The Chinese community in Britain -- the longest established in Europe -- is building up towards its celebrations for Chinese New Year. Henry Ridgwell visited London's Chinatown to see the preparations -- and to discover what the year of the snake has in store.
The subject of guns and gun control shot to near the top of the U.S. agenda following the recent mass killing of school children in the eastern state of Connecticut. Since then, U.S. President Barack Obama has made it a high priority and one likely to get time during his upcoming State of the Union address. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more.
When French troops moved into Mali last month, they deployed alone, without NATO or African allies, even though they were fighting a militant group linked to al-Qaida. VOA’s Al Pessin reports on why the French have still received only limited help from other countries, and what lies ahead for the Mali operation.
A massive migration is underway in China as millions make their way home to celebrate the Lunar New Year with family. The annual commute is unlike any other transportation challenge in the world and a once-in-a-year opportunity for many to see family members and their children. VOA's William Ide reports from Beijing that while technology helps some in the journey, there are still too few tickets.
Demonstrations continue in India, where some women say the government is not doing enough to protect women following the December 16 brutal gang rape in the capital. VOA's Aru Pande talks to residents and activists in New Delhi, who say an ordinance approved by the president on Sunday is far from adequate.
Every 12 years in India, tens of millions of pilgrims and Hindu holy leaders travel to the Kumbh Mela, a temporary city erected on a flood plain where the sacred Yamuna and Ganges rivers merge. The enormous crowds that gather for ritual bathing are a hallmark of the world’s largest religious gathering -- and a challenge for organizers who say as many as 20,000 people can get lost in a single day. Rebecca Byerly reports for VOA from Allahabad.
International writers travelled to Rangoon in recent days for Burma’s first international literature festival. The three-day Irrawaddy Literary Festival marked the first open exchange of ideas between local and foreign writers in Burma after decades of publishing restrictions and government censorship. VOA has more.
In the past month, France has sent aircraft and boosted its ground troops in Mali to around 3,500 soldiers who have helped drive out al-Qaida-linked Islamist militants in the north. Saturday, visiting French President Francois Hollande said French troops would not leave Mali until the situation is stabilized and a regional African force is ready to fight alongside the Malian army. VOA's Anne Look reports from Sevare, Mali, that may be easier said than done.
Two iconic filmmakers, Steven Spielberg and Ang Lee, are competing for the most coveted Oscars this year: Best Director and Best Picture. Spielberg’s drama Lincoln has received 12 Oscar nominations, and Ang Lee’s Life of Pi is trailing with 11. It’s unclear who, among the five nominees for Best Director, will win but both Spielberg and Lee have left their mark on contemporary American cinema. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
French and Malian troops are consolidating their gains after driving Islamic militants from key population centers in the northern part of the country. And the U.S. has reached a military agreement with the neighboring country of Niger that could lead to a base for drones to gather intelligence on al-Qaida-linked groups in western Africa. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel has details from Washington.