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103 detained in WeChat prostitution sting

SHENZHEN police have busted a group that used WeChat to organize prostitution, with 103 suspects being detained, according to chinanews.com.

The case is part of a nationwide crackdown initiated by the Ministry of Public Security against organized prostitution. The police have detained 103 suspects from 28 provinces, with 86 of them being arrested, according to a press conference held by the Guangdong public security department Thursday.

The police said one suspect, surnamed Jiang, partnered with two other suspects, surnamed Zhang and Gu, to organize prostitution via WeChat.

To help prostitutes find customers, Jiang opened two WeChat groups with over 1,000 members, including prostitutes, pimps and marketing agencies that helped prostitutes advertise themselves online.

According to the police, group members exchanged customer requirements or prostitute information in WeChat groups and were paid a commission for successful referrals.

A number of marketing agencies created fake identities online, setting up Web pages that suggested the prostitutes were models or actresses.

The ring would charge higher prices for prostitutes that learned how to play golf or speak business English. Prostitutes were also paid for introducing customers to other prostitutes, according to the police.

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Used traditionally for therapeutic purposes

Ethnopharmacology

Almost all the parts of the Tongkat Ali plant have been used traditionally for therapeutic purposes. The plant extracts have been traditionally employed for its antimalarial, aphrodisiac and anti-pyretic activities. The roots are the most valuable component and are used for the treatment of aches, persistent fever, malaria, sexual insufficiency, dysentery, glandular swelling, and as health supplements. Root extract of the plant have been administered for restoring energy and vitality, enhancing blood flow and functioning as a herbal ingredient for women after child birth. It is traditionally used as a general tonic to treat high blood pressure, tuberculosis, fever, diarrhoea, jaundice and dysentery. It is widely believed to have aphrodisiac properties. The roots are harvested after 4 year cultivation for use in traditionally medicine.

Chemical Constituents from Tongkat Ali

The main chemical constituents from Eurycoma longifolia are quassinoids such as Eurycomanone, alkaloids such as ?-carboline alkaloid and others.

Benefits

Androgenic effect (aphrodisiac activity)

Inducing penile erection and delays ejaculation

Anti-proliferative activity

Anti-tumor/cancer activity due to inducing apoptosis

Anti-diabetic

Antipyretic (reduce fever)

Antimalarial (Plasmodium falciparum)

Antibacterial

Quality Control

HPLC and TLC fingerprint are used for control the quality of extract.

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Zurich opens its first sex drive-in

AS the Swiss city of Zurich opens the country’s first sex drive-in to better regulate prostitution and move the sex trade outside the city center, residents, politicians and sex workers remain divided over the scheme.

The nine so-called “sex boxes” became available to prostitutes and their clients yesterday, in a former industrial zone in the west of the city.

Inspired by a similar initiative in Germany, Zurich authorities want to alter the image of the city’s Sihlquai district, where sex workers openly ply their trade each night, to the dismay of residents.

“Prostitution is a business, basically. We cannot prohibit it, so we want to control it in favor of the sex workers and the population,” said Michael Herzig, director of social services for sex workers in the city.

“Because if we do not control it, organized crime is taking over, and the pimps are taking over,” he said.

Local authorities recognize that they have no guarantee that the new site will be successful but have worked hard to convince prostitutes to come and inspect the premises.

There are clearly defined rules. Clients must be older than 18, one to a car, and condoms must be disposed of immediately after use in the bins provided.

Behind the fence, a round track where clients make a choice and the women negotiate a price is flanked by the sex boxes — wooden frames that look like car ports where customers can park and complete the transaction.

In town, clients regularly take prostitutes to a nearby forest or outside the city, where the sex workers regularly find themselves in dangerous situations, said Ursula Kocher, director of Flora Dora, a support network for prostitutes.

In the sex drive-in, prostitutes operate in a safe environment, she said, pointing out that in an emergency each sex box is equipped with an alarm button to alert a permanent security presence.

“The problem with the Sihlquai is that there are quite a lot of women, and it’s a normal street in the middle of Zurich and all the neighbors and all these people living there had troubles because of the sex workers,” Kocher said.

Violence against sex workers often follows from misunderstandings between clients and prostitutes, as the sex trade in Zurich is dominated by Hungarian Roma who speak only rudimentary German, she said.

In an article published in the Swiss tabloid 20minuten, several prostitutes expressed reservations over the sex boxes, saying that this tightly controlled environment might intimidate their customers.

If some say they are ready to give it a try, others do not hide that they will simply take their business to the northwest of Zurich, once prostitution is no longer authorized in the city center once the sex drive-in opens.

The proposed sex drive-in was approved by the people of Zurich in a March 2012 referendum, with 52.6 percent voting in favor.

The work cost 2.1 million Swiss francs (US$2.3 million) and operating costs will be approximately 700,000 Swiss francs a year.

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