vietnam

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations has appointed its first secretary-general from Vietnam, a one-party communist state and one of four ASEAN members in conflict with China over territory in the South China Sea. ASEAN has struggled over the past year to form a consensus on the issue and having a leader from Vietnam will keep the spotlight on the dispute.

The U.S. Embassy in Hanoi has deactivated its account on a popular Vietnamese website that's full of suspected pirated music and Hollywood movies, the State Department said Wednesday. The embassy had used its social media account with ZingMe to promote American values, including respect for intellectual property rights. But its presence had raised questions about digital piracy on the site and led to a review.

The U.S. Embassy in Hanoi has deactivated its account on a popular Vietnamese website that’s full of suspected pirated music and Hollywood movies, the State Department said Wednesday. The embassy had used its social media account with ZingMe to promote American values, including respect for intellectual property rights. But its presence had raised questions about digital piracy on the site and led to a review.

t’s a wildly popular website laden with unlicensed songs and Hollywood movies, a prime exhibit of the digital piracy that affects the music industry in Asia and eroding legitimate online sales around the world. But a few clicks inside the free-to-download bonanza that has pushed Vietnam’s Zing.vn into the globe’s top 550 websites reveals a surprising presence, the American government, which maintains a bustling social media account on the site.

The State Department said Wednesday it is reviewing a US Embassy's use of a wildly popular Vietnamese website laden with suspected pirated music and Hollywood movies to promote American values, including respect for intellectual property rights.

Washington is a vocal proponent of intellectual property rights in Vietnam as it is around the world, and a site like Zing would be shut down in the United States. But with space with for public diplomacy limited in Communist Vietnam, the American embassy uses its "Zingme" account to reach out to young people in Vietnam as it seeks to build closer ties with its former enemy.

Among the countless street children Jimmy Pham has met over the decades, the one who comes to mind most often is a young girl whose mother slammed her head against a wall 16 years ago. “It’s Uncle Tuan!” he remembers the five-year-old greeting him on the street. The girl’s mother, who was beside her, then suggested beg for money from Pham, a stranger who lately had become a kind of casual benefactor to the local children. When the girl refused to beg, her mother punished her with a beating.

Viet Nam and Bulgaria will boost their burgeoning friendship with a cultural exchange programme in 2013, which will see each country host culture weeks devoted to the other. Viet Nam‘s culture minister Hoang Tuan Anh confirmed the plans following a meeting with Bulgaria's visiting Deputy Prime Minister, Simeon Djankov, on Thursday.

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