The port city of Brest in the Bretagne Region is willing to share experience and transfer modern technology to improve Vietnam’s management of its coastal areas.
The leaders of Brest city made this commitment during talks with Vietnamese Ambassador to France Nguyen Chi Dung, who recently paid a visit to the city.
Located in the north-western part of France, about 600km from Paris, Brest is a major port city and a leading centre for marine resources research and development. It is home to renowned maritime and telecommunications universities, as well as successful companies.
Since 2007 Brest has developed effective cooperation programmes with Vietnam’s Hai Phong, Nha Trang and Ba Ria-Vung Tau cities, covering a wide range of topics, from climate change, marine resources development and management, and water supplies to seafood hygiene and safety, medical care and education.
The French city has also shared its experience in managing and developing marine resources to help Vietnamese cities develop ‘high-quality’ coastal areas.
“In addition to marine-related issues, both sides have the potential for expanding cooperation in education, tourism and health care”, said Michel Marvon, strategic chief executive of Brest. “Many of our companies have invested and expanded operations in Vietnam’s coastal cities. We hope that we will continue cultivating further success, especially as political relations between France and Vietnam are developing well.”
Cooperation between Brest and the three Vietnamese cities opens up opportunities for replicating this decentralised cooperation model in other coastal areas of Vietnam.
“We highly value Brest’s experience in marine management and security maintenance,” said Ambassador Dung. “We want to bring this decentralised model to the national level to fully utilise our potential.”
During the visit, Mr Dung also worked with leaders of the Bretagne region, Brest Municipality, and Cotes d’Armor and Morbihan provinces.
He explored the operation of the Technopole Brest Iroise Research Centre, and the Centre of Documentation, Research and Experimentation on Accidental Water Pollution (CEDRE).
The Bretagne Region and its Cotes d’Amor and Morbihan provinces have implemented cooperation programmes with Vietnam’s Nghe An, Quang Ngai and Dong Nai provinces, especially in organic farming of dairy cattle and pigs.
Bus crew face suspension for injuring passenger
A bus driver in Hanoi and his assistant are set to be suspended for their carelessness in closing the door when an old woman was getting off, causing her to first to get stuck in the door and then falling off and suffering a serious head injury.
The victim is 70-year-old Le Phuong Thao of Dong Da District, but the bus operator, 10-10 Bus Enterprise, has yet to reveal the names of the two employees.
Ta Van Khoa, the company director, promised to take disciplinary action against the driver and his assistant.
“Drivers and their assistants are responsible for the safety of passengers,” he said.
Last Saturday morning Thao took bus number 18 from Luong Dinh Cua Street to Nguyen Chi Thanh Street. When it stopped near Ngoc Khanh Lake, she tried to get off, but when she had put just one foot on the ground, the door suddenly closed.
Her other leg was trapped, and she fell heavily and hit her head on the ground. Meanwhile, nobody seemed to notice and the bus continued to run until some passers-by shouted to the driver to stop.
Thao was taken to the Viet Xo Friendship Hospital for emergency treatment and doctors said she had a brain injury.
Tran Duc Cuong, her son-in-law, told newswire VnExpress that she was in critical condition.
He had tried to call the bus operator many times in vain, he said.
“I wanted to warn the enterprise about drivers’ carelessness. Recently a girl in my neighborhood suffered the same fate as my mother-in-law -- she fell and broke an arm.
Nguyen Anh Kha, the manager of route 18, told VnExpress: “A driver and assistant will be transferred if they cause two similar incidents within a month. And those committing three offenses in three months are dismissed.”
The driver and his assistant and a representative of 10-10 had visited the victim in the hospital, he said.
Doors in South Korean-manufactured buses automatically reopen when someone is stuck between them, but in locally-built buses like 10-10’s, they do not, he explained.
On March 5 a bus on route 20 operated by the same enterprise had crushed the left foot of a girl on Pham Ngoc Thach Street.
Her right leg was stuck in the door which had been closed carelessly by the driver. She fell off and the vehicle ran over her leg.
Vietnamese pregnant women face nutrient deficiency
In Vietnam, nutrient deficiency in pregnancy women is rising at an alarming rate, said a nutritional expert from Ho Chi Minh City.
Doctor Do Thi Ngoc Diep, Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Nutrition Centre gave out the warning at a seminar on pregnancy nutrition held in Ho Chi Minh City on October 30.
She added that the deficiency of blood, iodine, vitamin A and zinc among pregnancy women in Vietnam, particularly Ho Chi Minh City, is serious.
Blood deficiency is the most serious in the northwestern and southern central regions. A survey of 400 women in the age of childbearing in HCM City showed most of them knew little about nutrition during pregnancy and the importance of nutrient to the development of foetus and infants.
