Some like it hot, but don’t take heat stress in Vietnam lightly

In 2016, the Earth experienced its hottest year since the 1880s when modern records began, marking the third consecutive year of record-high temperatures.

Less than four months into 2017, parts of Australia and India are already in the throes of heat waves.

While sunny skies may be synonymous with summer fun in some parts of the world, too much heat can be fatal.

It is estimated that between 15,000 and 19,000 people died during France’s heat wave of 2003, while the United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said some 600 Americans died every year from exposure to extreme heat between 1999 and 2010.

Vietnam’s Southern Hydrometeorological Center said this April will be an “extreme” month, with some of the year’s hottest days and worst thunderstorms on the horizon. Ho Chi Minh City, in particular, will be soaking wet and terribly hot, on and off, through the month. The average temperature may reach 39 degrees Celsius, or 102.2 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Thomson Reuters Foundation spoke to half a dozen climate scientists to understand what rising temperatures mean for human health. And for Vietnamese cities in Vietnam, it doesn’t look so cool.


Hanoi during an extreme heat wave in June 2016. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh

Here are some key facts and figures:

– Hotter days and nights, and heat waves will become more common. Multiple studies have found that heat waves are happening more frequently, while cold spells declined in urban areas in the last 40 years.

– Extreme heat can cause heat-related illnesses, such as heat stroke and exhaustion, and increase mortality. It can also exacerbate existing health conditions. Heat stress occurs when the body absorbs more heat than is tolerable.

– The total number of days on which heat reaches “health-threatening levels” will rise rapidly over the next several decades, noted one study by the Institute for Social and Environmental Transition-International (ISET-International) and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). Another recent study by British researchers warned that conditions that have challenged and overwhelmed people in the most heat-stressed regions could become “much more frequent”, while population growth will make things worse.

– Urban centers in the developing world will be hit hardest. They tend to be hotter than rural areas due to factors including population density, pollution from industrial activities, and the presence of buildings and machinery that create heat. This “urban heat island” effect is well known, but will worsen with rising temperatures.

– New populations will become heat-stressed while those already exposed to dangerous levels of heat will be subject to harmful conditions more often, scientists say.

– With a temperature rise of 1.5 degrees Celsius, cities in China, India, Bangladesh, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Vietnam and Myanmar will regularly start to experience heat stress, according to the U.K. study.

– If global temperature rise hits 2.7 degrees Celsius, Tokyo, Beijing and Manila will also be affected, while a 4 degree rise would see New York and Rio de Janeiro join the club.

– Southeast Asia faces a 16 percent loss of labor capacity in the next three decades due to heat stress, said a study by risk consultancy Verisk Maplecroft. A separate report by the U.N. Development Program, International Labor Organization and the Climate Vulnerable Forum said emerging economies could lose as much as 10 percent of their daytime working hours due to searing temperatures.

– The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that without adaptation measures, there will be nearly 65,000 additional deaths annually among people over 65 due to heat exposure in 2030, with the greatest impacts in Asia-Pacific.

– Humidity levels and night-time temperatures play an important – but often neglected – role, because they influence the body’s ability to cool down. Daytime peak temperatures can be dealt with partially by seeking shade and sweating, but it is harder to act at night.

– According to the WHO, ideal room temperature should be below 32 degrees Celsius during the day and under 24 degrees Celsius at night.

– Rice, Asia’s staple food, is highly susceptible to heat stress, with yields plummeting if temperatures are above 35 degrees Celsius for 10 days during the reproductive stage.

Sources: NASA, CDC, ISET-International, ISET-Pakistan, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), NCAR, WHO, Verisk Maplecroft, Climate Vulnerable Forum, International Center for Climate Change and Development.

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Toll charges waived at central toll station

Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI – Certain types of vehicles will be exempt from paying tolls at the Bến Thuỷ I toll station connecting the central provinces of Nghệ An and Hà Tĩnh, the Ministry of Transport (MoT) said on Tuesday.

Vehicles eligible for the waiver include Type 1 and Type 2 vehicles owned by permanent residents of and organisations or enterprises headquartered in Vinh City, Nghệ An Province’s Hưng Nguyên District, and Hà Tĩnh Province’s Nghi Xuân District and Hồng Lĩnh Town, as well as public buses running through the station.

Type 1 vehicles include cars with less than 12 seats and trucks weighing less than two tonnes, the MoT said. Type 2 vehicles include cars with 12-30 seats and trucks weighing from two to four tonnes.

