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Paris inaugurates International bidding for 2024 Olympics

The Paris 2024 Bid Committee has marked a milestone in its bid to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games with a special presentation here

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Pixabay Paris

France, Feb 4, 2017: The Paris 2024 Bid Committee has marked a milestone in its bid to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games with a special presentation here.

The event was participated by Paris 2024 leadership, top athletes, political and business leaders.

 Speaking at the event, Paris 2024 Co-Chair Tony Estanguet said Paris has launched the bid 18 months ago, the bidding team has put athletes at the heart of the plans and has developed a compact plan with 85 per cent of venues being within 10 km, Xinhua news agency reported.

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Details of the ultra-compact, city-centre inspired concept were the highlights of the candidature file the bidding team submitted to International Olympic Committee.

Paris’ 2024 has a bold vision to deliver the most sustainable Games ever, with 95 per cent of venues either pre-existing or temporary structures, in addition, a ground breaking carbon emissions strategy closely aligned with Olympic Agenda 2020 and the Paris Climate Agreement is also under plan.

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Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo said Paris embodies a belief in the human spirit and an absolute commitment to protect the environment.

“Paris has always stood on the cutting edge of progress and that is why the Games in Paris will be the first ever to be aligned with the Paris Agreement,” she said.

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The event also defined the city’s approach to legacy which will see Paris 2024 Olympics become a model of sustainable development, innovation and social purpose.

The Paris 2024 bid will also build on the city’s global leadership and the positive role sport can play in society to deliver legacies for future generations and to be shared with future host cities. (IANS)

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Thailand Set to Enter the Clash of Hosting the 2026 Youth Olympics

Thailand is all set to express interest in hosting the games in 2026

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Thailand may show interest to host the Youth Olympics in 2026. Pixabay

According to International News Thailand is set to become the latest country to enter the fray for hosting the 2026 Youth Olympics. India, Russia and Colombia are already vying to host the event and according to reports in the Thai media, Thailand hopes to launch a joint candidacy from Bangkok and Chonburi.

Kongsak Yodmanee, Governor of the Sports Authority of Thailand, said they plan to send their intention to bid to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) within the next week, according to Thai newspaper Daily News.

Yodmanee further said that the bid will be done on an urgent basis so that Thailand can “catch up with India.” Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President Narinder Batra had said earlier that India will increase its push for hosting the 2026 Games after the ongoing freeze in the sporting calendar due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is yet to announce when they will reveal who gets the hosting rights for the 2026 Youth Games. Wikimedia Commons

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The Colombian Olympic Committee said in February that it had approved Medellín as a candidate for the 2026 Games, while Russia has reportedly earmarked Kazan.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is yet to announce when they will reveal who gets the hosting rights for the 2026 Youth Games. Hosting rights are normally provided about five years before the event which means that a decision could come as early as as 2021. (IANS)

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Impossible to Host the Olympics Until Coronavirus is Contained, Says PM of Japan

Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan says that hosting Olympics even next is impossible if the pandemic is not contained till then

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Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe believes that it will be impossible to host Olympics in 2021 if the pandemic is not contained. Wikimedia Commons

Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stated it will be impossible to host the Olympics even next year if the ongoing coronavirus pandemic cannot be contained till then. The 2020 edition of the multi-national event was pushed back to 2021 in wake of COVID-19 crisis that has hit the entire world.

Answering a question related to Olympics, Abe said it is important for all athletes and spectators to feel safe and for that to happen, the virus will have to be contained.

“We’ve been saying the Olympic and Paralympic Games must be held in a complete form, in that athletes and spectators can all participate safely. It would be impossible to hold the Games in such a complete form unless the coronavirus pandemic is contained,” Abe was quoted as saying by CNN.

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Olympics 2020 which were supposed to take place in Tokyo have already been postponed to 2021 due to the Coronavirus outbreak. VOA

Earlier, Tokyo Olympics chief had warned the event will have to be scrapped in case of further delay.

“In that case, the Olympics will be scrapped,” Yoshiro Mori told Nikkan Sports when quizzed about pushing the Games further if needed.

Tokyo Olympics was supposed to be held in July-August this year but had to to postponed due to COVID-19 crisis. The International Olympics Committee (IOC) set the new dates as July 23 till August 8 next year.

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The head of Japan Medical Association (JMA) had earlier said that hosting the event in the summer of 2021 remains difficult till the time an “effective vaccine’ is developed.

