Beijing smog endangers Olympic countdown

Written by  //  August 7, 2007  //  China, Environment & Energy, Rights & Social justice  //  Comments Off on Beijing smog endangers Olympic countdown

By Richard Spencer in Beijing

Last Updated: 1:56am BST 08/08/2007
Athletes competing at next year’s Olympic Games in Beijing were told yesterday to avoid the city until the last moment because of its notorious smog, and once there to eat only in the Olympic village.

The IOC’s John Coates said that Beijing’s pollution was a ‘prevailing worry’

The warning, from the head of Australia’s Olympic Committee, is an unwelcome shock to the organisers of the Games, which begin a year today.
John Coates, who is also a member of the International Olympic Committee, said that Beijing’s pollution was a “prevailing worry”.

Both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch released critical reports marking the one-year countdown, while the press freedom groups Reporters Without Borders and the Committee to Protect Journalists said moves to allow foreign correspondents to report more freely were “window dressing”.

Reporters Without Borders staged a protest outside the Beijing organising committee’s headquarters on Monday night. Seven foreign journalists reporting on the demonstration were detained briefly.
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