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Bajaj Auto July sales jumps 44 pc in Jul        Pegasus issue: SC to hear on Aug 5 pleas seeking probe into snooping allegations        Dutee finishes last in her 200m heat race, fails to qualify for semifinals at Olympics        Pakistan reports spike in new COVID-19 cases        Mexico's referendum on trying ex-presidents falls short        Berlin protesters decry coronavirus measures; 600 detained        Brave Indian women create history, enter maiden Olympic hockey semifinals        Tokyo Olympics: Badminton star P V Sindhu scripts history on Super Sunday        India beat South Africa 4-3 to keep QF hopes alive in Olympic women's hockey        World No.1 Panghal's Olympic campaign ends with shocking loss to Colombian Martinez        COVID-19: India records 41,649 fresh cases, 593 more fatalities        TREMOR        Das knocks out Olympic champion in Tokyo, joins wife Deepika in last-16        Air India sold its 115 properties for Rs 738 crore since 2015: Govt        Researchers Develop Variants Of More Potent, Stable Nanobodies To Fight SARS-CoV-2        Assam, Mizoram trade barbs over deployment of security forces at interstate border        HC rejects plea to reassess minority status of Christians, Muslims in Kerala        Govt hiding on Pegasus issue, responsible for Parliament logjam: Congress        True legend of Indian badminton: tributes pour in after legendary Nandu Natekar dies        Tendulkar helps farmer's daughter to pursue dream of becoming doctor        
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International News
Japanese PM Suga says world should see safe Olympics staged
 
Tokyo, Jul 20 (AP) The world needs to see that Japan can stage a safe Olympics, the country's prime minister told sports officials Tuesday ahead of the Tokyo Games.

Tens of thousands of athletes, officials, games staff and media are arriving in Japan amid a local state of emergency and widespread opposition from the general public.

Events start Wednesday in softball and women's soccer two days ahead of the formal opening ceremony of an Olympics already postponed a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

"The world is faced with great difficulties," Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga told International Olympic Committee members in a closed-door meeting at a five-star hotel in Tokyo, adding "we can bring success to the delivery of the Games."

"Such fact has to be communicated from Japan to the rest of the world," Suga said through an interpreter. "We will protect the health and security of the Japanese public."

He acknowledged Japan's path through the pandemic toward the Olympics had gone "sometimes backward at times."

"But vaccination has started and after a long tunnel an exit is now in our sight," Suga said.

The prime minister's office said Monday more than 21% of Japan's 126 million population has been inoculated.

Health experts in Japan have questioned allowing so many international visitors for the games, which end on Aug. 8. There will be no local or foreign fans at events. The Paralympics will follow in late August.

Praising vaccine manufacturers for working on a dedicated Olympic rollout, IOC President Thomas Bach singled out Pfizer BioNTech for "a truly essential contribution."

This cooperation meant "85% of Olympic Village residents and 100% of IOC members present here have been either vaccinated or are immune" to COVID-19, Bach said.

About 75 of the 101 IOC members were in the room for their first in-person meeting since January 2020. Their previous two meetings, including to re-elect Bach in March, were held remotely.

The IOC declined to say if any members who are not vaccinated had been asked to stay away. One member missing the meeting, Ryu Seung-min of South Korea, tested positive for COVID-19 after arriving on a flight Saturday.

Bach has been met with anti-Olympic chants from protesters on visits in Japan since arriving two weeks ago, including at a state welcome party with Suga on Sunday.

The IOC leader praised his hosts Tuesday, saying "billions of people around the world will follow and appreciate the Olympic Games."

"They will admire the Japanese people for what they achieved," Bach said, insisting the games will send a message of peace, solidarity and resilience.

Canceling the Olympics was never an option, Bach said, because "the IOC never abandons the athletes."

Staging the games will also secure more than 3 billion in revenue from broadcasters worldwide. It helps fund the Switzerland-based IOC, which shares hundreds of millions of dollars among the 206 national teams and also with governing bodies of Olympic sports.

Bach said the IOC is contributing 1.7 billion to Tokyo organizers of the Olympics and the Paralympics.

IOC decisions taken Tuesday, rubber-stamping proposals sent from the Bach-chaired executive board:

The sport of ski mountaineering was added to the program for the 2026 Winter Games in Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo. It involves skiing and hiking up and down mountain terrain. Five medal events should be created in sprint and individual races for men and women, and a mixed gender relay.

The Olympic motto "Faster Higher Stronger" was updated to include the word "Together." The formal Latin motto will now be "Citius, Altius, Fortius Communis."

The IOC formally recognized the governing bodies of six sports: lacrosse, cheerleading, kickboxing, muay Thai, sambo and ice stock sport.

Spending by the IOC was 55 million more than its revenue in 2020, when most income from the postponed Tokyo Olympics could not be declared. A "strong, solid" financial position was reported with the IOC's fund balances of assets exceeding liabilities at almost 2.5 billion.


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ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
George Clooney says Capitol attack put Trump family 'into the dustbin of history'
 Los Angeles: Hollywood star George Clooney has condemned the attack on the Capitol Hill in the US by  
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A R Rahman thanks fans for support during 'difficult times'
KERALA NEWS
HC rejects plea to reassess minority status of Christians, Muslims in Kerala
 Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Thursday said merely because there are a few rich people among the m
COVID-19: Over 4.5L vaccinations on Saturday, more than 16 lakh jabs this week in Kerala
Curbs tightened in Kerala following increase in COVID TPR
UDF walks out of Kerala Assembly over allegations against Forest Minister
NATIONAL NEWS
Pegasus issue: SC to hear on Aug 5 pleas seeking probe into snooping allegations
 New Delhi, Aug 1 (PTI) The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear on August 5 the pleas, including the o
Assam, Mizoram trade barbs over deployment of security forces at interstate border
48% parents not willing to send their kids to schools till they get Covid vaccines: Survey
Will depend on situation, no problem if someone else leads: Mamata Banerjee on being face of Oppn
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