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Rio Olympics organizers sign off on 2016 venue masterplan

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Rio Games Organisers said Thursday they and international Olympic federations have signed off a venue master plan.

In a statement, organisers said a two-day eighth IOC Project Review had concluded with “significant progress” on readying the 2016 tournament, the first to be held in South America.

“We have enjoyed two very busy and productive days of meetings (and) benefitted from the International Olympic Committee´s expert guidance and support,” Rio 2016 President Carlos Nuzman said:

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“Working hand-in-hand with our colleagues from the three levels (municipal, state and federal) of government, we have made important advances in our project. We are proud to have finalized the Venue Masterplan in record time, 1,000 days ahead of the Games.

“Hosting an Olympic and Paralympic Games is a hugely demanding project, with many challenges, but we are firmly on track and working every day with great focus, energy and commitment to deliver unforgettable Games in 2016.”

International Olympic Committee Sports Director Christophe Dubi said:

“Completion of the detailed venue master plan two-and-a-half years out is an excellent result. It compares favourably with previous editions of the Games, which saw adjustments later in the preparations.”

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The meeting, also attended by Rio 2016 Coordination Commission Chair Nawal El Moutawakel and Brazilian Minister for Sport Aldo Rebelo, assessed key areas including accommodation, transport, sustainability, legacy, engagement and communications.

[Image via Agence France-Presse]


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UK travel giant Thomas Cook set to collapse: report

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Thomas Cook's 178-year existence was reported to be coming to an end on Monday after the British travel firm struggled to find private investment to keep it afloat, potentially affecting thousands of holidaymakers.

The operator has said it needs £200 million ($250 million) or else it will face administration, which could affect 600,000 holidaymakers and require Britain's largest peacetime repatriation.

A source close to the negotiations told AFP that the company had failed to find the cash from private investors and would collapse unless the government intervened.

But ministers are unlikely to step in due to worries about the pioneering operator's longer-term viability, the Times reported, leaving it on the brink.

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‘We are the people’: Watch Billy Porter get a standing ovation for his passionate speech at the Emmys

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In a powerful and passionate speech accepting his Emmy, "Pose" actor Billy Porter showered the audience with love and proudly reminded all of their right to belong and be loved.

"Oh, my God. God bless you all! The category is love, y'all, love!" Porter exclaimed.

The epic FX show "Pose" depicts Black and Latinos in the LGBTQ ballroom culture of New York City in the 1980s in the first season and the early 1990s in the second season.

"I am so overwhelmed and so overjoyed to have lived long enough to see this day," he said. "James Baldwin wrote, 'It took many years of vomiting up the filth I was taught about myself and half-believed, before I was able to walk on the earth as though I had a right to be here.' I have the right. You have the right. We all have the right."

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Paris show of King Tutankhamun artifacts set new record with 1.42 million visitors

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A blockbuster Tutankhamun show set a new all-time French record Sunday, with 1.42 million visitors flocking to see the exhibition in Paris, the organisers said.

The turnout beat the previous record set by another Tutankhamun show billed as the "exhibition of the century" in 1967, when 1.24 million queued to see "Tutankhamun and His Times" at the Petit Palais.

"Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh" -- which has been described as a "once in a generation" show -- will open in London in November.

The last time a show of comparable size about the boy king opened there in 1972 it sparked "Tutmania", with 1.6 million people thronging the British Museum.

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