The toll charge waiver comes into effect on April 24.

The people’s committees of the two provinces are responsible for directing concerned authorities to collaborate with local enterprises to identify the number of vehicles eligible for the waiver before April 20.

The decision was made following local citizens’ request to remove both the Bến Thuỷ I and Bến Thuỷ II toll stations on the Bến Thuỷ Bridge on April 9 due to the high toll fee charged by the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) investor Civil Engineering Construction No 4 Joint Stock Company (Cienco 4).

The company was reportedly collecting tolls from vehicles that were not using the BOT sections.

Hundreds of locals from Nghi Xuân District and Vinh City have protested the toll charges by covering their vehicles with banners and driving across the Bến Thủy Bridge. That protest has taken place several times since the end of March.

Despite an MoT decision to halve tolls at the two toll stations on April 3, protesters continued by using banknotes of less than VNĐ1,000 (US$0.04) to pay tolls, causing severe congestion and delays on the bridge.

Hundreds of drivers gathered at the two stations on the morning of April 9 to sign a complaint to be “sent to the Government and National Assembly,” requesting the authority’s “intervention” regarding the high tolls, the Dân Trí online newspaper reported.

Toll station removed

The MoT on Monday requested the Việt Nam Express Corporation (VEC) to remove the Đại Xuân toll station on the Pháp Vân-Ninh Bình Highway before April 30.

The request was made based on a report from VEC which shows that some 150 traffic jams have occurred within 3km from the station since 2011.

Traffic congestion got worse in 2015 on both lanes of the highway when the BOT Pháp Vân-Cầu Giẽ Joint Stock Company joined the VEC in collecting toll fees. Around 70 traffic jams were recorded in 2015 and the first half of 2016, according to the report.

Two toll stations are unnecessary on a highway that is only 100km long, Mai Tuấn Anh, general director of VEC, said.

The Đại Xuyên toll station was installed at Km212+35 on the Cầu Giẽ-Ninh Bình Highway, connecting the highway with the Pháp Vân-Cầu Giẽ Highway. It collects toll fees on 15 lanes, six of which lead vehicles into the Pháp Vân-Cầu Giẽ Highway and the remaining nine lead them out of it.

The station stopped collecting toll fees from January 1 this year as per the MoT’s request in November last year. – VNS

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One dead, dozens hospitalized as sleeper bus overturns on Vietnam highway

At least one passenger has been confirmed dead after a sleeper bus overturned on a highway in the north-central Vietnamese province of Ha Tinh on Wednesday, sending dozens to hospital.

At least one passenger has been confirmed dead after a sleeper bus overturned on a highway in the north-central Vietnamese province of Ha Tinh on Wednesday, sending dozens to hospital.

The accident occurred at around 11:00 am on the highway south of Ben Thuy Bridge in Nghi Xuan District, with the passenger bus in question reportedly hitting a billboard on the side of the highway before losing control and crashed into the concrete median strip.

The series of crashes left the vehicle overturned in the middle of the road, with its passengers still trapped inside.

Twenty-two passengers and crew were on the bus at the time of the accident, according to Major Le Ngoc Sang from Ha Tinh’s Traffic Police.

Locals arrived at the crash site first and began helping the trapped passengers out by smashing the bus’ windows.

No other vehicles were involved in the accident, Sang said, adding one male passenger, born 1975, was confirmed dead in the fatal crash.

At the site of the accident, authorities have turned the deformed bus over to its upright position, and passengers’ belongings could be seen scattered on the highway, a Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper correspondent reported from the scene.

Ten ambulances were mobilized to transfer the injured to nearby hospitals, whereas dozens of police officers have responded at the scene to protect the victims’ properties and regulate traffic.

The sleeper bus was removed from the site at around 12:30 pm.

Photos of the accident site taken by Tuoi Tre:

Xe giường nằm lật nát bét, hàng chục người cấp cứu

Xe giường nằm lật nát bét, hàng chục người cấp cứu

Xe giường nằm lật nát bét, hàng chục người cấp cứu

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Uber allowed to pilot IT upgrade in Vietnam

Uber Vietnam has just received approval from the local Ministry of Transport to pilot an IT upgrade for its services, the company said.

Uber's service was officially approved in Vietnam from April 10.

Uber Vietnam CEO Dang Viet Dung told local media on Tuesday that the company’s request has finally been approved after it was turned down two times earlier.

