BERLIN — Germany recorded more than 3,500 attacks against refugees and asylum shelters last year, according to new interior ministry figures, amounting to an average of nearly 10 acts of anti-migrant violence a day. "People who have fled their home country and seek protection in Germany have the right to expect safe shelter," it read. Additionally, there were 988 instances of housing for refugees and asylum seekers being targeted last year, the ministry said, including arson attacks. The sharp rise in hate crimes came after Germany took in some 890,000 asylum seekers in 2015 at the height of Europe’s refugee crisis. In another case that shocked Germany, dozens of onlookers cheered and applauded as an asylum shelter was set alight in the eastern city of Bautzen last February.
BANGUI, Central African Republic — UN peacekeeping mission MINUSCA said it had conducted airstrikes in the Central African Republic on Sunday against a "heavily armed" group of fighters advancing on the city of Bambari. This is the second time in as many weeks the UN has fired on gunmen moving toward the central city. On Tuesday, MINUSCA said four of its officers were injured by FPRC fighters in the village of Ippy, about 100 kilometres (62 miles) northwest of Bambari. Following the offensive, the UN Security Council "urged the armed groups to immediately halt the fighting and join the peace and reconciliation dialogue". The United Nations has deployed 12,000 peacekeepers to the Central African Republic to help restore stability following a war in 2013 that erupted after the overthrow of leader Francois Bozize, a Christian, by Muslim rebels from the Seleka coalition.
PARIS — French far-right leader Marine Le Pen has accused the media of "campaigning hysterically" in favour of Emmanuel Macron, her centrist rival for the presidency, as polls showed him enjoying a jump in support. Le Pen, speaking at a rally in the western city of Nantes on Sunday, launched a series of attacks on the 39-year-old independent who has emerged as a frontrunner to become France’s next leader. Two new polls published on Sunday showed Le Pen still winning the first round of the election on April 23 with 27 per cent, but Macron closing the gap on her with 25 percent. On the right, Le Pen and Republicans party candidate Francois Fillon have become increasingly embroiled in legal problems. Le Pen went ahead with the rally and delivered a typical speech laced with criticism of France’s political elite, globalisation, the European Union -- and Macron.
MOSUL — Iraqi forces have battled jihadists in west Mosul, aiming to build a floating bridge across the Tigris to establish an important supply route linked to the recaptured east bank. "We had an important operation this morning to move towards the bridge," Colonel Falah al-Wabdan of the interior ministry’s Rapid Response units that have spearheaded the breach into west Mosul said in the Jawsaq neighbourhood. Bridging operations under fire are complex and perilous, but Iraqi forces have been trained by the US military and successfully used that strategy before in the fight against IS. "We’re hearing reports of people eating bird feed inside western Mosul as they cannot afford the skyrocketing prices," Schembri said. The United Nations has planned for an exodus of at least 250,000 people from west Mosul, but in the absence of humanitarian corridors only a few hundred have been able to flee so far.
LONDON — Britain’s House of Lords will Monday begin detailed scrutiny of the bill empowering Prime Minister Theresa May to kickstart Brexit, with the fate of EU nationals living in Britain likely to be on the agenda. Peers are set to discuss on Monday and Wednesday proposals including measures to guarantee the rights of EU nationals in Britain, and defining the parameters of a parliamentary vote on the final Brexit deal. Dick Newby, leader of the Liberal Democrats in the upper house, said there was strong support among peers for protecting the rights of EU citizens. There is "an overwhelming desire to do the right thing and ensure that all EU nationals have the right to remain," he was quoted as saying by the Guardian on Sunday. ’British people want Brexit’May has urged the Lords to neither amend the bill nor delay it.
Japan’s Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko will pay a State visit to Việt Nam for the first time, from February 28-March 5. — VNA/VNS PhotoTOKYO — The first ever visit to Việt Nam by a Japanese Emperor and Empress is a historical event of great significance that will reinforce mutual trust and friendship, says a senior Japanese official. The relationship dates back to the 16th century with the presence of the first Japanese street in Việt Nam, he said. The visit by Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko is happening at a time when bilateral rapport is at its best after undergoing historical ups and downs, he said. He said that as the biggest aid provider for Việt Nam, Japan has been co-operating with the Southeast Asian country to support its development.
Giving envelopes to medical staff has been a “problem” in Việt Nam for long, but there is more to it than meets the eye. “Giving gifts to express gratitude has been a culture in Việt Nam for years. “As far as I know, doctors at private hospitals sometimes receive money or in-kind gifts, feeling that refusing them may disappoint their patients. “The important thing is that whether patients give gifts or not, the doctors’ attitude and service is not affected. While increasing the income of medical staff is a must, the ethical aspect cannot be ignored, said Dr Phú of the Việt Nam Sports Hospital.
