Gang busted for making pen guns
Police from northern Hai Phong City busted a ring involved in producing and trading fire-arms yesterday, June 19.
The case was exposed when police searched a house in Le Chan District’s Nghai Xa Ward on Tuesday. They arrested a husband and wife for illegally producing fire-arms in Le Chan.
The police seized five pen guns, two self-made guns, one grenade and materials for producing weapons at their workshop.
A day later, police raided the house of another member of the group and confiscated 22 guns, 300 bullets and tools to repair guns.
Police said the guns were sophisticated weapons in the shape of a pen but with the hit power of a military pistol.
The husband, Duong Minh Nhat, 38, is alleged to have two criminal records. He had been reprieved because he was at the last stage of HIV infection in 2008.
Police say he started to illegally produce pen guns at that time. The case is under investigation.
New law promises to revamp city planning
The construction of high-rise buildings in HCM City will be limited from next month if proposed sweeping changes to planning management and urban architecture regulations are approved.
A view of HCM City with its large number of high-rise buildings. The city will limit construction on the buildings for better urban planning.
Under the draft regulations, the whole city would be divided into three areas for better architecture management: the old urban area, the developing urban area and the suburbs.
The first of these spans 13 inner districts over an area of 14,200ha, while the developing urban area includes six newly-established districts covering 35,200ha. The suburban area includes five districts across 160,200ha.
Construction of high-rise buildings in the old urban area would be limited in streets less than 20m in width, revealed Director of the municipal Department of Planning and Architecture’s Planning and Information Centre, Huynh Xuan Thu, at a workshop held on Tuesday to discuss the draft regulation.
Other proposed changes include a reduction on the development of multi-storey residential apartment buildings in areas smaller than 1,200sq.m, he said.
Under the regulations, competitions will be held to choose the final design for buildings which will be higher than 25 storeys.
Other projects will face a similar process, including parks over 1,000sq.m in size, hospitals that contain over 100 beds and schools which cover a total area of more than 5,000sq.m.
Some participants at the meeting said that this process would be unnecessarily time-consuming and costly, and should only be followed for projects five times the size of those proposed.
Deputy Chairman of District 2’s People’s Committee Huynh Thanh Khiet said it was necessary to introduce a common regulation for the whole city which would be then applied by each district based on their own special conditions.
If the draft regulations are approved by the municipal People’s Committee, they will be introduced from July 1 and serve as the basis for the city’s construction department to grant construction licenses for individuals and businesses.
Meeting marks Vietnam’s Revolutionary Press Day in Laos
The Vietnamese embassy in Laos held a meeting on June 19 to mark the 88th anniversary of Vietnam’s Revolutionary Press Day (June 21).
Addressing the meeting, Vietnamese ambassador to Laos, Nguyen Manh Hung recalled the important contributions of Vietnam’s Revolutionary Press in the struggle for national liberation and construction.
The ambassador highlighted the active contribution of press agencies to consolidating and developing the special relationship between the two countries.
For his part, Cheueng Sombounkhan, Secretary of the Central Committee of the Lao Revolutionary People’s Party (LRPP), considered it a good opportunity for press agencies of both nations to share experiences in fulfilling the tasks assigned by the two Parties and States.
Lao Deputy Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Savankhone Razmontry thanked the Vietnamese Party, Government and people and the Vietnam Journalists’ Association for helping the Lao Journalists Association over the years.
The deputy minister expressed his belief that both sides will enhance comprehensive cooperation in developing the revolutionary press under the guidelines of the two Parties and States.
Prepare for storm, heatwave
A tropical storm is forming in the East Sea. It is moving north at 10kph and is forecast to be 255km from the Paracel Islands at 10am tomorrow, according to the Central Hydro-Meteorology Forecasting Centre. Wind speed at the centre of the depression is 50-61kmph.
The forecasting centre also predicts that northern and central provinces will experience a three-day hot spell at the weekend with temperatures reaching 38 degrees.
