torch relay

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Torch Bearer Carries Olympic Flame, Then Dies

Vadim Gorbenko has heart attack

(Newser) - A Russian wrestling coach carried the Olympic flame 500 feet, had his photo taken, said he didn't feel well ... and ended up dead of a heart attack, an official said today. Vadim Gorbenko, 73, who had trained top wrestlers and also acted as a sports school director, was taking... More »

Olympic Torch Bearer Proposes During Relay

David State stopped mid-relay and handed off torch

(Newser) - Olympic torch bearers probably don't often stop in the middle of their relays, but David State had good reason: He got down on one knee today between England's Marske-by-the-Sea and Loftus, handed the torch to a security official, and proposed to his girlfriend Christine Langham. She said yes,... More »

China Reopens Tibetan Tourism

Torch relay demonstrated stability, state media says

(Newser) - China is allowing foreign tourists to enter Tibet for the first time since March protests, sources tell the BBC. The Olympic torch’s smooth reception in Lhasa over the weekend means "Tibet is safe,” a Tibetan tourism director tells state media. "We welcome the domestic and foreign... More »

Olympic Torch Arrives in Tibet

Amid heavy security, China slams Dalai Lama

(Newser) - Under tight security, the Olympic torch made its way through Tibet’s capital in the most controversial leg of its worldwide journey—a jaunt that ended with Chinese criticism of the Dalai Lama, Reuters reports. “We will be able to totally smash the splittist schemes of the Dalai Lama... More »

China Orders Muslims to Stay Home for Torch Relay

Beijing blames community for independence attacks

(Newser) - Chinese officials have told China's Muslim Uighur to stay in their homes and watch the Olympic torch on TV when it winds its way through the troubled western region of Xinjiang, Reuters reports. Beijing blames the Uighur for a series of attacks that are part of a push for an... More »

China Orders 3 Days of Mourning, Will Halt Torch

Toll hits 32,500 dead, more missing as search continues

(Newser) - As the death toll in Monday's 7.9 magnitude earthquake hit 32,500, China declared 3 days of national mourning beginning tomorrow, reports Reuters. The Olympic torch relay will pause for the duration. Rescue efforts are still under way in devastated Sichuan province, but hopes are waning of recovering any... More »

China's Quake Relief Efforts Serve PR Purpose, Too

Forceful, and open, response shows government knows it's under microscope

(Newser) - China's devastating earthquake has kept the country in an international spotlight that's been too warm for comfort following recent Tibet and Olympic-torch troubles, the New York Times reports—and the country might be having a defining moment as it deals with the catastrophe. The country's swift, aggressive rescue effort contrasts... More »

Torch Embarks on Calmer China Tour

Citizens vow not to protest as stars carry flame

(Newser) - The Olympic torch flickered in mainland China today in what will likely be a respite from its troubled worldwide tour. Security measures are in place for the relay, but Chinese citizens aren't in a protesting mood, the AP reports. “Even if no police were here, we would protect the... More »

Torch Gets Huge Welcome in Hong Kong

But cheers drown out protests in first Chinese leg of relay

(Newser) - Thousands of people waving the Chinese flag cheered the Olympic torch on its relay through Hong Kong, shouting down scattered Tibetan protesters in their midst, the BBC reports. There were a few scuffles as the torch wound its way through the streets in the first leg of the torch relay... More »

Mia Farrow Quizzed at Hong Kong Airport

Activist granted entry ahead of tomorrow's Olympic relay

(Newser) - Activist actress Mia Farrow was allowed into Hong Kong today after authorities questioned her and told her not to disrupt tomorrow's Olympic torch relay, AP reports. Farrow is an outspoken critic of China's policy on Darfur and plans a speech tomorrow night on the issue. Several activists have been barred... More »

Torch Back in China After Tumultuous Tour

No protests, but advocates deported and barred ahead of Friday's Hong Kong relay

(Newser) - There were no protests in Hong Kong today as the Olympic torch returned to Chinese soil. But reports were rampant of advocates and would-be protesters being deported or barred from entering the country, the New York Times reports. China says it’s dedicated to allowing peaceful demonstrations, but yesterday deported... More »

Thousands Cheer Torch in N. Korea

Olympic flame hailed with songs and dancing for a change

(Newser) - Tens of thousands of North Koreans took to the streets to herald the arrival of the Olympic torch today, marking a radically different greeting for the often-harried flame, Reuters reports. People waved North Korean and Chinese flags, danced, cheered, and sang military songs. The welcome contrasted sharply with waves of... More »

Torch Protests Continue in S. Korea

Anti- and pro-China factions face off

(Newser) - The Olympic torch again met with a clash of protesters today as it arrived in South Korea, Reuters reports. Some South Koreans are angered by Beijing’s human rights record, but the majority are pro-Chinese, wearing their country’s flag and chanting, “No politics, only Olympics.” Despite 8,... More »

Pro-China Wave Dominates Aussie Relay

Protesters allege Beijing hand in feel-good atmosphere

(Newser) - The Chinese flag flew high at the Australian leg of the Olympic torch relay today, with pro-China partisans outnumbering pro-Tibet protesters four to one—and relative calm compared to the intensity of the relay to date. Human rights protesters alleged that Beijing, apparently embarrassed by the tone of earlier protests,... More »

Australia Spirits Away Torch Ahead of Relay

Protesters do their thing anyway

(Newser) - The Olympic torch arrived Down Under today, but was immediately whisked off to a secret location to avoid protesters, the AP reports. Tomorrow’s torch relay in Canberra will be open to the public—unlike those in Jakarta and New Delhi—but the route will be lined with yard-high fences... More »

Olympic Protesters Zero In on Sponsors

Tibet, Darfur activists lobby corporations, with some success

(Newser) - As the Beijing Olympics approach, advocates for a free Tibet and peace in Darfur are trying to hit the Games where it hurts: in the wallet. A coalition of groups has been petitioning the corporations that are sponsoring this year's Olympics to press China on their behalf. The strategy seems... More »

Indonesia Torch Run Stays Inside Stadium

15-mile relay scaled back to a few laps before hand-picked crowd

(Newser) - The Olympic torch passed through Indonesia today with little incident and less fanfare, the BBC reports. What was originally supposed to be a 15-mile relay was abbreviated to a few laps around a Jakarta stadium before a crowd of 5,000 carefully credentialed spectators. Outside, police broke up a pro-Tibet... More »

Sarkozy Acts as Chinese Mount Anti-French Protests

President apologizes to Paralympian fencer

(Newser) - Two weeks after the Olympic torch relay in Paris, anti-French backlash in China is gaining steam. Rare demonstrations on the streets of Chinese cities, seemingly with the government's tacit approval, have seen French flags burned and defaced with swastikas. As the nations' relationship deteriorates, Nicolas Sarkozy has been forced to... More »

Public Barred From Delhi Torch Run

Torch route shortened; few can attend

(Newser) - The Olympic torch was carried through New Delhi today, escorted by 15,000 police on a route shortened to less than two miles through a locked-down city center, the AP reports. Some 70 runners each held the torch for just seconds before handing it off. Only a few hundred, sitting... More »

Delhi Melee Rocks Torch Arrival

Downtown locked down

(Newser) - The Olympic torch was greeted with furious protests as it arrived in Delhi today, and 15,000 security forces have locked down the heart of the city ahead of the relay, Reuters reports. Members of India's large community of Tibetan exiles have vowed massive protests to highlight China's human rights... More »

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