The Ministry of Industry and Trade on March 14 held a conference in Ho Chi Minh City to discuss measures to prevent the smuggling of gasoline.
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, Vu Huy Hoang chaired the conference with participating representatives from cities, provinces and gasoline traders.
According to a report from relevant departments, gasoline and oil from south-western provinces like An Giang, Dong Thap, Kien Giang and Long An in the Mekong Delta region are now being smuggled across the border to neighbouring Cambodia. Smugglers are earning about VND2, 000 (US$0.10) - VND6, 000.
Since early 2011, the smuggling of gasoline has been very complex in some border provinces such as Kien Giang, An Giang, Long An, Tay Ninh and Dong Thap. Boats after boats, loaded with gasoline and oil tanks race through waterways in An Phu District in An Giang Province, making their way to Cambodia to make a fast buck from the higher price available there.
To deal with this situation, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Central Steering Committee 127 and the Management Board put many measures in place to prevent gasoline smuggling across borders, such as establishing a special unit to prevent petrol smuggling and monitor other violations carried out in the petrol trade.
Some participants at the conference said that gasoline traders should not be allowed to sell fuel to customers in plastic bags and cans to prevent cross-border smuggling. While some participants thought that many of the suggested measures were not practical and therefore not easy to implement.
Major General Canh Hien from Border Guard High Command said that the gasoline station system in border areas was not suitable and a hindrance to the management.
During March 2011, the border police seized 573,000 tons of gasoline which was being illegally transported across borders.
Speaking at the conference, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade expressed that the main target of the gasoline trade was to supply production to meet the peoples demand.
Mr. Hoang said that this month he would create and issue gasoline trade and management regulations based on suggestions made by participants at the conference.
Deer dying in Nghe An Province
Thousands of farmers in Quynh Luu District of Nghe An Province have chosen deer farming as a means to escape poverty and improve their lives. However, hundreds of deer in the area were found dead without any specific reason, causing a huge loss to the farmers.
According to the Quynh Luu District Veterinary Department, since December 2010 to March 2011, about 487 deer died in 13 of the communes.
204 deer died in Quynh Yen commune, 157 in Quynh Xuan, 30 in Quynh Luong and 25 in Quynh Minh.
Autopsy results showed they had died due to swollen lung and liver. Tran Minh Hanh, director of the provincial Veterinary Department said that samples of flesh and some organs had been sent for further diagnosis.
In Quynh Yen commune, people started breeding deer way back in 1988. There are now 900 households breeding a total of 1,853 deer.
A farmer in the commune said that he had lost more than VND100 million (US$5,000) due to deer deaths recently and his family was facing hardship as a result. He hoped that local authorities would support his family with a loan to help him continue deer breeding.
He said that currently the price of stag is VND24 million ($1,200) and hind is VND15 million ($750).
Vu Ngoc Quy from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Quynh Luu District said that the district had around 16,000 deer. In 2010, with the selling price of VND6 million ($300) per kilogram, farmers made a profit of VND30 billion ($1.5 million).
The provincial People’s Committee has asked local agencies to disinfect areas and maintain a check of all deer killed, so as to keep a close watch on the situation. Until now, the local authorities have not formed any policy to support farmers as they have no budget to do so.
The provincial Veterinary Department has collected deer samples to find out the reason of the killer disease.
PM calls for missionary zeal to control cattle, poultry disease
In an urgent dispatch on Monday, Prime Minister Dung of Vietnam asked provincial authorities and relevant agencies to arrest the spread of the bird flu epidemic, foot-and-mouth disease and blue-ear in cattle.
The dispatch clearly states that control measures must be considered important in the affected districts while in the not affected areas strict preventative measures must be adopted.
The dispatch decrees that when the government publicly announces its discovery of an outbreak, it should also keep a close watch on transportation and sale of water-fowls from the affected regions.
The dispatch also elaborates that the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) must set up inspection teams to conduct prevention missions and give a timely report to the PM.
Relevant agencies have also been ordered to provide vaccine and disinfectants to provinces and stockpile enough drugs for future use. The Ministry of Finance and MARD will also consider expenditure for preventive forces.
Since the number of people reported positive for the avian flu and swine flu has soared recently, the PM ordered MARD to coordinate with the Ministry of Health to control the disease.
