News & Current Affairs

August 9, 2008

Protest attempt at Olympic event

Protest attempt at Olympic event

Christina Chen and another protester tries to display Tibetan flag at the equestrian event in Hong Kong

Security staff moved in as soon as the pair tried to display the Tibetan flag

A student who tried to unveil a Tibetan flag during the first day of Olympic competition has been removed by officials from an equestrian event.

Christina Chan tried to display the flag, hidden under a Canadian flag, at the dressage in Hong Kong.

She was asked to leave, but refused to do so, and was later removed from the arena with a second protester.

The Games opened in Beijing on Friday with a spectacular display of fireworks, music and dancing.

Some 10,000 performers took part in the ceremony, watched on TV by an estimated one billion people, before athletes paraded around the national stadium.

Security was tight in the capital, and three US activists were arrested after holding a pro-Tibet protest.

House rules

Ms Chan sat in the front row of the dressage arena in the Sha Tin district of Hong Kong, when the first full day of the Games got under way.

Christina Chan is removed from the equestrian event in Hong Kong

Christina Chan refused to leave and was later removed

She was holding a Tibetan flag concealed under a Canadian flag, and when she and another protester tried to display it, several security officials covered her with a blue cloth.

She was asked to leave, but refused to do so, and was later carried out of the venue.

“She was sort of disturbing other spectators around her, which is against the house rules,” equestrian event spokesman Mark Pinkstone said.

Ms Chan had also protested during the Hong Kong leg of the Olympic torch relay in May.

China bans the Tibetan flag from events under rules which prevent the display of flags of countries not competing in the Games.

Anti-government riots broke out in the Tibetan capital Lhasa and elsewhere in China in March.

Pro-Tibet groups say there have been many arrests and beatings in the security crackdown which followed.

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August 7, 2008

Bomb kills two on Russian beach

Bomb kills two on Russian beach

Map showing Sochi

A bomb explosion has killed two people on a beach in Russia’s  Black Sea resort of Sochi, police say.

Witnesses said a woman picked up a package which then blew up, killing her and a man with her. Four injured people were rushed to hospital.

The blast happened in Loo, in Sochi’s Lazarevskoye district. The exact nature of the device is not yet clear.

Sochi is one of Russia’s most popular beach resorts. It will also host the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.

The blast happened shortly after 1000 local time (0600 GMT). A police spokeswoman was quoted as saying there would have been more casualties if it had happened later, when the beach is more crowded.

One victim’s leg was blown off.

Local officials evacuated people from the beach after the blast and investigators are now at the scene, trying to identify the device.

Sochi lies near Abkhazia, a breakaway region in Georgia where tensions have flared up recently. The volatile North Caucasus, where separatist rebels are active, also lies just east of Sochi.

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