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Courtesy of The New York Times

International New York Times
By PETER BERLIN

BEIJING — Every morning during the Olympics, the local organizing committee and the International Olympic Committee address the world’s media at a state-of-the-Games news conference.

These things are rarely entirely smooth sailing for the officials, but Thursday’s conference was unusually testy.

After some fairly standard questions on drug tests, Bill Marcus of Fox Radio News started to read out a series of cases of Chinese citizens who had gone to the police to apply for permits to protest at one of three sites set up for the purpose during the Games and been arrested or harassed. Marcus said later that he had intended to enumerate five case from a list supplied by Human Rights Watch. He was quickly cut off by Sun Weide, the moderator, who told him to keep it brief and then asked if Marcus had a question.

Marcus said that he did. China had said it wanted to emulate the human rights record of other countries. In light of these stories, he wanted to know, “Which countries did China have in mind?” read more