August 2007


BEIJING (Reuters) – China on Monday hit back at Mattel, after a massive toy recall, saying designers and importers should also take responsibility for product safety, but promised to punish its own manufacturers who flout standards.

The world’s largest toymaker, Mattel, recalled more than 18 million Chinese-made toys in mid-August because of hazards from small magnets that can cause injury if swallowed, just two weeks after it recalled 1.5 million toys due to fears over lead paint.

“I myself looked at some of the samples of these problematic toys, and I found that there is a serious problem with the design. The design is seriously defective,” Li Changjiang, head of China’s General Administration for Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, told a news conference.

“In my view, no matter where those toys were sold there would be a recall, because it is highly likely they are dangerous for children.

“While we recognize that Chinese producers should be blamed for those problematic toys, what kind of responsibility should the U.S. designers and the U.S. importers take in this respect?” Li asked.

China is facing growing global pressure to clean up its manufacturing sector and ensure the quality of its exports after a series of scandals involving products ranging from poisonous pet food ingredients to sub-standard toys and tainted toothpaste.

Li has described the storm surrounding Chinese-made goods as politically motivated and unfair, but he has also called for tougher regulation of manufacturers and warned that failure to improve quality was undermining China’s trade strength.

On Monday, he blamed differing national standards, misleading statistics and lack of communication for some of the product safety scares that have alarmed foreign consumers.

“For some products, the two countries enforce different standards,” Li said of China and the United States, also citing “inaccurate statistics”.

But he said the latest Chinese campaign to improve product safety would focus on creating a chain of supervision across the entire production process for both industrial products and food.
Monitoring and inspection of drug manufacturers would also be strengthened, and celebrities banned from endorsing drugs in advertisements, Li said.

He also acknowledged the vast challenge China faces in overseeing its hundreds of thousands of tiny, often family-run producers, a task compounded by lack of communication between myriad government agencies overseeing production and safety standards, and between central and local authorities.
But Li defended the “made-in-China” label and said Chinese-made toys in particular were enjoyed the world over.

“In China, about 3 million workers are working in the toy industry, providing toys to children all across the world,” he said.
“It is because of their hard work that children in other parts of the world are having fun in their daily life.”

© Reuters, Mon Aug 27, 2007 By Lindsay Beck2006.

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The earthquake of August 15, has left 34,000 families without a home, more than 1,000 wounded, countless others severely injured that had to be evacuated to Lima, and more than 500 dead. The most affected are the people of Pisco, Chincha, and Ica. They need our support. They need blood, coats, food, tents, water and money.

Luis Campos, director of @clubdeperuanos, went to Pisco and let us know that the damage is beyond comprehension, although there are a lot of people helping, the area affected is too big they need more and more help so they can reach everyone that has been left with nothing.

One way to help all of the people is with money through Peruvian organizations that are working in the affected areas or through the North American organizations that have opened exclusive bank accounts for helping Peru.

If you would like to help with food or other items, it would be appreciated, but you must also consider that the cost of transportation of this help to Peru is going to be more in some cases, than the price of the item you are donating. That is why a monetary donation is the best way to help.

How to actually help? The Peruvian embassy in Washington DC has opened a bank account at HSBC Bank. The info for this account is at the end of the communication. Also if you prefer, you can make a direct transfer to the accounts set at the Peruvian banks such as Interbank.

Another alternative to make a donation is through North American charity organizations that have established specific accounts for the victims of the earthquake. These are:

a. Unicef: http://www.unicefusa.org
b. Save the Children: http://www.savethechildren.org
c. Oxfam America: http://www.oxfamamerica.org
d. America Cares: http://www.americares.org
e. IR Teams: http://www.irteams.org

These organizations have already created a fund for our country, so you have to be sure you are specifying a donation for the victims of the earthquake in Peru.

We would appreciate if you send this letter to your American friends, so they can also help.

Javier Justo
President
@ClubdePeruanos.com

Bank information for donations:

For Caritas Peru: (www.caritas.org.pe)
Account Name: “Emergencia por los damnificados del Terremoto en Pisco, Ica y Canete”
BANCO DE CREDITO MIAMI
Account Number: 201030010003521
ABA: 067015355
SWIFT: BCPLUS33

Un techo para mi Pais:
Please go to: http://www.untechoparamipais.org.pe (You can donate there with your credit card).

Interbank:
Account Name: “Damnificados Ica – Peru”
Account Number: 200-0000001118
The following money transfer services will not charge any commissions for transfers to the Interbank account:
Xoom, Bancomercio, Uno, Dolex, BTS, Via Americas, Transfast, Pronto Envios, Vigo, Girosol, MFIC, Intertransfers and Mateo Express. For more information on money transfers to the Interbank account please call 1-866-352-7378

Embassy of Peru:
Account Name: “Embassy of Peru – Sismo Peru 2007”
Account Number: 389060178
ROUTING NUMBER: 021001088
BANK ADDRESS: HSBC Bank , USA , NA
1130 Connecticut Avenue, NW.
Washington DC 20036

or by sending your donation by check to:

Name: “Embassy of Peru – Sismo Peru 2007” Address: Embassy of Peru
1700 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington DC 20036
Para cualquier información adicional, por favor contáctese con el (202) 833-9860 .

