Published: 09/06/2011 05:00



US high school
teachers, students visit Vietnam

An official of the Vietnam Union of Friendship
Organizations (VUFO) has received a delegation of teachers and students from
George Highschool in the US State of Pennsylvania, who are on a study tour of
Vietnam from June 7-21.

During the meeting on June 6, VUFO
Vice President Nguyen Tam Chien expressed the wish of young Vietnamese to boost
relations with the US in the fields of education, economics, trade and
humanitarian activity.

On behalf of the US delegation,
Cherry Mellor thanked the VUFO for its warm reception.

She proposed that the Vietnam-US
Association arrange for her students to take part in volunteer activities such
as painting houses, cleaning, planting trees and taking caring of flowers in
Vietnam Friendship Village on the outskirts of Hanoi.

Highway project opened to investors

Domestic investors will be allowed to participate in
constructing the 57.8-km Ben Luc- Long Thanh expressway project, according to
the Viet Nam Expressway Investment and Development Corporation (VEC).

A road crossing
southern Long An Province’s Ben Luc District is under construction. The Ben
Luc-Long Thanh expressway has drawn the participation of domestic investors.
(Photo: VNS)

the agreement with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), domestic
investors can become main contractors for bridge and approach road construction.

VEC has
received loan commitments of up to US$1.27 billion for the construction of the
$1.6 billion - project from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and JICA, Dau Tu
(Vietnam Investment Review) reported.

In May,
VEC and ADB signed a loan agreement worth $636 million for the project.

A loan
agreement worth $634.8 million from JICA will be signed in September.

The loan
from ADB will be used to build the project’s west and east sections, and the
loan from JICA will be used to build the project’s middle section. The cost of
land clearance and relocation of affected households and other works, which is
worth $336.9 million, will be taken from the State budget.

The Ben
Luc – Long Thanh expressway will depart from the connecting point between HCM
City – Trung Luong expressway and the HCM City Ring Road No 3 and end at the
connection point with Bien Hoa – Vung Tau expressway in Dong Nai Province’s Long
Thanh District.

expressway, which allows a speed of 120km per hour, will have eight lanes and
run through Ben Luc and Can Giuoc districts in Long An Province, Binh Chanh, Nha
Be and Can Gio districts in HCM City, and Nhon Trach and Long Thanh districts in
Dong Nai Province.

Xuan Sanh, chairman of VEC’s Board Members Council, said bidding procedures to
select contractors for the project would be held at the end of this year and
construction of the project would begin early next year.

Dong inspects eateries after cooking poisoning

Following a rash of food poisoning incidents since June 1, Lam
Dong Province authorities have ordered health agencies to immediately inspect
all eateries.

In an emergency dispatch yesterday, June 8, the people’s committee said inspectors must
severely penalize restaurants violating food safety and hygiene regulations.
The same day the Central Highlands Hygiene and Epidemiology Institute sent a
group of health experts to the province to investigate the causes of food

In the first week of June the Da Lat
Health Center, Lam Dong General Hospital, and Hoan My Da Lat Hospital treated
439 visitors to Da Lat for food poisoning after they ate at some local
restaurants, the Department of Health reported yesterday.
All those hospitalized at the Da Lat Health Center said they had eaten at Tam
Chau Restaurant on National Highway 20 in Bao Lam District before proceeding to
Da Lat.
Most of the patients developed food poisoning symptoms 25-30 hours after having
meals at the restaurant.

Health agencies have taken samples
from Tam Chau and other restaurants for testing.

Hoa veterinary inspectors seize dirty pork

The Bien Hoa city Veterinary
Station, Dong Nai Province, yesterday inspected a pork processing establishment
in Long Binh Ward and found nearly a ton of meat stored in unhygienic

Besides, the processor did not have a business license or a quarantine
certificate for the pork.
The inspectors found the pork cooked and placed uncovered on the floor or on
dirty pallets.
The pork was later packed in unhygienic casks or plastic boxes.
Workers said the establishment delivered the meat to markets which then sell it
to processors of salted shredded pork.
The inspectors seized the pork pending investigation.

Deputy PM to attend UN meeting on AIDS

Deputy Prime Minister and Head of the National
Committee for HIV/AIDS, Drugs and Prostitution Prevention and Control Truong
Vinh Trong will attend the UN General Assembly High Level Meeting on AIDS in
New York from June 8-10.

Trong will then pay an official
visit to Cuba from June 11-14 at the invitation of Vice President of the Cuban
Council of State Gladys Bejerano Portela.

reporters trained to enhance HIV knowledge

34 reporters from 12 cities and provinces across the
country in attended a training course to improve knowledge of HIV/AIDS
prevention issues in the central city of Da Nang from June 6-8.

The two-day course, funded by the
World Bank (WB), was jointly organised by the Administration of HIV/AIDS Control
under the Ministry of Public Health and the Vietnam Journalists’ Club with
HIV/AIDS Prevention under the Vietnam Journalists’ Association.

