A slip down memory lane: Vietnam in the 1880s

By Mai Nhat   August 24, 2020 | 08:33 am GMT+7 vnexpress

Grayscale photos by French photographer Pierre Dieulefils shed light on Vietnam’s historical landscape during the late 19th century.

A local book publication has published a book titled Indo-Chine Pittoresque & Monumentale which show a collection of old photos taken by different French photographers, including Dieulefils. These photos served as a form of research about locals lives  back during the French colonial period.
Locally published “Indo-Chine Pittoresque & MonumentaleAnnam – Tonkin” book includes a collection of photos taken by different French photographers, including Dieulefils. These images serve to expose Vietnamese culture during the French colonial period and can be dated back to 1885.

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Vietnam sees rooftop solar boom

By Anh Minh   August 26, 2020 | 11:57 am GMT+7 vnexpressVietnam sees rooftop solar boomWorkers install solar power panels on a rooftop in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo courtesy of Vietnam Electricity.

Over 45,000 households and organizations in the country have installed rooftop solar panels, whose prices have been falling rapidly in recent years.

Le Anh Tuan, lecturer at Can Tho University in southern Can Tho City, spent VND130 million ($5,600) to install a 3.9 kWp rooftop solar power system in his home four years ago and is now enjoying the fruits of his investment.

Tuan was able to save up to VND1.2 million each month compared to using normal electricity, twice the amount of monthly deposit interests.

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Vietnam’s lawmaker addresses dual citizenship exposed in Cyprus Papers

Wednesday, August 26, 2020, 16:39 GMT+7 tuoitre

Vietnam’s lawmaker addresses dual citizenship exposed in Cyprus Papers
Pham Phu Quoc, a deputy of Vietnam’s lawmaking National Assembly for 2016-21, is seen in a file photo.

A serving member of Vietnam’s lawmaking National Assembly (NA) has addressed the controversy around his dual citizenship exposed in an exclusive report by the Al Jazeera.

Dozens of major political figures and their families have bought Cyprus citizenship through the ‘golden passport’ program of the Cypriot government, the Al Jazeera reported on Monday after obtaining what they call ‘The Cyprus Papers.’

Such papers are a batch of leaked documents containing more than 1,400 approved applications for the Cyprus Investment Programme (CIP) run by the Republic of Cyprus.

“The programme allows people to buy a Cypriot passport, and by extension become European Union citizens, by investing at least €2.15 million ($2.5 million) in the country,” the Al Jazeera said in their investigative report.

Named in the papers is Pham Phu Quoc, the incumbent NA representative from Ho Chi Minh City who is serving the 2016-21 tenure.

Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper was able to interview Quoc on Tuesday to give further details on his Cyprus citizenship.

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Việt Nam demands China to stop military exercises in Paracel islands

Update: August, 26/2020 – 12:15|vietnamnewsChina’s Liaoning aircraft carrier sailing during a drill in the South China Sea in 2018. — AFP/VNA Photo

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam has condemned China’s latest military drill in Hoàng Sa (Paracel) islands as a move against the country’s territorial integrity and regional peace.

The statement was made by Việt Nam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Lê Thị Thu Hằng on Wednesday over reported Chinese naval exercises and live-fire drills in a part of the Paracels lying within the hotly contested South China Sea (known in Việt Nam as the East Sea) on August 24-29.

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The risk of China-US military conflict is worryingly high

The US and China have settled into a pattern of military manoeuvring in the South China Sea that allows both sides to ‘save face’

The two sides are sleepwalking into confrontation in the South China Sea. ZHOU BO. Financial Times

The US and China have settled into a pattern of military manoeuvring in the South China Sea that allows both sides to ‘save face’ © Zha Chunming/Xinhua/AP

Zhou Bo YESTERDAY

The writer is a senior fellow at the Center for International Security and Strategy at Tsinghua University, and a China Forum expert

The relationship between China and the US is in freefall. That is dangerous. US defence secretary Mark Esper has said he wants to visit China this year, which shows the Pentagon is worried. That Wei Fenghe, China’s defence minister, spoke at length with Mr Esper in August shows that Beijing is worried too. Both men have agreed to keep communications open and to work to reduce risks as they arise.

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Institutional Racism in Higher Ed

Walter E. Williams @WE_Williams / August 26, 2020 / Daily Signal

Despite the nation’s great achievements in race relations, there remains institutional racism in higher education. (Photo: Sshepard/Getty Images)

COMMENTARY BY

Walter E. Williams@WE_Williams

Walter E. Williams, a columnist for The Daily Signal, is a professor of economics at George Mason University.

