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Chinese Factory Workers Write to Steve Jobs

A Bad Gas

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© Unknown
Many of our computers and electronic gadgets are possible thanks to the production facilities in China. The focus on production capacity sometimes leads to neglect for the conditions that human beings must endure just to make the latest piece of technology.

Now several workers from Wintek, which make touch screens for Apple devices, has written a letter to Steve Jobs regarding the hardships they had to endure, particularly with regards to the use of hexyl hydride, also called n-hexane, from May 2008 to August 2009.

According to Reuters, part of the letter read: "This is a killer, a killer that strikes invisibly. ... From when hexyl hydride was used, monthly profits at Apple and Wintek have gone up by tens of millions every month, the accumulated outcome of workers' lives and health."

Wintek used n-hexane in the production of touch-panels, but has since stopped when it found out that it was making its workers ill. Now the plant has switched back to alcohol, which achieves the same result but slower.

It's not immediately clear what the workers are hoping to achieve by sending an English version of the letter to Apple. One technician said, "I hope Apple can respect our labor and our dignity. I hope they can stand up and apologize to us," while another worker explained, "We are unable to cope with the medical costs of treatment in the future."

Pills

Talk Doesn't Pay, So Psychiatry Turns Instead to Drug Therapy

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Note from CCHR: One of the most common misconceptions about psychiatry is that they help patients navigate through life's problems with conversation or dialogue. While that may make for interesting drama on The Soprano's - its a far cry from real life psychiatry. Psychiatrists are drug pushers. They diagnose and drug, plain and simple. And they diagnose patients without the aid of any medical tests for the simple reason, there aren't any. Psychiatry as a profession must maintain that all life's problems are the result of brain malfunction, otherwise known as the biological model of mental disorders as "disease" in order to maintain their partnership with Big Pharma that garners billions in government funding and convinces the public to take drugs. And what a brilliant marketing campaign it has been; the public, legislators, governments and the press have all been convinced that mental disorders are medical conditions, requiring drugs to "treat" them, despite the fact there is not one chemical imbalance or blood test, MRI or X-ray to prove this theory. Now that, is what billions of dollars spent on lobbyists, pharmaceutical front groups like the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) and paid psychiatric experts can buy you. However, it also stands to reason that the psychiatric industry cannot really employ or endorse talk therapy, because they would be admitting that life's problems are not the result of chemically imbalanced or faulty brains, that people can get better without the use of mind-altering and life-threatening drugs. So while the article below has some good points, it misses a big one - the psychiatric industry is the one that sold insurance companies, governments and the general public on the fraudulent "mental disorders are biological/medical conditions" marketing campaign that is the foundation upon which their $82 billion-dollar-a-year drug industry rests. For more information watch Dr. Niall McLaren, a practicing psychiatrist for 22 years, explaining how psychiatry's reliance on the biological model of mental disorder as disease and how the facts could unravel the entire profession

Or read Psychiatric Disorders

Newspaper

In Devastating Complaint, Louisiana Demands $1 Million a Day from BP and Others

New Orleans - Louisiana demands more than $1 million a day from each of the companies responsible for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, in accord with the Louisiana Oil Spill Prevention and Response Act of 1991, the Oil Pollution Act, and the Louisiana Environmental Quality Act.

In his federal complaint, Louisiana Attorney General James "Buddy" Caldwell outlines BP's and the other defendants' disregard of safety practices and regulations every step of the way.

The attorney general says that before the Deepwater Horizon exploded, "warning signs of well flow were being transmitted to the rig, to Halliburton's Houston office and BP E&P's Houston office in real time for almost an hour before hydrocarbons reached the rig, alerting rig workers to shut down the well. Nevertheless, the rig workers apparently ignored these warning signs until it was too late. Moreover, during the critical hour before the well blowout, there was no one at the Halliburton or BP E&P offices to monitor this data and issue the appropriate warnings." (BP E&P stands for BP Exploration & Production.)

The complaint continues: "The initial explosion on the Deepwater Horizon on the night of April 20, 2010, was caused when an engine in the rig's engine room sucked in the gas vapors from the MGS vent pipe, causing the engine to overspeed.

Megaphone

Bahrainis slam US support for regime

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Bahrain anti-government protesters outside the US Embassy in Manama
Anti-government protesters in Bahrain have gathered outside the US Embassy in the capital, Manama, calling on Washington to stop supporting the autocratic regime of the ruling Al Khalifa royal family.

The protesters gathered in front of the embassy on the 22nd day of protests on Monday, chanting slogans such as "Down down Hamad" -- a reference to the country's king -- and "Down with the monarchy! People want democracy!"

Demonstrators also chanted, "The people want to topple the regime!"

"If the Americans say 'OK, stop' ... I'm sure the regime won't say no," said Muneer Shehab, a 39-year-old activist.

