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In Sa Pa, ethnic children forced to peddle on streets in bitterly cold night

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As the mercury of the highland tourist hub of Sa Pa approaches zero, child street vendors of ethnic minorities were still seen roaming through the shivering cold to pursue the remaining tourists.

Despite the effort of Sa Pa authorities to discourage purchasing goods from child street vendors, children of the upland city, the majority being Hmong, are still pushed to the streets to peddle in the cold.

According to Ngoc Anh from the Sa Pa Town law enforcement, families seem to have cooperated and keep their children home after discussing with local authorities, but there is still a street vending group harassing tourists in the town.

The group is organized by parents who gather their kids at specific spots and let the bigger children carry the smaller ones on their back to take advantage of tourists’ pity.

Officials use a loudspeaker to call for visitors not to buy goods from child vendors in Sa Pa Town, Lao Cai Province, Vietnam. Video: Vu Tuan / Tien Phong

If a tourist buys from one of them, the others will quickly swarm around and paster them to purchase more.

“We have imposed a penalty on many cases and led the kids to a social support center, but they jump the wall to escape and resume vending jobs the very next day,” Anh said.

The sight of children braving the cold to sell souvenirs is too heart-wrenching, said Tran Thinh, a tourist from Ho Chi Minh City.

“I can do charity work at other places, not just situations like these. The parents are using these kids to sell stuff, which makes me feel like my goodwill is being abused,” Thinh remarked.

A child vendor sells souvenirs to tourists in Sa Pa Township. Photo: Vu Tuan / Tien Phong

A child vendor sells souvenirs to tourists in Sa Pa Town, Lao Cai Province, Vietnam. Photo: Vu Tuan / Tien Phong

Hoang Thi Vuong, head of Sa Pa’s bureau of culture and information, said local authorities have stepped in to address the issue of street vendors harassing tourists for several years, but their efforts have not paid off.

According to Vuong, officials in the town have implemented a long-term strategy, with the promotion of sustainable business practices to ethnic minority communities being the bottom line.

“We are listening to the wishes of each household. If they want to do retail, we will provide them with locations and capacity training. We will also build policy to support other households who wish to get livelihoods from brocade weaving, artisanal crafts, and tourism,” Vuong revealed.

Child vendors surround a tourist to sell souvenirs in Sa Pa Township. Photo: Vu Tuan / Tien Phong

Child vendors surround a tourist to sell souvenirs in Sa Pa Town, Lao Cai Province, Vietnam. Photo: Vu Tuan / Tien Phong

A child vendor sells souvenirs on a street of Sa Pa Township. Photo: Vu Tuan / Tien Phong

A child vendor sells souvenirs on a street of Sa Pa Town, Lao Cai Province, Vietnam. Photo: Vu Tuan / Tien Phong

A child vendor sells souvenirs to a tourist in Sa Pa Township. Photo: Vu Tuan / Tien Phong

A child vendor sells souvenirs to a tourist in Sa Pa Town, Lao Cai Province, Vietnam. Photo: Vu Tuan / Tien Phong

Child vendors surrounds tourists to sell souvenirs in Sa Pa Township. Photo: Vu Tuan / Tien Phong

Child vendors surround tourists to sell souvenirs in Sa Pa Town, Lao Cai Province, Vietnam. Photo: Vu Tuan / Tien Phong

Parents of child vendors is seen in Sa Pa Township. Photo: Vu Tuan / Tien Phong

Parents of child vendors is pictured in Sa Pa Town, Lao Cai Province, Vietnam. Photo: Vu Tuan / Tien Phong

Child vendors sells foods to tourists in Sa Pa Township. Photo: Vu Tuan / Tien Phong

Child vendors sell foods to tourists in Sa Pa Town, Lao Cai Province, Vietnam. Photo: Vu Tuan / Tien Phong

Child vendors surrounds tourists to sell souvenirs in Sa Pa Township. Photo: Vu Tuan / Tien Phong

Child vendors surround tourists to sell souvenirs in Sa Pa Town, Lao Cai Province, Vietnam. Photo: Vu Tuan / Tien Phong

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20210110/in-sa-pa-ethnic-children-forced-to-peddle-on-streets-in-bitterly-cold-night/58711.html

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Drunk motorbike driver arrested for assaulting police officers in northern Vietnam

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Police in the northern Vietnamese province of Bac Giang have taken a motorbike driver into custody for driving under the influence before assaulting two traffic police officers.