GIA LAI — Artisans in the Tây Nguyên (Central Highlands) are asking for financial support from local authorities to preserve ethnic Jarai epics, oral folk literature that is now known by the elderly only. The oral epics, called Khan, have been handed down from one generation to the next. I travelled around the region to collect the epics performed by the elderly and teach local youngsters.”“I wanted to share my love of Jarai culture with young people,” added the 60-year-old. Meanwhile, there are few ethnic artisans able to introduce the epics. Vũ believes that the most effective method for preserving Khan epics is to expand teaching at schools.
HÀ NỘI — The world-famous London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) will visit Hà Nội and present an outdoor concert this Saturday, March 4. The first ever concert by a British orchestra in Việt Nam is being held as part of the annual Vietnam Airlines Classic. The concert will open with the Vietnamese national anthem, followed by works from Russian composers Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich and Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninoff, and British Benjamin Britten. Conductor Chan was born in Hong Kong in 1986, and studied cello and piano as a child. After all, he is the brains behind the Monsoon Music Festival – an international music event held annually in the capital city.
HCM CITY— By 2020 HCM City’s public hospitals will no longer be overloaded and people will have access to high-quality healthcare, city officials promise. To achieve this target, greater autonomy would be provided to public hospitals, reducing the financial pressure on the government, he told a meeting with city leaders last week. Eighty two hospitals have been granted autonomy since the city began implementing this policy in 2006, he said. Đinh La Thăng, secretary of the city Party Committee, said more autonomy should be given to public hospitals to improve the quality of care and patients’ satisfaction. The health sector should focus on easing the load on hospitals and improving the quality of care by 2020, he added.
Imported meat becoming more popularVietNamNet Bridge - Vietnamese are now buying more Japanese beef, US chicken and Australian lamb for their family meals, putting pressure on the domestic animal husbandry industry. A report from the Department of Livestock Production showed that in the first seven months of 2015, Vietnam imported 210,000 cows from Australia, which was even higher than the total import volume of the year before. In 2014, Vietnam imported 181,000 Australian cows, or 2.7 times higher than 2013.Imported beef sells very well in Vietnam despite the high prices. Meanwhile, high-quality Angus tenderloin is priced at VND975,000 per kilo.A local newspaper commented that Vietnamese are willing to spend big money on beef while they are not sure about the quality.Manh Hoai Duc, a supplier of fresh meat in Hanoi, said that imported frozen meat is less delicious than Vietnam’s fresh meat.“Frozen meat cannot be as good as fresh meat because of dehydration,” he said. The supplier said there are different types of cows – pastured and farmed cows – which produce different quality of beef.“Chilled meat carried to Vietnam by air is good.
The thorny path to hi-tech agricultureVietNamNet Bridge - The government’s strong commitment to support the development of hi-tech agriculture has excited investors, but many difficulties lie ahead. It’s unclear if the biotechnology center or the hi-tech agriculture zones’ management board can grant such certificates. As a result, the startups in hi-tech agriculture find it difficult to access bank loans. He foresees big challenges in production consumption, as hi-tech agriculture, if succeeding, can bring a yield which is 20-30 times higher than traditional methods. Some hi-tech agriculture projects may require a higher investment rate by hundreds of times than other projects.
True to themselvesNovember 2015 was a historic milestone for Vietnam’s LGBT community as the National Assembly legalized gender reassignment, allowing transgender surgery in the country and all transgender people to be recognized under law and receive all rights under their new gender. Nearly 90 percent of National Assembly delegates voted in support of legalizing gender reassignment within the Amended Civil Code, to come into effect on January 1, 2017. Under existing law gender reassignment is strictly limited to only those who have genital defects or are hermaphrodites. It’s like a dream I thought would never come true,” she said. Sharing the joy with the LGBT and transgender community, Quynh Van, a student, said although she is straight she is happy they now have the chance to live under their true sexual identity.
I saw the relatives of many ICU patients not having enough money to buy milk because the average price is nearly VNĐ250,000 (US$11), but milk is suitable only for patients without serious ailments. There are high-protein milk products for cancer patients in the market such as Prosure, but their prices are too high. I began to research into milk with high protein that is cheap for these poor patients. After three years, I will share the product’s formula with other hospitals’ nutritionists to provide it to more ICU patients. Currently we also are researching an IT solution for nutrition management to help doctors in ICUs evaluate and provide nutrition to their patients.
After class, Yến told us her life story, in her living room which doubles as a classroom. Teacher Yến said that most of her students showed significant progress. — Photo Nghĩa Hiếu“I chose English Studies because I had been passionate about English when I was in high school,” she said. Seeing that there was no club or organization for the disabled in the locality, Yến founded the Đông Triều Disabled Club. Teacher Yến said that most of her students showed significant progress, and their English communication skills were getting better every day.