Week of October 27, 2000
The inland sea created by the region's worst floods in 40 years is not receding. There is growing concern that villagers will not be able to return home to sow rice paddies in time for a full growing season. At midweek, the death toll in Vietnam from the rains was set at 368 people, 264 of them children.
Week of October 20, 2000
Still reeling from the worst floods in the Mekong Delta in nearly 40 years, relief workers prepared to evacuate thousands of families from their homes in central coastal homes to the north, as rivers continued to hit dangerous levels.
Week of October 6, 2000
The worst Mekong Delta flooding in 40 years has driven thousands of families from their homes, killing at least 130 people. This young girl, returning home after gathering what dry firewood she could find, managed to avoid being one of the more than 100 children who have perished in the high waters. The Vietnam News Agency says the flooding has made as many as 3 million people homeless. And while in the south the country's prime rice-growing areas are swamped, irrigation reservoirs are starting to run dry in the north, where more than 14,000 hectares of paddy have been hit by drought - some districts have seen virtually no precipitation for months.
Week of September 29, 2000
HANOI State-run Vietnam Airlines will open a trans-Indochina air route at the end of October to boost tourism and investment in the country.
Week of August 11, 2000
More than 2,000 people lined up to buy shares listed on Ho Chi Minh City's Securities Trading Center. Communist Vietnam's first bourse, with two listings, started trading July 29.
Week of May 5, 2000
HANOI The culture and information ministry told web-masters of the 1,000 or so Internet sites that originate in the country that they will have to apply for "consideration of approval" for their pages. New sites will be required to first register their content before going online.
Week of April 7, 2000
ON MARCH 29, 1975, TWO TRUCKLOADS OF Viet Cong, most of them girls, drove into Danang and ordered any remaining enemy troops to surrender. The city was swamped with 500,000 panicked refugees and few shots were fired. Those that were came from stranded South Vietnamese soldiers furious that their commanding officers were making a last-minute escape on boats pulled up on beaches just outside the city. On March 27, in Danang, left, primary school students, some almost the same age as the guerrillas who sallied into the city so boldly in 1975, rehearsed for the government dignitaries who would invade the city two days later. Along the length of Vietnam, municipalities are marking similar anniversaries of their liberation from the combined forces of South Vietnamese, American and other allied troops
Week of December 17, 1999
MORE THAN 1 MILLION PEOPLE face a serious food crisis in the wake of flooding that left 116 people dead in the center of the country. Much of the seed for the next rice crop was ruined in December's onslaught of rains. Flooding has been a problem since early November for some areas.
Week of December 3, 1999
LAOS, THAILAND AND VIETNAM SLASHED customs red tape with an ADB-brokered agreement. Joint border patrols will police trade across the participating countries' frontiers. Several road projects planned or under construction made expediting the growing cross-border trade a practical necessity. And the Myanmar-Thai border was reopened as well, after Thai Foreign Minister Surin Pitsuwan's trip to Yangon.
Week of October 22, 1999
HANOI The Anti-Social Evils Department says prostitution is flourishing despite its best efforts to crack down on the trade. "We destroy it in one place, it appears in another place. Prostitution is well organized and developed in a sophisticated manner throughout the country," a department official told the Vietnam Investment Review. Police estimate there are 180,000 working prostitutes in the country, the paper said.
Week of September 17, 1999
DURING A TWO-DAY VISIT to Vietnam, U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright presided over the repatriation of four sets of remains, believed to be those of U.S. soldiers killed during the Vietnam War. Flag-draped metal coffins carrying the remains were loaded onto a transport plane at Hanoi airport and taken to an identification lab in Hawaii. In another move interpreted as the U.S.'s commitment to strengthening diplomatic ties (re-established four years ago), Albright commissioned a new U.S. consulate general to be built on the site of Washington's former Saigon embassy, which was abandoned at the end of the war in 1975. Albright concluded her tour by calling for further economic and political reform and a bilateral trade agreement.
Week of August 13, 1999
HANOI Six people were sentenced to death and six others to life in prison for their part in Vietnam's biggest-ever corruption scandal - in all 77 people were tried at the same time. The proceedings were broadcast live on television.
Week of August 6, 1999
Hanoi The government signed an agreement in principle with the U.S. on the terms of a bilateral trade agreement - the final step toward normal economic relations.
Week of July 16, 1999
BUSINESS BRIEF: Hanoi will allow foreigners to own 30% of domestic shareholding companies. Previously, such ownership was approved on a case-by-case basis.
Week of June 11, 1999
HANOI Despite being the world's second-largest exporter of rice, the government estimates 2.3 million Vietnamese are threatened with famine. About 1.3 million people already suffer from food shortages because of drought; some 15 of 61 provinces are affected.
Week of May 21, 1999
Communist Party officials and some top businessmen, 77 people in all, were in the dock of the Ho Chi Minh City People's Court to be tried on charges of corruption and fraud. It's the biggest trial for such charges in the country's history, and more than 100 people gathered around the court house to hear the proceedings on loudspeakers. Over two years investigators untangled the web of 41 companies tied to Tang Minh Phung and Lien Khiu Thin, who allegedly ran up debts of more than $280 million, much of it borrowed from government banks. The two men could face the death penalty. The country is in the throes of an anti-corruption campaign. Eighteen former officials of state banks and six public officials face other trials, and Ho Chi Minh City police are suspected of being involved in questionable property deals.
Week of May 14, 1999
THE SPRATLYS As a confidence-building measure, Philippine and Vietnamese troops garrisoned in the disputed area will meet in friendly soccer matches when the typhoon season ends in October.
Week of April 2, 1999
THE GROUP OF SEVEN countries are considering waiving all their development aid loans, worth some $20 billion, to 41 low-income, heavily indebted countries - mostly in Africa, Latin America and Asia. Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar would be the Asian beneficiaries.
Week of February 26, 1999
HANOI Lt.-Gen. Pham Hong Son became the second general to openly criticize the ruling Communist Party, attacking it for corruption and lack of democracy. In January Gen. Tran Do was ousted from the party after criticizing it in a series of similar open letters.
Week of February 12, 1999
CAM RANH Two small submarines bought from North Korea are undergoing extensive refitting and repairs at the naval base and could be deployed within six months. The diesel-powered boats carry four torpedoes and are capable of laying mines. They are crewed by five men but can transport about 25 soldiers.