Institutional racism and systemic racism are terms bandied about these days without much clarity. Being 84 years of age, I have seen and lived through what might be called institutional racism or systemic racism. Both operate under the assumption that one race is superior to another. It involves the practice of treating a person or group of people differently based on their race.

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Phát triển ngành Năng Lượng Việt Nam: Góc nhìn chiến lược

T.S Đào Thu Hằng

Tóm lược

Bài báo đóng góp những kiến nghị để cải tiến và đổi mới ngành năng lượng và giao thông của Việt Nam, hai lĩnh vực nhìn chung được coi quan trọng nhất đối với các chính sách về năng lượng và khí hậu.

Trong nhiều năm, Việt Nam vẫn đi sau thế giới về năng lượng tái tạo – đặc biệt là điện gió, điện mặt trời, và hiệu quả năng lượng, và phần lớn dựa vào than và dầu. Việt Nam định ra cho ngành năng lượng một phần rất nhỏ trong Đóng góp quốc gia tự quyết định (Nationally Determined Contribution – NDC) để giảm thiểu phát thải carbon, mặc dù ngành năng lượng chiếm đến một nửa lượng khí thải của quốc gia, và điều này gần như loại trừ hoàn toàn ngành công nghiệp năng lượng khỏi NDC. Việt Nam cũng đã gần như chưa hề để tâm đúng mức tới giảm phát thải trong giao thông vận tải, một ngành vẫn gần như phụ thuộc hoàn toàn vào xăng dầu. Ngoài ra, Việt Nam chưa tìm ra cách hiệu quả để tạo ra sự cạnh tranh trên thị trường năng lượng, khiến cho giá năng lượng phù hợp hơn với thực tế thị trường và hiệu quả hơn.

Đầu tư trực tiếp nước ngoài (Foreign direct investment – FDI) vào lĩnh vực năng lượng còn yếu. Việt Nam cần hỗ trợ về vốn từ các nhà đầu tư quốc tế và các tổ chức cho vay để tạo ra một bước tiến lớn trong ngành năng lượng. Nằm trên lộ trình của Sáng kiến ​​Vành đai và Con đường của Trung Quốc (Belt and Road Initiative – BRI), Việt Nam có thể hưởng lợi từ các dự án BRI, nếu các dự án đó phù hợp với những đánh giá và mong muốn của Việt Nam. Vốn Hỗ trợ Phát triển Chính thức (ODA) từ các nước khác tài trợ cũng có thể giúp ích. Nhưng quan trọng nhất, môi trường pháp lý phải được cải thiện để tạo ra sự cạnh tranh và do đó, có được lợi nhuận hợp pháp trên thị trường. Tiếp tục đọc “Phát triển ngành Năng Lượng Việt Nam: Góc nhìn chiến lược”

Samsung targeted by NGOs for proposal to build coal power station in Vietnam

Famous for innovation in consumer electronics and a progressive approach to sustainability, Samsung has been called out by NGOs for links to the construction of the controversial Vung Ang 2 coal-fired power plant in Vietnam.
News that electronics giant Samsung’s construction arm could be building a controversial coal-fired power station in Vietnam has surprised environmentalists, and prompted a campaign that highlights the environmental and social impact of the project.News emerged on Monday (10 August) that Samsung Construction & Trading (C&T) is considering participation in the 1,200 megawatt Vung Ang 2 coal project in Vietnam’s Ha Tinh province.

The proposed plant has been repeatedly targeted by NGOs in recent years for its potential to pollute and exacerbate the climate crisis, and a number of companies including Standard Chartered BankOCBC Bank and DBS have withdrawn from Vung Ang 2, citing conflicts with tightened climate policies.

Campaigners have also pointed out that Vung Ang 2 has air pollution standards far lower than those in Korea, which is one of the world’s biggest investors in overseas coal projects.

A collective of green groups including Greenpeace, Solutions for Our Climate and Market Forces said in a campaign due to run in international media this week that Samsung’s involvement in Vung Ang 2 goes against group-level sustainability pledges, which include reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and will tarnish the company’s brand image.

“Innovation is such a big focus for Samsung. It seems odd that a company so focused on building the next new thing wants to build 19th century technology,” Bernadette Maheandiran, a researcher for investments watchdog Market Forces, told Eco-Business.

