Published: 11/05/2011 05:00



Promoting traffic
safety in Hanoi

aims to increase the number of children wearing helmets to 80 percent in the
next three years.

The Ministry of Education and Training, in coordination with
the Australian Embassy and the Asian Injury Prevention Foundation (AIPF), held
a meeting in Hanoi on May 10 to promote traffic
safety and presented 1,000 helmets to teachers and pupils at Mai Dich Primary School in Hanoi.

Australian Governor-General Quentin Bryce said traffic
safety is a matter of concern in many countries in the world. It is estimated
that around 1.2 million people die and 50 million others are injured in traffic
accidents every year, which causes losses equal to 1-3 percent to the GDP. If
the issue is not addressed, traffic accidents will become the third biggest
cause of human deaths.

She said that children wearing helmets can reduce 42 percent
of traffic-related fatalities and 69 percent of injuries.

AIPF president Greig Craft said Vietnam should increase the number
of children wearing helmets to 80 percent in the next three years.

2010 saw 13,713 traffic accidents, causing 11,060 dead and
more than 10,000 injured, a significant number of children were part of that
statistic. One of major reasons is that the children were not wearing helmets
and they did not fully understand the importance of traffic safety.

To help Vietnam
improve its traffic safety, the AIPF has committed to work with relevant
Vietnamese agencies to raise pupils’ awareness of the importance of wearing

construction causes neighboring house to collapse

A house in District 1 of Ho Chi Minh City collapsed on May 8
caused by the on-going construction of an adjoining 34-floor building.

While the construction in the basement of the new building
was being done, the basement walls broke causing the adjoining house to

The house on 28/1A Ngo
Van Nam Street in Ben Nghe Ward collapsed at 3:40
pm yesterday within minutes after its wall cracked and filled with mud.

Soon after the house collapsed, the Peoples’ Committee of
Ben Nghe Ward ordered the Construction Inspection Agency of the ward to
evacuate the area and notify people living in the neighborhood to stay clear of
the construction site.

The inspection agency drew a report of negligent
administrative violation and suspended the construction of the new building.

According to the report presented by the Construction
Inspection Agency of the district on May 9, the new building at 9-11 Ton Duc Thang Street
was planned as a 34-storey building with two basements.

The HCMC Construction Department had issued a license for
construction on October 5, 2010.

Mai Thanh Service Company Ltd. was the chief investor while
Cotec Construction Joint Stock Company executed the construction work.

On May 9, the Peoples’ Committee of district 1 ordered the
project investor and contractor to check the basement walls and report their
findings to the construction department to assess the damages caused.

The two companies were also ordered to check the state of
the collapsed house and find ways to prop up the house to prevent it from
affecting the neighboring houses.

About seven restaurants in the nearby vicinity relocated
their premises on May 9.

Authorities of the Peoples’ Committee of Ben Nghe Ward said
they would hold a meeting with the project investor, the owner of the collapsed
house and neighboring households to discuss the possibility of a temporary

Norwegians sponsor
ethnic minority villagers in Yen Bai

An ‘Integrated Community Development Project’ sponsored by
the Oslo-based foundation Det Norske Veritas (DNV) has helped nearly 300 Lenh
villagers in Yen Bai Province’s Van Chan District receive a clean water supply.

The project will help the H’Mong ethnic minority people in
the northern mountainous area enjoy a far better quality of life with
substantially improved economic, healthcare and hygienic conditions. Through
the Norwegian Red Cross, the foundation has provided over VND800 million to
implement the community project since May 2010.

DNV’s support has resulted in construction of a gravity
water system, 45 family latrines and public bathrooms for Lenh villagers to
enable them to access a clean water supply and improve their personal hygiene.
It is a similar project to the one the group produced in Vinh Phuc Province.

“DNV chose to participate again in this project because we
believe in sustainable solutions to the difficulties of basic living conditions
in the mountainous areas in Vietnam,”
Kamal Kumar, country chair and area manager maritime of DNV in Vietnam, said
in a statement obtained by the Daily.

The project also focuses on livelihood support for the
community by aiding locals in forest plantation, corn and vegetable growing,
cow breeding, chicken and pig raising. As a result, most of the families have
their own small garden to raise cows, pigs and chicken.

Five hectares of trees for fruits and wood have been
developed to provide more greenery, prevent land slides in the upstream areas
and improve incomes for Lenh villagers. In addition to environment
preservation, local residents are also given health checks, information on
family planning and injury prevention.

The project also includes working equipment as well as
courses on community first aid, disaster response and prevention for the Red
Cross staff of the northern province.
“The project helps improve the basic living conditions for local people and
strengthen capacity for the local Red Cross,” said Le The Thin, director of the
Social Affair Department of the Vietnam Red Cross.

