April 7th, 2008
06:18 PM ET

Erica's News Note: Snuffed out


The Beijing Olympics don’t begin until August, so I can only wonder what else the next few weeks will bring. Between the protests in London this weekend, and in Paris and San Francisco today, it is clear the citizens of the world don’t plan to let the games go quietly. Even the International Olympic Committee is now starting to pay more attention. LINK TO STORY

Jacques Rogge, head of the IOC, admitting he is “very concerned” about the situation in Tibet, but isn’t worried about talk of boycotting the games. I wonder if that tune will change, and I’m curious to see if any countries do sit this one out, even if it’s just the opening ceremonies.

The pressure is intense across the globe, and it’s bringing attention to exactly the type of events China wanted to downplay.

A Seattle woman is selling t-shirts that read “I was raped.” I saw that and thought I’d misread the story. Yes, she is a rape victim. My concern? I would hate for people to buy and abuse these shirts, or to think they’re “funny”. Sadly, there are too many sick people in this world. No one needs to be victimized twice. STORY

And a few more to check out this Monday:

– Bob Dylan is now a Pulitzer prize winner. The citation for the 66-year-old Dylan noted his "profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power." STORY

– Medical mix-ups and accidental overdoses are far more common with kids in hospitals than anyone thought – try one in 15… not exactly the most comforting news. STORY

– More questions and frightening comments out of Zimbabwe today – will we ever know what happened in last month’s election? STORY

– Erica Hill, AC360° Correspondent

Comments to the 360° blog are moderated. What does that mean?

Filed under: Erica Hill
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. H.E.

    The Olympics commitee selected China.
    That selection was not followed by much outcrying
    Does that mean then China is more good than bad?

    April 8, 2008 at 7:14 pm |
  2. Taj

    Tibet wants Autonomy. They are peace loving, God fearing people living in their culture & tranquility for over 2000 years. China should get out of Tibet leave them alone. Super powers cannot stop or tolerate peaceful neighbours. They always have to meddle with them & create unhappiness. What a shame. It is time for china to take the heat.

    April 8, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  3. Tina

    I so agree, Lisa! The people who have trained for it will hurt.

    April 8, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  4. KC, Texas

    Present all the facts to the Olympians and have them make the decision to go or not.

    I also heard that they displaced a man (probably many people) from his home (gave him NO place to live) so they could build apartments for the olympic gamers to stay in for what, a month?! This is just wrong, and the IOC chose China. What goobers. Maybe Bob Dylan should write a song about all of this.

    April 8, 2008 at 12:37 pm |
  5. Jessy

    Hey Erica,

    Just as you know I was there in Paris yesterday when hundreds of protestors yelling and trying every way they could to halt the relay. Personally I take no political position here. But I just want to say that the protestors were irrational and irresponsable for what they have done. Especially when I saw they confronted the anti-boycott protestors, mostly chinese students, i was so furious to see that they just tried to tear the Chinese national flags they were holding and two big guys, they even physically attacked the two chinese girls who didnt let go of the flags! Fortunately the parisian policemen stopped them but that was close, I mean, how innocent people could have got hurt because of these irrational actions.

    Anyway.. yesterday in paris it was really chaotic and i was really upset about people acting like this. I mean they said they were pointing to the chinese government, but what i saw was a pure hatred against the whole chinese community. So suddenly, the banners, flags and slogans of so-called human rights, just seem to me so unconvincing and in some way, horrible.

    Since I was heading to my office when I witnessed all this, so later when i saw someone who's holding the yellow black flags coming over me on my way home, it just made me nervous!

    And frankly, I have never seen french people so concerned about the human rights issues in China. The discussions have never been off the table but never like this time, I mean now it's like a fashion or something I mean all of a sudden, it just popped up into people's life.

    PACA, France

    April 8, 2008 at 12:07 pm |
  6. Tina

    Yeah, I saw the news from San. Fran's bridge, the golden gate. People are upset, clearly.

    April 8, 2008 at 11:26 am |
  7. Alys

    wow I can't believe that someone said the issue with Tibet and China does not qualify as a "real cause". And calling what the people of Tibet are dealing "unfortunate" is the understatement of the century.

    April 8, 2008 at 9:16 am |
  8. Stan Gorski

    Everyone who wants to do something about China's consistant abuse of human rights should immediately boycott buying anything that is made in China. Hit them where it hurts, the pocketbook.

