route last Sunday and Monday.— Photo anninhthudo.vn The MoT asked the Vietnam Railways (VNR) to warn organisations and individuals related to the two breakdowns, and repair the damaged part of the line. The safety of the railway system must be checked, especially stations with a high density of trains. The railway sector must check all train carriages and punish any violations based on present laws. It must collaborate with the Viet Nam Railway Authority to uncover the reasons for the breakdowns and make necessary improvements. The VNR should supervise the work of railway workers who are on duty, train drivers and railway guards to ensure railway traffic order and safety. VNR has been banned from using tools and equipment which do not meet technological and environmental protection standards. The Viet Nam Railway Authority must give instructions to railway inspectors and the police to properly punish any violations in the railway sector, and give detailed measures to prevent further breakdowns. The Viet Nam Register is responsible for checking train carriages and providing information on any found to be unsafe. These should be banned from operation. On Monday, the SP2 Train…... [read more]

North Korea on Thursday said U.S. President Donald Trump was "bereft of reason" and would only respond to force, as it elaborated on a threat to attack the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam. Trump this week stunned the world with a bold-faced message to Kim Jong-Un, saying his country faced "fire and fury like the world has never seen". Pyongyang then said it was working on a plan to fire simultanenously four ballistic missiles in an enveloping fire around Guam, a key U.S. military stronghold. "Sound dialogue is not possible with such a guy bereft of reason and only absolute force can work on him," the official KCNA news service quoted General Kim Rak-Gyom of the Korean People's Army (KPA) as saying on Thursday. The statement said the KPA would complete mid-August a plan for the attack, which would involve four rockets flying over Japan, and submit it to Kim Jong-Un for consideration as a "crucial warning to the U.S.". The unusually detailed statement said the four missiles would overfly the Japanese prefectures of Shimane, Hiroshima and Koichi. They would have a flight time of 17 minutes 45 seconds, travel 3,356.7 kilometers (around 2,086 miles) and hit the waters 30 to 40 kilometers away from Guam. The western Pacific island is home to U.S. strategic assets including long-range bombers and military jets and submarines, which are regularly deployed for shows of force in and near the Korean peninsula, to Pyongyang's fury. Two supersonic U.S. bombers took off from the…... [read more]

North Korea freed a Canadian pastor serving a life sentence on humanitarian grounds, the official KCNA news agency said on Wednesday, just hours after the United States warned it would counter any threat from the North with "fire and fury." There was no clear connection between the release of Hyeon Soo Lim and the heightened rhetoric between Washington and Pyongyang. Canadian officials said on Tuesday a delegation led by the country's national security adviser had travelled to North Korea to discuss Lim's case. Lim, who served in one of the largest churches in Canada, had been sentenced to hard labor for life in December 2015 after North Korea accused him of attempting to overthrow the regime. KCNA said Lim had been released on "sick bail" by the country's Central Court for humanitarian reasons. Lim, accompanied by his wife and son, is expected to return to Canada on Thursday and will be hospitalized on arrival at his wife's request, a source familiar with the matter said. "So far, it has been confirmed that government officials and a doctor are accompanying Reverend Lim," said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to media. Lim's family had become more concerned for his welfare since the death in June of American student Otto Warmbier, who had been held in North Korea for 17 months. Warmbier, sentenced last year to 15 years' hard labour for trying to steal a propaganda item from his hotel, died in a…... [read more]

A U.S. Navy destroyer carried out a "freedom of navigation operation" on Thursday, coming within 12 nautical miles of an artificial island built up by China in the South China Sea, U.S. officials told Reuters. The sea is called East Sea in Vietnam. The operation came as President Donald Trump's administration seeks Chinese cooperation in dealing with North Korea's missile and nuclear programs and could complicate efforts to secure a common stance. The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the USS John S. McCain traveled close to Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands, among a string of islets, reefs and shoals. China has territorial disputes with its neighbors over the area. It was the third "freedom of navigation operation" or "fonop" conducted during Trump's presidency. Neither China's defense ministry nor its foreign ministry immediately responded to a request for comment. The operation was the latest attempt to counter what Washington sees as Beijing's efforts to limit freedom of navigation in the strategic waters, and comes as Trump is seeking China's cooperation to rein in North Korea. Tensions have risen recently after North Korea carried out two nuclear tests last year and two ICBM tests last month, prompting a strong round of U.N. sanctions which angered Pyongyang who threatened to teach the United States a "severe lesson". Trump in turn responded by warning North Korea it would face "fire and fury" if it further threatened the United States. U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis issued a stark warning to North…... [read more]

