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Hanoi’s former chairman earns 3-year commutation after fulfilling $1mn compensation

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A Vietnam appellate court has cut the prison term of former Hanoi administration chairman Nguyen Duc Chung by three years following his fulfillment of a US$1 million compensation requirement issued during his hearing last year for an offense related to the purchase of Redoxy-3C to treat polluted lakes in Hanoi.

After a three-day appellate trial, the High People’s Court in Hanoi on Wednesday issued commutations to Chung and his two accomplices for sentences handed down by the Hanoi People’s Court in December for “abusing positions and powers while performing duties.”

Accordingly, Chung received a three-year commutation after the court considered his past achievements and his fulfillment of the VND25 billion ($1.07 million) he owed in compensation for his crimes, as required by the first-instance court.

The total amount included VND10 billion ($429,700) previously paid during the first instance hearing and the remainder recently settled at the appellate trial.

Along with a prison sentence of five years which he was given in December for “appropriating state secret documents,” Chung is required to serve a total of ten years behind bars.

Chung’s two accomplices, Nguyen Truong Giang, former director of Arktic Trading and Service Co. Ltd. (Asktic Co. Ltd.), and Vo Tien Hung, former general director of Hanoi Sewerage and Drainage Company Limited (HSDC), also received commutations for fully paying VND11.1 billion ($477,100) in compensation.

Specifically, Giang and Hung each received an 18-month reduction from their respective jail terms of 4.5 years and four years, respectively.

The court gave such commutations based on a proposal by the High People’s Procuracy that said the three defendants had been aware of their responsibilities related to their wrongdoings in the case and had fully paid the required compensation. 

According to the indictment, the Hanoi administration in 2016 directed relevant agencies to address water pollution in local rivers and lakes by searching for suitable advanced technologies.

Chung, then chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee, chose the water treatment technology of Germany’s Watch Water GmbH and placed an order for the production of Redoxy-3C for use in treating water pollution after making a trip to Germany to visit the manufacturer.

However, he later instructed Hung to buy Redoxy-3C through Asktic Co. Ltd., where Giang acted as the director, instead of purchasing the agent directly from the German manufacturer, with the intention of gaining personal profit.

Arktic is wholly owned by Chung’s wife, Nguyen Thi Truc Chi Hoa, and the company is in the name of their son, Nguyen Duc Hanh, according to its business registration certificate.

With the green light from Chung, Arktic bought Redoxy-3C from Watch Water GmbH for around VND115 billion ($4.94 million) and resold it to HSDC for some VND151 billion ($6.49 million) to earn a difference of VND36.1 billion ($1.55 million), the indictment said.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20220624/hanois-former-chairman-earns-3year-commutation-after-fulfilling-1mn-compensation/67775.html

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More endangered gray-shanked douc langurs found in central Vietnam

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Nonprofits Save Vietnam’s Wildlife and GreenViet have recently found 10 herds of 104 endangered gray-shanked douc langurs after surveying ten forests in Ba To District in the central province of Quang Ngai.

“These are very rare douc langurs that need urgent conservation,” said Ngo Vinh Phong, head of the Quang Ngai Forest Protection Department.

They are included in the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of threatened species.

In the world, the gray-shanked douc langur is only found in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, according to Tran Huu Vy, director of GreenViet. 

An endangered gray-shanked douc langur and its infant are seen in Ba To District, Quang Ngai Province, Vietnam. Photo: Hoang Quoc Huy / Tien Phong

An endangered gray-shanked douc langur and its offspring are seen in Ba To District, Quang Ngai Province, Vietnam. Photo: Hoang Quoc Huy / Tien Phong

In Vietnam, it is estimated that there are only 2,200 – 2,500 gray-shanked douc langurs in the wild, distributed in Gia Lai, Kon Tum, Phu Yen, Binh Dinh, Quang Nam, and Quang Ngai Provinces.

Vy and many experts are calling for the establishment of a nature reserve at the place where the 104 gray-shanked douc langurs were discovered in Ba To District.

The new reserve will border existing nature reserves in Gia Lai and Binh Dinh Provinces.

