Two fishermen missing after boats collide
Two fishermen have been reported missing, believed drowned, after two boats collided in waters off northern Hai Phong City on Sunday.
The Vietnamese registered boat, owned by Hoang Van Thao, 57, from northern Thanh Hoa Province, collided with an unidentified boat while fishing 26 nautical miles from Bach Long Vi Island.
The two missing were from the Vietnamese boat. The rest of the five crew were uninjured and are now safe on land.
No information was available about the other boat, which went on its way.
Thanh Hoa’s authorities are searching for the missing men whose names have not been released.
Video campaign to end rhino horn trade
The Save the Rhino International and Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund in coordination with Education for Nature-Vietnam (ENV) on March 8 launched a new Public Service Announcement (PSA) calling upon the community to not use rhinoceros horn.
Rhino-horns seized in a smuggling case.
The video, the start of a series of public service announcements condemning rhino-horn users, will be broadcast on central and provincial television stations, posted on websites, forums and social network sites.
It shows rhino-horn consumers as “foolish, ignorant, backward, cruel and evil” and underlines that rhino horns do not help your social status or cure ailments.
Viewers are urged to avoid consuming rhino horn, and can call the appropriate authorities to report rhino horn-related crimes via the hotline 18001522.
According to ENV Vice Director Tran Viet Hung, Vietnam needs to share its responsibility with the world to protect the large animal.
Consuming rhino horn is unacceptable in modern society and has negative impacts on the world, Hung added.
He affirmed demand for rhino horn comes from a small minority of people and does not represent Vietnamese demand and taste.
The Government is making moves to prevent smuggling of rhino horn by arresting those involved in transporting and trading the horn, he said.
Importing rhino horn is banned by Vietnam.
The video is the 15th PSA produced by the ENV. It is part of a campaign to reduce wildlife trade by cutting its demand as a remedy and food.
Poachers arrested in central province
A group of poachers from Ha Noi have been arrested in the central province of Thua Thien – Hue, a spokesman for the local police Department said last Saturday.
Tran Dinh Nga, 52, and Tran Dung Tien, 42, of Ha Dong town, Nguyen Huy Dung, 42, of Dong Da District and Tran Anh Dung, 39, of Thanh Xuan District were arrested at the house of Nguyen The Tam in Huong Tra township. Tam, 43, was also arrested.
Six shotguns with 380 cartridges, the carcass of a deer, and a car with a Ha Noi licence number were also seized from the house, the police said. The poachers said they came by car from Ha Noi on March 2 to hunt wildlife in the mountainous Huong Tra area.
The police are set to file charges.
Customs finds 1,390 import violations
Customs departments nationwide handed out more than 1,390 violations for smuggling worth VND16.46 billion (US$785,300) from January 15 to February 15, according to figures from the Anti-smuggling and Investigation Department.
Of the number of violations, there were 62 cases involving drugs.
On January 17, the Customs Branch at border gate Khanh Binh under An Giang Customs Department caught one person who was carrying US$4,550 and VND76 million ($3,625) without declaration. The Coc Nam Customs Branch of Lang Son Customs Department on January 18 seized 66,420 kilos of frozen chicken legs valued at VND398.5 million ($18,900) without regular documents.
On January 22, a joint working group of Hoanh Mo Border Gate Customs Branch – Quang Ninh Customs Department and Hoanh Mo Frontier Post confiscated 91.3 kilos of firecrackers made in China.
The Saigon Port Customs Branch of HCM City Customs Department on February 5 seized 300 airguns that originated from the Czech Republic.
On January 22, the Dien Bien Customs Department in collaboration with Dien Bien Police seized one person who was illegally transporting drugs when they were on duty. Materials seized included about 350 grammes of heroin, five mobilephones and two motorbikes.
Lao Cai Customs Department and Cao Bang Customs Department also arrested two passengers who were illegally purchasing and transporting drugs from the border areas to inland.
