Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Hello Kitty Eva Air Flights


This post is dedicated to all fans of Hello Kitty in the world.

Eva Airline is the first airline from Taiwan, launches the Hello Kitty themed airline service from the moment the passengers purchase air tickets at the Hello Kitty pink kiosks to the moment of checking in at the departure gate. The passengers get the opportunity to experience the real Hello Kitty services during boarding the flights. They can find Hello Kitty images at every corner on the flight, from the food, headrest covers, pillows and even the toiletries.

Currently, Eva Airline is flying from Taipei in Taiwan to some popular destinations such as Shanghai in China, Tokyo, Fukuoka and Sapporo in Japan, Seoul in South Korea, Hong Kong and Guam with different themes of the Hello Kitty airplanes.  

I wish Eva Airline will increase more international routes with Hello Kitty airplanes and to provide more opportunities for the fans (including myself) to fly with Hello Kitty.   

For more information about the ticket booking and the routes of Hello Kitty Eva Air, please visit this official website here.



(Source video clip: Press TV Global News) 




Hello Kitty Kiosks to check in the flights in Taiwan
A passenger stands next to Eva Airlines' self check-in counters, which are decorated with 
Hello Kitty motifs, in Taoyuan International Airport, northern Taiwan, April 30, 2012. 
(Photo & Source: Pichi Chuang / Reuters & MSNBC)




Themes: Hello Kitty Around The World airplane (in the beginning part) 
and Hello Kitty with Magic Stars airplane (in the middle part)
(Video clip: linjeflyg from youtube)



Theme: Hello Kitty Loves Apples  (Video clip: Maviburu from youtube)




Hello Kitty jets: 5 cutest airplanes ever

Taiwan's EVA Air unleashes two more Hello Kitty airplanes. Sit back, relax and enjoy the disturbingly adorable cuteness 



Forget the YouTube videos. If you want a real dose of cute cat, book a flight with Taiwan airline EVA Air.

The carrier has recently added two more Hello Kitty-themed aircraft [Chinese language] to its fleet, taking the total to five, on which everything from the fuselage to the flight attendants to the food is kitted out in the kawaii cat brand's images. 

The fourth was launched in May and the fifth will launch on June 22 this year.
"The passengers over the world love the Hello Kitty jets since launched -- All the Hello Kitty jets have over 85 to 90 percent occupancy," said Liwen Liu, public relations officer of Evergreen Group, parent company of EVA Airways.
"Therefore, EVA Airways dicussed further with Sanrio and decided to launch two more planes so we can fly more routes and entertain more passengers."
Passengers have been purring with delight, according to Anna Wong, an EVA Air public relations officer in Hong Kong.

hello kitty plane
EVA Air's Happy Music Time Hello Kitty jet. Obviously.
"Many people specify that they want to take EVA's special Hello Kitty jet," said Wong. "The response has been excellent so far."

This isn't the first time Taiwan's second-largest carrier and Japan's comic company, Sanrio, which owns the Hello Kitty brand, have collaborated.
The two companies launched the first generation of Hello Kitty jets in 2005. That Kitty fleet was disbanded in 2009, after its licensing agreement expired.

hello kitty flight
No matter how cute her smile, it can't compete with her apron.
The new Taipei-based Hello Kitty jets -- following the themes of Hello Kitty Happy Music Time and Hello Kitty Speed Puff -- will join the three existing Hello Kitty jet family members and will operate on different routes originating from Taipei.


The Happy Music Time jet flies to Sapporo and Guam, as does the Magic jet. Speed Puff flies to Hong Kong. Apple Jet flies to Seoul and Fukuoka. Global Jet serves Hong Kong and Tokyo. 

To book, passengers need to check for specific flight codes. See the bottom of this article for details.

hello kitty airbus
The world's cutest boarding passes and baggage stickers.
The Hello Kitty journey starts with Hello Kitty boarding passes and baggage stickers. Then passengers make their way to a you-can't-miss-it gate dedicated to the Hello Kitty flyer.


The boarding gate in Taipei's Taoyuan International Airport is pink and features a Hello Kitty playground.

hello kitty airplane
The only aircraft from which you might be tempted to steal the headrest cover.
On board, more than 100 in-flight items are specially designed with the Hello Kitty motif -- including headrest covers, tissues, paper cups, utensils, milk bottles, snacks, soap dispensers, hand lotion, meals and ice cream.


hello kitty Eva air
Whatever the dish, fliers get a small piece of Hello Kitty.
Passengers can also purchase limited edition duty-free products, such as Hello Kitty-shaped pasta, from flight attendants wearing Hello Kitty aprons.


