China

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#61
Ignorance is bliss.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/24/wintek-foxconn-chinese-labor_n_827288.html

Willful Ignorance: How Apple And Other Electronics Giants Gain the Benefits of Chinese Labor

Huffington Post. Yepoka Yeebo Reporting. [email protected].

Apple again finds itself under scrutiny about the treatment of workers in foreign factories, following disclosures that laborers at a Chinese plant producing iPhone screens suffered neurological damage from exposure to a toxic chemical.

Injured workers said they left the hospital before they fully recovered, and some were still suffering the effects of n-hexane, a chemical which, with daily exposure, may cause long-term and irreversible nerve damage. Earlier this week, workers told the New York Times that many were forced to accept compensation and resign after signing papers which absolved the company which runs the factory, Wintek, of liability. Wintek denied workers were pressed to sign the papers.

For Apple and other consumer electronics giants tapping the global supply chain, this sort of controversy has become familiar. Last year, Apple confronted a spate of suicides at a factory complex in southern China operated by a manufacturing contractor, Foxconn.

Apple has has portrayed these events as tragic aberrations, the result of departures from its strict labor standards by contractors. But many labor experts challenge that notion, asserting that a key reason so many manufacturers have shifted production to low-wage foreign countries like China is to gain the savings of a fundamentally exploitative mode of production, while largely insulating their companies from culpability.

Like many major consumer electronics brands, Apple relies on a network of foreign contractors to produce its products. Those contractors in turn farm out orders for parts and raw materials to a still larger collection of subcontractors. The big brands have strict official codes of conduct on labor standards, and they hire auditing firms to conduct inspections. But the number of plants involved in the typical manufacture of a single product such as the iPhone is typically so large that many avoid inspection. Plant managers are under such pressure to meet deadlines and deliver low costs that workers are often forced to labor amid dangers, and beyond legal overtime provisions.

Labor experts describe this process as essentially business as usual, with the suffering of workers amounting to an unavoidable byproduct. Brands such as Apple have managed to reap the cost savings and largely avoid blame through willful ignorance, experts add: they farm out production to contractors like Wintek and Foxconn precisely so they are able express shock and amazement when -- inevitably -- workers rights are violated or illness or death results.

How aware are multinational companies of possible safety violations in the factories they rely on to produce their goods? "A better question is how aware do they want to be," said Anna Han, a Chinese trade expert at Santa Clara Law School in California. "They don't have to see what they don't want to see, it makes it easier for them to walk away thinking everything is fine."

She was not accusing Apple and other manufactures of deliberately violating labor standards, but rather tolerating such breaches as an inevitable product of the global supply chain. By putting contractors in charge, they shield themselves from direct responsibility, she said.

"It helps them be ignorant," she said.

...
More at link.
 

rynner2

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#62
China censors want to consign time travel dramas to past
State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, denounces 'frivolous' approach to history by programme-makers
Tania Branigan in Beijing guardian.co.uk, Thursday 14 April 2011 08.52 BST

China's censors have long been known for their stringent approach to television, but now they are taking on an unexpected small screen menace – the inappropriate use of time travel. :shock:

Fans fear the heyday of the popular genre is over after Li Jingsheng, of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (Sarft), denounced such dramas' "frivolous" approach to history.
"Time travel dramas are becoming a hot theme for television and films. But the content and exaggerated performance style are questionable," Li, who heads the television drama management division, told a conference.
"Many stories are totally made up and are made to strain for an effect of novelty. The producers and writers are treating serious history in a frivolous way, which should by no means be encouraged any longer," he said.

A statement on the Sarft website warns companies to avoid "incorrect" shows, attacking time travel dramas for their "bizarre" plots and reinvention of myths and even for spreading feudal superstition.

The Xinmin Evening News, which first reported the story, said the administration was outlawing the genre. But experts said the new guidelines – although they already appear to have reined in producers – were not a ban as such.
"A warning – it is not an official ban – from Sarft is already strong enough," Professor Nie Wei, of the School of Movie and Television Drama Studies, at Shanghai University, said.
"The producers of the Palace, the recent popular time travel drama, are changing their scripts [for the next series],.

"Some of the time travel dramas nowadays are made in a very shoddy way and are irresponsible in not respecting history – but overall, it is more complicated [than Li suggests].
"I think whether there is time travel or not is not important. What matters is whether it is a good piece of work or not."

While western examples of the genre, such as Life on Mars or Quantum Leap, have often focused on the recent past, the Chinese programmes fuse a modern mindset with the country's passion for costume drama.