Meanwhile, Dr. Carol L. Cheatham from the nutritional research institute of the University of North California cited a global research paper that 42 percent of pregnant women in the world had blood deficiency due to a lack of iron. Blood deficiency due to lack of iron killed 115,000 pregnant women a year.
Participants stressed the need to improve women’s knowledge of nutrition during pregnancy.
100 people vent ire on Dong Nai polluting company
Some 100 angry protestors gathered outside a company in Dong Nai Province yesterday to complain about its discharge of semi-treated wastewater and exhaust fumes which affected their crops and fishing.
It was their second such protest against yeast producer AB Mauri Vietnam in Dinh Quan District.
Local authorities said the company had broken its promise last year to comply with environmental regulations.
In July 2009 the people had agitated after the company released wastewater into the Tri An reservoir and caused such severe pollution that the provincial authorities closed it down for three months.
The company had then promised to cease operations if it continued to cause pollution.
Locals said it had continued to discharge wastewater without proper treatment into the river, affecting their fishing activities.
It also released fumes, they said.
Water samples taken from many wells in the area had all failed to meet the country’s safety standards, the provincial Preventive Health Center reported.
Two of them even contained arsenic, a carcinogen, it said.
Water from the La Nga River near the company had a much higher content of iron than allowed, it added.
Provincial agencies and the anti-environmental crime police have fined the company hundreds of millions of dongs on four occasions for its violations.
Plastic-free Sundays prove effective
The ‘Hanoi Plastic-free Sundays’ campaign has been in effect for three years with positive results for the environment.
Before the campaign, most Hanoi citizens did not know the detrimental impact plastic bags have on the environment, but now most of them do.
The practice of reducing or not using plastic shopping bags has been implemented in many communes, wards and boroughs of Hanoi. Companies in the city such as Hapro, Canon, Panasonic and Kangaroo Mobile have also called on all their staff and workers to minimize the use of plastic bags.
At the Vincom Trade Centre in downtown Hanoi, nearly 5,000 signatures were collected from a wide range of shoppers to support the removal of plastic bags in daily life.
Nguyen Thi Binh, a resident of Hai Ba Trung district, said she has known about the harmful effects of plastic bags for a long time.
However, she said, there are certain difficulties in reducing the use of plastic bags. For instance, sellers do not offer alternatives to their customers and shoppers do not always go to the market from their homes, so they do not have any other bags available.
On average about 2,500 tonnes of plastic waste are discharged into the environment everyday. Yet, nearly two thirds of them are treated.
Tien Giang doctor under a cloud for corruption
Tien Giang Province Central General Hospital has transferred a doctor following allegations he prescribed expensive and unnecessary medicines to patients to get kickbacks of up to 50 percent from drug companies.
It had transferred Dr Tran Quang Loc from the respiratory department to the internal medicine department and begun an investigation into the charges made by a number of hospital employees, Dr Hoang Tho Man, the hospital director, told Tuoi Tre yesterday.
“He is allowed to treat only inpatients.”
The hospital had also set up a team to review all prescriptions issued by Loc, he said.
The hospital had received complaints that since 2008 Loc had received a commission from CiplaHealol for prescribing its medicines.
Thus, he had prescribed 1,000 bottles of Seroflo, an asthma medicine priced at VND150,000 (US$7.2) per bottle, every month, the complainants said.
Since June 2006 he had also prescribed Furacort, an inhaler, manufactured by the company and costing VND250,000 per bottle, they said.
They also accused him of prescribing tonics, antibiotics, and others provided by many large drugstores near the hospital to get commissions of at least 10 percent.
Loc spoke to Tuoi Tre 10 days ago, rejecting the allegations that he had received commissions and saying he had reported to the hospital about why he prescribed certain drugs.
“They are both effective and cheap,” he said.
Vinpearl Nha Trang chosen as Vietnam’s leading resort
The World Travel Awards organization has chosen Vinpearl Resort Nha Trang as Vietnam’s leading resort in 2011.
This is the fourth time Vinpearl Resort Nha Trang has received awards from this organization.
The World Travel Awards, based on customer satisfaction, aim to improve competitiveness and quality of tourism and hospitality services around the globe.
The selection conducted on the worldtravelawards.com website attracted tourism experts and travel agencies as well as tourists worldwide. Vinpearl Resort Nha Trang received thousands of ‘votes’ from 213,000 customers, tourism companies and travel organizations in more than 160 countries.
Director General of the Vinpearl Company, Dang Thanh Thuy, said his company studied successful resorts around the world and, based on their experiences, selected service products suitable for Vietnam's culture, customs, and climate, with a focus on Vietnamese cuisine and traditions.