A dedicated website (in Chinese, Korean and Japanese only) features Kitty White -- Hello Kitty's "real" name -- from which we learn that Hello Kitty weighs as much as three apples and is as tall as five apples.

hello kitty flights
Even the toiletries are adorable.
EVA Air has been operating for more than two decades with a mixed fleet of Airbus, Boeing and McDonnell Douglas aircraft.


The Hello Kitty theme can be found on the carrier's new Airbus A330-300s. Each of the new aircraft provides 30 premium laurel class seats (EVA's business class) and 279 economy class seats.

hello kitty planes
How to make airplane food palatable.

Hello Kitty Happy Music Time flies Taipei-Sapporo (BR115/116) and Taipei-Guam (BR19/20)
Hello Kitty Speed Puff flies Taipei-Hong Kong (BR857/858)
Hello Kitty Magic Stars flies Taipei-Shanghai (BR771/772); Taipei-Tokyo (BR2189/2197)
Hello Kitty Around the World flies Taipei-Shanghai (BR771/772); Taipei-Tokyo (BR2189/2197)
Hello Kitty Loves Apple flies Taipei-Fukuoka (BR2106/2105) and Taipei-Seoul (BR160/159)
Article first published February 2012, updated June 2012

(Source: http://www.cnngo.com/explorations/life/eva-air-does-its-best-new-hello-kitty-jets-623405) 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Dragon Boat Festival (Zongzi) Chinese Celebration


Duanwu Festival, which is also known as Duānwǔ Jié (in Mandarin) or Dragon Boat Festival, is a Chinese traditional festival celebrated in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia. Duanwu Festival falls on the 5th day of the 5th month of the Chinese calendar which is an alternative name of Double Fifth Festival. This festival is observed on June 23rd, 2012 which the date of this festival varies every year on the Gregorian calendar.

Duanwu Festival celebration includes rice dumplings or also known as zongzi (in Mandarin) or bah chang (in Hokkien dialet and mainly known among the Malaysian-Chinese, Singaporean and Indonesian-Chinese) as well as the dragon boat races which are popularized in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia.

The Duanwu Festival is a major Chinese celebration, to commemorate the death of Qu Yuan, a famous Chinese poet from the ancient state Chu, who served as the high advisor to the emperor of Zhou Dynasty. He was known for his patriotism and failed to warn his king and countrymen against the territorial expansion into their Qin neighbours. When the Qin took over the capital of Chu, Qu Yuan committed suicide by drowning himself in the Miluo River in protest against the government corruption. The locals were respected him and threw sticky rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves into the river to feed the fish. They hoped that the fish would eat the rice dumplings instead of the body of Qu Yuan. There is another belief that, the locals paddled the boats on the river to scare the fish away which becomes the origin of dragon boat racing.

The ingredients (fillings) of the rice dumpling (zongzi) are varied from region to region. However, the most popular of a rice dumpling (zongzi) is filled with glutinous rice, salted pork fat meat, salted duck eggs, chestnuts, cooked peanuts and Chinese black mushrooms. This type of fillings is also my favourite bah chang in Malaysia. There is another version of rice dumpling (zongzi) which is filled with glutinous rice and red bean paste and to be dipped with white sugar.

Wishing everyone Happy Duanwu Jie or Dragon Boat Festival wherever you are, whether you are celebrating with family members or friends. I really miss the authentic taste of bah chang from Malaysia :)



This video shows how Zhujiaojiao grandmas wrap local rice dumplings or zongzi in China. They can make one zongzi every 15 seconds 
(Video and source: http://www.cnngo.com/shanghai/eat/video-touring-shanghais-rice-dumpling-haven-799193)






Duanwu Festival (Dragon Boat Festival) includes bah chang (zongzi) or also known as rice dumpling in Malaysia
Bah Chang or also known as zongzi or rice dumpling in Malaysia




The wrapping process of the rice dumpling (Bah Chang / Zongzi) in the bamboo leaves (Photo: http://www.dstudio10.com/blog/?p=2117)






Rice dumpling filled with red bean paste (zongzi) typically famous in China during Duanwu festival or Dragon Boat Festival
Zongzi filled with red bean paste or red dates, typically famous in China (Photo: http://www.chinancient.com/zongzi/)





