Olympic flame embarks on month-long tour

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

The Olympic flame for the Summer Games in Beijing is heading out on a worldwide tour that's expected to draw human rights protests against China's government.

Kazakhstan today is the first stop for the flame, which got an elaborate sendoff yesterday in Beijing. Between now and the start of the Olympics August 8th, the torch will cover 85,000 miles including a climb to the top of Mount Everest.

China has been hoping to use the relay to showcase it's growing economic and political power. But activists have vowed to disrupt the tour to bring attention to causes including Tibetan independence and the crisis in the Darfur region of China-backed Sudan.

A sports official in India announced today that the captain of India's soccer team is refusing to carry the torch during its run through New Delhi later in the month as a protest.

U.S. lawmaker Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, is urging President Bush to boycott the opening ceremonies, an idea he rejects.


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