Hugo Boss Buys From Company Tied To Xinjiang

Forced labor is so pervasive in China’s far west region of Xinjiang — and government control over information is so absolute — that it is nearly impossible to establish if forced labor is being used in supply chains there. But here’s what is known:

  • Esquel Group gins and spins cotton in Xinjiang.

  • In July 2020, the US government placed trade restrictions on one of its Xinjiang subsidiaries, Changji Esquel Textile Co., citing concerns over forced labor.

  • In January 2021, US regulators banned all Xinjiang cotton from entering the US, again citing forced labor.

Since the cotton ban, a different Esquel subsidiary located in Guangdong — hundreds of miles away from Xinjiang — has continued exporting its clothes to brands in the US. But procurement records and company statements reviewed by BuzzFeed News show that Esquel’s Guangdong branch works together with its Xinjiang-based cotton spinning factories. When asked repeatedly, neither Hugo Boss nor Tommy Hilfiger nor Ralph Lauren would say where the cotton in their Esquel shipments comes from.

Esquel’s own public statements make clear that its Xinjiang cotton production is deeply intertwined with its worldwide clothing operation. The company describes itself as “vertically integrated,” meaning that it owns factories for each stage of the cotton supply chain: Esquel’s gins separate cotton fibers from seeds, and those fibers are later spun into yarn in Esquel’s spinning mills. Esquel’s Guangdong factories knit and weave cotton yarn to make cloth, then use this to manufacture clothing that can be exported to the rest

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Bik And Raoult Hydroxychloroquine Feud Exposes Tensions

Until spring 2020, Raoult was best known as an eminent microbiologist who founded and heads the research hospital Institut Hospitalo-Universitaire Méditerranée Infection, or IHU. He has discovered or codiscovered dozens of new bacteria — a group of them are named Raoultella — as well as giant viruses. By many accounts, his extensive reach in the scientific community is matched by his temper: In 2012, Science magazine described him as “imaginative, rebellious, and often disdainful.” “He can make life hard for you,” one researcher said.

A handful of Raoult’s thousands of publications have also fallen under scrutiny. In 2006, the American Society for Microbiology banned him and four coauthors from its journals for a year over a “misrepresentation of data” after a reviewer spotted figures that were identical, but shouldn’t have been, across two versions of a submitted manuscript. (Raoult objected to the ban, saying he wasn’t at fault.) And some researchers noticed that Raoult was on one-third of all papers to ever appear in a single journal, which was staffed by some of his collaborators.

Last year, Raoult’s team issued a correction to a 2018 study, and another from 2013 was retracted altogether (the journal said that Raoult could not be reached when it was making its decision). Both contained apparently duplicated or otherwise suspect images, first spotted by Bik, who has flagged more than 60 other studies of his on PubPeer for potential issues.

And by July of last year, his most infamous study had been looked over

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7 Photo Stories That Will Challenge Your View Of The World

This week, we had the honor of speaking with Michael Kamber, a photojournalist and the founder of the Bronx Documentary Center, who shared with us 10 images that shaped his career as an educator and journalist. On Sunday, a catastrophic apartment fire in the Bronx killed 17 people; we looked at photographs of how residents and first responders reacted after the blaze.

National Geographic reporters tried to track down a “sloth kingpin” (the animals are often illegally trafficked as pets), while Reuters looked at the chances of survival for cougars as humans expand into their territory in Washington state. NPR rounded up dramatic scenes from the protests in Kazakhstan, and Magnum photographer Alec Soth has a new exhibition, covered by the Guardian, of his years of road trips. These images are, no surprise, gorgeous. For those of us stuck at home, the New York Times’ 52 Places list has been released — and oh, how I long to visit them!

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