Thuy added that Vinpearl is concentrating on quality control and collecting ideas from its customers via email.
The resort is also developing a system of customer profiles to provide more personalized service for return guests.
Strong cold spell hits Lao Cai
A cold spell that has hit the north for the past few days caused temperatures to drop to 15.3 degrees Celsius in Lao Cai province.
Local people in the tourist resort town of Sa Pa even felt bitter chill on October 30 when temperatures fell to 11-12 degrees Celsius.
Temperatures in the mountain areas of Bac Ha and Bat Xat were a bit higher, ranging between 15-17 degrees Celsius.
The cold spell accompanied by heavy rains forced the elderly and children to stay indoors. It also sparked a shopping spree at clothing shops in Sa Pa where young people rushed to buy warm clothes.
However, tours of local sights have been cancelled.
This is the first strong cold spell that has hit Sa Pa this year.
Doctors save man with multi-organ failure
Doctors in the southern province of Tien Giang have saved a young man who was suffering from severe wounds in many organs, including the heart and lung, after he was stabbed with a knife.
22-year-old Bui Thanh Ngoc, of Go Cong Dong District, was taken to Tien Giang General Hospital yesterday with a wound on his left chest, said Dr. Le Van Minh, deputy director of the hospital.
The doctors then found Ngoc was in a clinical death conditions as his heart and his lung had stopped working and his blood pressure was zero, Minh said.
An emergency surgery on Ngoc was carried out immediately by a team including Minh and two other doctors, Nguyen Quoc Viet and Nguyen Van Trang.
They conducted a thoracic surgery first to save Ngoc’s heart which had been pierced. They later found his lung, liver, stomach, spleen, pancreas and diaphragm were all pierced, too, causing a great loss of blood.
Especially, his stomach was pierced from one side to the other.
The doctors stitched the pierced parts, cut off the spleen that was heavily damaged, and transfused 6 units of blood into Ngoc.
The victim survived after 2 hours of surgery, Dr. Minh said.
Street robbers arrested in HCMC
The Ho Chi Minh City police yesterday arrested 6 members of a robbery gang who faked a traffic accident and robbed VND70 million (US$3,350) from a man on a street in Binh Thanh District.
The arrested included 4 men – Nguyen Duc Tien, 26; Mai Duc Toan, 24; Pham Huu Hieu, 31; and Tran Hoang Dung, 21 – and 2 women, Tran Kim Dung, 33; and Nguyen Thi Xuan Dung, 36.
Except for Tran Hoang Dung who is from Binh Phuoc, the others are from HCMC’s District 4 and Tan Binh District.
At 10:30 am on Saturday, as soon as 42-year-old Nguyen Tam, a construction contractor of Binh Tan District, stopped his motorbike at the red light at the crossroads of Bach Dang and Phan Boi Chau street in Ward 14, a group of men and women riding their motorbikes approached him.
2 of them crashed into Tam, causing him to fall down to the ground, and the others searched his body and took away the money from his trouser pockets.
The gang then drove away on Vu Tung Street while Tam chased after them shouting for help.
Some passers-by joined the chase and others called the police. The robbers then turned into an alley and after finding it a cul-de-sac, they got off their bikes and fought with the chasers.
The police surrounded the area and after fighting hand-to-hand with the gangsters they finally arrested 4 of them at 12:30 pm.
The other robbers, including 2 women, jumped into the Nhieu Loc canal, but the women were arrested two hours later by local residents.
The police confiscated 7 motorbikes and a sharp iron bar from the gang and are hunting for the remaining robbers.
Gun and bullets found in car
The Nghe An provincial police found a gun and some bullets in a car parking on the street at 1.40 am last Friday in Vinh city.
At the scene, there were two cars parking in the middle of the street.
One is a Kia Morning car owned by Van Xuan Taxi and driven by 19 year-old Le Kenh Bac and the other is a red Toyota Yaris car driven by 32-year-old Phan Anh Duong.
At the police station, Duong said he was called up to help his friend and the car’s owner, Hoanh Anh Dung, who was driving around that area when his car broke down.
Duong couldn’t start the engine and he had to call a taxi to tow it home.
But the police later found a 1.2 m-long sports gun and a box of 10 bullets in the car.
The police have filed documents, confiscated the gun and bullets and are investigating further.
Schoolgirls suspended for assault
Two girls at a high school in northern Bac Giang Province have been suspended for one week after they beat and humiliated another girl.
Tu Son-Luc Nam High School suspended 11th grader Be Thi Cuc and 12th grader Pham Thi Thao after a clip recording their act was posted on the Internet.
