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60 Vietnamese nationals collectively run for freedom from human traffickers in Cambodia

  • A group of 60 Vietnamese nationals collectively ran for freedom from a Cambodian casino where they were being exploited and held as prisoners on Saturday.
  • Four people failed to escape as they were recaptured by casino guards.
  • Cambodian authorities managed to rescue them along with 15 other victims.
  • On Wednesday, 71 Vietnamese victims were transported back to Vietnam.
  • This incident marks the second mass escape of Vietnamese nationals from a casino in Cambodia within the course of a month.

In the latest incident of the human trafficking crisis in Cambodia, 60 Vietnamese nationals collectively ran for freedom from a Cambodian casino where they were being exploited and held as prisoners. 

On Saturday, a group of 60 Vietnamese people fled from a casino under heavy rain in Bavet city in Cambodia’s Svay Rieng province. Four people reportedly failed to escape as they were recaptured by casino guards.

Vietnamese girl group DREAMeR accused of plagiarizing BLACKPINK

Blackpink plagiarism
  • A Vietnamese girl group called DREAMeR is being accused of plagiarizing K-pop group BLACKPINK.
  • DREAMeR’s teaser poster has black and pink colors as well as two pink lightning bolts coming down from the top, similar to BLACKPINK’s world tour announcement poster.
  • Two members of DREAMeR have teaser images that seemingly copy Lisa’s “Pink Venom” teaser image and Rosé’s “On The Ground” solo images respectively, down to similar outfits, hair styling and visual effects.
  • “Born Pink” will be released on Friday and is the YG Entertainment girl group’s second studio-length album following 2020’s “The Album.”

Vietnamese girl group DREAMeR are “playing with fire” following plagiarism accusations by BLACKPINK fans.  

Netizens noticed the posts from the rookie Vietnamese girl group on September 14. One image of the group’s comeback shows similarity to BLACKPINK’s “Born Pink” world tour announcement poster. DREAMeR’s image shows pink, protruding lightning bolts coming down from the top of the image, while BLACKPINK’s uses pink fangs.  

Hundreds of Vietnamese officers surrounded house of ‘Onion Leaf Bae’ to arrest him, wife says

  • Bui Tuan Lam, a Vietnamese noodle vendor, was arrested on Wednesday over a video that was widely viewed as mocking a senior government official in Vietnam.
  • Lam was apprehended in his family home and was gagged by the police with a dirty towel during his arrest, according to his wife Le Than Lam.
  • The police officers allegedly destroyed three security cameras and confiscated three T-shirts with the phrase “Human rights should be respected in Vietnam” printed on them, according to Le.
  • Lam was charged for violating Article 117 of Vietnam’s Penal Code, which prohibits “creating, storing, and disseminating materials and items against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.”

The Vietnamese noodle vendor dubbed “Onion Leaf Bae” was gagged by the police during his arrest on Wednesday, according to his wife. 

Bui Tuan Lam was arrested over a viral video that was widely viewed as mocking a senior government official in Vietnam. 

Vietnam arrests noodle vendor for his viral imitation of Salt Bae

noodle vendor
  • Bui Tuan Lam, a Vietnamese noodle vendor, was arrested on Wednesday over a video that was widely viewed as mocking a senior government official in Vietnam.
  • He was summoned by the police in 2021 after he went viral over a video of himself imitating celebrity chef Nusret Gökçe, also known as “Salt Bae,” who served an expensive steak to a Vietnamese government official.
  • He was charged for violating Article 117 of Vietnam’s Penal Code, which prohibits “creating, storing, and disseminating materials and items against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.”
  • The nation has been widely criticized for controlling online dissent.

A Vietnamese noodle vendor was arrested on Wednesday over a viral video that was widely viewed as mocking a senior government official in Vietnam. 

Bui Tuan Lam, also known as “Onion Leaf Bae,” was accused of anti-state propaganda for his online content, which police said distorted the policies of Vietnam’s ruling party.

