‘YOU DISAPPEARED?’: CHINESE WOMAN FIGHTS FOR HUSBAND, FAMILY

GANZHOU, China (AP) — When the police called, Deng Guilian was at an indoor playground watching her 3-year-old. It was 2:19 p.m., Tuesday, May 30.

The man on the phone said her husband had been picked up on suspicion of making illegal recordings and taking illegal photographs. He told her she didn’t need to know the details, he just needed her address so he could send a formal notification.

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Men probing Ivanka Trump brand in China arrested, missing

SHANGHAI (AP) — A man investigating working conditions at a Chinese company that produces Ivanka Trump-brand shoes has been arrested and two others are missing, the arrested man's wife and an advocacy group said Tuesday.Hua Haifeng was accused of illegal surveillance, according to his wife, Deng Guilian, who said the police called her Tuesday afternoon. Deng said the caller told her she didn't need to know the details, only that she would not be able to see, speak with or receive money from her husband, the family's breadwinner.

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IVANKA'S BIZ PROSPERS AS POLITICS MIXES WITH BUSINESS

SHANGHAI (AP) — On April 6, Ivanka Trump's company won provisional approval from the Chinese government for three new trademarks, giving it monopoly rights to sell Ivanka brand jewelry, bags and spa services in the world's second-largest economy. That night, the first daughter and her husband, Jared Kushner, sat next to the president of China and his wife for a steak and Dover sole dinner at Mar-a-Lago.

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China carfentanil ban a 'game-changer' for opioid epidemic

SHANGHAI (AP) — So deadly it's considered a terrorist threat, carfentanil has been legal in China— until now. Beijing is banning carfentanil and three similar drugs as of March 1, China's Ministry of Public Security said Thursday, closing a major regulatory loophole in the fight to end America's opioid epidemic.

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China makes deadly opioid carfentanil a controlled substance

SHANGHAI (AP) — China is adding carfentanil and three related synthetic opioids to its list of controlled substances effective March 1, China's National Narcotics Control Commission said Thursday.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration called the move a potential "game-changer" that is likely to reduce supply of key chemicals driving a surge of overdoses and deaths
among unsuspecting drug users in North America. After China controlled 116 synthetic drugs in October 2015, seizures in the United States of compounds on that list plunged.

"It's a substantial step in the fight against opioids here in the United States," said Russell Baer, a DEA special agent in Washington. "We're persuaded it will have a definite impact."

Some 5,000 times stronger than heroin, carfentanil is so potent it has been used as a weapon and is considered a potential terrorism threat. Dealers cut fentanyls into heroin and other drugs to boost profit margins.

Beijing already regulates fentanyl and 18 related compounds. China said it is also placing carfentanil's less-potent cousins furanyl fentanyl, acryl fentanyl and valeryl fentanyl under control. All are prevalent in the U.S. drug supply, Baer said.

In October, The Associated Press identified 12 Chinese companies that offered to export carfentanil around the world for a few thousand dollars a kilogram (2.2. pounds), no questions asked. That same month China began evaluating whether to add carfentanil and the three other fentanyls to its list of controlled substances. Usually, the process can take nine months. This time, it took just four.

Both the DEA and U.S. State Department have pressed China to make carfentanil a controlled substance. Though Beijing has said U.S. assertions that China is the top source of fentanyls lack evidence, the two countries have been deepening cooperation as the U.S. opioid epidemic intensifies.

U.S. opioid demand is driving the proliferation of a new class of deadly synthetic drugs, made by nimble chemists to stay one step ahead of new rules like this one. As soon as one substance is banned, others proliferate. After Beijing tightened its focus on fentanyls late last year, the AP documented how Chinese vendors began to actively market alternative opioids, like U-47700.

"We don't think their scheduling actions will end with just these four," Baer said.

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Associated Press researcher Fu Ting contributed to this report from Shanghai.