Thursday, July 23, 2009


Residents watch a solar eclipse at a square in Chongqing municipality July 22, 2009. A total solar eclipse on Wednesday swept across a narrow swathe of Asia, where hundreds of millions of people watched the skies darken, though in some places thick summer clouds blocked the sun. REUTERS/China Daily

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Babies for Sale

From The BBC - July 2, 2009

Dozens of baby girls in southern C**na have reportedly been taken from parents who broke family-planning laws, and then sold for adoption overseas.

An investigation by the state-owned Southern Metropolis News found that about 80 girls in one county had been sold for $3,000 (£1,800).

The babies were taken when the parents could not pay the steep fines imposed for having too many children.

Local officials may have forged papers to complete the deals, the report said.

Unpopular policy

Parents in rural areas are allowed two children, unlike urban dwellers who are allowed one.

But if they have more than that, they face a fine of about $3,000 -several times many farmers' annual income.

The policy is deeply unpopular among rural residents, says the BBC's Quentin Somerville in Beijing.

Nearly 80 baby girls in a county in Guizhou province, in the south of the country, were confiscated from their families when their parents could not or would not pay the fine, Southern Metropolis News said.

The girls were taken into orphanages and then adopted by couples from the United States and a number of European countries.

The adoption fee was split between the orphanages and local officials, the newspaper said.

Child trafficking is widespread. A tightening of adoption rules for foreigners in 2006 has proved ineffective in the face of local corruption.