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Posts Tagged ‘China’

Okay, I’ll admit that the male swimmers bring to my conflicted mind images of substance that has flash written all over them in what could be whipped cream, but it’s not the athletes that are my issue today … although I suspect some may be eventually.

This story about the little girl with the beautiful voice shunted aside for the pretty little doll who lip synced the song that stirred hearts during the opening ceremonies has me fuming. Add that to the admission that some of the flash … the real flashy flash of fireworks … were fake, computer-generated for the world TV viewing audience, and I’m taken back to 1989 when I visited China just three weeks before the sit-in started in Tiananmen Square. You remember? The one that showed without any doubt the brutal, ugly foot of the Chinese government on the throat of human rights.

At the time, Beijing was preparing to host the Asia Games, and construction was going on everywhere. Huge apartment complexes had been built for TV skyline shots, but every one of them was nothing more than a shell lit like a movie set to give the impression that they were real and habitable homes of real Chinese. Totally fake and just for the cameras.

That was China almost 20 years ago, and no matter how loudly or often shouts of “It’s all so different now!” come around, I don’t buy it, and I resent the hell out of the fact that a country that is responsible for making the lives of millions of people in the world a misery is getting so many Brownie points for the illusion they have so carefully cultivated.

What’s next? How much of the news in the future will feature revelations that will turn medals into bottle tops and have broken records start sounding like broken records with repeated refrains of “doping scandal” popping up as technology catches up or people start revealing real events?

And if anyone tells me that sports and politics are two separate things … especially where the Olympics are involved … I swear I’ll clobber them with a baseball bat and call it a game, not a maneuver or a consequence.

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Starting with Guatemala and the ever-shifting adoption sands there, Kelly from GuatAdopt is reporting that the new government has already commenced replacing some members of the Central Adoption Authority with new appointments.

Good? Bad? Neutral? Who knows? But you can follow the story on the site.

I have not before seen news on issues of women and children coming out of Yemen, so this story from the Yemen Observer drew my interest and held it.

Illustrating poverty, the low status of women, and the lack of legal backing and support, the report offers a peek into some very difficult lives:

“My husband died, and he left me a substantial inheritance, but my older brother took it and refused to even give me money to feed my daughters,” said Sameha Ahmed … “

Also from the Arab world, this on a case of child abuse in Saudi Arabia that is horrific, and with horrific consequences.

A Saudi couple, convicted of murdering a nine-year-old girl in 2006 after torturing her for a year, were executed here yesterday.

What a world we have …

And another story that proves just what a mess it is, this on trying to send a kid to school in Zimbabwe.

Thousands of parents also got a rude awakening this week as they tried to buy new uniforms for their kids. Primary school uniforms are Z$56 to Z$70 million. Socks alone can set you back Z$15 million. The cost of a secondary school uniform can be as much as Z$130 million. The addition of a blazer costs Z$500 million. This in a country where only about 20 percent of people have formal employment, bringing in an average income of about Z$15 million a month.

You’d think someone might suggest that uniforms may be one bit of the burden they could jettison for a while, but that thought doesn’t seem to be occurring to anyone.

For a look at treatment for the mentally ill in China, if you can stand it, click here.

“I kept my son in an iron cage for more than six years,” says 53-year-old Zhang Meiying, in Gaomi City, Shandong province. Ms. Zhang earns about $1.60 a day working at a small factory that collects scraps of fabric and resells them to factories as cleaning rags. She couldn’t afford to hospitalize her son, who is around 25, at a cost of about $500 a month. So, when he grew increasingly violent, she decided to build a cage at home to restrain him.

Neighbors donated iron rods. When the cage was ready, Ms. Zhang asked three young men to tie her son up as he slept and put him inside. She remembers his screams. “I was afraid to see it, so I left,” she says.

And also from China, this report on the Christmas Eve arrest of orphans who were living with an “underground Protestant leader”.

According to a secret document of the Chinese communist party of Hubei province, which was leaked to the West last November, there is a campaign underway in China to “normalise” the underground Protestant Churches by offering them two possibilities: either join the Movement of the Three Autonomies (the Protestant communities led by the patriotic associations) or be suppressed.

And finally … and I am sorry about the tone of today’s news, but it’s not my fault so much in the world sucks … this about a 44-year-old adoptee who has slapped a $500,000 law suit on her 71-year old adoptive mother, claiming that her adoption was fraudulent and that she “suffered emotionally and financially.”

Ah, if only all adoptions could be to the wealthy, heh?

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