What you need to know today in Vietnam:
-- Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son met with Politburo member and Director of the Communist Party of China Central Committee’s Foreign Affairs Commission Wang Yi in Jakarta on Thursday, according to the Vietnam News Agency. Given recent strides in the Vietnam - China relations, the two officials affirmed that their countries will keep attaching importance to each other’s role and the bilateral comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.
-- Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and Governor of Nebraska State Jim Pillen shared the view that ample room remains for bilateral cooperation and the U.S. state should elevate relations with Vietnam in general and its localities in particular during their meeting in Hanoi on Thursday, the Vietnam News Agency reported.
-- About four million foreigners and overseas Vietnames have a demand for buying homes in Vietnam, Hoang Hai, head of the Ministry of Construction's house and real estate market management agency, said at a conference in Hanoi on Thursday.
-- A low-pressure system is forecast to develop into a tropical depression near the Philippines on Friday and likely to enter the East Vietnam Sea on Saturday.
-- Authorities in Da Lat, a popular resort city in Lam Dong Province of Vietnam's Central Highlands region, decided on Thursday to shut down two restaurants for their usage of foodstuffs of unclear origin.
-- Vietnam's popular online magazine Zing News said on Thursday it would have to stop publishing for three months from Friday to correct shortcomings.
-- Ho Chi Minh City earned nearly VND81 trillion (US$3.4 billion) in tourism in the first half of this year, according to the municipal Department of Tourism. The city welcomed about 1.9 million foreign tourist visits and over 16.4 million domestic tourist visits during the period.
-- The 8th Vietnam-Japan Festival opened in Da Nang on Thursday to celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
-- The Vietnam Baseball Softball Federation on Thursday held a press conference and a draw for a national baseball club championship. This is an annual professional tournament. The 2023 edition takes place from July 26 to 30 in Hanoi.
-- "The sweetener aspartame is a 'possible carcinogen' but it remains safe to consume at already-agreed levels, two groups linked to the World Health Organization (WHO) declared on Friday," Reuters reported.
-- "A rocket engine exploded during a test in Japan on Friday, but there were no injuries in the incident," Reuters cited an official at Japan's Education, Science and Technology Ministry as saying.