For some residents of southwestern China's Radish Village, very little has changed in the decade since a devastating earthquake nearly levelled their ancient homes. The tiny hamlet is one of several in Sichuan province that decided to preserve the destruction as a memorial to the disaster that left 87,000 people dead or missing when it struck on May 12, 2008. But there is one major difference: among the debris in Radish Village, life goes on. Vegetable gardens quilt the spaces where homes once stood. Survivors grow greens and other crops among the rubble to supplement their meagre income. An abandoned ruin. Collapsed homes double as hog pens. Bees buzz through empty window frames and into rooms open to the sky, where elderly survivors tend to their hives. The honey is one of several products locals hawk to tourists wandering the village's quiet footpaths. As an early morning mist breaks, women in the traditional blue robes of the local Qiang minority group set up tables full of … [Read more...] about Life among the ruins: Chinese village 10 years after quake
Break up 1 year anniversary
Words, particularly names, can have a great power. As the title suggests, this newspaper is written, edited and printed in Astana. The name of this city, as most of our readers know, means "capital" in Kazakh. The name was suggested by President Nursultan Nazarbayev and has now become one of the brands strongly associated with the Republic of Kazakhstan. But what about "Kazakhstan" itself? There was a discussion a year ago about the President’s proposal to consider renaming the country "Kazakh Yeli". The great monument on Independence Square in Astana actually bears that name. And "Kazakh Yeli" actually means "the land of Kazakhs" or "Kazakhland". Just as Deutschland, Poland, Finland and Thailand is a simple description of who, mostly, lives in each country. In fact, "Kazakhstan" has exactly the same meaning as "Kazakh Yeli", but in Persian (with "stan" meaning land). So where did this name of the sovereign state, which has been a member of the United Nations for the last 23 … [Read more...] about Why celebrate 550 years of Kazakh statehood?
Most people in the 1,000-year-old Bat Trang Village have been making ceramics since their childhood, including Tran Do, who began throwing clay when he was 10. Do has been polishing his skills for 40 years and is now master of 70 different kinds of pottery glaze, most of them secret. He is considered a magician of earth, water and fire, the three components of the craft. Do was born in 1957 into a family with a history including 18 generations of potters. He not only upholds the family tradition, but is believed to bring them added glory. Do celebrated the 1,000th anniversary of Ha Noi by designing an exhibition of 1,000 pieces of his life's work. The exhibition Tran Do's Pottery - Looking Back and Experimenting conveys the beauty of Bat Trang pottery by using both traditional and innovative techniques. Do's work features ancient glazes, such as the celadon green of 11th century Viet Nam, the brown of the Ly dynasty, the deep blue of the Mac dynasty - and the multi-colours of the later … [Read more...] about Thang Long’s ceramics master breaks the mold
Lai Chau breaks up many drug trafficking rings Police forces in the northwestern province of Lai Chau have uncovered a number of drug trafficking rings and seized thousands of synthetic drugs. Since August 2013, local police have recovered more than 17,400 pills from four separate smuggling rings. Lai Chau Provincial Police Department Deputy Director Colonel Le Van Bay said most perpetrators are local, Son La, or Lao Cai residents collaborating with Lao smugglers transporting drugs from the infamous Golden Triangle. In early August, police in Lai Chau's Than Uyen district caught red handed 29-year-old Son La resident Mua A Ky carrying 6,600 synthetic pills from Laos to Lao Cai province. Ky confessed buying drugs from a Lao man named Mua A Su to sell to the Chinese national Ly A Po at the Lao Cai border gate. On September 17, police arrested 45-year-old Giang A Hang attempting to smuggle 5,968 pills hidden in his motorbike. More than 4,000 pills were seized when local police raided the … [Read more...] about Blind boy sees light after five years
PARIS — More than 700,000 people flocked to a record-breaking Paris exhibition dedicated to the Christian Dior French fashion house, its organisers said Monday. The six-month-long show which ended on Sunday was the most popular ever held at the city’s Museum of Decorative Arts, with visitors queuing for an average of four hours to see some of the luxury brand’s most iconic designs. "Christian Dior, couturier du reve" (roughly translated as "Christian Dior, Designer of Dreams") was organised to mark the label’s 70th anniversary, and told the story of the brand through some 300 of its haute couture dresses worn by stars from Marlene Dietrich to Rihanna. The museum’s director David Cameo said that the turn-out was "an absolute record", the highest for a single show in its 112-year history. It also attracted a string of Hollywood stars and top models -- who were spared the queues — including Jennifer Lawrence, Robert Pattinson and Bella Hadid, some … [Read more...] about Dior Paris fashion exhibition breaks 112-year record