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Archive for November, 2008

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China Losing Luster with U.S. Manufacturers
A new survey finds rising worries about product quality and intellectual-property theft. More U.S. companies are looking to Mexico and their own backyard
By Pete Engardio
November 26, 2008, 9:17PM EST

Two years of disastrous quality-control breakdowns, from foul fish and lead-tainted toys to poisoned drugs and dairy products, are taking their toll on China’s allure as a manufacturing platform. A new study by supply-chain consulting firm AMR Research found that quality concerns are among the chief reasons U.S. manufacturers are scaling back plans to source more goods from China.

Instead, U.S. companies are looking harder at Mexico and other locales closer to home when exploring where to put new capacity. The findings are based on a survey of 130 U.S. manufacturers, ranging from producers of drugs (BusinessWeek, 9/4/08) and computers to auto parts. The survey, completed in mid-October, found a sharp swing in attitudes toward China since May, when AMR conducted a similar study.

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The Chinese regime has labelled the new Guns N’ Roses album, Chinese Democracy, as a “venomous attack” on the nation.

An article in the Global Times, published by the ruling communist party, says the album, launched this week, “turns its spear point on China”.

The title track of the album, which has not been released in China because of the sensitive material, refers to the banned Falun Gong spiritual group.

The album’s official website has also been blocked in China.

The release of foreign films and albums is frequently banned in China, although they often appear in pirated form and are sold in shops and by street vendors.

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China state media blast new Guns N’ Roses Album
By CHRISTOPHER BODEEN for Associated Press
Nov. 24, 2008

BEIJING – A newspaper published by China’s ruling Communist Party is blasting the latest Guns N’ Roses album as an attack on the Chinese nation.

Delayed since recording began in 1994, “Chinese Democracy” hit stores in the U.S. on Sunday, although it is unlikely to be sold legally in China, where censors maintain tight control over films, music and publications.

In an article Monday headlined “American band releases album venomously attacking China,” the Global Times said unidentified Chinese Internet users had described the album as part of a plot by some in the West to “grasp and control the world using democracy as a pawn.”

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Subject: STORE CLOSINGS/Good to KNow

KEEP IN MIND WHILE HOLIDAY SHOPPING!! PLEASE PASS ALONG TO FAMILY AND FRIENDS

Subject: Be aware/gift cards for holidays/ Store closings

May I make the recommendation that we be careful of buying store brand gift
cards for holidays. Things are closing rapidly. Not on the list below is Linens
& Things is under liquidation and closing all stores by year end.

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China’s Gruesome Organ Harvest
The whole world isn’t watching. Why not?
by Ethan Gutmann
11/24/2008, Volume 014, Issue 10

Bangkok
The jeepney driver sizes us up the minute we climb in. My research assistant is a healthy, young Israeli dude, so I must be the one with the money. He addresses his broken English to me: “Girl?”

No. No girls. Take us to the .??.??.

“Ladyboy? Kickboxer?”

No. No ladyboy, no kickboxer, thanks. I may be a paunchy, sweaty, middle-aged white guy, but I’m here to–well, actually, I am on my way to meet a Chinese woman in a back alley. She is going to tell me intimate stories of humiliation, torture, and abuse. And the truly shameful part is that after 50 or so interviews with refugees from Chinese labor camps, I won’t even be listening that closely. I’m in Bangkok because practitioners of Falun Gong, the Buddhist revival movement outlawed by Beijing, tend to head south when they escape from China. Those without passports make their way through Burma on motorcycles and back roads. Some have been questioned by U.N. case workers, but few have been interviewed by the press, even though, emerging from Chinese labor camps, they are eager, even desperate, to tell their stories. With the back-alley Chinese woman, I intend to direct my questions away from what she’ll want to talk about–persecution and spirituality–to something she will barely remember, a seemingly innocuous part of her experience: a needle jab, some poking around the abdomen, an X-ray, a urine sample–medical tests consistent with assessment of prisoners for organ harvesting.

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