Vietnamese, Chilean citizens enjoy visa exemption

VietNamNet Bridge - The Central Group from Thailand has poured money into supermarkets, home appliance distribution chains, hotels, fashion shops, export and wholesale, and is developing 160 shops/supermarkets. And it is now harboring a plan to build a 200-500 room hotel in HCMC. Joining the market in July 2011, Central Group has become familiar to many Vietnamese. The conglomerate is present in six business fields and has been continuously investing in the country.  In late 2014, Central Group opened two Robins fashion centers in Hanoi and HCMC, where the products of famous brands are displayed, though Thai products are dominant.  In January 2015, Power Buy, a subsidiary of Central Group, bought a 49 percent stake of NKT, the company which owned Nguyen Kim home appliance distribution chain, with 21 supermarkets throughout the country. Later, the Thai giant surprised the public when taking over Lan Chi, a retail chain with supermarkets mostly located in rural areas, which did not catch the attention of foreign investors. The takeover showed Central Group’s ambition of reaching every corner of the Vietnamese market. The conglomerate stated it will spend 17 billion baht, or $511.7 million, to expand its operation in Vietnam in the next five years. In April 2016, Central Group stirred up the public when defeating TCC group (Thailand), Lotte (South Korea), Aeon (Japan), Masan and Saigon Co-op (Vietnam) in competition to buy Big C Vietnam from the French owner. After taking over Big C Vietnam, the Thai giant began restructuring the management of…... [read more]

SEOUL: Prosecutors on Tuesday (Aug 29) demanded a harsher punishment for the heir to the Samsung empire, appealing against a court ruling that sentenced him to five years in prison for bribery. Lee Jae-Yong, the de-facto head of Samsung Electronics, was found guilty last week of bribery, perjury and other charges related to payments made by Samsung made to ousted president Park Gueun-Hye's secret confidante Choi Soon-Sil. (Photo: AFP/Chung Sung-Jun) Lee Jae-Yong, the de-facto head of Samsung Electronics, was found guilty last week of bribery, perjury and other charges related to payments made by Samsung to ousted president Park Geun-Hye's secret confidante Choi Soon-Sil. Four other top Samsung executives were also convicted, with two jailed for up to four years, and the other pair given suspended terms. The prosecutors appealed part of the verdict that found Lee innocent of some of the bribery charges and said the punishment meted out to the five accused was too mild, Yonhap news agency said. "In light of the roles the five accused played in the crime, which was the most outstanding among all wrongdoings committed by Park and Choi... the lower court ruling was too lenient", the prosecutors were quoted as saying in the appeal. A day earlier, lawyers for Lee filed their own appeal against the conviction, claiming he is innocent of all charges. In total 8.9 billion won (S$10.7 million) was paid in…... [read more]

WASHINGTON: The US branch of embattled German carmaker Volkswagen announced on Tuesday (Aug 29) it was recalling 281,000 vehicles to fix a faulty fuel pump in another blow to the company's image. In another blow to its image, German car maker Volkswagen announced a recall of 281,000 vehicles in the US due to a faulty fuel pump that could shut off and cause an accident, but replacement parts are not available. (AFP/PAUL J. RICHARDS) While the number is far smaller than the 11 million cars worldwide recalled in the "dieselgate" emissions cheating scandal, including about 600,000 vehicles in the United States, news of another problem comes as the company is trying to restore its image with customers. The company informed US regulators that it is recalling 2009-2016 CC luxury sedans, and 2006-2010 Passat and Passat Wagons due to problems with the fuel pump. "Interruption of electrical power to the fuel pump control module may cause the fuel pump to fail ... If the fuel pump fails, the engine will stall, increasing the risk of a crash," the company said in a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). A VW spokesman told AFP there were "no injuries or accidents that we know of" as a result of the defective part. The company does not have an estimate of the cost of replacing them. The company said it will replace the…... [read more]