Local traffic police officers were responding to an accident involving motorcyclists Tran Nhat Minh, 62, and H.V.D., 39, on Than Nhan Trung Street at around 2:30 pm on April 11, according to a statement issued by provincial police on Thursday.

During his interactions with officers, Minh refused to obey orders and began exhibiting signs that he was under the influence of alcohol. 

He then punched two of the traffic police officers in the face before throwing an elbow at one and kicking the other, leaving both officers bloody and bruised.

A blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test showed that Minh’s level was at 1,096 milligrams per liter.

He is currently being investigated for obstructing officials performing duties.

According to Vietnam’s current regulations, all car and motorbike drivers must have a BAC level of zero.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20210416/drunk-motorbike-driver-arrested-for-assaulting-police-officers-in-northern-vietnam/60389.html

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Vietnam ranks 40th in global list of best countries in 2021: US News

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Vietnam has gained the achievement thanks to power, heritage, and openness for business.

Vietnam has climbed three places to the 40th in the 2021 Best Countries Report, according to a ranking and analysis project by the US News & World Report.

Vietnam has gained the achievement thanks to power, heritage, and openness for business.

With an overall score of 24.5 out of 100, Vietnam did better than its Southeast Asian neighbors like the Philippines (44th), Cambodia (55th) and Myanmar (58th), the report said.

In Southeast Asia, Vietnam was ranked below Singapore (14th), Thailand (28th), Malaysia (36th) and Indonesia (37th).

Vietnam ranks 40th in global list of best countries in 2021: US News
Foreigners are excited when walking around Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi. Photo: Hanoitimes

In terms of heritage, Vietnam, home to eight world heritage sites recognized by UNESCO, stood at 25th globally while in terms of openness for business, the country ranked 21st.

For the power category that measures a country’s political and economic influences, international alliance and military, Vietnam rose six places to 25th, surpassing neighbors in Asia-Pacific like New Zealand, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia.

However, it did not fare well in terms of cultural influence, entrepreneurship, social purpose, and quality of life.

This year, the model that powers this report has evolved in response to a transformational year since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Cultural, economic, political and technological influences remain important. Two new categories have been added, which are social purpose and agility. Together, this broad range of categories determines how the 78 countries studied are ranked on the world stage.

“Nations are impacted on many critical fronts by how they are perceived globally – from foreign relations to international business to tourism. These perceptions are ever-evolving in a rapidly changing world,” said Kim Castro, editor and chief content officer at the US News.

“The 2021 Best Countries analysis combines data and storytelling to explore how countries compare on a host of global issues,” he added.

For the first time, Canada takes the top spot overall in the 2021 Best Countries Report. Japan and Germany finish second and third, respectively, while Switzerland, the previous No.1 overall country, falls to No.4. Australia remains as the No.5 overall country followed by the United States, which rises one position to No.6.

Canada ranks No.1 in quality of life and social purpose. It is also perceived as having a good job market, caring about human rights and is committed to social justice. Besides, the country finished No.1 in being viewed as not corrupt and respecting property rights.

Hanoitimes

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/society/vietnam-ranks-40th-in-global-list-of-best-countries-in-2021-us-news-728241.html

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Former HCM City official jailed for abusing rights to freedom, democracy

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Quách Duy at the court on Thursday. — VNA/ Photo

HCM CITY — The People’s Court of Tân Phú District in HCM City on Thursday sentenced a former city official to four and a half years in prison.

Quách Duy, a former official at the municipal People’s Committee, was jailed for “abusing the rights to freedom and democracy to violate the interests of the State, and the rights and legitimate interests of organisations and individuals” under Article 331 of the 2015 Penal Code.

Duy posted many articles and photos on his Facebook account, of which three had content defaming the honour and prestige of former Party, State leaders and city leaders. He was placed into temporary detention on September 18, 2020.

During a search, the Tân Phú police investigation agency found many documents, including some deemed “secret”, and passed them on to relevant forces for further investigation.

The judge said Duy’s actions were serious, harming the security and social order and safety.

He confessed at the trial that he had compiled and published the articles on Facebook. —

Source: https://vietnamnews.vn/society/926630/former-hcm-city-official-jailed-for-abusing-rights-to-freedom-democracy.html

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