Read what’s in the news today, January 21!
-- Ngu Hanh Son (Marble Mountains), a cluster of five marble and limestone hills located south of Da Nang and a popular tourist attraction in the central Vietnamese city, has been recognized as a special national heritage site in a ceremony hosted by the tourism ministry on Sunday.
-- Eleven Vietnamese fishermen who got stranded on their vessel that broke down on Thursday around ten nautical miles off the Truong Sa (Spratly) Islands were brought to land safely on Sunday after spending nearly four days at sea.
-- Eight households that resided over a 2,300sqm plot of public land in the Loc Hung Garden neighborhood in Tan Binh District, Ho Chi Minh City have received half of their land clearance compensation, worth more than VND8 billion (US$344,000) in total, as the remaining half is expected to be paid out after the Lunar New Year holiday.
-- Temperatures in Hanoi will likely remain in the region of 12-15 degrees Celsius this week with occasional rains in the forecast, as southern Vietnam enjoys more temperate weather with temperatures staying just above 20 degrees Celsius.
-- Dinh La Thang, a former member of the Vietnamese Party’s Politburo who is already serving two jail terms of 13 and 18 years for roles in separate financial misconducts at state-run Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PVN), has been criminally investigated for another role in PVN’s investment on an ethanol plant in the northern province of Phu Tho.
-- Fishermen in the provinces of Binh Dinh and Phu Yen in south-central Vietnam have been making huge profits in the past week thanks to hiking tuna prices of up to VND150,000 ($6.45) per kilogram, as each vessel makes around VND100 million ($4,300) in profit on average after one fishing trip.
-- The first casino in Vietnam that allows locals to gamble has opened on the resort island of Phu Quoc off Kien GIang Province in southern Vietnam, with guests required to pay an entry fee of VND1 million ($43) for 24 hours of playing.
-- The administration of Quang Ngai Province in central Vietnam is considering an entrance fee for visitors to its iconic Ly Son Island, with tickets costing between VND10,000 ($0.43) and VND50,000 ($2.15) per person, to fund conservation efforts on the island.
-- Long-haul bus lines that operate routes connecting Ho Chi Minh City with provinces in the Central Highlands, south-central and central Vietnam are inflating ticket prices for the Lunar New Year travel rush by many times, causing a headache for travelers heading home for the long holiday.
-- Vietjet, which was put under special monitoring in December by the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam following repeated incidents involving technical problems with its planes, said on Sunday it had “passed” the monitoring and will likely add more flights for the Lunar New Year holiday as the ban has been lifted.