BEIJING – China has secretly issued an order banning those the government considers a threat from next year’s Olympics – a group that includes terrorists, Falun Gong activists, some media workers and frequent traffic-law violators, an overseas monitoring association said Friday. China’s leaders view the Beijing Olympics as a way to project a positive image of the country, but the games also offer a rare opportunity for protesters to air their grievances against China’s government and the ruling Communist party. The order from the Ministry of Public Security bans those who fall into broad categories such as “antagonistic elements,” “members of illegal organizations,” and “non-government organizations engaging in activities that can pose a real threat to the Olympic Games,” according to the China Aid Association, based in Midland, Texas. Others who are banned included terrorists, criminals under surveillance and followers of the Falun Gong spiritual movement, which China considers a cult, the association said. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre The group, which advocates for religious freedom in China, also said the ban targeted religious extremists, “media employees who can harm the Olympic Games” and “dangerous elements … and other people who have serious grievances against the Party.” It was not clear whether the order reportedly issued in April applied to visitors or participants, although the association said the security ministry called for strict examinations of athletes, Olympic Committee members, media and sponsors. The association cited government sources as the basis of its report. The group’s founder, Bob Fu, did not immediately respond to an e-mail from The Associated Press asking to see the original government document. Preparations for the Beijing Olympics, such as venue construction, have hummed along at a record pace, but the high-profile event has opened China to accusations of human rights violations, not doing enough to fight pollution and willingness to overlook Sudan’s actions in its violence-ridden Darfur region in return for gas and oil. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
1 The Premier League’s ‘big six’ clubs have won their battle to take a bigger share of the overseas TV rights.The domestic TV cash has always been distributed on a meritocratic basis, depending on where clubs finish in the league but proceeds from foreign broadcasters have been shared equally since 1992.In recent years, however, the league’s top clubs – Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham – have argued they should get more of the overseas income as they are the clubs foreign fans want to watch.Any change to the Premier League’s rules needs a two-thirds majority – at least 14 of the 20 clubs – and the big six failed to achieve this at a league shareholders’ meeting in October – prompting fears the league’s successful approach to selling its rights collectively was about to collapse, with some suggesting the big six could be tempted to form a European super league.Those concerns appear to have focused minds as a compromise has been reached. From 2019/20, the start of the next three-year rights cycle, any increase in the current international rights package, which is inevitable, will be distributed according to league position.Overall, the total pot of central revenues – domestic and international broadcast rights and sponsorship deals – will be distributed on a 1.8:1 basis, meaning the champions will earn 80 per cent more than the team that finishes last from 2019-20 onward. This is a shift from the current ratio of 1.6:1 that has been in place since the league’s formation.“When the Premier League was formed in 1992 nobody could have envisaged the scale of international growth in the competition which exists now,” said Scudamore.“Back then the clubs put in place a revenue-sharing system that was right for the time and has served the league well, enabling them to invest and improve in all areas.“This new agreement will continue that trend with a subtle change that further incentivises on-pitch achievement and maintains the Premier League’s position as the most equitable in Europe in terms of sharing central revenues.”Having already signed huge uplifts in its deals with broadcasters in Brazil, China and the United States, the league announced another international broadcast agreement at the meeting, the sale of 233 live matches a season to BT, Premier Sports and Sky for the Irish market.BT has bought 52 games a season, Premier Sports 53 games, including a match at 3pm on Saturdays, and Sky 128 games.