Vietnam string artists to play in China
The 22-strong troupe includes the conservatory’s director, Artist of Merit Ngo Van Thanh, and renowned artists like Bui Cong Duy and Ngo Hoang Linh.
The visitors will perform masterpieces by Mozart, Vivaldi, Tchaikovsky, and some modern works by Vietnamese composer Nguyen Van Thuong and Chinese composer Liu Tie Shan.
During the trip, which comes at the invitation of the Yunnan Economics and Finance Institute, the orchestra will also perform at the Yunnan Art Institute and sign a number of agreements on training and performance.
Source: Nhan Dan – Translated by Thu Thuy
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Mai Hoa 0917824732 Ha Noi
Singapore, Vietnam firms to distribute new online game
Under the deal signed in Ho Chi Minh City last week, the Singapore firm will soon deliver a new, localized high-quality game called Super Dancer Online (SDO). VDC will provide infrastructure and network support.
They did not divulge financial details of the deal.
Super Dancer Online involves a virtual reality world where the player takes on an avatar, interacts with friends through a 3D Instant Messenger, blogs, shares photos and videos, and takes part in forums.
The two companies will also form a strategic partnership to develop and promote games in future.
Producers promise Vietnamese films coming into their own
Luu Phuoc Sang, head of Phuoc Sang Film Production Company – the most successful producer last year said his company was going ahead with its US$4 million horror film Muoi – a cooperative product with its Korean partner Bily Pictures.
Phuoc Sang’s Ao Lua Ha Dong (The White Silk Dress), a US$2 million, five-year production – the most expensive film ever for Vietnam that utilized the ‘flying-cam’ technique won the audience voted prize at the Busan International Film Festival 2006.
Phuoc Sang said he had invited Vietnamese overseas director Luu Huynh for another movie named Yeu (Love), with shooting to start this summer.
Sang added that his company was making three features – Bo lac sieu nhi (The super-tiny tribe), 9 nut (Nine points) , Chuot (Mouse) for the next Tet Lunar New Year holiday.
Phuoc Sang’s counterpart, Sena Film, is busy choosing actors and actress and shooting sites for the new film – Nhung chiec la thoi gian (The leaves of time).
Vimax Films, owned by Ngo Quang Hai – director of Vietnamese best film 2006 Chuyen cua Pao (Pao’s story) – is targeting his new production Mua he lanh leo (Cold summer) – the most anticipated film this year.
Head of state-owned Giai Phong Film Production Company – Le Duc Tien expressed his eagerness for the new film year.
“We will make several films for summer and next Tet holiday” while fulfilling last year’s projects – Gia mua mot thuong de (The cost of buying a God) , Trang noi day gieng (Moon in the bottom of the well),” Tien said.
During the Tet holiday last month, the latest offering from Phuoc Sang – Vo Lam Truyen Ky (Swordsman) – bagged some VND18 billion ($1.12 million) in ticket sales.
Reported by Tram Anh – Compiled by Luu Thi Hong
US actor extends hands to street kids in wartime Vietnam
Dick visited Vietnam after graduating from a Master’s degree in drama and was going to start on his promising career when news of the war shelved his acting plans.
He said he wanted to do something to help Vietnam. So, in April, two months after the 1968 Tet Offensive, he set foot on Saigon, now Ho Chi Minh City as a correspondent from the Carnegie Mellon University, where he graduated.
With two sets of clothes and around US$1,500, Dick called a cab to a press center but the driver instead took him to the US General Consulate.
While standing in front of the imposing building and rearranging papers, a dirty Vietnamese kid with a baggy pullover apparently suffering from scabies asked him in a pidgin English if he was civilian or military.
Seeing his pitiable state, Dick decided to help them.
Dick was only 24 years old.
After the first month living in a hotel, he left and rented a small house on Pham Ngu Lao Street in district 1 where he had numerous occasions to meet homeless kids. The street today is famous as the backpackers’ quarter.
Everyday, he approached street kids including shoeshine boys and newspapers vendors and invited them to his rented house to eat, take baths and sleep.
He recalled the job was not easy because the children could not believe their ears. But after trying different techniques, 11 came and slept. The next day, they started out to work and came back for the night.
To finance the project, Dick visited many agencies to brazenly ask for blankets, soaps and food.
A little while later, he moved out, rented another house near there, and had a volunteer teach them reading, writing and the such.
In 1970, his compatriots in the US knew of Dick’s charity actions and helped him form the Shoeshine Boy Foundation in New York.
The foundation received contributions from thousands, which were sent to Vietnam. This enabled Dick to rent five more houses in Saigon to accommodate more children.
During the years he was in Vietnam, his program has helped 2,000 street kids and around 300 always lived in those houses. Over 18,000 people all over the world have contributed to the program.
Kiet, now an owner of a bookstore on Pham Ngu Lao Street, recalled his poverty years with Dick. “He used to walk in and out of police stations because of us”.
Police at that time would take Kiet and other kids to workhouses if they were caught shoeshining. It is Dick who bailed them out.
“Without him, we would not be what we are today”, Tam Lan, a guard in district 1, said.
In 1976 after the war was over, Dick returned to his home country to his acting career, and transferred all his charity houses in Ho Chi Minh City and Danang City to the new regime.
He later told the New York Times and Life that he learnt a lot from those kids, especially about their optimism in a situation where only darkness and hopelessness reigned.
