Here are today’s leading news stories:
-- The Vietnamese Embassy in New Zealand has affirmed that there is no report on any Vietnamese victims in the shooting attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Friday, the Vietnam News Agency reported.
-- A planning project to renovate the downtown area of Da Lat, the capital of the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong that is famous for its ancient and romantic charm, was announced by the provincial People’s Committee on Friday.
-- Owners of real estate kiosks along sidewalks in Lien Chieu District, the central Vietnamese city of Da Nang, are forced to demolish the illegally-built constructions within 24 hours after receiving requests from the municipal People’s Committee, administrators ruled on Friday.
-- Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Friday chaired a meeting on the plan to administratively upgrade Sa Pa – a famous resort area in the northern province of Lao Cai – to a district-level town, highlighting the its important role to the province’s development.
-- A ceremony was held at the SP-ITC International Container Terminal in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 9 on Friday to welcome the 40,000 DWT (Deadweight Tonnage) MS EAGLE, the biggest container ship to have docked at the southern Vietnamese metropolis.
-- AAX2, the first container ship route connecting Ho Chi Minh City and Australia was inaugurated on Friday, allowing ships to transport goods directly from SP-ITC International Container Terminal in the Vietnamese city’s District 9 to Sydney / Brisbane / Townsville in Australia and vice versa within 16-18 days.
-- Forty-one passenger speed boats that fail to meet traffic safety standards are forced to temporarily suspend all operations on Ha Long Bay, off the namesake city in the northern province of Quang Ninh, starting from Friday, March 15, the Ha Long People’s Committee said the same day.
-- Vietnam now ranks fourth globally, first in Southeast Asia and second in Asia in terms of exports of seafood, and its products are now available in over 170 countries and territories worldwide, Tran Dinh Luan deputy director general of the Directorate of Fisheries under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said during a press briefing in Hanoi on Friday.
-- A 15-day project to give a fresh look to the Ngo Mon Gate at the Hue Imperial Citadel by applying an eco-friendly and chemical-free way of cleaning – steam cleaning – was initiated in Hue, the capital of the central province of Thua Thien-Hue, on Friday morning.
-- Vietnam’s National Press Festival 2019 kicked off in Hanoi on Friday, attracting 85 centrally-run press agencies and local journalist associations.
-- A photo capturing a Vietnam’s Hmong woman carrying her son on her chest taken by Malaysian photographer Edwin Ong Wee Kee won the US$120,000 grand prize of the Hamdan International Photography Award (HIPA) in Dubai earlier this week for evoking the intense hope and a sense of strength from the speech-disorder Vietnamese mother for her children.