Road bans aimed at capital's taxis, trucks
The Ha Noi Transport Department has issued a new decree banning taxis and trucks from more Ha Noi streets, including Pham Ngoc Thach, Le Duan, La Thanh and Le Van Luong from 6am-9am and 4.30pm-7.30pm between April 5 and May 31.
In addition, lorries weighing over 1.25 tonnes are to be barred from Minh Khai, Dai La, Truong Chinh, Lang, Buoi, Lac Long Quan streets between 6am and 9pm to ease congestion. Ambulances and cars carrying the elderly or the disabled are excluded from the ban.
Earlier, taxis and trucks were barred from using 17 other routes during peak hours to ease traffic congestion at major intersections.
UN calls for action on gender equality
The United Nations has urged Viet Nam to equate the retirement age for men and women and to elevate women to decision-making positions, since this October the country must submit a report on the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).
Speaking at the consultation forum held this past Friday, Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Pham Minh Huan said that Viet Nam had made great progress in promoting gender equality and women's rights, as well as in correcting discriminatory practices in education and employment.
However, challenges remain due to gender inequality, the low status of women in society and violence within the family.
In addition, the early retirement age for women (55 compared with 60 for men) leads to an income gap between women and men, making it difficult for women to obtain further training and to achieve decision-making positions in Government, public institutions and the private sector, according to the UN.
Viet Nam signed CEDAW, a universal international human rights treaty, in 1980 and endorsed it in 1982. Since then, the country has reported to the CEDAW committee several times, most recently in 2005.
"Although considerable progress has been made toward implementing CEDAW, significant challenges remain," said UN Resident Co-ordinator Pratibha Mehta.
"Viet Nam has a high and rising sex ratio at birth, women continue to be paid
less than men and are concentrated in the informal economy, largely as unpaid family labourers."
Pramila Patten, a UN CEDAW Committee member, said countries must ensure that there was no direct or indirect discrimination against women in their laws and that women were protected against discrimination – committed by public authorities, the judiciary, organisations, enterprises or private individuals.
"Above all implementation requires strong political will from governments and an empowered civil society," she said. "Whilst it may be too much to expect that many female victims will come to know of CEDAW, it's not too much to hope that committed individuals will find the convention a valuable tool."
Korean men drown while bathing in Vung Tau
Two South Korean men drowned while they were bathing in the sea at Nghinh Phong beach, Vung Tau city Thursday. One of the two bodies remains unfound, authorities reported.
The victims are 34-year-old Son Yongin and 52-year-old Jung Sung Kyoon, who were among a group of about 10 South Korean tourists who came to the beach for sea-bathing at 8 pm March 29.
After swimming in the sea, the group returned to their hotel and at 10 pm they found Son and Jung missing.
They then returned to the beach to look for them and reported the incident to rescuers at the beach.
After a couple of hours of search, rescuers found Jung’s body floating on the sea near the shore.
The body has been taken to the France-Vietnam Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City.
Rescuers are continuing their search for the other victim.
VN's monthly internet subscribers decreases
The General Statistics Office (GSO) estimated that the number of internet users in Viet Nam declined by 500,000 this month to stand at 32.1 million.
March is the second consecutive month the number of internet users has decreased.
In February, the number was 32.6 million, down 800,000 from January.
The GSO estimated the number of new telephone subscribers in the first quarter of this year at 2.6 million, up 35.3 per cent over the same period last year, comprising 7.6 million fixed telephone subscribers and 2.5 million mobile phone subscribers.
The office expects the telephone subcribers to total 134 million by the end of March, a rise of 3 percent over the same period last year.
The figure included 15.3 million fixed telephone subscribers, falling 1.6 percent year on year, and 118.7 million mobile phone subscribers, climbing 3.6 percent year-on-year.
Japan supports coastal localities’ development
The Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will provide medial equipments for a hospital in the central Ninh Thuan Province, related memoranda of understanding were signed in Ninh Thuan on April 1.
It will also help Ninh Thuan and its neighboring provinces of Binh Thuan and Khanh Hoa to build socio-economic development strategy for the southern area of the central region.
JICA will provides the Ninh Thuan General Hospital with medial equipments worth 670 million JPY (US$8.1 million) in addition to helping the hospital improve quality of human resources through training programs to better its services.
It will work with the mentioned provinces to build regional socio-economic development strategies and propose necessary measures to implement them.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc affirmed that the cooperation contributes to promoting strategic cooperation between Vietnam and Japan.
It represents the Japanese government’s support for the development of Ninh Thuan province and the southern region of the central coast region in general, he said.
Market fire destroys stalls in Quang Binh
A blaze destroyed 10 fruit and flower stalls and two motorbikes at Dong Hoi Market in central Quang Binh City early yesterday morning.
The blaze quickly spread because straw was used to protect the fruit, which was stored in polystyrene boxes.
Nobody was harmed in the blaze, which is estimated to have caused billions of dong worth of damage. The cause of the fire is being investigated.
Landslide cleared in Khanh Vinh Pass
A landslide that blocked a 10km stretch of road through Khanh Vinh Pass in the central province of Khanh Hoa has been cleared, allowing one lane access for vehicles, according to the Vietnam News Agency.
The landslide occurred yesterday while buses carrying more than 200 foreign and domestic passengers were travelling from Da Lat in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong to Nha Trang in Khanh Hoa Province.
It is estimated that about 1,000cu.m of rock and soil fell from a nearby mountain onto the two-lane road due to heavy rain in the aftermath of a tropical storm.
No deaths or injuries were reported, but passengers were stuck for six hours. One lane is remained blocked by rocks and soil while trucks and buses were sharing the other.
State-of-the-art hospital inaugurated in HCM City
Hoan My Sai Gon Premier general hospital, a State-of-the-art one, was inaugurated in Ho Chi Minh City in the last day of March.
The private hospital, covering an area of 2,168 sq.m, was built at a cost of nearly 700 billion VND (33.3 million USD).
According to Nguyen Huu Tung, CEO of the Hoan My Medical Group, said that the 200-bed hospital has 42 consulting-rooms and 8 surgery rooms, and is capable to serve 2,000 patients a day.
The hospital has 544 staff, including 124 doctors.
Vishal Bali, General Director of Fortis group, a partner with Hoan My in building the hospital, said that Fortis will continue invest in technologies in Hoan My to ensure high-quality services for patients.
At present, Ho Chi Minh City has 101 hospitals, including 34 private ones.