9 Germans issue protest toward China

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BERLIN --- Nine German Olympians have protested the policies of China's government by posing with pictures of Chinese dissidents in front of their faces.

The nine responded to a Suddeutsche Zeitung magazine request sent to 200 German athletes to pose for a spread headlined "We are all Chinese," which was published Friday.

The headline was a reference to the famous 1963 "Ich bin ein Berliner (I am a Berliner)" line by President Kennedy during a speech for freedom after the Berlin Wall was built.

The athletes protested various aspects of Chinese policy, ranging from the one-child rule to lack of freedom of expression.

NET GAIN: Olympic organizers unblocked some Internet sites at the main press center and media venues while others remained off limits for journalists covering the Beijing Games.

The move falls short of the "free and unfettered access" the organizers and Chinese officials had promised for months. However, it was an improvement from earlier in the week, when sites such as ones for Amnesty International or Tiananmen Square could not be opened.

SWITZERLAND: Roger Federer will carry the Swiss flag at the opening ceremonies in Beijing.

The top-ranked tennis player will celebrate his 27th birthday next Friday by being his country's standard bearer for the second consecutive Olympic Games.

RICHES: The Philippine government is offering $340,000 to the athlete who brings home the country's first-ever Olympic gold medal.

The nation has 15 athletes competing in Beijing.

OFF THE FENCE: Italian fencer Andrea Baldini will miss the Olympics after testing positive for a diuretic in July.


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