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August 12, 2016

Vietnam entered the disputed South China Sea a new rocket launcher

Vietnam entered the disputed South China Sea a new rocket launcher

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Friday, August 12, 2016

Vietnam has heightened tensions over the South China Sea dispute, by positioning a new mobile rocket launcher, capable of reaching Chinese runway and military facilities being built in the middle of important international shipping trade routes. Reuters reported diplomats and military intelligence, indicating that Hanoi has repositioned the launchers onto the Spratly Islands from the mainland in recent months, a move that could raise tensions with Beijing.

Launchers are hidden from aerial reconnaissance, they are not yet armed, but can be armed within three days. However, Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry says information is “inaccurate”, but did not elaborate.

Deputy Defence Minister, Senior Lieutenant-General Nguyen Chi Vinh, told Reuters in Singapore in June, Hanoi had no such transmitter or weapons in the Spratlys but reserved the right to take any such measures.

Vietnam military strategists worry that China’s construction of a runway, a radar tower and other military facilities has left Vietnam’s southern and island defences increasingly vulnerable. The development is the most important defence Vietnam has made on the South China Sea for decades.

Hanoi also wants radio transmitters in place, because it expects tensions with China to rise, after a landmark judgment in the International Court of arbitration in the Philippines, which ruled China does not hold sovereign rights over the territory in the South China Sea.

Vietnam, China and Taiwan claim all of the Spratly Islands, while Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei claim some of them.



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July 14, 2016

UN tribunal dismisses Chinese claims to South China Sea

UN tribunal dismisses Chinese claims to South China Sea

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Thursday, July 14, 2016

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On Tuesday, a United Nations (UN) tribunal in The Hague dismissed China‘s sovereignty claims to the South China Sea, a body of water connecting to the Pacific Ocean which is also bordered by the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Indonesia. Court battles over the claims between China and the Philippines go back to 2013.

These claims were established by China during the reign of its Nationalist government in the 1940s, marked by a demarcation line nicknamed its Nine-dash line. Its line stretched hundreds of miles from the Chinese mainland, including about nine tenths of the entire sea. The South China Sea is a valuable property, providing passage for about US$5 trillion in trade by planes and boats every year. China is not the only country to claim large parts of the sea; notably, Taiwan and Vietnam have also done so, but other large-scale claimants have been less militarily active about their claims than China.

China has built several artificial islands and military bases in the South China Sea. The tribunal scolded the impeding of fishing and exploration in the sea by China, which it deemed against the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), signed by China in 1982. The tribunal also concluded China knowingly permitted the poaching of endangered turtles and clams as well as destroyed coral reefs to construct artificial islands.

UNCLOS permits countries to claim a 200-nautical mile area from their mainland, referred to as an exclusive economic zone. It also permits freedom of navigation, allowing unimpeded exploration through “high seas”: international waters also available for the use of fishing and trade passages.

There is no process to enforce the decision. UNCLOS allows countries to exclude themselves from “compulsory binding procedures for the settlement of disputes” as defined in Part XV, Section 3 – Article 298. China exercised this right to exclude themselves from compulsory binding procedures on August 25, 2006. They reject the jurisdiction or authority of the tribunal’s findings. Various other countries have also exercised Article 298 partially or fully, such as Australia, Canada, the UK, Russia, and France.

Many nations made statements after the decision. The Chinese government opposed the decision, calling it “ill-founded”. It said “China neither accepts nor recognizes” the decision. The Philippine government referred to the decision as a “milestone decision”. The US, a key ally with many of the countries claiming parts of the sea, said it was an “important contribution to the shared goal of a peaceful resolution to disputes in the South China Sea”.



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April 1, 2016

Ho Chi Minh City – crime rises

Filed under: Asia,Crime and law,Vietnam — admin @ 5:00 am

Ho Chi Minh City – crime rises – Wikinews, the free news source

Ho Chi Minh City – crime rises

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Friday, April 1, 2016 – Crime in biggest metropolis of Vietnam has grown steadily over the past years and continues to expand. Crimes such as theft and robbery as well others are not only more and more a problem for tourists and locals but also are new challenges for the state authorities.

