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Vietnam grounds 27 Pakistani pilots over fake degree concerns

A police officer stands guard beside a truck loaded with the wreckage of the crashed Pakistan International Airlines’ PK8303 plane, in Karachi, Pakistan May 28, 2020. Photo by Reuters/Akhtar SoomroR.

27 Pakistani pilots working for Vietnamese airlines have been suspended following Pakistan discovering 262 local pilots used fake airplane licenses.

Dinh Viet Thang, head of the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV), said Saturday that the decision had come into force on Thursday. The grounded pilots are those having airplane licenses issued by Pakistan.

The suspension will be removed if Vietnamese aviation authorities’ review proves their licenses and qualifications are legal, Thang said.

Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The had earlier requested CAAV to ground Pakistani pilots to review their licenses, and suspend foreign pilots using Pakistan-issued certificates suspected to be counterfeit.

The also asked CAAV to review the qualifications of all foreign pilots working for Vietnamese airlines and address suspected cases of fraud.

The administration must report to the Transport Ministry by the end of next month.

Thang of CAAV said that initial findings show no foreign pilot, apart from the Pakistani pilots, have Pakistan-issued certificates.

Last month, Pakistani authorities suspended 262 pilots on suspicion of using fraudulent licenses after an initial investigation into a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane crash in May came to light.

A total 262 out of 860 Pakistani pilots reportedly hired somebody else to take the license examination on their behalf and were not qualified to operate an aircraft, the investigation revealed.

The PIA PK8303 Airbus crashed when landing at Jinnah International Airport in Karachi in southern Pakistan on May 22, causing 97 deaths. The pilots were to blame, according to findings.

They were thrice notified by air traffic controllers the aircraft was too high and that they should not attempt to land, instructions the captain seemed to have ignored.



One dies, two foreigners hospitalised with alcohol poisoning


Roman Stavrov now can breathe slowly and his condition has improved. — VNA/ Photo

KHÁNH HÒA — One Vietnamese person has died and two foreigners are being treated for alcohol poisoning in the central province of Khánh Hòa’s General Hospital after they drunk a mixture of methanol and beer.

Nguyễn Lương Kỷ, head of the hospital’s Anti-poison Intensive Care Unit, said two foreigners were hospitalised on Tuesday and early Wednesday in a state of severe respiratory distress. 

He said they were a couple named Petrova Nadejda, born in 1987, from Uzbekistan, and Roman Stavrov, born in 1987, from Kazakhstan. Both patients were stable but suffered severe poisoning.

Doctor Lê Đăng Khoa, who treated the two patients, confirmed that both had improved and had a positive prognosis.

The male patient can breathe slowly, while the female patient was still in a coma.

The female patient was transferred from Military Hospital 87 (in Nha Trang City) on Tuesday to the hospital.

The male patient was hospitalised on Wednesday morning.

They were diagnosed with methanol poisoning at the time of admission.

One of the patients said they had gone fishing with two Vietnamese friends and bought beer to drink. Because of the light alcohol content in the beer, they added methanol to increase its strength. After drinking the mixture, one of the Vietnamese friends died.

Methanol is very toxic, drinking even a small amount can cause blindness, and more can be fatal. —







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High-tech shrimp breeding yields high profits for Vietnamese farmers

More farmers, co-operatives and companies in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau are seeing much higher profits by using advanced farming techniques to breed shrimp.

High-tech shrimp breeding yields high profits for Vietnamese farmers

Breeding shrimp with advanced farming techniques in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province’s Vung Tau City. 

Under high-tech farming models which use super-intensive farming, the beds of shrimp breeding ponds are covered with plastic sheets and anti-sunlight nets are hung above. The models are also equipped with oxygen-generating facilities.

Besides shrimp breeding ponds, other ponds filter water which is released into shrimp breeding ponds or used for treatment of waste water.

High-tech shrimp farming has a success rate of 90 per cent and offers far higher profit than traditional shrimp breeding in mud ponds, according to farmers.

Bui The Vuong began using advanced farming techniques to breed shrimp on a 7ha farming area in Long Dien District’s An Ngai Commune last year.

In the 7ha area, he uses 1.5ha for shrimp breeding ponds and the rest for ponds to filter water and to treat waste water.