In the central province of Quang Nam, hundreds of cattle and thousands of poultry died suddenly. Nguyen Thanh Quang, director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in the Province said that between January 1 to March 14, 13 districts have reported more than 1,400 cattle suffering from foot-and-mouth disease of which around 943 cattle have already died. Consequently the province publicly announced an epidemic of the disease on March 9.
According to Quang, the lackadaisical behavior of vets is the culprit behind the spread of the disease.
Inspection conducted of tourist boats in Ha Long Bay
Northern Quang Ninh Province authorities have inspected 135 of the 151 tourist ships for overnight stays on Ha Long Bay.
The remaining 16 ships will be inspected at a later date as they have been under periodic technical check-ups.
The inspectors found all the ships met the required regulations of staff and sailors’ qualifications and the necessary permits for over-night stay.
However, 37 ships were found with unsafe water partitions and 41 ships were found with inadequate fire fighting and pumping equipment.
The inspectors have asked the ships’ owners to fix all technical faults before they return for another re-inspection.
Meanwhile, the People’s Committee of Quang Ninh Province has approved a project to upgrade four anchorages for ships to stay overnight, at a cost of VND9 billion (US$450,000).
At present, about 475 standard tourist boats with 18,600 seats operate within the bay, of which 151 are overnight-sleeper ships with a total of 1,200 rooms.
In 2010, the province received 5.4 million tourists of which 2.7 million visited Ha Long Bay. The year also saw 140,000 boat trips with 300,000 tourists staying overnight in the bay.
Vietnam Red Cross raises money for Japan victims
It has already provided US$50,000 and hopes to raise more donations for the earthquake and tsunami victims.
Some reports cite a likelihood of 10,000 or more lives lost as police and rescuers continue to recover bodies, mainly in the coastal areas, the report said.
Reuters reports that injured survivors, children, and elderly crammed into makeshift shelters, often without medicine. By Monday 550,000 people had been evacuated after the earthquake and tsunami that killed at least 10,000.
Patrick Fuller of the International Federation of Red Cross, in a memo written from Ishinomaki, one of several coastal cities brutalized by the swirling wall of waves, said: "The tsunami engulfed half the town and many lie shivering uncontrollably under blankets.
“They are suffering from hypothermia having been stranded in their homes without water or electricity."
On Monday, the Red Cross offered US$50,000 in initial aid through the Japanese Red Cross.
The Vietnam unit is coordinating with the JRC and the International Federation of the Red Cross to provide Vietnamese information about their relatives living in Japan and help Vietnamese living in Japan contact their families in Vietnam.
School to provide free overseas study consulting
The International School of Business (ISB) under the Ho Chi Minh City University of Economics (UEH) in partnership with Studylink International will provide free consulting services for students who want to study abroad.
The two will supply necessary information regarding overseas study, such as the appropriate schools and majors, destination country, application for scholarships, and English study programs.
The University will also negotiate with its international partners to secure the best study programs, most favorable scholarship criteria and tuition fees for Vietnamese students.
ISB, established in January, is tasked with managing and coordinating UEH’s international cooperation programs.
It enrolls students for bachelor, master and doctor courses taught in English to meet the demand of local students who want to study abroad and foreign learners who choose to study in Vietnam.
StudyLink International provides free consulting services for Vietnamese students seeking assistance in overseas study. It represents more than 1,000 international education institutions in English speaking countries.
It is now officially recognized by the US Commercial Services (US), British Council (United Kingdom), Australian Trade Commission (Australia), and other international organizations.
City bans unqualified teachers from nurseries
Ho Chi Minh City’s Department of Education and Training has directed kindergartens across the city not to allow preschool teachers who do not meet standardized requirements to teach five year old students in their schools.
Citing a newly adopted curriculum as the reason, it says those teachers will not be able to provide quality classroom instructions that require creating their own lessons tailored to students’ age, psychology, family conditions, and others.
The decision was made following the Department’s evaluation of the teaching performance of many nursery schools when implementing the new curriculum. Group study skills, teachers’ organizational skills, physical exercise and language sessions were found to be poor and inadequate.
Recently Ho Chi Minh City in its effort to provide universal pre-school education has proposed introducing high-tech equipment, such as digital toys, video games and computers, in classes.
Children will also be taught to recognize words and numbers.
The City has said it will provide enough teachers for pre-schools and offer them competitive salaries.
