Published: 20/04/2011 05:00



Vietnam Television VTV has new boss

Mr. Tran Binh Minh

Tran Binh Minh, member of the central Communist Party Committee and deputy director of Vietnam Television station (VTV) has been appointed VTV’s new chief by the Prime Minister.

Minh, 53 will replace Vu Van Hien as of May 1.

Minh was born in Hai Duong province and used to be a metallurgy engineer.

He used to be deputy secretary of Nghe An province Party Committee.

Minh is son of Tran Lam, a revolutionary figure noted for founding Voice of Vietnam and VTV in the 1940s.

Japan helps overseas students return to study

Japanese authorities will assist overseas students to resume studies in the country after the earthquake and tsunami catastrophes on March 11.

The Japan Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) will provide overseas students with air tickets to return to Japan for study purposes. The plan targets overseas students who were granted Japanese government scholarships but had to temporarily return home due to the disasters last month.

MEXT will organize a contest for self-sufficient overseas students to grant them scholarships for the first term, lasting from April to July.

The Japanese government will also implement programs to support quake-hit victims, including foreign students. The government provided urgent aid to around 1,000 foreign students with 125,000 Yen (US$1,500) to tertiary students, 154,000 Yen ($1,800) to Masters students and 155,000 Yen ($1,900) to Doctorate students.

Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Justice will facilitate overseas students in different procedures including re-issuing visas, tuition fees and health care.

WB provides Da Nang with urban energy solution

Da Nang port city is one of three cities in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region benefiting from a World Bank (WB) funded project on the use of Trace software for long-term energy development.

Ranjan Bose, a senior energy expert from the World Bank, said the Trace software will provide an overview on the efficiency of energy use as well as calculate the levels of impact on the environment caused by energy consumption, based on energy use data.

The world’s largest development bank will make recommendations on measures to increase efficiency in the use of energy on the basis of the overview and calculations, the WB expert said.

The WB has also pledged to call for foreign investment in other energy projects to help the central port city improve energy efficiency.

In furtherance of the project, the WB will hold a training course on Trace software know-how for 15 key officials in the city on April 25.

The project is part of the Global Initiative program launched by the World Bank three years ago in an effort to support cities to use energy in a sustainable way.

HCMC toll to increase from July 1

Toll rates on Hanoi Highway, Kinh Duong Vuong Street, and and Binh Trieu Bridge in Ho Chi Minh City will be raised from July 1, under a resolution passed by the city People’s Council.

Accordingly, for trucks of 18 tons upwards and 40-feet container trucks, the toll will rise from VND30,000 to VND80,000 per trip; for trucks of 10 tons to under 18 tons, and 20-feet container trucks, the toll will be raised from VND20,000 to VND40,000 per trip; and for passenger vans of 31 seats upwards and trucks of 4 tons to under 10 tons, the toll increases will be from VND20,000 to 22,000 per trip.

Meanwhile, the toll rates for other kinds of vehicles will be kept unchanged.

At the Council’s meeting yesterday, the city People’s Committee presented a report that the HCMC Technical Infrastructure Investment Joint Stock Company has been suffering from a decline in its toll revenues at the three stations since 2009.

In the first quarter of this year, the revenue of the toll collection station on Hanoi Highway was 15.75 percent less than target and the revenue at Kinh Duong Vuong station fell 14 percent short of target.

The Committee attributed the decline to the city’s construction of new traffic systems which have made traffic at the above-mentioned routes thinner.

The same situation happened at the Binh Trieu Bridge, where its revenue decreased by about 13 percent in 2010 and continued dropping by 51 percent in the last quarter.

Therefore, if the current toll rates, which have been applied since 2002, are kept unchanged, the company will fail to meet its capital return target and will have no profit to re-invest in other traffic projects.

Meanwhile, Thai Van Chung, general secretary of the HCMC Goods Transportation Association, said an increase in toll for the time being was unreasonable.

Such an increase will lead to higher cost of goods transportation, hence higher prices of goods.

Nguyen Ngoc Hoa, chairman of the Management Board of the Saigon Co.op Mart, proposed that the new toll rates not be applied until January 1, 2012.

