Press Digest (December 9 to 12)

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These are some of the leading stories in the Vietnamese press from December 9 to 12



- Ngoc Thinh, a 19-year-old hip-hop dancer, won this year's Thu thach cung buoc nhay, the Vietnamese adaptation of the US reality show So You Think You Can Dance, last Saturday.

- Vietnam's trade deficit to China in the first ten months of this year exceeded US$19.6 billion, a 50 percent increase from the same period last year. The figure has increased by 100-fold since 2001, with imported goods ranging from lucky money envelopes and elastic cords to appliances.


- President Truong Tan Sang Sunday signed an order to announce the revised Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and a resolution on its implementation. The revision was approved by the National Assembly, Vietnam's legislature, November 28.

- More than 8,000 youths from 83 countries worldwide, including Vietnam, gathered at Bicentenario Park in the Ecuadorian capital city of Quito at 6 p.m. Saturday (local time) for the opening of the 18th World Festival of Youth and Students.



- Traffic police in Ho Chi Minh City's District 1 fined Vietnamese model Vo Hoang Yen over VND10 million ($474) for drunk driving on the evening of November 3. They have seized her car for 10 days and her driver's license for 60 days.

- The first 20 km of the new 55-km HCMC Long Thanh Dau Giay Highway, which connects HCMC and its adjacent provinces of Dong Nai and Ba Ria-Vung Tau, will open for traffic December 28. The section is expected to reduce a trip from HCMC to Ba Ria-Vung Tau's Vung Tau Town from three to two hours. The whole highway, worth VND20.6-trillion, is set for completion in December 2015 to help reduce traffic accidents and congestion at the gateways to HCMC and Dong Nai.



- US Secretary of State John Kerry will arrive in Ho Chi Minh City Saturday as part of his visit to four Middle East and Southeast Asian countries from December 11 to 18.

- After the Ministry of Education and Training withdrew the PhD degree of Hoang Xuan Que, a professor at the National Economics University, the State Council for Professor's Titles revoked the deputy professor title it conferred on him. The withdrawal and revocation came for plagiarism in his 2003 doctorate thesis.

- Vietnam's pay TV operator HTVC began exclusively broadcasting the Asian Food Channel, a 24-hour channel featuring regional food and lifestyles, on Tuesday.

- After thrashing Brunei 7-0 during their opening fixture in group A of the 27th SEA Games in Myanmar on Sunday, Vietnam lost 0-1 to Singapore Tuesday. Singapore had been held 1-1 by Laos in their opener Sunday.


- The HCMC People's Council approved a plan Tuesday to increase the fees for 2,000 hospital services at city hospitals to 65-75 percent higher than the rates set by the Ministry of Health. The new rates will come into effect next June and will be raised again to twice the current rate on June 1, 2016. Even patients with health insurance have expressed concerns that they will not be able to afford the new rates.



- Reports from 42 cities and provinces showed that nearly 90 percent of high school English teachers and nearly 75 percent of elementary school English teachers do not meet Vietnam's official required standards, a conference on national English projects heard in Da Nang Wednesday.


- Duong Chi Dung, Vinalines' former board chairman, and nine alleged accomplices stood trial Thursday morning as the Hanoi People's Court began hearings in a high-profile corruption case involving the purchase of a rusty and badly damaged floating dock allegedly used to embezzle more than $1.6 million. The trial was scheduled to end on Saturday.


- Nguyen Duy Vuong, director of the Hanoi 29 Import Export JSC, has confessed that a batch of glutinous rice wine that left six people dead contained too much methanol found at levels 2,950 times higher than allowed which he said was added "by mistake" instead of food alcohol. Police in Quang Ninh Province arrested Vuong and two of his workers who made the wine on Tuesday.

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