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2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo to be Postponed Due to Coronavirus Pandemic

Coronavirus Forces Delay of 2020 Olympics

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A man wearing protective face mask, following the outbreak of the coronavirus, looks at his mobile phone next to The Olympic rings in front of the Japan Olympics Museum in Tokyo, Japan. VOA

The 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo will be postponed until next year because of the coronavirus pandemic, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced Tuesday.

Although the International Olympic Committee had said it would spend up to a month debating the matter, the decision to postpone became inevitable after several countries said they would not send athletes if the Games were held this summer.

“The IOC president and the prime minister of Japan have concluded that the Games must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020, but not later that summer 2021 to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games, and the international community,” the IOC and the Japanese organizing committee said in a joint statement Tuesday.

Tokyo olympics
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe talks to the journalists in front of the prime minister’s residence in Tokyo. VOA

Both committees say they made their decision after consulting with the World Health Organization. Abe and the IOC had said that canceling the Games had always been out of the question.

“The Olympic Games in Tokyo could stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times that the Olympic flame could become the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present,” the IOC said.

Abe told reporters in Tokyo that when the Games finally gets under way, it will prove that “humanity had beat the coronavirus.”

The Summer Games were to have opened July 24.

Team USA, which represents triathlon and duathlon Olympic contenders, tweeted its thanks to the Tokyo organizers for what it says is “all you have done for a great Olympic and Paralympic Games. We wish you all the best as you keep your communities safe and offer our cooperation and support as you prepare to host the world.”

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A man takes pictures of the Olympic Flame during a ceremony in Fukushima City, Japan. VOA

The Olympics have been canceled three times since the modern Games began in 1896. They were scrapped in 1916 during World War I and in 1940 and 1944 during World War II.

The Games have been boycotted, propagandized by Nazi Germany, and attacked by terrorists, but have never before been postponed.

Japanese organizers said Tuesday they are also postponing the Olympic torch relay that was supposed to start Thursday.

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The flame arrived in Japan from its traditional lighting in Greece on March 12. It was supposed to have traveled around Japan, to be used to light the flame at the opening ceremonies in Tokyo.

The torch will remain in Fukushima until the Games are firmly rescheduled. (VOA)

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Google Decides To Cancel This Year’s “April Fool’s Prank” Amidst Coronavirus Concerns

Google usually goes all out on April 1, with numerous pranks across its many products

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Google
Google usually goes all out on April 1, with numerous pranks across its many products. Pixabay

Google has decided to cancel this years April Fools prank out of respect for those fighting new coronavirus pandemic globally.

An internal email from Google marketing head Lorraine Twohill reportedly said that Google is playing it straight on April 1, 2020 out of respect for those fighting the coronavirus, reports Business Insider.

“We have already stopped any centralized April Fool’s efforts but realize there may be smaller projects within teams that we don’t know about.

“Make sure your teams pause on any jokes they may have planned — internally or externally,” Twohill wrote.

“Our highest goal right now is to be helpful to people, so let’s save the jokes for next April, which will undoubtedly be a whole lot brighter than this one,” Twohill added.

Google
Google has decided to cancel this years April Fools prank out of respect for those fighting new coronavirus pandemic globally. Pixabay

Google usually goes all out on April 1, with numerous pranks across its many products.

The search engine giant has also updated its popular Duo chat app by increasing the group video user limit from 8 to 12 people into a single group call to help more people stay connected and practice social distancing.

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The new 12-person limit compares to eight for house party, 32 for Apple’s FaceTime, 50 for Skype and Messenger, and 100 for Zoom’s free tier. (IANS)