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HCM City students’ short films selected for national competition

The winners of HCM City’s short-film contest for students.

A list of short films produced by students from HCM city has been chosen to compete at a national contest next month.

The ten films, selected from 20 entered in a competition this week, were made by students from Bui Thi Xuan High and Trung Vuong high schools and Le Quy Don and Dang Cong Binh secondary schools.

At the national event, 20 outstanding films under three minutes long, including the entries from Ho Chi Minh City as well as those from Hanoi and Khanh Hoa Province, will be selected for competition at an event in Japan this December.

The contests come as part of a project between the Japanese government and countries in the Mekong River region.

Films from Vietnam, Japan and other Mekong countries will compete at the final event.

All films must be about the subject of “life” and be made by video cameras given to the participants by the Japanese government.

UN agency to help Vietnam build green industry

The United Nations will help build a green industry in Vietnam so the country can maintain the pace of industrialization in a “sustainable” way, the leader of a UN group has said.

Since industry accounts for 65 percent of the global growth in greenhouse gas emissions, “we need to make industry more ‘green’ to maintain sustainable growth,” said United Nations Industrial Development Organization Director-General Kandeh K. Yumkella during his meeting with students at the Hanoi University of Technology.

The group, known as UNIDO, has been assisting the government and the business sector in Vietnam with cleaner production, energy efficiency and sustainable waste management since the 1980s, Yumkella said.

“I am confident that Vietnam will take the necessary steps to maintain a good environment for the next generations as it reaches its goal of industrialization by 2020,” Yumkella added.

PM approves British University Vietnam establishment

The Prime Minister has signed Decision 1428/QĐ-TTg to permit the establishment of the British University Vietnam in Hanoi.

This will be a tertiary education establishment invested in by the Apollo Education and Training Organisation.

The university will be put under the state management by the Vietnamese Ministry of Education and Training.

Its website at said that the British University Vietnam project was officially launched in Hanoi last September with its headquarters in Hanoi and a branch office in Ho Chi Minh City .

Waste water treatment plant inaugurated

A waste water treatment plant began operation in HCM City Hi-tech Park on September 10, according to the Saigon Giai phong (Liberated Saigon) daily.

The VND 74 billion plant is capable of processing 5,000 cubic metres of waste water per day and night.

The HCM City Hi-tech Park is now home to 38 projects worth 1.7 billion US$ in total.

Da Nang – Hong Kong direct flight opens

The first direct flight between Da Nang central city and Hong Kong run by Vietnam Airlines will start on September 30.

The first return flight from these two destinations will be opened in five days, until October 4. The flight from Hong Kong to Da Nang on September 30 will carry 150 international passengers who come to Vietnam to take part in an international Marathon tournament in Tay Giang mountainous district, Quang Nam province.

After this route, Vietnam Airlines is expected to open more direct flights to Southeast Asia and northern Asia countries.

Jetstar apologizes to deaf passengers

Jetstar Pacific apologized to two deaf passengers on Wednesday after refusing to allow them to fly earlier this summer.

The no-frills airline made the apology after receiving a letter of complaint from Disabled Vietnamese Forum.

The carrier also gave the two deaf passengers, Truong Quang Thuan and Pham Duy Tien, two VND500,000 ticket vouchers each.

The airline has also announced new deaf-friendly policies.

Thuan and Tien had bought two Jetstar Pacific tickets for a July 22 flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Hue.

But when they checked in, the airline refused to carry them and refund the money.

Employees explained that the airline couldn’t carry passengers that were unable to hear safety instructions.

Thuan and Tien then flew to Hue with Vietnam Airlines the same day.

Men arrested for pawning stolen motorbikes

Police in Ho Chi Minh City arrested five men on Tuesday for pawning stolen vehicles with faked papers.

Nguyen Chi Truong from HCMC, Nguyen Van Tam from the Mekong Delta’s Tien Giang Province, Vo Quan from the central province of Quang Ngai, and Tran Dinh Quyen and Huynh Duy Tien, both from the Central Highlands’ Lam Dong Province, have been using stolen bikes and fake papers to take loans since late 2008, according to police reports.