In a document sent to Uber, the Ministry of Transport said, “The ministry gave in-principle approval for Uber’s pilot of the application of information technology in supporting the management and connection of commercial passenger transportation by contract which will take effect from April 10. Uber shall have to work with local authorities in cities and provinces to carry out the project.

“We’re very happy with the ministry’s approval,” Dung said. “It will be a great support for us to further develop a modern transport service which is safer, cheaper, and more convenient for Vietnamese people.”

Uber entered Vietnam in June 2014 as a foreign company operating in the country without resident offices. The company’s first proposal to pilot applying information technology in supporting the management and connection of commercial passenger transportation by contract was turned down in November 2015 as the ministry said that Uber had not established office in Vietnam.

The company’s second proposal of the pilot project early this year was again rejected by the Vietnamese government saying that Uber Vietnam’s registered fields of operation were just “managerial activities” and “market research”.

Minister of Transport Trương Quang Nghĩa said that approach towards Uber solely aims to ensure that the transportation company’s operations in Vietnam comply with regulations.

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The ruins of ancient Hoa Phong Tower on the shore of Hoan Kiem Lake

VietNamNet Bridge – To appreciate the past importance of Hoan Kiem Lake to the people of Hanoi, we need to be aware of pagodas that are no longer standing. Some of these were large complexes, housing monasteries, temples, pagodasand meeting rooms.

The ruins of ancient Hoa Phong Tower on the shore of Hoan Kiem Lake, travel news, Vietnam guide, Vietnam airlines, Vietnam tour, tour Vietnam, Hanoi, ho chi minh city, Saigon, travelling to Vietnam, Vietnam travelling, Vietnam travel, vn news

Hoa Phong Tower today

The Hoa Phong tower is located on Dinh Tien Hoang Street, Hoan Kiem district in front of the Central Post Office, on the shore of Hoan Kiem Lake.

Bao An Pagoda was on the floor of the old Five Dragons (Trinh Giang built in 1740). The pagoda was also called Lien Tri pagoda, surrounded by water moat and lotuses fully covering the moat surface.

The Hoa Phong tower is the last vestige of Bao An pagoda under Hanoi General Nguyen Dang Giai who took responsibility to raise money to build the pagoda in 1842.

The bulky Bao An pagodatook four years to complete construction. After the French colonialists occupied Hanoi (1883), they immediately built streets, Dinh Tien Hoang Street is one of the first to be opened.

In 1882, Bao An pagoda was pulled down to build the Post Office and governor of Tonkin’s residence at the back. This is now the Government Guest House.

But they still left a temple door in front of the Post Office and a tower after the pagoda named Hoa Phong tower.

In 1898, they demolished the temple gate and the only the tower remaining.

The tower is in square shape and the name Hoa Phong meaning 4-season favorable winds because four doors look in four directions.

Unicorns stand on the corner columns. The upper part of the tower is narrower and the four roofs constitute a gourd, symbolizing the sky in miniature.

Bricks from the famous Bat Trang ceramic village were used in the second layer.

Bao An pagoda was built on a large scale of about 360,000 square meters.

The front of the pagoda overlooked the Red river, and the back of the temple was based on Hoan Kiem Lake.

On the pagoda foundation were 36 houses with 180 chambers, lots of corridors, steeple, tower bridge. It was built on octagonal ground (8 corners, 8 edges), surrounded by walls, a moat covered with lotus. Lush trees grewproviding shadein four seasons.

Two letters Bao An mean causal retributive theory of Buddhism. Those who do kind works will be returned to the Earth as human beings.

But those who cause cruelty will be punished, and demons will take them.

Compiled by Pha Le

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Furama Resort Danang conferred the Golden Dragon award for eight consecutive years

Furama Resort Danang has just received the Golden Dragon award 2016 for its achievements and contributions.

The award is held annually by the Vietnam Economic Times (VET) in collaboration with Foreign Investment Agency (under the Ministry of Planning and Investment), and Furama Resort Danang has received this for eight times in a row.

The Golden Dragon award is one of the largest held by VET, aimed at recognising foreign-invested enterprises that have achieved outstanding business performance and made significant contributions to the development of Vietnam’s economy. The award criteria focus on businesses’ efforts to maintain sustainable development, promote environmental protection and fulfill the corporate social responsibility.

