Saturday, 9 August 2008

The Olympics

I'll fess up. Save skiing, jogging, squash, rugby, and sailing, sports leave me cold.

So all this Olympic coverage is going to annoy me, especially as it drowns out the bad things going on during the games (and the people up to bad things know this).

Plus as an excellent IHT article the other day said: any athlete you watch break a record or win a gold is very likely doped up, so really, what's the point of watching the World Chemistry Olympics.

And that's leaving aside the human rights issues, which as another very good IHT observer remarked, just happens to also be the anniversary of the junta take over in Burma, a junta heavily supported by China.

(Oh yeah, that other thing. I don't own a TV.)

Indeed it's funny what people get up to during the Olympics. A few examples, picked up by the IHT (good) but played small (bad).

Just a few examples from today.

Iraq proposes timetable for 2010 U.S. withdrawal
BAGHDAD: Iraqi negotiators have proposed a timetable for U.S. withdrawals that would see combat troops leave the country by October 2010, although Washington has not yet agreed to it, a senior Iraqi official said on Friday.If agreed, the timetable would mean the administration of President George W. Bush effectively adopting a schedule very close to that proposed by Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, who opposed the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq."As of last night that was one of the issues being discussed between the two sides. There is no agreement yet, but this is what the Iraqis are asking for," said the official who is close to the negotiations.The schedule proposed by Iraqi negotiators would see U.S. forces withdraw from the streets of Iraqi cities by the middle of next year and combat troops return home by October 2010. Some American support units could stay on for another few years.

IW: That has be the Olympic U-Turn Gold Medal of the Day. And the NYT/IHT devote a small Reuters article.

The day before the Olympics, Israel just happened to issue a tender for the construction of 447 housing units in settlements in the Jerusalem.

The statements and commentary about this in Saturday's IHT, and the day after this play by the Israelis, are hard to find. It's got to give over big space to Friday's opening of the Olympics.

So a small wire piece on the EU's response issued Friday to the Israeli move:

Oh yes, the slow boil Russian invasion of Georgia which I have been tracking for months just happens to blow on Olympics day.

And John Edwards admits his affair:

I hope the paper isn't going to go Olympic mad, but then again, if you've got a laughable pro-Tibet, Pro-China double page colour spread advertisement coming in from Bennetton, what's a publisher to do? He needs the sports news hole for the sports advertising.

Just preparing you.
International Herald Tribune
New York Times

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