Below are some of the main stories published today, March 22, in the Vietnamese press.
Politics -- Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Le Hai Binh said on Friday that Vietnam is closely monitoring the situation in Ukraine and Crimea with keen attention. About Vietnam’s viewpoint on Crimea and Sevastopol ’s joining the Russian Federation, Binh also said Vietnam hopes every issue will be solved through peaceful measures on the basis of respect to the legitimate desire of the people and the basic principles of the international law. He also expressed the hope that the situation will be normalized soon.Society -- Police in Nha Trang City are handling a case in which a 18-year-old woman was slashed in her left arm by one of the two unidentified men who got close to her on a motorbike when she was riding a bicycle on a road in the city on March 20 evening. The attacker used a pointed object to slash the young woman. This is the latest in a series of similar cases that have recently happened in the city, targeting schoolgirls and women. All the victims were slashed in the buttocks with sharp objects, police said.
-- Traffic inspectors in Hanoi on Friday said they have seized an illegal taxi cab whose driver was found overcharging three foreign passengers on March 19. The cab was masqueraded as a cab of Hong Minh Taxi Company. The driver, Hoang Trieu Quy, demanded the passengers pay him VND245,000 (US$ 11.5) after driving them a distance of just 1 km, while the taxi charge rate in Hanoi is about VND12,000 per km on average. After his wrongdoing was discovered, Quy has returned the overcharged amount to the passengers and apologized to them. -- Police in southern Dong Thap Province have detained Pham Minh Tien, a local teacher, who splashed acid to four people including two educational officers, a headmaster and a teacher in Thang Binh District on Friday. All the four victims have suffered serious injuries on their faces and are being treated in Ho Chi Minh City. According to initial sources, Tien committed the crime due to previous conflicts with the victims. -- With a view to improve traffic safety and minimize traffic accidents in rural and mountainous areas, 186 suspension bridges will be built in a number of provinces in northern, central and Central Highlands provinces, under a project the Transport Ministry has submitted to the Prime Minister for approval. The project costs about VND1,768 billion ($83.4 million) and is expected to be completed within three years.Business -- Sai Gon Thuong Tin Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Sacombank) has lowered the interest rate on 24-month deposits from 8.2 percent to 7.7 percent per year. It also cut the rate on 36-month deposits by 0.3 percent to 8 percent per year. Similarly, OCB has also reduced the interest rates on 6-month, 9-month and 12-month deposits to 7 percent, 7.3 percent and 7.8 percent respectively. -- The Consumer Price Index (CPI) in March in Hanoi has reduced by 0.15 percent from February, the city’s Department of Statistics reported. The CPI reduction has resulted from a decline in prices of food, beverage, housing, fuels and building materials. Education -- Issues related to Vietnam’s Truong Sa (Spratly) and Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelagos in the East Sea are mentioned too little in textbooks on history, many students said at a dialogue held yesterday between the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Education and Training and 150 students from local high schools. “The current historic education program lacks some necessary information we need to know,” a student said.Lifestyle -- A special music program will be organized at Ho Ban Nguyet Park in Phu My Hung New Urban Area on April 5 to mark the 13th death anniversary of musician Trinh Cong Son. The program is offered to the public free of charge. Many well-known songs of the late composer will be performed by famous singers at the event.Sports -- Arsenal will face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge at 7:45 pm on Saturday (Vietnam time) in what will be Arsene Wenger’s 1000th game in charge with just four points separating the two clubs, although the Gunners have a game in hand.