peteg's blog - AYAD - HCMC - 2007 09 22 VietnamNews

What one reads in Việt Nam News.


Việt Nam News is "The National English Language Daily", published by Việt Nam News Agency.

  • One can obtain the Sunday edition on Saturday. (Sunday's is more of a Good Weekend-style supplement, a week-in-review and some feature stories, rather than new-news.)

  • The comic strips are Garfield, Calvin and Hobbes and Rubes. There is a find-these-words-in-a-matrix and a rather strange and Americentric crossword.

  • There are some editorials but no letters-to-the-editor.

  • From Tuesday 2007-09-18:

    • City drivers fail to heed traffic safety month: The traffic in the two main cities (Hà Nội and Hồ Chí Minh City) is terrible. Apparently in August there were 987 fatalities and 746 other injuries in more than 1,000 road accidents, though it is unclear if that is just for the cities or country-wide. (I've heard it said that wearing a helmet makes one feel more safe, ergo more likely to push the safety margins, so I wonder if the imminent law making them compulsory will improve these figures.)

      There are 3.5 million registered motorbikes in HCMC, which apparently get their riders around at a speed of 3kph at peak times, and 6-8kph at other times; this makes walking look competitive on this basis.

    • Asian Development Bank projects drop in inflation rate next year: The ADB reckons Việt Nam will have an inflation rate of 7.8 per cent this year, and 6.8 per cent next year. I hope the INGO bean counters are taking note!

    • Local writers join Swedish book fair: three lucky Vietnamese are having their work featured at the Göteborg International Book Fair. At least one, Hồ Anh Thái's Trong Sương Hồng Hiện Ra (A Rose Appears in the Mist), has been translated into English, apparently under the title Behind the Red Mist.

  • From Saturday 2007-09-22: USAID supports disabled employment:

    HÀ NỘI — An employer council was organised yesterday by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to discuss strategies for promoting employment of the disabled.

    The council, called The Blue Ribbon, aims to provide employment opportunities and skill training for the handicapped and raise awareness of the benefits of hiring them.

    "The Blue Ribbon Employer Council is in a position to take the lead and make the business case for hiring people with disabilities in Vietnam," said United States Ambassador to Vietnam Michael Michalak at the first Council meeting.

    Assistance programmes worth $US43 million have been launched by the United States to help the disabled in Việt Nam.

    This is excellent news, and I hope we hear more about it.

Their main competitor in HCMC is the Saigon Times (apparently a business rag), which I haven't read.