Thai Nguyen province is home to 17 intangible culture heritages. Local authorities and ethnic minority groups are exerting efforts to promote heritage values in combination with tourism development.

The San Chay people of Phú Lương district traditionally celebrate Spring with the Tắc Xình dance. In 2018, the Tac Xinh dance was recognized as national Intangible Cultural Heritage by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourisms. To uphold the cultural values of the heritage, Thai Nguyen’s provincial culture and tourism sector have taken measures to introduce the dance to visitors through festivals, turning it into an attractive tourism product.

Currently in Thai Nguyen province, there are more than 800 historical and scenic sites, along with 17 intangible cultural heritage elements at a national level. Many of which have become tourist attraction, contributing to promoting their values such as the Then ritual of the Tày people .

With its potentials and strengths, Thai Nguyen has been promoting its natural resources, and at the same time, has introduced policies to encourage and attract investors in order to boost tourism development and turn it into a key industry for the province./.

Paris experts share experience in air quality management

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The levels of PM2.5, a single particle with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres, exceeded the limits for several days since mid-September.

French experts shared Paris’s experience in air quality management at a seminar in Hanoi on October 12.

The event was jointly held by the French Cultural Centre (L’Espace) and Live and Learn Centre, with the participation of Nha Nam Culture and Communications JSC.

Karine Leger, Director of Airparif that monitors Paris air quality, said the seminar offers an opportunity for speakers and participants to exchange experience in health protection, and discuss solutions that can be taken by individuals to ease air pollution.

According to Olivier Chretien, head of the Paris Department of Prevention of Environmental Impacts, Paris is the most populous city in Europe and one of ten most populous cities in the world, with 2.2 million people per 100

Paris residents have paid due attention to air quality, especially outdoor air quality, he said, introducing the city’s environment policy over the past two decades.

Tran Huy Anh, a member of the Vietnam Association of Architects, said rapid growing population and urbanisation have resulted in the severe pollution in Hanoi.

The levels of PM2.5, a single particle with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres, exceeded the limits for several days since mid-September, and increased sharply as compared with the previous months and the 2015-2018 period, he cited statistics released by the Vietnam Environment Administration under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment as saying.

Many agencies and organisations have implemented solutions to improve air quality in Hanoi, while promoting the communication and education work at schools and among the community in order to raise public awareness of air quality and necessary actions, he said./.

Cold spell set to hit northern region

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A cold snap is forecast to hit the north of the country, including Hanoi, from October 13, according information released by the National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting.

Many areas across the northern region are expected to endure heavy rain from the evening of October 13, with temperatures falling to between 20 degrees and 22 degrees centigrade, with some mountainous areas even seeing a drop to between 15 degrees and 18 degrees centigrade.

This cold spell is also expected to affect the northern central and central regions, including both Thanh Hoa and Thua Thien-Hue provinces, which are predicted to experience heavy rainfall from October 14 to 16.

This could include thunderstorms which bring the possibility of tornadoes, lightning, hail stones, and strong winds.

Landslides could also occur in provinces including Lao Cai, Yen Bai, Ha Giang, Tuyen Quang, Cao Bang, Bac Kan, and Thai Nguyen. Local authorities have been urged to take measures in a bid to help residents and prevent any significant damage to people, property, and infrastructure.

The cold spell is forecast to last until October 17.

Lanh Trang Cooperative changes life of Sa Phin villagers

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The Sa Phin Agricultural and Forestry Services Co-operative, known as the Lanh Trang (White Flax) Co-operative, was established in 2017 in Ha Giang province to offer opportunities for disadvantaged ethnic minority people.

The Co-operative with 20 original members specializes in traditional flax embroidery, weaving, and dyeing. It has formed a closed chain ranging from self-supply of raw materials to production and consumption and created jobs for 95 members in Sa Phin village and many other villages in Dong Van district.

With a workshop, a dyeing facility, and a showroom, the White Flax Cooperative in coordination with the Dong Van district Women's Union opened 2 vocational training classes and established 3 cooperative teams last year. Their products have been well responded to by both domestic and foreign customers.