Last year's hits included the Myth, in which a teenager travels back 2,000 years and becomes an army general. The Palace was about a modern girl who finds herself in the much more recent Qing dynasty, where she is torn between two rival princes.

The Sarft director has found at least some backers among television viewers. "History is history; history is not entertainment. This [sort of thing] would confuse young people's minds," one internet user wrote in an online discussion.

But another asked: "Who would watch a television drama as if it was a textbook? Why should it be taken so seriously?"

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/ap ... vel-dramas

"Many stories are totally made up" - whatever next! ;)
 

Jerry_B

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#65
Farmers in eastern China have been left perplexed after their watermelons began to explode one by one.

An investigation by state media found farms in Jiangsu province were losing acres of fruit because of the problem.

The overuse of a chemical that helps fruit grow faster was blamed in one report by China Central Television.

But agriculture experts were unable to explain why chemical-free melons were exploding. They cited the weather and abnormal size of the melon as factors.

China Central Television said farmers were overspraying their crops with the growth promoter, hoping they could get their fruit to market ahead of the peak season and increase their profits.

Chemical-free

According to the Xinhua news agency, 20 farmers in a village in Jiangsu province planted imported seeds from Japan, with 10 households saying their watermelons began exploding last month.

Farmer Liu Mingsuo told Xinhua that more than two-thirds of his crop had blown up.

He said he had used chemicals to boost their growth on 6 May, and the following day more than 180 melons exploded. Mr Liu was reported to be the only farmer from the 10 households who used chemicals.

Wang Dehong, who has been farming watermelons for 20 years, couldn't understand why his fruit also exploded as he had not used any chemicals.

Agricultural experts investigating the incident were unable to offer an explanation.

China has approved the usage of the growth chemical under certain quotas. So far, tests show the chemical is safe, Xinhua reported.

However, as the public is increasingly concerned about food safety, experts say a quality tracking system should be introduced, detailing every stage along the food chain, to inform the public fully, and ensure food safety.

BBC Source
 

Kondoru

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#66
Yes, we dont want melons exploding in the fruit basket, do we?

I think there may be a market for this
 

amyasleigh

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#67
In a book of bizarre English-language signs --

"Sign in a Beijing hotel lobby:
'Good Appearance Please. No Watermelon Please.' "

Definitely something dodgy about those Chinese watermelons...
 

Kondoru

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#70
I rather suspect this story is rather garbled.

Its not unknown for a marrow to grow so fast it splits and falls apart.

I suspect this is a similar phenomena
 
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#71
China police detain man over 'sex slaves' in basement
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-15031475

Related Stories

China probe over 'slave' factory
Convictions in China slave trial
Chinese slave labour trial begins

Police in China have detained a man on suspicion of imprisoning and raping six women in a basement for two years and of killing two of them.

Reports said the man, 34-year-old firefighter Li Hao, had dug two rooms underneath the basement he bought in Luoyang city, Henan, four years ago.

He then kidnapped the women, all of whom are said to have worked in nightclubs or bars.

He was arrested after he let one of the women leave and she went to police.

Police confirmed that they had arrested Mr Li on 6 September and that an investigation was ongoing.

Shallow grave
The Southern Metropolis Daily reported that the women were held in a cellar four metres (12ft) below the basement in a residential district of the city.

The newspaper said that Mr Li repeatedly raped the women and only gave them food every two days to keep them weak.

The women were only allowed to leave when he needed them to sleep with other men for cash, it said, and this was how one of the women, a 23-year-old, managed to escape.

When she guided police to the basement, they found three more women.

They also found the bodies of two women buried in a shallow grave in the corner of the cellar.

Mr Li, who is reportedly married with a wife and child, was arrested as he tried to leave the city.

An official from the Luoyang public security bureau told China Daily police were conducting tests to assess his mental competence.

The journalist from the Southern Metropolis Daily who first reported the story, meanwhile, said he had been visited by two men - apparently from the local authorities - who asked for his source and warned him he had been revealing "state secrets".

"They believed that the report tarnished their image. But this is a typical crime. The public needs to know the truth," Ji Xuguang told the Global Times newspaper.
 

Mythopoeika

I am a meat popsicle
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#73
The Chinese are preparing for a (hypothetical or actual) war with America.
They have a space-to-ground missile delivery system, and the grids are for testing the launch vehicle's pattern recognition capabilities. It would still be able to launch an attack even though GPS might be knocked out.

Just guessing.
 
