Maritime affairs ministry detains two Vietnamese-flagged fishing vessels in Natuna – National – The Jakarta Post


The Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry detained two Vietnamese-flagged fishing vessels as they were passing through the North Natuna Sea, an official said on Wednesday.

A ministry patrol boat, KP Hiu 011, arrested the vessels for trespassing the border illegally and using a trawl to catch fish, which is forbidden in Indonesia.

The ministry’s acting director general for marine and fisheries resources monitoring, Agus Suherman, said the vessels’ crew members were arrested at 5:58 p.m. local time on Tuesday.

“We have arrested eight Vietnamese crew members on the BV 92468 TS ship, as well as three crew members on the BV 92467 TS ship,” Agus said in a written statement received by on Wednesday.

The vessels were escorted to the Natuna Monitoring Unit (Satwas) on Riau Islands for legal proceedings.

According to results from an early inspection, the vessels violated Law No. 31/2004 on fisheries and the crew are subject to a maximum sentence of six years’ imprisonment and Rp 20 billion (US$1.4 million) fine.

As of January, the ministry has detained 23 illegal fishing vessels comprising 18 foreign vessels and five domestic ones. Of the foreign vessels, 11 were Vietnamese-flagged, while the rest were Malaysian. (dpk)

via Maritime affairs ministry detains two Vietnamese-flagged fishing vessels in Natuna – National – The Jakarta Post


Food Crisis 2019: An Outbreak Of African Swine Fever Is Devastating The Global Pig Population, And Pork Prices Are Skyrocketing – End Of The American Dream


China raises and consumes far more pigs than anyone else in the world, and it is also the epicenter of this crisis.

At this point we don’t know exactly how many pigs that they have lost, but we have some numbers that at least give us an idea.  For example, the Chinese government admitted that China’s pig herd was 13 percent smaller in January compared to a year earlier…

China’s pig herd fell 13 percent in January compared with the same month a year earlier, while the number of breeding sows was down 15 percent from the previous year, according to data from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.

China once had a population of 430 million pigs, and taking 13 percent of that number would give us a total of 55.9 million pigs that have been lost.

But there have also been allegations of a “cover-up”, and some believe that the true number of pigs that have been lost is closer to 100 million.

In either case, we are talking about potentially apocalyptic losses.

And these losses are really starting to move global pork prices.  Over the last two weeks alone, we have witnessed a 20 percent increase

Pork prices have been creeping higher since February, as trading companies realized that there is less stock of hogs and market supply will become even less.

“(The) pork price increased to 14.55 Yuan (USD$2.17) per kilogram last week, compared to 12.11 Yuan (USD$1.80) two or three weeks ago — (price) increased 20% in two weeks,” said Jun Wang from China Agricultural University.

U.S. hog prices have surged the past few weeks on signs that Chinese buyers have turned to the U.S. to make up for the dwindling of China’s pig herds because of African swine fever (ASF), said a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) article on March 27. U.S. hog futures prices have rocketed nearly 50% higher in the past month, as expectations rose that China would use American imports to fulfill its pork supply needs.


Photo by Marissa Daeger on Unsplash

All over the world, anything with pork in it is going to start costing a lot more.  And when you couple this with all of the other disasters that have hit global food production in recent months, the truth is that we are potentially facing a major global food crisis later in 2019.

And remember, this outbreak of African Swine Fever is far from over.  In fact, fresh outbreaks continue to come in from all over China

Reports of another outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) in China’s Hubei province in the central part of the country were confirmed on March 31.

According to China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, all 83 pigs on one farm were infected with the disease, which killed 73 of them. At the second 142-head pig farm, eight hogs were infected and five died, the statement said.

In Vietnam, the prime minister is officially freaking out as this disease pops up in various areas around his nation…

Vietnam’s prime minister has called for “drastic measures” to fight the spread of African swine fever in the Southeast Asian country, state media reported on Tuesday.

The highly contagious disease, which is incurable in pigs but harmless to humans, has spread rapidly across neighboring China since August, and has been found in seven areas in Vietnam, the state-run Vietnam News Service reported.

95 million people live in Vietnam, and pork accounts for approximately three-quarters of all meat consumption in that country.

If a large percentage of the pigs are suddenly wiped out, that is going to cause massive problems.

African Swine Fever is also ripping through pig herds in Cambodia

According to the Director General , Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries , General Directorate of Animal Health and Production (GDAHP), Phnom Penh, Cambodia, an ASF outbreak has been reported in backyard pigs in Rattanakiri province in northeast Cambodia, which borders Vietnam.