In 2016, Furama Resort Danang reached the growth rate of over 30 per cent, an increase of 20 percentage points compared to its plan, contributing to the tourism revenues of Danang City. Furama Villas’ growth rate alone doubled, 50 per cent surpassing the plan. Over 20 years of development, Furama Resort Danang has always tried its utmost to maintain the leading status in Vietnam’s market of luxurious beach resorts, owing to the resort’s efforts to improve management and diversify services, especially culinary services in order to meet various demands of tourists.

“After putting the Ariyana Danang Exhibition & Convention Centre (ADECC) into operation to welcome APEC 2017, we will become a worth -experience destination in Danang. Winning the Golden Dragon award has proved our efforts in offering the high-quality services, considerably contributing to tourism development of Central region and Vietnam,” said Matthias Wiesmann, general manager at Furama Resort Danang.

Along with interest generation, contributing to the national budget as well as supporting the economic growth, Furama Resort Danang is well known for its great contributions to society through a number of programs such as Tet traditional culinary events, support programs for children at Danang’s SOS village, a program of “Go Green @ Fabulous Furama”, aimed at encouraging guests to contribute more to a green living and better environment.

RELATED CONTENTS: Major coastal property projects launched in Da Nang

By Phuong Linh

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Job fairs held for workers returning from RoK

Hanoi, April 12 (VNA) – Hundreds of job seekers, who had worked in the Republic of Korea (RoK) under the Employment Permit System (EPS) programme, had the chance to access job opportunities in RoK firms in Vietnam at a career fair in the northern province of Thai Nguyen on April 11.

At the fair, held by the Job Service Centre under the provincial Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, candidates joined interviews with five RoK-invested enterprises that need experienced labouers fluent in Korean.

This was the second time the centre has organised such a job fair, offering a venue for enterprises to seek workers from the EPS programme.

The same day, a similar fair was held in the northern province of Bac Ninh, attracting more than 100 labourers from northern localities such as Bac Ninh, Bac Giang, Hanoi, Thai Binh, Thai Nguyen, Phu Tho and Vinh Phuc.

Attendees were interviewed by 18 RoK firms in Bac Ninh, which need employees for positions of interpreters, officers, electricians and mechanical workers.

According to Dinh Van Duyet, Director of the provincial Job Service Centre, RoK enterprises in Vietnam have high demand for labourers, especially those returning from the RoK.

Through the nine events of this kind in Bac Ninh, thousands of employees found jobs, contributing to reducing the rate of illegal labourers in the RoK.

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Taiwan bans eating dogs and cats

Taiwan has banned the eating of dogs and cats, lawmakers said Wednesday, as pressure grows to improve animal welfare after a spate of cruelty cases that stirred public outrage.

Parliament passed legislation to outlaw the consumption, purchase or possession of dog and cat meat, with offenders facing a fine of up to Tw$250,000 ($8,170).

The bill also hiked the penalty for killing or abusing animals to a maximum two-year jail term and a stiff fine of Tw$2 million, more than doubling that for repeat offenders.

“This shows that Taiwan is a society with advanced animal welfare,” said lawmaker Wang Yu-min who proposed the amendment.

Like some other Asian places, dog consumption was common in Taiwan decades ago and although it is much rarer now, there have been sporadic reports of shops being caught selling dog meet in recent years.

As well, a string of much-publicized animal abuse cases triggered deep public concern, and demands for tougher protection laws.

Last year, the military was forced to apologize after a video surfaced of three soldiers torturing and strangling a stray dog to death with an iron chain, prompting several street protests.

And in 2014, a male hippo famous for regularly performing at a private zoo in central Taiwan died after breaking a leg and sustaining other injuries during transportation, sparking a public outcry.

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Large US firms stashed $1.6 trillion in tax havens: Oxfam

The 50 largest US companies, including Apple, Microsoft and Wal-Mart, are parking about $1.6 trillion in offshore tax havens to reduce their US tax burden, according to a study published Wednesday.

Poverty-fighting organization Oxfam America said the sum for 2015 was a $200 billion increase over the prior year. The report cites the companies’ own data.

While not illegal, the companies “used a secretive network of 1,751 subsidiaries in tax havens to stash” their earnings outside the United States, Oxfam said in the report released ahead of next week’s meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Washington.

“Tax avoidance has become standard business practice across the globe. Corporate tax dodgers cheat America out of approximately $135 billion in unpaid tax revenues every year,” Oxfam senior advisor Robbie Silverman said.