Different style of wrapping for a rice dumpling between Northern (right) and Southern (left) in China. (Photo: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zongzi)






The Dragon Boat Festival requires the coordination and teamwork between the drummer, paddlers and steersman on a dragon boat. (Photo: © Hong Kong Tourism)



 


Hundreds of people gathered at Aberdeen Harbour in Hong Kong to watch the country's annual dragon boat festival during Duanwu Festival on June 23rd, 2012 (Source: Telegraph UK)


Friday, June 22, 2012

Top 50 Most Expensive Cities in 2012


Mercer is a global leader in human resource consulting, outsourcing and investment services which provides market data on international and expatriate compensation management to their clients in multinational companies and governments worldwide. Recently, Mercer releases the cost of living survey 2012, covers 214 cities across five continents and measures the comparative cost of over 200 items in each location, including housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment. It is the world’s most comprehensive cost of living survey and is designed to help multinational companies and governments determine compensation allowances for their expatriate employees. 

New York is used as Mercer's base city and all cities are compared against the living costs and expenses in New York. Currency movements are measured against the US dollar. The cost of housing is often the biggest expenses for expatriates – plays an important part in determining where cities are ranked. Apart from comparing on the cost of housing, other major factors need to be analyzed such as the currency fluctuation, the impact of inflation on goods and services including petrol (gas), political instability and natural disasters which will influence the cost of living for expatriates and the locals as well as the impact on the ranking system of a country in the worldwide yearly. 


City Rankings

Top 50 cities: Cost of living ranking
Mercer international basket including rental accommodation costs
Base City: New York, USA

Rankings

March 2012
March 2011
City
Country
12TOKYOJAPAN
21LUANDAANGOLA
36OSAKAJAPAN
44MOSCOWRUSSIA
55GENEVASWITZERLAND
67ZURICHSWITZERLAND
68SINGAPORESINGAPORE
83N'DJAMENACHAD
99HONG KONGHONG KONG
1011NAGOYAJAPAN
1114SYDNEYAUSTRALIA
1210SÃO PAULOBRAZIL
1312RIO DE JANEIROBRAZIL
1416BERNSWITZERLAND
1521MELBOURNEAUSTRALIA
1621SHANGHAICHINA
1720BEIJINGCHINA
1815OSLONORWAY
1930PERTHAUSTRALIA
2012LIBREVILLEGABON
2117COPENHAGENDENMARK
2219SEOULSOUTH KOREA
2334CANBERRAAUSTRALIA
2431BRISBANEAUSTRALIA
2518LONDONUNITED KINGDOM
2644KHARTOUMSUDAN
2746ADELAIDEAUSTRALIA
2829ST. PETERSBURGRUSSIA
2951CARACASVENEZUELA
3043SHENZENCHINA
3124TEL AVIVISRAEL
3138GUANGZHOUCHINA
3332NEW YORK CITY, NYUNITED STATES
34
23
NIAMEYNIGER
35
70
YANGONMYANMAR
36
61
KINSHASADEM. REP. OF THE CONGO
37
27
PARISFRANCE
38
25
MILANITALY
39
41
LAGOSNIGERIA
39
63
BAMAKOMALI
41
67
ABIDJANCÔTE D'IVOIRE
42
34
ROMEITALY
43
55
BRAZZAVILLECONGO
44
39
DJIBOUTIDJIBOUTI
45
33
BRASILIABRAZIL
46
39
STOCKHOLMSWEDEN
47
37
NOUMÉANEW CALEDONIA
48
36
VIENNAAUSTRIA
49
48
BAKUAZERBAIJAN
50
25
VICTORIASEYCHELLES
50
44
DAKARSENEGAL
Research Data by Mercer Consulting, March 2012


Top 5 cities in the Cost of Living worldwide rankings, by region

AmericasAsia PacificEurope, Middle East & Africa
  • São Paulo, Brazil (12th)
  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (13th)
  • Caracas, Venezuela (29th)
  • New York, United States (33rd)
  • Brasilia, Brazil (33rd)
  • Tokyo, Japan (1st)
  • Osaka, Japan (3rd)
  • Singapore, Singapore (6th)
  • Hong Kong, Hong Kong (9th)
  • Nagoya, Japan (10th)
  • Luanda, Angola (2nd)
  • Moscow, Russia (4th)
  • Geneva, Switzerland (5th)
  • Zurich, Switzerland (6th)
  • N'Djamena, Chad (8th)
Research Data by Mercer Consulting, March 2012 



Overview
  • Japan is the world's most expensive city for expatriates, pushing Luanda in Angola down to second position.
  • Osaka in Japan ranks in third position, up by three places from 2011.
  • Moscow and Geneva remain in the fourth and fifth positions as per 2011.
  • Zurich and Singapore share the sixth position, up by one and two places respectively from last year's survey.
  • Ndjamena in Chad, Hong Kong and Nagoya in Japan are listed as the top 10 most expensive cities in the latest Cost of Living Survey 2012. 