During the course, the reporters
were provided with basic knowledge on HIV/AIDS, taught relevant professional
terminology and also about the importance of ethics when journalists are writing
and broadcasting about this issue.

Nam sets strict rules on waterway

People’s Committee of the central province of Quang Nam has ordered tighter
inspections of tourist boats operating on local lakes and rivers.

that do not meet safety standards and those that are not registered will be

Nam is well known for the beautiful Cu Lao Cham Island and the famous Hoi An- Cu
Lao Cham tourist routes.

TV station employee
cuts colleague’s throat

22-year-old Pham Thanh Tai, who works as a technician at the southeastern
broadcast relay station of the Vietnam Television in Binh Duong Province was
found cutting the throat of his colleague, Nguyen Thai Son, with a knife this

Tai dragged Son for 50 m after he
found his colleague had fainted. He then used a laptop charge wire to hang
himself. But the wire was broken and Tai fell to the ground.

The two were hospitalized.

Tai has well-recovered while Son is
now still in critical conditions, the local police said.

Tai’s motive is said to be related
to “affection.”

Wrong body cremated
by hospital’s mistake

Ngoc Khanh and his family on Wednesday found out Hanoi’s 354 Hospital had given
their mother’s dead body to another dead patient’s family who had unknowingly
cremated it.

Having sent his mother’s body to the
hospital’s mortuary for preservation, Khanh planned to hold a funeral for her,
Tran Thi Thom, 86, on the morning of June 8.

Before the funeral, however, Thom’s
children discovered that the body they had received from the hospital wasn’t

After being informed, the hospital
identified the dead body, which turned out to be Tran Thi Huan.

Huan’s family, who had received
Thom’s body which they thought was Huan’s, cremated the body on June 7.

Thom’s family said they only wanted
the hospital to return what was left of their mother’s body for a funeral
ceremony and stressed that they didn’t need any compensation.

Meanwhile, the hospital apologized
for the mistake and promised to pay for Thom’s funeral.

to help city improve quality of public services

officials expect that responses from a survey this month on citizens’ assessment
of public services will help them identify problem areas that need to be

service quality has improved dramatically since 2006, when the first survey was
conducted, more citizens are complaining about the quality of services today.

Conducted by the HCM City Institute for Development Studies and the city’s
Statistics Department, the survey in 2006 examined eight main public services,
including rubbish collection, public transport, healthcare and the granting of
land-use certificates, among others.

satisfaction has currently fallen, although most administrative agencies have
applied the one-door policy to save time and cut down on paperwork.

For the
first survey in 2006, the satisfaction rate was 60 per cent, even though the
conditions and means for smooth administrative procedures were poorer than
today, according to experts.

The 2008
survey showed the rate of satisfaction falling below 60 per cent.

Currently, all grass-root authorities have adopted the one-door policy and
applied an ISO management standard in dealing with administration procedures.

Sai Gon
Giai Phong (Liberated Sai Gon) newspaper quoted Le Hoai Trung, deputy director
of the HCM City Department of Home Affairs, as saying that some city government
officials were increasing the amount of paperwork, adding to red tape.

services were more efficient, the official and unofficial expenses for services
have doubled compared with past years, Trung said, adding that this year’s
survey would help them identify the problem areas and correct them.

Thanh Tung, of Phu Nhuan District, said that the overload at notary offices had
fallen sharply in recent years.

jostling among applicants still remained, and there were still many middlemen
who co-operate with officials to offer faster services at administrative

said he paid VND1 million (US$48) to have his documents certified in less than
an hour.

month the city will deploy a third survey to check public satisfaction on its
services for further adjustment.

investigation will be carried out on 100 of 317 wards and communes in the city’s
24 districts.

4,350 families will be asked for their opinions on the eight public services.

survey will cover healthcare, public transportation, granting of land-use right
certificates and construction licenses.

Du Phuoc
Tan, from the institute said survey results would help the institute offer
suggestions to the city government to take measures to improve service quality
step by step.

Hydrofoil breaks down in HCMC’s port

hydrofoil, Petro 02, heading to Vung Tau City from Ho Chi Minh City Tuesday
afternoon suddenly broke down, causing a panic among passengers, VnExpress
newswire reported.

The hydrofoil owned by Quang Hung
Company failed to start and floated on a river near Can Gio District after
leaving Bach Dang Port in HCMC for Cau Da Port in Vung Tau.

The passengers on board, including
many women and children, started to be panic.

Quang Hung Company later sent
another boat to the rescue.

By 17:00 on the same day, all
passengers were taken ashore safe and sound, one hour and a half later than

Petro 02 can carry 128 passengers
and was registered two months ago.

freed from 2 death verdicts faces death again

man who was twice sentenced to death and who was recently set free on
insufficient evidence could face another trial, the fifth so far in a 7-year
justice battle as prosecutors Monday decided to overturn the court’s recent
acquittal verdict.