Four hundred of the 500 pigs on the farm died and the remaining killed and properly disposed.

Global food prices are never going to be lower than they are at this moment, and now is the time to get prepared for more unstable times ahead.  Here in the U.S., the recent flooding is going to have an enormous impact on U.S. agricultural production this year.  For much more on this, please see my recent article entitled ‘“As Many As A Million Calves Lost In Nebraska” – Beef Prices In The U.S. To Escalate Dramatically In The Coming Months’.

Personally, I don’t know why anyone would even want to eat pigs.  Pork consumption is a highway to cancer, heart disease and diabetes.  But the reality of the matter is that pigs are the main source of meat for a very large percentage of the global population, and now we have an outbreak that is playing havoc with the global pig population.

Let’s keep a very close eye on this story, because it could have very serious ramifications for all of us in the months ahead.

Hog futures are rising even faster.  Over the past month, they have gone up nearly 50 percent

via Food Crisis 2019: An Outbreak Of African Swine Fever Is Devastating The Global Pig Population, And Pork Prices Are Skyrocketing – End Of The American Dream

Title Photo by Marissa Daeger on Unsplash

2 Children Dead in Nam Định, Vaccine reactions raise concerns in Vietnam – VietNam News

HÀ NỘI — After Tết (Lunar New Year) Holiday, medical facilities offering vaccination services in the central city of Đà Nẵng have received a huge influx of parents and infants, worrying about severe complications from the ComBE Five vaccine used in the national expanded immunization programme (EIP).

Half of the parents come from other provinces, including Quảng Nam, Quảng Ngãi and Bình Định.

Đà Nẵng City Centre for Disease Control has been overwhelmed any time a new batch of a 6-in-1 vaccine preventing diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B, polio and meningitis is offered.

While vaccines on the EIP are free, many parents have been paying for private doses as they don’t trust the free options, according to  Trần Bảo Ngọc, deputy head of the centre’s General Examination Department.

A private vaccine dose costs nearly VNĐ1 million (US$43), while a package for all necessary vaccines in early years costs some VNĐ20 million ($859), yet hospitals are running out of stock for these vaccines due to high demand.

Some 400,000 ComBE FIVE vaccine doses have been distributed to 63 provinces and cities after replacing Korean-made Quinvaxem in December last year.

Indian-made ComBE Five is a “five-in-one” vaccine that can help fight five common, potentially fatal diseases affecting infants – diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenza type B.

Several cases of severe reactions have been reported, with the northern province of Nam Định reporting two deaths due to vaccine since December, compared to none in nearly a decade of using Quinvaxem.

In addition, the central province of Bình Định had to stop using a batch of ComBE FIVE vaccine following an infant’s death in February.

According to Đặng Đức Anh, director of the national EIP, mild fever under 38.5 degrees Celsius and a slight pain around the injection are common reactions.

Severe reactions like high fever, convulsions and anaphylaxes may occur at a rate of 20 out of 1 million injections.

Since October 2018, some 23,200 children have received ComBE FIVE vaccine in Bình Định, with 689 children experiencing normal reactions and 20 severe complications and one death.

Monitoring reactions

According to Anh, Quinvaxem and ComBE FIVE have the same percentage of reactions.

Lê Quang Hùng, director of Bình Định Province Department of Health, advises parents to tightly monitor children’s conditions after having vaccines.

“If they show any strange signs like high fever or shortness of breath, please take them to the nearest medical facility. With normal reactions, it takes up to two days for a baby to recover. A patient suffering serious symptoms will receive treatment immediately,” said Hùng.

Nguyễn Quang Thông, director of Cần Thơ City Centre for Disease Control, said thanks to training on vaccine preservation, injection techniques and post-vaccine monitoring, mild fever was the only side-effect babies being administered at the centre had.

However, only 59 per cent of children under 1 were vaccinated in January in Can Tho.

According to experts, immunization is important as it protects children from disease. Therefore, medical facilities are urged to prevent vaccine shortages from occurring. — VNS

via Vaccine reactions raise concerns – Society – Vietnam News | Politics, Business, Economy, Society, Life, Sports – VietNam News

Well perhaps if the drug companies were a little bit more transparent with whats in the vaccines then people might be a little bit more at ease.  Its good to see the Vietnamese instruct the parents to closely monitor their children. The five in one seems like its a bit much. Very sad that two children died as a result of the vaccinations.


