INTRO: Over 100 villagers in China's remote Guizhou Province say they've found their paradise in a cave.
STORY: It takes some four hours to drive there from provincial capital Guiyang(貴陽), the last hour on a dirt road which clings precariously(危險地) to the side of a mountain valley, high above a river. But the final way up to Zhongdong(龍洞) is to walk for more than a hour up a steep(陡峭的), rough stone path hewn(開闢) out of the rocks.
1800 metres above sea level and two hours hiking each way didn't matter one bit. For them, a man's cave is their castle. The village of Zhongdong -- which literally means "middle cave" -- is built in a huge, aircraft(飛機,) hanger-sized natural cave, carved out of a mountain over thousands of years by wind, water and seismic(地震的) shifts(轉移).
In other parts of China people live in houses tunneled(挖鑿) out of hillsides(山坡), but Zhongdong is where people live year-round(一整年的) in a naturally occurring cave. The villagers are all ethnic(種族的) Miao(苗) people, supposedly related to Southeast Asia's Hmong(苗族), and one of several minority groups who live in Guizhou.
Wang Fengguan逢冠 lives here -- and he has no intention of leaving. Neither do any of the other 20 families in his village. "This is a good thing that the village heads are trying to do. They care about our living conditions. But we are so used to living here. It's warm in the winter and cool in the summer. We don't want to move out. " Wang said. Wang Fengguan
Wang's family has lived for more than half a century, deep in the poor, remote southwestern Chinese province of Guizhou. Four houses now have televisions, some with DVD players. The nearest hospital is a five-hour walk away. Access to nearby villages is difficult, but they are used to it, they just walk where they need to go.
Life in the cave is tough. Villagers say they are lucky to make even 1,000 yuan (129 USD) per family a year. "It's impossible to move out. Not easy to survive else where. When there is no land, there is no food." Luo Yaomei said. Luo Yaomei has three children and all of them are migrant(隨季節遷移的) workers elsewhere but she can't move out.
When and why the villager's ancestors(祖先) moved into the cave is still debatable. Some villagers say they have been into for generations, others say they only moved in following the chaos that followed the 1949 Communist revolution, to escape bandits(土匪).
- Feb 25 Sun 2007 13:04
- Feb 23 Fri 2007 12:32
- Feb 22 Thu 2007 16:51
INTRO: Frank Miller comic book adaptation "300" receives its world premiere in Berlin.
STORY: U.S. director(導演) Zack Snyder(錫克·薛達) uses cutting edge(最尖端) technology to tell an ancient tale in his new film "300", an ultra-violent depiction of the legendary battle between Spartans and Persians at Thermopylae in 480 BC.
Severed limbs fly, decapitations(斬首) get the slow motion treatment(處理), Persians are gorged(吞吃) by a charging rhinoceros(犀牛), elephants are dashed on the rocks and there is blood everywhere. And it is all achieved thanks to computer generated special effects, including the almost exclusive use of blue screens behind actors on which the background was later superimposed(疊印).
Based on a graphic novel of the same name by Frank Miller,"300" does not pretend to be realistic or historically accurate, Snyder told Reuters in Berlin, where the film had its world premiere late on Wednesday (February 14) and is in competition at the Berlin Film Festival.
Warner Brothers, the studio(電影製片公司) behind "300", will hope Snyder can repeat the box office success of another Miller adaptation "Sin City", which made 160 million U.S. dollars (USD) worldwide from a 40 million (USD) budget, according to movie site www.boxofficemojo.com. But it was not easy getting the project off the ground, according to producer Gianni Nunnari , especially because the release of "Troy" in 2004 led to "sandal fatigue" in Hollywood.
Miller's inspiration for the novel came from watching the 1962 movie "The 300 Spartans" as a boy, when he first encountered the idea that heroes are not necessarily always the ones who win.
Inspired by the tale of a group of 300 Spartans under King Leonidas(斯巴達國王李奧尼達) holding out against the advancing Persian masses led by Xerses(大流士之子薛西斯), he traveled to Greece to the site of one of the most famous last stands in history for inspiration.
"All my life I wanted to tell this story because it's the best story I've ever encountered," Miller said in production notes distributed to promote the movie. "There's a reason why we are as free as we are, and a lot of it begins with the story of 300 young men holding a very narrow pass long enough to inspire the rest of Greece."
In Berlin, Gerard Butler and Brazil's Rodrigo Santoro, playing Xerxes, were peppered with questions about their impressive physiques(體格) in the torso(軀幹)-revealing capes(披肩) and shorts(短褲) that they wore.
'300' will be go on general release internationally in March.
