Inside Lines: London warning over new torch run

You would not wish it on your worst enemy, but there is no doubt the earthquake, and its aftermath, in China has taken the heat off the Beijing torch relay. It means there is less chance of human rights protesters being shot in Tibet – as the authorities threatened – when the torch is carried there this month. The leg has been reduced from three days to one as the Chinese scale down the global relay, which has been marred by demos, notably in London, since it began on 24 March. It is due in Lhasa, the Tibetan capital, on 18 June and it will be interesting to see whether protests are muted following worldwide sympathy over the earthquake and the uncharacteristic openness shown by China over its reporting. This, claim the IOC, would not have happened but for the Olympics. A Chinese delegation visit London this week to discuss a repeat of the torch run here on 31 August prior to the Paralympics, and despite the ugly scenes which characterised its earlier appearance it seems likely a lower-key event will get the go-ahead. But the Chinese will be warned that the role of the tracksuited Chinese minders, labelled "thugs" by Lord Coe, must be curtailed.

Why 2012 is pin money for Chinese

The Olympic Torch is not the only made-in-China product causing controversy in London. Despite bids by many British manufacturers, 2012 Games organisers have given a multimillion-pound contract to a Chinese company to design, produce and distribute souvenir pin badges. According to insidethegames.com, the organising committee say Beijing-based Honav "provide the best solution to our requirements". Traditionally these tiny Olympic pins become worth hundreds of pounds as collectors' items. An obvious target for eBay watchers.

Diving's Ant and Dec are double act

Blake Aldridge is the Ant to Tom Daley's Dec, and as with all double acts the straight man often gets shoved out of the spotlight. So it was last week when tiny Tom, at just 14 British sport's most celebrated child prodigy, again monopolised the headlines and the camera lenses for his part in claiming Britain's first-ever World Series synchro diving gold in Sheffield. But sharing the perfect 10 on the 10-metre platform was Aldridge, 25, who understandably sighs: "People seem to forget there are two of us." Aldridge is used to being in Daley's shadow, but should the performance be repeated in Beijing – the duo's selection now seems a formality – one trusts it will be remembered that it takes two to tango, to tandem and to make a splash simultaneously.

Football gives Panathlon a kickstart

The good news is that the Panathlon, the popular multi-sports schools event kicked into touch last year in the Government's game of political football, has been thrown a lifeline – by football. Funding of £240,000 from the Football Foundation means that disabled kids in London can be given more sporting opportunities over the next three years. With the new London Sports Commissioner Kate Hoey supportive, the outlook for the Panathlon is brighter. However, the Culture Secretary, Andy Burnham, disappointingly for a grass-roots man, has yet to respond to the Panathlon's plea for help.

Uphill task for downhiller Chemmy

Having shaken the snow off her skis after a successful season scooting down mountains, Chemmy Alcott sets off today to climb up one. With her friend Julia Mancuso, the US Olympic gold medallist, the British No 1 begins an eight-day expedition to scale Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania in aid of the children's charity Right to Play.

insidelines@independent.co.uk

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Environmental Adviser - Maternity Cover

£37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...

Recruitment Genius: CBM & Lubrication Technician

£25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...

Recruitment Genius: Care Worker - Residential Emergency Service

£16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Landscaper

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea