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Ever since Beijing was awarded the right to host the Olympic Games, the International Olympic Committee has been talking about the beneficial impact this would have on human rights in China. Back in March, IOC president Jacques Rogge said he was engaged in “silent diplomacy” with China on human rights issues, and that “the games will be a catalyst for change and will open a country which used to be mysterious to much of the world.”
One of the promises the Chinese government made to the IOC was that it would allow protests during the games, in officially approved zones. How has that worked out?
Here’s the result of Rogge’s “silent diplomacy,” from the New York Times:
Ten days into the Games, the government has yet to permit a single demonstration in any of the three official protest zones. According to a report Monday by Xinhua, the official news agency, 77 applications have been received since Aug. 1, from 149 people.
All but three of those applications, however, were withdrawn after the authorities satisfactorily addressed the petitioners’ concerns, Xinhua said. Two of the remaining requests were turned down because the applicants failed to provide adequate information, and the last was rejected after the authorities determined it violated China’s laws on demonstrations.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Commentary — November 17, 2015, 6:41 pm
The Clintons’ so-called charitable enterprise has served as a vehicle to launder money and to enrich family friends.
The new docudrama The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story (FX) isn’t really about Orenthal James Simpson. It’s about the trials that ran alongside his — those informal, unboundaried, court-of-public-opinion trials in which evidence was heard for and against the murder victims, the defense and the prosecution, the judge, the jury, and the Los Angeles Police Department, to say nothing of white and black America. History has freed us from suspense about Simpson’s verdict, so that the man himself (played here by Cuba Gooding Jr.) is less the tragic hero he seemed in the mid-Nineties than a curiously minor character. He comes to the center of our attention only once, in Episode 2, at the end of the lengthy Ford Bronco chase scene — which in real life was followed by a surreal cavalcade of police cars and media helicopters, as well as an estimated 95 million live viewers — when Simpson repeatedly, and with apparent sincerity, apologizes for taking up so much of so many people’s time. It is an uncannily ordinary moment of social decorum, a sort of could-you-please-pass-the-salt gesture on a sinking Titanic, in which Simpson briefly becomes more than just an archetype.
Amount an auditor estimated last year that Oregon could save each year by feeding prisoners less food:
Kentucky is the saddest state.
An Italian economist was questioned on suspicion of terrorism after a fellow passenger on an American Airlines flight witnessed him writing differential equations on a pad of paper.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”