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Press Digest (December 2 to 5)

These are some of the leading stories in the Vietnamese press from December 2 to 5



- Many Vietnamese firms receive complaints about fake products made in and smuggled from China which look like the real deal but are of low quality. Experts call for more effective monitoring of borders and better coordination among agencies to prevent this. 

- The 2nd biennial International Piano Festival began Monday and will go on until Saturday at the HCMC Conservatory of Music, featuring American, French, Russian, Singaporean, and Vietnamese artists.


- Police in HCMC's District 8 are looking for Vu Thi Bich Van, 34, as they investigate the death of a 13-month-old boy. After she babysat the child for four days, he had severe brain trauma and died last Sunday following two and a half weeks of treatment. 



- Power monopoly Electricity of Vietnam reported revenues of nearly VND157 trillion (over US$7.4 billion) in the first 11 months, a 21-percent increase year-on-year.

- The HCMC People's Committee in 2002 approved a plan for Tan Son Nhat International Airport to clear an area of five meters from its outer perimeter to create a safe corridor, but the airport did not and is now enclosed by thousands of houses in Go Vap and Tan Binh districts.


- Many government agencies either do not reply or give satisfactory and timely responses to people's complaints even when sent through the media. The Center for Media in Educating Community found that though 25 percent of complaints were answered in time, 75 percent of the answers were not comprehensive enough.

- A senior official at the Ministry of Industry and Trade Monday said the ministry backs the Vietnam Gas Association's proposal to the Ministry of Finance to eliminate the 5 percent import tax on cooking gas to tackle the price increase caused by an international price hike. Cooking-gas suppliers Sunday increased the retail prices of 12-kg cylinders by VND70,000-80,000 (20 percent), the highest since February 2012, causing public ire.


- Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung Monday approved a Ministry of Transport proposal for a nine-day Tet holiday to give people more time to shop before the Lunar New Year and ease the public transport overload.



- Remittances have been increasing since 2009 due to an increase in the number of workers going abroad and the number of countries they go to, and Vietnam expects to receive $11 billion this year. Experts said overseas Vietnamese send money home mostly to help relatives and also for investment.

- The People's Committee of Binh Thuan Province has fined Binh Thuan Commerce and Natural Resource Investment JSC VND200 million after its reservoir cracked November 18, flooding surrounding areas with red mud. The administration also gave the firm 10 days to clean up the mess from roads and compensate people who suffered losses.


- The Ministry of Defense has sought approval for its Z121 factory, the country's sole producer of fireworks, to import products from Japan for Lunar New Year's Eve after an explosion at its warehouse in Phu Tho Province in October destroyed a large quantity of fireworks. It said as a result it cannot meet the country's demand during Tet.



- The Rockefeller Foundation has announced that the central city of Da Nang will be one of 100 resilient cities worldwide to receive support for its plans to deal with climate change issues. The announcement was made on the celebration of the foundation's 100th birthday.

- South Korean authorities arrested five Vietnamese fishermen for illegally entering the country when the Taiwanese boat they work on anchored near Busan Port to sell fish and buy goods on Tuesday. They told police the high salary of VND30-40 million per month in the country motivated them to do so. They will be expelled and the boat owner could be fined $2,500 for each violator.


- Colonel Tran Dinh Hong, deputy director of Bac Giang Province Police Department admitted Wednesday that his office had made mistakes during its investigation of Nguyen Thanh Chan, 52, adding that it is cooperating with Ministry of Public Security in the latter's reinvestigation into the case. Chan was released in early November after serving ten years of a life sentence for killing a local woman.

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