Hanoi police seize acid attacker
Hanoi’s Dong Da District police yesterday seized a company director who used acid to attack the son of his partner with whom he had a business conflict.
At 22:15 p.m. last Saturday, soon after stepping out of the house at 7 Lane 43, Chua Boc Street, Dong Da District, Nguyen Tien Thuan, 29, was slapped with cup of acid by Bui Duy Minh, 52, according to case file.
Thuan held Minh tightly and some local residents helped him subdue the culprit and reported the case to police.
Thuan was seriously injured at his face and was taken to Hanoi’s 103 Hospital for emergency aid.
Both the victim and the culprit are residents of Hanoi.
Minh, the director of Ha Thai Construction Company, has had a previous offence as an illegal appropriator of assets, the police said.
In 1996, Minh has a business relation with Thuan’s mother, Tran Thi Truc, 51, who later borrowed Minh VND205 million (now US$9,830) and $9,000 and has yet to pay back her debts to Minh after she and Minh failed in a project to build a market in northern Thai Nguyen Province.
The two sides since then had a conflict and Minh has followed up Thuan’s daily activities before attacking him with acid as revenge.
The police are further investigating the case.
Newborn baby found dead in garbage dump
At 9 a.m. this morning, a woman found a dead female newborn baby in a bag at a garbage dump in Hiep Binh Chanh Ward, Thu Duc District, Ho Chi Minh City.
She found the baby while she was looking in the rubbish heap for something salable.
It was immediately reported to local police.
Hundreds of locals flocked to the dump to look at the dead baby.
Local police are investigating the case.
Just several days ago, another dead body of a newborn baby was found dead, wrapped in a bag that was left in front of a house in the northern province of Yen Bai.
The local government and some local residents buried the ill-fated baby at the Da Bia cemetery in the province.
Trees uprooted as torrential rain hits Hanoi
Trees were uprooted, posters fell down, and traffic jams occurred on some streets in Hanoi after a heavy rain and strong wind suddenly swept through the capital this afternoon (1:30 pm local time Tuesday).
At Bo Song Street in Cau Giay District, many grown up trees were uprooted by the wind while other streets like Thai Ha, Chua Boc suffered from traffic gridlock resulted from waterlogged roads. Many posters were torn away.
Man holds woman hostage, claims life threatened
At 12:15 p.m today, a young man ran into Phuong Nam Bookstore located inside the MaxiMark supermarket in Tan Binh District in Ho Chi Minh City, where he used a scissor and kept hostage a female employee at the bookstore.
All customers and employees at the bookstore ran away in panic.
Upon being informed by the bookstore’s security, local police and emergency police 113 rushed to the scene and persuaded the young man to surrender and release his hostage Ngau Ngoc Lan.
He turned down the police’s order and told them to provide him a taxi so that he and his hostage could leave the bookstore otherwise he would kill her.
The girl at times fainted.
Dressed in a taxi driver uniform, an undercover policeman drove a Vinasun taxi to the scene.
When the man and his hostage got in the car, the 'driver' used an electrical baton to strike him and subdued him at once.
The man was later taken to the Tan Binh District Police office, where he declared he is Voong Hoang Minh, 27, from southern Dong Nai Province.
He told police he used drugs and had a delusion that an underground gang was chasing and trying to kill him.
Therefore, he intentionally caused such a disturbance so that the police could be called to the scene and thereby protected him from the gang.
The rescued woman, 29, said after Minh threatened her with the scissor, he said, “Keep calm! I keep you as a hostage only because I want to return to Dong Nai in safety.”
Girl body found rotting, US teacher suspected
According to Nguoi Lao Dong, on March 13 night, police found a dead female body with a sticker tape covering her mouth and her body wrapped inside a bed cover stuck inside a wooden closet in the central Khanh Hoa province.
Sticker tape was found covering her mouth, nose and neck.
According to An Ninh Thu Do, the cause of death is strangulation at the neck.
The body found at the house (address: 9/1D1 Nguyen Thien Thuat Street, Nha Trang City), is decomposing.
The house was rented to an American citizen named Tim, around 45 years old who was teaching English at a nearby center, according to Nguoi Lao Dong.
According to An Ninh Thu Do, his full name is Doran Tymothy George (born in 1965), of American nationality.
Tim is said to have intimate relationship with the victim whose name is identified as Nguyen Thi Bich Ngoc, 24, a barber hailing from Ninh Thuan province.
