The first piece of news is about … the Olympics. What else?
I am not going to talk about the lavish opening ceremony, other than to mention that it took seven years to master the choreography and it cost about $40 billion.
Interesting are the other aspects surrounding this year Summer Olympic Games. After the terrorist attack happened last week, an extra 100,000 security and police troops have been deployed to Beijing and Tiananmen Square was closed off.
An Air China flight bound for Beijing from Tokyo was forced to turn back after an Olympic-related bomb threat was received.
Buddhist monks continue to protest wherever they can along with exiled Tibetans. It’s an understatement to say that they are unhappy with the Chinese ruling.
Pollution remains a key concern for the Games and on the morning of the opening ceremony, fog obscured the Beijing skyline. Naturally, the official point of view is that people confuse ‘haze’ with ‘pollution’ Yeah, right.
I wonder if the food prepared for athletes is coming from irradiated seeds or not.
Some time ago, Chinese scientists boasted about the huge size of the crops made with seeds irradiated in space, assuring at the same time that they are not going to be used to feed the Olympians. But what about the rest of the people?
In any way, the Olympic Games are very important to the Chinese officials. They are to show that China emerged from being a poor country, occupied in the past by Western power players and Japan and morphed into a power to be taken into account.
The idealistic image has been unfortunately tarnished by some events, like the resignation of Steven Spielberg as artistic director of the Olympic Games in February, over Chinese relation with Sudan.
Following month, March, has been plagued by riots and demonstrations in Tibetan areas culminating with angry reception of the Olympic torch in many international capitals.
The oil control proxy war
While China is busy hosting the Olympic Games, Russia is busy staging a war with Georgia.
What if the problem actually is related to the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Pipeline? The pipeline feeds Caspian oil to the West, without passing into Russian territory (hence no Russian control… at least not directly; some terrorist acts only)
It looks like there are some forces trying to control the oil reserve in Central Asia. Russia wants the pipeline to go through Russia (duh!), the USA wants to go through Georgia and Turkey and Iran wants to see it go through … Iran (where else??)
Coincidentally or not, the Americans have sent a huge naval task-force to the Persian Gulf to blockade Iran. Throw into the equation another player: Israel, and remember the recent reports of a massive IAF exercise over the Mediterranean.
For some time now, Georgia has been fighting separatists with ties to Russia in order to regain control of the breakaway region of South Ossetia, which voted for independence in 2006, in unofficial referendum. The separatist administration in South Ossetia has been trying to gain formal independence since breaking away in a civil war in the 1990s.
The majority of its 70,000 population are ethnically distinct from Georgians, speaking a dialect related to Farsi. The Ossetians claim that they have been forcibly absorbed into Georgia under Soviet Rule.
Now, South Ossetians want to join up with their ethnic cousins in North Ossetia, which is an autonomous republic within the Russian Federation.
In April 2008, Russia steps up ties with the other Georgian’s breakaway republic, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, in retaliation to NATO’s position of allowing Georgia to join the alliance at some point.
In July Russia admitted flying jets over South Ossetia to ‘cool hot heads in Tbilisi’ and at the same time Georgia and Russia accused each other of military build-up.
August 8, 2008 marks the start of heavy fighting between Georgia and Russia.
Photo of Georgian shells fired at separatist rebels in South Ossetia, August 8, 2008
Hundreds of fighters from Russia and Abkhazia were reportedly heading to aid the separatist troops.
Some people believe that Georgia’s president tries to draw NATO into the conflict, but chances are that it’s not going to happen. After trying to avoid a military conflict with Russia for so many years, would NATO be foolish to get into one at this point?
Let’s move on to a more serious and much anticipated issue: Angelina Jolie’s newborns
Here are some pictures of the happy family. Shiloh is a sweetheart and I must admit that the twins are beautiful. Considering that Hello! Magazine paid $11 million for the first pictures, they should have better been gorgeous.
Jolie Pitt Twins
Shiloh and one baby
Jolie Pitt family
Angelina, Shiloh and the newborns
What a slap on Jennifer Lopez’s face! Her twins were worth only half the money.
Now if you want to see a picture of Nicole Kidman’s baby… there is only a very fuzzy one not worth uploading. I guess it’s just a typical baby, looking like her father (as per Nicole’s statements) with a reddish blond hair.