SOCIETY IN BRIEF 7/9

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VietnamNet English - 41 month(s) ago 6 readings

SOCIETY IN BRIEF 7/9

Chinese clinics probed over price, quality

A week-long inspection of Chinese clinics in Ha Noi is underway after the Ha Noi Health Department received public complaints over their price and quality. The department's chief inspector Nguyen Viet Cuong said that the inspection would finish tomorrow when more information would be available.

Last week, the department fined a Chinese clinic because its doctor failed to produce a working licence.

Neon sign sets off blaze in Ho Chi Minh City

A big fire broke out Monday evening from a neon sign in a design shop in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 10.

The cause is not known yet but an electrical short circuit is suspected.

The staff of Light & Life shop in Su Van Hanh Street said since the sign was on the fourth floor, no one noticed the fire when it broke out.

Photo: VNN

It quickly spread to the neon sign of a neighboring karaoke parlor, creating a big blaze.

Local residents and guests at the karaoke place ran out on to the street, causing disorder. Power was cut off to the area and many shops had to close. Traffic was interrupted.

Four fire trucks quickly arrived at the spot. No sooner did they put out the fire before it started again on the fourth floor of Light& life, belching smoke.

It was not extinguished until 7.30pm.

Many glass fragments were found on the street in front of the shop. According to the staff, goods were stocked on the fourth floor and could possibly have been burned.

France experts design waterway facelift

The Ministry of Transport's Department of Inland Waterways last week signed a US$10 million joint venture agreement with French Compagnie Nationale De Rhone and Tractebel Engineering for the design and bidding documents for a transport development project in the northern delta region.

The agreement includes technical designs for Ha Noi-Lach Giang waterway corridor No 3, Day-Ninh Co canal, upgrading Viet Tri Port and supervising the project's phases 1 and 2.

The $201.5 million project, comprising $171.5 million from the World Bank and the remainder from the Vietnamese Government, aims to upgrade main waterway corridors and ports in the region.

This will help improve the efficiency of the region's transport infrastructure, thereby reducing transport costs.

The project will upgrade the northern Viet Tri-Quang Ninh waterway through Duong River, the 259km-Ha Noi-East Sea corridor through Lach Giang River - and the building of ports at Viet Tri and Ninh Phuc.

The project which started in 2009 is expected to be completed by 2015.

The system is expected to contribute to the region's socio-economic development, reduce poverty and generally improve people's lives.

Saigon River ferry service to shut down

The Thu Thiem Ferry in Ho Chi Minh City is likely to stop operation by year’s end, 35 years after it began transporting people and vehicles between Districts 1 and 2.

Nguyen Duc Chinh, director of the city Ferry and Bridge Management One-Member Co Ltd, told Tuoi Tre that the service would cease to make way for the Thu Thiem New Urban Area Project in District 2.

The Thu Thiem tunnel under the Saigon River will open by year-end very near the ferry spot.

The 1.5-kilometer tunnel is 33.3 meters wide and will have six lanes.

A plan for terminating the ferry service had been submitted to the city people’s committee for approval, Chinh said.

It offered two alternative solutions for re-employing the 44 ferry crew members.

The first was to open an internal waterway quay to serve cargo and passenger transport on the river which would employ 30 of them. The remaining 14 would be given other jobs.

The second was to transfer 17 employees to the Cat Lai ferry and employ the rest as toll collectors at places like the Thu Thiem tunnel.

Transforming the Thu Thiem Ferry into a tourism service was a good idea and the company had asked the people’s committee for permission to set up such a service, Chinh said.

The committee had ordered the Department of Transport to consider the proposal, he added.

Tran The Ky, deputy director of the department, told Tuoi Tre that the plan would be recommended to the city authorities if the company could guarantee safety and aesthetic standards.

Nutrition strategy needs more agency co-operation

Representatives of the HCM City Nutrition Centre and other agencies plan to work more closely to attain the goals of the national nutrition strategy over the next 10 years.

Dr Le Bach Mai, deputy head of the National Institute of Nutrition, said the strategy called for better nutrition for mothers and children, including reducing the rate of children under 5 years old and mothers who have insufficient vitamin B and iron or suffer from anemia.

The plan also calls for improvement of the quality of meals, food safety and hygiene.

The strategy sets goals to reduce the rates of obesity, low weight and stunted growth among children under 5 years old by 2020.

The aim is to cut the number of underweight children to 14 per cent by 2015 and to under 10 per cent by 2020. The obesity rate would drop under 5 per cent by 2020 and the number of children with stunted growth under 25 per cent by 2015 and 20 per cent by 2020.

"Co-operation between nutrition centres and agencies is very important," Mai said.

To Thi Kim Hoa, deputy head of the city's Department of Health, said the department and its awareness centre would be ready to continue to co-operate with the City's Nutrition Centre to develop specific activities to improve nutrition, especially for children, the elderly and workers.