- Feb 19 Mon 2007 15:39
INTRO: President Conte's crackdown(鎮壓) continues in Guinea(幾內亞).
STORY: Hundreds of people have been arrested in Guinea since President Lansana Conte (蘭薩納·孔戴) imposed martial law(戒嚴令) this week, opposition(反對派) leaders and rights groups(人權組織) said on Sunday (February 18).
The reclusive(隱遁的;孤寂的) Conte declared the state of emergency on Monday to counter(處理、應付) a wave(高潮) of violent protests and a general(普遍的) strike(罷工) called by unions(聯盟) opposed to his 23-year rule(統治) in the West African country, the world's top exporter of bauxite(鋁氧石、鋁土礦).
More than 120 people have been killed, almost all of them civilians(一般名眾), in protests since the start of the year. Human rights groups accuse security forces of firing on unarmed crowds, beating protesters, looting(搶奪、搶劫) and raping(洗劫) civilians.
Mohamed Diane(穆罕默德·迪亞內), secretary general(祕書長;總書記) of the opposition Assembly(集合) of the People of Guinea, said that his organisation had counted(計算) 278 arrests since then.
- Feb 18 Sun 2007 13:53
INTRO: Carnival continues at full steam with street processions like the"Cordao do Bola Preta" block, which lured 150,000 revelers early on Saturday.
STORY: The second day of Brazil's raucous(喧鬧的) Carnival celebrations kicked off Saturday (February 17) in Rio de Janeiro with tens of thousands dancing and singing in the streets, defying(對抗) a recent surge(波濤洶湧) of gun violence in the city's slums(貧民窟).
Rio has some 300 blocos – block(集團) parties(一行人) - and its most traditional, founded in 1918 with the name "Cordao do Bola Preta," (Black Ball String) lured(吸引) nearly 150,000 people into the downtown area early on Saturday.
The main parades start on Sunday (February 18) but neighbourhood groups known as "blocos" begin to party in the streets of Rio long before the large samba schools go down the Sambadrome avenue.
To the beat of drums revelers(尋歡作樂的人) wearing masks, garments or holding protest signs, chanted(吟誦) the group's song or "marchinha"(進行曲) as they danced freely with the large crowd.
With violence a pervasive reality throughout Rio de Janeiro, vice-president of the "Cordao da Bola Preta" Pedro Ernesto Marinho said their block is on happy side of the city, where peace and joy reigns. "Bola Preta is the happy side, Bola Preta transmits peace, joy and tranquility. It's the tradition of peace and joy," he said.This year's festivities are being held under the shadow of gunfights(槍戰) and turf(勢力範圍) battles that have killed dozens of people in recent weeks and exposed Rio's dark side.
- Feb 13 Tue 2007 18:26
INTRO: Badgley Mischka's 60's chic(時髦的) and Vera Wang's Russian(俄國的) insipirations (靈感) are the highlights(最精采的部份) of New York Fashion on Thursday (February 08).
STORY: As New York Fashion Week draws to a close, American designer duo(二人組) Badgley Mischka(巴傑利‧米施卡) and wedding gown wear sweetheart Vera Wang(王薇薇) showed their Fall 2007 collections on Thursday (February 08).
The label(商標) of Badgley Mischka has behind it designers James Mischka(詹姆斯·米奇卡) and Mark Badgley(馬克·班格雷), who have worked together for almost twenty years, starting in 1988.
The Badgley Mischka label is generally known for its "refreshing(清新的), light take on(呈現) glamour(迷惑)" and for Fall 2007, the glamor designed by the duo is inspired by the classicism(古典主義) of the 60's and icons(圖像) like Mia Farrow(米婭法羅).
While Badgley added that the swinging(活耀的) London aspect(樣子) was present through subtle hints. "Subtle hints of that, I mean it's not that literal but there's definitely a group of very short leggy cocktail dresses that have sort of a 60's mood to them and some of the silhouettes(輪廓) are little more cleaned up, also sort of reminiscent(懷舊) of more simple, monastic(儉樸的) 1960's shape, so there's definitely a touch of that here," explained Badgley.
On the runway(伸展台), the duo's Fall 2007 collection included models in tweed(花呢) jackets and pants, jersey(針織) sweaters, tweed suits(套裝), boucle(飾有簇毛) coats(大衣) and wool dresses(連衫群). The colour palette(獨特色彩) included a generous(大量的) sprinkling(噴霧) of black and white as well as shades(色塊) like chocolate, cream, coffee, navy(深藍色) and amethyst(紫色).
