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Aussie Embassy reveals new aid

Needy people in the north and central Viet Nam are to receive financial support from the Australian Government in the form of direct-aid projects this year, announced Australian Ambassador Allaster Cox on Wednesday.

Direct aid projects (DAPs) have been earmarked for Ha Giang, Bac Kan, Hai Duong, Ha Noi, Ha Nam, Nam Dinh, Thai Binh, Thanh Hoa and Ha Tinh. They will focus on increasing incomes among poor communities and providing vocational training and health care facilities for the needy - including women and children with HIV/AIDS.

DAP funding is in addition to Australia's significant contribution to bilateral aid in Viet Nam. This year's DAP funding reached VND2.75 billion (US$130,000), an increase of 9 per cent over the previous year.

Under DAPs, local farmers in Quang Binh Commune in central Thanh Hoa Province's Quang Xuong District will be able to access new technology to raise square-head anabas fish from southern Can Tho University.

DAPs provide grants for small-scale development projects aimed at alleviating humanitarian hardship and advancing developmental outcomes in disadvantaged communities of Viet Nam.

A maximum grant of VND210 million ($10,000) is given to small projects, while large-scale programmes can attract grants of up to VND350 million ($16,600).

Drowsy driver gets 12 years for deadly accident

Tran Trong Quy, 27, in court on Wednesday. (Photo: Tuoi Tre)
The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Court on Wednesday handed a 12-year sentence to 27-year-old Tran Trong Quy, a container truck driver who caused a severe accident that killed 4 people and injured 23 others last month.

Quy, who had worked for Nam Thanh Service, Trading and Transport Co Ltd in HCMC, was convicted on charges of “violating regulations on operating road traffic vehicles,” the court said.

Quy admitted to the court that he had dozed off behind the wheel before causing the accident.

At 4:15 am on March 13 morning, Quy was driving a container truck on Vo Van Kiet Avenue when he lost control of the vehicle, crashing it into the median barrier, hurling the truck into the other lane and colliding with a 30-seat bus that was coming from the opposite direction, according to the indictment from the prosecutor’s office.

The hard collision overturned the bus, killing 2 passengers on the spot and seriously injured the bus driver and 24 other passengers.

All the victims were taken to hospital for treatment but two of them, both children, died later.

After causing the deadly accident, Quy fled the scene and handed himself to police four days later.

All the passengers were from Can Giuoc District, Long An Province and they were on the way to visit a pagoda in Dong Nai Province, the survivors said.

Judging that Quy’s act has caused serious consequences, the court gave him a 12-year sentence and banned him from working as a driver for 2 years after he finished his prison term.

Besides the initial compensation paid by Quy’s company to the victims before the trial, the company had to pay additional damages of VND360 million (US$17,300) to them, the court said.

Vietnamese entrepreneurs receive Lao Friendship Medal

Two leading Long Thanh-Vientiane Special Economic Zone officials have been awarded the Friendship Medal by the Lao government for their contribution to socio-economic development worth nearly US$5 million in the country.

Le Van Kiem, president of the management board, and general director Tran Cam Nhung of the Long Thanh-Vientiane Special Economic Zone yesterday received the award from Lao Deputy Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, the deputy prime minister said he highly valued the two men's contribution to boosting trade in the area. He also pointed out that Kiem and Nhung had responded quickly to appeals from Japan for aid to help victims of the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. Kiem alone, who served as a volunteer soldier in Laos during the American War, donated $216,000 to the Japanese victims.

Thongloun said he hoped construction work on the economic would be completed on schedule.

Kiem thanked the Lao Government for creating favourable conditions for investment co-operation in the country and said he would continue to be actively involved in social projects and charity work in Laos that he hoped would contribute to developing special relations between the two countries.

NA deputy withdraws her divorce petition

Dang Thi Hoang Yen, a NA deputy of Long An Province, has withdrawn her application for divorce with her husband, Tran Jimmy, a Vietnamese American currently wanted by local police for “abusing trust to appropriate other people’s assets,” the provincial People’s Court said.