Vang Thi Cau, head of the Cooperative’s production team, said “We have signed contracts with foreign partners from the Netherlands, Germany, the US, and Japan. Domestic and foreign fashion firms like Chu La have imported our products. Four local households have escaped poverty over the past year. Cooperative members earn between 170 and 260 USD a month and the income of those who associate with us is between 86 and 130 USD a month."

"We provide our associates with capital to grow flax trees, and then hire them to weave fabric. They earn 0.43 USD per one meter. 15 of 19 communes in Dong Van district are involved in the cooperative model with a target of attracting the remaining districts by the end of next year. Each village and town will have, at least, one group of 10 women to participate in the cooperative”, Cau added.

Female members are trained to improve their skills and are assigned tasks commensurate to their capabilities. Some are in charge of sewing or weaving; others are responsible for embroidering or dyers. All contribute toward the creation of an uninterrupted production chain.

The cooperative will use part of its earnings to re-invest in production, as well as a portion for worker salary.

Hao Thi Ly, a Lanh Trang Cooperative member, said “The Sa Phin A village is home to 50 households of the Mong ethnic people. I’ve worked at the cooperative for nearly 2 years. My team has 20 members, each in charge of one phase of the work. Some work at home. I make pillow covers, bags, blouses, door curtains, and scarves. I’m satisfied with my work as I can do it whenever I’m free. Each month I get about 130 USD.”

The Lung Hoa A garment craft village is another model in Sa Phin. When joining a craft village or cooperative, member households will be supported in machinery, and infrastructure for centralized production, and designs matching the market trends and requirements.

They will also be given to promote and introduce their products at fairs, tourist destinations, and village markets.

To date, it has helped the locals escape poverty and find stable jobs and incomes.

The White Flax Cooperative is investing in the expansion of its production scale, machinery supplementation, and the development of flax growing areas.

Sung Thi Sy, the Cooperative’s Director, said “Dong Van authorities have created the best possible conditions for the cooperative. The completely natural flax cloth is dyed by leaves and tree roots easily found on the mountain. A person on average can weave 4 meters of flax cloth per day. Our flax cloth is of high quality because it’s completely natural and traditionally woven.

"Foreign customers like our products very much and purchase often. In the past, our family was poor and I was unemployed. Everything has changed now. We have what we need in terms of food, clothing, and a stable job”, Sy added.

A project to develop natural flax-based brocade products by the White Flax Co-operative was selected to the final round of last year’s first national Women’s Start-up Festival.

The model of the White Flax Co-operative will be expanded, contributing to poverty reduction in the locality.

Int’l Day for Disaster Risk Reduction marked in Thanh Hoa

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President of the Vietnam Red Cross Society's Central Committee Nguyen Thi Xuan Thu speaks at the event

A meeting took place in Sam Son city, the north central province of Thanh Hoa, on October 13 to mark International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction and release the World Disaster Report 2019.

The event, co-held by the Vietnam Red Cross Society (VRCS) and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, was an opportunity for the community to have a broader view of today’s world which is facing many risks and challenges.

It aimed to foster strengthened collaboration among local governments, departments and agencies in response to and mitigation of natural disasters as well as adaption to climate change.

After the event, a commune-based rapid response team of Sam Son city organised a disaster preparedness exercise during which it had to deal with a number of emergency situations before a storm hits the city.

President of VRSC Central Committee Nguyen Thi Xuan Thu said apart from providing training on disaster preparedness and response, the VRSC has supported 585 communes and wards of 36 cities and provinces to build safe communities and carry out disaster risk intervention through a number of activities, such as building storm shelters, safe schools, safe emergency evacuation routes and drainage.

Last year, the organisation provided aid for severe flood-hit families in the provinces of Yen Bai, Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Son La and Khanh Hoa. It also sent personnel and relief aid to help Lao people recover from the collapse of the Xepian-Xe Nam Noy hydropower dam in Attapeu.

The VRSC supported more than 960,000 disaster-affected people with total aid worth about 249.5 billion VND (10.73 million USD).

Hai Phong inaugurates key transport project

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A project on upgrading a section connecting Lang Am and Nhan Muc bridges in Vinh Bao district, northern Hai Phong city, was inaugurated on October 13.

Approved in 2016, the project, which cost over 1.29 trillion VND (55.6 million USD), included the upgrade of a 7.7km section of National Highway 37 and construction of a new 7.57km section near Chanh Duong canal. It also constructed a bridge spanning Dong canal that is 12m wide and 24m long as well as another bridge crossing Chanh Duong canal that is 15m wide and 24m long.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Van Tung said the road will help facilitate travel on National Highways 37 and 10, which connect Hai Phong to other localities.

The city plans to further linking the road to its coastal route in a bid to boost Vinh Bao socio-economic growth, he added.

According to the municipal leader, Hai Phong has so far invested in developing rural infrastructure to expand its connectivity and economic space. The city will build four new bridges to increase its connection with neighbouring Hai Duong and Quang Ninh provinces.

Vinpearl Phu Quoc hosts WTA Asia & Oceania Gala

The World Travel Awards Asia & Oceania Gala has recently taken place at the Vinpearl Convention Centre in Phu Quoc. This is the first time Vietnam has hosted this event.

The World Travel Awards, the biggest event of the tourism sector, has been held annually since 1993. The Awards, sometimes described as the Oscars of world tourism, draws hundreds of travel companies to honor outstanding achievements in Aviation, Hotels, Resorts, Travel Companies, and Tourist Destinations.

The red-carpet evening is the sixth and final leg of the WTA Grand Tour 2019 – a global search for the world’s finest travel and tourism brands. At the Gala ceremony, 50 of the best tourism trademarks and destinations in Asia and Oceania will be honored.

Each year, the WTA stages a series of regional galas to recognise and celebrate individual and collective success in each geographic region.

This year Vinpearl Phu Quoc, a top Vietnamese resort and entertainment center, was elected to host the WTA Asia and Oceania Gala. The pristine island of Phu Quoc is a hidden lush paradise off the southern coast of Vietnam, surrounded by the warm turquoise waters of the Gulf of Thailand.

The island is renowned for its stunning beaches, waterfalls, relaxed atmosphere and world-class scuba diving.

Vinpearl Convention Center Phu Quoc has eight meeting rooms and a grand ballroom that can accommodate 2,400 guests. Leading travel decision-makers from across Asia and Oceania will attend the gala.

Vietnam has nominees in more than 200 award categories including national awards, tourism companies and tourism services. The regional award winners will move on to the World Travel Awards Grand Final in Muscat, Oman next month.

Two players from Vietnam basketball club named in ASEAN's all-time top 10

Chris Charles and Leo Avenido of Saigon Heat have been named among the ASEAN Basketball League's Top 10 Players of All Time.

Chris Charles (2nd, R) at the ASEAN Basketball League's Top 10 Players of All Time ceremony in Manila, the Philippines, on October 10, 2019. Photo courtesy of ASEAN Basketball League.

The inductees were named at the launch of the 10th season in Manila, the Philippines, on Thursday.
Charles, who played for Saigon Heat in the 2014-15 season and recently resigned with the team for this season, is in fourth place in the ABL's all-time scoring list with a total 1,726 points.

The seven-foot-one American won the 2014 ABL title with Hi-Tech Bangkok City, was voted Import Most Valuable Player (MVP) in 2013 and 2014, and won three Defensive Player of the Year Awards in 2013, 2016 and 2018.

Avenido, a six-foot-two Filipino who currently plays for Zamboanga Valientes, has accumulated a total of 1,627 points over his six-year ABL career, fifth in the all-time scoring list.

He scored a career-high 38 points in a match when playing for Saigon Heat in 2014.

Avenido bagged the Local MVP award and the title with San Miguel Beermen in 2012. He was the first and thus far only recipient of the ABL Lifetime Achievement Award.

Completing the top 10 are Mario Wuysang, Wong Wei Long, Steven Thomas, Bobby Ray Parks, Attaporn Lertmalaiporn, Marcus Elliott, Jerick Canada, and Xavier Alexander.

Hanoi pioneering sustainable smart city development

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Investing in smart cities is not only a trend in the fourth industrial era but also a new drive and solution for developing urban areas sustainably.

The smart city project in Hanoi by BRG-Sumitomo, officially implemented in early October, marks the start of building an e-government in the capital city.

A modern city with many public facilities and utilities serving people, suitable investment attraction, and effectively supporting the policy of relaxing Hanoi’s inner city are the targets of a smart city project in accordance with the development master plan of the Nhat Tan-Noi Bai area.

In the Fourth Industrial Revolution era, investing in smart cities is not only a trend but also a new drive for developing urban areas.

Already many countries in the ASEAN bloc have announced ambitious plans. Besides the pioneering Singapore, Myanmar and the Philippines are also building high-tech green cities with unmanned vehicles and robots. Elsewhere, Thailand has the goal of creating 100 smart cities by 2022.

Developing three smart cities in the north, the south and the centre of Vietnam is the most significant content marked in the Resolution 52-NQ/TW of the Polite Bureau, that has just been approved by the Party’s General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong.

Aiming towards 2025, the resolution outlines the share of the digital economy at 30 percent of the GDP while completing forming an e-government and constructing smart urban structures at key economic areas. Aiming towards 2030, Vietnam will be listed in the top 40 leading countries in the world gaining the ranking of global innovation index (GII).

Early October in Hanoi, a smart city project developed by BRG-Sumitomo was officially implemented, marking the start of building an e-government in the capital city.

According to Madame Nguyen Thi Nga, chairwoman of BRG Group, when completed, the smart city will be a highlight at the gateway to the capital, creating a driving force to develop urban areas in the north of the Red River, as well as providing many jobs and other contributions to the socio-economic development of Hanoi.

Over the past five years, the demand for investment and construction of smart cities in Vietnam has appeared alongside plans from authorities of Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Danang, but until the new smart city project in Hanoi is licensed, people may not feel the effects or understand fully what a modern city can achieve.

It is hoped that the use of energy in smart cities in general will be optimised by integrating energy management systems in buildings and apartments with central energy management systems along with using renewable energies.

Throughout Hanoi, a smart public transportation system, including high-volume urban transport such as buses and subways, will be built to help reduce using personal vehicles and ensure quick and convenient transportation of residents. Especially, the smart city and the centre of the capital will be connected synchronously through Urban Railway No.2, which will originate from Tran Hung Dao street in the hub of the capital.

Smart city residents can be almost quaranteed safety thanks to a modern security management system. There will be advanced monitoring and warnings systems, along with flood controlling and rainwater reusing systems. Besides that, there will be a smart classroom system with lessons from foreign teachers via virtual classes.

Cashless payment methods will be applied to enhance the smart consumption experience of residents.

Currently, Hanoi has prioritised implementing information systems and professional data in big data centres, ensuring connection and sharing with national data facilities. So far, the capital has completed building data of eight million residences serving for management work of the city.

In addition, Hanoi has also built the WAN net for the whole city, and applied one-door electric linking systems in different fields like public administration, education, and healthcare.

Nguyen Duc Chung, Chairman of Hanoi People’s Committee, said, “The Vietnamese government has been facilitating Hanoi to develop into a green, civilised, and friendly capital which is a smart urban area with management based on new technologies and smart infrastructure with the aim to serve people better and build an open and friendly community.”

At recent meetings, many experts emphasised the position and role of the northern Red River region, in which Dong Anh rural district will play the role in easing the urban population.

Besides that, the city also advocates relocating hospitals, universities, and offices of ministries and agencies out of the city centre.

Madame Nga of BRG Group emphasised that the group will pay attention to inherited and long-term values. Containing the essence for solving urban issues around the world, the smart city is expected to become the key to unlock new development drivers for the future, in Hanoi, Vietnam, and further afield.

Experience and know-how from Japan in developing smart cities will be applied in Hanoi’s smart city project. As a result, it is expected that the project will bring the city long-term economic and social values, addressing the current inadequacies in Hanoi such as overload, traffic congestion, and pollution.

With such convenience, a smart city can be a liveable urban area, contributing to the strong development of the region as a whole.

Quy Nhơn to demolish three hotels

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Bình Dương Hotel in Quy Nhơn City will be demolished bv the end of the year. — Photo

A new hotel is being planned in Quy Nhơn City, the south-central coastal province of Bình Định in place of other establishments that are obstructing views.

Provincial People’s Committee chairman Hồ Quốc Dũng revealed the new Bình Dương Hotel will be built on 3,000sq.m area in Nguyễn Văn Trỗi Road.


Bình Định Province's authorities would support the development with an investment of VNĐ32 billion (US$1.37 million) from the provincial budget.

The new venue will replace the old Bình Dương Hotel, which because of its high-rise buildings is obscuring views of the beach.

Another two hotels, the Hoàng Yến and Hải Âu will also be demolished and Dũng said, the provincial authorities encouraged these hotels’ owners to find suitable new locations and submit them to the provincial People's Committee for consideration.

The chairman told newspaper that public opinion supported the decision on relocating these three hotels.

The investors of the three hotels also agreed with the relocation plans.

The provincial People's Committee also approved an investment of VNĐ244 billion ($10.5 million) to expand Xuân Diệu Road, the largest coastal road in Quy Nhơn City.

The project included Xuân Diệu park, square, parking area, rest-room, garden, sculpture exhibition area, gym and sports area and children’s entertainment zone.

Quy Nhơn City, along with Đà Nẵng and Nha Trang, is one of the three tourism hubs in Việt Nam's south-central coastal region.

PM urges completion of expressway in Mekong Delta by 2021

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Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has urged contractors to speed up the construction of transport infrastructure projects in the Mekong Delta region.

The PM issued the directive after his recent inspection of the Trung Lương-Mỹ Thuận Expressway project and a number of projects in Mekong Delta provinces. He also directed the State Bank of Việt Nam to ask commercial banks to re-sign credit agreements with the projects' contractors.

Ministries and companies responsible for construction of the Trung Lưong-Mỹ Thuận Expressway project in the Kiên Giang Province were asked to ensure its completion by 2021.

The PM also approved an allocation from the State budget that would help the project remain on schedule after a series of delays.

The Trung Lương-Mỹ Thuận Expressway will have a total length of 55.1km with four lanes. It is expected to shorten the travel time between HCM City and the Mekong Delta, and reduce congestion on the National Highway.

For the Mỹ Thuận Bridge 2 project, the PM asked the Ministry of Transport to ensure that construction begin in the first quarter of 2020. It should be completed at the same time as the Trung Lương-Mỹ Thuận Expressway, he said.

The transport ministry will organise bidding for the Mỹ Thuận- Cần Thơ Expressway project to select investors and ensure that construction starts in the first quarter of next year, he added.

The PM noted that while deadlines should be met, the quality of the projects must also be guaranteed.

EPZ official urges improvements in workers' quality of life

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Workers sew products at a company in HCM City.

Private sector investment in social infrastructure is needed to raise the quality of life for workers in export processing zones and industrial parks, Trần Công Khanh, chief of the secretariat of the Export Processing Zone and Industrial Park Authority.

Social infrastructure includes apartment buildings, kindergartens, sport and cultural centres, and general health clinics, he said.

He spoke on Thursday at a conference on workers' quality of life held by the HCM City Institute for Development Studies.

He said the city's People’s Committee, for example, could hand over public land without taking bids so that land could be freed up for workers' housing.

“Apartment buildings at export processing zones and industrial parks are vital for workers. However, the city has failed to meet the demand,” he said.

Most workers rent rooms built around the zones and parks, but the quality of the rooms is poor, and there are few incentives for landlords to improve them and rent at preferential prices, Khanh said.

The city has 17 export processing zones and industrial parks with 290,000 workers, 70 per cent of whom are from provinces.

Besides housing, the city’s workers, including those at EPZs and IPs, have problems finding kindergartens for their children. The city has 18 public kindergartens to serve workers' children.

Workers also have poor access to entertainment and other basic services, he added.

Lê Văn Thành, former head of the social and cultural research division at the HCM City Institute for Development Studies, said: “The city will see an increase in the number of workers because it is becoming a large industrial centre in the country.”

Workers’ meals should also follow food safety and hygiene standards and be nutritious.

Social, health and unemployment insurance and other incentives as well as income for workers should also be given more attention.

Dr Nguyễn Ngọc Hải, director of the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health Science HCM City, said that enterprises must ensure labour safety in the workplace.

“Good labour safety practices among workers would also help reduce the number of accidents and improve their quality of life," he said.

According to the city's Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, there were 1,267 labour accidents with 1,319 people injured, including 101 deaths last year.

US$150,000 spent on upgrading social protection centre for AO/dioxin victims

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Works have started on the upgrading of social protection centre for Agent Orange (AO)/dioxin victims with US$150,000 funding from the Republic of Korea’s Gyeonggi Province. —Photo

A social protection centre for Agent Orange (AO)/dioxin victims has received US$150,000 from the government of the Republic of Korea’s Gyeonggi Province to upgrade its facility.

The project aims at creating a fresh, comfortable atmosphere for victims so they will be in good spirits and improve their rehabilitation.

The centre in Hà Nội’s Thạch Thất District was put into operation five years ago. It has a 70-room nursery house for victims, a detoxification and a rehabilitation house and a dining room for about 150 people. A number of centre’s items have been degraded and needed repairing to improve its operational efficiency.

President of the Việt Nam Association of Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin Nguyễn Văn Rinh thanked the government and people of Gyeonggi Province, South Korea for supporting victims.

“Once the project completed, the effectiveness of treatment, rehabilitation for AO/dioxin victims would be enhanced,” he said.

The upgrading of the project started on Thursday and the project is expected to be finished by February next year.

Soft loan policy helps disadvantaged students

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Đặng Thị Tuyết Thanh (middle) from Long An Province received a soft loan to continue her university study.

Nearly 16,000 disadvantaged students in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Long An over the past five years have received soft loans worth a total of VNĐ420 billion (US$18 million) from the Việt Nam Bank for Social Policies (VBSP).

Đặng Thị Tuyết Thanh in the province’s Bến Lức District was able to continue her study at the HCM City University of Technology (HUTECH) after receiving a soft loan.

“The soft loan has lessened pressure on my family and created favourable conditions for my study,” she said.

Nguyễn Thị Kim Hồng in the province’s Tân An City said her family was facing financial difficulties when her son enrolled at the HCM City University of Technology (HCMUT) under the Việt Nam National University HCM City (VNU-HCM) in 2014.

The family’s main income is from farming agricultural products on 0.6ha of rented land.

Hồng's family received a soft loan from the VBSP for her son, who has graduated from the university. “I hope my son can get a stable job and help the family pay off the debt,” she said.

Lê Bá Chuyên, deputy director of VBSP’s branch in Long An Province, said the bank has granted loans since 2014 to tens of thousands of local households to help their children pursue study.

“The access to concessional loans helps disadvantaged students cover their living costs and tuition each school year,” he said.

Most borrowers make payments on time, and the rate of overdue debts is low.

The preferential credit programme for such students is promoted in all localities in the province.

Last month, the bank granted more than VNĐ17 billion ($733,000) in soft loans to 1,200 students, including about 300 new borrowers.

Because of rising students' living costs and tuition, the bank has asked the Government to increase the loan amount for those living in difficult circumstances.

Climbing and music fest at Saigon Outcast

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A climbing and music even called Rocktober Climbing Fest will be held at Saigon Outcast on October 19-20.

The event will include a rock climbing competition, top rope climbing, moon board, lead climbing and kid’s climbing.

The live performances will feature 10 local bands including Hem Hem Saigon, 7UPPERCUTS, The Kanonos and Wayfarer State.

Resident DJs Linh Phan and the Stinking Bishop, among others, will also perform.

The event will offer a sports and outdoor equipment market, food market, and movie screening.

The festival will take place at 4 pm at 188/1 Nguyễn Văn Hưởng Street in District 2.

