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/ 26 April 2008

Torch supporters, protesters mark Japan relay

Crowds of Chinese students waving red flags and signs such as ”One World, One Dream, One China” scuffled with pro-Tibet protesters in the latest leg of the Olympic torch relay in Japan on Saturday. Commenting on the turmoil that has bedevilled the global relay, International Olympics Committee president Jacques Rogge urged the West to stop hectoring China over human rights.

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/ 21 April 2008

Tight security for Olympic torch in Malaysia

The Olympic torch set off through the Malaysian capital on Monday to rapturous cheers from Chinese supporters and tight security by police keen to avoid the disruption seen on earlier legs. More than 1 000 police and other security forces were deployed on the route from the city centre to the iconic Petronas Twin Towers.

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/ 15 April 2008

Beijing moves to improve air quality during Olympics

China on Monday unveiled ambitious plans to improve its capital’s heavily polluted air in time for the Olympics, including halting construction and heavy industry. Beijing’s Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau laid out a range of tough measures to cut back pollution, such as closing numerous petrol stations and even banning spray-painting.

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/ 9 April 2008

San Francisco braced to greet Olympic torch

Thousands of protesters were expected to line the route of the latest leg of the Olympic torch’s ”Journey of Harmony” on Wednesday as officials in San Francisco braced themselves for a repetition of the tumultuous scenes in Paris and London. A broad coalition of protest groups has converged on the city.

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/ 6 April 2008

Protesters disrupt Olympic torch relay in London

Anti-China protesters draped in Tibetan flags disrupted the Olympic torch relay through London on Sunday, billed as a journey of harmony and peace. Scores of Chinese officials in blue suits and British police on foot and bicycles guarded the celebrities and athletes carrying the torch, but demonstrators repeatedly broke through their security cordon.

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/ 28 March 2008

Olympic torch’s unflattering glare

As a small group of pro-Tibet demonstrators briefly disrupted the ceremonial lighting of the Olympic torch in Athens this week, they were underlining a central truth concerning the world’s greatest sporting festival: it tends to hold up a mirror to the face of its hosts and the result is not always flattering.

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/ 24 March 2008

Olympics torch lit amid protest

Pro-Tibet demonstrators tried to hijack the Beijing Olympic torch-lighting ceremony in ancient Olympia on Monday. In a globally televised ceremony to mark the start of a five-month torch relay, the actress Maria Nafpliotou, playing the high priestess, used a break in the clouds to light the torch in front of the Temple of Hera.

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/ 4 February 2008

Beijing pollution worries some Olympic athletes

Tyson Gay has heard stories that some athletes may wear face masks at the Beijing Olympics, hoping to fend off fumes in one of the world’s most polluted capitals. ”I hear a lot of people saying, ‘You’ll have to wear a mask, you’ll have to do this or that,”’ the 100m and 200m world champion said on Monday.

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/ 19 December 2007

China eyes Olympic glory through haze

The hardest part is yet to come for Beijing Olympic organisers, heading into 2008 with all plans in place but potential pitfalls aplenty in the run-up to the event in August. Traffic congestion, closely linked to air quality, food security, media freedom and human rights as well as boycott calls are issues likely to flare up again over the coming months.

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/ 2 November 2007

China takes tough line on Olympics protests

China warned on Thursday that unauthorised protests will not be tolerated during the Olympics next year, raising the prospect of detentions for civil rights campaigners and religious activists during the two-week event. The warning came as the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Olympic truce resolution for the 2008 Beijing Games.

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/ 31 October 2007

Beijing apologises for Olympics ticket fiasco

Beijing Olympics organisers apologised on Wednesday after suspending ticket sales following a booking system meltdown, their first major blunder in preparations for next year’s Games. About 1,8-million event tickets were supposed to go on sale on Tuesday on a first-come-first-served basis for people living in China.

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/ 6 October 2007

US track star Jones admits to steroid use

Reversing years of denials, United States track superstar Marion Jones pleaded guilty on Friday to lying to federal investigators and admitted using steroids, which could cost her the five medals she won in the 2000 Olympics. In a sober court hearing and a tear-filled appearance before reporters, Jones (31) admitted using performance-enhancing drugs.