Here are today’s leading news stories:
-- The year 2020 can be the most successful year of Vietnam during the 2016-20 period, as the country is among the few in the world posting a positive economic growth rate amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said at an teleconference between the national government and local authorities on Monday.
-- A woman in the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap has tested positive for the novel coronavirus once after she entered Vietnam illegally with patients No. 1,440 and 1,441 and three other people in an automobile on December 24.
-- The Ho Chi Minh City Center for Disease Control confirmed on Tuesday morning it had identified the final person in a group of six border jumpers, including patients No. 1,440 and 1,441, who previously entered Vietnam on December 24. The person has been quarantined and tested for COVID-19.
-- Vietnamese border guard units said on Monday evening they had caught 110 people attempting to cross the Vietnam-China and Vietnam-Cambodia borders within only one day. All of these border jumpers have been brought to local quarantine centers in accordance with regulations.
-- More than 75,000 Vietnamese citizens stranded overseas due to the COVID-19 pandemic have been repatriated as of late December, Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh said at a meeting on Monday.
-- The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Court on Monday sentenced a 30-year-old woman to 15 years in prison for stabbing to death her boyfriend following an argument at their tenanted house in December 2019.
-- Police in the north-central province of Thanh Hoa confirmed on Monday they had arrested three men for kidnapping their 19-year-old debtor and forcing his family to pay a VND40 million (US$1,700) ransom.
-- Vietnam is considered one of the 10 nations with the highest gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the world in 2020 and one of the 16 most successful emerging economies, Party General Secretary and State President Nguyen Phu Trong said at an online conference between the central government and centrally-run cities and provinces on Monday.
-- Vietnam is estimated to enjoy a trade surplus of $19.1 billion this year – the highest since 2016, according to a report by the General Statistics Office.