But lenders from Ho Chi Minh City districts 6, 12, Tan Binh, Tan Phu and Hoc Mon have been complaining to police ever since they discovered the vehicles’ registrations were fake.

Police said group were part of a 10-man ring that bought stolen motorbikes in southern provinces at around VND10 million (US$561) apiece and pawned each for VND20-50 million at shops in HCMC and surrounding provinces.

The ringleader Nguyen Tuan Thanh, 51, is still at large, said investigators.

He had rented houses in Binh Chanh and Cu Chi Districts, HCMC, to keep the vehicles while the fake documents were made, according to police reports.

More than 50 police officers raided the homes on Tuesday, seizing 13 motorbikes, some of which had been stolen just a day earlier.

The five suspects were detained after the raid and had their stay of custody extended Friday, set to last throughout the police investigation.

Investigations since the raid have helped police seize 22 more stolen motorbikes and identify 21 rightful owners.

Trinh Kim Son, a HCMC police officer, said investigators were hunting for Thanh and four others connected to the crimes.

Southern traffic police jailed for taking bribes

Two traffic police officers and a company leader were sentenced to 8-14 year jail terms in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province Friday for giving and receiving bribes earlier this year.

Vo Van Ly and Nguyen Chi Thanh, former officers of the provincial Department Of Waterway Traffic Police, were found guilty of receiving bribes while Bui Ngoc Sen, former deputy director of Thanh Cong Commerce and Service Company, based in Vung Tau, was found guilty of giving bribes.

According to the indictment at the provincial People’s Court hearings, Sen gave Ly and Thang VND1 billion (US$56,000) early last March for allowing his ship to pass without inspection.

The ship contained 3,000 liters of oil, which Sen kept for himself instead of discharging at PVOIL port.

The money was shared half-half but Thanh said Ly, who had settled the deal with Sen, had told him that the two were lent the money to start their own businesses.

Thanh said he hadn’t taken bribes because he didn’t deal with Sen and only “borrowed” the money via Ly.

Sen and Ly both plead guilty.

Ly was sentenced to 14 years in prison, Thanh 11 years and Sen eight years.

The provincial prosecution agency earlier suggested Ly and Sen be imprisoned for 10-12 years while Thanh 7-8 years.

Construction workers dig up coffin in HCMC

A coffin was found under a Ho Chi Minh City street Wednesday as workers dug to install water pipelines.

Workers employed by Japanese contractor Shimizu said they hit the coffin at one meter from the surface of Su Van Hanh Street, District 10.

Part of the coffin lid was damaged by the digging while other parts were still in rather good condition.

Locals said the coffin might be part of an important tomb.

The workers have informed the HCMC East-West Highway and Water Environment Project of the finding.

Quang Nam promotes tourism

The Central province of Quang Nam will introduce its special culture and tourism potential at the biggest ever Tourism Culture Week slated for the end of November in Hanoi, a provincial official said.

Deputy Director of the provincial Culture, Sports and Tourism Department Ho Tan Cuong said that the two world cultural heritage sites - My Son relics and Hoi An ancient city – and the cultures of mountainous ethnic people will be introduced at the event.

Quang Nam will showcase Thanh Ha porcelains, Ma Chau silk, Ban Thach mats and Kim Bong carpentry and Phuoc Kieu bronze casting products among its traditional craft products.

The week will also include Quang Nam’s traditional costume show, folk arts and games performance as well as the introduction of the provincial gastronomic arts with its specialties, such as “Cao Lau” (pork noodle soup), “banh beo” (bloating fern-shaped cakes) and “banh bao” and “banh vac” (white rose).

Apart from the two world cultural heritage sites, Quang Nam is home to hundreds of historical and cultural sites and ethnic-imbued culture.

According to the statistics of the local tourism sector, Quang Nam has welcomed around 200,000 tourists a month since the start of the year. Despite the A/H1N1 flu epidemic, as well as 212,000 tourists flocked to Quang Nam in August.

