Vietnam-China Friendship Association contributes to bilateral ties

VietNamNet Bridge – Quite a few transport projects in Ha Noi’s rural areas are not up to scratch due to lack of capital and difficulties in disbursing investments. A temporary bridge across the Day River in My Duc District, Ha Noi. — Photo Nguyen Duc Toan, deputy head of the transport infrastructure management division under Ha Noi’s Department of Transport, told the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) that the rural transportation system lacks water drainage systems, signs and technical infrastructure. The system of roads across fields satisfies local economic development, but it needs continuous improvement. Many localities invest in rural areas’ transport based on the current situation, not on planning. Toan said transportation system investment in Ha Noi’s rural areas lacks comprehensiveness, only focusing on road upgrades but not on building new roads and replacing weak and temporary bridges. Vu Hoang, vice president of the Ha Noi Road and Bridge Association, told VNA that the rural transport system has yet to meet the requirements of agricultural production. The roads in some places are so narrow that trucks cannot enter the fields. This, in turn, increases production costs and product prices. For many years, residents of My Duc, Ung Hoa, Soc Son, Chuong My, Thanh Oai districts have had to cross degraded bridges, resulting in a drownings at My Luong floating bridge in Chuong My District in July 2015 and at Seu Market floating bridge crossing Ung Hoa and My Duc districts in June 2016. My Luong floating bridge spanning over…... [read more]

VietNamNet Bridge – More than 150 athletes are competing at the National Youth Shooting Championships which kicked off yesterday in Ha Noi. Shooters take part in training ahead of their National Youth Shooting Championships in Ha Noi. — Photo The young shooters, including the ASEAN youth champion Bui Thi Thu Thuy, will take part in 18 events for individuals and 18 for teams across different age groups, ranging from 14 to 21. Thuy, 14, will compete in her strongest event of the 10m air pistol, in which she triumphed at this year’s Southeast Asian Youth Shooting Championship. She is a member of the national team and will receive strong support to succeed at the Youth Olympics in 2018 and the Olympic Games in 2020, according to national head coach Nguyen Thi Nhung. Speaking at the opening ceremony yesterday, head of the organising board Nguyen Manh Hung said shooting was one of Viet Nam’s most successful sports in many international competitions. This year’s tournament is a chance for managers to select talented athletes for the national team and push the sport’s development nationwide. The championships will close on August 8. VNS related news Vietnam's top shooter wins regional shooting champs Young Air shooters prepare for national tourney... [read more]

Nguyen Minh Chau, former director of the Southern Southern Fruit Institute, said he was  excited about the news that chocolate products made in Vietnam have been recognized as one of the best in the world, competing with those from Belgium, Switzerland and Germany. The chocolate products are made from cocoa grown in Vietnam. He said this shows that Vietnam has great potential in natural resources, labor force, and conditions to develop business. However, it is not Vietnamese, but French and Japanese nationals who created the brand for the high-quality chocolate products. “What Vietnam lacks are business ideas and post-harvesting processing technology,” Chau said. Vietnam has been wasting its high-quality agricultural products, depending on fresh fruits and raw exports, he added. Binh Thuan and Ninh Thuan are two famous grapefruit granaries of Vietnam. However, they still cannot develop any strong wine brand.  Hung Yen province is famous for longan, while Bac Giang is famous for litchis. However, Vietnamese still eat dried canned litchis made in Thailand. The same thing is happening with cocoa. Vietnam has a suitable climate to grow cocoa and conditions to develop cocoa-growing areas, but it doesn’t have post-harvesting processing technology. Therefore, it cannot make money from the resources. At the workshops and official conferences held by MARD, experts pointed out that while exporting raw materials, Vietnam has been heavily relying on China, while Vietnam can earn little money in the value chain. Vietnam has Loc…... [read more]

