Check out today’s leading news stories!
-- Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith will attend and co-chair the 41st meeting of the Vietnam-Laos Inter-Governmental Committee on January 5-6 in Hanoi at the invitation of Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.
-- At a meeting in Ho Chi Minh City on Friday to mark the 40th anniversary of the victory of the southwest border defense war and the joint victory of Vietnam and Cambodia over the Pol Pot genocidal regime (January 7, 1979), Cambodian Consul General to the city Im Hen said that Cambodian people had never forgotten the valuable assistance of Vietnamese volunteer soldiers in this liberation of their nation.
-- Vietnam’s Ministry of Health reported at a meeting on Friday violations of food safety were detected at 116,258 out of 673,490 establishments it inspected in 2018, up 1.4 times year-on-year.
-- Hanoi police on Friday arrested and launched legal proceedings against two men behind an illegal group that has been collecting protection money from merchants at a market in the Vietnamese capital city.
-- Fifty-four houses collapsed, 117 others were unroofed and six people were injured in the Mekong Delta province of Bac Lieu due to heavy rains and whirlwinds caused by the first tropical storm of 2019 on Thursday night and early Friday morning.
-- Taiwan’s authorities are offering a reward of up to NT$4,000 (US$130) for information leading to the arrest of 113 out of the 148 ‘missing’ Vietnamese tourists, who ‘disappeared’ shortly after arriving in the island in four tour groups between December 21 and 23, 2018.
-- The national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines announced that it would launch two new domestic routes connecting Ho Chi Minh City and Chu Lai airport in the central Vietnamese province of Quang Nam on January 15, and the central Vietnamese city of Da Nang and the Mekong Delta City of Can Tho two weeks later in preparation for the busy travel season of Lunar New Year 2019.
-- Vietnam’s total outbound investment in 2018 was an estimated at US$432 million, according to the General Statistics Office.
-- One of the most popular variety programs in South Korea and generally in all of Asia, “Running man” by the South Korean national television network SBS (Seoul Broadcasting System), will be remade in Vietnam by the major Vietnamese broadcasting station HTV7, casting several top celebrities in the Southeast Asian country. Especially, SBS is also planning to recruit football coach Park Hang-seo, a national hero in Vietnam, as a special guest once the South Korean football boss and team Vietnam finish their run at the upcoming 2019 AFC Asian Cup.
-- The final tournament of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, which is contested by 24 teams including Vietnam, promises to open in spectacular style in Abu Dhabi, the UAE capital, at the Zayed Sports City Stadium on Saturday, January 5 at 7:30 pm (10:30 pm Vietnam time) with organizers promising a once-in-a-lifetime experience and breathtaking live show for thousands of fans in the stadium and millions of viewers around the world.