It is necessary to re-consider whether the new rates are in conformity with the city’s current economic conditions, he explained.

Concluding the meeting, Pham Phuong Thao, chairwoman of the People’s Council, said the Council had taken all aspects into account before agreeing to the toll new rates.

Allowance support for low-income teachers

Teachers will receive an added allowance of VND200,000 if their basic salary is around VND2.1 million (Photo: Dan Thuy)

Leaders of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee have decided to support low-income teachers with an added allowance for the next nine months.

The city People’s Committee will pay VND200, 000 (nearly US$10) a month to every city schoolteacher. Teachers whose basic salary is around VND2.1million will receive the sum of VND200, 000 per month. This takes effect from April to December 2011.

The People’s Committee also submitted its proposal to subsidize the salary increase to the Council Committee.

The allowance will soar by 40 percent for personnel in the education sector in disadvantaged communes of the city’s suburban districts such as Can Gio, Nha Be, Binh Chanh, Hoc Mon and Cu Chi. Under the proposal, the subsidy will hike from VND500, 000 to VND700, 000 per head per month.

Hit-and-run traffic official demoted

A traffic official in charge of traffic safety and law observance in Can Tho city has been demoted after he committed two hit-and-run incidents in February in drunken states and verbally abused his fellow colleagues who stopped him.

Accordingly, Le Van Qui is to be dismissed from the position as deputy head of traffic inspection team No 3 of the Can Tho City Transport Department.

The department has convened a meeting and decided to also transfer Qui to another traffic unit.

Qui has already been fined VND6 million.

According to Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Minh Hoang, deputy police chief of O Mon district, the victims declined to press charges against Qui so he will not be indicted.

Authorities earlier suspended his driving license for 60 days between February 4 and April 5.

Qui must pass a driving theory test in order to retrieve the license.

However, by April 18, Qui has not contacted authorities to sit the driving exam.

Qui is in charge of traffic order in Ninh Kieu and Binh Thuy districts in Can Tho.

Qui was driving a four-seat car to An Giang province when he hit a motorbike traveling in the same direction at 5pm February 4.

Nguyen Van Nam suffered a rib fracture, To Thi Oanh had her arm broken while Gia Han suffered a head injury.

But instead of helping the victims to hospital, Qui continued to drive on.

On the way back from An Giang to Can Tho, Qui caused another hit and run incident later that day, this time hitting a bicycle also traveling in the same direction.

When police managed to stop Qui en route, he defiantly refused to be tested for alcoholic level, refused to sign the document and had several dirty words to traffic police.

He even threatened to bring them to court.

Monsoon ravages dwellings in Central Highlands

An early downpour of an up to 73 mm rainfall damaged many houses in Buon Ma Thuot city, Dak Lak Province in the Central Highlands on Monday afternoon.

Nguyen Minh Loc, at number 92 Nguyen Du Street, said the torrential rain pulled downed the rear of his house and sent a huge amount of mud and water to flood the inside, ruining such electronic equipment as television sets, fridges, and others.

Rainwater also tore down large patches of the roof and walls of Tran Dinh Thuat’s house at number 92/2. The rest of the house was covered in mud and debris.

Some 3 or 5 other nearby houses where flood water was as high as 1.5 meters had their walls demolished after the rain as well.

An alley full of mud and dirty after the pouring rain.

This was a pretty heavy rain with precipitation measuring 73 mm in Buon Ma Thuot and 10-50 mm in the surrounding districts, according to Tran Dai Nguong, director of Dak Lak meteorological center.

Wartime shell found near residential area

A rusty wartime shell, 40 centimeters in length and 15 centimeters in diameter, was found late Tuesday near a residential area in central Kon Tum city.

Locals said that someone must have brought the explosive device here since no building or river dredging works, in which shells are often come across, are underway around the area.

City authorities are finding ways to move the mortar away.

Lately, many wartime shells have been found in the locality.

People digging a well in Ngo May Ward also discovered a 500-kilogram bomb that was 2 meters in length and 0.4 meter in diameter some weeks ago. Local authorities managed to put it away as well.

HCMC to provide cheap goods for students

The amount of price-subsidized goods intended for Ho Chi Minh City students in the 2011-2012 school year will be 10 percent higher than last year, said the city Department of Industry and Trade.