Europe
  • Moscow in Russia ranks at the top four in the global ranking as well as remains as the most expensive city in Europe region.
  • Geneva and Zurich follow in the fifth and sixth positions respectively.
  • Bern in Switzerland at the 14th position, up by two places from last year, due to the strengthening of the local currency in Swiss franc against the US dollar. 
  • Skopje in Macedonia ranks at 207th place, is the least expensive city in Europe region.
  • The Mercer Consulting representative, Ms Constantin-Métral explained: “Despite some marked price increases across the region in the first half of last year and widespread increases in VAT charges, most European cities dropped in the ranking. This is mainly due to the unstable economic situation across Europe, which has led to the depreciation of most local currencies against the US dollar. Countries badly hit by the Eurozone crisis, including Greece, Italy and Spain, have also experienced drops in rental accommodation prices.”

Middle East and Africa
  • Tel Aviv in Israel still remains the most expensive city in the Middle East whereas Jeddah in Saudi arabia (at the 186th place) ranks as the lest expensive city in the Middle East region. 
  • Jeddah in Saudi Arabia at the 186th place, is the least expensive city in the Middle East region.
  • Ms Constantin-Métral added that "most Middle Eastern cities have dropped in the ranking, mainly because price increases on goods and services while the accommodation costs for the expatriates are going down in Abu Dhabi and Dubai." 
  • Luanda in Angola drops to the second place in the global ranking which is also ranked as the most expensive city in Africa.
  • Tunisia (at the 209th position) remains the least expensive city in the African region.
  • Ms Constantin-Métral explained  that many of the African cities appear in the top 20 most expensive cities in the global ranking. Limited supply of goods and accommodation are the key factors for the pricing to keep surging and become more costly for the expatriates to live there.
North & South America
  • Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro at the 12th and 13th positions respectively, are ranked as the most expensive cities in South America region.
  • Ms Constantin-Métral commented: “Inflation pressures continued to push some South American cities up the ranking, whereas for some of the region’s cities, weakening of the local currencies caused them to rank lower.” Buenos Aires is an example which jumps from 159th (in 2011) to 121th position (in 2012) due to higher inflation in the country which drives higher costs of living, food, goods and accommodation.
  • New York remains the most expensive city in the United States followed  by Los Angeles (at the 68th position) and San Francisco (at the 90th ranking).
  • Other major US cities like, Washington (107th place), Miami and Chicago share at 110th position.
  • Toronto (61th place) remains the most expensive city in Canada followed by Vancouver (at the 63th position).
Asia Pacific
  • Tokyo overtakes Luanda in Angola as the most expensive city in the global ranking as well as the most expensive city in Asia.
  • Osaka in Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and Nagoya in Japan are listed in the top 10 most expensive cities in the global ranking and in Asia region as well.
  • More Chinese cities in China are catching up and appeared in the top 30 of the most expensive cities in the world. Shanghai (at the 16th) and Beijing in China (at the 17th), up by five and three places respectively from last year's survey. Shenzen (at the 30th) and Guangzhou (at the 31st), up by 13 and 7 places respectively from last year's ranking survey. High migration  from rural areas to these Chinese big cities which leads to higher costs of living, food, goods and accommodation for the locals and expatriates in China.
  • In India, New Delhi (113) and Mumbai (114) have dropped by 28 and 19 places respectively since 2011 due to the possibility of the weak local currency, Rupee against the US dollar since early last year.
  • Jakarta (61) is up by eight places, Bangkok (81) is up by seven places and Kuala Lumpur (102) is up two places. Karachi in Pakistan (214) remains the region’s least expensive city in the Asia region.
  • Australian cities are moving up to the top 30 of the most expensive cities in the world. Sydney (11), Melbourne (15), Perth (19), Canberra (23), Brisbane (24) and Adelaide (27) are jumped between three to 19 places from last year's survey.
  • In New Zealand, both Auckland (56th) and Wellington (74th), up by 62 places from 2011.
  • Both cities in Australia and New Zealand are moving up to the top list of the most expensive cities in the global ranking due to the stronger local currencies, Aussie dollar and New Zealand dollar against the US dollar. Besides that, both countries are also facing higher cost of living, food, goods and accommodation due to migration from small towns to big cities as well as migration from other countries.
(Source: http://www.mercer.com/press-releases/cost-of-living-rankings)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Forced Abortion & Adoption in China


