Moc Chau: Lost in paradise of white apricot flowers

Last update 14:42 | 12/01/2018

These days, Moc Chau Plateau in the northern province of Son La attracts travellers to not only endless tea hills and white mustard flower fields but also white apricot flowers.

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Getting lost in a paradise of pure white apricot flowers. Tiếp tục đọc “Moc Chau: Lost in paradise of white apricot flowers”

A 170-year-old pagoda in HCM City

Last update 09:00 | 13/01/2018

Lying at the foot of Chanh Hung Bridge in District 8, HCMC, An Phu Pagoda with a history of more than 170 years is frequented by foreign tourists who want to explore its ancient and unique architecture.

Its history dates back to Nguyen Dynasty which ruled the country from 1802 until 1945. Construction of the pagoda was completed in 1847 by Venerable Thich Thanh Duc under the reign of King Tu Duc.

Due to the deteriorating structures, the pagoda underwent restoration in 1961 under Master Monk of Thich Tu Bach. Restoration work lasted until 2004.

One of the features of the pagoda that all wall surfaces and columns for the both exterior and interior are stunningly decorated with nearly 30 tons of broken porcelain pieces, including chipped plates, bowls and vases, making it the only porcelain pagoda in HCMC. Tiếp tục đọc “A 170-year-old pagoda in HCM City”

Kumquat trees and peach blossoms beautify Hanoi’s winter

Last update 14:11 | 13/01/2018

Hanoi seems to be warmer with beautiful peach blossoms and kumquat trees.

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The Lunar New Year Festival (Tet) is still a month away, but gardeners in Nhat Tan flower village, Hanoi are taking special care of peach blossoms and kumquat trees to meet consumers’ demands during Tet. Tiếp tục đọc “Kumquat trees and peach blossoms beautify Hanoi’s winter”

Death toll from air pollution four times higher than traffic accidents

Last update 07:50 | 12/01/2018

VietNamNet Bridge – Dr Le Viet Phu, a lecturer at Fulbright University, says the damages caused by air pollution to Vietnam in 2013 could be assessed up to $10 billion. 

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Vietnam is among 10 countries with the worst air quality

The figure was calculated based on WTP approaching method, which considers the willingness to pay for reduction in air pollution.

In 2013, the number of deaths because of PM 2.5 dust was 40,000, including 3,000 in HCMC. Tiếp tục đọc “Death toll from air pollution four times higher than traffic accidents”

Lack of care leads to elephant rampages

Last update 11:34 | 12/01/2018
VietNamNet Bridge – For centuries, residents in Phuc Son Commune, central province of Nghe An have lived comfortably with wild elephants, but as bamboo forests – the main diet of many elephants – are replaced with industrial trees, things are changing. Many elephant herds are now finding it difficult to find enough food to survive. 
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Elephants at the Pu Mat National Park in the central province of Nghe An. Many elephant herds in the province are now finding it difficult to find enough food to survive. — Photo:

Last October, six wild elephants went on a rampage in a commune village and destroyed family crops.

The family called neighbours for help to chase the elephants away. However, the wild beasts refused to go until they had destroyed two hectares of acacias and other trees. Tiếp tục đọc “Lack of care leads to elephant rampages”

What’s the kindest way to kill a lobster?

Last update 14:10 | 12/01/2018
“Lobster is one of those rare foods that you cook from a live state,” the recipe says.
“Quickly plunge lobsters head-first into the boiling water… Boil for 15 minutes,” the recipe then instructs.
It’s the tried-and-trusted method for many of us with any experience of cooking lobster – and there are dozens of similar recipes online.

But on Wednesday Switzerland banned the practice and ordered that lobsters be stunned before being despatched to our plates to avoid unnecessary suffering in the kitchen.

It comes amid growing scientific evidence that lobsters – and other invertebrates, such as crayfish and crabs – are able to feel pain. Tiếp tục đọc “What’s the kindest way to kill a lobster?”

Sông Mekong sẽ là Biển Đông thứ hai?

03/01/2018 13:50 GMT+7 TTO – Kế hoạch 5 năm phát triển sông Mekong thuộc cơ chế Hợp tác Mekong – Lan Thương (LMC) do Trung Quốc khởi xướng đang gây lo ngại trong giới chuyên gia, đặc biệt là về động cơ chính trị của Bắc Kinh.

Sông Mekong sẽ là Biển Đông thứ hai? - Ảnh 1.

Người dân đánh bắt cá trên đoạn sông Mekong chảy qua thủ đô Vientiane của Lào – Ảnh: AFP

Tháng 12-2017, ngoại trưởng 6 nước khu vực sông Mekong nhóm họp ở thành phố Đại Lý thuộc tỉnh Vân Nam (Trung Quốc) để thông qua đề cương kế hoạch 5 năm phát triển dòng sông này. Dự kiến các nhà lãnh đạo sẽ chốt lại đề xuất trong cuộc họp dự kiến diễn ra cuối tháng 1-2018 ở Campuchia. Tiếp tục đọc “Sông Mekong sẽ là Biển Đông thứ hai?”

The Mekong river under THREAT

Milton Osborne

Even if no dams are built on the mainstream below China, the cascade to which it is committed will ultimately have serious effects on the functioning of the Mekong once the dams are used to control the river’s flow. This will be the case because the cascade will:

• alter the hydrology of the river and so the current ‘flood pulse’, the regular rise and fall of the river on an annual basis which plays an essential part in the timing of spawning and the migration pattern. This will be particularly important in relation to the Tonle Sap in Cambodia, but will have an effect throughout the river’s course;

• block the flow of sediment down the river which plays a vital part both in depositing nutrients on the agricultural regions flooded by the river and also as a trigger for fish migration — at present well over 50% of the river’s sediment comes from China;

• at least initially cause problems by restricting the amount of flooding that takes place most importantly in Cambodia and Vietnam; and

• lead to the erosion of river banks.

