Needing pork, China is to buy a US supplier, Smithfield Foods

by Michael J de la Merced and David Barboza New York Times May 29, 2013

Demand for pork in China reflects its booming economy and rising middle class. But that rapidly growing appetite has strained its food production systems, leading to breakdowns and a number of food safety scandals....

Standards clash in Bangladesh reforms

by Christina Passariello, Shelly Banjo and Gordon Fairclough Wall Street Journal May 16, 2013

When Wal-Mart Stores Inc. publicly blacklisted about 250 Bangladesh factories this week, it said it was trying to alert other retailers of safety problems and prevent disasters like last month's fatal building collapse that killed more than 1,100 people....

China’s prostitutes routinely extorted, abused by police, report says

by William Wan Washington Post May 13, 2013

BEIJING — Police raids on brothels in China have a pattern, sex workers say, often occurring a few days ahead of politically sensitive events or whenever someone in government orders an anti-pornography campaign to please the leadership....

In Timbuktu, conflict shatters a city’s soul

by Sudarsan Raghavan Washington Post May 12, 2013

See Report...

ILO, World Bank demand labor changes in Bangladesh

by Howard Schneider Washington Post May 10, 2013

The International Labor Organization and World Bank have refused to let Bangladesh join a textile industry monitoring program until the country overhauls its labor laws and conditions for unions improve, according to a top ILO official....

Some retailers rethink role in Bangladesh

by Steven Greenhouse New York Times May 1, 2013

Ever since a building with garment factories collapsed in Bangladesh last week, killing more than 400 people, Western apparel companies with ties to the country have scrambled to address public concerns about working conditions there....

Death toll rises in Bangladesh building collapse

by Julfikar Ali Manik, Steven Greenhouse and Jim Yardley New York Times April 25, 2013

DHAKA, Bangladesh — As rescuers struggled on Thursday to reach survivors in one of the worst manufacturing disasters in history, pointed questions were being raised about why a Bangladesh factory building was not padlocked after terrified workers notified the police, government officials and a pow...

A slum in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Wide dissatisfaction has followed the boom of the 1990s. Photo: Justin Mott/International Herald Tribune

In hard times, open dissent and repression rise in Vietnam

by Thomas Fuller New York Times April 23, 2013

HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam — His bookshelves are filled with the collected works of Marx, Engels and Ho Chi Minh, the hallmarks of a loyal career in the Communist Party, but Nguyen Phuoc Tuong, 77, says he is no longer a believer. A former adviser to two prime ministers, Mr. Tuong, like so many peo...

China cracks down on anti-corruption activists

by Andrew Jacobs New York Times April 21, 2013

BEIJING — The Chinese authorities have detained six anticorruption activists in recent days, expanding their crackdown on a citizen-led campaign that, on the surface at least, would appear to dovetail with the new leadership’s war on official graft....

Here’s how lousy life is in North Korea

by Rick Newman US News and World Report April 12, 2013

North Korean commuters ride on a trolley car in Pyongyang, North Korea on Friday, April 12, 2013. Reflected in the window is a roadside propaganda banner that reads: "Let's follow the example of the space conquerors," referring to the country's rocket launch program.North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un...

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