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Lance Armstrong steps down as head of foundation, gets dropped by Nike

Written by | October 17, 2012 | 0
In his first acknowledgment that his personal brand has been damaged by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s voluminous account of what it characterized as “serial cheating” throughout his cycling career, Lance Armstrong resigned as chairman of the Livestrong Foundation he created to help cancer patients, he announced Wednesday. And in a further blow to Armstrong’s reputation, longtime corporate sponsor Nike announced it was terminating its contract with Armstrongbut would continue supporting the Livestrong initiatives.Nike is the foundation’s most substantial corporate partner, marketing a line of athletic apparel and equipment that bears the Livestrong brand. Nike was also the creative mind behind the wildly popular Livestrong wristbands that since 2004 have generated roughly $80 million

Stifled West Bank economy drains Palestinians’ hopes

Written by | October 17, 2012 | 0
Market vendors at a stall in Hebron Old City
Passers-by linger in front of the window displays on a main shopping street in central Hebron but seem reluctant to enter the stores. In the old market, vendors call out their wares but are largely ignored. The city is the largest in the West Bank and a major commercial and industrial hub, accounting for about one third of the West Bank’s GDP. Recently it was also the scene of some of the worst violence during Palestinian economic protests. Locals blame the discontent on high unemployment, low wages and the rising cost of living as well as the heavy burden of consumer debt. “Our economy depends 100% on customers and as you can see, now the customers have no money,” says Ayman, a tour guide. As the global recession plays out, the Palestinians are not alone in facing such woes.

Fear and loneliness in China

Written by | October 17, 2012 | 0
A section of the printing plant run by the communists in Northern China. Photographs of Stalin and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt are seen on the walls. Mao Tse Tung rules the area with an iron fist and as a consequence the area is in fact a state within a state.
What kind of society will China’s new leaders inherit? China has developed at unimaginable pace, lifting millions out of poverty. But as part of a series of viewpoints on challenges for China’s new leadership, Gerard Lemos, who conducted research in the mega-city of Chongqing, says it is easy to overlook its lonely underbelly. An old man was hanging upside down in the public square. His feet in traditional cloth shoes were over the parallel bars from which he had suspended himself, for what were presumably his morning exercises. He was fully clothed and in a padded overcoat to combat the spring chill. I saw this when visiting a factory community in Beijing in 2008. On the face of it, this was a peculiar act to perform in a public space, but people walked past taking no notice. In

Why Russia’s Orthodox Church is teaching teenagers Parkour

Written by | October 17, 2012 | 0
A Russian Parkour athlete performs a back-flip
The Russian Orthodox Church has come under fire following recent stories about church officials being involved in drink-driving and road rage attacks. But it also provides valuable public services – including helping wayward teenagers get back on track via a risky urban sport. My stomach lurches. The young man in in front of me suddenly plunges down the stairwell and seems to be dangling in mid-air three floors up. Then silently – without so much as a grunt – he springs over the banister and is standing next to me again. Evgeny Krynin is one of St Petersburg’s most renowned Parkour artists – the urban sport which mixes acrobatics and athletics and is similar to the discipline known as free running. Parkour may have first taken off in France in the 1990s, but Krynin

Senegal banned from Nations Cup after riot

Written by | October 17, 2012 | 0
Police escort Ivory Coast players off the pitch in Dakar
Senegal have been disqualified from the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations after a riot forced the abandonment of Saturday’s home tie with Ivory Coast. It is not yet clear whether the Confederation of African Football will take further action against Senegal. The match in Dakar was called off after 74 minutes, with Ivory Coast 2-0 up on the night and 6-2 ahead on aggregate. Caf has officially confirmed the result as a 2-0 win for Ivory Coast, sending them through to next year’s tournament. Senegal manager Ferdinand Coly said on Sunday that “Senegal will accept the sanctions”. He also apologised to Ivory Coast. Trouble flared after striker Didier Drogba scored his side’s second goal from the penalty spot. Visiting supporters were forced to leap down on to the pitch to escape