-- At a meeting with mass media on Thursday, Ho Chi Minh City’s chairman Phan Van Mai called on people, businesses and agencies to continue contributing to the ongoing implementation the city’s five-year socio-economic development plan, in which the city has targeted a GDP growth rate of 7.5 - 8 percent for 2024, based on three key growth drivers of investment, consumption and export.
-- Ho Chi Minh City’s first metro line will be put on trial run on the whole route (nearly 20 km) during the 2024 Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday, which started on Thursday, after the successful trial in August 2023, according to the Metro Line 1 Project Management Board No. 1 under the Management Authority for Urban Railways of Ho Chi Minh City.
-- Many cafes and restaurants in Hanoi have posted signs announcing normal operation throughout Tet, instead of taking a break as in previous years. Some have kept prices unchanged while others have applied a 10-percent rise or a 20-percent surcharge on selling prices.
-- The ministries of Finance and Industry-Trade cut down fuel prices on Thursday. The prices of E5RON92 and RON95 gasoline decreased by VND793 and VND898 to VND22,120 and VND23,262 per liter, respectively. Diesel oil now costs VND20,707 per liter, down by VND292, while the price of kerosene went down by VND335 to VND20,588 per liter, and mazut saw its price down by VND489 to VND15,598 per kilogram (US$1 = VND24,425).
-- During the first day of the Lunar New Year holiday, February 8, 79 traffic accidents occurred across the country, killing 33 people and injuring 73 others. All the incidents happened on roads. The death toll decreased by four while the number of injured increased by 17 year on year. Traffic police across the country handled 8,540 violations and impounded about 3,200 vehicles of all types.
-- Police in Quang Nam Province, central Vietnam, are investigating the case in which the burned body of a person was found inside a burned seven-seater car after the fire from the car was put off in a vacant land site in Tam Ky City on Thursday afternoon. Police officers have examined the scene of the incident and local forensic experts have performed an autopsy on the corpse to identify the dead person.
-- A long haul bus carrying more than tens of passengers, including children, capsized after a collision with a four-seater car while travelling on National Highway in Quang Tri Province at about 8:00 pm on Thursday. Locals helped passengers to get out of the bus and took those who were injured to hospital. There was no report on human loss. Traffic police are investigating the cause of the accident.
-- The Vietnam National Traffic Safety Committee on Thursday issued a warning to drivers of vehicles about the ‘nail scattering’ that is raging on National Highway 1 sections leading to the Mekong Delta provinces. ‘Nails’ herein refers to rhombus-shaped metal objects that were believed to be purposely scattered by repair shop owners along the roads to puncture tires and thus force drivers to use their service, normally at exorbitant prices.
-- Authorities of Can Tho City, Vietnam’s Mekong Delta region, have for the first time mobilized a 2,500-ton barge to launch 1,000 high-altitude fireworks on the Lunar New Year’s Eve – at 0:00 am on February 10 – at the intersection of Can Tho River and Hau River, in Ninh Kieu District.
-- The administration of Khanh Hoa Province, south-central Vietnam, has approved a three-month pilot plan for tours to the peak of Hon Ba Mountain, where tourists can visit many attractions within the Hon Ba Nature Reserve and the house of Swiss-French doctor and bacteriologist Alexandre Yersin, which was built in 1914 after he observed and searched for a path to climb the peak at an altitude of about 1,500 meters.
-- A volcano in southwestern Iceland erupted on Thursday for the third time since December, pumping lava up to 80 metres (260 feet) into the air and threatening to disrupt life in Reykjanes peninsula, Reuters reported.