The 20th of March 2010, at 06:48 am (Spanish time), coinciding with the Spring equinox, the new year began for the Islamic Republic of Iran, as well as for all those territories influenced by the Persian Empire, this is: Afghans, Tadzhiks, Kurds, Uzbecs, Parsis of India and Baloch. It is also celebrated in Turkey.
The increase of military tension continues in the Korean peninsula. North Korea carried out on the 25th of May a second nuclear test and launched on the same day and the next days several missiles of short range. It was a relative surprise because Pyongyang had already announced that on the 25th of April they were preparing a new test as a proof of rejection to the sentence of the UN before the ballistic test of the 5th of April. The Security Council of the UN approved of, on the 13th of June, by unanimity its fifteen members, among which China and Russia stand out, the resolution 1874 which established more political and financial sanctions to the North Korean regime. But it toughly reacted the following day announcing that it would continue enriching uranium in its reactor of Yongbyon to increase its arsenal and even did not hesitate to threaten with a possible nuclear test and with the launch of ballistic missiles aiming at the US territory (Alaska and Hawai Islands).
Vicente Ferrer, one of the most relevant world figures of the century within the field of cooperation, has died at the age of 89 accompanies by his family and close collaborators in his house of Anantapur, where he has worked the last 40 years of his life to struggle against poverty and social inequalities.
South Koreans woke up on the 23rd of May with the sad news of the suicide of Roh Moo-hyun who chaired the country until February 2008. Roh was 62 yeras old and he had been accused of alleged corrupt activities during his presidential term of office. On the 24th of April in a message to citizens he recognised that members of his family such as his wife, son, brother-in-law and other collaborators had ilegally received almost $7 million. He admitted to be ashamed about the activities of his family, which would not allow him talk about democracy, progress and justice. However, he denied having had knowledge of these serious events while he was President. His tragic death has caused a great and deep shock among North Koreans. Roh was considered an honest politician with a long trajectory as a lawyer and defender of human rights and democracy facing military dictatorships in the eighties, especially against the presidents Chun Doo-hwan and Roh Tae-woo, who later, in 1995, were condemned for corruption.
They make a strange and complementary couple. If the current and next Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, contributes his experience and knowledge for the Government of India, the young heir Rahul Gandhi has placed a great part of the votes on the table in the most solid victory of the Congress Party since 1991. The Congress, party that struggles for the independence of India and that has spent five decades in power, leads the Asian Giant again thanks to the new vitality of the Gandhi dinasty. Even though many people in the country criticize a formation whose strength is a political lineage, what cannot be denied is that the last generation Gandhi/Nehru has achieved to attract new voters.
North Korea still increases the military tension in Northeast Asia. The process of negotiation for its denuclearization within the framework of the Group of the 6 is not moving forward and it hasn't been brought together since December 2008. Pyongyang did not allow the USA or the AIEA to carry out a direct and irrefutable verification in their premises of documentation about their nuclear programme. From January its political confrontation with Seoul increased, which has negatively affected the economic activities of the industrial complex of Kaesong. Then showed its fury to Washington and has rejected the sending of humanitarian aid offered by the USA. They have even rejected to receive in Pyongyang the US representative Stephen Bosworth in two tours which, in March and May, he carried out to have consultations with the members of the Group of the 6.
Habib Royan doesn't know his age. She doesn't find it relevant either. What matters is that her and her family have managed to escape with life from Buner, a beautiful valley Northeast of Pakistan turned into a battlefield between the Army and the Talibans. "I miss my house", she says still traumatized after two weeks of bombs. The ferocity of the combats have made them descend to the withered plains of the neighbouring district of Swabi, a but further South. Her, her mother and brothers suffered more than gunshots, there were, like many other women, collateral victims of purdah, Pastun tradition that does not allow women to be seen by men of other families. "My father works in Dubai and there was no other man to take us out", Habib Royan explains. They remained locked in their houses with hardly any food.
"In China, which is already so modern, Kazakh nomads are out of place with their medieval economy", José Luis Mejías assured, awarded this year by Casa Asia with the Ruy de Clavijo Scholarship, to carry out a photographic and anthropological project about this nomad village in Altai, a region Northeast of China.
The leader of the Burmese opposition and Nobel Peace Prize, Aung San Suu Kyi, was moved this morning to the prison of Insein, in Rangoon, where she will be judged regarding a supposed visit of a US citizen to her house, where she lives under house arrest. Political analysts believe that the trial could be a movement of the Military Junta that rules Burma to delay the freedom of Suu Kyi, who this month will have been under house arrest for six years, the maximum allowed by the Burmese law.
In the panorama of film festivals in Spain, there are those that are subsidized, defined, out of focuse and absurd. Then we have BAFF. The Barcelona Asian Film Festival closes its eleventh edition this Sunday slightly more modest due to the crisis but with a feeling of an independent festival, on a financial level and regarding the programme, and its excellent welcome of the public are still untouched. An edition that shows, once again, it has shown the public of Barcelona again the good work of its programmers, Amaia Torrecilla and Carlos R. Rios, with a selection that includes the most acknowledged names by the BAFF public with what's new by Takeshi Kitano ('Aquiles and the tortoise'), Naomi Kawase ('Nayano'), Hirokazu Kore-eda ('Still walking'), Jia Zhangke ('24 city') and Kim Ki-duk ('Dream'). An edition that this year has not included the thematic presence of the filmography of a country as it is usual, but that offers a privileged space in its different sections for the new Philippine cinema.