New regulations restrict construction officials
The Department of Home Affairs in Ha Noi has drafted a series of regulations punishing officials at all levels who do not fulfill their duties in managing construction projects in the city.
This is the first time the capital has issued such regulations. It is a move worthy of applause, especially taking into account the numerous violations that construction project operators are committing, such as encroaching pavements and causing pollution.
According to the department's deputy director, Nguyen Ngoc Viet, even the chairmen of People's Committees in communes and wards will be removed from their post if they do not act in line with their responsibilities and cause serious damage through their actions.
One of the drafted regulations notably states that if officials accept invitations from contractors to entertainment events and meals, they will also be penalised. This should prevent any collusion between officials and contractors.
Clearly, contractors may wish to ingratiate themselves with construction management officials by offering them favours, in the hope that the officials will ignore their violations.
But will they be fined if they genuinely are close friends and have been invited to celebrate an anniversary?
Robbers don't set alarm bells ringing
Bui Anh Son, owner of a house on Hoa Tra Street in HCM City has reported to the police in his local ward that his house was broken into and some cash, a laptop and a mobile phone were stolen. Together the items were worth about VND200 million (US$9,500).
He said that although the house was equipped with 16 cameras from outside to inside and an alarm system to prevent burglars, he had turned off the system because he went home late at night and was afraid that other family members would be awoken by the noisy sound of the alarm.
The cameras caught footage of the two robbers. One man stood outside the house to keep watching before slipping away unnoticed when detected by a neighbour, while his accomplice inside the house calmly sat on the stairs counting the money he had stolen.
Should security companies perhaps invent an alarm system which does not cause noise?
Contraceptive proves ineffective
The STADA-Viet Nam Company in HCM City is being sued by a woman from neighbouring Dong Nai Province for health damages.
She is demanding compensation of VND178 million (US$8,500) after alleging that she became pregnant despite taking a Mifestad 10 contraceptive pill produced by the company.
Doctors advised her to have an abortion because the use of the pill would likely cause complications with the pregnancy.
She claimed that the abortion had a bad effect on her health and spirit and was indirectly caused by the company's ineffective medicine.
However, both the People's Court of the Hoc Mon District, which heard the first case, and HCM City's People's Court, which reheard the trial, concluded that the company did not commit any fault.
They said that the woman could not show any evidence proving that she had bought and taken the pill. They also pointed out that the company prints a recommendation on the drug packet cover warning that taking an urgent contraceptive is not effective in every case.
The judgment therefore was that no compensation would be paid.
Customer experiences no trousers nightmare
Vu Van T., a resident of HCM City's Tan Phu District, had an unlucky day when shopping at the Diamond Plaza trading centre in District 1 after losing VND10 million (US$476).
T. says that he took off his trousers to change and put them on top of the toilet, but a minute later, when he turned back, he found that they had gone. He was stuck in the cubicle as he could not call anybody due to his phone being in his trousers.
Nguyen Duc Sang, head of the building's security team said T. was not the only victim who lost trousers in the centre's toilets that day. The previous incumbent also lost VND20 million ($952). — VNS