There is a recent photo of a Chinese mother who was "forced to abort" her 7-month old baby in the hospital, has been circulated on the web in China. She was dragged out from her relative's home and "forced to abort" her baby by the Chinese authorities as she couldn't afford to pay the hefty fine for illegally having more than one-child in China. This news causes uproar and gets a lot of media attention in China as well as the worldwide. 

A Chinese mother was forced to abort her baby girl in the hospital in China. Her aborted 7 month old fetus was lying beside her which was posted by her husband. (Photo: Reuters & Asiaone News, Singapore)

This inhumane treatment of illegal and forced abortion is happening in China for many years but the Chinese government and authorities sweep this inhumane issue under the carpet and prevent the Chinese media from reporting it. 

Actually, the AlJazeera English correspondent, Melissa Chan highlighted about "illegal forced abortion" news by the Chinese authorities in China two years ago.  She also highlighted the news about the China's government illegally trafficking Chinese babies from families who violate China's one-child policy. Most of the babies are sold to foreign adoption agencies in the United States and Europe. Here are the news reported by AlJazeera English in China between 2010-2011:











(Updated News): 

Husband in China forced abortion 'missing': family

The husband of a Chinese woman whose forced abortion seven months into her pregnancy caused uproar has disappeared, a relative said Tuesday, adding her family is being harassed on a daily basis.

Feng Jianmei had to go through the termination earlier this month in the northern province of Shaanxi because she failed to pay a hefty fine for exceeding China's strict "one-child" population control policy.

The case caused an outcry when photos emerged online of Feng lying in a hospital bed in Zhenping county next to her baby's bloody corpse, prompting an official probe that concluded action should be taken against the perpetrators.

But a relative said Tuesday that Feng's husband Deng Jiyuan had gone missing Sunday.

"The last time I saw him, he was with all of us and he said that some leader wanted to speak to him, so he left," the relative, who refused to be named or otherwise identified, told AFP.

"We haven't seen him again since, and we can't get through to his mobile."
Calls made to police and government in Zhenping, and to the higher-level Ankang city government, went unanswered.

State news agency Xinhua reported late Tuesday that several government officials in Zhenping had been "punished" for involvement in the forced abortion.

Xinhua said that an investigation had concluded that the termination had "violated her (Feng's) rights late in her pregnancy" and that the head of the family planning bureau had been removed from his post.

The relative added that since Sunday, scores of unidentified people had been harassing the family.

"On Sunday evening we decided to go home (from hospital) and a lot of people had gathered outside," the relative said. "They hung banners on a bridge and many people came and shouted that we were traitors. Now wherever we go people follow us."

Feng's family members have spoken to foreign media and the relative said the protest could be linked to these interviews. It was unclear who the protesters were, but online reports suggested they had been hired by local authorities.

"If this is not organised by the powers-that-be, how can people make banners on their own and carry them out to the street?" one web user wrote on Sina's popular microblog service.

China's family planning policy aims to control the world's largest national population, now swollen to 1.3 billion people.

Under the measure, urban families are generally allowed to have one child, while rural families can give birth to two children if the first is a girl. Parents have to pay a fine if they contravene the rules.

Rights groups say that as a result of the policy thousands of women have been forced by authorities to terminate their pregnancies.

(Source: http://sg.news.yahoo.com/husband-china-forced-abortion-missing-family-065613398.html)


Gruesome photos put spotlight on China's one-child policy

  Family photo


Photos of Feng Jianmei on her hospital bed after a forced abortion have been circulating on the web. The photos were taken by her sister who in turn contacted the media about the story. The photos originally appeared in a local newspaper report online and then they were picked by netizens and distributed online.
Updated at 10:33 p.m. ET: China state media says city officials have apologized to Feng Jiamei and suspended three officials, the BBC reported.
Xinhua news said the Ankang city government will urge the county government to review its family planning operations, according to the BBC report.

