VSSA proposes to establish sugar development fund

VietNamNet Bridge – With demand for sand for construction rising even as prices are skyrocketing, Deputy Prime Minister Truong Dinh Dung has recommended the use of other materials in construction in place of natural sand. Sand for construction is piled at a site in Tien Phong Ward in the northern province of Thai Binh. As many localities in Viet Nam have cracked down on illegal sand mining, the huge demand for sand and its rising prices have seriously affected many major construction works.  The huge demand for sand and its rising prices have seriously affected many major construction works such as the Trung Luong – My Thuan (in Tien Giang Province) Highway, A section of National Highway No 60 in Ben Tre Province and the Lo Te - Rach Soi Road in Kien Giang Province. The contractors of these works said the rising sand prices have caused construction costs to balloon and even the suspension of some of them. Speaking at a recent conference on investment in infrastructure development in the Mekong Delta, Dung called on the ministry to co-ordinate with provincial authorities to improve management of sand mining in rivers, estuaries and channels in the region. Sand exploitation must be linked with the protection of river banks and the coast from erosion, he said. He also instructed the ministry to co-operate with relevant agencies and find other materials to replace natural sand in transportation infrastructure projects in the country in general and in the Mekong Delta in particular. In…... [read more]

VietNamNet Bridge – Many roads and pavements in HCM City have again been encroached by illegal parking areas and street vendors after city authorities halted their campaign to clear the pavements four months ago. Authorities handle an illegal parking car in HCM City.  On many streets, including Nguyen Thai Binh, Pho Duc Chinh, Nguyen Hue, Nguyen Trai, Hai Ba Trung, parking violations are rampant, occupying most of the pavements and forcing pedestrians to walk on the roads. On Nguyen Du Street, the pavement on both sides has been taken over by street vendors from early morning to late at night. Many coffee shops have put tables and chairs out to attract and accommodate customers, leaving no space for pedestrians. The situation is no better on Dong Du, Ton That Dam, and Huynh Thuc Khang streets. In the area around HCM City’s Fine Arts Museum in Nguyen Thai Binh Ward, street vendors are out in full force, despite the ban. Doan Ngoc Hai, vice chairman of District 1’s People’s Committee said that the encroachment was even worse four months after the inspection teams paused their pavement clearing drive. On Monday evening, Hai said he, along with the district’s interdisciplinary inspection team, conducted a raid on pavement encroachment on Hoang Sa, Hai Ba Trung, Ly Tu Trong, Nguyen Thai Hoc, Vo Van Kiet, Nguyen Thi Nghia streets. Hai said cars were parking illegally along the streets and pavements of District 1 regardless of warning signs that have been placed in trouble spots.…... [read more]

VietNamNet Bridge – The environment ministry has agreed not to dump nearly one million cubic metre of waste mud discarded by a power plant into Binh Thuan Province’s sea following public outcry against the plan. Hon Cau marine protected area in Tuy Phong District, central province of Binh Thuan. The environment ministry has agreed not to dump nearly one million cubic metre of waste mud discarded by Vinh Tan 4 thermal power plant into the sea area.  The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Ministry reported on Wednesday that it approved a proposal by Binh Thuan authorities in which the mud and waste sand of Vinh Tan 1 thermal power plant would be dumped at Vinh Tan Port instead of the sea. Vinh Tan Port was previously picked as a landfill for the waste mud dredged by the Vinh Tan 4 thermal power plant. The ministry’s original decision still had to await final approval of the Government. The environment ministry’s u-turn came following pressure from the public and the scientific community as the news broke in June.  The Natural Resources and Environment Deputy Minister Nguyen Linh Ngoc on June 23 agreed to allow Vinh Tan 1 Electricity Company, which is in charge of the power plant of the same name, to dump 918,533 cubic metres of dredged mud and sand into the sea in Tuy Phong District. The sea area in question, however, was located adjacent to Hon Cau marine protected area in Tuy Phong. It is one of 16…... [read more]