Huynh Ngo Tinh, head of the Youth Worker Support Centre under the City Communist Youth Union, said the centre and the nutrition centre would continue to offer counselling to residents about the kind of food to buy and meals to make relative to their salaries.

The Youth Union will also encourage owners of companies to offer better meals for their workers. This will contribute to better productivity and improve retention of workers.

Nguyen Tai Dung, deputy head of the Division of Student Affairs under the Department of Education and Training, said the department had been working with nutrition centres and schools, and opening training courses for teachers and school managers.

The programmes have helped the city cut the rate of underweight children, but the obesity rate among children is still high, nearly 20 per cent.

Citing the rising obesity rates, Bui Thi Bang Tuyet, a specialist at the department's Kindergarten Education Office, asked the centre to help schools raise awareness of parents on the importance of good nutrition for their children.

Vietnam attends forestry meeting in China

A delegation from the Vietnamese Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development led by Minister Cao Duc Phat on September 6 attended the 1st Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum’s Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Forestry, in Beijing, China.

The meeting, themed “Enhanced regional cooperation for green growth and sustainable forestry development”, was initiated at the 18 th APEC High Level Meeting in Japan last year.

Speaking at the meeting, Chinese President Hu Jintao said the event opened a new channel for strengthening cooperation between economies in the region, fostering exchange of economic development methods, dealing with climate change, promoting green growth and stepping up the pace of development in each country’s forestry sector.

He suggested that the regional economies should focus on the three major areas of enhancing forestry development, promoting the functions and effects of forests and strengthening cooperation in the region in the future.

The same day, Minister Phat and the delegation hosted a bilateral meeting with Director of State Forestry Administration of China Jia Zhibang on cooperation between China and Vietnam in forestry development.

Overhead road to clear Binh Duong Avenue

A US$800 million project is underway to build an overhead road over Binh Duong Avenue in southern Binh Duong Province near National Highway 13.

The provincial People's Committee has assigned Investment and Industrial Development Corporation (Becamex IDC) as the project investor.

The two phase project is scheduled to start in 2012 and end in 2014.

This would be the first time an overhead road has been built in Viet Nam, according to the committee.

The road will be 31 kilometres in length and 18 metres in width, with four lanes connecting Thuan An Township and Ben Cat District.

According to experts, it would have a capacity of at least 50,000 vehicles per day, eight times higher than at present.

Chairman of the provincial committee Le Thanh Cung said the completion of the overhead road was expected to reduce the load and traffic jams on National Highway 13 as well as boost socio-economic development.

Binh Duong Avenue currently suffers from heavy traffic congestion.

Tourists panic as driver falls into sea

The driver of a tourist boat in Hoi An Town fell into the sea last Monday, sending the 9 tourists onboard into a panic.

According to the management board of Cham islands, this group of tourists rented the boat to go fishing and sight-seeing around Cu Lao Cham Island.

In the fishing area, the driver accidentally fell off the boat when he was bending over to pick up a life jacket for a tourist.

The passengers onboard later managed to send an emergency message to the Cham islands’ patrol.

The difficult road to school

Using rudimentary boats to get to school, many students in Vietnam who live by rivers and canals face a great risk of drowning everyday.

Vo Thi Muoi, a 6th grader at Khanh An Junior High school in An Phu Ward in the southern province of An Giang, and her sister, who is currently studying at Quoc Thai High school also in An Phu Ward, have to wake up at 4:30am everyday to row to school through flooded paddy fields and dangerous river bends.

Recently, during such a trip, they were swept away when their small boat was capsized by strong winds and heavy rains. However they were luckily rescued.

Mui said her old small boat cost a mere VND100,000 (US$5). “I’m always afraid it’ll capsize,” she said.

Meanwhile, Nguyen Van Giang, Mui’s schoolmate, said since August 15 when their new school year began, she and her friends were twice thrown into water as their boats were overturned.

It takes over one hour for most students in the province to cross the Hau river by ferry boat, and most don’t have life-jackets or self-rescue equipment.

La Van Be, Principal of Khanh An Junior High-school, said around 124 overseas Vietnamese in Cambodia are studying at the school and everyday they use small boats to cross severely flooded rice fields to get to school.

Be said this is every dangerous.

A representative of the department of Education and Training in the central province of Quang Nam told Tuoi Tre on Monday that around 1,000 students in the province have to go to schools by ferry boat.

These include 200 students in Dai Binh Hamlet in Nong Son District where 18 students were drowned in 2003.

In the southernmost province of Ca Mau, around 36,000 students in Ngoc Hien, Dam Doi, Nam Can, and Phu Tan districts use unsafe ferry boats to get to school.

And in Ho Chi Minh City, students in hamlets No. 3 and No. 4 in Hiep Phuoc Commune in Nha Be District, are willing to risk their lives and use the downgraded Rach Giong ferry boat which doesn’t offer enough life-jackets for passengers.

Hoang Dung, a 10th grader at Long Thoi High school in Nha Be District, said for the last ten years, this ferry’s owner had only offered life-jackets to passengers when local authorities examine the boat.