Badgley and Mischka added sportswear to their line-up starting this year, where they took everyday business wear and added touches(感動) of glamor, making it a little less office-like, the duo said
Another cream(最精彩的部分) of the crop(同一批) designer to unveil on Thursday was Vera Wang. Wang, who is most famous for her elaborate wedding gowns, designed a somewhat(一點兒) more austere (樸素的) line-up for fall, using turn-of-the century Russia as inspiration.
Wang's colour selection reflects the time period, with the majority of pieces in hues(色系) of brown and black, with only a selection of headscarves(頭蓋巾) adding bold(明亮的) colours like emerald and ruby.
Wang's mélange(混合物) of poverty(貧困) meets royalty(皇室、高貴) is reflected in her designs, with heavy furs(毛皮) and wools(羊毛) mingled(混和) with sequence (連續;接續;一連串) and silk. So be it the roaring(喧鬧) sixties or the severity of 1900's Russia, fans of both Badgley Mischka and Vera Wang should be prepared for a return to yester-year(過去的時光) when their collections hit stores for fall 2007.
- Feb 11 Sun 2007 16:26
INTRO: Vintage and classic beauties roll out on New Delhi streets.
STORY: Over a hundred vintage and classic beauties rolled out on the streets of the Indian capital New Delhi on Sunday (February 11), much to the delight of curious onlookers.
The rally organised by a national(國營) daily(日報) 'The Statesmen' is an annual event, and scores of car enthusiasts gathered to be a part of it despite the cloudy skies. The Chief of the Indian Air Force S. P. Tyagi who flagged off the rally said he was overawed(嚇到了) by the spectacular(壯觀的) show(展示).
With spirits not dampened(使消沈) by the weather, excited participants drove through the streets of New Delhi(新德里), traveling(飛馳) back in time.
The cars divided into three categories(類型) - the vintage(古董車), post-war(二次大戰後式) and classic(經典款) categories -- were assessed(評估) by a panel of judges as per their maintenance(保養), performance(性能) and how close they were to what they used to originally be.
- Feb 06 Tue 2007 11:37
INTRO: Germany hosts 42nd annual "Golden Camera" award, honours(給…榮譽) Nicholas Cage, Lionel Richie, among others.
STORY: Hollywood actor Nicholas Cage received the 'Film International(參加國際比賽的選手)' award for being "one of the most versatile(多才多藝的) actors of his generation," according to the jury.
"I grew up watching German expressionist(表現主義的) silent films. My father and my whole family really was interested in German cinema," Cage told reporters on the red carpet.
Claiming to be "Europe's most prestigious and successful entertainment award," the Golden Camera "pays tribute(敬意) to outstanding artistic achievements since 1965 and is sponsored(主辦) by 'Hoerzu' television guide.
Soul legend Lionel Richie, who received an award for his lifetime achievement, told reporters during a news conference earlier on Thursday how honoured he felt by receiving a Golden Camera.
Pierce Brosnan, better known as the former James Bond, was honoured for his involvement in saving the environment. "Besides his successful acting career Pierce Brosnan has been active for international charity organisations like UNICEF for many years," the jury wrote, "but above all for the environment."
According to the sponsors of the Golden Camera, "the award itself is a replica of the world's first electronic TV camera, a handmade 600g masterpiece(絕無僅有的物品) of 18 carat gold plated sterling silver(纯銀).
- Feb 04 Sun 2007 12:44
INTRO: Britain battles H5N1 bird flu outbreak in poultry(家禽).
STORY: Britain(英國) scrambled(緊急應戰) to contain(遏制) its first outbreak of the highly pathogenic(引起疾病的) H5N1 strain(種) of bird flu in domestic poultry on Saturday (February 3) after the virus was found at a farm run by Europe's biggest turkey producer(供應商).
"The European Commission has confirmed(證實) today, at lunch time today, confirmed an outbreak of H5N1 strain of avian flu in an outholding in Suffolk(英國沙福克郡) in the U.K. The U.K. authorities have acted very swiftly(迅速地) and have put in place(適當地) all, are putting in place all the measures to effectively contain and eliminate the disease. " said European Commission(歐盟執委會) spokesperson, Helen Kearns.
Some 2,500 turkeys have died since Thursday (February 1) at the Bernard Matthews farm near Lowestoft in eastern England. The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural(鄉村的) Affairs (Defra) said all 159,000 birds there would be culled(剔除) over the next few days.
It has killed at least 164 people worldwide since 2003, most of them in Asia, and more than 200 million birds have died from it, or been killed to prevent its spread. But it has not yet fulfilled scientists' worst fears by mutating(產生突變) into a form that could be easily transmitted between humans and possibly cause a global pandemic.