CHENGDU: China on Wednesday (Aug 9) evacuated nearly 60,000 people in its mountainous southwest after a strong earthquake killed at least 19, rattling a region where memories of a 2008 seismic disaster remain fresh. An injured woman arrives at Mianyang Central Hospital in Mianyang, China's southwestern Sichuan province, after an 6.5-magnitude earthquake struck the province. (STR/AFP) The 6.5-magnitude earthquake struck Sichuan province late on Tuesday, tearing cracks in mountain highways, triggering landslides, damaging buildings and sending panicked residents and tourists fleeing into the open. The provincial government said on Wednesday afternoon that most of the tourists - many stranded at a popular national park near the epicentre - have been evacuated after spending a nervous night out in the open as more than 1,000 aftershocks rippled across the region. Locals will also be moved to safer ground, according to the authorities. The area's difficult geography - and travel restrictions quickly imposed by authorities - have so far prevented a clear picture of the scale of the disaster from emerging, but there were no reports of catastrophic damage or large-scale casualties by Wednesday afternoon. The quake killed at least 19 people and injured at least 263, 10 of them seriously, official news agency Xinhua quoted local officials as saying. Two foreigners, a French man and a Canadian woman, were among the injured. The local government of Aba prefecture, where the epicentre…... [read more]

Taxi firms are bristling over a draft regulation that will place greater restrictions over their operations in the capital city. Taxis driving at Nội Bài airport near Hà Nội. - VNA/VNS Photo Huy Hùng They say the new rules will make it even more difficult for them to survive. The Hà Nội Department of Transport (DoT) is in the process of collecting feedback on a draft regulation dealing with the public transportation services by car within the city limits. City authorities believe that restrictions contained in the regulation, set to be approved by the end of 2017, are needed to exert greater traffic control. Representatives of the Hà Nội Taxi Association (HTA) and other taxi firms have responded negatively to the proposed restrictions, saying they could drive them into bankruptcy. A major sticking point for the firms is a provision that says taxis will only be allowed to pick up passengers in the area where the vehicles are registered, and will not be allowed to park or pick up passengers from elsewhere. Practically, this means that Hà Nội will be divided into two areas numbered one and two. Number one will cover districts within the city limit and number two will encompass districts in the city’s extended areas. Depending on their license plates, taxis will not be allowed to park and wait for passengers in areas that they are not assigned. They…... [read more]

A 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck a remote, mountainous part of China's southwestern province of Sichuan, killing 19 people, including six tourists, and injuring 247, the provincial government and official media said on Wednesday. Chinese paramilitary police carry a survivor after an earthquake in Jiuzhaigou county, Ngawa prefecture, Sichuan province, China August 9, 2017.  The quake hit a sparsely populated area 200 km (120 miles) northwest of the city of Guangyuan late on Tuesday at a depth of 10 km (6 miles), the U.S. Geological Survey said. It was also close to the Jiuzhaigou nature reserve, a tourist destination. Sichuan is frequently struck by tremors. A huge quake there in May 2008 killed almost 70,000 people. A separate quake of magnitude 6.6 hit a remote part of China's far northwestern region of Xinjiang, more than 2,000 km (1,240 miles) away, on Wednesday, the Chinese earthquake administration said. The People's Daily said 32 people had been injured in the mostly rural area. The Sichuan government said rescuers were gradually evacuating tourists and residents who had been cut off by landslides. At least six tourists were among those killed, the official China News Service said. The Sichuan government said 19 people had been killed, but most of those injured were not seriously hurt. In nearby Longnan in the neighboring province of Gansu, also jolted by the quake, eight people died in landslides caused by heavy rain, the People's Daily said. The Sichuan government added that 45,000 tourists had been evacuated from the quake zone…... [read more]

A U.S. Navy ship docked at Vietnam's Cam Ranh International Port on Tuesday for a routine technical stop, and for its crew to have an opportunity to experience the nearby resort town of Nha Trang, the U.S. Embassy said in a statement. The USS San Diego has been on training exercises in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region over the past few weeks since departing its homeport of San Diego in early July. The USS San Diego. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Embassy “This is the first opportunity for some of our sailors to fulfill one of those ambitions for why many people join the U.S. Navy – to see the world,” Captain Pete Collins, commanding officer of the San Diego, said. During the port call, the ship's crew will get some time off to explore Nha Trang and the surrounding area. “Most of our crew has never traveled to this area of the world and this port visit will give them the chance to expand their horizons while building positive relations with local Vietnamese residents,” Lieutenant Alexandra Sibilla of the San Diego said. After stopping in Cam Ranh, the San Diego will continue training with U.S. allies and partners in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations. The San Diego's visit is another example of the depth of the U.S.-Vietnam comprehensive partnership through the strengthening of civilian and military ties, the U.S. embassy said. The USS San Diego is the sixth ship in the San Antonio-class of amphibious landing transport dock…... [read more]

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