Ecstasy pill traffickers arrested in Son La
Police in the north-western province of Son La have arrested two drug traffickers on March 9 for transporting 8,000 ecstasy pills across the Laos-Vietnam border.
The detainees were identified as Vang Thi Do, born in 1985, and Vang Thi Dua, born in 1984. Both are residents of Phieng Cai hamlet, Long Sap commune, Moc Chau district, Son La province.
Local police also seized Giang Thi Phanh for illegal drug trading (born in 1981 in Ta De hamlet, Long Luong commune, Moc Chau district).
According to preliminary investigations, Giang Thi Phanh bought drugs from Laos and hired Vang Thi Do and Vang Thi Dua to smuggle the purchase to Nong Truong town in Moc Chau district.
Relevant agencies are now broadening the scope of their investigations.
Businesses honoured for social responsibility
Fifty businesses have been honoured for boosting community development by shouldering outstanding shares of social responsibility.
Fifty businesses have been honoured for boosting community development by shouldering outstanding shares of social responsibility.
Speaking at the award ceremony in Hanoi on March 10, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Van Chung praised businesses’ role in encouraging a sense of community and promoting national patriotic movements.
He urged other enterprises to follow their example, fulfilling social responsibilities and contributing to national development.
A representative from Dung Quat Oil Refinery Plant—one of the awardees—pledged to improve living conditions and workplaces for employees and protect the plant’s surrounding environment.
Workers are also encouraged to accept social responsibility to earn consumer trust and increase the company’s competitiveness, bolstering its sustainable development in the current global integration process, he said.
Businesses involving themselves in the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s social responsibility programme must meet the organiser’s strict criteria. These include long-term development strategies, social welfare schemes, and resources for development.
Of the programme’s thousands of participating businesses, 122 have been recognised for meeting responsibilities like tax obligations, customs clearance, environmental protection, worker’s insurance payments, and quality control to the level of international standards.
Pair admits to theft of mobile phones
Police in Ha Noi caught two men suspected of committing a number of robberies in the capital city.
Nguyen Van Huy, 30, and Nguyen Huy Hoang, 16, from Hoang Mai District allegedly admitted to committing eight acts of theft, including stealing four mobile phones. Their targets included dating couples, whom they robbed for their money and property, as well as students using their mobile phones in front of school gates. They also robbed mobile phone shops by pretending to be customers.
Ecstasy trafficking ring discovered
Two women were caught illegally transporting 8,000 ecstasy pills in the northern mountainous province of Son La’s Moc Chau District on Saturday.
Interrogation of the arrested women, Vang Thi Do, 28, and Vang Thi Dua, 29, from Phieng Cai Village in Long Sap Commune led to the capture of Giang Thi Phanh, 32, from Ta De Village.
Investigation allegedly showed that Phanh illegally bought drugs from Laos for Do and Dua to transport to Moc Chau District.
Police continue to investigate the case.
Grenade explosion kills 1, injures 2
An unexpected grenade explosion in Ti Na coffee shop in the Central Highland province of Lam Dong’s Lac Duong Township last Saturday killed one person and seriously injured two others.
Witnesses said that the grenade fell from the pocket of Me Bla Che Moel, who was celebrating his twenty-first birthday at the coffee shop. When he picked it up, it exploded, blowing off his right hand and injuring his left one. The two people sitting next to him were seriously injured. One died on the way to the hospital.
A source from Moel’s family said that he had completed military services two months ago. Local authorities are investigating the origin of the grenade.
Change in hours to help traffic flow
The Government has asked HCM City and Ha Noi to continue studying changes to working and school hours to reduce traffic congestion and the number of accidents by 5-10 per cent a year.
In Ha Noi, 10 inner districts and Tu Liem and Thanh Tri urban districts changed school and working hours in February last year.
Senior education facilities open at 6am and close after 7pm; high schools from 7am to 6pm; preschools and primary and junior secondary schools from 8am to 5pm.
