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Daily Archives: August 8, 2008

Go Beijing!

Image  On the first day of autumn under the lunar calendar, Beijing was wrapped in a persistent haze with cloudy skies yesterday. The humidity made it feel stiflingly hot, even though it was actually cooler — with a high of 31 degrees
Celsius — than some days previously.

But weather experts said that cooler weather was expected during the Games, which start today, and athletes would probably see no “sauna weather” ahead. Amid cheers and applause, the Olympic flame began the second day of its relay with a historic run on the Great Wall yesterday. Before the relay, a brief ceremony was held at the foot of the Badaling section of the Great Wall, which is one of greater Beijing’s landmarks, in Yanqing County more than 70 km north of downtown Beijing. More than 100 heads of state and other senior national leaders are expected to attend the Games. The much anticipated opening ceremony will kick off tonight, August 8 at 20:08pm.

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Supplement on pages 13 to 20

Mugabe, Zimbabwe opposition leader to meet soon

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and his arch-rival Morgan Tsvangirai are to meet soon as part of power-sharing talks aimed at resolving the country's crisis, an opposition spokesman said yesterday.
The face-to-face meeting is to include Mugabe, opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Tsvangirai and the head of an MDC splinter branch, Arthur Mutambara, said Edwin Mushoriwa.
“I know they will be meeting soon," said Mushoriwa, a spokesman for Mutambara's faction, which has also been involved in the power-sharing talks.
"We would expect the meeting after the party representatives return from South Africa. As of now, we expect them back tomorrow (Friday)."
The talks have been occurring in South Africa, mediated by President Thabo Mbeki, following a July 21 deal laying out the framework for the negotiations.
South African newspaper The Star reported in late editions yesterday that the meeting between the three leaders was to take place later in the day, but Mushoriwa said: "I don't see it happening today."
Officials from MDC's main faction and the government's deputy information minister, Bright Matonga, would not comment.
Zimbabwe's political crisis intensified after Mugabe's victory in a June 27 presidential run-off election widely condemned as a farce.
Tsvangirai boycotted the run-off after finishing ahead of Mugabe in the March first round, citing violence against his supporters that had killed dozens and injured thousands.
South Africa's government yesterday said the power-sharing talks were "progressing extremely well".
"The government as mediator won't give details except to say that the negotiations are progressing extremely well," government spokesman Themba Maseko told reporters, refusing further comment.
The rival parties issued a joint statement Wednesday calling on their supporters to halt all political violence in a sign that the power-sharing talks may have moved closer to an agreement.