The Chinese workers who assemble Apple Inc. (AAPL)'s ubiquitous iPhones aren’t committing suicide as often as they used to. Still, according to a report by the Fair Labor Association, they work in what would be considered sweatshop conditions by developed-world standards.
Last year, Apple became the first technology company to be admitted to the FLA -- part of the iPhone maker's response to the public-relations disaster known as the Foxconn suicides. From January to November 2010, 18 employees of Apple supplier Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd., also known as Foxconn, attempted to take their lives, and 14 succeeded. Reports of inhumane working conditions proliferated, and though the company's suicide rate was lower than China's national average, Apple had to respond.Read more »
The foes of genetically modified food have this one huge issue that won't go away: the science keeps going against them.
The latest example took place late last month, when a prominent journal withdrew the one study that seemed to show a definitive link between health problems and food whose genetic mix has been altered to make it more resistant to pests or grow under less-than-ideal conditions.Read more »
On Wednesday India’s Supreme Court turned the clock of history backwards when, in defiance of all expectations, it set aside a landmark 2009 High Court judgement that had ruled homosexuality could not be construed as a criminal offense “against the order of nature,” as held for more than a 150 years by Article 377 of the colonial-era Indian Penal Code.
In doing so, the Supreme Court effectively re-criminalized gay sex, making second-class and stigmatized citizens of those it revealingly called “a minuscule fraction of the country’s population,” and returning them to what the novelist Vikram Seth, one of the gay-rights movement’s most lucid voices, called “lives of quiet desperation.” To look at it another way, the Supreme Court decided that the High Court had overreached in exercising its powers of judicial review, and placed the onus for a change in the law on Parliament instead.Read more »
Back in 1999, after the notorious con man Martin Frankel went missing, federal agents found a partially burned to-do list at his mansion in Greenwich, Connecticut. Item No. 1 on the list: "Launder money."
Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc might not have topped that one, but it came close enough to win this year's "Dumbest Bank of the Year" award. OK, that's not a real award, but it should be.Read more »
Ertan Aydin, a top adviser to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, doesn't think much of foreign criticism of his government.
In an Al Jazeera op-ed article today, Aydin cited a recent post of mine and a New York Times article by Tim Arango and Ceylan Yeginsu to make the argument that the Western news media are misrepresenting Turkey because of our "orientalism," a prejudice of West against East that has a long historical pedigree. I don't challenge the fact of orientalism, but it is hardly the case here.Read more »
Lest you think the International Olympic Committee doesn’t take its ideals seriously, consider its solution to this whole LGBT debacle in Sochi: Protest zones.
Yes, this is how the IOC plans to deal with a 2014 Winter Games host country that treats gay people like drug dealers. If the concept sounds familiar, that’s because we’ve seen it before -- no, not in the Warsaw Ghetto -- at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.Read more »