Here are today’s leading stories:
-- A 30-year-old sex buyer stabbed a 45-year-old prostitute to death as the woman asked the man to give VND100,000 (US$4.3) more than the agreed price in a threatening tone after their sexual activity. Both reside in Ho Chi Minh City’s Hoc Mon District, with the male killer once having a criminal conviction of robbery.
-- Ho Chi Minh City on Friday launched a voluntary blood donation campaign and Xuan Hong (Red Spring) Festival of 2019, amidst a shortage in blood reserve for the upcoming Lunar New Year (Tet) festival.
-- Two kids died while different cases in several Vietnamese localities reported side effects after the vaccination of ComBE Five, a “five-in-one” vaccine that can help fight against five common, potentially fatal diseases affecting infants - diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenza type B. The vaccine was stipulated to be used nationwide to replace the Korean-made Quinvaxem vaccine from late December after it was tested in seven provinces.
-- In the face of a series of local petitions that report difficulties with the temporary suspension of public payment to investors in build-transfer (BT) models, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc affirmed at a national conference between the government and localities in Hanoi on Friday that he will sign a Government Resolution on BT investments on Saturday, December 29.
-- Jerry Lim, Grab’s CEO in Vietnam, said the ride-hailing firm would appeal to the country’s appellate court after the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Court ordered it to compensate Vietnamese taxi firm Vinasun for more than VND4.8 billion ($206,985) on Friday, in conclusion of an 18-month legal battle between the two firms where the latter had sued its tech-based rival over profit losses.
-- Asian countries are the major market of Vietnam’s tourism sector in 2018 with over 12 million departures, up 23.7 percent over last year, according to the General Statistics Office.
-- National flag carrier Vietnam Airlines has planned close to 54,000 extra seats, while budget carrier Jetstar Pacific will add nearly 93,000 seats between now and January 2, 2019 to meet increasing demand for domestic flights during the New Year holiday.
-- Japan took the lead among 112 countries and territories with investment in Vietnam in 2018, with $8.59 billion, making up 24 percent of the nation’s total FDI, according to a report by the Foreign Investment Agency under the Ministry of Planning and Investment.
-- A photo exhibition on 320 years of Saigon – Ho Chi Minh City development, featuring 200 photos of the journey during which the city has evolved from reclaimed land into the southern economic-cultural hub of Vietnam, opened at the city’s Nguyen Hue Pedestrian Street on Friday and will last until January 8.
-- As New Year’s Eve 2019 is just two nights away, the capital city of Hanoi will organize a wide range of art shows in celebration of the holiday, including a dazzling New Year countdown party at the Ly Thai To Statue Square near Hoan Kiem Lake and various art performances across the city’s public places on December 31, while fireworks set off above Nguyen Van Troi bridge will light up the sky of the central city of Da Nang to welcome New Year, and a countdown party is also scheduled for Nguyen Hue Walking Street in Ho Chi Minh City until midnight.