Apple is at the top of the ranking with more than $200 billion in offshore funds, followed closely by Pfizer laboratories ($193.6 billion) and Microsoft’s IT group ($124 billion), the report said.

U.S. law allows companies to keep profits from foreign operations offshore indefinitely, to avoid corporate taxes that are among the highest in the industrialized world.

While the corporate tax rate is nominally 35 percent at the federal level, Oxfam said these 50 companies had an effective rate nearly 10 percentage points lower.

During his campaign, U.S. President Donald Trump proposed cutting the rate to 15 percent, and allowing companies to repatriate their cash reserves with a one-time tax of 10 percent.

Oxfam criticized both proposals, saying the tax cut would help profitable companies and wealthy shareholders at the expense of important anti-poverty programs.

And the drastic reduction in corporate income tax will “feed into a destructive race to the bottom that has seen countries across the globe slashing corporate tax rates in recent years,” the report said.

Meanwhile, “repatriation holidays reward companies for keeping money offshore and avoiding their taxes” and “incentivizes companies to move their profits to tax havens in expectation that they will eventually benefit from a one-time tax cut.”

“President Trump promised to fix the rigged political and economic system yet his tax reforms will further enrich powerful corporates at the expense of ordinary people and small businesses,” Silverman said.

“The President and leaders in Congress must rethink their reforms and build a tax system that works for everyone and not just a fortunate few.”

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Passenger dragged off United flight popular artist in pre-75 Saigon

A man who refused to give up his seat on an overbooked United Airlines flight, leading to his being dragged off the plane on Monday has been identified as a popular artist in Vietnam before moving to the U.S.

A man who refused to give up his seat on an overbooked United Airlines flight, leading to his being dragged off the plane on Monday has been identified as a popular artist in Vietnam before moving to the U.S.

Video showing the passenger, identified as Vietnamese-American doctor David Dao, being yanked from his seat by airport security and dragged from United Airlines Flight 3411 at Chicago O’Hare International Airport went viral and sparked global outrage.

Some Vietnamese sources were quick to realize that Dr. Dao is Dao Duy Anh, a well-known singer and songwriter in Ho Chi Minh City back in the pre-1975 period.

Reuters cited information from Kentucky’s medical board website as saying that doctor David Dao graduated in 1974 in Ho Chi Minh City before leaving for the U.S. around one year later.

Initial media reports mistook him as a Chinese passenger.

A doctor with music talent

Nguyen Thuy Hoan, a seasoned teacher who currently chairs a traditional music club in the southern Vietnamese city, has confirmed that it was one of her old students who is in the viral video seen by millions around the world.

Hoan told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Wednesday that doctor-composer Dao Duy Anh was among her students at the erstwhile Saigon National Music School before 1975.

Duy Anh was the founder of the Bach Viet Band around 50 years ago. The band consisted of engineering, medical, pharmacy and dentistry students who were also students at the Saigon National Music School, Hoan said.

One of the Bach Viet members, composer Tran Bo, also told Tuoi Tre more about the musical career of Dao Duy Anh, as well as his contribution to the Vietnamese traditional music, before he moved to the U.S. and became a doctor there.

Speaking from Ho Chi Minh City, Bo said Duy Anh was known as one of the most talented members of Bach Viet, which was founded with a goal to write and perform songs under Vietnam’s traditional and folk styles.

The band thus only used traditional musical instruments, with Duy Anh mastering zither and dan nhi – a Vietnamese bowed string instrument with two strings, according to Bo.

Some other Bach Viet members have also become well-known singers or composers in the 1980s and 1990s, such as Y Vu, Dinh Van or Nhat Sinh.

Community members protest the treatment of Dr. David Dao, who was forcibly removed from a United Airlines flight on Sunday by the Chicago Aviation Police, at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., April 11, 2017. REUTERS

Dr. Dao, as a talent songwriter back in Vietnam, is the author of two folk-themed songs, Tat Nuoc Dau Dinh and Ta Ve Ta Tam Ao Ta, Bo revealed.

The revelation has taken many by surprise as these songs have been favored in the country for decades yet few have known of their author.

Duy Anh won the top prize of a music competition with Ta Ve Ta Tam Ao Ta in the pre-1975 period, Bo said, while excusing that he could not remember the exact name of the contest due to old age.

Composer Bo asserted that Bach Viet, despite being an amateur music band, had contributed greatly to the pre-development stage of contemporary Vietnamese music by pioneering in combining traditional with modern musical instruments in their works.