He said those kids had every reason to resort to crimes but they did not and strived to make their lives better.
Late January this year, Dick returned to Vietnam, to the warm welcome from all those who he once helped.
Some are now successful and they live all over the country but on hearing Dick’s return, they all flocked to Ho Chi Minh City to be reunited with their patron.
He is now living in New York and is a theatrical actor. He has not rested but still campaigning for funds to help Agent Orange victims in Vietnam.
Source: Tuoi Tre - Translated by A.N.O.N
Illegal cigarettes up in smoke under tough new campaign
The burnt cigarettes, worth over VND1 billion (US$62,309) and bearing the Jet and Hero brand names, came under the radar to be confiscated since last October.
The two brands make up some 91 percent of the illegal cigarettes discovered in Vietnam in recent times.
The move is part of the ongoing campaign approved by the Government to destroy smuggled cigarettes of all kinds and to establish the Industry Alliance Reserve to support the fight against illicit cigarettes, said the tobacco association.
"The policy of destroying illicit cigarettes and establishing the Industry Alliance Reserve has been a breakthrough, enabling businesses to join hands with the Government to clear the local market of illegal cigarettes," said Pham Kien Nghiep, secretary general of the Vietnam Tobacco Association.
Since early this year, cities and provinces have destroyed illicit cigarettes in large quantities, including Hanoi with nearly 38,000 packs, Quang Tri with 72,000, An Giang with 73,000 and Quang Ngai with 107,000 packs.
Over the past two months, the illicit trade showed little sign of abating along the border line in Long An, An Giang and Quang Tri provinces.
In response, local authorities said that next month, task forces in Can Tho and An Giang would inspect local cigarette retailers and act accordingly against those selling cigarettes without legitimate stamps and seals.
The budget for supporting the fight against illicit cigarettes in 2007 is VND35 billion (US$2.19 million), contributed by members of the Vietnam Tobacco Association.
Source: Tuoi Tre, Nguoi Lao Dong, SGT – Compiled by Thu Thuy
Goldman Sachs denies Hanoi firm’s tie-up claim
Nguyen Trung Ha, president of the recently-listed Thien Viet Securities Company (TVS), told a Vietnamese newswire last month that “Goldman Sachs trusted TVS and has chosen it to be its partner in Vietnam”.
News of the ‘partnership’ with the global investment banking and securities biggie – ranked 41st in the Fortune 500 last year – caused a sensation and saw TVS’s stock skyrocket.
Last Monday Ha showed a bundle of fax messages at a press conference and claimed it was evidence of a “local partnership”.
But John G.Andrews, Goldman Sachs’ managing director in charge of investors’ relations, has put to rest all speculation. He told Thanh Nien by email: “I can confirm that we have no formal association with TVS.”
Edward Naylor, Goldman Sachs’ managing director in charge of corporate communications based in Hong Kong, said: “We enjoy a positive and ongoing dialogue of an exploratory and non-exclusive nature [with TVS], as we do with other local securities firms.”
“We often sign standard agreements with individual securities firms when we are exploring opportunities with them.
“These agreements relate to specific individual potential projects and in no way refer to, or should be misconstrued as, wide ranging partnerships,” he wrote.
Ha, contacted by Thanh Nien after the denials by the two executives, neither denied nor confirmed the partnership, saying Goldman Sachs had referred to TVS in a document as a “local partner” and that he had not exaggerated.
But he added that TVS was “fundamentally a service provider to Goldman Sachs in Vietnam”.
Asked why he had not called TVS a “service provider” but, instead, used the term “local partner”, which could be misunderstood as Goldman Sachs investing in TVS, Ha insisted he had used the “right word”.
He denied attempting to mislead investors to buoy up his stocks, saying “as a manager, rising stocks can only put more pressure on me. Because I don’t sell stocks, I never intended to boost them”.
It turns out that Ha owned 70 percent of the company’s stocks before they were listed.
Asked why a major shareholder like him did not want to see his stocks appreciate, Ha said: “I don’t know how to explain it; that is my nature.”
“I have never done anything wrong – ask those who work with me and you will know that.”
Le Huy Hoang, TVS’s founder and now head of its supervision committee, had earlier publicly disagreed with Ha, insisting there was no formal partnership with the US firm. The two companies had informally agreed to cooperate in a “strategic partnership”, he said.
Huy Nam, a securities expert, said shareholders who invested in a company’s stocks after being made to believe it had tied up with prominent partners, and lost as a result, had the right to sue the firm if the claims turned out to be false.
Reported by Trung Binh, Hoang Ly - Translated by A.N.O.N
Russia assures Vietnamese student murderers be punished
Vu Anh Tuan, then 20, was a student of the St. Petersburg Polytechnic College before being killed with 37 stab wounds. 17 suspects were arrested, tried on charges of “racially motivated gang” slaying and found not guilty last November.
Russian prosecutors appealed and early this month, the Russian Supreme Court upheld the acquittal, sparking angry protests.
Ambassador Vadim V. Serafimov told Vietnamese foreign deputy minister Nguyen Phu Binh that Russian leaders including state president Vladimir Putin are concerned about the case and having measures in place to ensure security for foreigners in general and Vietnamese nationals in particular living in Russia.
Russia has experienced a wave of attacks on non-white foreigners last year, especially in St. Petersburg, where an Indian student was stabbed to death and a Sudanese national attacked in September.
Source: TTXVN - Translated by A.N.O.N