Here are today’s leading news stories:
-- Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc left Davos, Switzerland, on Friday afternoon (local time), wrapping up his four-day visit to attend the annual conference of the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2019.
-- A helicopter of Vietnam’s Ministry of Defense carried a pregnant woman on Sinh Ton (Sin Cowe) Island, one of many islands in the Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago, who was in bad health condition, to the south-central province of Khanh Hoa’s Cam Ranh Airport for treatment at the provincial hospital on Thursday night. The flight was made one day before another ministry’s helicopter carried a military officer suffering traumatic brain injury to emergency treatment at the Military Hospital 175 in Ho Chi Minh City.
-- Part of Vietnam’s Lunar New Year travel rush began at Ho Chi Minh City’s Mien Dong (Eastern) Bus Station on Friday as people started to return homes in the central Vietnamese provinces, which require longer bus commute from the southern metropolis compared to Mekong Delta region-bound trips, to celebrate Tet, which falls early next month.
-- Police of the northern Vietnamese city of Hai Phong on Friday detained 13 local people for their alleged involvement in an illegal online gambling ring.
-- A high-speed passenger ship capable of traveling between Ho Chi Minh City’s Bach Dang Wharf and Con Dao Island off the southern province of Ba Ria - Vung Tau in five hours is planned for official operation in March, satisfying the demand for travel among local residents, as well as promoting sea-route tourism, after a test run on Friday.
-- Supermarkets in Vietnam are offering shopping services via mobile applications with many discounts and promotions as a way to catch up with digital shopping trend, bringing convenience to customers and avoiding congestion at the brick-and-mortar outlets.
-- Bangkok Airways’ first direct flight from Thailand’s capital city landed in Cam Ranh International Airport in Vietnam’s central province of Khanh Hoa on Friday afternoon.
-- Themed activities including a charity fair, painting auction, and craftsman lessons are taking place at the beautifully decorated space of the Book Street (Nguyen Van Binh Street) in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City from January 25 to February 10 to welcome visitors in celebration of Tet.
-- A flower festival scheduled to take place at the Half Moon Lake at the Phu My Hung residential area in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City from January 28 to February 4 will boast several kinds of flowers on a seven hectare venue, while offering visitors a number of Vietnam’s traditional musical arts such as ‘Đờn ca tài tử’, ‘Quan họ’ (Bac Ninh folk love duets), Hue folk singing and ‘ví dặm’ singing.
-- Thousands of supporters are expected to welcome Vietnam’s football team home at the Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi when the Golden Stars arrive at the airdrome from the UAE at 2:15 pm today, after their amazing run at the 2019 Asian Cup finished following a regrettable-but-proud knockout by Japan in quarterfinals.