BEIJING – Feng Jianmei says she was manhandled by seven people, some of them local family planning officials, some of whom she didn’t know.
Feng, 22 years old and seven months pregnant, was dragged out of her relative’s home, carried and shoved into a van that headed straight to a hospital on June 2, she told NBC News in phone interview.
She was blindfolded, thrown on a bed, and forced to sign a document that she couldn’t read with the blindfold still on her eyes. Then two shots were injected into her belly. Thirty hours later, on the morning June 4, she gave birth to a dead baby girl.

Feng is one of the many Chinese women who have been forced to have abortions under China’s strict one-child-only policy started in late 1970s to contain the country’s fast growing population, which has now topped 1.3 billion people.

One-child policy
China’s long time Communist leader Chairman Mao Zedong originally encouraged women to have as many children as possible during the Cold War-era when human power was believed to be an important force if war broke out. But the country’s rulers soon found it too difficult to feed the huge population – so they adopted a harsh policy that allows urban citizens to have only one child, and rural couples to have two, if the first child is a girl. 

The policy has been carried out for more than three decades despite public opposition, from human rights activists to ordinary people. Thousands of years of Chinese culture fostered the belief that “more children is more blessing,” especially in remote and rural areas where the elderly lack adequate social benefits and depend on children as they grow old.

Government family planning officials are also under pressure to make sure their constituencies follow the quota of babies allowed. When there’s no clear law telling them what they can and cannot do, forced abortions, often on late-terms pregnancies, have become the norm, particularly for the poor who are unable to pay the hefty fines to have additional children. 

Advocates on behalf of these women are usually ignored or face government repression. For example, Chen Guangcheng, the famous blind lawyer and human rights activist, represented victims of family planning abuse in Shandong Province. Chen was jailed for four years for his advocacy and put under house arrest until he recently escaped illegal detainment and fled to the U.S. last month.

There are no official figures of how many women in China unwillingly terminate pregnancies every year. “All Girls Allowed,” an organized founded by former 1989 student protest leader Chai Ling, claims there are 1.3 million forced abortions annually

‘How can I agree to do that, as a mother?’
Feng Jianmei didn’t realize she wasn’t allowed to have a second child (her first daughter was born in 2007) since everyone else around her was permitted to have a second child. Both she and her husband Deng Jiyuan took for granted that they would have the same right. But the family planning office in Zengjiazhen, a small town in Shaanxi province in the heart of China, thought differently. 

Through a rigorous and rigid household registration system designed to control population movement, the central government classifies all its citizens as either city dwellers or rural peasants. The registration, also known in Chinese as hukou, determines not only a citizen’s residence but also what kind of social services individuals are eligible for.

It is very difficult to change one’s hukou although there are many ways, including marrying a person with a different registration status, applying for a new status through one’s job, or paying an enormous sum of money. 

The local family planning office decided that Feng wasn’t allowed to have a second child because she didn’t have the necessary permit – apparently she had failed to relocate her hukou to Zengjiazhen when she moved from her original province of Inner Mongolia.

But the couple says they had no idea their plan to have a second child was connected with Feng’s hukou.

They were given another option that would solve the problem: pay a fine of $6,400. But that was an impossible amount for the couple to afford – Deng is a migrant worker and Feng is a farmer. 

“I told you, $6,400, not even a penny less. I told your dad that and he said he has no money,” the family planning official wrote to Deng in a text message that has been made public. “You were too careless, you didn’t think this was a big deal.”

Feng’s sister received the same warning; if they couldn’t afford to help pay the fine, it was only a matter of time before her sister had to get rid of the baby, whether she wanted to or not.

Things came to a head on June 2, but according to the local government, Feng agreed to the abortion.

The Zhenping Population and Family Planning Bureau released on June 11 an official stamped document, which says that “after government cadre’s repeated persuasion, Feng Jianmei agreed to have an abortion at 15:40 on June 2.” 

“No, I didn’t agree to do it,” Feng told NBC News. “How can I agree to do that, as a mother?”

She sobbed when asked what happened next, and said she was too upset to think about it. She said all those officials who kidnapped her disappeared after the abortion, and she’s still suffering from a constant headache.

Two appalling photos of her were taken and posted online that show her lying in bed, looking weak and helpless, with a dead and bloody baby next to her. 

The photos were taken by her sister who in turn contacted the media about the story. The photos originally appeared in a local newspaper report online and then they were picked by netizens and distributed online.

‘If this evil policy is not stopped, this country will have no humanity’
Forced abortions in China are not new, but Feng’s story spread rapidly via social media, and outrage was immediate and unanimous. On Weibo, China’s Twitter-like microblogging site, netizens left thousands of angry comments, although many of the posts were quickly deleted by government censors. 

