Beijing's Olympic Village - 11 Days Before the Opening Ceremony
"In Beijing, Blue Skies Prove Hard to Achieve"
Less than two weeks before the Olympics, Beijing’s skies are so murky and polluted that the authorities are considering emergency measures during the Games beyond the traffic restrictions and factory shutdowns that, so far, have failed to clear the air, state media reported on Monday.Other murky business . . . .
"China to Limit Web Access During Olympic Games"
Since the Olympic Village press center opened Friday, reporters have been unable to access scores of Web pages — among them those that discuss Tibetan issues, Taiwanese independence, the violent crackdown on the protests in Tiananmen Square and the Web sites of Amnesty International, the BBC’s Chinese-language news, Radio Free Asia and several Hong Kong newspapers known for their freewheeling political discourse."I.O.C. Member Accuses Committee of Betrayal on Censorship Issue"
The restrictions, which closely resemble the blocks that China places on the Internet for its citizens, undermine sweeping claims by Jacques Rogge, the International Olympic Committee president, that China had agreed to provide full Web access for foreign news media during the Games. Mr. Rogge has long argued that one of the main benefits of awarding the Games to Beijing was that the event would make China more open.
“For the first time, foreign media will be able to report freely and publish their work freely in China. There will be no censorship on the Internet,” Mr. Rogge told Agence France-Presse just two weeks ago.
The senior International Olympic Committee member who on Wednesday made the announcement that Chinese government censors were blocking sensitive Internet sites despite assurances that Web access in China would be unfettered has accused the I.O.C. of “betrayal.”
The official, Kevan Gosper, an I.O.C. member for 31 years, told the Sydney daily The Australian on Thursday that his reputation and that of the I.O.C. had been damaged by China’s actions.
“I don’t know who did the deal,” Gosper told The Australian. “I am still finding out. I understand it was reached with very senior officials. Whoever was involved in that shift, that position should have been made known to the international media community. As a conduit to that, I should have been informed, too, instead of being isolated and given misinformation for some time.”
“China changed course at some stage,” Gosper told the newspaper. “I don’t know when. I can’t guarantee there won’t be other changes.”