Former journalist
charged for extortion

The investigation agency of the Ministry of Public Security
has asked the Peoples’ Supreme Procuracy to prosecute a former journalist for
extorting money from two companies in 2010.

Phan Ha Binh, former deputy managing editor of the
Hanoi-based Tien Phong newspaper, was caught red-handed on October 13, 2010,
while receiving VND220 million (US$10,700) from Nguyen Cam Phuong, the
communications director of Saigon Investment Group at Nhat Ha Restaurant on Vo
Van Tan Street in District 3 of HCMC.

Investigators said that last September, Phan Ha Binh, whose
pen name is Ha Phan, collected inside information on some projects developed by
the group’s member companies, which were facing obstacles.

Binh, 42, asked Phuong to give him some money or else he
would write articles revealing the cause of the problems faced by the group.

When Phuong refused his blackmail demand, Binh published
three tell-all articles right away.

Binh later continued to contact Phuong and blackmail her,
saying that if the group did not give him a certain amount of money he would
continue to publishing more damaging articles about the group and its
affiliate, Saigon-Tan Ky Cement Investment Joint-stock Company, of which Phuong
was chief representative in Ho Chi Minh City.

He asked for VND200 million (US$9,700) in exchange for
stopping the publishing of unfavorable stories of the group but instead offered
to write articles that would show the group in a good light, for another

After some negotiation, Phuong agreed to give him VND220
million but later reported the matter to the police. Acting on the information
provided, the police arrested Binh while Phuong was paying him the money.

As soon as Binh’s arrest was made public, Bui Dinh Hung,
Chairman of Luong Tai Investment and Construction JS Company, reported the
investigation of Binh when he had tried to blackmail his company in 2009.

According to the investigation agency, Binh had blackmailed
the company to give him US$1,000, otherwise he would write articles revealing
some discrepancies in an announcement released by the HCMC-based company.

In order to ‘buy’ his silence, Hung gave Binh the money.

Binh confessed to the police that he had taken advantage of
his job at the newspaper to collect information on these companies and later
blackmail them.

Interplast initiates
burn management program

Interplast Australia
and New Zealand, a
non-profit organization, has deployed a five volunteer strong team to deliver a
workshop and program on burn management and treatment in two hospitals in Vietnam.

Burn patients in the General
Hospital of the central province of Quang
Nam and Cho Ray Hospital in Ho
Chi Minh City will receive treatment during this

Funded by the Rotary Club of Mornington in Victoria,
Australia, Interplast Australia and New Zealand has deployed five
highly skilled team members that include Dr. Allan Meares (Surgeon), Dr James
Masson (Surgeon), Dr Joe McGuinness (Anaesthetist), Ms Annie Porter (Nurse) and
Ms Robyn Price (Nurse).

Approximately 50 select patients will receive free treatment
during the program.

The organization was founded in 1983 as a joint project of
the Royal Australasian College
of Surgeons and the Rotary Club. Over 600 volunteers have been working for the
organization since its establishment.

It has delivered services and training to medical
professionals in Vietnam
since 1997.

Vendors to be
evacuated from landslide site

Vendors in Rach Cam Market in Can Tho City will be evacuated
from the market as another riverbank landslide is expected to happen after one
on May 9.

Tran Thi Thu Hong, head of the People’s Committee of Long
Hoa Ward where Rach Cam Market is located, said ward authorities would lease a
nearby residential area for the vendors to resume their business.

The local authorities have also decided to build dikes
around the affected area as a temporary solution to stop the landslide.

Rach Cam Market has been closed since the first landslide.

People’s Council
candidates caught gambling

Two candidates selected to compete for a seat in the
People’s Council of Lien Sron Commune in Dam Rong District in the Central Highland Province
were caught gambling on May 8, said the district’s Electoral Commission.

The Commission refused to give the candidates’ names and
said they were waiting for police investigation.

These candidates are likely to be crossed off the candidate
list, the commission added.

Danish vessel aground
in southern Vietnam

A 367-meter-long Danish container ship named Grete Maersk
with a loading capacity of 115,000 tonnes went aground off Vung Tau coast in
southern Vietnam Tuesday
morning when it was on the way to Malaysia.

Investigation showed that when approaching the sea buoy
number 5 around Thi Vai harbor the vessel had to unexpectedly change its
travelling direction, heading for the coast, to avoid hitting a fishing boat
which suddenly got in its way.

Big waves and strong winds helped the inertia to send the
ship straight to the coast.

It has been stuck in there so far despite efforts by local
authorities to refloat it.