“The purpose of family planning was to control population, but now it has become murder population,” wrote Li Chengpeng, a well-known Chinese writer. “It was a method to contain population, but now it is a way to make money. 

When you can make money by killing, what else are you afraid to do? A seven-month baby can think already. I want to ask the murderer, how do you face your own mother when you go home? If this evil policy is not stopped, this country will have no humanity.”

Zhao Chu, another writer, called it pure murder. “This is not about enforcing the policy, it is about depriving someone’s right to live. We avoid the nature of it by using a medical word ‘enforced abortion.’ For so long family planning seems like something completely irrelevant of human life. It’s like coal mining or digging mushrooms. Human life has become lifeless indexes, some cold, meaningless numbers.

“Also, pushed by heavy fines, the controversial policy has become profit-oriented activities that everyone hates. The worst victims are those of low-class rural people who have no power to fight. Their tears and cries are not heard by so called mainstream society and the victims become worse than the untouchables,” said Zhao.

Many called for the one-child policy to be outlawed. “We feel so sorry for the dead baby girl, we criticize those so-called law enforcers. But we should rethink the 30-year-long family planning policy. It’d be worth it if this could help to change the policy! We keep our eyes open!” commented user A-Kun on his Weibo page.

Even Hu Xijin, chief editor of Global Times, one of China’s most pro-government newspapers, criticized the forced abortion on his Weibo account.

“I strongly oppose the barbarous forced abortion to this 7-month-pregnant mother. Time has changed and the intensity of enforcing family planning has changed. We should promote civilized family planning,” Hu wrote.

But he added that he didn’t think the whole policy should be abolished. “Don’t use Hong Kong and Japan as an argument to deny China’s population policy. Those places are small and developed early, fed by the whole world’s resources. But the world resources cannot afford to feed a China with billions of people.”

‘This has damaged the image of family planning work’
NBC News tried to contact both town and city level family planning offices in Zengjiazhen and Ankang, but the calls went unanswered. 
 
A report from Xinhua, China’s official government news agency, released on Thursday said that the Shaanxi Provincial Family Planning Committee has sent an investigation team to Zengjiazhen and requested local government to have the responsible parties held accountable.


“This has damaged the image of family planning work, and had an adverse effect on the society. The committee will resolutely prevent such things from happening again,” the Xinhua news report said.
Feng’s conversation with NBC News was interrupted three times by what she said were government cadres entering her hospital ward to talk.
When asked what she would do next or whether they will seek legal help, she uttered an answer in a very low voice: “I have no idea.” 

(Source: http://behindthewall.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/06/14/12222877-gruesome-photos-put-spotlight-on-chinas-one-child-policy?lite)


'Forced abortion' picture causes uproar in China


Graphic images posted online showing the bloody corpse of a baby whose mother was allegedly forced to terminate her pregnancy at seven months have caused an uproar in China.

Rights groups say authorities in north China's Shaanxi province forced Feng Jianmei to abort her pregnancy on June 2 because she was unable to pay a 40,000 yuan ($6,270) fine for exceeding China's "one-child" population control policy.

Authorities in Zhenping county, where the abortion took place, said that Feng had agreed to the procedure, but a relative told AFP that she and her husband had opposed the abortion.

The relative, who asked not to be named, also confirmed the authenticity of a photograph posted online of Feng on a hospital bed next to the blood-smeared body of her baby.

Outraged Chinese web users expressed doubt that Feng had agreed to the abortion, and even state-run media outlets condemned the procedure.
"Who would ever drop a bleeding baby beside its mother?" posted one Chinese web user on Internet news portal Netease.com.

"This is what they say the Japanese devils and Nazis did. But it's happening in reality and it is by no means the only case... They (the officials) should be executed."

Another web user, posting on popular forum clubkdnet.net, said China's family planning system had been "openly killing people for years in the name of national policy" adding: "What is wrong with society?"

China has implemented its draconian family planning policy since the late 1970s in an effort to control a population that has grown to 1.3 billion people, the world's largest.

Under the policy, urban families are generally allowed to have one child, while rural families can give birth to two children if the first is a girl.

"Feng Jianmei's story demonstrates how the one-child policy continues to sanction violence against women every day," said Chai Ling, head of the US-based rights group All Girls Allowed.

China's official media also condemned the case, but said the controversial family planning policy should remain in place.