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A compassionate state of mind brings inner peace, and therefore a healthier body. 

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It is important to use money properly to help others, other wise you still want more and feel poor.

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PISCO, Peru – Earthquake survivors desperate for food and water ransacked a public market, while other mobs looted a refrigerated trailer and blocked aid trucks on the Pan-American highway, prompting Peru’s president to appeal for calm Friday.

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Aid reached the disaster zone on Friday morning, bringing relief to a city that had largely fended for itself for 36 hours, but hopes of finding more survivors diminished.

At least 510 people were killed in the quake and 1,500 were injured, overwhelming the few hospitals in Peru’s southern desert region, and severe damage to the only highway slowed trucks from Peru. But food, water, tents and blankets were finally arriving, and with Peruvian soldiers distributing silver caskets, the first mass funerals were being held.

“Nobody is going to die of hunger or thirst,” President Alan Garcia said following complaints that aid was not arriving fast enough for thousands who lost loved ones, homes and belongings in Wednesday’s magnitude-8 temblor and the many aftershocks that have followed.

“I understand your desperation, your anxiety and some are taking advantage of the circumstances to take the property of others, take things from stores, thinking they’re not going to receive help,” Garcia said. “There is no reason to fall into exaggerated desperation knowing that the state is present.”

Electricity, water and phone service were down in much of southern Peru. Garcia predicted that “a situation approaching normality” in 10 days, but acknowledged that rebuilding would take far longer. That was obvious to everyone in the gritty port city of Pisco, where officials said 85 percent of the downtown was destroyed.

Pisco’s center was a collection of rubble piles abbreviated by half-collapsed hulks. Even the structures still standing aren’t livable. In streets littered with downed power and telephone lines, people in blankets huddled around fires.

Two tremors shook the city after dawn, among the 18 aftershocks of magnitude-5 or greater recorded since the main, magnitude-8 quake.

Peru’s fire department said the death toll had risen to 510. Destruction was centered in Peru’s southern desert, in the oasis city of Ica, in nearby Pisco, about 200 kilometers southeast of the capital of Lima.

Also damaged was the town of Chincha, where a prison wall fell down, and at least 571 prisoners escaped. Only 29 were recaptured, a top prisons official said.

Searchers were still seeking bodies and survivors at the San Clemente church on Pisco’s main square, where hundreds had gathered on the day Roman Catholics celebrate the Virgin Mary’s rise into heaven for a memorial Mass for a man who died a month earlier.

Minutes before the service was to end, the church’s domed ceiling began to break apart. The shaking lasted for an agonizing two minutes, burying 200 people, according to the town’s mayor.

About 50 bodies had been removed from the church by dawn Friday, said Jorge Molina, the search and rescue team leader, who still held out hope of finding more people alive.

Three bodies still lay unclaimed in body bags on the plaza, where rescue workers from Lima had pitched tents and relatives held vigil.

Nearby, survivors lined up under a beating sun to receive bottled water unloaded from trucks by soldiers.

The relief effort showed signs of organization by mid-morning, with the military clearing rubble, police identifying corpses and civil defense teams ferrying food. Housing ministry officials started to assess who will need new homes.

Brig. Maj. Jorge Vera, chief of the rescue operation, said 85 percent of downtown Pisco had been destroyed. The center of the city was choked with traffic, including relief vehicles.

In the cemetery, a man painted the names of the dead in black on headstones. Some 200 headstones were lined up, along with more than 30 coffins. Some burial vaults had collapsed in the quake, and crosses tumbled over.

Felipe Gutierrez, 82, sat in his pajamas — his only clothing — in front of what was his Pisco home. The quake reduced it to rubble and he, his 74-year-old wife, their two children and three grandchildren sat staring at the ruins, a tangle of adobe, straw and all of their belongings.

“Yesterday we slept on a mattress, and now we’ll have to set up a tent, because we have no where to live,” he said.

International help includes cash from the United States, United Nations, Red Cross and European Union as well as tents, water, medicine and other supplies. The U.S. Navy hospital ship Comfort, equipped with a staff of 800 and 12 operating rooms, is in Ecuador and could quickly sail to Peru if asked, U.S. officials said.

The U.S. government said it had released $150,000 in emergency funds for emergency supplies and was sending medical teams, including one already in Peru for a training mission. It said it was sending two mobile clinics and loaned two helicopters to Peruvian authorities.

Magnitude 8 quakes are capable of causing tremendous damage. Scientists said this one was a “megathrust” — similar to the catastrophic Indian Ocean temblor in 2004 that generated deadly tsunami waves. “Megathrusts produce the largest earthquakes on the planet,” USGS geophysicist Paul Earle said.

The temblor occurred in one of the most seismically active regions in the world, where the Nazca and South American tectonic plates meet. The plates are moving together at a rate of 3 inches a year, Earle said.

___

Associated Press writers Monte Hayes, Edison Lopez and Leslie Josephs in Lima, Martin Mejia and Mauricio Munoz in Ica, Edith M. Lederer at the United Nations, Alicia Chang in Los Angeles and Sarah DiLorenzo in New York contributed to this report.

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