High-tech shrimp farming can produce three shrimp crops a year, up nearly two times against traditional farming models, Vuong said.

The death rate of shrimp bred in high-tech shrimp farming is significantly lower compared to traditional farming models.

He has bred five shrimp crops under the model and earns about VND1.2-1.4 billion (US$51,000-60,400) each crop.

In Vung Tau City’s Ward 12, 20 salt farmers have switched to breed shrimp because of low salt prices and unfavourable weather, and eight of them are applying high-tech shrimp farming, according to the Ward 12 Fishery, Agriculture and Salt Production Division.  

Le Quang Hung, one of the salt farmers in Ward 12, switched from salt monoculture to rotating black-tiger shrimp breeding and making salt in 2005, and then later switched completely to breeding shrimp.

In 2018, Hung invested VND1 billion ($43,000) in high-tech shrimp farming for his 1.5ha. He built two ponds for breeding shrimp and three ponds for treating water, and bought oxygen-generating facilities, plastic sheets and anti-sunlight nets for shrimp ponds.

He now breeds three shrimp crops a year with an output of more than 16 tonnes of shrimp a year.

“I earn a profit of nearly VND1 billion a year,” he said.

Last year, the Quyet Thang Agriculture Co-operative in Ba Ria City’s Long Huong Ward used a recirculating aquaculture system and poly-greenhouse to breed shrimp on 2,000sq.m.

The high-tech farming helps manage the quality of water used to breed shrimp, reduces the shrimp death rate and disease risks caused by weather, and protects the environment as the waste water is treated thoroughly.  

The model offers a yield of 15 tonnes per 2,000sq.m per crop, according to the co-operative.

The province has about 352ha of shrimp bred under high-tech shrimp farming, up nearly 100ha against a year ago, according to the province’s Fisheries Sub-department.

Under high-tech shrimp farming, shrimp can be bred at a density of 250-500 shrimps per sq.m. Water used for breeding shrimp is closely managed and is not affected by weather conditions, so shrimp can be bred year round.

Nguyen Huu Thi, head of the sub-department’s Aquaculture Management Division, said the high-tech shrimp farming models in the province have had positive results and helped shrimp breeders cope with climate change.  

“High-tech shrimp farming has also improved production efficiency since shrimp are bred at a high density,” he said.

To encourage more farmers to apply high-tech farming, the division is organising courses on advanced farming techniques to help farmers make the switch from traditional shrimp farming.  VNS


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346 Vietnamese citizens brought from US amid COVID-19 pandemic

A total of 346 Vietnamese citizens are brought home safe from the US on Thursday. — Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

HÀ NỘI — A total of 346 Vietnamese citizens were brought home safely from the US on Thursday.

The flight was arranged by domestic agencies, the Vietnamese Embassy in the US, the national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines, and US agencies.

Passengers were mostly children, pregnant women, students who face difficulties in accommodation and visa extension, and some businesspeople and experts.

To help citizens complete necessary procedures, the Vietnamese Embassy in Washington DC sent officials to Dulles airport.

Preventive measures were taken during the flight. After landing at Hà Nội’s Nội Bài International Airport, crew members and passengers had their body temperature checked and were quarantined as regulated.

Under the Prime Minister’s instruction, Vietnamese authorities and representative offices abroad will continue conducting more flights to bring Vietnamese citizens home, based on the citizens’ aspirations and quarantine capacity in localities.

Gifts to New York City

Customs procedures for two tonnes of Vietnamese-made antibacterial cloth and surgical facemasks, a gift from Hà Nội to New York City, have been completed to hand over to New York City, according to the Vietnamese Embassy in the US and Vietnamese Permanent Mission to the United Nations.

On behalf of the New York government and people, the New York City’s Commissioner for International Affairs, Penny Abeywardena, on Thursday conveyed gratitude to the Hà Nội authorities and people, saying the move was very practical as New York City is still struggling to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ambassador Đặng Đình Quý, head of the Vietnamese Permanent Mission to the United Nations, said that he hoped the gift of Hà Nội’s people will contribute a small part to help New Yorkers overcome the pandemic.

The ambassador also expected New York City and Hà Nội to have more opportunities for co-operation in the future, especially between businesses, to promote economic and social development and overcome the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. —


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