A month after Hanoi summit, Vietnam starts deporting North Korean refugees – The Washington Post

SEOUL — Just a month after hosting a summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Vietnam has deported three North Korean refugees, sending them home via China to an uncertain future in their homeland.

The deportations mark a worrying new development for fleeing North Koreans, who previously had been safe if they managed to evade capture in China and reach a third country.

The deportations could also be an indication of North Korea’s growing diplomatic clout and lessening isolation since Kim stepped onto the global stage over the past year.

“I am worried that Kim Jong Un’s diplomatic engagement with Vietnam could have influenced them to deport North Korean refugees,” said Sokeel Park, South Korea director for a group called Liberty in North Korea, which helps North Korean refugees cross borders and adjust to life in the South.

But refugee groups also blamed South Korea’s government, amid reports it failed to respond promptly to a request to help the refugees after they were arrested in Vietnam. North Korean refugees in South Korea accuse the Seoul government of putting ties with Pyongyang ahead of human rights issues.

Aid workers told South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper that the South Korean Foreign Ministry failed to respond to a request to assist the refugees, a claim the ministry denied.

Three North Koreans who fled their country via China were arrested in the Vietnamese town of Ha Tinh on Monday, according to Chosun Ilbo. Aid workers who were assisting the refugees reached out to the South Korean Embassy in Vietnam and were told to contact Seoul’s Foreign Ministry directly.

The ministry repeatedly told them to wait, but no assistance was provided before the refugees were sent to China on Wednesday, the aid workers told Chosun Ilbo. China views North Korean defectors as illegal economic migrants and repatriates them to their home country, where they face severe punishment.

The Foreign Ministry in Seoul denied the report, saying in a statement that the ministry “immediately got in contact with the local authorities and took a stand against forcible repatriation to North Korea.” The ministry declined to comment on the safety and whereabouts of the refugees.

Han Jin-myung, a North Korean diplomat who served in Vietnam before defecting to South Korea in 2015, said the government in Seoul should have acted more quickly.

“Vietnam is in a tricky position, politically close to North Korea, and economically close to South Korea. Only the Seoul government can take the initiative to rescue those refugees,” he said. “Vietnam couldn’t have deported them if South Koreans promptly stepped in. It is irresponsible for the Seoul government to have let this happen.”

Vietnam has been one of Southeast Asian countries that provide safe haven for North Korean escapees, helping them reach South Korea.

“Once North Korean refugees make it through China, then they are normally safe,” said Park of Liberty in North Korea. “The fact that they were repatriated from Vietnam, after all that, is really concerning. . . . We don’t want this to set a precedent.”

The number of North Koreans coming annually to the South has dropped by half since Kim Jong Un came to power in 2011. South Korean lawmakers attribute the decline number to tighter border controls and China’s repatriation of refugees to North Korea.

via A month after Hanoi summit, Vietnam starts deporting North Korean refugees – The Washington Post

And the worst part… The girth of the supreme leader continues to widen. Go on, eat more cheese fatboy. -Ed

Vietnam protests to China over South China Sea boat sinking | Reuters

Vietnam has lodged an official protest Chinawith China following the sinking of a Vietnamese fishing boat which was being chased by a Chinese maritime surveillance vessel in the disputed South China Sea, Vietnam said late on Thursday.

Vietnam and China have for years long been embroiled in a dispute over the potentially energy-rich stretch of waters, called the East Sea by Vietnam.

The fishing vessel was moored near Da Loi island in the Paracel archipelago on March 6 when a China Maritime Surveillance Vessel chased it and fired water cannon at it, Vietnam’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

The boat sank after hitting rocks while it was being chased. All five fishermen on board were rescued by another Vietnamese fishing boat, the ministry said.

A Vietnamese rescue agency said earlier that the Chinese vessel rammed the fishing boat.

“The Chinese vessel committed an act that violated Vietnam’s sovereignty over the Hoang Sa archipelago, threatened the lives and damaged the properties and the legitimate interests of Vietnamese fishermen,” the ministry said in the statement, referring to the Paracel islands by their Vietnamese name.

Vietnam had lodged a protest with China’s embassy in Hanoi and demanded that China deal strictly with its Maritime Surveillance agency to prevent similar incidents and to compensate fairly the fishermen for their losses.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman in Beijing was cited by Chinese media as saying earlier that the fishing boat had sunk when the Chinese vessel approached, and that the Chinese crew had rescued the fishermen.