The department made the statement at a meeting yesterday with businesses that took part in the city’s program for stabilization of prices of goods for students in the new school year.

The program, which will be implemented from May 1 to October 31, is aimed at partly meeting the demand of 2 million city students for essential commodities.

Accordingly, nine businesses taking part in the program will provide 13.2 million notebooks, 450,000 backpacks and handbags, and 560,000 uniforms at prices that are 15 percent lower than those on the market.

Bank officer nabbed for conning $95,000

Northern Phu Yen province police have arrested a 27-year-old credit officer of DongA Bank’s Phu Yen branch for appropriating more than US$95,000 from clients.

Tran Quoc Viet, 27, told police he has spent all of the money on football betting and gambling.

According to the police’s investigation, in early 2010, Dao Thi Hoa, from Hoa Thang commune, Phu Hoa district, applied for a loan of VND300 million ($14,350) for a term of 12 months.

Finding Hoa easygoing, Viet told Hoa to make monthly payment of principal and interest directly to him, instead of to the branch’s accounting department.

Before his arrest, Viet received about VND54 million ($2,580) from Hoa.

Viet also suggested Hoa lend VND500 million ($23,900) to one of his friends.

When Hoa asked for a land use certificate as a mortgage, Viet lied that the land deed was being held in his bank and he would give it to her later.

Believing Viet, Hoa gave him the money and some receipts.

When the loan fell due, Viet did not pay any money and avoided Hoa.

Hoa later came to the bank to look for Viet and was told that he had been dismissed.

She also knew that all the papers he gave her were counterfeited.

With the same tricks, Viet swindled from many businesses and individuals in Tuy Hoa City a total of about VND2 billion ($95,670), the police said.

Girl raped, thrown into well

Hanoi’s Son Tay town police yesterday arrested Van Anh Hoai, 20, who raped a girl and then threw her into a well with a view to killing her. Fortunately, the girl was found alive afterwards.

Hoai was charged with murder and robbery, said the town police.

The victim was Ly, 20, a worker who is residing in Tho Loc commune, Phuc Tho district.

Earlier, on April 17, Ly’s father reported to the police that his daughter, a worker, was missing one day before.

The father expressed doubt that a young man Ly recently met could be involved.

Ly is a reserved girl who has few social contacts but she recently got acquainted with Hoai, according to Ly’s father.

Police then located Hoai and under questioning yesterday, Hoai confessed to raping and throwing Ly into a well.

Hoai admitted that on April 16, Ly drove her motorbike to a petrol station in the commune to meet Hoai for a rendezvous.

Instead of driving Ly to her company, Hoai drove her to a cultural and tourist village in Co Dong commune, Son Tay town. He later stopped at a desolate hill and then raped Ly.

After the rape, he threw her into a well nearby. He also threw her helmet and slippers into the well.

He later pawned Ly’s motorbike for VND2 million (US$95).

Immediately after Hoai’s confession, police rushed to the scene and found Ly alive under the 10-meter deep dried well, said Tran Quang Lich, head of the town police department.

She was taken right away to hospital for emergency aid, he said.

70 tons of concrete crushes truck, 1 dead

A woman is dead and another seriously injured after over 70 tons of concrete collapsed on a semi-trailer truck early morning Tuesday on the Hanoi Highway in Ho Chi Minh City’s district 9.

According to preliminary investigation, the truck driver unexpectedly stopped to avoid another truck at the T-junction No. 621 in Long Binh district.

VnExperss reported that as the truck was towing a trailer loaded with over 70 tons of concrete poles, the sudden stop caused the trailer to crash forwards, hitting the cabin in which the driver and a female assistant driver was sitting.

The concrete poles rolled out, crushing the cabin and killing the woman, seriously injuring the driver.

Meanwhile the driver, who was rushed to a hospital nearby for emergency care, is now in critical condition.

Right after the incident, police tried to retrieve the dead body out of the truck but in vain.

A rescue vehicle was then mobilized to the scene to clear up the concrete poles.

The victims have yet to be identified, police said.

Further investigations are going on.

Source: Tuoi Tre/SGGP/VNE/VNA

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