Ho Chi Minh City – captured by Silvia

Mr. and Ms. Doe (name changed by the editor) are annoyed because they were victims of a robbery in the morning near Ben Thanh Market in the city center of Saigon. Muggers have stolen their handbags with cell phone and camera, as well as 500 USD cash during a robbery. Then Mr. and Mrs. Doe have been waiting for an hour at a police station in District 1 of Ho Chi Minh City to make a criminal complaint. Since Mr. and Mrs. Doe were unable to name witnesses, the local police did not accept their complaint.

But not only tourists and foreign visitors to the city are frustrated about such states. Also the Saigonese have increasingly afraid to leave their houses and feel insecure in town. Looters who wreak havoc all over the city are becoming more daring and more dangerous as well more professional. Most frequented areas for the increased number of criminals among others are the city traffic at bustling streets and markets or near ATMs as well abandoned houses or apartments and hotel rooms. Robbery usually occurs at dusk but more and more also at night and day times. Criminals act as couples or in groups and in a few cases also as single individuals. Many of the robbers are on the way with motorcycles to approach the victims quickly and unnoticed. From the surprised passers then are snatched handbags and cameras as well mobile phones or even jewelry. Then the robbers disappear just as quickly as they have appeared. According to statistics of the local police 7 to 8 of 10 detained offenders are drug consumers. Drug addiction had become a further large problem in Ho Chi Minh City in recent years.

A resident of the city commented about the reality as follows: “Thieves and robbers in Ho Chi Minh City disseminate alike fear among the locals and the foreign visitors. In the streets of Saigon it comes every day to robberies as well thefts and the number of criminal offenses is constantly increasing. Crimes like that got too often happen without radical prosecution by the governmental institutions. The situation becomes increasingly unbearable. Saigon is an attractive destination for tourists but if we cannot solve this bad actuality, in the future they will stay far away”.

The warnings about robberies in Ho Chi Minh City are not new something. The foreign representatives from Australia, Korea, Japan and as well other countries in Vietnam reflect constantly the status of their citizens which lost passports and assets etc. in cases of robbery or theft. At their nonofficial statistics of 2015 are 83 cases happens to Japanese, 73 to Australians, 10 to Koreans and 80 to Taiwanese and Chinese. The victims of the robberies got help from the Vietnamese state authorities such as police only in a very few cases. The real number is many times higher because the victims only report the damage to their Diplomatic Missions in Vietnam when passports were stolen. A significant statistics at the police of Saigon about the cases of robbery and theft is unavailable because in many cases criminal complaints either are not been made or are not been accepted and registered at the responsible police departments.

The reports of Vietnamese Tourism Ministry said that the rate of to Vietnam returning tourists is recently very low. Mr. and Ms. Doe will be also counted in this group because there wasn’t any Vietnamese Government Authority who cares about their matter and not because they were robbed by Vietnamese criminals. It is however not only an insecurity of foreign tourists but also the local people. This becomes right now the identity as well the face of Ho Chi Minh City and the whole country. It does not matter how beautiful the country is or how kind some people are if visitors feel unsafe and be bothered. These tourists will never come back again and if they report stories same like those about Vietnam likewise their friends will never come here. So this is really a great failure by the Ministry of Internal Affairs which effect does to the tourism industry and the whole economic in Vietnam.

According to a report of the police in Ho Chi Minh City, there are monthly more than 1.000 robberies in the province. The police had clarified allegedly more than 700 of these cases and arrested about 1,030 suspects. Another report indicates that, in March 2016, the number of robberies in Ho Chi Minh City has increased by 15% to 20% over the previous month. Foreigners were the target of robberies in more than 100 cases. Nearly 60% of the cases occurred in the area of roads in District 2, which are heavily frequented by tourists. There were 109 more robberies in District 1 according to this report and in 55 of these cases the victims were tourists and expats.

The social networks are full of comments from visitors which said that Saigon is a city full of energy or very interesting and worth to explore. But many of them also vowed that they never will be return to Ho Chi Minh City or to Vietnam because the robberies. Other reasons for their decisions are theft of money, credit cards or passports as well scam and cheatings. Those who have not come to Vietnam in the past are expressed concern and said they would reconsider plans to explore Saigon. I think it is time that the Vietnamese government and the state authorities to reconsider their attitude towards crime. The responsible in the government departments should finally begin every kind of crime to take seriously and to punish all criminals in Vietnam rigorously. Otherwise in the future it maybe will be too late.