Endangered gray-shanked douc langurs are hunted in Ba To District, Quang Ngai Province, Vietnam. Photo: T.M. / Tien Phong

Endangered gray-shanked douc langurs are hunted in Ba To District, Quang Ngai Province, Vietnam. Photo: T.M. / Tien Phong

Reports showed that about 86 gray-shanked douc langurs were caught in the central and Central Highlands provinces in the 2010-20 period. 

In Ba To District, forest rangers caught a case of five gray-shanked douc langurs being hunted and launched legal proceedings against the people involved.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20221202/more-endangered-grayshanked-douc-langurs-found-in-central-vietnam/70279.html

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Ho Chi Minh City’s sky turns gray due to air pollution

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The sky of Ho Chi Minh City had a dull gray color with a thick layer of gloomy mist as air pollution worsened on Thursday morning, according to experts.

Many buildings and skyscrapers were covered by the leaden mist around 9:00 am and 10:00 am as observed by Tien Phong (Youth) newspaper.

The foggy, murky weather often occurs in the southern region in the year-end season, the experts said.

This image shows the gloomy sky of the eastern area of Ho Chi Minh City on December 1, 2022. Photo: Le Phan / Tien Phong

This image shows the gloomy sky of the eastern area of Ho Chi Minh City on December 1, 2022. Photo: Le Phan / Tien Phong

The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Natural Resources and Environment called this phenomenon photochemical smog, a term used to describe a form of air pollution that occurs in the troposphere and is caused by sunlight acting on emissions.

Compounds created from this procedure are harmful to human health and reduce visibility.

This image shows the gloomy sky in Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City on December 1, 2022. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tien Phong

This image shows the gloomy sky in Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City on December 1, 2022. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tien Phong

Monitoring results from November 14 to 20 showed that 42.9 percent of the total suspended particulate (TSP) values, all noise indicators, and 9.5 percent of the fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) indicators did not meet requirements.

This image shows the gloomy sky in Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City on December 1, 2022. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tien Phong

This image shows the gloomy sky in Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City on December 1, 2022. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tien Phong

Meanwhile, Le Thi Xuan Lan, former deputy head of the southern hydro-meteorological station, who calls the phenomenon ‘dust-mixed smog,’ explained that as the rainy season has not ended yet, humidity remains high in Ho Chi Minh City.

“Suspended dust clings to water vapor, so we can see it more clearly,” Lan said. 

“This is a sign of air pollution.”

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20221201/ho-chi-minh-citys-sky-turns-gray-due-to-air-pollution/70281.html

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Ho Chi Minh City to conduct test run of first metro line’s elevated section this month

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Ho Chi Minh City is expected to conduct a test run along the elevated section of its first metro line later this month, according to secretary of the municipal Party Committee Nguyen Van Nen.

During a meeting on Wednesday, Nen directed relevant agencies to speed up and put into use key projects, especially the long-stalled metro line No. 1.

According to the report of the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City, the metro line project is now 92.89 percent complete.

The developer and contractor are expected to conduct the trial run of the elevated section from Suoi Tien Terminal to Binh Thai Station in late December.

In late January, the developer will carry out the trial operation of the elevated section along with the automatic train protection (ATP), automatic train operation (ATO), and automatic train supervision (ATS) systems.

The developer will strive to complete the installation of equipment on the entire route by April.

The trial operation of the entire route is expected to take place in August, while the project will come on stream by the end of 2023.

Metro line No. 1 is 19.7 kilometers long, including 2.6 kilometers of underground railways and 17.1 kilometers of elevated tracks.

It runs from Ben Thanh Market in District 1 to Suoi Tien Theme Park in Thu Duc City through three underground stations and 11 stops above the ground.

The line has 17 trains, each consisting of three cars and designed to run at up to 110 kilometers per hour above the ground and 80 kilometers per hour underground.

Each Japanese-manufactured train is 61.5 meters long and can carry 930 passengers, including 147 seating and 783 standing guests.

The metro project, which started in August 2012, carries a price tag of VND43.7 trillion (US$1.9 billion).

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20221201/ho-chi-minh-city-to-conduct-test-run-of-first-metro-lines-elevated-section-this-month/70282.html

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