The tropical low is predicted to cause rough sea, showers and storms in the north and central area of the East Sea, said the forecasting centre.
The coastal area of southern provinces from Binh Thuan to Kien Giang can expect showers, strong winds (36kmph) and whirlwinds.
At 1am today, the storm was at 14.4-15.4 north latitude and 116.4-117.4 east longitude.
Flights cancelled due to bad weather
One flight of Vietnam Airlines and one of VietJet Air were cancelled yesterday at Lien Khuong Airport in the Central Highlands of Lam Dong’s Duc Trong District due to bad weather.
The Vietnam Airlines flight from Da Lat City to Da Nang City scheduled to depart at 8.10am was postponed till today.
The VietJet Air flight from Da Lat City to Ha Noi was expected to start at 11.25am but was rescheduled to 4pm today.
Passengers booked on the flights returned to Da Lat City to wait for their flights.
Nguyen Ngoc Duoc, head of the Vietnam Airlines branch in Lam Dong Province said a flight from Da Nang City to Da Lat City yesterday morning had to land in Khanh Hoa central province’s Cam Ranh Airport instead of Lien Khuong Airport as scheduled because of bad weather.
International drug ring smashed in Quang Tri
Border guards in the central province of Quang Tri in collaboration with Lao police on Tuesday busted a major drug trafficking ring from Laos that operated in Viet Nam.
Three Lao nationals, aged between 25 to 63, were arrested following a raid on an area near the provincial Lao Bao Border Gate.
Additionally, 10 packs of heroin, a car with Lao number plates and a K54 rifle were seized.
Initial investigations showed that the suspects bought the drugs in Vientiane and brought them into Viet Nam by road via the border gate.
The border guards handed over the suspects and confiscated items to Lao police for further investigation.
Bach Mai Hospital to build another unit
The Government has given the go-ahead for the Ha Noi-based Bach Mai Hospital to build a second unit in Thach That District’s Hoa Lac Hi-tech Park to ease serious overcrowding.
The 1,000-bed unit will be located 40 kilometers from the main hospital on Giai Phong Street, and will cover an area of 14ha.
The Government would fund the construction using the State budget, according to the hospital director.
ADB-funded project brings power to Lai Chau Province
Households in 31 mountainous communes of northern Lai Chau Province will soon gain access to electricity under a project to improve the province’s rural power grid.
The project is part of an Asian Development Bank (ADB)-funded programme to develop renewable energy, expand the power grids to remote rural areas.
The two-phase programme has a total capitalization of over VND948 billion (US$45 million), including US$30 million from ADB.
The first phase is expected to complete later this month, with 5,758 households in Lai Chau Province and 7,944 others in Dien Bien Province gaining access to electricity.
By the end of 2014, the project will provide electricity to 14,487 households in 48 communes in eight districts of Dien Bien Province and 16,207 households in 53 communes in six districts of Lai Chau Province including Than Uyen, Tan Uyen, Phong Tho, Tam Duong, Sin Ho and Muong Te.
It will help raise the number of families getting access to electricity in Lai Chau Province from 61 percent to 79 percent and in Dien Bien from 67.9 percent to 81 percent.
Waterway accident damages houses
A waterway accident occurred on the Cai San River in the Mekong Delta’s Can Tho City on Tuesday, causing damage to 44 riverside houses estimated at nearly VND1 billion (US$47,000).
Nine of the houses completely collapsed while nine others were seriously damaged after being hit by two barges anchored on the river. No casualties were reported.
The incident happened when the wake from a fast-moving sand barge caused the two stationary barges to break free from their anchors.
Central region’s rural infrastructure gets additional funding
The Prime Minister has agreed upon an additional loan for the project to develop rural infrastructure in 13 central provinces.
The non-refundable aid worth US$200,000 will be provided by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), according to the Vietnam Government Portal (VGP).
