German companies to sue so they can pollute the Olympics

Yea, I don’t get it either.

But the Spiegel is reporting that several German companies with factories outside of Beijing are considering legal action so they do not have to close their operations during the Olympics. The Chinese government has ordered nearly 1,000 factories to halt production during the games in a last ditch attempt to provide clean air over the city, but the Germans are having none of that.

The five companies are among some 1,100 businesses, many of them located up to an hour away from the city center, which will have to put production on hold for the duration of the Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games immediately following. In addition to Beijing closures, some 267 companies in the industrial city of Tangshan north of the city will have to cease operations and 40 factories in the nearby port city of Tianjin are closing, according to Reuters. Factories in three other provinces will also have to shut down.

Of course, only Americans and Chinese are polluters in the world. The Germans probably have some excuse why they should be allowed to operate whereas the rest need to shut down. I wait for yet another example of European “Do as I say not as I do.”


Gebrselassie and Yao Ming questionable for the Olympics

Haile Gebrselassie (Ethiopia) and Yao Ming (China) are two Internationally known sports stars, but both are dealing with niggling injuries in the final weeks before the Beijing Olympics. Gebrselassie was named to the Ethiopian 10,000m team, an event he’s won in Atlanta and Sydney. He was injured during the Athens games. He won’t compete in the marathon due to asthma and the Beijing air quality, but his return to the 10,000m, an event he is still competitive in, will certainly make that an interesting race. Gebrsellassie was the star of the uplifting movie/documentary ‘Endurance‘ which was released after the Atlanta gold medal.

Yao Ming is better known in the US, and he will be playing in an upcoming basketball tournament in Beijing as part of an Olympics ‘warm up’. Yao has been nursing an injury this Spring and utilizing some ‘traditional Chinese medicine’ as part of his treatment, something Olympic organizers are advising against as some Chinese medicine cures contain banned substances that will appear in the drug tests. We’ll see if he gets flagged when they come a testing.


Hockey arena finished for Vancouver 2010. Russian's having problems with Sochi arenas for 2014.

Some Olympic news because I’ve been lazy. Apparently the Thunderbird Arena is done and ready for action in Vancouver. This will host the mens and womens hockey, but also contains a practice rink.

Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin is getting involved with the construction of facilities in Sochi. Putin demanded that three sites for Olympic venues be moved because of environmental concerns and reprimanded the Sochi games preparations chief for weak assurances that construction would be finished on time.

Yes, it is six years away, but if you’ve ever done business in Russia, you know that six years is ‘last minute’ for them sometimes, especially when it comes to government work.