UN climate change chief Christina Figueres may have called Paris "a beacon of hope for the world" as leaders gathered last week to begin hammering out a deal to slow global warming. UN climate change chief Christina Figueres may have called Paris "a beacon of hope for the world" as leaders gathered last week to begin hammering out a deal to slow global warming. But how good is the city's -- and France's -- environmental record? France leads the G20 group of industrialised countries in low-carbon energy, but experts point out that is only because of its massive reliance on nuclear power. With Paris, which is hosting the climate talks, often so choked with traffic that schools have been forced to keep children indoors during peaks of pollution, many insist that France is in no position "to give lessons to anyone". Yannick Jadot, an MEP for France's small and divided Green party, is even more scathing. "The only area that we are leading the world in is in our environmental … [Read more...] about As Paris summit tries to save the planet, how green is France?
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How poverty is almost a thing of the past for the diligent Xe Dang (31-07-2007) Technological staff check the result of the new corn project at Dak Psy Commune in the Central Highland province of Kon Tum. — VNA/VNS Photo Dinh Na KON TUM — The Xe Dang people of Tay Nguyen (the Central Highlands) in the province of Kon Tum are never happier than when there are ducks on the lake, grouse in the fields, buffaloes in the river, cows on the hills, chickens and pigs are plentiful and there are watermelons in May - or so says the ancient epic of the Xe Dang ethnic people. The ballad is much-loved in the commune, perhaps partly because of the hardship the Xe Danghave had to endurein recent years. A To, at 70, is the oldest man in Kon Pong Village, but despite his age, he is as keen as ever to join his wife in the paddy fields. "Xe Dang people love to earn money. They were very poor in the past but now their living standards have improved significantly thanks to State … [Read more...] about How poverty is almost a thing of the past for the diligent Xe Dang
VietNamNet Bridge – Though meeting big difficulties in doing business now, the Vietnamese businessmen distributing branded goods still have reasons to hope in a brighter future. How do big the Vietnamese branded goods market? (part 1) How big is the Vietnamese branded goods market? (Part 2) An executive of GL Company, distributing March Jacobs, Chloe, Givenchy, Loewe, Michael Kors, Pinko, Lanvin branded goods complained that the import tariffs are very high at 15-30 percent. Besides, enterprises have to pay 10 percent of VAT as well. While branded goods bear the high import tariff of tens of percent when entering Vietnam, in other markets like Singapore or Hong Kong, they are imposed zero percent. This has led branded goods less competitive in comparison with other countries and prompted people to buy goods from overseas. Regarding the sale prices, analysts say the minimum price levels are clearly stipulated in the contracts signed between brand … [Read more...] about How big is the Vietnamese branded goods market (part 3)
Earlier this year, I opted to take a trip down the Ho Chi Minh Road—a 1,000 mile interior highway that nominally links Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Before departing, a thought occurred: just how likely am I to die on the trip ahead? Last year, the University of Michigan ranked 193 countries based on road fatalities. Vietnam came up number 25, just below Columbia. Unfortunately, the study contained no information about how likely I was to die on my road trip. An informal polling of foreign embassies and consulates yielded the following results: Four Americans died on Vietnam's roads in 2014 along with a pair of Brits and two Frenchmen. The Germans kept no such numbers. “It is very, very dangerous,” an exasperated consular employee told me. “More dangerous than in Germany.” A Canadian consular flak declined to provide a death toll (if there was one), but directed me to the following proviso on their online travel advisory about Vietnam: Traffic accidents … [Read more...] about How deadly is driving Vietnam?
In early 2016, a book street was established in downtown Ho Chi Minh City in order to encourage citizens, especially youngsters, to read. The street, located on Nguyen Van Binh Street in District 1, is meant to nurture a reading culture through various activities and highlight the value and significance of books. Some foreigners have shared their point of view on the importance of reading, as well as their personal experience to encourage their children to fall in love with books. Australian Dr. Mike Turner, chair of the Business Department at Broward College Vietnam In Australia, the government supports free libraries in each suburb (district) where children can read books or borrow them and take them home. This is a free service and children can borrow up to five books and keep them for two weeks. The libraries are stocked with books for all ages and all interests. Many children have a library card and use it to borrow books. This means that they can read as many books as they … [Read more...] about How important is it to encourage your children to read?