Police in Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi have fined nearly VND20m (USD880) in 30 cases of overcharging and forcing tourists to buy goods since late 2016.     Overcharging street vendors often appear at tourist sites such as the Temple of Literature Overcharging street vendors have returned to the streets recently, using only a few bags and fruits to trick tourists. According to a news on the Tien Phong Newspaper, a street vendor ran after two tourists and forced them to take pictures with her conical hat and basket at the corner of Hang Bac and Hang Be streets in early May. The seller then pushed a small bag of pineapples onto the tourists and snatched USD20 away. After witnessing the incident, a cafe owner nearby demanded the seller to return the money. However, not many tourists have their money returned. In June, an elderly tourist had come to the police station after being forced to buy expensive donuts. She said the sellers shoved the doughnuts to her face and when she opened his wallet, the seller quickly took VND700,000 (USD30) and left. Those street vendors often appear at tourist sites such as Hoan Kiem Lake and the Temple of Literature. Nguyen Thanh Tung, general director of local transportation company Thien Thao Nguyen, said that local authorities should set up tourist protection force to ensure tourist safety. He went on to say that countries with developed tourism industries such as Singapore and Thailand all have tourist protection forces. "Each attraction needs…... [read more]

The benchmark VN Index on the HCM Stock Exchange closed almost flat at 773.76 points Thursday morning after falling 2.2 per cent in the previous session. — Photo tinnnhanhchungkhoan.vn Shares returned to positive trading on Thursday morning as investors went after stocks that were hit by the large-scale sell-off in the previous session. The benchmark VN Index on the HCM Stock Exchange closed almost flat at 773.76 points. It tumbled more than 2.2 per cent on Wednesday and totaled a two-day loss of 2.4 per cent. The HNX Index on the Ha Noi Stock Exchange inched up 0.21 per cent to end at 101.27 points. The northern market index lost 1.2 per cent in the previous two sessions. Nearly 152 million shares were traded on the two local exchanges, worth VND2.24 trillion (nearly US$100 million). The stock market on Wednesday witnessed its strongest decline in 20 months on rising tension between the United States and North Korea and false news about the arrest of a former bank executive. This triggered a large-scale sell-off of local stocks as investors turned to less risky assets such as gold, bringing all 20 sectors of the stock market down and reducing market capitalisation by $2 billion. According to FPT Securities Company, a significant quantity of stocks was left for sale at close on Wednesday, which would pull the market down in the coming sessions. On Thursday morning, market condition recovered as investors scooped up…... [read more]

VietNamNet Bridge – Doctors at Binh Dan Hospital in HCM City have performed the country’s first robotic surgery on a liver cancer patient. Binh Dan Hospital in HCM City has successfully performed the country’s first robotic surgery on a liver cancer patient. Photo courtesy of Binh Dan Hospital Doctors removed the left lobe of the liver, which contained a six-centimetre tumour, of a 59-year-old patient from the Mekong Delta province of Long An in late July, according to a hospital press release sent to the media on Wednesday. Robotic surgery is a type of minimally invasive surgery that uses smaller incisions than normal surgical methods. The method helps to protect the liver’s main blood vessel. The use of a robot also helps to reduce pain, bleeding, infections and the length of hospital stay. Dr Nguyen Dinh Song Huy, deputy head of the oncology centre at Cho Ray Hospital, said the centre had seen an increase in new incidences of liver cancer year-by-year, from 2,793 in 2010 to 4,069 last year. Of the figure, the male-female ratio was 4.48 to one. Most of the patients were aged 50 to 60, while the highest number of cases were from the Mekong Delta region. Huy said that hepatitis B and C were the main causes of liver cancer, with 91 per cent of 24,091 patients from 2010 to 2016 diagnosed with hepatitis. Forty-one per cent of the cases were detected at a late, incurable stage. Since liver cancer often does not show clinical…... [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]

