Changing China

Giant on the move

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View from the Bird’s Nest

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The Bird’s Nest

We’ve given our blog a new name to go with its fresh focus on the Games, now that the bulk of our team of reporters, photographers and TV crews have assembled in Beijing.

Our reporters are blogging regularly with news and views from the greatest show on earth and we’ll be showcasing the pick of reports from Reuters and around the web.

We’re hoping for plenty of input from you, too. Comments are open on all posts so please give us your views on anything and everything Games related, whether you’re here in Beijing or following the Olympics on TV or the web.

If you are in China, we’d be particularly interested in your first-hand experiences. How are you coping with the humidity? Is the smog getting to you? And how are you enjoying the Games? 

Assailants kill 16 police in western China ahead of Games

Assailants armed with grenades and knives killed 16 police in a restive western region of China on Monday, state media said on Monday, just four days before the start of the Olympics..

The attackers drove up and tossed explosives at a border barracks in the remote Xinjiang region near the Old Silk Road city of Kashgar, news agency Xinhua reported.

The Beijing Olympics in Lego

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Bird’s nest in Lego

I know this has been out for a while, but with just a few days to go to the start of the Games I couldn’t resist a link to this exhibition of the 2008 Olympics in Lego.

The Bird’s Nest looks fantastic… Must have taken Olympic levels of patience and dedication. Hats off.

The race is on — Bolt confirms he’ll run 100 metres

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Powell beats Bolt in Stockholm

The big race is on for Beijing, after Usain Bolt’s coach confirmed to Reuters that the Jamaican 100 metres world record holder would run both the 100 and 200 metres at the Beijing Olympics.

As my colleague Gene Cherry reports, neither the coach, Glen Mills, nor Bolt had previously confirmed the Jamaican would run the 100.

Basketball gold would cap Spain’s superb sporting year

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Nadal on his way to number oneSpanish sport is living a golden age, a magical year or a unique two months, depending on how long a view you’re taking. But will it continue on into Beijing?

Rafael Nadal’s victory over Nicolas Lapentti in Cincinnati means the 22-year-old is now certain to depose Roger Federer as world number one in tennis by August 18 at the latest.

Haze clears but doping cloud darkens

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Baldini in a file photoI flew into Beijing today and was pretty surprised to find clear blue skies. Smog? What smog?

Maybe it will last, maybe not, but it’s clear that the issue of drugs in sport is not going away. Italian fencer Andrea Baldini became the latest athlete to fail a doping test in the run-up to the Games, as it was revealed on Friday that the gold medal hopeful had tested positive for the diuretic furosemide in Kiev last month.

Aren’t we missing the point about web censorship? (Updated)

The media gathered in advance of the Beijing Games generated a lot of heat over the lack of access to certain internet sites and there was understandable satisfaction as some of the restrictions were lifted on Friday.

Sites that were blocked, like those of Amnesty International and the BBC’s Chinese language pages, are now accessible, although others remain unavailable.

Isinbayeva gold: the safest bet at the Games?

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Isinbayeva celebrates another world recordThe great thing about sport is that the next great upset is never far away.

Some gold medals at the Games look a lot easier to predict than others, though, and if I had to put my pay cheque on one athlete to win in Beijing I would go for Yelena Isinbayeva, the remarkable Russian pole vaulter who can’t stop breaking records.

Isinbayeva cleared 5.04 metres in Monaco on Tuesday to record her 13th outdoor world record and 23rd overall.

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