The small-scale technical assistance project targets to better living conditions for rural residents in 13 central provinces by providing them with better access to markets, agricultural and social services like healthcare, job generation, education and natural disaster mitigation.
The PM has assigned the Ministry of Planning and Investment to sign the loan agreement in line with the regulations.
Gender equality centre opens
A centre to promote gender equality and increase the numbers of women in leading roles officially opened yesterday at the Ho Chi Minh Academy of Politics and Public Administration in Ha Noi.
The Centre for Women in Politics and Public Administration (WiPPA) will run programmes and initiatives that promote gender equality in the public sector and in particular increase the numbers of women in senior positions.
It has got support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Viet Nam.
The centre will offer several innovative leadership and management capacity building programmes for women as well as men, using international best practices that are suitable for Viet Nam, according to Dr. Pratibha Mehta, the UN Resident Coordinator.
After completing these training programmes, civil servants and political leaders will be equipped with the right skills, tools and approach necessary to develop, implement and monitor policies and programmes in a gender sensitive manner.
In addition, government bodies will receive advice on policies and practices based on research that not only advances women in their careers but also motivates them to become leaders.
“The innovative activities of WiPPA, such as setting up a mentoring programme between retired members of parliament and potential candidates in the 2016 election, is a significant move forward from traditional training courses,” she said.
Speaking at the launching ceremony, the centre’s director Luong Thu Hien stressed that the centre would encourage networking programmes nationally and internationally and facilitate mentoring programmes that link current and former senior leaders with future leaders.
The academy’s president Ta Ngoc Tan added that he hoped the centre would play an important role in helping achieve the national target of ensuring that at least 35 per cent of representatives in the National Assembly and People’s Councils during the 2016-20 term are women and that all Party and government bodies will have women in senior positions by 2020.
US agency to help avian flu project
Viet Nam will improve its readiness to prevent and cope with avian influenza under a project funded by the United States Agency for International Development.
A US$1.7 million project, to be implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), will continue to strengthen the control of H5N1 outbreaks and other emerging infection diseases including the emerging H7N9 risk, according to a press release issued by FAO yesterday, June 19.
The funding will help the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s departments of Animal Health and Livestock Production to develop and apply policies and legislation to improve bird flu and other animal disease control nation-wide.
The project will also help to enhance overall animal health systems through support to laboratory staff, improve surveillance and diagnostic quality as well as monitoring vaccines and evolving viruses to inform government responses.
Scott Newman, FAO senior technical co-ordinator at the Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD) in Ha Noi pledges to help the Vietnamese Government with everything necessary to be well prepared.
The ministry announced at a meeting on Tuesday that the country had been free of poultry and animal outbreaks, including avian flu.
All 1,200 samples taken from discarded smuggled poultry between last June and February this year proved negative to the lethal H5N1 and H7N9 flu types, according to the animal health department.
However, vigilance must be maintained against the return of the outbreaks because of the presence of virus in the environment and the threat from unvaccinated poultry, the ministry officials said.
Cambodia to help find remains
The Cambodian government has pledged to co-operate with Viet Nam to search for and repatriate the remains of volunteer Vietnamese soldiers who died in Cambodia during the war.
The statement was made by Standing Deputy Prime Minister of the Cambodian Royal Government Men Sam An at her meeting yesterday, June 19, with Vietnamese Deputy Defence Minister Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Thanh Cung, who is paying a working visit to Cambodia.
Seeking and repatriating the remains was a noble duty and a way of paying back the debt of gratitude to the Vietnamese soldiers who sacrificed themselves to save the Cambodian people from the Khmer-Rouge, the Cambodian official stressed. She went on to express her gratitude and condolences to the soldiers’ families.
Cung, who is head of the Vietnamese Government’s Special Mission, thanked the Cambodian government and people for their support and assistance. He said Viet Nam hoped for continued support from the Cambodian government and people.
The same day, Cung and his entourage visited and laid a wreath at the monument dedicating to Vietnamese soldiers in Phnom Penh.
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