“Unless an effective vaccine is developed I think it will be difficult to hold the Olympics next year,” JMA President Yoshitake Yokokura told reporters in Tokyo on Tuesday. “I’m not saying at this point that they shouldn’t be held. The outbreak is not only confined to Japan … it’s a worldwide issue.” (IANS)

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What is the Future of US-India Relations? Here’s the Answer

The US presidential elections and future of India-US relations

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Given the love fests of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Howdy Modi' event in Houston, Texas, in which Trump participated in September of 2019, and Trump's 'Namaste Trump' event hosted by Modi in India in February of this year, it might be assumed that the future for US-India relations is a splendid one. Wikimedia Commons

BY FRANK F. ISLAM

As the coronavirus pandemic dominates global news in the United States, progress toward the next presidential election scheduled to be held on November 3 moves slowly forward. President Donald Trump had no real opposition in the Republican party and is running for re-election. And it has now become apparent that former Vice President Joe Biden will be his opponent as the Democratic candidate for president.

What would a Trump victory bode for the future of US-India relations? What would a Biden victory bode? Let me answer each of those questions in turn.

Given the love fests of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Howdy Modi’ event in Houston, Texas, in which Trump participated in September of 2019, and Trump’s ‘Namaste Trump’ event hosted by Modi in India in February of this year, it might be assumed that the future for US-India relations is a splendid one. This would be an incorrect assumption.

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Both of these events were more symbolic than substantive. Trump’s participation in them undoubtedly helped to persuade some — perhaps many — Indian American Modi supporters who voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 to cast their ballots for Trump in 2020. Trump’s campaign team took steps to ensure this by holding an event at his Mar-a-Lago resort in which a group of prominent Indian Americans announced their plans to work for his re-election and to mobilize Indian Americans on his behalf.

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It is essential that India and the US develop a strategic relationship that enables them to become those indispensable partners. Wikimedia Commons

To understand the future potential of India’s relations with the US. with Trump as president, however, it is necessary to look beyond these political moves and to examine the present state of those relations and Trump’s personal style.

In a word, the best way to characterize the current relations between the US and India is “functional”. The relationship was relatively good for the first two years of Trump’s presidency. In fact, near the end of 2018, Alice Wells, the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, was quoted in the media s saying: “This has been a landmark year for US-India ties as we build out stronger relationships across the board.”

Then, in 2019, the relations went off the track in the first half of the year after the US and India got into a tit-for-tat tariff war after the US terminated India’s Generalized System of Preferences which allowed India to send certain goods to the US duty-free. There have been continuing efforts to structure a “modest” trade deal since then. It was thought there might be some type of deal done in September of 2019 while Modi was in the US by year’s end, and then during Trump’s India visit. But, as of today, there is still no deal.

This inability to get any meaningful trade agreement in place speaks volumes about India’s potential future relations with India with Trump as president. So, too does Trump’s style.

Trump’s campaign slogans this time around are “Keep America Great” and “Promises Made, Promises Kept.” Trump is not a policy wonk and most of his effort will go toward “America First”. This involves making the US more isolated by withdrawing from international agreements, restructuring trade agreements, emphasizing building walls to stop immigrants at the border, using tariffs to block trade with countries who are taking away American jobs, and confronting businesses who are allegedlly stealing American trade secrets.

This perspective suggests what India can expect for its relations with the US if it has to deal with Trump for a second term as president. The relations will stay functional at best. As I have said before, that’s because the words partnership, cooperation and collaboration are not in Trump’s vocabulary. Nationalism, isolationism and protectionism are.

Joe Biden stands in stark contrast to President Trump both professionally and personally. Biden is a strategic thinker and doer with a solid eight-year track record of leadership experience as Vice-President in forging alliances that have made a difference around the world and he has also been a long-standing friend of India.

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To understand the future potential of India’s relations with the US. with Trump as president, however, it is necessary to look beyond these political moves and to examine the present state of those relations and Trump’s personal style. Wikimedia Commons

He was chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a leading advocate for the Congressional passage of the Indo-US civic nuclear deal in 2005. At a dinner convened 10 years later in 2015 by the Confederation of Indian Industry and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Vice President Biden discussed the tremendous joint progress that had been made by the two countries in the past and declared “We are on the cusp of a sea change decade.”

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Early in his campaign for the Democratic nomination for president in July of 2019, in laying out his foreign policy vision, Biden stated that the US had to reach out to India and other Asian partners to strengthen ties with them. The items on Biden’s foreign policy agenda for strengthening which are of importance for India include climate change, nuclear proliferation and cyberwarfare.

During his vice presidency, Biden worked side by side with President Barack Obama to do things that would contribute to achieving Obama’s vision stated in 2010 of India and America being “indispensable partners in meeting the challenges of our time.” In 2020, those challenges are even greater than they were a decade ago.

That is why it is so essential that India and the US develop a strategic relationship that enables them to become those indispensable partners. That can happen if Biden assumes the presidency on January 20, 2021. It cannot happen if Donald Trump remains as president for a second term.

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The results of this upcoming election in the US matter greatly for the future of the United States. They matter greatly for the future of India-US relations as well. Time and the American electorate will tell what that future will be. (IANS)