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September 30, 2015

VIETNAM’S PRESIDENT URGES WASHINGTON TO LIFT ARMS EMBARGO TOWARDS VIETNAM

Vietnam’s president urges Washington to lift arms embargo towards Vietnam

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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

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Truong Tan Sang

Speaking on Monday’s interview with the AP as world leaders gathered at the UN, Vietnam’s president Truong Tan Sang urged Washington to fully lift a ban in lethal weapons sales to Vietnam. He believes that act will demonstrate Vietnam-US relations have been fully normalized after 40 years since the end of Vietnam War.

“The moment the United States fully lifts the ban on lethal weapons sales to Vietnam will send a signal to the whole world that the Vietnam-U.S relations have been fully normalized” and there’s no mistrust between the two nations, Sang said.

He also said that President Obama’s visit to Vietnam this autumn is expected to consolidate a comprehensive partnership formalized when Sang visited Washington in 2013.

When asked about his attitude towards China’s acts, he said the concerns of Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries are “obvious and easy to understand because the acts by China seriously affect the maritime safety and security in the sea. He emphasized “the importance of a peaceful environment to realize new goals for sustainable development just agreed at the UN”.

Also, in another interview with VOA, he called on the claimants to pursue peaceful resolution to the South China Sea dispute.

“Vietnam would like to resolve the issue through international laws, and that is the only way to go forward. Regarding bilateral issue between Vietnam and China, we will negotiate with other bilaterally,” Sang said. “Other multilateral ones such as the Spratly issue, which is related to six parties, then all sides should deal with China.”



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Vietnamese president urges lifting arms embargo

Vietnamese president urges lifting arms embargo

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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

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File photo of Truong Tan Sang (November 2011).
Image: Presidencia Perú.

Vietnamese president Truong Tan Sang has called for an end to the US arms embargo against his country, as a final step in the restoration of ties between the two countries. The embargo has been in force since the end of the Vietnam War in April 1975. Lifting it would “send a signal to the whole world that the Vietnam-U.S relations have been fully normalized” he said, speaking to Associated Press at the start of the United Nations General Assembly.

He also said that President Obama’s visit to Vietnam this autumn is expected to consolidate a comprehensive partnership formalized when Sang visited Washington in 2013.

When asked about his attitude towards China’s acts, he said the concerns of Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries are “obvious and easy to understand because the acts by China seriously affect the maritime safety and security in the sea. He emphasized “the importance of a peaceful environment to realize new goals for sustainable development just agreed at the UN”.

Also, in another interview with VOA, he called on the claimants to pursue peaceful resolution to the South China Sea dispute.

“Vietnam would like to resolve the issue through international laws, and that is the only way to go forward. Regarding bilateral issue between Vietnam and China, we will negotiate with other bilaterally,” Sang said. “Other multilateral ones such as the Spratly issue, which is related to six parties, then all sides should deal with China.”



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September 19, 2015

A step of tightening relationship between Vietnam and Japan

A step of tightening relationship between Vietnam and Japan

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Saturday, September 19, 2015

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Friday, a Vietnamese Diplomatic deputation, lead by Party Chief Nguyen Phu Trong, finished a four-day trip to Japan. This is the first visit for Mr Trong to Japan since he took office as Communist Party General Secretary. He met with Japanese leaders and signed six memorandums of cooperation, one of which is military cooperation with unilateral action between the two countries in the South China Sea.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced Japan will provide Vietnam extra used naval vessels and other equipment to improve its maritime security capabilities, as tension increases in the South China Sea. The exact number of boats was not provided, but the Japanese government pledged to give Vietnam six secondhand patrol ships, during the Vietnamese Prime Minister’s trip last year.

According to the South China Morning Post, two secondhand vessels have been handed over to Vietnam so far. Both Japan and Vietnam shared their serious concern over China’s massive land reclamation and attempts to change the status quo in the South China Sea. They also agreed to strengthen security and defense cooperation by promoting exchanges and training.

“I find it highly meaningful that we have shared serious concerns over the continuation of unilateral behaviors that change the status quo and escalate tensions, such as large-scale reclamation and building of outposts in the South China Sea”, Abe said, without directly naming China.

