28 May 2010

Another death at China iPhone maker's plant

* Latest death takes apparent suicide toll to 10 this year
* Foxconn denies report of another jumper who survived
* Clients including Apple, Dell investigating conditions (Adds latest suicide attempt, paragraph 3)
HONG KONG/TAIPEI, May 27 (Reuters) - A 10th employee of iPhone-maker Foxconn jumped to his death late on Wednesday, just hours after the company's chairman promised to make life better for employees at the sprawling production site in southern China.
The company did not give details of the death but China's official Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday that an initial police investigation indicated the 23-year-old man from northwest China had committed suicide by jumping from a seventh floor dormitory balcony.
Another employee at Foxconn's Shenzhen campus attempted to slit his wrists, but survived with medical attention, the Xinhua news agency said late on Thursday.
The deaths have thrown a spotlight on the labour practices of Foxconn, a unit of Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry, whose clients include Apple, Hewlett Packard and Sony Ericsson.
Apple and other clients have said they are investigating working conditions at Foxconn, which has some 420,000 employees at its base in Shenzhen and has come under fire for its secretive corporate culture.
Workers live inside the factory complex and churn out products for the world's leading computer and phone companies in round-the-clock shifts.
Taipei-based Hon Hai spokesman Arthur Huang confirmed the 10th death but denied reports on three Taiwan TV stations that another person, a young woman, had also jumped late on Wednesday, surviving with serious injuries.
Just hours before the latest reports, the usually media shy Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou had opened the company's sprawling facilities in Shenzhen to reporters and vowed to take sweeping action to prevent more deaths.
Gou made another trip back to the plant on Thursday following the Wednesday media tour. Pictures on Taiwan TV stations showed him boarding his private jet.
All 10 of the deaths have been of young migrant workers, among the millions who leave the poor hinterlands of China for the boom towns of the south and east coastal areas in search of work and high wages.
Two others have been seriously injured after also jumping from buildings, in incidents that labour groups say expose the harsh working conditions at Foxconn.
Li Ping, secretary general of the Shenzhen municipal government, told a news conference on Wednesday that the pressure of being away from home with little care from society was part of a complex set of factors underpinning the suicides.
He said the government was joining with police and Foxconn to consider a range of ideas such as building up sports and cultural facilities to improve the living environment, Xinhua reported.
The firm was training about 100 mental health counsellors and installing 1.5 million square metres of netting, Xinhua said.
"Although this seems like a dumb measure, at least it could save a life should anyone else fall," Gou was quoted as saying.
In a report to clients, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch said that while the incidents would affect Hon Hai's image, they are unlikely to cause a significant impact on earnings, a view echoed by UBS, which noted that Hon Hai remains a "top-notch supplier".
Foxconn shares rose 4.2 percent in a Hong Kong market up 1.2 percent, having fallen to a seven-month low earlier this week. Hon Hai shares fell 0.4 percent in Taiwan, with the broader market up 1.1 percent.
In another sign of labour discontent in south China, Japanese car maker Honda said on Thursday a dispute had shut down one of its parts plants, causing the closure of four car-making plants. (Reporting by Simon Rabinovitch and Lucy Hornby in BEIJING, James Pomfret in HONG KONG and Jonathan Standing, Roger Tung and Baker Li in TAIPEI; Editing by Chris Lewis and Lincoln Feast) ((simon.rabinovitch@thomsonreuters.com; +86 139 0111 6692; Reuters Messaging: simon.rabinovitch.reuters.com@reuters.net)) ((If you have a query or comment on this story, send an email to news.feedback.asia@thomsonreuters.com))

guardian.co.uk 27 May 2010

This is the miracle of capitalism / free enterprise / globalisation.

A company - eg. DELL, APPLE can support the practise of SLAVE LABOUR via another company.

Naturally an inquiry will not indicate '$weat $hop' conditions or any breaches of Human Rights.

Independant assesment will show the company has followed the law and it was the individuals that were unstable, which is Standard Cover-up Practice.

25 May 2010

Penthouse Pet makes claim on Pratt fortune

A former Penthouse Pet of the Month has a made claim in court for a portion of the fortune of late cardboard king Richard Pratt.

Madison Ashton, a mother of two from Sydney's eastern suburbs, made a claim against the Pratt estate in the NSW Supreme Court last Monday, A Current Affair reported on Tuesday night.

Mr Pratt, chairman of Visy, was one of Australia's richest men.

The legal challenge comes just weeks after Pratt's former Sydney mistress, Shari-Lea Hitchcock, and the couple's daughter, Paula, went to court to contest the will in a bid to gain access to a larger slice of the Pratt empire.

According to Nine News, 12-year-old Paula inherited more than $20 million in shares from her father in his will.

Pratt's widow Jeanne is listed as the executor of his estate.

Both Ms Ashton, 35, and her lawyer refused to comment on the exact contents of the statement of claim.

Outside of her modelling career and the adult entertainment industry, Ms Ashton is listed on the Australian Security and Investment Commission register as the director of several consultancy companies.

According to a report on A Current Affair, she first became acquainted with Mr Pratt through his mistress Shari-Lea Hitchcock.

A Current Affair also alleges that Mr Pratt encouraged Ms Ashton to leave her job and promised that money would be paid to her.

ninemsn 25 MAy 2010

What only 2 mistresses outside of matrimony? UNBELIEVABLE !!!

Come one girls ! Come out!

Show just what sort of cheater this person really was.

Man charged with knowingly spreading HIV

A circus acrobat accused of spreading HIV to a woman through unprotected sex is being extradited from Sydney to the Gold Coast.

Queensland police have charged Godfrey Zaburoni, 31, with two charges, including grievous bodily harm, after a woman who tested positive to HIV made a complaint against him.

Health officials say other women in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria could have been infected.

Acting Queensland Deputy Police Commissioner Col McCallum says Zaburoni, who has been HIV positive since 1997, has given authorities the names of 12 women with whom he has had sex.

"What we're urging for is for anybody involved with this person to come forward. Firstly and primarily we're concerned about their health and wellbeing," he said.

"And we ask them to contact Queensland Health. If they have further concerns, we ask them to contact the police through the CrimeStoppers hotline."

Zaburoni, a Zimbabwean-born Australian citizen, has appeared as a contestant on Channel Seven program Australia's Got Talent.

A Sydney court this morning approved his extradition to Queensland and he will appear in the Southport Magistrates Court tomorrow.

Queensland chief health officer Dr Jeanette Young says it is possible more women could have been infected.

"I'm not confident about the numbers. I think there's a number. Of those 12, not all of those are in Queensland," she said.

"Seven of those were in Queensland. The others were in New South Wales and Victoria, but he's also been in other states.

"Unfortunately, he was not able to give us sufficient information so we could contact those women directly."

abc.net.au 25 May 2010

Filthy 'human' garbage, that should be executed.