China claims 90 percent of the South China Sea, where it has steadily expanded military and other installations on artificial islands and reefs, unnerving the region and angering Washington.

In addition to Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also have claims to parts of the sea.

Separately, the Vietnamese government on Friday denounced Taiwan’s military drills on and around Itu Aba, an island in the South China Sea, that Vietnam calls Ba Binh.

Vietnamese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang said the drills were “a serious violation of Vietnam’s sovereignty over the (Spratly) archipelago, threatening peace, stability, and maritime safety and security, stressing and complicating the situation in the East Sea.”

“Vietnam resolutely opposes (the drills) and demands that Taiwan to not repeat similar actions,” Hang said in a statement posted on the government website.

(Reporting by Khanh Vu; Editing by Robert Birsel and Michael Perry)

Curious Case – Singaporean man arrested after allegedly staging his own kidnapping in Vietnam -The Straits Times

SINGAPORE – What began as an investigation into a kidnapping in February ended with the arrest of the supposed victim less than a month later.

The 30-year-old Singaporean was arrested on Wednesday (March 20) for his suspected involvement in a case of cheating.

The police said on Thursday that on Feb 27, at around 10.35pm, they received a report that a Singaporean man had been kidnapped in Vietnam.

The Straits Times understands that the report was filed by the man’s family.

He told his relatives that he had been kidnapped, and requested that a sum of US$15,000 (S$20,200) be transferred to his bank account for his release. ST further understands that a sum of money was transferred to the account, but not the full amount.

Through investigations and with assistance from the Vietnamese police, the Singapore Police Force established that the man had not been kidnapped, and was in fact safe and well in Vietnam.

He is believed to have staged his own kidnapping so that his relatives would send money to him.

It was not immediately clear why he needed the money.

The man was arrested at Changi Airport upon his return to Singapore on Wednesday at around 12.05am.

If found guilty of cheating, he can be jailed for up to 10 years and may also be fined.

via Singaporean man arrested after allegedly staging his own kidnapping in Vietnam, Courts & Crime News & Top Stories – The Straits Times

Communist China 🇨🇳 vs. Communist Vietnam 🇻🇳

Hey Laowinners! What are the differences between the communism in China and Vietnam? China has a long history of top down control in its leadership style with its many dynasties. Vietnam has a very difficult relationship with China due to over 1000 years of Chinese occupation, and its leadership style has changed under French control, American occupation. Mao Zedong and Ho Chi Minh had different goals for their countries, and today I break down what makes these communist countries actually communist.

North Korea’s Kim pays tribute to Ho Chi Minh on Vietnam visit – Channel NewsAsia

HANOI: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un paid tribute to Vietnam’s late revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh on Saturday before starting his long journey home through China, after his Hanoi summit with US President Donald Trump ended without a nuclear deal.

Kim boarded his olive green armoured train at the Dong Dang border station in Vietnam before it rolled northward toward China en route to Pyongyang, kicking off a marathon 4,000-km journey expected to take two-and-a-half days.

Earlier Kim made a highly unusual stop at the stark concrete monument where the body of Vietnam’s independence hero is on display.

On historic North Korean anniversaries Kim regularly pays tribute – with the “humblest reverence”, according to the official KCNA news agency – to his predecessors, his father Kim Jong Il and grandfather Kim Il Sung, at the sprawling memorial palace on the outskirts of Pyongyang where their preserved remains lie in state.

But he is not known to have previously done anything similar for a foreign leader.

The North Korean adjusted the ribbons on a large wreath emblazoned with his name and the message “Cherishing the memory of President Ho Chi Minh” before bowing his head for no less than 48 seconds.

Go and see the photos via North Korea’s Kim pays tribute to Ho Chi Minh on Vietnam visit – Channel NewsAsia

“Better ‘No Deal’ Than ‘Bad Deal'”: Walking Out Of Hanoi Summit Earns Trump Bipartisan Praise | Zero Hedge

Though Kim Jong Un has a long train ride back to Pyongyang to ponder how the collapse of Thursday’s talks in Hanoi might impact his relationship with Trump, senior officials in his government are already signaling that the detente between the two geopolitical rivals might be over, having deliberately undermined President Trump by contradicting his version events during a midnight press conference – even going so far as to suggest that Kim has “lost the will” to continue negotiating (since North Korea’s “reasonable” position “will never change” – something that US intel analysts have been saying for months).

