Vietnamese Police Break Up Matchmaking Ring

HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam – Police stopped an illegal marriage brokering event were many women were being paraded before a group of South Korean men.

The police filed an information report on the spot on 11 people: five prospective husbands,two South Korean brokers, one interpreter, one Vietnamese driver and two Vietnamese organizers of the event.

All 11 people and 161 women, 18 to 26 years of age, mainly from poor Mekong Delta provinces, were in custody at the city’s District 8 police station.

The parade was organized in the early hours of the morning by 34-year-old Phung Bich Thoo of District 1 and 39-year-old Huynh Xuan Phu of District 11, police said, alleging they had rented a house on Cao Lo Street in District 8’s Ward 4 for the purpose.

Police said Thao became a marriage broker early this year and had scored two successes already. She would have received more than $2,000 from each marriage this time.

Since 2006, Phu has arranged marriages between South Korean men and 17 women from the Mekong Delta area. It was he who rented the house this time for $208 and arranged for the women to come, police said.

All five South Korean men are poor farmers and workers and some had borrowed money from the brokers to take part in the event, police said. They are investigating the case further.

South Korean authorities in mid-June launched a crackdown on illegal matchmaking, seeking to reduce a trend that has led to divorces, cases of spousal abuse and suicides.

They also have started a program to help foreign brides settle in South Korea, where 11 percent of marriages were interracial last year — a rate that reached 40 percent among farmers and fishermen, according to a report.

Statistics from South Korea showed that there were more than 10,000 Vietnamese brides in the country last year, up 74 percent from the previous year.

http://news.newamericamedia.org/news/view_article.html?article_id=935e92cf5f972c10cc925d4f48cb8620&from=rss

UN calls for human rights to not be sacraficed

A new report from the United Nations Population Fund says universal human rights should not be compromised for cultural reasons.

The UNFPA report says women are dying for medical, as well as cultural reasons.

It says the challenge is to make development more culturally sensitive, to ensure overcome inequalities that harm women.

UNFPA representative, Ian Howie, says his current post in Vietnam provides a good example of cultural factors harming women.

“In the Hmong ethnic areas of Vietnam for example, women often choose a traditional birth at home or literally walk alone into the forest to give birth rather than go to a health clinic,” he said.

“Why do they do this? Because they don’t want to show their bodies to people who are not of their own ethnicity and who do not understand their culture.”

http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/news/stories/200811/s2418084.htm?tab=latest

Bird flu outbreak occurs in central Vietnam

HANOI, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) — A bird flu outbreak has been confirmed in Nghe An, a central province of Vietnam, the local newspaper Liberty Saigon reported on Wednesday, citing a statement from the provincial People’s Committee.

The outbreak was spotted at the Dien Hong commune, causing the death of nearly 1,000 poultry. Specimens from the dead poultry have recently been tested positive to the bird flu virus strain H5N1, according to the statement.

The local authority has established a zone covering the outbreak to prevent the virus from spreading. Consumption and sale of birds and bird-related products within the zone are banned.

Bird flu outbreaks in Vietnam, starting in December 2003, have killed and led to the forced culling of dozens of millions of fowls in the country.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-11/12/content_10345858.htm

Ha Tinh: cholera and dengue fever spread

Dan Tri)

A dengue fever patient at a communal health station in Ha Tinh Province. (photo: Dan Tri)

VietNamNet Bridge – By Tuesday, the central province of Ha Tinh had an additional ten acute diarrhea patients hospitalized, raising the total number to 42, including 15 positive to cholera bacteria.

The epidemic may have originated from Quynh Phuong Commune, Quynh Luu District of Nghe An Province, according to Nguyen Luong Tam, vice director of the Ha Tinh Preventive Healthcare Centre. The first patient was hospitalized on November 2.

Meanwhile, the dengue fever epidemic is spreading in Nghi Xuan district with five more hospitalized patients, reaching a total of 64.

The main cause of the epidemic was the stagnant waters left over from the recent floods, director of the provincial Preventive Healthcare Centre, Nguyen Van Hien, said.

In another central province, Quang Binh, the first dengue patients were reported in Le Thuy District, after the recent flood.

In the central province of Nghe An, bird flu epidemic was announced in Dien Hong Commune, Dien Chau District, killing nearly 1,000 chickens and ducks.

(Source: NLD, DT)

http://english.vietnamnet.vn/social/2008/11/813178/

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