Archive for ‘scandal’

14/03/2019

Anger over ‘disgusting’ food found in Chinese school kitchen

Rotten breadImage copyrightSUPPLIED
Image captionRotting bread was among the food found in the kitchen

One of China’s most prestigious high schools has been the target of public anger after piles of expired mouldy food were found in its canteen kitchen.

Mouldy bread, rotting meat and seafood were discovered at the Chengdu No 7 Experimental High School.

One parent told the BBC of his horror and disgust, saying the food was “stinky and disgusting” and compared it to pig slop.

The school has now apologised, saying it is deeply “embarrassed”.

Food safety scandals are not uncommon in China and they often leave authorities scrambling to defuse public outrage.

How did they discover the food?

The scandal first emerged when a small group of parents were on Monday invited to attend a tree planting event at the private high school in Chengdu, the capital city of China’s Sichuan province.

While at the school, a group of parents discovered mouldy bread, rotting meat and seafood items in the canteen kitchen canteen.

It is not clear why exactly they chose to stop by the kitchen, but one parent that the BBC’s Lulu Luo spoke to referenced an incident earlier last November where numerous school children came down with stomach-aches, constipation and various other ailments.

Rotten foodImage copyrightSUPPLIED
Image captionWhat looks like seafood and meat were seen in cardboard boxes

“[The items looked like they had] been in a freezer for years, [it looked] like zombie meat,” the father, who has a daughter and son enrolled in the school said.

“I smelled the pork, it was stinky. [There was] ginger, which looked disgusting too.”

Food strewn on the groundImage copyrightSUPPLIED
Image captionAnd chestnuts were seen strewn on the floor
Rotten foodImage copyrightSUPPLIED
Image captionWhat appears to be tripe is also seen covered in dirt of some kind

According to the father, the private school costs 39,000 yuan (£4,380; $5,800) a year – about 20 times the amount a public school would cost.

“We don’t even let kids have leftover food at home… I spent tens of thousands of dollars and my kids are having pigwash there,” he said.

“I dare not tell my younger son… I’m worried he might not dare to eat canteen food after that. My daughter has been telling me she has a stomach-ache. I [told] her she might have just over exercised.

“It breaks my heart.”

How did parents react?

Horrified, the group of parents shared the pictures on social media, which were soon discovered by other parents.

According to the same parent, the school immediately transported the mouldy food away in two trucks.

One truck was intercepted and stopped by a swarm of angry parents who showed up at the school in protest, he said.

Parents protestingImage copyrightSUPPLIED
Image captionHundreds of parents stormed the school in protest

Videos that emerged on social media on Wednesday showed hundreds of parents angrily protesting outside the school gates.

Police were seen using brute force against them, with one video showing a group of policemen slamming a man against the ground.

In another video, parents can be seen clutching their eyes in pain, with some local news outlets saying police used pepper spray against them.

Chengdu police later posted a statement on Weibo saying 12 people had been arrested.

It said the parents had “severely disrupted” traffic and insulted the police. They were later released on the same day.

Presentational grey line

‘Why should they be trusted with anything?’

Stephen McDonell, BBC China correspondent

People overseas sometimes mistakenly think that there are not many protests in China. Actually, acts of dissent break out quite often and can erupt suddenly.

If family members are harmed, especially when under the care of a school or a kindergarten or a hospital, then orderly, calm communities can transform with scenes of anger spilling out onto the streets.

Faulty medicine, tainted milk powder, investment scams and perceived abuse of students under the care of teachers have all triggered public anger directed at the officials whose job it is to keep the community safe.

If the Chinese Communist Party is not enormously worried about these incidents they have all led to collapse in public faith in the system.

If local officials cannot even manage to give school children lunch which is not covered in mould then why should they be trusted with anything?

Presentational grey line

What has the school said?

The Chengdu school later released an apology, and said it would stop taking food from its current supplier.

The school is one of the most prestigious in China and had in the past been named among China’s “Top 10 outstanding private schools”.

It said that those responsible would be dealt with by the law, saying it was “embarrassed” by the incident and that it would not happen again.

However, the parent the BBC spoke to said the case was not an “isolated incident”, saying that the same supplier catered to “over 100,000 students from across 20 schools”.

Wenjiang district government – the district in Chengdu that the school is in – issued a statement on Wednesday that said eight people responsible for food safety at the school were being investigated by authorities.

It said that 36 students from the school had been admitted into the local hospital for a check-up -all were later discharged.

The district government also said that the raw food would be sent for testing, adding that a “comprehensive and in-depth investigation” would be held into the matter.

Source: The BBC

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05/12/2018

China’s hotel hygiene horror continues with new scandal

Alice Yan

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Weeks after some of China’s upmarket hotels were exposed for using the same soiled towels to clean drinking cups and toilets, officials have uncovered another hygiene issue at a mid-price hotel in the country’s northern province of Shanxi.

Health officials from the provincial capital of Taiyuan found disinfected towels stored with shoes and half-consumed snacks during an inspection on Tuesday.

