Press Digest (December 30, 2013 - January 2, 2014)

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These are some of the leading stories in the Vietnamese press from December 30, 2013 to January 2, 2014 

DECEMBER 30, 2013

  • TUOI TRE

- Duong Chi Dung, former Vinalines chairman, has appealed against his death sentence for embezzling US$476,000 and "intentionally violating state regulations on economic management, causing serious consequences" in a high-profile corruption case involving the purchase of a decrepit and inoperable floating dock.

- Many Vietnamese women are ill-treated, beaten, and forced into hard labor by their Chinese husbands' families living in remote areas instead of the life of affluence they were promised.

  • NGUOI LAO DONG

- Firecrackers are being smuggled into Vietnam though there is still a month to go for the Lunar New Year, according to the Ministry of Public Security. They are brought in through various routes from China, Laos, and Thailand.

DECEMBER 31, 2013

  • TUOI TRE

- The Hai Phong City police and Ministry of Public Security Tuesday started updating basic information for issuing 12-digit identification numbers to more than 1.8 million residents.

- The bodies of all seven secondary school students from Binh Duong Province who had drowned in a Ho Chi Minh City beach were recovered by Monday morning. They had been on a camping trip with schoolmates and teachers.

  • NGUOI LAO DONG

- The Asia-America Gateway undersea Internet cable, which broke at a point 278 km off the coast of Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province on December 20, would be fixed within four to five days starting Wednesday and then tested, Nguyen Van Khoa, CEO of FPT Telecom, said. Vietnam's international connections are expected to function normally from January 9.

- The number of endangered Sarus cranes migrating every year to the Tram Chim National Park has declined from 1,000-1,100 before 1990 to around 100 now. Experts blamed the decline on an invasion by exotic plant species that threaten their food supply and shrinking habitat.

  • TIEN PHONG

- Authorities in Lang Son Province bordering China have set up 24X7 control stations and barbed wire fences at smuggling hot spots to curb the activity.

JANUARY 1, 2014

  • TUOI TRE

- The FIFA World Cup Trophy arrived in Vietnam Tuesday as part of its tour of 90 countries. It was displayed at the Quan Ngua] Stadium in Hanoi on Wednesday (New Year's Day) for fans to admire. Vietnam is its 56th port of call, and it will be taken to 2014 World Cup host Brazil in April.

- The Ministry of Information and Communications Tuesday issued a set of stamps to celebrate the 100th birth anniversary of the late General Nguyen Chi Thanh.

- Many foreign medical students have chosen Vietnamese hospitals to intern, saying it offers them the opportunity to treat rare and severe cases without modern equipment and work with a large number of patients compared to their own countries.

JANUARY 2, 2014

  • TUOI TRE

- Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has approved a decision to allow foreigners to visit Phu Quoc Island for up to 30 days without a visa. Current regulations only allow the exemptions of 15 days.

- Half of the 500 universities and institutes that the Ministry of Education and Training inspected in 2013 did not follow required training process for doctoral (PhD) degrees, said education deputy minister Bui Van Ga.

- Customs officers at Thailand's Phuket Airport Nguyen Van Thiet, 64, a Vietnamese who dressed as a monk, for allegedly smuggling over 2.3 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine, or "ice," from China to Thailand on Wednesday.

  • TIEN PHONG

- Vietnam lowered its car import taxes from ASEAN countries from 60 percent to 50 percent on Wednesday, in accordance with the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement.

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