A Vietnamese court has rejected hundreds of lawsuits filed by fishermen who demanded more compensation from a Taiwanese-owned steel plant responsible for a devastating toxic leak, a leading activist said on Saturday.
In a rare case of civic action in authoritarian Vietnam, crowds of fishermen last month swamped a courthouse to file 506 lawsuits against Formosa Plastics Group (台塑集團), which is constructing a multibillion-dollar steel plant in Ha Tinh Province.
The conglomerate paid Vietnam’s government US$500 million after it was blamed of dumping waste that poisoned fish and decimated the local seafood industry earlier this year.
Local fishermen launched their lawsuits in an effort to wrest more money from Formosa and demand that it shut down the steel operation altogether.
However, Catholic priest Dang Huu Nam, who helped lead the plaintiffs, told reporters the court had returned more than 100 case files and that he was expecting more.
“We will look into why the files were returned, as the court did not say concretely, before deciding what moves to do next,” Nam said.
Judge Nguyen Van Thang was quoted in state-run media as saying that all 506 cases were returned.
The fishermen had asked for compensation of about US$2.5 million, but did not provide clear evidence of their losses, Phap Luat, an official legal news site, quoted the judge as saying.
Dead fish and other marine life began washing up on Vietnam’s central coast in April, hitting fishermen and triggering rounds of protests.
After weeks of obfuscation, the government laid blame on Formasa, which has a history of environmental scandals spanning the globe, and ordered the conglomerate to pay a US$500 million fine.
The government said it would this month start distributing the cash to affected fishermen and last month confirmed that payouts would range from US$130 to US$1,600 per person.
Thousands of Vietnamese protesters on Oct. 2 surrounded the steel plant, with some scaling its walls and holding signs demanding its closure.
Vietnam’s communist rulers tolerate little dissent, but anger over corruption and environmental degradation often spark significant protests.
China’s chip industry is growing faster than anywhere else in the world, after US sanctions on local champions — from Huawei Technologies Co (華為) to Hikvision Digital Technology Co (海康威視) — spurred appetite for homegrown components. Nineteen of the world’s 20 fastest-growing chip industry firms over the past four quarters, on average, hail from the world’s No. 2 economy, data compiled by Bloomberg showed. That compared with just eight firms at the same point last year. Revenue at China-based suppliers of design software, processors and gear vital to chipmaking is increasing at several times the pace of global leaders Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co
Had Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck hopped on an electric scooter rather than a Vespa in the classic film Roman Holiday, their spin around the Eternal City might have ended in tears. The number of crashes and near-misses involving the two-wheelers has prompted Rome authorities to impose some order on a booming rental market that began two years ago. The havoc came to a head earlier this month when two US tourists attempted a night-time drive down the Spanish Steps, causing more than 25,000 euros (US$26,392) worth of damage to the 18th-century monument. Caught on security footage, the couple in their late 20s
POSITIVE SIGNS: GlobalWafers has continued to sign long-term supply agreements, most of which exceed 2028, and aside from one factory, it is running at full capacity GlobalWafers Co (環球晶圓), the world’s third-largest silicon wafer maker, yesterday said that Samsung Electronics Co and most of its customers have not scaled back on orders, or delayed shipments, even though consumer spending has shifted away from smartphones and notebook computers due to mounting inflation pressures. Rising inflation has altered consumers’ spending habits, dampening sales of consumer electronics, the Hsinchu-based company said. However, customers all honored their supply agreements by adjusting their product mix and shifting to applications that are still reporting robust growth, it said. Aside from one 6-inch factory, GlobalWafers’ 15 factories around the world are running at 100 percent
Nearly a quarter of European companies in China are considering shifting their investments out of the country as COVID-19 outbreaks and lockdowns dim the outlook for the world’s second-largest economy, a survey showed. About 23 percent of the businesses that responded to the survey are thinking of moving their current or planned investments away from China, a report released yesterday by the EU Chamber of Commerce in China said. The survey was conducted at the end of April, when Shanghai was still in shut down and restrictions in places like Jilin Province disrupted business activity. The number of European firms reassessing