Chinese media tempted by fantasy of women-only Swedish town
A mythical Swedish town where men are barred from entering and women turn to homosexuality has piqued the interest of several Chinese media outlets.
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The town, supposedly founded in 1820 in the northern Swedish woods by a wealthy widow, boasts 25,000 residents and a medieval castle, according to the Chinese news agency Xinhua.
A pair of blonde female sentries stand guard at the unnamed town, referred to in reports as “Chako Paul City”, and men wishing to enter risk being “beaten half to death” by police.
In addition, many of the town’s female residents turn to homosexuality “because they could not suppress their sexual needs”, the Chinese news service Harbin News reports. The story also formed the basis of a Shanghai Media Group television report.
But Claes Bertilson, a spokesperson for Sweden’s Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR), is doubtful about the claims made by the Chinese media about Sweden’s supposed “women-only” town.
“I’ve never heard anything about it,” he told The Local.
“At 25,000 residents, the town would be one of the largest in northern Sweden, and I find it hard to believe that you could keep something like that a secret for more than 150 years.”
Bertilson was also at a loss as to where the fictitious account could have originated.
“I have no idea where something like this could have come from,” he said.
Accuracy aside, the Chinese press reports provide a plethora of titillating details about life in the mythical Swedish town.
Most of the town’s all-female population is employed in the forestry industry, with many sporting a “thick waist belt full of woodworking equipment”, according to Xinhua.
And women who decide to leave the town to fulfill their carnal desires are only allowed to re-enter Chako Paul City if they agree to bathe and undertake several other measures designed to ensure that their out-of-town trysts don’t negatively affect the mental state of other women in the town.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Xinhua adds that “Chako Paul's tourism industry is increasingly prosperous”.
“Hotels and restaurants are everywhere, to receive women from around the world,” the agency reports.
Although Per Wilhelmsson of the tourist office in Umeå in northern Sweden said he had never heard of Chako Paul City, he did confirm that tourism in the area is bustling.
“Our tourism industry is doing quite well, among the best in northern Sweden,” he said.
He was fairly certain no “women-only” city existed in northern Sweden, adding that the story reminded him of a stunt carried out in the 1980s by Pajala, a northern Swedish town suffering from a different problem.
“They arranged for bus loads of women to come up to this town because there weren't enough of them,” he explained.
When asked what else might be drawing tourists to northern Sweden besides the chance to visit an isolated town filled with sexually frustrated females, Wilhelmsson had a theory of his own.
“It’s hard to say for sure, but I think part of it might be increased interest following our designation as Europe’s Cultural Capital for 2014,” he said.
SWINDON is a hotbed of unbridled lesbian sex, the town's borough council claimed last night.
The Wiltshire town has unveiled a multi-million campaign to establish itself as Britain's answer to Chako Paul City, the mythical Swedish town filled with 25,000 beautiful lesbians that men say simply has to exist.
A council spokesman said: "Our lesbians are totally uninhibited and can't resist stripping off and caressing each other's taut bodies in the street.
"Just a minute ago I saw a pair of them going at it on the bench outside Poundstretcher, soon attracting a dozen or so more who arrived clutching cans of whipped cream and a big bag of courgettes.
"Many of our local lesbians wear school or nurse uniforms, while others prefer to dress as 80s-style warrior princesses with chainmail bikinis and massive rubber swords. I'm thinking Beastmaster or maybe Red Sonja with Brigitte Neilsen."
He added: "And while the lesbian sexual debauchery never ends in Swindon, the town also boasts an excellent railway history museum, a Debenhams and one of Europe's largest roundabouts."
But some local residents insist the promotional leaflets, which feature the slogan 'Lez go to Swindon' and cut-out images of the actresses from Young Emmanuelle superimposed over an aerial shot of Swindon's burgeoning industrial park, are misleading.
Bill McKay, a retired policeman, said: "It's nonsense, there's never been any lesbians in Swindon, apart from that quiet librarian who wore flat shoes, but she moved away after some kids set fire to her shed."
Despite the controversy, several other UK boroughs have been quick to follow suit with similar campaigns, including 'Winchester - One Massive Orgy' and 'Luton: The Town Where Breasts are Made'.
China's parents harbour violent fears for their few children's safety
A mob of parents have killed a book salesman and badly injured four of his colleagues after rumours spread that the men were a human smuggling ring.
China's official Xinhua news agency said the attack, at a primary school, occurred while the group handed out leaflets about a lecture.
As gossip spread that a gang was trying to ensnare the young pupils, parents surrounded and set upon the men.
Child smuggling gangs have preyed on Chinese children for years.
The incident took place in the early morning at the Chumen Primary School in Yuhuan County in east China's Zhejiang Province.
The parents surrounded the five salesmen and attacked them, a police spokesman said.
The salesmen were later saved by police officers and sent to a local hospital where one of them died and four are still receiving treatment.
Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of children go missing in China each year, seized by roving criminal gangs to serve as props for beggars or for sale to childless couples.
Estimates are difficult to come by, though the Ministry of Public Security reported investigating 2,566 potential trafficking cases last year.
Boys, particularly toddlers, can fetch 30,000 yuan ($6,100) on the black market. Girls fetch much less, around the equivalent of $500, according to media reports.
Child trafficking is seen as a growing problem in China, despite government attempts to crack down on it.
The problem is exacerbated by strict birth control policies, which limit many couples to only one child.
There have been several high profile cases of abducted children being rescued from mines and brick kilns - prompting a Chinese government campaign against slavery.
The authorities launched the country's first anti-trafficking programme in Yunnan province two years ago.
The children of migrant workers are often targets
Police in China say they have recovered more than 2,000 children in a six-month campaign against human trafficking.