Also, according to the South China Morning Post on Tuesday, a bilateral accord of extending grant aid worth ¥200 million ($1.7 USD million) to Vietnam was signed at the meeting.



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June 20, 2015

Pirate suspects questioned by Vietnamese police

Pirate suspects questioned by Vietnamese police

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Saturday, June 20, 2015

Eight men found on a life raft docked Friday morning at Tho Chu island off of south Vietnam are being held for questioning by Vietnamese marine police as suspects in the hijacking of a Malaysian Tanker. The tanker, the MT Orkim Harmony, was captured by pirates on June 11 in the South China Sea and was carrying 6000 tonnes of petrol worth approximately $7.2 million.

The suspects were found unarmed and claimed to have had an accident at sea explain their situation.

Vietnamese police were tipped off about the seamen by the Malaysian authorities and they have been sent to the island of Phu Quoc for questioning. If the eight are found to be the missing pirates they are expected to be extradited to Malaysia for trial.

The Malaysian police have been looking for the eight pirates who escaped the hijacked vessel via lifeboat after holding its crew hostage for nearly a week. The 22 crew members were unharmed during the hijacking except for the ship’s chef who received a minor gunshot wound to the leg. The eight pirates escaped in a life raft by ordering pursuing ships to remain five nautical miles from the Orkim Harmony under threat of killing the crew.



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August 13, 2014

India urges peaceful settlement of disputes at South China Sea

India urges peaceful settlement of disputes at South China Sea

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

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File photo of USS Freedom crossing the South China Sea in 2013.
Image: U.S. Navy.

As the tensions continue to grow over the disputes in the South China Sea, External Affairs Minister of India Sushma Swaraj asked on Sunday for all nations involved to resolve this issue in a peaceful and coherent manner.

Addressing the fourth East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers’ Meeting at the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Regional Form (ARF) in Naypyidaw, Myanmar on Sunday, she said “India opposes the use or threat of use of force” and backs the freedom of navigation with due acceptance of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. She further emphasised India urges for the implementation of the guidelines within the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea.

A petroleum company based in India, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), operates in a number of oil blocks under South China Sea with consent of Vietnam, in the same Phu Khanh basin. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) identified that basin as potentially containing large hydrocarbon deposits. India’s ONGC was given exploration permits in blocks 127 and 128; there are already drilling operations of US‘s ExxonMobil, three permits; and Australian Santos, in block 123; as well as other operators such as Origin Energy, Chevron, Plains Exploration and Neon Energy.

China has objected against the Indian presence, calling for foreign countries to stay out of the South China Sea, maintaining China’s claims there as indisputable. China’s sweeping sovereignty claims in the South China Sea clash with several ASEAN nations such as Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei.



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December 7, 2013

Wikinews interviews academic Steve Redhead about Australian women\’s soccer

Wikinews interviews academic Steve Redhead about Australian women’s soccer

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Saturday, December 7, 2013

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Yesterday, Wikinews interviewed Steve Redhead, a Professor of Sports Media and Acting Head of School of Human Movement Studies at Charles Sturt University in New South Wales, Australia, about the Australian women’s national soccer team (Matildas), the Australian men’s national soccer team (Socceroos) and the current differences between the state of women and men’s soccer in Australia. The Socceroos are currently getting international attention following yesterday’s 2014 FIFA World Cup draw which placed the 59th FIFA ranked team in the same group as top FIFA ranked Spain, fifteenth ranked Chile and the ninth ranked Netherlands.

The Matildas were in the news late last month, following their AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2014 draw which saw them placed in the group with Japan, Vietnam and Jordan. With the competition scheduled to take place in May, the Matildas are looking to repeat their performance as AFC champions. Domestically, Australia’s top women’s club team Sydney FC finish third in the International Women’s Club Championship held in Japan this past week after defeating South American club champions Colo-Colo in a penalty shootout.

The Matildas in a 2012 file photo
Image: Camw.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png: The Socceroos are ranked 59th by FIFA. The Matildas are ranked 8th by FIFA in the latest rankings. Should media coverage correlate to team performance and international rankings? Is there an element of tall poppy syndrome in the coverage of the Socceroos? What other factors can be used to explain the relative differences in media attention other than performance?

Steve Redhead: Women’s sports performances are seen as less than men’s — deep structural sexism (globally replicated).

