Read what is in the news today, March 20!
-- Widespread backlash has arisen against a recently proposed plan to re-organize the downtown area of Da Lat City in the Central Highlands region of Vietnam, which involves removal of iconic and historical buildings and replacing them with a hotel and shopping mall complex.
-- A press center for Ho Chi Minh City has been officially established on the 6th and 7th floor of a building at 255 Tran Hung Dao Street in District 1, according to a decision by the administration of Ho Chi Minh City.
-- A doctor at the Blood Transfusion Hematology Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, who was last week attacked by a family member of one of his patients for fleecing them, has confessed to police officers that at least 15 patients have fallen victim to his fleecing with a total collected amount of over VND100 million (US$4,300).
-- More animal health quarantine checkpoints are being set up on roads connecting northern Vietnam with southern localities after the first pigs infected with the African swine fever were discovered in the central province of Thua Thien – Hue, weeks after the epidemic hit 13 provinces and cities in northern Vietnam.
-- Thousands of unlicensed real estate trading floors have sprung up in Da Nang following rumors of a real estate price hike happening in the central metropolis, despite government efforts to squash the illegal activities.
-- Leaders of Vietnam’s textile and garment companies are decrying a revised regulation on inspecting formaldehyde and amine levels in products, which they say places more pressure on businesses while not effectively improving the safety of Vietnam-made garments.
-- Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance has urged state-run Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PVN) to divest from companies operating in the real estate, banking, stock and insurance sectors following a scandalous revelation that 11 out of its 13 overseas investments are loss-making or at risk of incurring losses.
-- Collectible tax debts in Ho Chi Minh City have amounted to VND10.11 trillion ($435.48 million), a 13.5-percent increase from December 31, 2018, according to the municipal taxman
-- Miss Universe Vietnam 2018 H’Hen Nie and star footballer Nguyen Quang Hai were among ten Vietnamese who were honored with the prestigious Vietnam Excellent Young Faces Award, which honors outstanding young persons in Vietnam in the previous year.
-- Eight teams from Vietnam, Russia, Brazil, Belgium, Finland, Italy, the UK, and China will compete in the 2019 Da Nang International Fireworks Festival in the central city of Da Nang, which will run from June 8 to July 6 and include five nights of spectacular fireshows.