U.S. President Donald Trump claimed relations with Russia had hit an all-time and "very dangerous" low Thursday, putting the blame on Congress after he reluctantly approved sanctions against Moscow. After Moscow called the sanctions a declaration of "economic war" that had exposed the U.S. president's weakness, an angry Trump lashed out at his own lawmakers who had overwhelmingly approved the measures. Our relationship with Russia is at an all-time & very dangerous low. You can thank Congress, the same people that can't even give us HCare! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 3, 2017 Senator John McCain, a noted Russia hawk, hit back on Twitter, suggesting Trump had misdiagnosed the source of the problem. "Our relationship w/ Russia is at dangerous low. You can thank Putin for attacking our democracy, invading neighbors & threatening our allies," McCain said. Trump's outburst came a day after he grudgingly signed off on the sanctions, calling the legislation "significantly flawed" and adding that some of its provisions were unconstitutional. Trump's presidency has been overshadowed by allegations that his team colluded with Moscow during last year's U.S. presidential campaign in which he defeated Hillary Clinton. On Thursday, reports emerged that special investigator Robert Mueller had impaneled a grand jury to investigate the issue, a step toward possible criminal indictments. The move is a sign that the sweeping federal investigation -- which includes allegations that Trump campaign officials coordinated with Russia to tilt the election in the Republican's favor -- is gathering pace. Trump thwarted…... [read more]

THE HAGUE: Supermarkets in the Netherlands and Germany were on Thursday (Aug 3) removing millions of eggs from their shelves believed to have been contaminated by a toxic insecticide in a widening food scandal. Some 10 billion eggs were produced in the country last year by about 1,000 poultry farms, with many of them going across the border into Germany. (AFP/Patrick HUISMAN) Amid fears the Dutch poultry industry could be facing huge financial losses, German officials said late Thursday they believed three million tainted eggs had been made their way into the country and been sold. After shuttering 180 businesses earlier in the week, the Dutch food authority (NVWA) said following tests that 138 poultry farms - about a fifth of all such concerns in the country - would remain closed, with one batch of eggs posing "an acute danger to public health". Eggs from another 59 farms contained high enough levels of the insecticide, fipronil, that the food authority warned they should not be eaten by children. "Those businesses whose egg codes have been printed on the website will remain closed," the NVWA said, publishing a list of 138 codes printed on the sides of the eggs, which identify which farm they have come from. According to Dutch media, some 10 billion eggs were produced in the country last year by about 1,000 poultry farms, with many of them going across…... [read more]

LONDON: The average annual pay packet of Britain's top executives fell by 17 percent in 2016, but was still 132 times the average full-time wage, according to a report published Thursday (Aug 3). Study shows the average salary of the chief executive of a FTSE 100 company was £4.5 million (US$5.9 million in the 2016 financial year, down from £5.4 million in 2015. (Photo: AFP/Niklas Halle'n) The study, by worker pressure groups High Pay Centre and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), found that the average chief executive of a FTSE 100 company was £4.5 million (US$5.9 million, €5 million) in the 2016 financial year, down from £5.4 million in 2015. "Our review of FTSE 100 CEO pay packages shows a sharp turnaround," said the report. "FTSE 100 CEOs have seen an overall drop in pay packages, especially at the top end, though the gulf between the highest paid executives and the rest of the workforce still remains," it added. It would still take the average full-time British worker 132 years to earn this amount, with 60 of the FTSE 100 CEOs earning more than 100 times the average salary, according to official figures. The report said that part of the "squeeze" was down to top earner Martin Sorrell, with the advertising chief's compensation dropping from £70.4 million to £48.1 million in 2016. "If we were to exclude him…... [read more]