And as we wait for a rebuttal from President Trump (who will arrive back home much quicker than Kim despite the greater geographical distance), it’s worth noting that the reaction to Trump’s performance in Hanoi – which provoked some twitter wits to joke that he managed to find another way for America to “lose” in Vietnam – hasn’t been as negative as one might have expected.

In one of the few examples of true bipartisanship during the Trump era, lawmakers from both parties chimed in on Twitter and on the floor of the Senate to praise President Trump for having the temerity to walk away from the table.

Confounding Trump’s allies and his enemies, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer even praised the president during a speech on the Senate floor for choosing to walk away instead of accepting an inferior deal that would have made the US less safe in the long run.

Read the full article via “Better ‘No Deal’ Than ‘Bad Deal'”: Walking Out Of Hanoi Summit Earns Trump Bipartisan Praise | Zero Hedge

Indonesia slams Vietnam for disrupting arrests – SE Asia – The Jakarta Post

Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti lambasted the Vietnam Fisheries Resources Surveillance (VFRS) agency for allegedly disrupting the Indonesian Navy’s efforts to seize four Vietnam-flagged vessels for illegally fishing in Indonesian waters.

“We request that Vietnam’s government explain about and apologize for the incident,” said Susi on Monday in Bandung, West Java, adding that she would communicate with Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi about issuing a formal protest against Vietnam over the incident.

The incident took place on Sunday morning when two VFRS patrol vessels — Kiem Ngu 214214 and Kiem Ngu 214263 — allegedly “prompted dangerous maneuvers” to intercept the arrest of the four vessels for fishing illegally in the northern part of Natuna waters in Riau Islands, authorities said.

“The actions could have caused collisions so we warned them more firmly,” said Cdre. Irvansyah, the commander of the Indonesian Navy’s 1st Fleet Sea Battle Group.

The captain of KRI Tom-357 had to shoot a 76-millimeter cannon to drive the two VFRS patrol boats off, he added.
The Navy eventually managed to seize the four Vietnam-flagged fishing boats safely and put them under their custody.

The four were identified as BV 525 TS; BV 9487 TS; BV 4923 TS; and BVS 525 TS — the first three of which were caught while carrying a total of four cooling boxes full of fish.

Susi said it was not the first such incident in the past few weeks.

Last week, two VFRS boats allegedly tried to stop KP Hiu Macan 01, a vessel owned by the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry’s directorate general of marine resources and fisheries supervision, from arresting four Vietnamese fishing vessels also in North Natuna waters.

The Hiu Macan 01’s captain, Samson, said he decided to release the Vietnamese ships due to safety concerns, citing an incident last year when a Vietnamese coast guard vessel allegedly rammed into a ministry patrol boat — which at the time of the incident was trying to seize a suspected illegal fishing boat.

The fisheries ministry recorded that vessels from Vietnam were among the most seized fishing boats in the ongoing crackdown on illegal fishing. Since October 2014, the ministry has seized or sunk 276 Vietnam-flagged fishing boats for poaching Indonesian waters.

The Foreign Ministry said it regretted the recurrent “disruptions against Indonesia’s law enforcement measures by Vietnamese vessels”.

“The ministry has coordinated with related ministries and institutions, including the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry, to overcome the issue with Vietnam,” ministry spokesperson Arrmanatha Nasir told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.

However, he did not comment on whether or not his office would send a formal protest to Vietnam.

Naval skirmishes commonly occur in the waters off Natuna Islands regency, especially with Vietnam, as Jakarta and Hanoi remain locked in a dispute over their overlapping exclusive economic zones (EEZs) in the area.

In 2017, tensions flared following a maritime stand-off involving a Vietnamese coast guard vessel that had intercepted an Indonesian fisheries ministry vessel during its attempt to arrest five Vietnamese fishing boats.

Later that year, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo hosted talks in Jakarta with Nguyen Phu Trong, the general secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, to mend ties that had been stretched due to such incidents.

Jokowi then visited Vietnam in 2018, which resulted in a bilateral commitment to conclude negotiations on maritime boundaries and to combat illegal fishing. However, skirmishes in the area continue to date.

Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Pandjaitan recently announced a plan to populate the Natuna Islands with fishermen from other regions such as Java in an effort to bolster Indonesia’s presence in the area.
The Natuna Sea is geographically closer to Vietnam and Malaysia, and borders the disputed South China Sea. (tjs)

via Indonesia slams Vietnam for disrupting arrests – SE Asia – The Jakarta Post