British stand-up comedian to perform in the city

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The Saigon International Comedy Club will present British stand-up comedian Eddy Brimson at Kurtz's by Heart of Darkness on October 16.

Brimson began his stand-up career in 1999. He has performed at the Altitude Festival in the French Alps and the Sydney Cracker Festival in Australia, and in Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain.

He was nominated for Best Headliner at the Scottish Comedy Awards 2019.

The show will also feature American comic and writer Keelah Rose Calloway, who lives in Huế, and MC Uy Lê.

The event will open at 8pm at 97 Hà Nội Highway in District 2. Advanced tickets at VNĐ200,000 are available at 

Can Tho students trained on safe driving

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Thousands of students at the Can Tho University learned safe motorbike driving skills at a communications event on traffic safety on October 12.

The event was co-organised by the Ministry of Education and Training, National Committee for Traffic Safety, Ministry of Public Security and Honda Vietnam. It aims to raise students’ awareness on respecting traffic regulations and spread the knowledge among their families and friends in a bid to reduce road accidents and congestion.

Addressing the event, Bui Van Linh, Director of the Department of Political Education and Student Affairs under the Ministry of Education and Training, underscored the fact that traffic accidents cost Vietnam nearly 50 trillion VND (2.15 billion USD) on an annual basis, equaling 30 percent of the national budget for education and 60 percent of the country’s rice export earnings.

He attributed the issue to drivers’ traffic violations, low awareness of the traffic law, and safe driving practices.

Technicians from the Honda Hong Duc company offered vivid and detailed guidance for participants during the event.

Founded in 1966, Can Tho University is an important state higher education institution in the Mekong Delta./.

Construction of Mỹ Thuận Bridge 2 to begin by early 2020

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An artist's impression of the Mỹ Thuận Bridge 2. The project construction is expected to begin in 2020. — Photo

Nguyễn Đức Kiên, deputy chairman of the National Assembly's Economic Committee, has asked Tiền Giang and Vĩnh Long provinces to complete land clearance and compensation for residents in areas near the Mỹ Thuận 2 Bridge project by the year-end.

A delegation from the NA committee led by Kiên met with authorities from the two Mekong (Cửu Long) Delta provinces on Friday in Vĩnh Long Province.

Speaking at the meeting, Kiên asked the Project Management Board No 7 under the Ministry of Transport Ministry to organise bidding to select investors to begin construction of two approach roads before the Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday which falls in late January.

He asked Vĩnh Long Province to push up the process of capital allocation for land compensation and resettlement assistance for affected households by the end of the year.

Tiền Giang Province was told to speed up the disbursement of allocated capital of more than VNĐ300 billion (US$12.9 million) for those works.

Trần Hoàng Tựu, deputy chairman of Vĩnh Long Province’s People’s Committee, said that 117 households were affected by the project, including 25 households that have to be resettled because their land had to be completely cleared for the project.

Total compensation for land and resettlement assistance is estimated at VNĐ93 billion ($4 million).

Tiền Giang Province’s Department of Transport said about 317 households would be affected by the project, mostly in Cái Bè District’s An Hữu and Hòa Hưng communes.

Compensation payments to affected households in the two provinces are expected to end in November and the land will be handed over near the end of the year.

The Mỹ Thuận Bridge 2 project is part of a section of the North-South expressway project construction.

The project includes the 1.9km-long bridge and two approach roads with total length of over 4.7km.

It will start at An Thái Trung Intersection in Tiền Giang Province’s Cái Bè District, and will end at the intersection of National Highway 80 in Vĩnh Long City’s Tân Hòa Commune.

Total investment for the project is more than VNĐ5 trillion ($215.5 million) funded by the State budget in the medium-term public investment plan for 2016-20.

Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyễn Nhật said the two provinces must ensure the bridge's completion schedule because of the project's importance.

The Ministry of Transport will also organise bidding for the Mỹ Thuận-Cần Thơ Expressway project to select investors and ensure that construction starts early next year.

The expressway and the Mỹ Thuận Bridge 2 are expected to be completed at the same time to enhance connectivity between HCM City and cities and provinces in the Mekong Delta.