News From Beijing 2008
More than 230,000 ticket orders have been received for the Beijing 2008 Summer Games since ticket sales began a month ago. Orders have come through the official website of the BOCOG Ticketing Center and through designated Bank of China branches. The greatest demand is for tickets for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, followed by the basketball and diving competitions. More than 130 countries and regions submitted tickets orders and about 75 per cent of the tickets will be sold in China. Ticket sales in China can be made through the official ticketing website or through designated Bank of China branches while orders from overseas will be determined in each country by the National Olympic Committees and selected ticketing agents.
Liu Qi, head of Beijing’s Communist Party, pledged Thursday the city would be stable, cleaner and more civilized, ahead of the Olympics. He told more than 730 delegates at the opening of the city’s party congress, “from beginning to end, stability must be our number one political task”, adding that Beijing hopes to maintain peace and order by “dealing a blow to criminal activities in accordance with the law”. He said the government would step up audits to curb corruption to ensure the Olympics are clean and frugal.
It seems to be working. Following a city government campaign which started in February to promote better manners ahead of the Games, Bloomberg reports Beijing residents are spitting and littering less, according to a local government survey. Incidents of spitting fell to 4.9 per cent in 2006 from 8.4 per cent in 2005. Cases of littering fell to 5.3 per cent from 9.1 per cent. Officials also introduced monthly “queuing days” to discourage line jumping and raised the number of covered bins to dispose of spit.
Beijing News reports that athletes in the Beijing Olympic Village will be able to stretch out in beds 10 centimetres wider than those provided at the Athens Summer Games. The International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) requirements say the rooms must be the same standard as a three-star hotel. Each room will have a table, a closet and decorative pictures on the wall, but there won’t be televisions, although athletes can order them by special request.
Xinhua reports that China is setting up a network of six weather stations on Mount Everest as part of its Olympic torch relay. The unmanned stations, located from Everest Base Camp at 5,200 metres to a spot at 6,200 metres will provide around-the-clock weather updates to ensure the relay can go ahead. Wu Shihong, an official with the Tibet Meteorological Bureau, said four of the six observatories were already in operation. Wu said that the network of observatories could also study climate change in an area that has been dramatically affected by rising temperatures in recent years. Write or read comments about this article
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