Vietnam’s deadliest karaoke bar fire kills more than 30 people

karaoke bar fire
  • A fire broke out at a karaoke complex in southern Vietnam on Tuesday night, killing 17 men and 15 women, according to the Binh Duong provincial police.
  • The initial cause of the fire came from an electrical short circuit, according to Binh Duong authorities. The incident remains under investigation.
  • Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has urged the country to ensure safety standards at karaoke bars and other facilities prone to fires.
  • The incident marks Vietnam’s deadliest karaoke bar fire since 2016, when 13 people died in a blaze at another karaoke lounge in Hanoi.

A fire broke out at a karaoke complex in southern Vietnam, trapping customers and staff and killing at least 32 people. 

The fire emerged on the second floor of the three-story An Phu karaoke bar near Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesday night, killing 17 men and 15 women, according to the Binh Duong provincial police.

2 Vietnamese psychiatric patients sentenced to death for running drug operation out of hospital

drug parties
  • Two men were sentenced to death on Aug. 31 for storing, facilitating, using and selling over 15 kilograms (33 pounds) of drugs at the National Mental Hospital in Hanoi, Vietnam.
  • Eight others, including patients, nurses, technicians and the department head, were involved in the drug ring. They received prison sentences ranging from three years to life sentences.
  • They were busted by police while they were selling drugs in Thuong Tin District on March 20, 2021.
  • Vuong Van Tinh, director of the hospital, was also dismissed by the Ministry of Health for negligence, while three other vice directors were reprimanded, according to reports.

Two Vietnamese men were sentenced to death for throwing drug parties at a psychiatric hospital in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Nguyen Xuan Quy, 39, and his accomplice Nguyen Van Ngoc were sentenced to death by the Hanoi People’s Court on Aug. 31 for storing, facilitating, using and selling over 15 kilograms (33 pounds) of drugs at the National Mental Hospital.

54-year-old Vietnamese American man scammed out of $139,000 by online lover

A 35-year-old woman in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, is being investigated for allegedly scamming a Vietnamese American man out of $139,000.

Doan, 54, met the alleged scammer, Truong Thi Cam Nhung, on an online dating site, where he fell in love with her and eventually asked her to visit the U.S. Truong reportedly told Doan that she could only do so with a visa, which she told him in March that she would do an interview for. She then told Doan that in order to do so, she would need to prove that she had at least $39,000 in her bank account before asking him for the money. 

Vietnam declares being gay ‘not an illness’ 32 years after WHO declassification of homosexuality as disease

  • Vietnam’s Ministry of Health declared homosexuality as “not a disease” in a directive to provincial and municipal health departments on Aug. 3.
  • The announcement noted that homosexuality “is entirely not an illness” and therefore “cannot be ‘cured’ nor need[s] to be ‘cured’ and cannot be converted in any way.”
  • The belief that homosexuality is a curable disease has reportedly prevailed in Vietnam partly due to the government’s failure in adopting the World Health Organization’s initial and succeeding positions on the subject.
  • The American Psychiatric Association (APA), through its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) — the global gold standard for the diagnosis of psychiatric illnesses — first declassified homosexuality as a disorder in 1973 and completely removed it from the manual in 1987.
  • Aside from declaring homosexuality normal, Vietnam’s Ministry of Health stressed that any form of support to LGBTQ-plus individuals must be provided only by sexual identity experts.

Nearly 50 years after the American Psychiatric Association (APA) — the organization behind the world’s gold standard for diagnosing mental illnesses — first declassified homosexuality as a disease, Vietnam has followed suit earlier this month.

The “huge paradigm shift” came in an Aug. 3 announcement sent by the Ministry of Health to local government units, including provincial and municipal health departments.

Organ donation in Vietnam becoming more accepted despite cultural taboo

  • The Vietnam National Coordinating Center for Human Organ Transplantation revealed that nearly 50,000 people have registered for organ donation after death or brain death in the country.
  • The figure shows a significant jump since the center was established in 2014 when most of the 200 registrants were its own officials, staff and medical workers.
  • According to Center Director Dong Van He, the Vietnamese people’s belief that one needs an entire body to prepare for the afterlife has prevented many from choosing to become organ donors.
  • However, stories about brainstem death donations might have helped change some perspectives on the taboo subject.
  • He pointed out that the system of 22 organ transplant centers and hospitals nationwide must exert more effort in encouraging more brain-dead organ donations.