Neighbors said Ngoc was attending English classes at an English center located at No 26 Nguyen Thien Thuat Street and was very intimate with Tim.
Tim is said to have two sons around 3 or 4 years old living with him at the said rented house.
Ngoc’s relatives said that before she died, Ngoc called them to seek help, saying Tim was very jealous and threatened to kill her if she loved another man.
But when they came, Ngoc said that there was no problem and told them to go.
Earlier, neighbors heard some argument inside the house.
Suspecting something amiss, they called the house owner who came and discovered the body.
Tim started to hire that house around a month ago but on March 6th, Tim and his children left on a taxi.
Since March 8, Ngoc’s cell phone has been non-contactable.
The house owner Ton Nu Thi Hong in mid-January this year rented the house to Nguyen Thi My Le, born in 1985, according to An Ninh Thu Do.
An Ninh Thu Do reported that Le was living together with Doran Tymothy George.
Police are investigating.
Communist Union to supply cheap goods to workers
The Ho Chi Minh City Communist Union plans to provide industrial workers goods at subsidized prices and free legal and health consultancy under a program to be held at the Tan Tao Industrial Park from March 23 to 27.
The program, to be held in connection with the "Year of Youth 2011" and the “City Young People Buy Vietnamese Goods” campaigns, will also feature art and music shows and folk games.
It hopes to attract around 50,000 workers, the Union said.
Businesses willing to offer goods at cheap rates and gifts to workers can register with the Union at 1 Pham Ngoc Thach Street, District 1.
3,200 ducks culled following disease scare
More than 3,200 ducks in four flocks were culled in the southern Tien Giang Province Sunday after hundreds of them died of unknown causes, the local Veterinary Department said.
Le Minh Khanh, its head, said the flocks were in My Phuoc Tay and Nhi My Hamlets in Cai Lay District.
All other poultry in the province have been vaccinated against bird flu, he said.
Meanwhile, the province has contained the foot and mouth disease, he added, with the number of heads of cattle infected reduced by half since last week.
More than 9,000 pigs and 77 cows have contracted the disease, with 6,500 of them being culled, according to the Department.
Official, execs face charges over forest scam
Prosecuting authorities are seeking indictment against Vu Thi Le Quynh, former deputy head of the Provincial Party Committee Office's Administration Division in Dak Lak province in the Central Highlands and some others in a forest scam.
Last year, Quynh was detained along with Pham Trong Thi, deputy director of the Tay Nguyen Forest Industry Joint Stock Co.
They are accused of selling the right to buy subsidized timber to private traders in the last 10 years.
Three others were charged with the same offence but let out on bail. They are Vo Hong Huynh, board member of the Viet Nam Forestry Corp. and former director of the Tay Nguyen Forest Industry Joint Stock Co., Dao Thi Mai, deputy head of the company's Planning Division, and Tran Thi Ha, cashier.
Investigators said Huynh, when he was still director of the corporation, sought Government permission to buy timber to build fishing vessels and combat natural disasters.
The corporation received permission to exploit, buy, and transport more man 200,000 cu.m of logs at a fixed price from forests in Dac Lac, Dac Nong, Gia Lai and Kon Tum provinces.
But it transferred to some private traders the right to buy nearly 155,000 cu.m, with the five accused allegedly pocketing over VND16.4 billion.
Hanoi police seize 2 for torturing debtor
Hanoi police yesterday arrested a man and a woman for allegedly capturing and torturing a woman for failing to repay a loan, recovering a gun and five bullets from them.
They have taken in Trieu Thi Nguyet, 39, and her associate Nguyen Sy Dat, 29, and are hunting for Nguyen Quoc Son, 38, who they suspect was in with them.
On March 10 Nguyet, Dat, and some others went to the house of Bui Thi Oanh, 38, to demand repayment of VND150 million (US$7,200).
But since she did not pay them, they took away her four-year-old daughter, Do Phuong Ngoc Nhi.
But they later released the girl after Oanh’s husband pleaded with them.
The next day the group returned and this time forced Oanh into a taxi and took her to a house in Dong Da District, where they assaulted her, breaking two ribs.
Upon being informed by local residents, the police rushed to the house and arrested Nguyen and Dat, seizing a CKC gun and the bullets, two pliers, a knife, and a hammer from the scene.