Russian and Belarusian athletes will not be allowed to take part in the traditional parade at the opening ceremony at the Paris Olympics, the IOC said. The opening ceremony on July 26 will see thousands of athletes travel on boats down the River Seine for several miles (kilometres) toward the Eiffel Tower, instead of the normal parade of teams inside a stadium. The IOC said athletes from Russia and Belarus who are approved to compete at the Olympics as neutrals will have a chance only “to experience the event” — likely watching from near the river. The IOC has laid out a vetting procedure for Russian and Belarusian athletes to be granted neutral status, with requirements including that they must not have publicly supported the invasion of Ukraine, or be affiliated with military or state security agencies. The IOC said it expects about 36 neutral athletes with Russian passports and 22 with Belarus passports to qualify for the Paris Games. A decision on whether those athletes will be allowed to take part in the Aug. 11 closing ceremony will be taken “at a later stage,” the IOC said - AP


Police in Haiti have killed at least three people while repelling an attack on the country's central bank. A "group of criminals" targeted the Bank of the Republic of Haiti (BRH) on Monday, an employee told AFP, leaving up to four dead and a guard injured. The bank itself thanked security forces for "protecting our community". Haiti has been rocked by weeks of violence after gangs raided prisons, released thousands of inmates and forced the prime minister to resign - BBC

Hong Kong’s opposition-free legislature has unanimously passed new homegrown security legislation, making treason, insurrection and sabotage punishable by up to life in prison. I’m doing so, it rejected Western criticism that the law would further restrict the city’s freedoms. All 89 legislators in the Legislative Council (LegCo) Chamber voted for the Safeguarding National Security Bill, just days after a draft was introduced. Public opposition to the legislation in Hong Kong has been muted, with the government hailing a near 97 per cent support rate from submissions received during a one-month consultation period. However, international rights groups and governments overseas have expressed concerns that it may further erode freedoms in the city, which has seen dozens of pro-democracy figures detained and its civil society shrink since Beijing’s law was enacted - HKFP


Chinese diplomat Wang Kejian met Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh in Qatar, China’s Foreign Ministry said Tuesday, the first meeting between a Chinese and Hamas official publicly acknowledged by Beijing since the outbreak of the war in Gaza. The meeting follows visits from Wang to Israel and the occupied West Bank – making him the first known envoy Beijing has sent to either location since Hamas’ deadly October 7 attacks and the ensuing Israeli bombardment of Gaza. Wang and Haniyeh “exchanged views on the Gaza conflict and other issues” during their meeting Sunday, according to a brief readout from China’s Foreign Ministry Tuesday - CNN

Around 9,000 children will be evacuated from the Russian city of Belgorod and the wider region after shelling that authorities have blamed on Ukraine. Belgorod governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said three people, including a child, were injured in the latest attacks, while part of the region - which borders Ukraine - was without power. He added that a total of 16 people have been killed and 98 wounded this week. It comes days after strikes forced closures across the city - BBC


EU member states and lawmakers on Wednesday reached a deal to cap duty-free imports of some Ukrainian grains, which were allowed in the wake of Russia's invasion but have drawn fierce protests from farmers in the bloc. The agreement renews for one year the tariff exemption granted in 2022, but adds oats -- as well as eggs, poultry and sugar -- to the list of products with import "safeguards" preventing cheap imports from flooding the market. Wheat and barley will not be added to the safeguard list. The regulation "provides for an emergency brake for poultry, eggs and sugar", as well as "oats, maize, groats (a grain with its outer shell removed) and honey", the European Parliament said in a press release. - AFP

To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here
You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter

Comments (0)
Write the first comment for this!