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Author Archive | Yvonne Epps

VIETNAM: The Silent, Fine Line

YVONNE EPPS WRITES — Veietnam’s media has a track record for jailing every person it does not like, but what happens when it fines one of its own state-run newspapers? Looks like this double-edged sword has finally drawn blood. Recently, the Associated Press found that the government fined the state-run newspaper Law and Society for about […]

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VIETNAM: Flap Your Way Into a Lawsuit Pipe

YVONNE EPPS WRITES — Ah, Flappy Bird. You’ve soared into the mainstream’s heart as millions potentially tapped holes into their iOS and Android devices, driven by addiction. You may not flap anymore, but your existence and death is a good sign within Vietnam’s constrictive media. The Vietnamese-developed mobile game Flappy Bird was taken down last […]

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VIETNAM: Relationship Status with the UN — It’s Complicated

YVONNE EPPS WRITES — We’re already familiar with Vietnam’s war on peaceful protest and “Internet dissent.” But really: Is it wise to attack a journalist en route to a UN human rights review? Vietnamese authorities kept independent journalist, civil society advocate and prospective UN speaker Pham Chi Dung from leaving the country on grounds that […]

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VIETNAM: Paracel Islands for the Silenced People

YVONNE EPPS WRITES — It’s a new year and with Tet rounding the final corner, Vietnam can finally turn over a new leaf. Or it can indulge in more media constriction, give or take. This week marked the 40th anniversary of China’s invasion of Vietnam and its taking of the Paracel Islands. And Vietnam’s state-controlled […]

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VIETNAM: Guerrilla Warefare on the Internet

YVONNE EPPS WRITES- Just when you thought things couldn’t get worse, they just did.  Vietnam’s war on peaceful protest has reached guerrilla warfare of the monetary kind. Hey, Uy’s atrocities were unforgivable, so why not take the rest of the Internet down, right? Two decrees have been posed against social media and e-commerce, punishing any […]

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VIETNAM: The Article 258 and Human Rights War

YVONNE EPPS WRITES- It’s Throwback Thursday and, while other people are throwing back to their embarrassing baby pictures, one mother throws back to the summer where she lost her two sons to Article 258. The mother of arrested blogger, Dinh Nhat Uy, is urging several media outlets, including Voice of America, to cover his public […]

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VIETNAM: Good Night Giap, Wake Up Vietnam!

YVONNE EPPS WRITES – If Ho Chi Minh was Vietnam’s superhero, then General Vo Nguyen Giap was his trustee sidekick. Befitting such a person of honor, Vietnamese turned out in the thousands for  a two-day national funeral to help send the the general to his final resting place. General Giap, a 102-year-old war hero, was credited […]

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VIETNAM: Like a Virgin (Insured)?!

YVONNE EPPS WRITES – Cultural icons can get away with insuring the body parts that made them famous, but when someone starts insuring their virginity, things can get dicey. The king of nhac vang, a genre of music, Ngoc Son, is reported to tell the media that he’s insuring his virginity for 1 million USD. The singer […]

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VIETNAM: An Extreme Obsession with Tourism

YVONNE EPPS WRITES – What do police patrols, food, and WiFi have in common? No, it’s not cops eating donuts while browsing Tumblr on their smartphones, but rather Vietnam’s obsession with tourism. From promoting the country as the “kitchen of the world” to protecting tourists from robbers, Vietnam is concerned about its tourism. But is […]

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VIETNAM: Beautiful Bodies, Uterus Required

YVONNE EPPS WRITES – The next Vietnam beauty may be just around the corner, but the government will only except the most feminine of them all, literally. Based off America’s Next Top Model, the fourth season of Vietnam’s Next Top Model has come under fire after advancing transgendered contestants in the auditions by the Ministry […]

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VIETNAM: 50 Shades of Chains and Apple Lawsuits

YVONNE EPPS WRITES – Trashy fiction is an increasingly popular guilty pleasure, making one writer’s trash a corporation’s treasure. Racy Vietnamese novel Soi xich (The Chain) was sold on the Apple App Store without author and actress-singer Le Kieu Nhu’s permission, violating the copyright laws protecting the work. Although the crude story about disappointment and […]

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VIETNAM: Free Wi-Fi, but a Wired Outcome

YVONNE EPPS WRITES – Today, life and the Internet are synonymous, so free Wi-Fi is to be expected, but what’s the benefit if citizens aren’t the intended users? Residents and tourists in Hue City, Vietnam’s former Royal Capital, are scheduled to receive free Wi-Fi in major public areas such as transit stations and airports. But […]

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VIETNAM: A Win for LGBT, but a Loss for Activism

YVONNE EPPS WRITES – Vietnam’s LGBT community got a morale boost on International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia May 17, but the big picture of social freedoms in the country is uneven. Viet Nam News reported that the United Nations praised the country for cutting anti-gay discrimination through local media’s spread of awareness, and proposing laws […]

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VIETNAM: Idol Culture Threatened by K-Pop Sensations

YVONNE EPPS WRITES – The Vietnamese Idol culture might have some competition from some neighbors whose intentions might be more hostile than sensational.   Last month, Vietnam Net Bridge covered a story on “Idol culture” in Vietnam where it was found that fan clubs obsessively love their respective idols like Uyen Linh, My Tam and […]

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VIETNAM: Going to the Birds?

YVONNE EPPS WRITES – Vietnam is counting its chickens. In response to 11 deaths in China from a new strain of bird flu, Vietnam’s Ministry of Health is gearing up to fight the disease, even though there are no reported in-country infections yet. As reported by Vietnam News and Voice of Vietnam, the ministry as […]

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VIETNAM: American Reporting Trivial to Vietnamese Readers

YVONNE EPPS WRITES – The United States prides itself on being “number one” in most areas, but it seems that social culture is its main point of interest to outsiders nowadays. A quick search on the Vietnamese language version of ThanhNien News Network reveals that American social reporting seems to be of greater interest than […]

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