The ship should have anchored in Vung Tau for one day only
but the incident has kept it stay longer than initially planned, which caused
much delay and damage to the ship owners and customers.

4 women jailed for
drugging and robbing men

The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Court yesterday sentenced four
women, aged 40-59, to 17-30 years each in prison for drugging men to rob their

The convicts are Nghiem Xuan Thao Ly, 43, from Hau Giang
Province; Le Nguyen Ngoc
Ha, 40, from Kien Giang; Nguyen Thi Tu, 59, from Can Tho; and Ngo Thi Tuyet
Huong, 49, also from Can Tho.

Ly was given four sentences totalling 30 years in prison for
robbery, while her three accomplices got 17-28 years each for the same charge.

According to the indictment from the prosecutors’ office, Ly
was the leader of the ring and took part in most of the ring’s robberies.

The women often came to cafés and bars to lure older men
over sex and then chloroformed them by putting anesthetics into their drinking

When their victims were unconscious, these women robbed all
of their assets, including cash, jewelry items, and mobile phones.

In August 2008, Ly and Huong approached a man named Ninh,
57, from District. They later invited the man to come to a hotel in District 5.
In the hotel room, Ly chloroformed Ninh and then stole from him cash and assets
totaling VND50 million (US$2,430).

In another case, Ly and Ha lured a man named Hoang to a
hotel room in District 10, where Ly secretly put anesthetics into a cup of
coffee Hoang was drinking.

She and Ha later took a gold necklace weighing 2 taels of
gold ($3,650), a ring weighing 0.6 tael of gold ($1,100), and a large amount of

Also among their victims were overseas Vietnamese, one of
whom was robbed US$30, a luxurious mobile phone, and 3 taels of gold ($6,370).

The gang declared that from mid 2007 to August 2008, they
committed 22 robberies in Ho Chi Minh only, appropriating hundreds of millions

In addition, they conducted tens of other robberies in such
provinces as Can Tho, Ca Mau, Tra Vinh, and Ba Ria-Vung Tau.

On September 18, 2008, after robbing a man, Ly and Ha were
arrested by local police.

From their declarations, police continued to capture Tu
later. Meanwhile, after a time of hiding, Huong gave herself up to police in
late 2008.

Landslide blows
5m-deep holes in Ha Tinh

A landslide reportedly hit Vinh Dai hamlet, Huong Vinh
commune in the northern central province
of Ha Tinh on May 3
night, creating two deep holes around 5 meters deep and 6 meters in diameter.

Several cracks run around the two holes whose mouths measure
up to 8 meters in diameter.

Le Van Thuong, a local resident, said: “We heard a strange
sound from our vegetable garden at 9:30 pm on May 3 when we were sleeping.”

To our surprise, we saw a deep hole, just 4 meters away from
our kitchen and immediately witnessed another landslide that resulted in the
second hole. The yellow water inside the pits bubbles up,” Thuong added.

Many curisousity seekers rushed to the scene after hearing
his shout.

Local authorities called on residents to help move his house
50 meters away from the holes just in case and have promptly instructed locals
to fix the cracks and prevent possible landslides in the coming time.

The cause of the incident so far remains unknown.

Beaten Vietnam student
got $90,000 from US

Ho Quang Phuong received US$90,000 of non-taxable
compensation for his injuries from the government of San Jose, California
on May 9, two years after he was reportedly battered with batons and a Taser
gun by the state’s police officers, BBC Vietnamese reported.

“Although I didn’t sustain severe wounds, the incident
seriously violated my honor,” the 22-year-old San Jose State Mathematics
student said. “The money couldn’t compensate for the dishonor they inflicted on
me when they [San Jose
police officers] not only repeatedly beat me but also turn me into a

“I hope nothing of this kind will ever happen again in the
future, particularly to overseas Vietnamese students,” Phuong added.

In September, 2009, four officers arrested an unarmed
Phuong, charging him with assaulting one of his roommates. They hit him with a
baton more than 10 times, including one over the head.

They reportedly pushed Phuong into a wall and wrestled him
to the floor of his apartment, claiming he resisted being handcuffed.

One of Phuong’s roommates, Dimitri Masouris, captured the
entire event on his cell phone, which was later released and sparked a fury in
the Vietnamese community in the US.

Man receives 3 years
for assaulting foreigner

A man from Ho Chi
Minh City’s Binh Thanh District was sentenced to 3
years in prison for assaulting a Japanese citizen in 2009.

The HCMC People’s Court yesterday issued the sentence to
Nguyen Tran Minh, 31, who attacked and injured Ginoza Yasuya, a Japanese

The court also ordered Minh to pay the Japanese VND6 million
as compensation for medical costs.