Wolf

New York man who beat 100 pound woman into a coma over a parking space says 'sorry'

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© NY Daily News
Tragic: Lana Rosas was knocked unconscious and fell to the ground after an alleged altercation with Oscar Fuller over a parking space in New York's East Village
A father-of-two accused of punching a woman so hard in a dispute over a parking space that she now she lays in a coma is claiming that she threw the first punch, and that he was acting in self-defence.

The altercation took place on February 25 when 4ft 11in, 100 pound Lana Rosas, 25, was standing in the space she was saving for her boyfriend on 14th street in New York's East Village and refused to let 35-year-old, 150-pound Oscar Fuller park there.

The argument that followed left Rosas lying in the street unconscious with blood pouring from her mouth. She has been in a coma at Bellevue Hospital ever since the February 25 incident.

Radar

Egypt activists call for Million Woman March

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© Cable News Network
Women were very visible in Cairo's Tahrir Square among demonstrators who toppled Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak.
Egyptian activists called for a Million Woman March on Tuesday, demanding "fair and equal opportunity for all Egyptian citizens -- beyond gender, religion or class."

"We are not after minority rights. We are not after symbolic political representation," they said in a statement on Facebook.

Activists highlighted the role of women in the protests that swept Egypt this year.

"The bodies of women, so often used as ideological battlegrounds, have withstood all kinds of police violence, from tear gas to live bullets. The real battleground did not differentiate between women and men," they said on Facebook.

Women were very visible among demonstrators who toppled Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak last month, which feminists called a breakthrough for Egyptian society.

Family

Women's equality not quite there yet

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© Cable News Network
Stephanie Coontz
Last week the White House released a comprehensive statistical report on Women in America: Indicators of Social and Economic Well-Being, the first such assessment since President John F. Kennedy's Commission on the Status of Women released its findings in 1963.

The new report indicates that women still earn less, on average, than men and are more likely to live in poverty. They are also at much greater risk of sexual assault and of violence at the hands of an intimate partner than men.

To be sure, the report shows that there is still plenty of progress to be made. But it is Women's History Month, and a good time to pause for perspective.

There have been astonishing improvements in the status of American women in the 48 years since the first report was published. For one thing, the authors of this year's report saw no need for a section detailing the legal disabilities facing American women.

People

Shadowy figures lurking on the fringe

The boys' choir from Zambia sang in churches, schools and shopping malls across the United States. In exchange for their hard work, the boys were promised an education, wages that could be sent home to family and a school that would be built in Africa.

People who heard the 12-member a cappella choir were touched. They reached into their wallets and purses and offered up donations. The boys, ranging in age from 12 to 17, sang a mixture of gospels in English and their native tongue. They brought in more than $1 million, yet saw little of it. They received room and board and the occasional token payment, but no wages, no education, no school back home.

The boys are among the faces of modern-day slavery - in their case, trafficked into the United States under the guise of a faith-based organization that preyed on them.

"They were brought here for a specific purpose and that was to get as much out of them - with no regard for them or their futures," says Sal Orrantia, a U.S. immigration agent who worked the case.

People

Generations pay off debts through slavery

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© Cable News Network
Durgawati, her husband and children stand before piles of bricks, with their brick homes in the background.
Uttar Pradesh, India - An army of workers, their faces encrusted with dust, toils beside a story-high pile of unfired bricks. They are helping build a new India that appears to be leaving them behind.

From sunup to sundown they spend their time pouring wet mud into molds, lugging them to the kiln, firing them and then pulling them out. For their backbreaking work, they do not receive wages.

They are working to pay off a debt.

In India they are known as bonded laborers, bound to those who gave them or their forefathers an advance or a loan. Human rights advocates call them modern day slaves.

"I cannot leave here unless I pay my debt," said Durgawati, a mother of three.

A contractor had approached Durgawati and her husband, offering them work in a far-off village. He had said there were plenty of opportunities and offered to pay an advance to prove it. Desperate to make a living and with no work in sight where they lived, they leapt at the chance and took the 1000-rupee ($22) advance, she said.

Megaphone

Lawful Rebellion in England: Protestors storm court and arrest county judge for treason

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Hundreds of anti-establishment protestors stormed a Wirral court today and "arrested" a judge.

In chaotic scenes, police rescued Judge Michael Peake from their clutches and escorted him safely from the building.

Protestors from the public gallery charged at Mr Peake to make a civil arrest chanting "arrest that judge".

Police scrambled over court benches to control the near-riot and one protestor shouted "seal the court."

Another sat in the judge's chair at the head of the court and declared Mr Hayes as "released".

Around 600 chanting demonstrators massed around the County Court in Birkenhead.

Deafening cheers and chants could be heard from the crowd outside and protestors used mobile phones to film arrests being made.

Roads were blockaded and dozens of police officers deployed to keep order.