Regional News • Americas • United States
Trump allegedly offered Kim Jong Un a ride on Air Force One following Vietnam summit
Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un in Hanoi, 2019
Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un in Hanoi, 2019 Credit: White House, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

According to a former senior administration official, former President Donald Trump offered orth Korean leader Kim Jong Un a ride home on Air Force One following a summit in Hanoi, Vietnam in 2019.

"President Trump offered Kim a lift home on Air Force One. The president knew that Kim had arrived on a multi-day train ride through China into Hanoi and the president said: 'I can get you home in two hours if you want.' Kim declined," Matthew Pottinger, the top Asia expert on Trump's National Security Council, told the BBC.

Regional News • World
New Zealand responded to Covid-19 the best, Brazil the worst – study
New Zealand responded to Covid-19 the best, Brazil the worst – study
Credit: Illustration by Ashley Winkler for Pendect (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Sydney's Lowy Institute assessed the Covid-19 response of 98 countries on six different criteria – including cases, deaths and testing – and ranked New Zealand's response to the virus the best. The other countries that made the top 10 are Vietnam, Taiwan, Thailand, Cyprus, Rwanda, Iceland, Australia, Latvia and Sri Lanka. The United States, Mexico, Colombia and Iran and Brazil were in the bottom five, with Brazil being ranked at the bottom.

Technology • Internet & Web
Facebook to be possibly shut down in Vietnam following censorship requests
Facebook to be possibly shut down in Vietnam following censorship requests
Credit: / Thought Catalog

A senior official from Facebook has told Reuters that the Vietnamese government is pressuring the platform to censor more local political content on the social network. If the company does not comply it could face a ban in the country. Vietnam's foreign ministry stated on the matter that "spreading information that violates traditional Vietnamese customs and infringes upon state interests".

Regional News • Asia
Vietnam has reached 3 weeks without community transmission of coronavirus

For the past three weeks now new community transmissions of Covid-19 have been recorded in Vietnam.

Vietnam reports first ever Covid-19 death amid new outbreak
Vietnam reports first ever Covid-19 death amid new outbreak
Credit: Mehr News Agency / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0)

Vietnam has recorded the country's first Covid-19 death on Friday. Patient 428 was a 70-year-old man from Danang, where the virus had reemerged after the country had not seen any cases in 100 days.

Regional News • Asia
Vietnam starts evacuating 80,000 people from city after first Covid-19 cases in country since April

Three residents tested positive for Covid-19 in Danang, with the first case in the country since April being confirmed on the last weekend. The Vietnamese government has now ordered the evacuation of 80,000 out of the city. As the outside borders of the country are still closed the tourist hotspot Danang had seen lots of domestic tourism.

Everybody that has recently returned from Danang or will now be evacuated is required to quarantine at home for 14 days in order to prevent a further spread of the virus. According to the government, the evacuation will take four days and will be done with chartered airplanes to eleven different Vietnamese cities.

Vietnam so far has reported only 400 confirmed Covid-19 cases and no deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

Regional News • Asia
Vietnam reports first Covid-19 case in nearly 100 days
Staff members wearing protective suites in a hospital
Staff members wearing protective suites in a hospital Credit: Mstyslav Chernov / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

A 57-year-old retired man from Danang is Vietnam's first confirmed Covid-19 patient since April 16. The country had not reported a single case in 100 days and it's unclear how the man contracted the novel Coronavirus. The Health Ministry has announced "extensive screening and testing in all at-risk areas in Danang."

The man, also referred to as Patient 416, had not left the city and only was in contact with neighbours and his grandchildren. According to Vietnam's ministry, the patient is "currently on ventilator support due to respiratory failure."

Science • Animals
Vietnam bans import of wild animals
Monkey in Con Son Island, Vietnam
Monkey in Con Son Island, Vietnam Credit: Marek Michalsky

As one of the biggest Asian consumers of wildlife products, Vietnam has announced a suspension of all imports of wild animal species. The prime minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has signed a directive that bans the import of "dead or alive" wild animals and fathers contains a vow that all illegal markets across Vietnam will be "eliminated".

The order also covers parts of these animals, their eggs or derivatives. The chairman of the anti-animal-trafficking group Freeland, Steven Glaster, has stated that "Vietnam is to be congratulated for recognising that COVID-19 and other pandemics are linked to the wildlife trade".

Technology • Internet & Web
Tinder starts testing video dates
Tinder Face to Face screenshots
Tinder Face to Face screenshots Credit: Tinder

Tinder announced Wednesday that it has begun testing the ‘Face to Face’ chat feature in the U.S., Brazil, Australia, Spain, Italy, France, Vietnam, Indonesia, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Peru and Chile.

In a press release, Tinder says: "We recently surveyed our members in the US, and half of them have had video dates with a match off Tinder in the past month. Not only that, but 40 percent of Gen Z members wanted to continue using video as a way to decide whether to meet IRL in the future - even once their favorite date spot is open again"

The new feature was promised as a way Tinder evolves its business in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

Vietnamese Company Creates World’s First Biodegradable Coffee Face Mask
AirX Mask
AirX Mask

Called the AirX, the new face mask from the Vietnam via Canada-based company is touted as “the world’s first ever coffee mask” and is reusable, 100% vegan, biodegradable, and antimicrobial.

It has obtained AATCC 100 certification, “the textile industry’s standard for antimicrobial fabric performance in the United States.”

Per Yahoo Finance, the coffee component of the mask comes in two forms: the coffee yarn using “Powerknit technology” that comprised the mask itself as well as the biodegradable air filter insert, made with “silver nanotechnology and coffee” and meant to withstand 30 days’ use.

Lifestyle • Food
Vietnam sets up machines that distribute free rice to people out of work during pandemic

Businessmen and donors have set up machines in several different cities across Vietnam, that dispense rice for free to people that are out of jobs and have no income. The waiting lines require people to keep up physical distancing and people are required to sterilize their hands before receiving their rice.

Business • Economy
China and Vietnam are planning to impose ban on wildlife trade

Following the worldwide spread of the coronavirus, originating from a "wet market" in Wuhan on which live animals were bought and sold, China and Vietnam are planning to impose a ban on such markets. The formal bans are expected to be signed into law later this year.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Fashion
H&M prepares to use its capacities to supply EU with protective gear for hospitals

According to Reuters, H&M has agreed to supply the EU with protective gear for hospitals with an emphasis on face masks. After an initial offer by H&M the company and EU representatives had agreed on using the companies global network of suppliers, mainly located in China, India, Bangladesh and Vietnam, to curb the evergrowing demand after protective gear for hospitals. This will in the initial phase come in the form of a donation by the company. Inditex, owner of the brand Zara and a main competitor of H&M, had before made a similiar offer to the country of Spain.

Vietnam health ministry says that all 16 infected patients have been cured

With no new recorded cases in Vietnam since February 13, the health ministry announced that all 16 known infected patients have been cured of the coronavirus.