VietNamNet Bridge – Ha Noi’s agricultural sector has faced many challenges due to climate changes and a reduction in agricultural land. A farmer works on her garden in Thuong Tin District, Ha Noi.  In Chuong My District’s Nam Phuong Tien Commune, about 20 ha of vegetables have been planted this season, but prolonged torrential rains and hot weather recently severely damaged the vegetables, said chairman of the commune People’s Committee Nguyen Chien Thang. Dang Huu Hung, a local farmer, said he was worried about his pomelo garden after the historically hot weather hit the city in June, the time his pomelo trees were about to blossom. He said he was deeply concerned about his pomelo crop this year. In Dan Phuong District’s Ha Mo Commune, dozens of ha of flowers were also affected by hot weather and prolonged torrential rains, Ha Noi Moi (New Ha Noi) newspaper reported. Nguyen Dang Tien, a lily grower said he earned hundreds of millions of dong from his lily field in previous years. But this year, there was no profit. Head of Cultivation Office under the Ha Noi’s Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Thi Thoa said besides the weather, the city’s cultivation sector also suffered from a reduction in agricultural land due to rapid urbanisation. Data from the department found that there 2,550 ha of agricultural land in the city was lost since this spring crop season due to urbanisation, she added. Solutions Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong, said local…... [read more]

PARIS: The prospect of crude remaining near the current US$50 level is no longer a doomsday scenario for the world's oil majors whose latest earnings announcements show that cost-cutting lets them turn a profit even at these price levels. Even if the oil majors have adapted to low prices for the moment, developing new resources affordably could pose a challenge say analysts. (Photo: AFP/Spencer Platt) BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Shell and Total have all published results in recent days, showing they pocketed US$23 billion in net profit in the first half of the year. Either they increased their earnings or at least returned to profit compared with the same period last year. With the exception of ExxonMobil they all benefitted from an increase in output from the same period last year, but more importantly they all profited from a rebound in crude prices as OPEC members and Russia agreed to limit production. The price of the international benchmark Brent crude averaged US$51.7 per barrel in the first half of this year, up considerably from US$39.8 during the same period last year. While the profits are still less than half of what the firms turned in during the same period three years ago when Brent was trading at over US$100 per barrel, they show that the major firms can survive profitably if crude prices stay at current levels, a scenario many now foresee. …... [read more]

The general chaos has returned to Saigon's sidewalk after a fanfare campaign to clean up the streets fell flat. Doan Ngoc Hai, the instigator behind the campaign, is demanding more power to honor his commitment to turning District 1 into a “Little Singapore”. "I promised to bring back order to the sidewalks in District 1 this year, but to fulfill it, the city needs to give me carte blanche to punish anyone that breaks the rules, even officials,” Hai, the vice chairman of District 1, said at a city meeting on Friday. Hai led the sidewalk campaign in February in a bid to take back the sidewalks for their original purpose. Barriers were put up and police were deployed to stop motorbikes from driving on the sidewalks, while vehicles have been towed, including government and foreign diplomatic cars outside five-star hotels. The project has been widely applauded by locals, but it has also raised concerns for being too extreme, with street vendors being the unhappiest. As the voice and face of the campaign that repeatedly made headlines for two months, Hai said at the outset: “I won’t hesitate to get into a conflict,” to express how far he was willing to go to make the plan work. “I will retire if it fails.”" But Hai mysteriously stepped out of the campaign in April, telling local media that he had to do so as “requested by district leaders.” With Hai’s hands tied, the mission was passed down to local units, and things…... [read more]

The deal was signed just hours after the 25-year-old paid off his €222 million (US$264 million) buyout clause to Barcelona. File photo of Neymar of Barcelona during the International Champions Cup 2017 at Hard Rock Stadium on Jul 29, 2017 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images/AFP) PARIS: Neymar's world record move to Paris Saint-Germain was completed on Thursday (Aug 3) when the French club confirmed the Brazilian superstar had signed a five year-deal, earning him an estimated €30 million (US$35.5 million) a year. The deal was signed just hours after the 25-year-old paid off his €222 million (US$264 million) buyout clause to Barcelona. "I am extremely happy to join Paris Saint-Germain," said Neymar. "Since I arrived in Europe, the club has always been one of the most competitive and most ambitious. And the biggest challenge, what most motivated me to join my new teammates is to help the club to conquer the titles that their fans want. "Paris Saint-Germain's ambition attracted me to the club, along with the passion and the energy this brings. I played four seasons in Europe and I feel ready to take the challenge. "From today, I will do everything I can to help my new teammates, to open up new horizons for my club and to bring happiness to its millions of supporters around the world." PSG said that Neymar will be unveiled at…... [read more]

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