Yen, 53, chairwoman of the Management Board of the Tan Tao Investment and Industry Corporation, made the withdrawal after the court had issued three summonses to her concerning the divorce but she failed to show up in court, Duong Thi Sau, deputy chief judge of the court, said yesterday.

Yen and Jimmy, a 57-year-old Vietnamese American, married on August 17, 2007 and lived and worked in the US before returning to Vietnam in September 2008.

In July 2010, Yen filed for divorce from Jimmy in a divorce court.

While the divorce case was being processed, Jimmy left the country to return to the US on July 5, 2010. More than 2 months later, on September 16, the Ministry of Public Security issued a decision to prosecute him for fraud.

On October 6, 2010, in Jimmy’s absence Judge Le Van Lam presided over the divorce case. Based on an agreement on handling assets signed between Yen and Jimmy on August 13, 2007, the court announced that all the assets listed in the agreement belonged to Yen, except US$50,000 in cash that would be given to the husband.

Lam later issued a 9-page verdict for the case but a short time later, at Yen’s request, he issued another one, which is one page longer, to include additional comments of the court about the case.

The shorter verdict was then sent to the provincial People’s Procuracy while the longer one was handed to Yen.

When Lam’s act was later discovered, he was given a warning.

On January 20, 2011, the provincial Procuracy issued a protest against both verdicts, proposing the Supreme People’s Court to open an appeal hearing to cancel the two verdicts and return the case file to the Long An court for a re-trial.

Yen later appealed the protest to the Supreme People’s Procuracy, at whose request the provincial Procuracy revoked its protest in February 2011.

However, in late 2011, the Supreme People’s Court decided to cancel the two verdicts.

Talking with Tuoi Tre on Wednesday, Do Huu Lam, chairman of the provincial People’s Committee and head of the NA delegation of Long An Province, said Yen still participates in the delegation’s activities and would meet with her constituents in late April according to the delegation’s plan.

Dam threatens to split banks in rainy season

A dam around the Tu Hieu Reservoir in northern mountainous Yen Bai Province's Luc Yen District faced a high risk of breaching this rainy season, warned the Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry's Water Resources Department.

The warning indicated that termites had damaged the dam and sections of the structure's roof were leaking. Poor management, maintenance, and the wet climate have been blamed for the downgraded dam.

To remedy the situation, the local authorities have planned to completely repair the irrigation system and evacuate 20 local households as soon as possible.

France helps Vietnam deal with medical waste

The French Embassy in Vietnam and the French Agency for International Business Development (UBIFRANCE) hosted a seminar in Hanoi on April 12 to share technological know-how about medical waste treatment.

Delegates focused discussions on medical waste treatment by microorganic technology.
Prof. Dr Nguyen Huy Nga, Head of the Health Environment Management Agency under the Health Ministry, said about 42 tonnes of medical solid waste are discharged a day at over 13,600 medical stations nationwide.

Over 93 tonnes of solid waste and 120,000cu.m. of waste water are also forecast to be disposed each day by medical facilities by 2020.

During the first phase, a medical waste disposal project will be carried out in five central hospitals and five provincial hospitals in the Mekong Delta.

Catherine Galtier, CEO of APB Environment in Vietnam, said the organisation will recommend solutions in line with Vietnam’s sustainable development policy to reduce carbon emissions in the environment.

Man seized for killing, burning woman in robbery

Anti-social crime police in Long An Province have arrested 36-year-old Trinh Van Tam for killing a young woman and then setting her body alight in a forest in January 2012.

The victim was a 25-year-old woman, whose charred body was found on January 27 in a forest in Tan Lap Commune, Moc Hoa District, Long An Province, by local residents.

Police were called to the scene and found some of the victim’s personal items.

After investigation, the police identified the dead woman as Bui Thi Hoa, of Thai Binh Province, who had been working at Pou Yuen Company in Binh Tan District and temporarily residing at the district’s Tan Tao Ward.

