What you need to know today:
-- Vietnam and the U.S. are promoting bilateral defense links, including maritime security cooperation and enhancement of maritime law enforcement capacity, with a view to maintaining peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world, Le Thi Thu Hang, spokesperson of the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said on Thursday.
-- Thirty-one Vietnamese officers seconded to join UN peacekeeping operations in South Sudan for the first time arrived at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City on Thursday, ending their one-year mission in the African country.
-- Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son told reporters on Thursday that the government will offer lending to the families of 39 victims found dead in a truck container in Essex, the UK, last month to bring their bodies back to Vietnam.
-- Police said on Thursday that they had arrested Pham Chi Dung, 53, for making, storing, and spreading information and documents to subvert the Vietnamese government.
-- Ho Chi Minh City and the Czech Republic look to boost cooperation in environmental protection, Le Thanh Liem, vice-chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee, said on Thursday in a meeting with visiting Czech Minister for the Environment Richard Brabec.
-- Vietnam's military-owned Viettel Telecom has been named the country’s Mobile Data Service Provider of the Year at the 2019 Frost & Sullivan Asia-Pacific Best Practices Awards recently given away in Singapore.
-- Vietnam is estimated to suffer a shortage of 200,000 metric tons of pork for the Tet, or Lunar New Year, festival that will be celebrated nationwide in late January, due to the African swine fever epidemic, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.