A commentary in the state-run Global Times newspaper said in English that late-term forced abortions should be "condemned and banned," but that they "shouldn't be a reason for refuting the whole (one child) policy".

Officials at Zhenping county hospital, where the abortion allegedly took place, refused comment when repeatedly contacted by AFP.

(Source: http://news.yahoo.com/forced-abortion-picture-causes-uproar-china-114944537.html;_ylt=AuvQGXflvEfyFVCy7Vos7F1vaA8F;_ylu=X3oDMTNkbmFpcHZsBG1pdAMEcGtnA2YyNWVlMTFjLTU0NzEtM2IzZC1hZTdjLTBmMzJkZGM4NTM1NQRwb3MDMTkEc2VjA2xuX0FzaWFfZ2FsBHZlcgMzODU3NTZiMC1iNTRlLTExZTEtYmQ1Zi01YzlkODI3NWRjN2U-;_ylv=3)


Seven-month-pregnant woman forced to abort

This is not the first time China's family planning policy has been implemented to its extreme, but the news that a seven-months-pregnant woman was forced to abort her baby has still shocked the public.

In Zhenping county, Shaanxi province, a news item popped up on the local government family-planning centre's website to show off their achievement.
Feng Jianmei was seven-months pregnant with a second child after giveing birth to a girl in 2007, "after the repeated talks to convince her to give up the baby by our local government cadres, Feng finally agreed to abort the baby," reads the centre's website.

The One Child Policy was established in 1979. It is enforced strictly in cities, but has many exception.
In a lot of rural areas, couples are allowed to have two children, ethnic minorities are also given permission to have two or more children.
In 2007, China's national population and family planning commission of China estimated that 35.9 per cent of the population are allowed one child, 52.9 per cent of the population are allowed to have a second child if the first is a girl, this is usually the situation in rural China.

In this case, Feng Jianmei was married into the rural family but still kept her city residential permit. Therefore it's against the law for her to have a second baby.
In principle, Beijing has been trying to move away from brutal enforcement of the law by banning forced abortion and sterilizations, and also implementing a heavy fine policy.
But in reality, the abuses of women continue, with local officials told to meet difficult birth targets and central government only caring about the numbers.

The news has caused much debate in the media, with some calling for a reform in the policy while others remain supportive of the government.
The English language Global Times, a government-backed newspaper, recognises that the termination of late-term pregnancies should be condemned, but maintains that the policy shouldn't be refuted, as it has "freed China from the burden of an extra 400 million people".

Forced abortion is not the only problem with the one-child policy.
With families who have money, huge sums are charged if they decide to have a second child.
Earlier this year, a couple from Zhejiang province paid more than $200,000 for a fine to have their second child. Some choose to give birth in Hong Kong or the US, countries where a child would be given citizenship after birth to escape the fine.

More than 40,000 people posted comments to discuss the news on Sina.com, one of China's biggest online portals. Here are some interesting ones:

"Seven months is a small life already, these family planning people should be charged with murder."
"Having more children means a better hope to solve social welfare problem that will emerge soon. In 30 years time, a single-child couple will have to support 4-12 parents, grandparents, how can they afford to do that?"

"This woman created the problem herself, she should have followed the rules, a country has to have its laws, it's her responsibility to not break the law."

"These rural families don't have the resources to bring up kids and give them eduction, why do they have to have all these children, it's a waste of resource."

"What we've been doing is just to spare more living space and resources for foreigners who seem to be better than us."

(Source: http://blogs.aljazeera.com/blog/asia/7-month-pregnant-woman-forced-abort)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Mini iFan in iPhone & iPod Cases


What will you do when you feel very hot and sweaty while walking on the streets or having picnic at the park or on the beach? Surprisingly, there are unique and small yet fashionable fans which is so convenient and handy for you to carry around as you will frequently use them for outdoor activities. These mini fans are so trendy that you can't resist to get, such as the fashionable mini fans in iPhone cases or iPod cases and bladeless fans smiliar to Dyson bladeless fan product. These mini fans are available in China, Hong Kong and other parts in Asia region. 

Please watch the short video clip at the end of this post, for mini fan in iPhone case.



iFan in iPod casing
iFan in iPod case



Mini fashionable bladeless fan similar to Dyson product
Mini bladeless fan similar to Dyson product



Mini fan in battery operated, which I used 5 years ago



*** There are no translation and subtitles available in this video. But, I believe you can understand the visual aid. ***

(Source: www.appledaily.com.hk, Hong Kong)