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#75
Mythopoeika said:
...Also, one of the grids maps onto the street layout in part of Washington D.C.
I think that may be a little overly-specific - most US cities are built on a grid pattern as are many new city developments worldwide, including those in China. I suspect that you could get a rough match of that grid pattern in any number of places and that extrapolating a theoretical bombing raid aimed specifically at the US capital from a grid in the Chinese desert may be pushing it a little bit. (And military planners would probably be more interested in dockyards, transport hubs and industrial centres anyway; you can bet a bag of toffees that, if China and the US started kicking off, no-one of any importance would actually be sitting in either Washington or Beijing).

Having said that I think they are probably military. I did wonder about land art first time I saw them, the Chinese and Mongolians quite like that stuff and there's a well known land artist - (Australian, I think - can't recall his name) who does some pretty massive stuff, and has, I think, worked in the region. To be honest though - they're just too damn ugly - I'd want my money back. (And I think the chap I'm thinking of does stuff that looks more natural than this.)

Edit: Looking at the patterns again, I think that the regular grid is simply a mock-up of a generic new city street pattern, and the irregular grid a generic old city street pattern.
 
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#79
A similar case.

Foxconn workers threaten mass suicide over pay and conditions
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/wor ... 40652.html
CLIFFORD COONAN in Shanghai

Thu, Jan 12, 2012

CHINESE WORKERS are flexing their muscles over rising prices and again, the focus is on Foxconn, where so many of the world’s iPhones and iPads are made.

Foxconn, the manufacturing giant owned by Taiwanese tycoon Teddy Goh, which makes electronics for companies including Apple, Hewlett-Packard and Dell, said the protest had taken place at its plant in Wuhan on January 4th.

Up to 150 employees had gathered on the roof of a building and fire engines had assembled below.

“China is the country in the world which is richest in human labour,” wrote one person on the internet. “The availability of cheap labour contributed to the development of many businesses. And the growth of knowledge, rising prices.”

In the past couple of years, there have been more than a dozen suicide attempts at the southern China factory, with at least 10 deaths, mostly by jumping off dormitory buildings.

Shenzhen, and other factory towns, are transfixed by the deaths, which have opened up a wider discussion about the human cost of breakneck economic growth.

This particular face-off was resolved by the mayor of Wuhan, local media reported, who told them to leave the roof at 9pm after hours of negotiation.

Rising inflation is causing problems in the manufacturing sector, and the Foxconn workers had threatened to throw themselves off the roof of the factory where they make X-Box 360 video games, demanding better working conditions.

The Foxconn deal involved a month’s wages as severance pay. Any staff who chose to quit and take compensation allegedly found out a day later that Foxconn bosses had changed their mind, leaving the departing employees out of work and out of pocket – thus prompting them to hold the protest.

Foxconn employs 1.2 million people and has about 10,000 robots. It has said it wants become more automated as time goes by – the general trend in Foxconn is towards machines and away from people.

Foxconn chiefs say robots will also help to dampen rising wage costs, as inflation in China means pay demands are surging.

By some assessments, robots can do about 50 per cent of the jobs currently carried out by the employees, many of them young people from China’s provinces.

Moving up the manufacturing value scale is a big obsession in China these days, as the world’s fastest-growing major economy tries to transform itself from a low-cost manufacturing hub into an innovation centre, with biotech and IT sectors.
 

OneWingedBird

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#80
And the Coltan in those phones probably came from DR Congo - it seems like all our technology is rotten. :(
 
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#81
Its really on a grand scale.

Chinese police free 24,000 abducted women and children
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-17330203

The one-child policy in China is thought to fuel trafficking

Related Stories

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Chinese police rescued more than 24,000 abducted women and children in 2011, according to a report by the Public Security Ministry.

Some of those kidnapped had been sold for adoption or forced into prostitution as far away as Angola, officials said.

The ministry vowed to step up its tough stance against trafficking.

However, it did not reveal the total number of women and children abducted last year.

The report said police rescued 8,660 abducted children and 15,458 women in raids against 3,195 trafficking gangs.

It highlighted one raid against a gang trafficking Chinese women to Angola for prostitution, adding that 19 women were rescued and 16 people were arrested.

"Public security organisations across China will deepen the campaign against abductions to save more women and children and work hard to reduce the number of abduction and trafficking cases," the ministry said.

Correspondents say child-trafficking in particular has become a serious problem in China.

In December, police rescued nearly 200 children after uncovering two child-trafficking gangs. More than 600 people were arrested in raids in 10 Chinese provinces.

Critics blame China's one-child policy and lax adoption laws, which they say have created a thriving underground market for buying children.