According to the China News Service, the inspection found a number of hotels did not follow hygiene rules to sterilise customer utensils and were also not monitoring air, water, light and noise levels as required.

The health inspectors highlighted the case of one hotel in the downtown area, part of the Jinjiang Inn franchise, where clean towels were found stored in the same small room as the rubbish bins. Regulations require that towel cabinets are not placed with other items.

Inside the towel cabinet were a box of men’s shoes, half a pack of melon seeds and personal cosmetic products that belonged to hotel employees, the officials said.

“These items are probably not clean and can’t be stored with things that have already been cleaned; otherwise there will be cross-contamination,” an inspector was quoted as saying.

Officials also found items in the hotel’s sterilising room which should not have been there, and two employees working in the sterile area without the mandatory health certificate.

Last month Huazong, an online celebrity in China, uploaded a video in which some cleaners at five-star hotels were seen using the same towel to clean a bathroom mirror, basin, toilet and drinking cups.

Amid the uproar caused by the video, a commenter on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like service, wrote, “Hygiene problems exist in expensive hotels. I dare not imagine how bad the situation is in other hotels?”

03/12/2018

Yu Delu and Cao Yupeng match-fixing: Chinese pair banned in snooker corruption scandal

Yu Delu
Yu Delu’s highest finish at a ranking event was the semi-finals of the 2016 Scottish Open

China’s Yu Delu has been banned from snooker for 10 years and nine months after a major match-fixing inquiry.

His compatriot Cao Yupeng also pleaded guilty to fixing and was banned for six years, although three and a half years of his sentence are suspended.

Suspicious betting patterns in numerous matches were investigated over two years in one of the sport’s biggest corruption scandals.

Yu has been described as a “scourge to the game of snooker”.

As reported first by the BBC, the pair are the first Chinese players to be banned for cheating.

Yu, who manipulated the outcome of five matches over a two-and-a-half-year period, will serve the longest suspension since English player Stephen Lee was given a 12-year ban in 2013.

In one match, the stakes placed on the result totalled £65,000, which would have generated a profit of £86,000.

The 31-year-old reached the semi-finals of the 2016 Scottish Open and was ranked 43 in the world when he was charged.

Twenty-eight-year-old Cao, who fixed three matches, was runner-up in the Scottish event last year and world number 38 when initially suspended in May.

Both players were investigated by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) before an independent tribunal ruled on their cases.

The tribunal, chaired by David Casement QC, found that Yu “engaged in deliberate and premeditated corruption to secure substantial financial gain for his friends/associates and himself.”

Yu also admitted lying to the investigator, failing to cooperate with the inquiry and betting on snooker when prohibited from doing so.

“It is very sad when talented players are attracted to the opportunity to make money from fixing matches,” said WPBSA chairman Jason Ferguson.

Cao Yupeng
Cao Yupeng “expressed his sorrow” over match-fixing and said he had financial difficulties

The fixed matches

Yu Delu admitted fixing in five matches:

  • Indian Open qualifiers: WON 4-3 v Martin McCrudden – 12 February 2015
  • Paul Hunter Classic: LOST 4-1 v Dominic Dale in Germany – 29 August 2015
  • Welsh Open: WON 4-3 v Ian Glover – 15 February 2016
  • European Masters qualifiers: LOST 4-1 v Michael Georgiou – 4 August 2017
  • Shanghai Masters: LOST 5-3 v Kurt Maflin – 15 November 2017

He also failed to report approaches to fix matches, did not cooperate with the investigation and breached rules by betting on snooker.

The scandals involved betting on markets in the Far East.

Yu won two of the five fixed matches, but had arranged for the correct score to be 4-3 to either player.

There is no suggestion any of the opponents were aware of the match-fixing plan.

Cao Yupeng admitted fixing in three matches:

  • Welsh Open: LOST 4-1 v Ali Carter – 15 February 2016
  • Indian Open qualifiers: LOST 4-0 v Stuart Bingham – 30 June 2016
  • UK Championship: LOST 6-1 v Stephen Maguire – 24 November 2016

Cao also failed to provide material that was requested during the investigation.

He told investigators that he received £5,000 for each of the matches he fixed and he was initially given an eight-year ban, but this was reduced to six – three and a half of which were suspended – because of his co-operation with the inquiry.

“Cao Yupeng has shown true remorse and he will assist the WPBSA in player education and in its fight against corruption, which is reflected in his reduced sanction,” said Ferguson.

Yu was given a 12-year ban, to match the sanction imposed on Lee five years ago, but this was reduced to 10 years and nine months because of his late guilty plea.

Analysis

Jamie Broughton, 5 live snooker reporter

These two players are well known in China, and this story will be headline news there.

Lengthy bans show that the sport’s world governing body, the WPBSA, has the capability and desire to investigate such cases all over the world, and not just in Europe.

Sanctions like this send out a clear message to any player tempted to get involved in match fixing that it’s not worth the risk of getting caught.

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