The campaign launches less than a month after environmental protests prompted Samsung Securities, the conglomerate’s financial investment arm, to withdraw from the Adani Abbot Point coal terminal in Australia. Prostesters had called for a boycott of Samsung products. Tiếp tục đọc “Samsung targeted by NGOs for proposal to build coal power station in Vietnam”

CANCER CONTROL IN VIETNAM: WHERE ARE WE?

This article looks at the current situation of cancer control is in Vietnam, which is a lower-middle-income country in South East Asia. It highlights the advances that have been made in capacity-building and in spreading knowledge about cancer to improve early diagnosis and treatment. The article also sets out the key challenges that the country still faces including policy development, resources and the need to develop partnerships with other developed regions of the world.

The cancer incidence rates for all cancers per 100,000 persons, which have been reported by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IACR) in 2012, are 173 for males and 114.3 for females. These incidence rates indicate a national cancer incidence of 125,000 new cases per year for both sexes. IARC estimates cancer mortality rates of 148 per 100,000 for males, 76.3 per 100,000 for females and 94,700 people died from cancer each year. Five year prevalent cases were reported to be 211,800. The top five most frequent cancers in Viet Nam in males and females are cancers of the liver (17.6 % of new cases), lung (17.5 % of new cases), stomach (11.4% of new cases), breast (8.9% of new cases) and colorectum (7 % of all new cases) (1, 2).
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Can We Be Forced to Say Something We Don’t Believe? Ask This Teacher

Rachel del Guidice @LRacheldG / August 25, 2020 / Daily Signal

French teacher Peter Vlaming, who had taught since 2012 at West Point High School in West Point, Virginia, was fired in December 2018. (Photo: Alliance Defending Freedom)

A French teacher at West Point High School in West Point, Virginia, was fired for not using pronouns preferred by a transgender student.

Should people be forced to contradict their core beliefs just to keep a job? Can you be compelled to speak a message you don’t believe in?

Caleb Dalton, a counsel with the Christian legal organization Alliance Defending Freedom who represents the teacher, Peter Vlaming, joins “The Daily Signal Podcast” to discuss the issues involved.

Rachel del Guidice: I’m joined today on “The Daily Signal Podcast” by Caleb Dalton, who serves as legal counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom. Caleb, it’s great to have you on “The Daily Signal Podcast.”

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Covid Lays Bare the Flaws in Asia’s Booming Megacities

asiafoundation.org

August 19, 2020

Throughout modern history, pandemics—like wars, earthquakes, catastrophic fires, and other sweeping calamities—have fundamentally shaped and transformed cities. In the early 20th century, the Spanish Flu bore witness to the dangers of concentrating people in dense urban housing. In its aftermath, city governments in Europe and the Americas embraced new urban planning strategies to make cities healthier and more livable. Their efforts focused on creating more parkland and giving cities green “lungs.” More recently, the 1994 outbreak of pneumonic plague in Surat, India, led to the establishment of a citywide system to monitor public health, while the 2003 SARS outbreak prompted Singapore to improve its medical infrastructure. Tiếp tục đọc “Covid Lays Bare the Flaws in Asia’s Booming Megacities”

Research shows air pollution could play role in development of cardiometabolic diseases

sciencedaily.com

August 20, 2020

Source:University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center

Summary:Air pollution is the world’s leading environmental risk factor, and causes more than nine million deaths per year. New research shows air pollution may play a role in the development of cardiometabolic diseases, such as diabetes. Importantly, the effects were reversible with cessation of exposure.

Researchers found that air pollution was a “risk factor for a risk factor” that contributed to the common soil of other fatal problems like heart attack and stroke. Similar to how an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise can lead to disease, exposure to air pollution could be added to this risk factor list as well.

“In this study, we created an environment that mimicked a polluted day in New Delhi or Beijing,” said Sanjay Rajagopalan, MD, first author on the study, Chief of Cardiovascular Medicine at University Hospitals Harrington Heart and Vascular Institute, and Director of the Case Western Reserve University Cardiovascular Research Institute. “We concentrated fine particles of air pollution, called PM2.5 (particulate matter component < 2.5 microns). Concentrated particles like this develop from human impact on the environment, such as automobile exhaust, power generation and other fossil fuels.” Tiếp tục đọc “Research shows air pollution could play role in development of cardiometabolic diseases”

On Thailand, Stay True to American Values

Walter Lohman / August 21, 2020 / Daily Signal

Protesters hold lights and three-finger salutes during a protest on Aug. 21 in Bangkok, Thailand. (Photo: Allison Joyce/Getty Images)

COMMENTARY BY

Walter Lohman

Walter Lohman is director of the Asian Studies Center at The Heritage Foundation.