Families also buy trafficked women and children to use as extra labour and household servants, as well as brides for unmarried sons.

Greater freedom of movement as a result of China's economic reforms is thought to have made it easier for trafficking gangs to operate.
 

Yithian

Parish Watch
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#82
You really have to see the photos that accompany these capsule tales.







Here are the highlights; stories accompany and - to some extent - explain them here:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world ... lery&ino=1

Big baby

A three-year-old toddler from China already tips the scales at 60kg (132lbs), making him five times the size of a normal child his age. When Lu Hao was born he weighed just 2.6kg (5.7 lbs.); however, from the time he was three months old he began to gain weight rapidly.
"His appetite is so good that for a meal he can eat 3 big bowls of rice, even larger than I and his mother," said Hao's father Lu Yuncheng. Since Hao was one-year-old his parents have tried to keep a careful eye on his diet.
However, Hao's mother Chen Yuan comments: "We have to let him be as if we don't feed him he will cry nonstop". No matter how hard the family restricts Hao's diet and pushes him to move more the toddler has still managed to put on 10kg (22 lbs) in the past year.

Yith: it gets weirder as it goes on. Twenty-one more chunks of strangeness.
 

Human_84

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#84
Hahah'a.

Sorry. I feel bad, especially for the lamb. But there's just something so funny about the unlikeliness of a 2 legged lamb getting along well on it's own. Looks about as awkward as a cow on roller-blades.
 
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#86
Another successful action. Vids at link.

Chinese police 'smash' trafficking gangs, frees 181
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-18732817

The BBC's Martin Patience: "There could be thousands, if not tens of thousands of children abducted every year"

Related Stories

China trafficking victims rescued
Children saved in China gang bust
China babies 'sold for adoption'

Chinese police have broken up two major child trafficking gangs and freed 181 children, officials say.

Authorities arrested 802 suspects on Monday in an operation across the country, the Public Security Ministry said in a statement.

Kidnapped children are often sold for adoption, or as labour and household servants.

Child-trafficking has become a serious problem in China and critics blame the one-child policy and lax adoption laws.

These policies, some say, have created a thriving underground market for buying children.

A traditional preference for male heirs in China has created a thriving market for baby boys, says the BBC's Martin Patience in Beijing. Women and girls are often abducted to be labourers or wives.

In the latest operation, the children were rescued from traffickers in 15 regions and provinces, including Hebei, Shandong, Henan, Sichuan, Yunnan.

Investigations that led to the current round of arrests began in December 2011 when four suspects were caught in Henan province while attempting to sell four babies.

A ''most-wanted'' suspect, Shao Zhongyuan, was caught in Pingyi county, Shandong province, the ministry said.


One child's kidnap story
He was alleged to be from a gang that trafficked more than 100 children. Several other key suspects were also detained, police said.

The ministry released a report in March 2011 saying that police rescued tens of thousands of abducted children and women.

It highlighted one raid against a gang trafficking Chinese women to Angola for prostitution, adding that 19 women were rescued and 16 people were arrested.

Greater freedom of movement as a result of China's economic reforms is thought to have also made it easier for trafficking gangs to operate.
 
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#87
Still going on.

Chinese police rescue 92 abducted children
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-24313452

Child-trafficking has become a serious problem in China, correspondents say
'
Chinese police have rescued 92 abducted children and held 301 suspected members of a huge trafficking network, the authorities say.

They say two women were also freed in an operation involving police forces in 11 provinces of the country.

The traffickers are believed to have targeted children in the south-western Yunnan and Sichuan provinces and then sold them in other regions.

Child-trafficking has become a serious problem in China, correspondents say.

Critics blame the country's one-child policy and lax adoption laws, which they say have created a thriving underground market for buying children.

Some families buy trafficked women and children to use as extra labour and household servants, as well as brides for unmarried sons.

Last year, more than 24,000 abducted women and children were freed in China, according to the public security ministry.

It said that some of those kidnapped had been sold for adoption or forced into prostitution.

Greater freedom of movement as a result of China's economic reforms is thought to have made it easier for trafficking gangs to operate.
 
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#88
China doctor tried for trafficking babies
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-25556776

Zhang Shuxia stands trial in Weinan Intermediate People's Court in Weinan, Shaanxi province, 30 December 2013

Zhang Shuxia admitted to selling seven babies to traffickers, state media said

A Chinese obstetrician is on trial for stealing newborn babies and selling them to child traffickers, a court and state media report.

Zhang Shuxia was accused of selling seven babies. She told the parents their infants were sick, and convinced them to give them up, reports said.

