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Vitamin C and Residents' Rights Are Big Losers in Olympics

Vitamin C and Residents' Rights Are Big Losers in Olympics

The Olympics (starting on Friday!) has caused all kinds of disruptions in China as they scurry to clean up their air — and their sartorial statements. The factories that produce 80 percent of the world's ascorbic acid, aka Vitamin C, crucial to cold curing and a huge part of modern food production, have been closed down. The reach of the Games preparation seems to have no bounds.

And it's not just fashion statements getting makeovers — Beijing residents are beginning to grumble about the disruptions the Games have brought to their lives. To see how,


One 24-year-old blogger tells of having to sign a "civilized behavior pledge," having to hurry to get to his favorite breakfast stall before 8 a.m. because it's "unsightly" and has to close early. One ice cream vendor says, "at least half the people I know can't wait for the games to be over. It's a glorious event for the country, but ordinary people are the unlucky ones," he said.

Some of the unluckier ones, like Ye Gouzhu, have far more serious complaints than a breakfast stall. He had his home and restaurant ripped down to make way for Olympics venues, and was then jailed for four years for trying to organize a protest about it.

Though I will certainly be watching the opening ceremonies (along with George W. Bush, though thousands of miles apart) do these details affect your enjoyment of the Games?


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