This year, one of the 98 Teacher's Day awardees in the southern province of Binh Phuoc Province was Nguyen Ngoc Tinh, deputy head of the Planning and Finance Division under the provincial Department of Education and Training.
Tinh's contribution stood out – he had not taught a single class in any subject, and for this, he received national recognition as an excellent teacher of national defense and security issues.
To clarify the situation, other officials in his department helpfully offered the information that Tinh was an accountant by training.
Further clarity came from Nguyen Van Thanh, chief of office of the provincial People's Committee, which had taken the decisions on the awards. He said the committee would look into the issue.
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Legal denouement to illicit affair
A notary public office in Central Highland province of Gia Lai was faced with a delicate situation recently. They were asked to notarise a document that certified the end of a love affair.
The man who wanted the document notarised was Nguyen Van K. who found his wife sleeping with another man in their house. Caught in the act, the other man expressed his genuine contrition and what's more, wrote a solemn statement that he was ending his affair. In his statement, Tran Van T. admitted he'd had extramarital relations with K.'s wife for years and acknowledged that this had seriously damaged K.'s physical and spiritual health.
The statement pledged that henceforth, he would refrain from communicating or meeting with K's wife, and also pay compensation of VND10 million to K for the suffering he'd caused. The statement also affirmed that it was was written voluntarily without any coercion.
K. said he had wanted the statement notarised so that people would not accuse him of being an extortionist. After careful consideration, the notary office declined the request.
The suffering husband then had many photocopies of the commitment as insurance against the evidence being tampered with or destroyed.
There is good reason for K. to assume that people might suspect him of extortion, given that a new regulation imposes a fine of just VND1-3 million (US$47-143) on men or women engaging in extramarital relations. T. had generously imposed on himself a fine that is more than three times the maximum official penalty.
Uplifting benches send mixed messages
A Buddhist pagoda is a place where the pious seek solace, some relief from suffering. One unidentified devotee thought she/he would make a humble contribution to this relief by donating 15 benches to the Trung Tam Buddhist temple in HCM City's Binh Thanh District so that visitors could rest their weary feet and souls.
But these were not mere benches. They carried messages of hope in the form of advertisements from the Sao Thai Duong pharmaceutical company. The company's products promised relief from decreasing libido for men and to increase the proportions of women's bosoms and relieve feelings of a lack of self-esteem or confidence.
After some devotees brought these messages of hope to the notice of a local newspaper, the temple has decided to have the benches repainted. — VNS