China discussed on Morning Edition

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Cards to the kids in her class when she found a bizarre message written inside one of the cards it said in part we are foreign prisoners forced to work against our will please help us the card was made in China and the message appeared to be written by a factory worker and peers Franklin fit is watching all of this from London you Frank I know well so what do we know about what happened here well the the girl names Florence would come I believe was opening this up to her to write to a friend and inside the note also said it was he was written I think in caps it said please notify human rights organization and please contact Peter Humphrey now Peter Humphrey lives in in greater London he's he was a corporate fraud investigator who serve time in this exact prison launching pushing high suburb now Humphrey was eventually released in two thousand and fifteen and the family reached out to Humphrey who wrote about in the Sunday times of companies to be a Reuters reporter the card was sold by the British supermarket chain Tesco Tesco has said you're suspending any orders on these cards and are investigating so in the meantime the Chinese foreign ministry says this is a hoax they say it's just not true are they offering any evidence of that could not yet that I've seen but the Chinese company that made the cards is emphatic that it never contracted with this prison outside of Shanghai and saying the charge of using forced labor is completely fabricated now the the foreign ministry actually says very curious no well actually blames Humphrey personally the journal says that he's suggested he's behind all of this now there's a repairs of past year the Chinese government Sir Humphrey was imprisoned for illegally collecting citizens information I've talked to Humphrey on the phone he says that charge was bogus was never heard in court and he actually says if you recognize the handwriting of the card as a prisoner that he he knew when he was in the present now ask them about the foreign ministry's claim that he's behind this and Humphrey says this is just a typical kind of response that the government uses Danny accusations about human rights abuses this is the kind of art so you'll white scat you get a lie you get a complete lie in response the one thing about this matches the internet is a little bit different maybe is it's very possible that tackle me accusing me of fabricating the story but you know I didn't invent a little girl in our south London and her father who have number nine in my life and I didn't invent the message that they handed to me so it's absolutely ridiculous okay that was Peter Humphrey Frank you were based in Shanghai for five years did you ever come across stories like this yeah it's actually not all that uncommon these sorts of messages tend to surface again Chinese products every few years they're back in two thousand twelve there's a woman in Oregon who discovered an account of torture in Halloween decorations that were made in China back in two thousand fourteen I interviewed in American sociology professors name Stewart foster he served time for theft and I talk to me after I got out from prison from jail actually and he said he'd been forced to assemble Christmas lights in a jail in Guangdong province his quota was three thousand lights I think it day and he said the prisoners who didn't meet quotas were beaten this is what he told me there was one particular leader and during the month of July that was particularly sadistic actually he and braided a few of the Christmas light course together and he would come up behind inmates that were working slow and slash them across the back cannot know foster told me that he remembered one inmate being whipped and this this inmate was mentally slow foster thought he could actually see the welts form on his back after he was struck and after I did that story no well I I've been of I've received messages on Facebook and elsewhere from other former inmates saying that they make Christmas ornaments and things like that in Chinese prisons this all sounds outrageous what to human rights groups say about what's going on there they say that this is kind of standard operating procedure in a lot of prisons in China prison business is in prison manufacturing and and sort of providing labor is big business you can find advertisements on lines on line for this and you in white rights watch rest to make estimates there could be millions working at this I was talking to young show long she's a researcher with Human Rights Watch and this is how she put it according to Chinese law that two prisoners as long as you have the ability to labor you'll have to labor so you know forced labor is given in prison in China in the couple seconds we have left there are lever lots in China right there are but what young a young too long says is the prison system is opaque and they don't follow them and here's Franklin fit in London Frank thank you you're very welcome well in here's a stat four out of five smokers around the world our mail but a new report finds a for the first time in two decades the number of men using tobacco is decreasing interesting one tells us what's going on if you're buying a pack of derby cigarettes in Brazil about seventy five percent of the cost is taxes the quick hotline is printed on the pack along with pictures of sickness and death tobacco researchers Celebi Alice describes a few like a kid crossing to explain the harms of secondhand smoke they'll have somebody clutching their chance to looking like they're having a heart attack they have one that has a mouth cancer so they have like this disease malice yeah this is now the university of California San Francisco but she's originally from Rio de Janeiro she says fewer people today are using tobacco and he says government policies have helped like those warnings on cigarette packs and strict bans on advertising the new smoking numbers come from the World Health Organization report the number of man it using tobacco peaked in twenty eighteen at around one point one billion aircraft with the W. H. show says for the first time in twenty years those numbers are starting to fall fewer males using tobacco products means fewer people will suffer the avoidable pain and death that they call us the report focuses on man because some forty percent of men worldwide smoker too but only ten percent of women do Jeffrey Fong studies tobacco use at the university of Waterloo in Canada he says it's the number one cause of preventable disease and death every year eight million people die from using tobacco or breeding secondhand smoke Fong celebrates the decrease in smokers but he says tobacco is still a huge public health problem tobacco use isn't like malaria or holy out it is a corporate borne epidemic Fong says the tobacco industry is fighting hard to keep their customers and profits the other big obstacle is social norms people smoked during work breaks order lax with friends the Alice in San Francisco says habits are slow to change but strong policies help she says that growing up in Rio I remember when we could smoke in the plane and it could to smoke in restaurants and we could smoke in classrooms even now with indoor smoking banned in many countries that's something her son who's twenty years old can't even imagine being wrong NPR news this is NPR news and coming up in the next segment on morning edition little women is a classic work of American literature and actors sure sure ronin is starring in the new film adaptation we'll find out more from ronin and her role of the coming of age drama that sign on morning edition here and just moments on KQED public radio good morning from the BBC in London I'm Sarah Hawkins with BBC topline some of our top local stories this hour the leaders of China South Korea and Japan have been meeting today in the Chinese city of Chengdu in public statements they promised work together amid fears North Korea may soon carry out a long range missile test amid rancor between Japan and South Korea Japan's leader shins Ave also promised close cooperation with soul conquering all and moon J. E. and and I also confirm that Japan and South Korea would work in close partnership on the issue of North Korea cooperation between Japan and South Korea is extremely important in the security environment we see today in East Asia recently relations between Japan and South Korea have been badly strained by dispute over Japan's use of forced labor in World War two in Hong Kong police have warned demonstrators against gathering in shopping malls following an online campaign by activists calling for more anti government protests some Catholic churches are holding Christmas midnight mass early tonight so that worshippers can get home safely and here in the U. K. the queen's husband ninety eight year old prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh has left hospital after being admitted on Friday there's no word from the palace as to what he is or what was wrong with him when he went into hospital it was reported as a pre existing medical condition did you pass like many this Christmas Eve returned.

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