    April 8, 2008 at 5:14 am |
  9. Alexander

    Erica, great piece. I have to say that there is likely a large population of similar polygamist scenarios that we are not aware of. Erica, as you often cover stories such as these, do you ever follow up on what happens after the stories break? I would be interested in learning what the status of these victims of the polygamist sect are in, say, a month's time. Do you think CNN would cover this at a future time? It would be very interesting to say the least.

    April 8, 2008 at 1:18 am |
  10. Sally

    China has never been the poster child on human rights. But I guess the IOC has to know this about China when they gave China the opportunity. So all the boycott calls are a little bit late. As for Tibetan history with China, it's hundreds of years of complications that most of us can't even begin to explain. As for the protesters, say your piece, peacefully and respectfully, and we'll respect your cause and treat it seriously. If all they do is scream and yell and attack poor disabled torch holder in wheelchair, it's just disappointing. Whatever happened to Dr. King's peaceful protests?

    April 8, 2008 at 1:16 am |
  11. Suzanne


    Its great that Bob Dylan got the Pulitzer for his influence; he was always one of my favorites in my younger years!

    I have never understood why China got the Olympics to begin with – their human rights stance is horrible and I read now that they were scrounging to have enough fresh water for drinking and for the swimming pools. Sounds like to me our athletes will be at risk there from that. Maybe boycotting is a good idea although I know the athletes would be bitterly disappointed. Better than getting sick though and condoning China's treatment of people.

    Suzanne P
    Knoville TN

    April 7, 2008 at 11:38 pm |
  12. Alex, Calgary, Canada

    When the dust settles regarding the Olympics, the IOC needs to re-examine the way it does business. Every man, woman and Saint Bernard knew back in 2001 that these games were going to be bad news. If it wasn't Tibet, then it would have been the country's overall human rights record, or the situation with Taiwan, or Sudan (remember when THAT was an issue a few weeks ago), or tainted pet food and toys. The IOC should never have given the games to Beijing in the first place.

    April 7, 2008 at 11:24 pm |
  13. Michael, NC

    I agree with Cindy, Lisa, and Joseph 100%. It is unfortunate what the Tibetan people are dealing with, and should be controlled, but this is not anyone's place to protest by attempting to halt the Olympic torch. I mean seriously, what kind of message is that getting across to the world? None at all. Find a real cause and start your protests elsewhere so they can be looked upon with an observant eye, not as an annoyance like they have been lately. I'm pretty sure we are all up to par on our history and are aware of the events going on, but it is pretty dumb for them to cause trouble like this...pretty pointless. Stop with the holdups and let the games continue without further disruption.

    Thanks for a great blog Erica. 🙂

    April 7, 2008 at 9:48 pm |
  14. Barbara

    What was the IOC thinking when voting China for Olympics. For openers.....the pollution, and inhumane treatment of citizens.

    April 7, 2008 at 9:45 pm |
  15. Heidi

    If we have just a little morality, all world should say NO Olimpyc games in Banjing, , becouse all victom's in Ruanda ,Sudan, Darfor, China explored the wapens ,which kills so many ineccent people,just that they make monye of that, IO is symbol of peace, humanity....thank you

    April 7, 2008 at 9:37 pm |
  16. Marcia

    For about about a year now I have been following Mia Farrow's blog where she has talked about these Olympics or what some have coined the Genocide Olympics. She and many people have been trying to bring to light the killings which China has been backing in the Darfur region.

    However, Mia, her friends and supporters have taken Ghandi's approach to the situation they have written letters to many people about dropping sponsorship and contributions, including Steven Speilberg, who was a consultant of sorts. They have made headway and believe it or not Mr Speilberg is no longer consulting. Their focus now is on those who sponsor the Olympics such as Coke(sorry Anderson), GE, and so on.

    What is being done may not stop the Olympics or force a boycott, but it has, to say the least put the situation in the forefront of world politics and affairs.

    April 7, 2008 at 8:24 pm |
  17. McGee, The OC

    Free speech is for some a difficult human right to absorb, especially when it is contrary to one's own purpose. And so now it is with China.
    The leaders there so want to be seen by other nations as a normal, quasi-democracy . . . yet they are far from it.

    What they thought that they had once and forever squashed out in the late 1980's has now come back to haunt them. Yep, freedom of speech. And though they may be able to brutally kill it there in their own country, they certainly cannot do so round about the whole world.