Just two weeks after the People’s
Court of the southern Binh Phuoc Province announced 29-year-old Le Ba Mai
innocent of rape and murder and set him free on the spot, the Procuracy Office
in Binh Phuoc is filing for an appeal.

The office told Tuoi Tre that it is
seeking another retrial, this time by the Supreme People’s Court in Ho Chi Minh

The prosecutors upheld the two
earlier death sentences, saying Mai did rape an 11-year-old girl and strangled
her to death in 2004.

But they did not say on which basis
they filed for the appeal.

Mai has been in prison pending
numerous trials and retrials in the past 7 years and the most recent court trial
- on May 24 – announced him a free man, citing the “assumption of innocence
until proven guilty” principle.

It concluded that the incriminating
evidence against him was inconsistent.

The court found conflicts in the
testimonies of the only witness as well as in Mai’s statements, including his
previous confession. Critical mistakes were also made in both legal and
investigative procedures.

Mai did admit to the crime when he
was first apprehended but he later retracted the confession, saying police
coerced him into the false admission.

Retrials and new alibi

According to the original indictment
by the Binh Phuoc prosecutors’ office, on November 12, 2004, Mai, who was
working for a farm, saw 11-year-old Thi Ut and her nine-year-old younger sister
Thi Hang picking cassava in a garden.

According to indictment, Mai
persuaded Ut to go with him on his bike to a jackfruit garden nearby, raped her,
and strangled her to death with her pants. Five days later, he was arrested and
gave a full confession to the police, Thanh Nien reported.

At a trial held in the province in
2005, Mai was found guilty and sentenced to death. Later the same year, the
Supreme People’s Court in Ho Chi Minh City upheld the verdict.

However, Mai and his family
maintained his innocence, claiming that his confession was coerced by the
police. They submitted several letters to related agencies calling for a

In late 2006, the Supreme People’s
Procuracy, the nation’s highest prosecutorial agency, called for a retrial,
citing many mistakes made by provincial investigators, including a failure to
preserve evidence collected at the crime scene and incorrect written records.

The supreme procuracy also found
contradictions in the testimony of Hang, the sole witness for the prosecution.
For example, she first told police that she saw a “young man” giving Ut a ride
on his motorbike, and only said it was Mai after he was arrested.

Mai’s testimony was also in conflict
with crime scene investigation records and evidence, and his allegation that he
was coerced into confession was also cited as a reason for a retrial.

In May 2007 the supreme procuracy
canceled the verdicts of the first and second trials and called for further

At the latest trial held by the Binh
Phuoc People’s Court, one of his co-workers, Nguyen Van Trong testified that Mai
was applying fertilizers at the farm along with Trong at the time the crime was
said to have been committed. It was the first time Trong’s testimony was taken.

monitors prices of essential goods

The progress of the
price stabilisation programmes for drugs and baby formula milk topped the agenda
at a working session of the HCM City People’s Committee on Tuesday.

chairwoman Nguyen Thi Hong said pharmaceutical firms had to expand their drug
delivery system to remote areas.

Department of Health should popularise the model followed by People’s Hospital
115 of only prescribing medicines from the price-stabilisation programme.

department has signed agreements to bring 45 medicines under the programme and
325 pharmacies, including 99 belonging to hospitals and 115 private ones.

programme began in April and in May four drug firms that have signed up saw
turnover rise.

pharmacies that were reluctant to join now wanted to do so, a department
official said.

department plans to intensify the distribution and sales of medicine in the
list, and lobby doctors to prescribe only drugs participating in the programme.

The Viet
Nam Dairy Products Joint Stock Company (Vinamilk) and Nutifood, two leading
manufacturers of dairy products and baby formula who have signed up, sell
products at prices lower than market prices at 244 outlets in the city.

In May
Vinamilk sold 18.39 tonnes of dairy products for VND6.11 billion (US$296,500).

does not have figures yet.

addition to its 179 existing outlets, Nutifood is working on a plan to open 100
more at supermarkets and 20 at hospitals.

said both companies needed to be more active in expanding their network,
especially in remote areas, and strive to increase turnover from price-stabilised
products by 10-12 per cent.

department should co-ordinate with companies to indicate the nutritional values
of products to enable consumers to choose, she said.

It would
help the consumers feel secure about using the products, she added.

IBM sets up
Centre of Excellence in HCM City

Ho Chi Minh City University of Natural Sciences (UNS)
and IBM Vietnam on June 8 signed a Memorandum of Understanding on establishing a
new technological centre in Ho Chi Minh City .

The “Center of Excellence ” (CoE
IBM-UNS), the first of its kind in Ho Chi Minh City is expected help improve the
quality of technical education, and increase the employability of students.
Vice Rector of UNS Duong Anh Duc said that UNS is committed to actively
implementing the centre’s tasks of increasing its position in information
training and research activities, providing high quality human resources and
actively contributing to the country’s development.


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