So China’s dam-building plans are worrying enough, but the proposed new mainstream dams would pose even more serious concerns. Those built at sites higher upstream would cause the least damage to fish stocks, but if, as currently seems possible, the most likely dams to be built would be at Don Sahong and Sambor the costs to fish stocks could be very serious. This is because unanimous expert opinion judges that there are no ways to mitigate the blocking of fish migration that would occur if these dams are constructed. None of the suggested possible forms of mitigation — fish ladders, fish lifts, and alternative fish-passages — are feasible for the species of fish in the Mekong and the very large biomass that is involved in their migratory pattern. Fish ladders were tried and failed at the Pak Mun dam on one of the Mekong’s tributaries in Thailand in the 1990s. Tiếp tục đọc “The Mekong river under THREAT”

Israel’s agriculture minister leads prayers for water


by James Ayre 0 comment
What Do You Do If Your Country Is Facing Water Shortages Exacerbated By Climate Change? Pray, Apparently — Israel’s Agriculture Minister Leads Prayers For Water

Fighting climate change with bioenergy may do ‘more harm than good’

  • A new study finds land-use like grazing and managing forests for resource extraction may have released more carbon than previously thought. Its results indicate the world’s terrestrial vegetation is currently sequestering less than half its full carbon-storage potential.
  • Of that missing half, the researchers discovered 42 to 47 percent is attributed to land uses that don’t technically change the vegetation cover type. The researchers say that climate change mitigation strategies often focus on reducing intensive land-use like deforestation, with less-intensive uses that don’t change cover type largely overlooked and under-researched.
  • One of these less-intensive uses is managing forests for biomass energy production. Many countries are trying to replace fossil fuels with biomass energy in-line with international climate agreements like the Paris Accord.
  • The researchers warn that strategies developed under the assumption that producing biomass energy doesn’t come at a carbon cost could harm efforts to fight climate change. They urge that in addition to stopping deforestation, the protection of forest functions, like carbon stocks, should be moved more into focus when it comes to land-use and climate change planning.

As nations try to stem emissions to keep the world from warming more than 2 degrees Celsius in line with their commitments towards the Paris Accord, replacing fossil fuels with renewable alternatives is widely seen as a big step in the right direction. A major source of energy oft-extolled as renewable is biomass from trees, which are usually harvested from managed forests either established on land that has already been deforested or planted where forests didn’t naturally grow. But a new study finds land-use like managing forests for biomass production may come at a much higher carbon cost than previously thought.
Tiếp tục đọc “Fighting climate change with bioenergy may do ‘more harm than good’”

Khi ông Kim Jong Un đề nghị đàm phán …

  • DANH ĐỨC – 06.01.2018, 09:26

TTCT– Đề nghị nối lại đàm phán hai miền Nam Bắc Triều Tiên của ông Kim Jong Un trong thông điệp đầu năm 2018 không là một bất ngờ, mà là một diễn biến tất yếu.

Khi ông Kim Jong Un đề nghị đàm phán ...
Những nứt gãy liên Triều bao giờ mới có cơ hội hàn gắn? Ảnh:

Ông Kim đã chọn văn phòng Trung ương Đảng Lao động Triều Tiên để đọc bài diễn văn chúc mừng năm mới, hoan ca thắng lợi này, và dùng đại từ “tôi” trong xưng hô để khẳng định vai trò lãnh đạo tối cao của ông với toàn thể Đảng Lao động.

Việc sử dụng đại từ “tôi”, vốn quen thuộc ở những chế độ mà vai trò – chiếc ghế lãnh đạo đồng nhất với trách nhiệm và tài trí cá nhân – người lãnh đạo, gián tiếp quả quyết ông Kim là “tác giả” của những chiến thắng này.

Từ vị trí đó, nhân danh Đảng Lao động và Chính phủ Triều Tiên, ông “chân thành cảm ơn nhân dân và quân đội Triều Tiên đã giành chiến thắng” có một không hai trong “lịch sử 5.000 năm” của đất nước này: một cách nói khác để khẳng định rằng CHDCND Triều Tiên (và ông) mới là Triều Tiên “chính tông”, chứ không phải Hàn Quốc. Tiếp tục đọc “Khi ông Kim Jong Un đề nghị đàm phán …”

“Điểm yếu” con tằm

  • MAI VINH – 11.01.2018, 09:14

TTCT – Ông Đặng Vĩnh Thọ, chủ tịch Hiệp hội Dâu tằm tơ Việt Nam, khẳng định không chỉ Bảo Lộc mà những xứ trồng dâu nuôi tằm, ươm tơ dệt lụa khác ở Việt Nam đều không chủ động được nguồn giống tằm.

“Điểm yếu” con tằm
Để sản xuất kén ươm tơ, đa số các cơ sở nuôi tằm đều phải nhập giống qua đường tiểu ngạch. Trong ảnh: rút tơ từ kén tại một cơ sở ươm tơ. Ảnh: Mai Vinh

Nhập tiểu ngạch gần 100%

Ông Thọ khẳng định gần 100% giống tằm mà người dân đang dùng hiện nay đều nhập tiểu ngạch, nguồn gốc không rõ ràng. “Đó là hậu quả một giai đoạn đi xuống kéo dài gần 20 năm”. Hiện cả nước có 3 trung tâm nghiên cứu, sản xuất giống tằm, công suất thiết kế đạt khoảng 200.000 hộp trứng tằm/năm. Tiếp tục đọc ““Điểm yếu” con tằm”