Ms Zhang admitted the charges in a court in Fuping, Shaanxi province.

The case emerged after two parents went to the police, suspecting their child had been abducted.

Ms Zhang sold seven babies to child traffickers between November 2011 and July 2013, including a pair of twins, an indictment posted on Weinan Intermediate People's Court's verified microblog said.

Six of the babies were rescued, but one baby girl died.

Ms Zhang worked in Shaanxi's Fuping Maternal and Child Healthcare Hospital.

In the most recent case, a baby born on 16 July was trafficked after Ms Zhang told his parents the boy had a serious congenital disease, and convinced them to give up the child.

Map
Ms Zhang sold the baby to two other suspects, who sold the boy to a buyer in Henan province.

The parents reported the case to police on 20 July after they suspected that their baby had been trafficked.

The baby was found and returned to his parents in early August.

Ms Zhang and several other suspects were arrested.

Ms Zhang's defence lawyer said that the parents had voluntarily given up their babies, and that she had received several awards in her work, the court said.

Under China's strict population control policies, most couples can only have one child, and there is a strong preference for healthy baby boys.

Earlier this month, China's top legislature formally adopted a resolution easing the country's one-child policy, allowing couples to have two children if either parent is an only child.
 
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#89
China doctor jailed for selling babies to traffickers
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-25723863

The BBC's Celia Hatton: "Zhang Shuxia was a respected doctor who had won quite a few awards in the province where she worked"

A Chinese obstetrician has been given a suspended death sentence for stealing newborn babies and selling them to child traffickers.

Zhang Shuxia was found guilty of abducting and selling seven babies in Fuping, Shaanxi province, the sentencing court said.

She told parents their infants had serious diseases and convinced them to give up the babies, the court said.

Zhang has been sentenced to death, with a two year reprieve.

Suspended death sentences are normally commuted to life imprisonment in China.

Zhang sold seven babies to child traffickers between November 2011 and July 2013, including a pair of twins, a judgement posted on the Weinan Intermediate People's Court's verified microblog on Tuesday said.

Six of the babies were rescued, but one baby girl died.

'Fabricated reports'
Zhang worked in Shaanxi's Fuping Maternal and Child Healthcare Hospital.

"Zhang used her position as medical personnel to fabricate reports about the infants, saying they suffered from birth defects or diseases that were hard to cure," the court said in its judgement.

Zhang Shuxia stands trial in Weinan Intermediate People's Court in Weinan, Shaanxi province, 30 December 2013
Obstetrician Zhang Shuxia sold seven babies to traffickers, the court said
"She abducted and sold several new-born infants, violating professional and social ethics," the judgement added.

It is not yet clear whether Zhang will appeal, the court said.

Zhang and several other suspects were arrested after the most recent abduction case in July.

The parents reported the case to police after they suspected their baby had been trafficked.

The baby was found and returned to his parents in early August.

Police said they were still investigating 50 related cases, including 26 cases linked to Zhang, and several other suspects were in criminal detention, Xinhua news agency reported.

Four other officials from the hospital are on trial for suspected dereliction of duty and are awaiting sentencing, Xinhua added.

'Unspeakable acts'
Under China's strict population control policies, most couples can only have one child, and there is a strong preference for healthy baby boys.

Earlier this month, China's top legislature formally adopted a resolution easing the country's one-child policy, allowing couples to have two children if either parent is an only child.

On Chinese social media, netizens condemned Zhang's actions, with many calling for the death penalty.

"She obliterated her humanity, and conducted unspeakable acts under a cloak of legality - only executing her will level the people's anger!" microblog user China Luo Jian wrote.

However, user Wen Jin Rang wrote: "For such a criminal, sparing her life will serve a greater educational purpose than killing her."

Meanwhile, Sina Weibo user Doctor Fei Ge described Zhang as the "scum of the medical profession, who damaged the reputation of doctors".
 
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#90
Another successful operation by the police.

Authorities in the southern Chinese province of Yunnan are searching for the parents of 11 infants rescued from a baby trafficking ring. Police in the province's capital, Kunming, released pictures of the babies to local media on Thursday with the hope of tracing their families. But they also said that many of the infants may have been sold to the ring by their parents.

Police have arrested 32 people accused of being involved in the trafficking. Many of the alleged traffickers were related to each other while the rest were close friends or came from the same town in Yunnan, they said, according to local media reports. They said the ring had sold 21 children in total, some to buyers in other provinces such as Shandong, Fujian and Henan. ...

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-29947379
 
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