Pieces Together


“Zhongshan, China – Striking workers at a auto parts plant here are demanding the right to form their own labor union, something officially forbidden in China, and held a protest march Friday morning. Meanwhile, other scattered strikes have begun to ripple into Chinese provinces previously untouched by the labor unrest. A near doubling of wages is the primary goal of the approximately 1,700 Honda workers on strike here in this southeastern China city, at the third Honda auto parts factory to face a work stoppage in the last two weeks.” (New York Times, 10 June)


“Northern Ireland’s born-again Christian culture minister has called on the Ulster Museum to put on exhibits reflecting the view that the world was made by God only several thousand years ago. Nelson McCausland, who believes that Ulster Protestants are one of the lost tribes of Israel, has written to the museum’s board of trustees urging them to reflect creationist and intelligent design theories of the universe’s origins. The Democratic Unionist minister said the inclusion of anti-Darwinian theories in the museum was ‘a human rights issue’. McCausland defended a letter he wrote to the trustees calling for anti-evolution exhibitions at the museum. He claimed that around one third of Northern Ireland’s population believed either in intelligent design or the creationist view that the universe was created about 6,000 years ago.” (Guardian, 26 May)


“Russia has exported $5.3 billion worth of weapons-related production in the first six months of 2010, the head of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) said on Wednesday. ‘With a plan for $9.5 billion, we have delivered $5.3 billion in [weapons-related] production in the first six months [of 2010], which constitutes 56% of the plan,’ Mikhail Dmitriyev told the Engineering Technologies International Forum 2010 in the town of Zhukovsky near Moscow. In 2009, the figure was $8.5 billion.” (Ria Novosti, 30 June)


“A boy aged seven has been found working 98 hours a week to produce decorative Christmas goods for the British high street. He is employed from 9am to 11pm, seven days a week, earning 7p an hour for his widowed mother. The boy, known only as Ravi, not only works but sleeps in a Delhi sweatshop that produces items for Poundland, the cut-price chain store.” (Sunday Times,11 July)

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