    Where tyranny exists, one will soon also find freedom rising up to challange it and expose it for what it really is. And tyranny is not going to like that.

    Thanks for keeping on this story, Erica, it needs to be layed out again and again. And perhaps then one day a good ending may be reported.

    April 7, 2008 at 8:15 pm |
  18. Genevieve M, TX

    My favorite Bob Dylan song is "Mr. Tambourine Man"- though I like the version sung by "The Byrds" the best. The song came out in 1965, the decade before I was born.

    Congrats to Mr. Dylan on his Pulitzer award!

    April 7, 2008 at 8:12 pm |
  19. Megan O. Toronto, ON, Canada

    After all this....they should have given the Olympics to Toronto

    April 7, 2008 at 8:00 pm |
  20. Joseph Kowalski, North Huntingdon, PA

    Sitting out of the opening ceremonies or boycotting the entire Olympics serves only to penalizes the athletes from the boycotting countries.

    Politicizing the Olympics seems to be the cowardly way for other countries to voice their displeasure with China's human right's violations. If the boycotting countries want to make a stern statement, boycott trade with China instead of penalizing innocent athletes.

    April 7, 2008 at 7:41 pm |
  21. Ruby Coria, LA., CA.

    Erica, this problem has been going on for years and I uderstand how people are useing this to make their point on China's abuse of everything not just their people, but once the torch passes by and the games are over..Tibet will be the same and it seems that no one has the nerve to face China on anything.back to the drawing borad..see u tonight.

    April 7, 2008 at 7:12 pm |
  22. Lisa

    Gee whiz, it's not like China's human rights record is a deep, hidden secret. The IOC had to know what possibilities might occur should they award the games to China; and of course China is using the opportunity to spotlight its progress.

    But the protests – in this particular case – are harming the wrong people. The torch bearers and athletes who've trained their entire lives for this moment don't determine where the Games are held. Don't punish them.

    Nancy Pelosi's "suggestion" (and that is a quote from the staffer who answered her Washington DC office phone this morning) to Bush that the US protest the Games is absurd, as is any other country's protest. If you want to protest China's human rights record ... here's a concept - stop giving them favored nation trading status. Stop trading with them. Put bans and regulations in place (just like what was done with Iran, Iraq, (insert Axis of Evil country here). Oh, wait ... not a good idea – they could call in their loans and then we'd really be in deep doo-doo. But my point is how hypocritical to continue to trade with them as though everything's hunky dory and then "protest" when the Games roll around.

    (And we wonder why countries are a bit confused about our foreign policy.)

    April 7, 2008 at 7:09 pm |
  23. Lilibeth

    The Olympics...to boycott or not to boycott...honestly, if I were an athlete hoping to participate, I don't know what I would do.

    The woman with the rape t-shirt...I'm still scratching my head over this. I read this and I went, "Huh?"

    Bob Dylan, Pulitzer Prize winner? Who knew?

    See you tonight, Erica.

    Edmonds, Washington

    April 7, 2008 at 7:00 pm |
  24. Sharon Wright

    Hi Erica,
    I thought I'd attempt an intelligent comment about this issue until I read Cindy's comments and intelligence took a back seat to raw emotion. . My goodness! She can see why people would be upset about the way the Tibetans are being treated....and China is doing nothing about it! Cindy needs a crash course in both history and current events. We have a victim here Cindy....that would be the lovely, mountain dwelling, peace loving Tibetans and then we have an agressor that invaded Tibet decades ago, slaughtering monks, levelling centuries old monasteries and that would be China. Why would you want a tee with a rape logo on it Cindy?. Well it isn't because it's a fashion statement. As the valley girls say....Uh duh!

    April 7, 2008 at 6:46 pm |
  25. Cindy

    While I can see that people are upset about the way the Tibetans are being treated and that China is doing nothing about it I still don't think what the protestors are doing is right. The Olympic torch carriers and the Olympic committee can do nothing to make China change their stance! If these people want to make a real difference they need to rally and get their countries to put pressure on China. The attacks and what not on the torch are ludicrous!!

    I think that the tee with the rape logo on it is dumb. Why would you want something like that to begin with? Rape is a very serious thing that should not be downplayed or joked about! Too many people will buy and wear these as jokes. I hope they stop selling them!

    Cynthia, Covington, Ga.

    April 7, 2008 at 6:27 pm |