Century-old shop houses, twisting alleyways and temples scented with incense still pulsate with the pursuit of old trades and time-honored rituals of families who have lived in Bangkok's Chinatown for generations. But probably not for much longer.
Jackhammers and cranes are closing in on one of the last historic quarters of Thailand's capital as developers and city authorities aim to carry out plans to modernize the area by building subway lines and high-rises — with little thought to preserving local cultural heritage.Full Story
Archaeologists excavating an ancient tomb under a massive burial mound in northern Greece have entered the underground structure, which appears to have been looted in antiquity.
The Culture Ministry said Monday that archaeologists have partially investigated the antechamber of the tomb at Amphipolis and uncovered a marble wall concealing one or more inner chambers. However, a hole in the decorated wall and signs of forced entry outside the huge barrel-vaulted structure indicate the tomb was plundered long ago. The excavation will continue for weeks.Full Story
The Tanzanian government's system of rounding up children with albinism in state-run education centers isn't adequately protecting them from widespread superstitious beliefs that human albino body parts will bring wealth and success or cure disease, the U.N. human rights office said Monday.
People with the genetic condition, characterized by a lack of pigment, are often referred to in Tanzania as ghosts, or zero zero, which in Swahili signifies someone who is less than human. Witch doctors often lead brutal attacks to use albino body parts in potions they claim bring riches.Full Story
A near-flawless edition of the first book featuring cartoon hero Superman from June 1938 has fetched $3.2 million at auction, according to e-Bay, surging past the previous record for a single comic book.
After the 10-day online auction concluded Sunday, the hammer came down for Action Comics No. 1 with a price of $3,207,852, according to the online commerce site.Full Story
On Kenya's vast Tsavo plains where lions lurk in yellow grass, little has changed for a century: including bitter memories of those killed in bloody colonial battles of World War I.
Far from the freezing mud trenches of Europe's Western Front, the rocky ditches and stone forts where soldiers fought and died under the blazing equatorial sun still remain today.Full Story
The Sistine Chapel choir will perform in Hong Kong for the first time in September but will not visit mainland China despite efforts to improve the rocky relations between Beijing and the Vatican.
Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told Agence France Presse on Monday that the choral group, one of the oldest religious choirs in the world, will sing in Macao on September 19, followed by concerts in Hong Kong and Taipei on September 21 and 23.Full Story
French President Francois Hollande will Monday lead celebrations to mark the 70th anniversary of the joyful liberation of Paris after four long and bitter years of Nazi occupation in World War II.
Parisians will mark the event just as their parents and grandparents did seven decades ago -- with a mass dance at City Hall.Full Story
Free-wheeling and business-oriented, the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou is a long way from Beijing physically, culturally and linguistically -- and hackles have been raised by reports Communist authorities are demanding local television drop Cantonese in favor of Mandarin.
Throughout China, Mandarin -- known as Putonghua, the "common language", with its roots in Beijing's northern dialect -- is the medium of government, education and national official media.Full Story
Archaeologists excavating a large burial mound in northern Greece that has captivated the public's imagination have asked politicians and others seeking guided tours of the site to leave them in peace.
The Culture Ministry appealed Thursday for "understanding" while the Amphipolis excavation proceeds.Full Story
The liberation of the bar of the Ritz Hotel in Paris by the writer Ernest Hemingway 70 years ago, as the French capital was freed from its Nazi occupiers, is the stuff of legend.
Hemingway, a war correspondent for the American "Collier's" magazine who went on to win the Nobel prize for literature in 1954, was embedded with U.S. 4th Division troops that landed on the Normandy beaches on June 6, 1944.Full Story