The school’s principal, Nguyen Thi Hang, said the school was waiting for further investigation by the local police.
The incident occurred on October 13 when Cuc and Thao assaulted Vu Thi N, a 10th grader, and the clip was posted online a week later.
The clip showed Cuc slap N many times on the face and Thao kicked N and stripped N off her shirt, despite N’s pleading.
The attack was later ended when a male student intervened.
Another girl, Nguyen Thi Hang, who is Thao’s classmate, shot the 3-minute clip, which was then posted on October 23 by 12th boy Trinh Viet Manh.
In her report submitted to the school, Thao said she assaulted N out of jealousy because N often talked to her boyfriend.
Dao Van Sinh, head of the district Education and Training Department, said the assaulters should be strictly but fairly punished.
Senior Lieutenant Colonel Pham Dinh Do, head of the district police, said because N’s family had yet to filed a claim against the assaulters, the police would consider administrative punishments.
Two taxi drivers found dead on Hai Phong beach
Two dead men were found drifting ashore with injuries sustained probably from hitting rocks in Do Son beach in the northern province of Hai Phong last Friday morning.
They are Nguyen Minh Phuong (31) and Nguyen Van Lieu (49), who are both Mai Linh taxi drivers hailing from Hanoi.
Near the site, police found a black Toyota Innova with doors open and a flat car battery.
According to initial investigation of Do So police, Minh and Lieu drove two officials from Hanoi to Hai Phong last Wednesday and went to the beach when their job finished.
Witnesses said they saw two men parking by the street to go to the toilet at 11pm on Thursday.
Police are waiting for a forensic test to find out the causes of their deaths.
Heavy rain, high tide submerge HCMC streets
Heavy rains combined with high tides measuring 1.53 meters have caused severe flooding in many places in Ho Chi Minh City in the past few days.
Bui Huu Nghia Street in Binh Thanh District, which has been flooded in the last four days, was submerged under 30 cm of water yesterday evening, causing many motorbikes to break down and seriously affecting business activities in the area.
Severe flooding was also seen in the area in front of Ton Duc Thang University on Ngo Tat To Street, also in the district. The traffic was almost blocked by floodwater.
The same situation was recorded on many other streets, inclduing Luong Dinh Cua Street in District 2, Huynh Tan Phat in District 7 and Phu Dinh Quay in District 8.
The tide level on the Saigon River will reach 1.53 m at 7 pm today, October 29, and will gradually recede in the few days to come, the Southern Hydro-meteorology Station forecast.
Diagnosis for woman who aged overnight
Nguyen Thi Phuong, 26, who seemed to physically age overnight, has initially been diagnosed to suffer acquired cutis laxa and mastocytosis, said Prof. Dr. Dang Van Phuoc, deputy director of the HCMC Medicine and Pharmacy University Hospital.
According to some medical websites, acquired cutis laxa is an uncommon connective tissue disorder, in which the skin becomes inelastic and hangs loosely in folds, and mastocytosis is also a rare skin disease, characterized by mast cell proliferation and accumulation, that produces lesions and intense itching.
A panel of doctors in endocrinology, dermatology, cardiology, and anatomy has announced their preliminary diagnosis after carefully looking into the clinical indications, Phuoc, who heads the panel, said.
After three weeks of treatment, Phuong’s skin condition has improved and her face has looked a bit younger, Phuoc said.
The official diagnosis will be made late next week by a larger panel of health experts after the results of her histological and immune tests are available, he said.
Phuong was hospitalized on October 14 and is undergoing treatment.
She told Tuoitrenews that in the beginning red rashes “suddenly” appeared on her face
“for no reason.” The face became itchy and later turned wrinkled.
She also confirmed that seafood or any other kind of food allergy is not the cause of her strange disease.
Except for her aged face and hands, her voice is as sweet as an 18-year-old girl. She eats, drinks and walks like a young woman.
Banned chemical found in grilled rice snack
“Cốm” (grilled rice snack) produced in Hanoi has been found containing malachite green, a chemical banned from use in food production, in quantities that are thousands of times higher than the European limit.
The Hanoi Health Department has found the presence of malachite green, a chemical banned from use in food production, in “cốm” (grilled rice snack) in quantities that are thousands of times higher than the European limit.
After testing two samples of cốm produced by two factories owned by Nguyen Van Luyen and Nguyen Van Sang in Cau Giay District, the National Food Safety and Hygiene Institute yesterday confirmed the products containing malachite green at a content of 5.9 mg and 1.5 mg per kilogram, respectively.
Such levels are far higher than the allowable limit of 2mcg per kilogram in some European countries, the institute said.
