The two Vietnamese artists who have made headlines since last week for their arrest in Spain due to an accusation of having raped a 17-year-old British girl last month have found themselves a lawyer and are waiting for arraignment, according to Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism Ta Quang Dong.
The police department of the tourist island of Majorca confirmed last Friday that they had arrested two Vietnamese males over sexual assault allegations on June 25.
Spanish and British media reported that the two Vietnamese citizens stayed at a hotel in Sant Elm on the island and met a 17-year-old girl from the UK, who roomed with her family at a different hotel, at a restaurant on June 24.
The three exchanged ‘intimate’ gestures before returning to the hotel room of one of the two Vietnamese men.
The girl later reported to local police that she had been raped in the hotel room.
Authorities took the girl to the Son Espases hospital for a check-up and arrested the accused.
While the men’s identity and occupations were not revealed by the Majorca authorities, local reports said they were “an actor and a musician aged 37 and 42.”
In Vietnam, popular actor Hong Dang and famed musician Ho Hoai Anh have made front-page news ever since Friday last week as a video of the duo enjoying a trip in Majorca uploaded on June 24 cast doubt on their relation to the rape case.
Dang and Anh’s state-run management agencies also suspended their working schedules while national broadcaster Vietnam Television (VTV) has censored programs featuring the two artists.
|This undated file photo shows Vietnamese musician Ho Hoai Anh (L) and actor Hong Dang.|
In response to reporters’ requests during a press meeting on Tuesday morning, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism Ta Quang Dong said that the incident related to Dang and Anh remained a question.
“There is no new information, but these two people were still out on bail as of Sunday [July 3] and have not been prosecuted,” the deputy minister said.
“They are waiting to see the judge and have successfully hired a lawyer to handle legal matters.
“The embassy [of Vietnam in Spain] has sent staff to their place to provide legal help.”
Hong Dang, whose full name is Le Hong Dang, is a Vietnamese actor born in 1984 and managed by the Hanoi Opera House and the Vietnam Drama Production Center under VTV.
He started his acting career in 2004 and has played roles in many VTV dramas, but only rose to stardom in 2011.
He won the ‘Impressive Actor’ awards at VTV Awards in 2016 and 2018 and the prize for ‘Best Actor in a TV Series’ at the 2016 Golden Kite Award, Vietnam’s version of the Oscars, by the Vietnam Cinema Association.
Ho Hoai Anh is a Vietnamese musician and music producer born in 1979 and has worked at the Vietnam National Academy of Music for 20 years.
He won the ‘Musician of the Year’ prize at the prestigious Cong Hien (Devotion) Music Awards in 2010 and was awarded the state title of ‘Meritorious Artist’ in 2015.
Police probe suspected child abuse case in Vietnam’s Ha Tinh Province
Police in Ha Tinh Province, north-central Vietnam are investigating a case of suspected child abuse after a video clip spread on social media showed a half-naked man beating a teen girl with nothing on.
In the four-minute clip, the unclothed girl was hung against the ceiling of a house with a string that tied her hands while the man was beating her with a rod.
The video has triggered deep indignation among the online community after it was posted on Friday morning.
The incident took place at a house in Cuong Gian Commune, located in the province’s Nghi Xuan District, as far as Tien Phong (Youth) newspaper had learned.
Hoang Van Ha, chairman of the commune’s administration, confirmed to Tien Phong that the incident occurred in the locality, adding local police have launched an investigation into it.
The girl in the clip is N., 11, and the man beating her is her father, N.V.T., 36, Ha said.
N. is the second child in her family of three siblings and N.’s mother is now a guest worker in Taiwan, according to local authorities.
“The incident happened a few days ago. After the video clip appeared, local authorities and police came to T.’s house for verification but he had left,” Ha said.
T. works as a seaman and often drinks alcohol and beats his children, Ha added.
Local police are continuing to investigate this suspected child abuse case.
Torrential rain sinks streets, houses in northern Vietnamese province
Multiple streets and houses in Lao Cai Province, northern Vietnam were severely inundated following a heavy downpour on Thursday evening.
The provincial steering committee for natural disaster prevention and rescue told Tien Phong (Youth) newspaper on Friday that local authorities were dealing with the aftermath of the rain and calculating the total damage it had done.
The downpour that lasted for over an hour started battering Lao Cai City, which is the provincial capital, and several districts in Lao Cai Province at around 8:00 pm on Thursday.
|A tree is uprooted during the downpour in Lao Cai Province, Vietnam, August 4, 2022. Photo: L.Cai / Tien Phong|
Many streets including Tran Phu, Tran Hung Dao, Le Thanh, Nhac Son, An Duong Vuong, and Pho Moi were submerged by rainwater, while numerous cars and motorbikes broke down as well.
Uprooted trees were recorded on Ham Nghi Street and at Goc Mit Market and Thang Binh Park.
Flooding in local neighborhoods occurred quickly, leaving residents little to no time to react.
|A resident pushes his motorbike on a flooded street in Lao Cai Province, Vietnam, August 4, 2022. Photo: L.Cai / Tien Phong|
Many people reported having their homes, electrical appliances, and motorbikes damaged by the inundation.
Bac Cuong Ward in Lao Cai City suffered the heaviest damage with three neighborhoods sunk by the downpour.
The heavy rain also caused landslides in several areas across the province.
The National Center for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting previously reported that torrential rains would lash northern Vietnam from Thursday until the end of this week.
|Houses are submerged by a heavy downpour in Lao Cai Province, Vietnam, August 4, 2022. Photo: L.Cai / Tien Phong|
Vietnamese province revamps public bus service after limbless man ignored by drivers
The Department of Transport of the north-central Vietnamese province of Nghe An has ordered a revamp of local public bus routes after a limbless man spent two hours repeatedly failing to flag down a bus, apparently because drivers were simply ignoring him.
A viral video posted online on Thursday showed Huynh Thanh Duc, 51, a resident of Ha Tinh Province, telling a local in Hoa Thanh Commune, Yen Thanh District, Nghe An Province that he stood at a bus stop waiting for a bus from 7:00 am to 9:00 am on Wednesday.
Duc, who is quadruple amputee, was dropped off at the bus stop by his child at around 7:00 am that day to catch bus No. 5 from Yen Thanh to Vinh City, the capital of Nghe An.
Three No. 5 buses passed while Duc and his child waited, but none stopped.
Duc’s child wound up having to leave to attend to an urgent matter, and shortly after a fourth No. 5 bus drove by without stopping for Duc.
A local named D., who filmed the viral video, helped Duc wave a bus down and help him aboard.
The video of the incident draw huge public attention and stirred mixed opinions, mostly criticism.
In their initial response to the incident, the operator of the No. 5 bus route explained that Duc stood a bit too far from the bus stop to be noticed and showed no signs of needing a ride.
However, according to D., it is common for passengers at the stop to wait in the shade of the nearby tree, rather than right at the stop.
They only run to the bus stop once the bus arrives.
Unfortunately, Duc was not able to leave the shade for the bus stop due to his disability.
On Thursday afternoon, Nguyen Van Hai, deputy director of the Nghe An Department of Transport, requested that his subordinates revamp service on all public bus routes in the province following the incident.
Nghe An currently has more than 300 buses which run a combined 1,300 trips per day at a frequency of about 15-35 minutes per departure.
Vietnamese law stipulates that priority has to be given to public transport passengers with disabilities, including prioritized seating, free or discounted fares, and assistance with boarding and deboarding.
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