At least 6,000 Rohingya civilians fleeing renewed violence in Myanmar are stranded near the border with Bangladesh which is blocking their entry, a senior Bangladeshi official said Tuesday (Aug 29), as the United Nations urged Dhaka to assist them. Rohingya refugees head back to Myanmar as Bangladeshi border guards drive them away from Bangladeshi territory. (Photo: AFP/Rehman Asad) COX'S BAZAR, Bangladesh: At least 6,000 Rohingya civilians fleeing renewed violence in Myanmar are stranded near the border with Bangladesh which is blocking their entry, a senior Bangladeshi official said on Tuesday (Aug 29), as the United Nations urged Dhaka to let them in. Bangladesh has barred thousands of members of the stateless Muslim minority from entering the country since Friday, when fresh fighting broke out between Myanmar's security forces and Rohingya militants in neighbouring Rakhine state leaving at least 110 people dead. The UN refugee agency has said some 5,200 people have managed to cross into Bangladesh in the past three days. But the majority have been stopped at the border despite heavy fighting in nearby villages, even coming under fire on Saturday as they huddled along the "zero line" which marks the northernmost part of the border. "Around 6,000 Myanmar nationals have gathered on the border and are trying to enter Bangladesh," a senior Border Guard Bangladesh official told AFP, referring to the Rohingya. The official said the situation across the…... [read more]

Police in Vietnam's northern province of Thai Nguyen have arrested a man for spreading a rumor on Facebook last Friday that a giant reservoir that holds 100 million cubic meters of water had been breached. Dao Xuan Hoa’s post said that schools had allowed students to stay at home due to the situation at Nui Coc Reservoir, and that locals should brace themselves for severe floods. “I’m not here for Likes. Just want to spread the news to warn you!” read the post. Hoa admitted to his wrongdoing and police are looking at options to deal with him. The post fueled widespread confusion in Thai Nguyen, which is still recovering from a state of emergency that was declared just two months ago after water started spilling from the Nui Coc Reservoir. The province said in a statement in June that the problem was being fixed. If the reservoir was breached, the cities of Thai Nguyen and Song Cong would be under water, said Nguyen Van Thinh, director of a local company in charge of operating the reservoir. The irrigation reservoir of 25 square kilometers, one of the largest of its kind in Vietnam, was built between 1973 and 1982, and has a capacity of 40,000 Olympic swimming pools. It provides water for 12,000 hectares (30,000 acres) of farm land and helps to stem flooding on the Cau River, one of the biggest in northern Vietnam.... [read more]

MUMBAI: Heavy rain brought India's financial capital Mumbai to a virtual standstill on Tuesday (Aug 29), flooding streets, causing transport chaos and prompting warnings to stay indoors. People walk along a flooded street during heavy rain showers in Mumbai on Aug 29, 2017. (Photo: AFP/ Punit Paranjpe) Dozens of flights and local train services were cancelled as rains lashed the coastal city of nearly 20 million people. Floods have killed more than 1,000 people in India, Nepal and Bangladesh in recent weeks and forced millions from their homes in the region's worst monsoon disaster in recent years. As the meteorological department warned that the Mumbai rains would continue for the next 24 hours many offices sent staff home early, fearing a repeat of 2005 floods that killed more than 1,000 people. "I haven't been able to travel and had to cancel all my plans," said researcher Rajesh Prabhakar, who was stranded on the outskirts of the city after flooding forced the cancellation of rail services. "Many of my friends are stranded at railway stations ... this is a reminder of the 2005 floods." Environmentalists blame frequent flooding in Mumbai on unscrupulous development that blocks drains. Electricity, water supply, communication networks and public transportation were totally shut down during the 2005 catastrophe. India's National Disaster Response Force said it was taking all precautionary measures. Source AFP ... [read more]

At the seminar The seminar attracted the participation of representatives and urban development experts of Vietnam’s Government authorities, relevant universities and businesses, including the Hanoi Department of Planning and Architecture, the National University of Civil Engineering, and Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUD Group). At the seminar, Professor Yu Jai Deuk – Representative of ILLO Architecture Company & Professor of Satellite Cities Faculty, of the Hongik University of the Republic of Korea and Mr. Kim Young Hoon - Senior Vice-President of Urban & Landscape Design Studio of Heerim shared valuable knowledge and experiences of transportation planning, housing planning, open space planning and housing planning in the cities of Republic of Korea (RoK). Furthermore, the seminar also shared innovative technologies and experiences that have been applied in RoK’s context of urban development. The technologies were expected to contribute to the technical advancement for urban development of Vietnam. According to Ms. Kim Mi Hye, Deputy Director of KOTRA Hanoi, the seminar will contribute to improving the expertise of technology experts of Vietnamese enterprises. “Furthermore, this is also an important opportunity to promote further friendly relationship between the two Governments, State authorities and enterprises of Vietnam and Korea,” said the KOTRA Hanoi leader. During recent years, the RoK Government has been constantly promoting the CSR activities in which KOTRA CSR Global is a social contribution project that has been continuously implemented towards building a mutually supportive business environment through the cooperation of RoK businesses and…... [read more]

