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Report: Universal Orlando ‘evaluating’ experiences in Dr. Seuss-themed area

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Following the estate of beloved children’s book author Dr. Seuss on Tuesday—his birthday—deciding to cease the publication of half a dozen books for containing “racist” imagery, Universal Studios theme park in Orlando, Florida is reportedly “evaluating” in-park experiences at its Seuss Landing area.

MORE ON DR. SEUSS: 6 Dr. Seuss books will cease publication due to racial imagery, company says

Universal Orlando, Spectrum News reported Tuesday, said it is evaluating the in-park experiences in that area but visitors will still be able to enjoy Seuss Landing.

“Seuss Landing continues to be very popular with our guests and we value our relationship with Seuss Enterprises,” a Universal spokesperson said in a statement to Spectrum News. “We’ve removed the books from our shelves as they have asked and we’ll be evaluating our in-park experience too. But our guests can plan on continuing to be able to enjoy their favorite experiences at Seuss Landing.”

The Dr. Seuss-themed area of Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park features attractions, sites, and characters inspired by the famed author’s colorful literary world.

Earlier on Tuesday, Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the company that manages the late author’s books and characters, issued a statement saying that it will stop publishing and licensing six of his books, saying they “portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.”

The six books named in the statement are: “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street”, “If I Ran the Zoo”, “McElligot’s Pool”, “On Beyond Zebra!”, “Scrambled Eggs Super!”, and “The Cat’s Quizzer”.

“Ceasing sales of these books is only part of our commitment and our broader plan to ensure Dr. Seuss Enterprise’s catalog represents and supports all communities and families,” the statement read.

MORE ON CHILDREN & CULTURE: It’s ‘Potato Head’ to you: Mr. Potato Head becomes gender-neutral, Hasbro says

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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REPORT: China has vast network of covert police stations around the world

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China has a vast network of covert police stations abroad, according to a recent report by Safeguard Defenders, an NGO that focuses on human rights violations in China and other Asian countries. These police stations serve consular functions, but are also used by China to crack down on what the CCP deems “illegal” activity of Chinese nationals abroad. The police stations include at least 38 run by the Fuzhou City police, and 22 run by the Qingtian City police. Cities housing these police stations include New York, Toronto (which has three stations), London (two), Paris (three), Buenos Aires, Rio De Janeiro, and Tokyo.

Key findings of the report are below.

“Persuaded to return”

According to China, China has “persuaded to return [to China]” 230,000 Chinese nationals living aboard from April 2021 to July 2022 alone to face charges of fraud and telecommunications fraud. A Yangxia police station set up in Mozambique, for example, persuaded a Chinese national to return to China after being accused of stealing money from his employer. Chinese authorities also put pressure on the accused family to convince the accused to surrender.

Roughly 54,000 Chinese nationals were persuaded to return from northern Myanmar alone, in the first nine months of 2021. In July 2022, the government of Wenchang City warned that its citizens living in northern Myanmar must check in with their local police stations or face multiple penalties including blocking their children from attending urban schools back in China. Similarly, in February 2022, the government of Liayang City stated that Chinese “illegally staying” in northern Myanmar must return or the bank accounts of their immediate family members could be frozen.

The Nine Forbidden Countries

China has claimed that nine countries contain serious levels of fraud and telecom fraud perpetrated by Chinese nationals. Since November 2021, China has declared that Chinese citizens living in these nine countries must return to China immediately unless they have an “emergency reason” or a “strict necessity” to travel or stay in those countries. Those countries are: Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, the UAE, and Turkey. However, the report questions whether these countries are truly awash in such fraud, as most of China’s oversees police stations are in the West, and only one of the nine countries (Cambodia) has such a police station. Chinese staying in the nine forbidden countries, as well as threats to family members as stated above, creates a “guilt-by-association” atmosphere intended to repatriate the Chinese nationals.

Conclusion

According to the report, Chinese police stations abroad serve to bypass “bilateral extradition treaties or other mechanisms of judicial cooperation” to cooperate with CCP-linked NGOs which effectively “[sets] up an alternative policing and judicial system within third countries.” Instead of using international judicial cooperation, which establishes due process, the presumption of innocence, and the right to a fair trial, China uses the above “persuade-to-return” methods and transnational police stations to circumvent international law and coerce Chinese nationals to return to China for trials. These policies show the power of China’s long-arm oppression over its own subjects.

You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic

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