The ministry of public security has set up a website with pictures of some of those kidnapped, in the hope of returning them to their families.
The ministry website has pictures of 60 children, ranging from babies to young adults, who were kidnapped from their families.
Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of children go missing in China each year.
The 2,008 rescued children come from across China, and some have already been reunited with their parents.
Some of the older children on the "Babies Looking for Home" website were kidnapped years ago, according to the Ministry of Public Security.
Criminal gangs steal the children and sell them to childless couples.
Some children have previously been found enslaved in brick kilns
State media have reported a string of arrests in recent months, including 42 suspects picked up last week for allegedly selling 52 children in the north of China.
In China's patriarchal society, baby boys are especially prized, sometimes selling for as much as $6,000 (£3,670), says the BBC's Quentin Sommerville in Beijing.
Girls are sometimes sold for just $500 (£305), he says.
Children of poor farmers or migrant workers are often targeted. The parents of such children have complained in the past of official indifference to their plight.
Human trafficking is seen as a growing problem in China. Some families buy trafficked women or children to use as extra labour or household servants.
There have been several high-profile cases of abducted children being rescued from mines and brick kilns.
Increased wealth and freedom of movement in China have made human trafficking both more profitable and easier, analysts say.
Beijing has promised to do more. A national DNA database was set up this year to help trace missing children.
"Look! UFOs are coming!" With that cry, citizens of Leshan City saw a peculiar sight in the sky around 10 p.m. on July 26, reported by Sichuan Online.
Three round illuminated discs shined in the sky, lasting for more than 10 minutes before disappearing.
Professor Wang Sichao, from Purple Mountain Observatory of Chinese Academy of Science, said the identity of those discs still can't be determined before comprehensive analysis.
Wang explained that formation of a mock sun could be influenced by many respects, including directions of ice crystals in sky, the number of ice crystals and the number of cirrus clouds. Those ice crystals are just like prisms that could cause sunshine to bend and form a circle around the sun. However, the situation was not adequate enough in Leshan to form this phenomenon, according to Wang.
Wintek factory in Suzhou Wintek makes touchscreens on contract for Apple and other mobile firms.
* Pressure mounts over Apple subs
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Chinese workers injured while making touchscreens for mobile devices, including iPhones, have written to Apple asking it to do more to help them.
Some 137 workers suffered adverse health effects following exposure to a chemical, known as n-hexane.
They claim that the Taiwanese factory owner has not given them enough compensation.
Apple did not offer comment on the letter.
Five workers, including 27-year-old Jia Jingchuan, have signed a letter to chief executive officer Steve Jobs, asking Apple to offer more help over the incidents.
They say that the factory owner has not given enough compensation, has pressured those who took compensation to give up their jobs and failed to offer assurance that workers who may suffer fresh illnesses will have medical bills taken care of.
Wintek, the Taiwanese company that owns the factory, said that it used the chemical in place of alcohol because it evaporated more quickly and speeded up production of touchscreens.
It has now reverted to using alcohol to clean screens.
Jia Jingchuan, a worker for Wintek Jia Jingchuan is among victims of the chemical poisoning
Workers exposed to n-hexane experienced faintness and tiredness, sweaty hands and feet, numbness in hands and swelling and pain in feet. Some claim they are still suffering ill-effects.
Experts say that daily exposure to n-hexane can cause long-term damage.
In its annual report, published last week, Apple acknowledged the incident.
"In 2010 we learned that 137 workers at the Suzhou facility of Wintek, one of Apple's suppliers, had suffered adverse health effects following exposure to n-hexane, a chemical in cleaning agents used in some manufacturing processes," the report read.
"We required Wintek to stop using n-hexane and to provide evidence that they had removed the chemical from their production lines," it said.
Apple said it also asked the firm to provide adequate ventilation in the factory. It will monitor the plant and will reaudit the facility later this year.
Wintek also supplies components to a number of other companies, including Nokia and HTC.
This is not the first problem Apple has experienced with its Chinese factories.
Its annual report also references an incident at its main China supplier Foxconn's factory, where over a dozen workers committed suicide.
"We were disturbed and deeply saddened to learn that factory workers were taking their own lives," the report read.
It said "suicide prevention specialists" were working with Foxconn to improve conditions.
A valid point but surely it's the Taiwanese government that should decide on the compensation awarded. Apple may be an incredibly wealthy corporation but I presume the reason they use Taiwanese manufacturers is the low cost. This would be linked to working conditions but apart from Apple buying the parts from the manufacturers, they're not responsible for working conditions. Morally, perhaps, but morals have nothing to do in the free market economy.
It aint right but Apple aren't obliged to do anything about overseas companies compensation schemes.
Well actually Apple and other companies find it is in their interests to worry about how their contractors treat their workers. Otherwise they become subject to international campaigns. Just recently Apple severed connections with firms that were using child labour.
A lot of people do think it matters, enough to make it Apples while to respond.
Of course, the big joke is that Apple are not the only people using these plants. They contract to most of the IT industry in the West.
It's just that Apple has a higher profile, at least in the public conscience. All of the stories of suicides at the Foxconn plant were about Apple, never mind that they do just as much work for Dell and HP.
That said, they deserve compensation, and if Apple can intervene in their favour, good luck to them. Apple should only have to pay compensation if it's a direct result of their actions.
Don't get me wrong. If bad practice has hurt these workers or their families then they deserve fair compensation.
But, as I read it, it seemed like the workers were demanding higher compensation from a foreign firm after being shat on from their own firms and government.
Apple (like any multi-billion concern) will use cheap labour - that's how they become so wealthy. They can pull their contracts from firms who treat their workers badly. They will still want their stuff built on the cheap, just from a different "firm" which is owned or at least influenced by the government. Same factory, different name of bod in charge.