The man began shooting at the library at around 4.00 pm (6.00 pm ET) and was arrested after police surrounded the building. The killings at such a public place was a tragic blow for the farm town close to the Texas border, said Clovis Mayor David Lansford. “This is a big blow to our community,” Lansford said at a news conference. “Two individuals have lost their lives. Their families will not see them come home.” The names and ages of the victims were not released, but a spokesman for University Medical Center in Lubbock, Texas, said three people were being treated there Monday evening and a fourth was en route. Spokesman Eric Finley said that two of the patients already at the facility about 100 miles (161 kms) southeast of Clovis were in critical condition. Library patron Vanessa Aguirre said she was in the Clovis-Carter Public Library with her son when a man came in and “started to shoot” into the air, The Eastern New Mexico News reported. “It all happened so fast,” she told the newspaper. “We took off fast. My purse is still in there.” The newspaper’s website showed images of armed police approaching the library, a young man being led away by a police officer and a woman, who appeared to be injured, being carried into an ambulance. Police chief Douglas Ford said at the news conference that the man was the suspect. He would not release the alleged shooter’s name or age, but said…... [read more]

VietNamNet Bridge – The HCMC Food Safety Board, the HCMC Export Processing and Industrial Zone Authority (HEPZA) and the HCMC Labor Federation have signed an agreement on cooperation in enhancement of food safety management in 2017-2019. Illustrative image -- File photo  This cooperation is part of a campaign to prevent food poisoning at export processing and industrial zones in the city. According to HEPZA director Nguyen Hoang Nang, the city has 17 export processing and industrial zones which are home to over 1,160 factories and nearly 286,000 workers. There are 217 enterprises having canteens for workers, with 124 of them having their own cooks. Ninety-three enterprises hire catering services while 364 order ready meals and 424 provide meal allowances to the workers.  Nang said food safety has remained a pressing issue at export processing and industrial zones. Those catering companies seeking to maximize profits use cheap foodstuffs of unclear origin, which is a source of food poisoning. In 2016, there were four food poisoning cases at export processing and industrial zones in the city with 311 workers affected. The cooperation agreement is aimed at lowering food poisoning cases, ensuring food safety and improving management of meal quality. Pham Khanh Phong Lan, director of the HCMC Food Safety Board, said the cooperation would help make food safety management more efficient. All stages of catering services, from production to storage and distribution, will be inspected in a bid to cut food poising cases in the coming years by 30% compared to 2016.…... [read more]

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has fathered another child, reports said Tuesday, after his wife dropped out of the public eye for several months. First lady Ri Sol-Ju delivered the couple's third child in February, the Yonhap news agency reported Tuesday, citing South Korean lawmakers who were briefed by the National Intelligence Service. Ri had disappeared for an extended period last year, raising speculation that she could be pregnant. News of the new arrival emerged as North Korea fired a ballistic missile over northern Japan. According to previous intelligence reports from Seoul's spy agency, Ri married Kim in 2009 and gave birth to their first child the following year, with their second born in 2013. Kim is the third generation of his dynasty to rule North Korea, but little has been revealed about the country's first family. Former NBA star Dennis Rodman, following his trip to the North in 2013, has been the only source of information about the couple's second child -- a baby girl named Ju-Ae. Saying that he had held Kim's daughter in his arms, Rodman described the North Korean leader as "a good dad" who has "a good family". While more of a public personality than his introverted father Kim Jong-Il ever was, Kim's own personal details remain little known. Even his exact birthday and the date of his wedding have not been confirmed. South Korean intelligence reports have described Ri as coming from an ordinary family, with her father an academic and her mother…... [read more]

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