|A new kindergarten funded by PV Gas in Thai Nguyen Province – PHOTO: PV GAS|
HCMC – PetroVietnam Gas Joint Stock Corporation (PV Gas) has recently handed over some new schools to localities to provide local students with more spacious facilities and cleaner, safer learning environment.
In Nghe An Province, the corporation contributed VND5 billion for the construction of a high school in Thanh Tung Commune, one of the poorest region in the mountainous Thanh Chuong District. Costing VND5.2 billion, the new school has a two-storey building with eight well-equipped classrooms.
This is the only junior high school in the commune. The old school was badly deteriorated and posed danger to students and teachers during rainy season.
PV Gas has also provided VND3.7 billion for the construction of a kindergarten in Tien Hoi Commune, Dai Tu District, Thai Nguyen Province. In addition to building a new facility, the corporation bought teaching and studying equipment for the school.
Building and renovating schools, especially in poor and remote areas, has been a regular activity of PV Gas. The corporation spends tens of billions of dongs every year to help disadvantaged children have access to better education.
French Oscars usher in reforms in response to sexism row
PARIS — The French equivalent of the Oscars announced changes to ensure gender equality on Thursday, five months after its entire board resigned amid accusations of sexism and calls for far-reaching-reform.
More than 200 actors, producers, directors and movie personalities had accused the Cesar Academy of being out of touch, with the body already under fire after Roman Polanski topped the list of nominations for this year’s awards, leading to the board’s resignation.
Two weeks later, the glitzy award ceremony on February 28 turned into a fiasco when Polanski – who is wanted in the US for the statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl in 1977 – won best director and best adapted screenplay, prompting French actress Adele Haenel to walk out shouting “Shame!”
“Distinguishing Polanski is spitting in the face of all victims,” Haenel had said in the run-up to the Cesars.
“It means raping women isn’t that bad.”
The Cesar Academy said that from now on there would be gender parity in all its decision-making chambers, including the presidency where a woman and man would share the role.
The Academy also announced that all 4,313 members who vote for the awards could be candidates to the General Assembly and would be able to choose their representatives in elections scheduled for September.
The institution’s new organisation is a response to the criticism by offering “more diversity, more gender equality and more democracy,” interim president Margaret Menegoz said.
In the open letter which prompted the board’s resignation, over 200 stars from the French film industry denounced the “dysfunction” at the academy, the “opaqueness” in its accounts and the lack of change to its founding statutes.
And on the eve of the dramatic awards night, 30 cinema figures from minority backgrounds lashed the lip service they claimed the French industry plays to inclusion, saying black, North African and Asian-origin performers are mostly confined to stereotypical parts.
Over the years the Cesar awards have been dogged by accusations of elitism, often snubbing films that have been popular among French audiences in favour of more supposedly high-brow offerings. — AFP
‘Glee’ star Naya Rivera feared drowned as search resumes at US lake
LOS ANGELES — Glee star Naya Rivera is missing and feared drowned at a California lake, where divers, patrol boats and helicopters resumed their search for the US actress on Thursday.
The operation to locate the 33-year-old – a “possible drowning victim” – began at first light at Lake Piru, around an hour’s drive northwest of Los Angeles.
Rivera, best known for her role as high school cheerleader Santana Lopez in Glee, disappeared Wednesday after renting a boat at the camping and recreational hotspot with her four-year-old son.
The child was found around three hours later by another person out on the lake “asleep and with his life vest on,” Ventura County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Eric Buschow said.
“We believe she did go in the lake,” he told a press conference.
The lake has been closed to the public while the search continues, with dive teams from across the region arriving to assist. More than 80 personnel were involved in the operation.
Rivera starred for six seasons in Glee, the wildly popular musical television series set in a US high school that ended in 2015.
She more recently appeared in Devious Maids, and web series Step Up: High Water.
Rivera had put up a photo of her and her son on Twitter on Tuesday, alongside the phrase: “Just the two of us.”
Thousands have left comments below the post, many offering their prayers.
Rivera and the boy’s father, actor Ryan Dorsey, divorced in 2018.
The Glee cast has been struck by tragedy before.
Actor Mark Salling took his own life in 2018, weeks before being sentenced for possession of child pornography.
Canadian castmate Cory Monteith died in July 2013 of an overdose of drugs and alcohol. — AFP
UNESCO designates Dak Nong Geopark as Vietnam’s third global geopark
The UNESCO’s executive board approved this week the designation of Vietnam’s Dak Nong Geopark as one of the UNESCO Global Geoparks, the third park in Vietnam to have been awarded this honor so far.
The board passed a resolution on Tuesday that recognizes 15 new sites including Dak Nong Geopark, located in the namesake province in Vietnam’s Central Highlands, as new global geoparks in 2020.
The UN agency also approved the extension of an existing global geopark, Kula- Salihli in Turkey.
With this year’s additions, the number of sites in the Global UNESCO Geoparks Network is brought to 161 in 44 countries.
The decision is a meaningful fruit borne from the Dak Nong authorities’ efforts toward the designation over the last five years.
The province has developed its geopark with the goal of becoming a UNESCO global geopark since 2014, when Japanese scientists discovered the local Krong No volcanic cave system.
In December 2015, the People’s Committee of Dak Nong Province issued a decision to establish the Dak Nong Geopark covering more than 4,700 kilometers and consisting of the provincial capital city of Gia Nghia and five districts — Krong No, Cu Jut, Dak Mik, Dak Song, and Dak Glong.
Provincial authorities launched a consultation process with experts in July 2018 to evaluate the holistic potential of Dak Nong Geopark based on UNESCO standards.
Upon receiving positive feedback, Dak Nong officially applied to become a member of the UNESCO Global Geoparks Network.
Before Dak Nong Geopark, two other Vietnamese parks were designated as UNESCO global geoparks including Dong Van karst plateau in the northern province of Ha Giang in 2010 and Non nuoc Cao Bang in the northern province of Cao Bang in 2018, according to the UNESCO’s official website.
The UNESCO and the Global Geoparks Network will co-organize a digital event via the GoToMeeting app to celebrate the designation of the new global geoparks at 10:00 pm Vietnam time next Thursday, July 16.
In Vietnam, a virtual ceremony announcing the designation will be held at 8:00 pm between July 13 and 15 from the information center of Dak Nong Geopark.
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