People infected with the chemical can suffer metabolism disorders and damage in some organs like liver and kidney, the agency said.
Malachite green is an organic compound used as a dyestuff for materials such as silk, leather, and paper. It has long been banned in many countries including the US and UK.
It is also banned from use in aquaculture in Vietnam since 2005, the agency added.
The Hanoi Heath Department has requested the two factories to stop using malachite green and asked relevant agencies in the capital to inspect all producers of cốm and other products containing additives to trace the banned chemical.
Mastermind behinds attack on whistleblower jailed 5.5 yrs
A mobile court in Di An town in Binh Duong southern province on Friday morning sentenced Vu Duc Tuan or Tuan ‘dog’, who was a mastermind behind a brutal attack on a local whist-blower last June, five years and a half in prison for ‘intentionally causing injury’.
Tuan’s five accomplices including Dinh Cong Thin, 24, Le Van Phong, 31, Nguyen Van Ly, 20, Vo Van Dong, 27, and Pham Van Hoanh, 33 got 2 years and a half to 5 years behind bars for the same charges.
Meanwhile, the bike-stealing gang leader Nguyen Van Nam, who asked Tuan to take revenge on the whist-blower who he claimed tipped off the police about his gang, was sentenced 5 years and a half in prison.
According to the indictment, on June 24 Tien, who often patrols residential areas and helps the police catch thieves, caught Le Thi Lien, 28, a member of the gang led by Nguyen Van Nam, trying to sell a motorbike without papers.
Nguyen Van Nam then asked Tuan to take revenge on Tien for him over a phone call.
Tuan ‘dog’ then turned up to meet Tien and ask him not to blow the whistle on her but he refused.
Tuan planned his revenge and three days later, early on June 27, went with Nam and Hoanh to attack Tien.
They went with swords to a bakery in An Binh Ward, Di An District, where Tien lives.
Upon finding him there, Hoanh slashed him once on the right thigh and several times on both hands. After the attack, Hoanh escaped by jumping on a motorbike driven by Nam who was waiting outside.
Doctors said Tien suffers a 12 percent permanent injury due to the attack.
Hoanh gave the swords back to Tuan and sped away while the latter discarded the weapons in a quiet spot on Kha Van Can street in Thu Duc District.
Three corrupt rangers suspended in Phu Yen
The head of a forestry protection station in Phu Yen Province and his two subordinates have been suspended for forging reports and taking bribes from the timber’s owner and transporter in late July.
The one-month suspension for Tran Ngoc Mien, the head of the Tuy Hoa forest protection station, Vo Van Phuoc, his deputy, and Mai Van Luon, a law officer of the station, was announced yesterday.
Nguyen Van Du, deputy head of the provincial Forestry protection Sub-department, was designated to assume Mien’s post, said the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The suspension would facilitate the investigation into the three men who were found extorting money from the timber’s owner and transporter that did not violate any state regulations on timber trade and transportation, as reported by Tuoi Tre on October 4.
On July 19 Tuoi Tre accompanied a truck carrying over 270 timber logs measuring about 13.6 cubic meters from Dak Nong Province to Hanoi. When the vehicle reached Tay Hoa District, Phu Yen Province, it was flagged down by a patrol team of the district forestry protection station.
When the driver, Tai, presented legal documents related to the timbers to the officials, he was still ordered to take the truck to the rangers’ office for an inspection.
From then until July 27, the truck remained in the custody of the rangers’ office as the wood’s owner and the patrol team could not reach an agreement on how much money the owner, Xuan, had to pay as a bribe to the team and some senior officials of the office.
On July 28, Xuan and Tai came to the office and Phuoc, deputy head of the office, said part of the timber in the truck did not match the documents Tai had submitted, but Xuan insisted that all of the timber he bought was fully documented.
Phuoc then said he would order unloading the entire timber for inspection and threatened that “many other violations would be found.”
Phuoc said he would help Xuan by reporting the volume of illegal wood under 1 cubic meter so that the handling of the case remained in the authority of the office.
Xuan kept silent and Phuoc then ordered Luon to “make an entirely new file, including the declaration of the timber’s owner.”
Luon said Xuan and Tai would be fined VND10 million each for “trading and transporting illegal timber.” He then made a report in which the volume of the seized wood was fixed at 4 logs, equivalent to 0,622 cubic meter.
After “composing” several documents and asking Xuan to sign them, Luon told Xuan that although the confiscated timber was reported to be 4 logs, Xuan had to hand in 19 logs to the office.
Tai and Xuan later had to give VND10 million (US$480) as a ‘tip’ for the entire team and another VND1 million for Phuoc.