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png: What’s the difference in style of play between the men and women’s national teams?

Steve Redhead: If we take soccer teams, with the newish rules on tackling from behind globally soccer has become almost a non-contact sport — this has helped the women’s game enormously and the styles of play don’t differ very much at all. If you were from outer space watching games, you would not know that a game was being played by men or women at the top level. The big remaining difference is goalkeeping. Men’s team goalkeepers are invariably way over six feet at the top level. Goalkeeping in the women’s game looks different because of this difference.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png: Why are the Matildas more successful in international competitions and ranking wise than the Socceroos?

SR: Socceroos have been in decline since Hiddink stopped being coach. Aging team, no great young players coming through to replace the golden generation. No such problem with Matildas — just steady improvement, and good coaching.

Australia’s Douglas Utjesenevic going against East German Eberhard Vogel at the 1974 FIFA World Cup, Australia men’s first World Cup appearance.
Image: Rainer Mittelstädt.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png: Soccer is one of most popular spectator sports for women. Why do you think the W-League has been unable to capitalize on the female audience like netball has?

SR: This is a difficult question — I just think it is going to take time, and articles like this one — it has been the same problem all over the world for women’s football and increasing the audience is always difficult.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png: Why do you think men don’t watch the Matildas in the same numbers as they watch the Socceroos?

SR: The soccer culture for men’s football is long standing, there is a real history for the culture. Not so in the women’s game.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png: Do problems with A-League finances translate into broader problems for the W-League and its ability to attract investors?

SR: Yes, I think so. But there is a deep structural sexism in the culture too.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png: None of the Socceroos received DAS [Direct Athlete Support] grants from the Australian Sports Commission in the past year while almost every single player on the Matildas received DAS or SLGSfW [Sports Leadership Grants and Scholarships for Women] funding. What accounts for difference in Australian Sports Commission/Australian Institute of Sport funding and what would it take to change that?

SR: Can’t really answer that one.

W-League player Emily Van Egmond playing for the Western Sydney Wanderers in a pre-season game last month
Image: Efcso.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png: What role should the government play in encouraging media organizations, both newspapers and television networks, to cover women’s soccer in Australia?

SR: I think it does take federal government intervention — educational programmes in sport long term, enforcement of equality legislation, etc.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png: Does the media feed into traditional Australian gender stereotypes by not covering elite women’s sports?

SR: Yes it does. Media sports education is crucial. We do this here at Charles Sturt University in NSW and I did it at University of Brighton in the UK.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png: Australia has a long history of a male-driven sporting narrative. How does this narrative play into current representations of men and women in Australian soccer? Does the cultural heritage of male-driven narratives make one national team more inherently authentic than the other?

SR: No, but I think it does make it difficult for women’s sport to build the narratives over a period of time.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png: Do issues with the Matildas not receiving the same level of media recognition as the Socceroos play a role in the development and attention of other Australian national soccer teams like blind football at the Paralympic level, cerebral palsy football at the Paralympic level, Australian teams at the International Gay Games, deaf soccer teams at the Deaflympics, wheelchair soccer at the World Cup of Powerchair Football?

SR: Yes, it is about equality — there is so much discrimination in the coverage of sports teams.



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November 14, 2013

Endangered \’Asian unicorn\’ sighted

Endangered ‘Asian unicorn’ sighted – Wikinews, the free news source

Endangered ‘Asian unicorn’ sighted

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

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File photo of Pseudoryx nghetinhensis, the Asian unicorn.
Image: Gió Đông.

On Tuesday, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) announced that a living saola, or “Asian unicorn”, has been photographed in Central Vietnam. The picture was recorded last September by a camera trap placed by the Vietnamese government and the WWF.

The saola, an antelope-like animal with long horns, had not been seen in Vietnam since 1998, said Quảng Nam Forest Protection Department Deputy Head Dang Dinh Nguyen. The saola is critically endangered, according to the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. The WWF estimates only a few dozen saola, or at most a few hundred, survive in remote, dense upland forests along Vietnam’s border with Laos. They have never survived in captivity.

The WWF hopes to help save the saola from extinction by safeguarding its habitat from poachers. Their country director for Vietnam, Van Ngoc Thinh, said, “This is a breathtaking discovery and renews hope for the recovery of the species.”


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