Cuong said that his province will continue implementing advertising campaigns in local and foreign markets, organise promotion programmes at hotels and restaurants as well as tours of traditional craft villages.

Denmark and Sweden to finance Vietnam’s judicial reform

Denmark and Sweden have signed an agreement on jointly conducting a judicial reform support programme in Vietnam with a combined budget of 18.7 million EUR, said sources from the Denmark Embassy in Hanoi.

According to the cooperation agreement, Denmark will act on behalf of Sweden to work with the Vietnamese government and other partners in implementing the largest programme of its kind in Vietnam to date.

The programme, which will start in 2010 and cover a five-year period, will focus on capacity building to implement judicial reforms by way of assisting both state institutions and non-state actors with a mechanism for promoting dialogue with key decision makers.

The programme will be jointly supported by Denmark, Sweden and the European Commission, with the Danish contribution accounting for 78.7 million DKK (or 10.57 million EUR).

Laws on labour and trade unions to be amended

The Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) held a seminar in Hanoi in an effort to complete Vietnam’s laws on labour and trade unions.

The three-day seminar beginning on September 10 drew the participation of VGCL and ILO officials, and representatives of provincial trade unions, who are to discuss and give opinions on the amendments to the laws.

After 19 years, the law on trade unions now needs a number of amendments, VGCL Vice President said at the gathering.

The purpose of the amendments is to make the law suitable and compatible with the development of trade unions and the working class as well as international law, he added.

Furthermore, once amended, the law will help to better protect the rights of the working class, the VGCL official noted.

Addressing the seminar, ILO senior expert Ahn Pong Sul said his organisation will try its best to help Vietnam in the effort.

The amendments to laws on labour and trade unions should meet two targets, including ensuring the working class’s rights and reflecting the expectations of the employers’ circle, he added.

2nd national study encouragement conference to open in Hanoi

The second national conference on study encouragement will be held on September 24, announced the Vietnam Study Encouragement Association at a press briefing in Hanoi on September 10.

The event is expected to attract about 500 organisations and individuals who have made contributions to the study encouragement movement. It will honour education achievements and review lessons drawn from the result of implementing the study encouragement movement since the first national conference was held in October 2000 on the theme “For the Cause of Study Encouragement”.

During the past nine years, the study encouragement movement has taken root every province and city, with more than 9,000 community education centres nationwide.

Dr. Pham Tat Dong, General Secretary of the Vietnam Study Encouragement Association, underlined the need to educate both adults and teenagers. It is essential to focus on teaching and studying in order to build an educated society, with the aim of increasing production, reducing poverty and broadening people’s knowledge, Dr. Dong added.

HCM City warns of petechial fever and hand-foot-and-mouth epidemic

Since the beginning of this year, the number of people infected with petechial fever in Ho Chi Minh City has increased by more than 30 percent from a year earlier.

Out of the total number infected, 8 have died, twice as many as in the same period last year.

Now every week hospitals in HCM City receive about 300 people infected with petechial fever, mainly in the districts of Thu Duc, Binh Tan, No 8, Tan Phu, Tan Binh and Cu Chi.

The municipal healthcare department has warned that the number of people contracting petechial fever may increase by 500 per week in the next 3 months.

The city also acknowledges 70 new cases each week of children infected with hand-foot-and-mouth disease and this number may increase sharply if strong preventive measures are not taken.

120 businesses register for Environmental Protection award.

More than 120 businesses in 22 provinces and cities have registered for the “Gold Cup of Environmental Protection 2009” award.

Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Duong and Da Nang have the most businesses registered for the award.

The annual event is co-organised by the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment and the Vietnam Association for Nature and Environmental Protection.

The award is for businesses who strictly abide by all environmental protection laws and have greatly contributed to environmental protection.

The businesses should apply effective, clean and energy-saving technology in their production.

The deadline for registration is on September 20 and the award ceremony is scheduled to take place at the end of October in Hanoi.


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