Alternative investments

China’s workers and insane conditions producing Christmas gifts

Chinese factory workers producing toys for major brands like Mattel, Hasbro, and Disney continue to work in grueling conditions, according to a recently published report by the nonprofit China Labor Watch, in collaboration with NGO Solidar Suisse.

Some workers have committed suicide amid work pressure, the report said. While China Labor Watch was investigating the Early Light Toy Factory in Shaoguan City, Guangdong Province, which manufactures toys, clothing, and travel accessories for major brands like Big Lots, Hasbro, Mattel, Costco, and Wal-Mart, two workers jumped from buildings. The organization reports the case of Yang Zongfang, 38, who was fired after violating a factory rule forbidding workers from allowing other people to use their entry card, and Lin Jinhua, 34, who tried to end his life after verbal abuse by a manager.

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Smartphone addiction could be a problem for your brain

Excessive use of smartphones creates an imbalance in the brain chemistry of teenagers and young adults, according to a study. A recent Pew Research Center study found that 46% of Americans said that they cannot live without their smartphones, Science Daily reports. More and more people are becoming dependent on their smartphones and other gadgets for information, news, communication, games and such.

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Top 100 World Travel Market 2017: Hong Kong, and Asian too, the most visited city

Hong Kong has retained the title of the world’s most visited city for the eighth consecutive year in Euromonitor International’s latest Top 100 City Destinations Ranking 2017 Edition. Unveiled on Tuesday at World Travel Market London, the report puts Bangkok in second place and London in third spot, and stresses the pivotal impact of the inexorable rise of Chinese outbound tourism.

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London house prices fall again, Brexit effect?

Two separate house price surveys published Monday, report a further decline in London property prices in September and October. According to the monthly house price index from Acadata and LSL Property Services, the average house price in England and Wales fell 0.1% on the month and rose 1.3% on the year, in September. However, excluding London and the south east, annual house price inflation was 3.3% higher.

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Gender Gap is a hot topic also in research teams

Women are consistently underrepresented in scientific research positions-a disparity that is particularly egregious in computational fields. Now newly published research from Harvard Medical School reveals this gender gap extends to paper authorship with most papers that appear in peer-reviewed publications written by men.

The study analyzed paper authorship by gender across several fields-computational biology, quantitative biology, biology and computer science. The analysis reveals that gender disparities in the interdisciplinary fields of computational and quantitative biology were worse than they were in biology-a relatively gender-balanced field-but better than they were in computer science, a decidedly male-dominated field.

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