VietNamNet Bridge – An abstract painting exhibition by artist Tran Nhat Thang, titled Mien Thanh Than (Serenity), has opened on 16 Trang Tien, in the capital city, marking Thang’s return after nearly 10 years.  An abstract painting exhibition by artist Tran Nhat Thang, titled Mien Thanh Than (Serenity), has opened on 16 Trang Tien, marking Thang’s return after nearly 10 years. — Photo: VNS The exhibition features 13 abstract acrylic paintings by the artist, which include Mien Tinh (Tranquility), Mien Gian (Fury), Mien Chon (Choice) and Mien Dich (Destination).  “At each exhibition where I had the opportunity to interact with the audience, I would tell them not to ask, and instead guess what I had painted. Abstract painting is not about a house and a tree, it is all about feelings. It is a world of images that an artist creates,” Thang said.  “In this series of six exhibitions (of which Serenity is the first), the number of paintings featured are expected to be a collection of 10 years’ worth of work. But for me, it takes nine years to arrive at a concept worth pursuing. By early 2017, I started painting. For several nights, I stayed awake, working on 10 paintings simultaneously. There were times while I was painting that I ran out of colour, which was very irritating,” Thang said. Tran Nhat Thang, born in 1972, studied at the Viet Nam Fine Arts University. From 1995 to 2009, he held 10 individual exhibitions and also participated in another…... [read more]

VietNamNet Bridge – Forty-two sculptures in the themes of youth and love are on display at an exhibition in HCM City’s Van Thanh Tourist Park. Youth and love: Gia Tai Cua Me, a stone sculpture by Bach Thanh Viet, is on display at the HCM City Fine Arts Association’s exhibition for young artists at Van Thanh Tourist Park in HCM City. — Photo tuoitre.vn The works were selected from the latest collections of 22 young artists in the region who participated in the Co To Sculpture Camp, organised by the HCM City Fine Arts Association in Quang Ninh Province early this year. The works are in wood, glass, stone, aluminium, stainless steel and other media, with some works two or more metres long. Highlighted works include Nguyen Hoai Huyen Vu’s Pho (Street), Bach Thanh Viet’s Gia Tai Cua Me (Mother’s Treasure), Pham Minh Chien’s Tuoi 13 (Teenager) and Nguyen Van Chuoc’s Uoc Mo Cua Chi (Sister’s Dream). The works symbolise hope for love and peace and improved economic and cultural progress for Viet Nam.  Veteran sculptor Le Lang Bien, head of the association’s sculpture office and a member of the event’s organising board, said the young sculptors depict objects seen in daily life. “Their works are simple in design and that helps young people learn the art,” he said.  Bien said his association has worked with cultural authorities to organise art camps in an effort to encourage young artists to create work that reflects the country’s economic, educational and cultural…... [read more]

VietNamNet Bridge – Humane Society International - Viet Nam (HSI - Viet Nam) is calling on the South African government to honour its commitment to protect rhinos by refusing permits for an auction of rhinoceros horns. Illegal imported Rhino horns seized. — Photo: VNN The online auction is targeting buyers from the world’s two largest destinations for trafficked rhino horn — China and Viet Nam. The auction is being organised by John Hume, the world’s largest rhino farmer, on August 21 and the auction website has both a Vietnamese and Chinese language option in addition to English. HSI believes there is a significant risk that horns from this auction, even if purchased legally in South Africa, may end up being trafficked to Asian consumer markets by organised criminal syndicates. The South African government estimates that a rhino is killed for its horn approximately every eight hours in South Africa, largely to satisfy the black market demand in Viet Nam and China. The horns to be auctioned are "trimmed" from Hume’s 1,500 farmed rhinos, and purportedly aimed at the domestic rhino horn trade, which is now legal following a ruling in April by South Africa’s constitutional court, lifting a 2009 ban. However, in light of the suspicious language options on the site, the Vietnamese Government has reiterated in an official statement that according to Vietnamese law, rhino horn purchased at this auction cannot be legally exported to Viet Nam for commercial, medical or personal purposes. Vuong Tien Manh, deputy director of…... [read more]

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