The police then expanded their investigation and discovered that Hoa had a relationship with Tam, a native of Phu Tho Province who temporarily resided in Binh Duong Province’s Thuan An Town. Tam is married and has a child.

After following Tam’s activities, the police obtained evidence to conclude that he was the murderer and arrested him on April 9 at his home.

Tam later confessed that on January 26 he invited Hoa to go out with him. After taking her on a pleasure trip on his motorbike, he rode her to an ecological tourist center in Moc Hoa.

While they were sitting there, Tam strangled Hoa to death and took 9 gold wrist bracelets from her. He then set fire to the body together with all the personal belongings she took with her in a bag and escaped the scene.

He later sold the gold laces for VND8.6 million (US$413) and returned to Binh Duong.

RoK introduces advanced technologies in health care

A forum to introduce the Republic of Korea (RoK)’s advanced medical technologies and equipment was held in Hanoi on April 12 and broadcast online in Ho Chi Minh City, Danang and Can Tho.

The forum aimed to boost cooperation and technology transfer between the RoK and Vietnam, and help Vietnamese institutes, schools, hospitals, medical centres, businesses and people get access advanced medical equipment and technologies.

It also provided a good chance for domestic scientific and technological organizations, managers, businesses and associations to gain a better understanding of advanced technologies, equipment and solutions in the field of health care, and information about building digital hospitals in the world.

At the forum, Korean experts introduced advanced medical technologies and equipment, especially technologies to analyze individual genes, liver disease and immunity, and those for digital hospitals in Vietnam.

At digital hospitals, all patient records, including diagnosis, care, treatment and management, are installed in and monitored automatically by computers.

The RoK is among the countries early applying biological sensors in health care, especially in managing digital hospitals.

TV shopping firm sells poor-quality goods

Hundreds of customers who have bought products from the Huu Lac Co Ltd through its New Shopping TV shopping program, which is aired on several local channels, flocked to the company’s headquarters on Wednesday to return the goods and ask for refunds.

The customers have frequented the company since earlier this week, but it has repeatedly refused to receive them, said several customers standing in front of the Huu Lac headquarters on Khuong Viet Street, in Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Phu District.

Most of them have bought mobile phones worth around VND2 million each, and tablets (VND3 million), after watching New Shopping’s infomercials on local TV channels such as Binh Duong, Long An, Dong Nai, and cable TV stations HCTV in HCMC and HiTV in Hanoi.

“My phone fails to detect the inserted SIM card, runs out of battery after just two hours, and ended up being out of order,” said Do Du Hoa from Dong Nai, who bought a L137k cell phone, which allegedly features a touch-screen, music player, and Wi-Fi connection.

After ending their resistance to customers, a company representative eventually showed up in the afternoon to refund people who had been waiting since early in the morning.

However, as of 4pm, around 20 people were still waiting to get their money back.

On the same day, the Market Management Team 2A, under the municipal namesake agency, found some of the company’s products as violating regulations on goods labeling, following a raid into their stock.

Most of the electronic products originated in China, Tuoi Tre observed.

Some of the goods were confiscated.

HCM City tourism festival attracts businesses

Seventy-six travel operators, hotels, and transport and tourism businesses are attending a tourism festival which opened at the 23/9 Park on April 12.

The festival, which runs until April 15, is expected to attract more than 300,000 visitors.

This is a good chance for the city’s tourism sector to exchange experiences and coordinate with partners to promote its landscapes, special tourism and cultural products, craft villages and festivities.

HCM City introduced a southern fruit festival, Nghinh Ong festival, HCM City - 100 interesting things and a series of other festivities, such as Oc Om Boc festival of the Khmer ethnic group, Kate festival of the Cham ethnic group, and a festival of the Chau Ro ethnic group.

Businesses also offered promotional tours and new tourism services. For instance, Saigontourist is presenting more than 300 special domestic and foreign tours, including those designed for elderly people.


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