Beyond the Bricks
by Bryanne McDonough | published Oct. 8th, 2014
Future Olympics Host City Contracts to Include an Anti-Discrimination Requirement
According to the Human Rights Watch, the International Olympics Committee (ICO) has announced that all future host cities must sign an anti-discrimination clause in response to the controversy over the 2014 Sochi games and the discrimination against the LGBT community. The ICO has announced a new clause that cities will be required to sign in order to host the games to all prospective bidders for the 2022 Olympic Games. The clause is based off of Principle 6 in the Olympic Charter, which reads: “Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic movement.”
Current and former Olympic athetes, as well as other government institutions and ordinary viewers, called out Russian authorities to reconsider a new law that bans “gay propaganda.”
Human rights supporters have applauded this movement towards equality and urge other major organizations such as FIFA to follow in the ICO’s footsteps. FIFA organizes the World Cup, which will take place in Russia in 2018 and in Qatar (where homosexuality is illegal) in 2022.
Riots in Hong Kong Spark Police Reaction
TIME magazine reports that pro-democracy riots in Hong Kong, led by a group called Occupy Central, have taken control of most of the business district. The protests have grown in reaction to the promised 2017 democratic election; the protesters are displeased because voters will only be able to choose from candidates chosen by a pro-Beijing council. Although they were promised universal suffrage by 2017, Hong Kong citizens will not have a fully democratic process.
According to The New York Times, President Xi Jinping has found himself in the hot seat. President Jinping is famous for his refusal to compromise and shows no intention of beginning to do so with the Beijing protests. Although China is censoring mentions of the protests, news is still spreading to the mainland. If Jinpingi makes compromises for Hong Kong, he fears that the protests will spark copycat riots across the mainland.
According to TIME, many regions under Chinese authority have been pressuring the government for more transparency and freedom. Tibet and Xinjiang are both hotspots for tension between protesters and government officials.
Critics of Beijing's response have suggested how Jinping may have reacted to the situation before it spiraled out of control. Hong Kong citizens have long been asking for democracy and have had little granted to them. A main issue that citizens have is with the main leader of Hong Kong, pro-Beijing Leung Chun-ying; Leung has long been detested by pro-democracy activists for his pro-Beijing stance.
Fire at O'hare Airport Apparent Attempted Suicide
According to NY Daily News, a fire on Friday, September 26 closed the O'hare and Midway airports. The fire occurred at a traffic control facility in Aurora, a suburb of western Chicago, and grounded flights into and out of one of America's busiest airports. Brian Howard, a 36-year-old FAA contractor, stands accused of setting the fire, although he appeared to be very apologetic in court. Howard was found alive in the fire, having apparently attempted suicide. His lawyer declared Howard a danger to himself. Howard faces up to 20 years in prison and is currently held without bond.
Howard cut all the radar feeds and set them on fire with gasoline-soaked rags. Only one person was seriously injured in the fire. However, at an airport that services 1,000 flights every day, this kind of disturbance causes waves of delays and cancellations across America. No plane was allowed to land or take off from O'hare for at least four hours. Without the traffic control center, it would have been very dangerous to try to organize the take off and landing of these flights. According to NY Daily News, O'Hare is currently operating at 60 percent capacity. In total, 56 flights were cancelled and 260 were delayed.
Although the Aurora center will not be fully functional until at least October 13, other traffic control centers in the area have managed to accommodate O'hare's flights; however, the airport still isn't fully operational.