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Olympic athletes in ‘impossible position’ – Canada

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Canadian Olympic chiefs said Monday the health and safety of athletes had prompted the country’s decision to withdraw its team from the Tokyo Olympics amid the coronavirus pandemic.

A day after Canada became the first team to announce its withdrawal from the July 24-August 9 Games, Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) chief David Shoemaker said athletes had been left in an “impossible position.”

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With public health authorities urging individuals to stay inside to curb the spread of COVID-19, athletes had been caught between a desire to heed health and safety advice while trying to minimize disruption to training programs.

“What we started to hear a fair bit was how this put tremendous pressure on our athletes who frankly were being torn by conflicting messages,” Shoemaker told AFP.

“On the one hand to do what they needed to do for their health and safety and that of their families and communities, and at the same time keep an eye on their training and the possibility that the Olympics could still occur in July.

“We felt that athletes were being placed in an impossible position and it wasn’t appropriate to ask athletes to put themselves at risk, to put their families at risk and their communities at risk, by still thinking that they had to get themselves ready for Tokyo.

“So in effect we told them to stand down … we thought it was time to stop focusing on gold medals and start focusing on the health of athletes and their families and of Canadians.”

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The COC’s statement on Sunday specified a refusal to take part in a Games staged in the “summer of 2020” — in theory leaving the door open to participation at an Olympics scheduled later this year.

Shoemaker however said Monday that Canada’s preference was for a one-year postponement, expressing doubt that the Games could be rearranged in any other window in 2020.

“Our strongest recommendation is that the Games be rescheduled for the summer of 2021,” Shoemaker said. “We think it gives the greatest chance for the solutions to this terrible pandemic and also because it allows for the greatest possible amount of time to prepare for a postponed games.

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“The seasonality would match up as opposed to trying to take the games into a month where it had not been anticipated. We’re sceptical of a games being rescheduled for later on in 2020.”

 

 


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‘Meanest and most disrespectful’ senator: Trump lashes out at Kamala Harris in latest presser

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At Tuesday's White House press conference, President Donald Trump spent a considerable portion of the time attacking Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), who was just announced to be former Vice President Joe Biden's running mate.

Harris, complained Trump, was the "meanest and most disrespectful person in the U.S. Senate." He particularly dwelled on her sharp interrogation of Brett Kavanaugh during his Supreme Court hearings.

Trump also added that she "lied" about a number of issues, claimed repeatedly she wants to raise taxes, said she is for "open borders and sanctuary cities ... which is also protecting a large number of criminals," and that she would destroy the Second Amendment.

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California bill to establish nation’s second public bank applauded as ‘historic challenge to Wall Street domination’

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"If California is serious about addressing racial and income inequities, we must create a banking system that centers people not profits."

In a move advocacy groups celebrated as a "historic challenge to Wall Street domination of municipal finances," a pair of California state lawmakers on Thursday unveiled legislation that would establish the nation's second publicly-owned bank and empower the institution to lend to businesses and local governments fighting to stay afloat amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

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What is China doing to stop Beijing’s new coronavirus outbreak?

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Over 1,000 flights have been cancelled, schools shut and residents urged not to leave Beijing, as Chinese authorities race to contain a fresh outbreak linked to the capital's largest wholesale food market.

The number of confirmed cases in the capital has shot up to 137 within the last week after two months of no cases, and four other provinces have revealed cases linked to the Beijing cluster.

How did the outbreak begin, and what measures are Beijing taking to contain it?

- What is the origin of the cluster? -

Beijing had turned into a virtual fortress at the height of the pandemic, with people arriving from other regions or countries required to undergo quarantines.

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