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Christchurch Earthquake

1. xymonau23 February 2011, 9:54 GMT +01:00

Are all our New Zealand friends okay and accounted for? 75 people have been killed and 300 are still missing, presumed trapped in buildings that have collapsed. My sincere best wishes to everyone affected.

2. Zela23 February 2011, 11:03 GMT +01:00

The TV images are horrible. The news was a bit pushed away by the events in the Middle East.

Terrible and scary. It's hard to find words of comfort.

3. mzacha17 March 2011, 18:52 GMT +01:00

It is amazing how some news are killing the other. Here in Poland we haven't had a lot of news about New Zealand's quake. Just a little bit - there was more East Asian news in the media. Tunisia, Egypt, than Libia.

And now there is a huge massacre in Libia and no word about it. Just Japan and Japan. I understand perfectly that Japan is very important and the tragedy is tremendous but it does not mean we should forgot about the revolution in Africa...

And what about Ivory Coast?

4. xymonau17 March 2011, 23:31 GMT +01:00

Unfortunately, the world's media decides what we see and don't see, and they often have pressure put on them to keep certain things quiet. They also are entertainers rather than reporters, so they go with what will get the most attention. There are atrocities committed every day on this planet, and we never hear about them.

5. lennie18 March 2011, 13:31 GMT +01:00

I might be ill informed but I didn't see any news about New Zealand only that the rescue workers from Japan in New Zealand were called back to work in Japan.

Also even if you hear about something bad in the news you never hear if the problem has been 'solved'.

For example many years ago there was a news item about child slavery of warorphans in the Ivory Coast. They are kidnapped from the streets in neighbouring countries and then used for cocoa production. Supposedly 50% to 80% of all cocoa came from there at that time.

Judging by this Wikipedia article maybe less of the cocoa comes from there but it is still going on:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Children_in_cocoa_production

Do you hear anything about that ? Maybe on valatines day, easter of cristmas when a lot of chocolate is consumed ?

Doubt it.

6. xymonau18 March 2011, 14:48 GMT +01:00

Christchurch, in the South Island of NZ had a low level earthquake that flattened the city centre, killed about 200 people (not sure of the final toll), and the city will be without power and water for months to come. Most people have had to dig a "long drop" toilet in their back yards. Water has to be shipped in. Commerce in the city centre was closed down for weeks. It may still be, but Japan is dominating the news right now. The whole situation was shocking. Nothing to compare with Japan, but a life is a life, and the damage, while in one place only, comes at a huge cost to a tiny country of only about 2 million people. I guess we heard more because they are our neighbours. NZ'ers don't always feel the brotherhood towards Australians that we feel towards them, but we feel they really are very similar (just the Maori culture is very different from our Aboriginal one), and we share the same sense of humour and attitude.

Slavery is rife everywhere. Nike shoes are/were made by child slaves. Just about all of our imported western luxuries come at a human price in third world countries.
Children are forced to work long hours weaving rugs, digging in mines, or as sex slaves - in a lot of countries. I don't know if anyone else has seen the documentary about the "dancing boys" in either Iraq or Afghanistan (I don't remember which). I was sick at heart after watching that. Little boys "adopted" by wealthy men to be sex slaves for themselves and often rented out or offered free of charge to others, often dozens in a night, one after the other.

Then there are the children who are kidnapped in some African countries and forced to carry guns and kill - some as young as 6yrs old.

But we only get a glimpse of these things in rare documentaries. You won't find America or anyone else invading a country to save their children. You won't find the media hell bent on exposing and stopping trade with countries that have slavery. No profit in that.

7. Groningen18 March 2011, 17:07 GMT +01:00

you can by a slave-free chocolate bar
http://www.chocolonely.com/

and Verkade a Dutch food-company, has made it's chocolate bars fairtrade

of course it is still far from perfect
but it's a start

8. lennie19 March 2011, 16:57 GMT +01:00

On Christchurch I had a look around the net and it seems what made it so much worse in Christchurch is the liquefaction.

Lots of damage it mostly shows streets but buildings obviously (and people) also got hit:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WoKu5VxKgs

liquefaction is the process where when the ground moves the sand/rock is settling and the lighter groundwater comes to the surface. Here is a very good demonstration:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvYKcCS_J7Y

Here is video showing it happens 'live' in Japan where parts of the ground are swaying:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2f2Nw3j2fE

9. lennie26 March 2011, 23:10 GMT +01:00

@Dez I thought Nike just had childlabor, although I'm sure for a very low price...

I noticed someone on the internet mention the following:

"There are more slaves in the world now - perhaps 27 million - than were seized from Africa in 400 years of the slave trade."

If true, that's pretty sad.

10. xymonau27 March 2011, 4:04 GMT +02:00

Lennie, they were paid something, but compared with our standard of living, they were truly slaves. And while I do understand that if you are in dire poverty, you will be grateful for any employment for yourself or your kids, it is exploitation of the worst kind by a company that makes millions and millions of dollars profit all over the world.

11. xymonau27 March 2011, 4:20 GMT +02:00

http://archetypeinaction.org/en/item/177-slavery-then-and-now

A short CNN video on the subject. The point one man makes is, "Can they walk away?" There are many people earning money, but their employers accommodate them and overcharge them for food and accom, so they get deeper and deeper in debt to the company. It's going on everywhere, but I have seen a few documentaries from Asian countries, where it's rife.

12. lennie26 February 2012, 16:47 GMT +01:00

Sorry for bringing up an old topic, I was just reading an article:
http://jjie.org/human-trafficking-growing-global-scourge/75598

The good news is the situation with chocolate seems to have improved. The bad news is, the overall situation seems to have gotten worse.

13. xymonau27 February 2012, 10:26 GMT +01:00

It makes me feel sick at heart when I read this. I don't know what i can do personally except support efforts to educate and help some children - at least that might be a few saved the misery and horror. And avoid products that are questionable. But we are surrounded by them. Living free of commercial things might be the only way to go to have a clear conscience.

14. lennie27 February 2012, 13:21 GMT +01:00

Some of the things I do in general: eat less meat, eat less chocolate, recycle and I don't go on vacation by airplane.

I hope that helps.

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