According to the indictment from the local Procuracy, Yasuya
came to Vietnam in 2002 to look for a Vietnamese citizen named Nguyen Van Son,
who Yasuya said appropriated from him a large amount of capital (close to US$1
million) related to a joint venture between them in 1997.

However, it was only until 2008 that he found out that Son
lived in District 7, HCMC.

Since then, Yasuya came to Son’s house many times but Son
avoided meeting him.

On January 27, 2009, Yasuya arrived at Son’s house by
motorbike and saw Son and his family leaving in a car. Yasuya followed them to
an area in Go Vap District, where Nguyen Tran Minh, Son’s younger brother, got
out of the car and attacked the Japanese both with bare hands and with stones.

A medical examination made in Vietnam later confirmed Yasuya
suffered 29 percent of bodily injury.

100 policemen
mobilized to bust gangsters

About 100 policemen in southern Binh
Duong Province
were mobilized yesterday night to pursue 15 gangsters, believed to come from Ho Chi Minh City, after a
vicious attack on a group of young locals.

At 20 p.m. May 9, a 16-seat Mercedes with a Ho Chi Minh City
number plate stopped at a café on Nguyen Tri Phuong Street, Chanh Nghia Ward,
Thu Dau Mot Town.

About 15 young people got out and began attacking a group of
local young people at the café.

During the assault, a local young man was stabbed and
seriously injured.

Local residents quickly called the police to the scene.

When the police arrived in a Jeep, the assaulting group got
in their car and sped away at high speed towards Binh Duong Avenue, followed by the police
Jeep with the warning lights and siren on.

After about 1 km, the Jeep overtook the car and cut in ahead
of it.

The hooligans abandoned the car and ran to the Binh Duong
Bus Station for shelters, despite warning shots into the air by the policemen.

A joint force of some 100 policemen, involving both local
police and emergency police 113 who were called to join the chase, eventually
arrested all 15 gangsters, including two girls.

Searching the perpetrators’ car, the police seized 14
backswords and some iron tubes and chains.

All the ruffians and their weapons were later taken to the
Thu Dau Mot Town Police Station.

The police are still investigating the case.

Rubella spreads fast
in Ho Chi Minh

An unusual number of rubella or German measles cases
developing dangerous complications have been reported at Ho
Chi Minh City’s Central
Tropical Hospital,
a doctor said Monday.

Normally a mild disease whose symptoms can pass unnoticed,
in adults rare cases of Rubella can lead to Encephalitis or brain infection,
which accounted for 1 to 3 cases per 10,000 patients.

However, the hospital has received nearly 50 cases of such
serious complication since this January, Doctor Nguyen Trung Cap said.

It has also admitted the largest number of Rubella patients
compared with recent years’ records.

More than 2,000 patients tested positive to the disease have
been treated at the hospital since January, Cap said.

90 infected pregnant women, which poses grave threats to
their unborn with incurable birth defects have also been reported at the
hospital, which is a much higher number than usual.

“The disease is spreading very rapidly in our community,”
Doctor Cap said.

Pack of dogs attacks
residents of Lao Cai

For over a month now a group of about 20 dogs have been attacking
residents and cattle in Muong Khung and Si Ma Cai districts of the upland province of Lao Cai.

Residents of Ban Me, Thao Chu Phin and Quan Than San
communes said they have seen the dogs wandering the villages since last month,
attacking cattle and people who come too close.

The district authorities said there have been 15 reported
attacks on villagers, all of whom have received rabies vaccinations afterward.

Vien Dinh Hiep, head of the Agricultural and Rural
Development Office of Si Ma Cai District, said the authorities have formed a
team to hunt and kill the dogs.

The district veterinary unit has also provided rabies
vaccinations for over 4,900 dogs in the area.

Dao Duy Kien, head of the provincial veterinary department,
said the dogs could carry rabies, so residents must kill and destroy them. He
also warned villagers that they shouldn’t eat them.

Locals said the dogs could have come from nearby
construction sites in the area or possibly from a farm in across the nearby
border with China.

Overseas travelers
can get $100 a day forex

Vietnamese traveling abroad can buy foreign currency worth
$100 per day for a maximum of 10 days, the central bank has proposed in a draft

This will apply to people traveling to study, get medical
treatment, do business, tourism, and visit relatives and friends, and take
effect in July.

Banks can sell more than this amount if they wish.

The draft circular also mandates that all trading and
pricing in Vietnam
must be in the dong and not adjusted based on foreign-currency movements.

Only hotels, travel agencies, air-freight services, and
advertising firms can list their prices in both the dong and foreign
currencies, but only on foreign language websites and in publications for
foreign customers.

Source: SGGP/Tuoi

Provide by Vietnam Travel

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