HCM City changed its school hours by 15-30 minutes in 2001 but the benefit was small. Nguyen Ngoc Tuong, deputy head of the HCM City Traffic Safety Committee, said, adding most industrial and processing zones were in the suburbs so the new times did not solve congestion in the inner city.
However, Nguyen Ngoc Hien, of the Ministry of Public Security’s Road and Railway Police Department, said changing working hours in HCM City had reduced traffic jams by about 30 per cent.
Nevertheless, residents were dissatisfied with the changes which needed to be taken into account, said Hien.
Also, people’s committees should control traffic in front of schools, and the schools themselves could co-ordinate on hours, particularly if they were in the same street or area, he said.
The Government also assigned the Ministry of Transport to restrict personal vehicles in big cities.
Meanwhile, the Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs is researching the change of working hours for civil servants.
HCM City has had nearly 80 traffic accidents this year, an increase by 34 compared with the same period last year. Ha Noi had 40 traffic accidents, down seven.
Hanoians shun health insurance
The number of people buying health insurance cards in Ha Noi is still lower than in other localities despite efforts from local agencies to turn the trend around.
Vice chairwoman of the capital’s People’s Committee Nguyen Thi Bich Ngoc said that 70 per cent of the total city population, equivalent to 4.8 million of people, bought health insurance cards in the period between 2009 and 2012.
In comparison, the number of people buying health insurance in northern provinces is 77 per cent, which the figure stands at 90 per cent in northern mountainous provinces.
The Ministry of Health has set a target of getting 80 per cent of the population nation-wide to buy health insurance cards by 2020.
Nguyen Duc Hoa, deputy director of the Ha Noi Social Insurance Agency, said that non-State enterprises were particularly responsible for the low ratio.
The agency failed to identify how many non-State enterprises were operating in the city, he said.
Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Xuyen said that the city should re-check the list of non-State enterprises that have yet to participate or owe their workers’ social insurance fees, to find out suitable solutions for the situation.
Chairman of the city People’s Committee Nguyen The Thao said that although the city paid attention to publicising the importance of health-insurance to local people in the past, the amount of citizens then buying a card was lower than expected.
The city will focus on reducing hospital overloads and improving the quality of examinations and treatment to attract more people to buy health insurance in the near future, he added.
Illegal medicines danger to health
Nguyen Minh Tam (not real name) of District 7 gained weight and began to develop stretch marks all over her body after taking a traditional medicine dose for acute sinusitis without a doctor’s prescription.
Tam has suffered from sinusitis for years because of contact with dust in her daily work.
After hearing a friend’s advice, she brought a package of traditional medicine tablets without a label of origin, but the sinusitis actually became worse.
Like Tam, many people in HCM City try to treat their acute sinusitis through traditional medicines that are sold without labels of origin.
Signs advertising the medicines can be seen at small groceries on Tran Xuan Soan Street in District 7 and on Ho Ba Phan Street in District 9, as well as some other districts.
Online sites such as Kenh Sinh Vien and MUABANYDUOC.vn also advertise these medicines.
Tran Van Nam, deputy head of the HCM City Traditional Medicine Institute, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that his institute had admitted many patients like Tam.
They all use medicine without verification, which is sold illegally on the market for treating acute sinusitis, according to Nam.
Some of the medicines are mixed with corticosteroids in order to treat acute sinusitis quickly, he added. The corticosteroids are anti-inflammatory medicines and ease pain fast.
However, the medicine’s side effects include weight gain, thinning skin that can bruise easily, muscle weakness and the weakening of bones.
If they are used longer than three months, patients could end up with Cushing’s Syndrome, which is a disorder of the adrenal cortex or pituitary gland that causes fatty deposits on the face and stretch marks across the body, as well as acne.
Existing diabetes and high blood pressure could worsen, he said.
Dr Tran Huu Vinh, head of the City Health Department’s Traditional Medicine Management Division, warned that patients should visit reputable traditional medicine facilities for check-up and treatment if they opt to use alternative medicine.
Vinh said that illegally sold medicines are dangerous to people’s health.