In 1984, Bach Viet was chosen to represent the youth in southern Vietnam at an event to mark the 30th anniversary of the Dien Bien Phu Victory in the northern province of Dien Bien.

In 2015, Tran Bo, several Bach Viet members and Dao Duy Anh had two performances, singing the doctor-composer’s songs, in the Orange County and San Jose to celebrate the 45th founding anniversary of the band.

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Russia says all St Petersburg metro bombing suspects from Central Asia

MOSCOW: Russia’s security chief on Tuesday (Apr 11) said all those detained over the Saint Petersburg metro bombing originate from Central Asia, urging tighter migration controls.

The April 3 suicide blast on the Saint Petersburg metro killed 13. (Photo: AFP/STR)

The eight people detained in Moscow and Saint Petersburg over the Apr 3 bombing that killed 13 are “all originally from Central Asia”, the head of the FSB security service Alexander Bortnikov said, quoted by RIA Novosti news agency.

Bortnikov, speaking at a meeting of the National Antiterrorism Committee (NAK) that he chairs, did not specify the suspects’ current citizenship.

“To prevent attempts by fighters to enter Russia,” there is a need for “additional measures of control on the state border … towards those suspected of taking part in terrorist attacks,” the security chief said.

The country’s border guards are under the control of the FSB.

Russia’s Investigative Committee last week named the eight suspects but not their ethnic origin.

The suspected suicide bomber has been named as 22-year-old Akbarjon Djalilov, who is thought to be a Russian national born in Central Asian Kyrgyzstan.

Millions of migrants from the poverty-stricken ex-Soviet countries of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan come to work in Russia.

The core of “terrorist groups in Russia” is made up of citizens of ex-Soviet countries arriving “in flows of migrant workers,” Bortnikov said.

Some of these had trained and fought in Syria and Iraq, the FSB chief added.

President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly warned that Russia faces a threat from hardened extremist fighters returning from Syria.

The investigation into the Saint Petersburg metro bombing shows that “operational work on the ground still does not fully correspond to the threat from illegal terrorist organisations,” Bortnikov said.

Bortnikov linked the Saint Petersburg attack to the Islamic State militant group, which has however not claimed responsibility.

He cited information according to which “the heads of terrorist groups active in the Middle East as part of IS are working on plans to carry out terrorist attacks in various regions of the world, including Russia.”

“Examples of this are the high-profile terrorist attacks in recent weeks in Britain, Russia, Sweden and Egypt,” Bortnikov said.

In Sweden, an Uzbek man is suspected of driving a truck into pedestrians in the capital Stockholm, killing four and injuring 15.

IS has not claimed responsibility, but Swedish media reported the suspect had told investigators that he had received an “order” from the group.

Source AFP

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Bản in : Vietnam attends ASEAN Science and Technology meeting

Nearly 200 policy makers, scientists, academics and senior officials from 10 ASEAN member states are attending the 67th meeting of the ASEAN Committee on Science and Technology (COST-67) in Singapore from April 21-25.

The Vietnamese delegation is headed by Tran Quoc Khanh, Vice Minister of Science and Technology and Vietnam COST Chair.

According to the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI), Singapore organisers of the meeting, COST-67 will focus on reviewing the ASEAN Plan of Action for Science, Technology and Innovation 2015-2020, which will serve as the blueprint and implementation framework for the next phase of ASEAN’s science and technology efforts.

In closed-door sessions, delegates will also discuss key areas, including talent mobility initiatives to encourage young talent to take up STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers and the harmonisation of technical standards across ASEAN.

They will be briefed by the eight sub-committees under the purview of ASEAN COST, which met on April 21 and 22, on their progress on such areas as biotechnology, sustainable energy research, microelectronics and information technology, and marine science and technology.

Addressing the opening ceremony held on April 23, S. Iswaran, Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister for Home Affairs and Trade & Industry, said that since its establishment in 1978, ASEAN COST has been leading efforts to promote regional cooperation and mutual assistance in research and development programmes. He added that Singapore chairs the Health Flagship Programme, which aims to strengthen ASEAN’s capabilities to combat infectious diseases that are of concern to ASEAN.

The minister reaffirmed Singapore’s commitment to joining efforts to improve metrology capabilities and standards application in the various ASEAN forums and partnerships and to embarking on joint science and technology projects of mutual interest with all ASEAN member states and dialogue partners.-VNA

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