There is a long-held logic in Washington that puts so-called geostrategic interests ahead of values. The idea is that we cannot afford to stand for liberty because our global competitors do not.

If we alienate oppressive governments by criticizing them or pushing for political reform, the logic follows, they will side with our competitors and tilt the game board against us.

This is a much too simple way of looking at the world.

A case in point right now is what is happening in Thailand. For weeks, thousands have been demonstrating in favor of democratic reform, which the Thai government is already attempting to suppress.

How are socialists deluding a whole generation? Learn more now >>

If the U.S. turns a blind eye to this suppression—or sides with the Thai authorities—out of fear of pushing the Thai government closer to Beijing, we will be betraying our own democratic values.

The demonstrators are calling for a new constitution and greater freedom of expression. Protesters also are calling for constraints on the power of the Thai monarchy—a very touchy subject in Thailand, as criticism of the monarchy can land one in prison for up to 15 years.

It is hard to blame them. The state of democracy in Thailand today is not good. Elections held last year were best described as “partly free and not fair.” Although they did provide for a transition to civilian government, the military remains very much in control of the Thai political structure.

The strong influence of the military is by design. The country’s 2017 constitution, drafted by the Thai military junta, was written precisely to keep the military in, to keep former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra (and other opposition like the former Future Forward Party) out, and to augment the powers and privileges of the monarchy.

Of course, Thailand is not the worst abuser of liberal freedoms. Freedom House now classifies it as partly free—a status it holds with several other countries in Southeast Asia, including the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia, which have regular elections.

The U.S. is right to engage Thailand as the valuable treaty ally it is. The Thai people, however, are also right to demand more of their government.

A relatively low-grade crackdown is already underway, and likely will intensify. The best model may be the current situation in Hong Kong, which Thai authorities may see as the most efficient approach to shutting down dissent.

Like Hong Kong following Beijing’s imposition of its “national security law,” the legal structure is in place in Thailand to target protest leaders and try to decapitate the movement.

There is also the possibility of a much broader, violent shutdown of the protests that anyone familiar with the Thammasat University massacre of 1976 shudders to consider.

In either case, the U.S. must stay true to its values. It cannot condone the arrest of political activists or a broader crackdown on peaceful protests. The Trump administration should speak out and take action against individuals responsible—as it has in Hong Kong.

If things cascade into another military takeover, Washington will be compelled to curtail the extent of its military cooperation with Thailand—as it did after other recent coups in 2006 and 2014. 

Is this ceding the field to the People’s Republic of China in what is now a global strategic competition? Not at all.

Certainly, in the short term, Beijing will seek to gain an advantage, as it has at other tense points in U.S.-Thai relations. But Thailand has long had a good security relationship with China, the best in Southeast Asia, in fact. That is not the doing of the U.S.

Thailand is the classic fence-sitter. It wants to engage both the U.S. and China, and barring the former, will still be wary of drawing too close to the latter.

In the longer term, American interests align with the Thai people. They will remember where we were in these days of protests. Any tactical edge we may gain with U.S.-Thai military exercises or new arms sales will be overshadowed by their disappointment in our sense of priorities.   

American values are a strategic asset, not a liability. We may soon be called upon to treat them as such.          

Denmark helps Vietnam draw up plans for cutting energy use

By Minh Nga   August 22, 2020 | 09:31 am GMT+7 VNExpressDenmark helps Vietnam draw up plans for cutting energy useElectricians in Ho Chi Minh City repair a broken transmission system in District 7, September 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Thanh Nguyen.

Denmark is assisting all 63 Vietnamese cities and provinces with reviewing energy usage and developing action plans to reduce consumption.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade has issued Guidelines for Developing Provincial Action Plans on Energy Efficiency for 2020-25 period under the Danish Vietnamese Energy Partnership Program, which seeks to cut Vietnam’s energy consumption by 5-7 percent by 2025.

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Director of Hà Nội drainage company detained for State asset mismanagement

Update: August, 21/2020 – 11:19| vietnamnewsGeneral director of Hanoi Sewerage and Drainage Company Võ Tiến Hùng. — Photo plo.vn

HÀ NỘI — The general director of Hanoi Sewerage and Drainage Company has been detained by the Ministry of Public Security over a number of management violations.

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