Le Van Ngo, Director of Department of Education and Training in the central province of Nghe An, said 2,000 students in the province use ferry boats to get to school.

In the central province of Ha Tinh, thousands of students also take ferry boats to school everyday, risking their lives because they don’t have any life-jacket.

Police find Luyen’s blood sample at murder scene

Forensic experts have found blood samples of the alleged murderer Le Van Luyen at the horrific gold shop murder scene in Bac Giang, the police said.

DNA testing confirmed there was only one other blood sample apart those of the four victims, and it belonged to Luyen, Senior Lieutenant Colonel Le Van Dung, deputy head of the Bac Giang police’s political department, said.

The 18-year-old, in his confession to the police, claimed to have acted alone though the injured daughter of the victims had initially said there were two men with dyed hair. Later she said she could have been mistaken in the dark.

Luyen admitted to killing Trinh Van Ngoc, 37, and his wife Dinh Thi Chin, 35, and chopping off the right arm of nine-year-old Trinh Ngoc Bich.

Investigators had initially suspected the involvement of more than one person after finding two different footprints at the scene, Dung said.

But Luyen clarified that after breaking into the shop he had left his slippers on the third floor and went around barefoot, he said.

“Luyen’s testimony matches the report and evidence from the crime scene.”

The police were yet to find any clues showing another person had been involved in the crimes, he said.

Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien yesterday visited Bich, the only survivor in her family, at the Viet-Duc Friendship Hospital in Hanoi.

Bich’s severed right arm has been reconnected by doctors.

Traffic officers suspended for extortion

Thanh Hoa Province’s Police Department has suspended some traffic police officers who were reported by Tuoi Tre to have extorted fees from truck drivers who violated traffic rules.

In a letter sent to the newspaper this morning, Colonel Khuong Duy Oanh, deputy director of the department, confirmed that those who might have been involved in the extortion cases reported by Tuoi Tre have been suspended for investigation.

According to Oanh, Colonel Trinh Xuyen, director of the provincial Police Department, held an urgent meeting with all relevant police units Monday to take action against the reported acts.

The department has also set up a task force to investigate those cases and make a detail report about the wrongdoings of each traffic police officer involved. Based on the report, the department will strictly discipline those who are found guilty.

Xuyen has also reminded his subordinates to adopt proper attitude when they deal with traffic violators.

This morning, the Ministry of Public Security ordered the police departments of Thanh Hoa, Ha Nam, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Hanoi, Thua Thien-Hue and Da Nang to investigate the extortion cases reported by Tuoi Tre and report to the ministry before September 12.

3.3 Richter quake hits Quang Ninh

A 3.3 Richter earthquake was recorded at 3.18pm yesterday, Sep 6, in the East Sea, 90 kilometers away from Ha Long City in the northern province of Quang Ninh.

The quake broke out in the Nghi Son- Cam Pha zone of faults, from Vietnam’s Cam Pha beach until China.

Nguyen Thanh Hai at the National Hydro-meteorological Forecast Center said the earthquake causes no harm to human and buildings, according to newswire Vietnamplus.

Earthquakes tend to break out in the northern Vietnam, especially in areas like Red River, Chay River and zone of faults like Lai Chau- Dien Bien, Ma River, Muong La and Nghi Son- Cam Pha.

The center is currently observing this earthquake.

Ministry to investigate corrupted traffic police

Following a Tuoi Tre’s article about corrupted acts of traffic police officers in central provinces, the Ministry of Public Security said it would launch an investigation.

Lieutenant General Pham Quy Ngo, Deputy Minister of Public Security, Monday contacted Tuoi Tre after the newspaper published an article titled “F..k you, pay the road bribes” reporting that some traffic policemen in Thanh Hoa Province blatantly demanded bribes from truck drivers.

These officers collected the “fees” from truck drivers who committed traffic violations such as overloading, speeding, and driving on the wrong lanes.

Ngo said he had ordered the southern office of the General Crime Fighting Department to collect further information and evidence from Tuoi Tre about such corrupted acts.

He said based on the initial information and evidence, the agency would conduct an investigation.

Thanh Hoa Province’s Police Department also asked Tuoi Tre to provide them with relevant information to identify and punish the officers.

One act reported by Tuoi Tre was when officer Nguyen Van Doi asked a truck driver named Tinh to write an “I owe you” note after the driver said he couldn’t afford to pay VND5 million (US$240) for carrying an excessive amount of timber right away on July 31.

Doi also asked Tinh to pay an additional VND500,000 as interest.

A day later, Tinh paid Doi VND5,500,000 and asked the officer to return him the promissory note but Doi refused.

Provoked, Tinh shouted at Doi, who then swore “F..k you! I’ll smash up your face. What a dog!” and beat Tinh on the head and back.

A group of traffic policemen who were standing nearby didn’t intervene and Tinh eventually managed to escape.

VNN/VOV/VNS/Tuoi Tre

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