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North Korea
Maternity utopia
What becoming a mother means under an idealistic regime

In North Korea the child death rate is between 60 and 90 per thousand, ten times higher than in Europe. Hospital have no heating in the winter, when temperatures go below - 15 and no cooling in the summer, when is over 40 degrees. Windows and doors can hardly be closed. What is worst, there are no m
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China
Happy magic water

Beijing Olympic aquatic centre, known as the Water Cube, where superstar Michael Phelps won eight gold medals, has recently re-opened as Asia's largest indoor water park and is pulling in new crowds. Only those, of course, who can afford the very expensive tickets starting at 200 yuan for adults and
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China
Red Classic dining

"Welcome, dear comrades! We are all serving the people wholeheartedly,"shouts a girl with her hair tied in two red ribbons. She is dressed in a green uniform and and she carries a green bag printed with a portrait of Chairman Mao. It is not a scene from the 1960s, nor a movie, but part of the servic
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North Korea
The Cult

Their faces are on the big wall paintings that in a country with no advertising board are the only spots of color in the cities, suspended in a surreal atmosphere where time seems to have been frozen in the 1950s. They are inside the government buildings and on the pins that every North Korean citiz
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China
Beijing 798

Situated in the northeast Dashanzi area, the 798 Art District is the third most popular destination in Beijing, after the Forbidden City and the Great Wall. Since 2002, it has established itself as an artistic hub of international repute. 798 is a bombardment of art, shops and bars, housed in Bauhau
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China
Ordos, a ghost city

It's the most spectacular example of a Chinese phenomenon: unsold flats, unlet shops, empty office blocks. The Kangbashi district began as a public-works project in Ordos, a wealthy coal-mining town in Inner Mongolia. The area is now filled with office towers, administrative centers, government buil
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Thailand
Thai Child Boxing

Thai boxing, or Muay Thai is not stranger to controversy. It's a rough sport that can make Western boxing look like a gentlemen' s hobby. Muay Thai fighters employ punches, kicks, knee and elbows strikes that can incapacitate the opponents. But what is even more controversial is that underage childr
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China
Little Miao go to school

Schooling in China is almost free, but in remote areas like the Great Miao Mountains, in the southern Guanxi Province, also the little expenses known as "miscellaneous fees" are enough to keep thousands of children out of school. A few of them are able to get a basic education thanks to the program
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China
The common people of Tiananmen

Tourists, migrants, peddlers, elders, youngsters, plain clothes policemen. On any given day hundreds of people take a rest on the benches near the most famous square of China, in the shade of the old Imperial City. They are a meaningful cross section of the lower strata of the Chinese society after
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China
Chinese on holidays

Having fun is glorious! Quoting the well known Deng Xiaoping words about getting rich, this could be the modern slogan for the Chinese holidaymakers. A few days on the seaside are today a must for the new Chinese middle class. The tropical island of Hainan, nicknamed the Hawaii of China, is now the
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Thailand
The Bangkok Attraction

In Bangkok prostitution it's a thriving industry. One estimate published in 2003 placed the sex trade in Thailand at US$ 4.3 billion per year or about three percent of the Thai economy and the number of sex workers from 80.000 to two million women and men. The people who benefit from their services,
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China
China Ski

Want to enjoy skiing in China? First rid yourself of notions that you're heading to France's Chamonix or Italy's Cortina d'Ampezzo. You aren't. The resorts that have proliferated around Beijing, targeting the capital's growing middle class, have very slow lifts, poor equipment and icy slopes, usuall
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China
China Islamic Frontier

Stretching from Taklamakan desert to the peaks of Pamir, Xinjiang is the biggest and the most diverse of China's provinces. Inhabited by the Uighurs, a Muslim, Turkic-speaking ethinc group, its vast natural resources include oil, coal, gas and uranium. From the other provinces, millions of migrants
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