More and more Vietnamese people are willing to donate their organs after death, a transplantation center operating under the Ministry of Health revealed. 

Officials at the Vietnam National Coordinating Center for Human Organ Transplantation shared during a meeting on Monday that a lot has changed since the center was established in 2014.

Vietnamese billionaires commit to building 1 million affordable housing units in the country by 2030

  • Some of Vietnam’s largest real estate developers have committed to building over 1 million affordable housing units collectively from now to 2030.
  • On Aug. 1, Bui Xuan Huy, the president of Vietnamese real estate developer Novaland, stated his company’s commitment to developing 200,000 social housing units in Ho Chi Minh City and other southern provinces.
  • Previously, in mid-May, a subsidiary of Vingroup called Vinhomes approved a plan to build 500,000 social housing units priced from VND330 million (approximately $14,108) in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang.
  • Vinhomes, which is owned by billionaire Pham Nhat Vuong, is a leading real estate developer in Vietnam and valued at over $10 billion.
  • The Him Lam Group, owned by Duong Cong Minh, who also chairs Vietnamese bank Sacombank, has stated it is ready to develop 75,000 social housing apartments from now to 2030 after resolving some issues related to procedure.

Some of Vietnam’s largest real estate developers have committed to building over 1 million affordable housing units collectively in the country from now to 2030. 

On Aug. 1, Bui Xuan Huy, the billionaire president of Vietnamese real estate developer Novaland, stated his company’s commitment to developing 200,000 social housing units in Ho Chi Minh City and other southern provinces. 

Tô Văn Lai, creator of ‘Paris by Night,’ dies at 85

To Van Lai Passes Away
  • In 1983, Tô Văn Lai produced the first “Paris by Night” show to reach Vietnamese refugees living in France who felt distant from their culture.
  • “Paris by Night,” a Vietnamese-language musical variety show hosted primarily by Nguyễn Ngọc Ngạn and Nguyễn Cao Kỳ Duyên, is still running to this day.
  • The production focuses on expressing Vietnamese culture and features modern pop stars, traditional folk songs, plays and comedy sketches.
  • On July 19, Tô Văn Lai died at 11:05 a.m. at 85 years old after battling an illness.
  • Over 70-80 million Vietnamese people worldwide have watched “Paris by Night,” according to Thuy Nga Productions in California.

Tô Văn Lai, creator of the iconic Vietnamese musical variety show “Paris by Night,” died on Tuesday.

Born on May 11, 1937, in Saigon-Gia Dinh, Lai received a bachelor’s in philosophy from the University of Education in Da Lat and taught at a girl’s school in My Tho, which earned him the life-long nickname “Professor.”

Vietnamese EV automaker VinFast to open first 6 showrooms in US this week

Vinfast
  • Vietnamese Electric Vehicle (EV) automaker VinFast is scheduled to open six U.S. showrooms on Jul 14 and 30 more by the end of 2022, all of which will be located in the Golden State.
  • The company reported that it would be opening stores in Berkeley, Commerce, Corte Madera, San Diego, San Mateo and Santa Monica this Thursday, starting with two EV models.
  • The first is a 5-seater VF8 electric SUV, priced at around $40,700, and the second is a larger, 3-row, 7-seater VF9 priced at $55,000.
  • VinFast also plans to have consumers subscribe to a battery plan rather than purchase one, arguing that EV battery performances degrade over time.
  • Earlier last month, VinFast made preparations to begin construction of a $4 billion factory in North Carolina, where it promised to create 7,500 jobs.

Vietnamese Electric Vehicle (EV) automaker VinFast is scheduled to open six U.S. showrooms on Jul 14 and 30 more by the end of 2022, all of which will be located in the Golden State. 

The company reported that it would be opening stores in Berkeley, Commerce, Corte Madera, San Diego, San Mateo and Santa Monica this Thursday, starting with two EV models.