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Welcome To The *Lodnon Oimplycs*

Stephen Holt's Surbiton Shop )
Stephen Holt's Surbiton Shop )
Focus Formal Wear

LONDON - The telephone at Stephen Holt's tailoring business hasn't stopped ringing for days. Photos of his shop-front window in the English town of Surbiton are all over the Internet. Holt wanted to feature the Olympics somehow in his window display, but as a "non-sponsor" of the Games, he was strictly forbidden to do so: Nobody is allowed to use images of the Olympic rings, or the words "London", "Gold", "Games" or even "Summer" for advertising purposes. Altogether, 20 words and symbols are on the list of no-nos known as "the Index".

But that wasn't going to stop Holt. For weeks, his window has been sporting "Lodnon 2102 Oimplycs" with the Olympic rings -- squared off -- below it. Passersby love it, especially as there is quite a bit of general resentment in the UK towards the harsh restrictions on advertising imposed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Since mid-July, 300 "brand cops" have been scouring the country on the look-out for violations.

Big companies like General Electric (GE), McDonalds, Visa and British Telecom (BT) have shelled out some 1.8 billion euros to sponsor the Games, which works out about half the running costs. Each sponsor is promised that it will have exclusive advertising rights in its sector. And British Games organizers are being very tough in defending that promise, with 25,600 euro fines facing anyone who breaks the rules.

Their zeal has reached ridiculous proportions, as in the case of 81-year-old grandmother Joy Tomkins who knit a doll sweater that said "GB 2012" worth 1.3 euros and was going to donate to the church lottery -- only to find out that she was forbidden to put the sweater on the doll by Games controllers.

Things weren't much better at a South London café that hung five bagels clustered like the Olympic rings in its window. The Games cops were there within 20 minutes and took the display down. And in Plymouth, a restaurant was forced to take its "Flaming Torch Baguette" off the menu: the cops considered the reference to the Olympic Torch inadmissible.

As absurd is the fate of Café Olympic near the stadium in London-Stratford. The Games cops thought the name unsuitable, so owner Kamel Kichane had the "O" painted out on the shop sign. Until the end of the Games, the name of the café is Lympic.

*This is a digest item, not a direct translation

Read the full article in German by Anja Ettel, Tina Kaiser and Andre Tauber.

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FOCUS: Israel-Palestine War

After Abbas: Here Are The Three Frontrunners To Be The Next Palestinian Leader

Israel and the West have often asked: Where is the Palestinian Mandela? The divided regimes between Gaza and the West Bank continues to make it difficult to imagine the future Palestinian leader. Still, these three names are worth considering.

Photo of Mahmoud Abbas speaking into microphone

Abbas is 88, and has been the leading Palestinian political figure since 2005

Thaer Ganaim/APA Images via ZUMA
Elias Kassem

Updated Dec. 5, 2023 at 12:05 a.m.

Israel has set two goals for its Gaza war: destroying Hamas and releasing hostages.

But it has no answer to, nor is even asking the question: What comes next?

The government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected the return of the current Palestinian Authority to govern post-war Gaza. That stance seems opposed to the U.S. Administration’s call to revitalize the Palestinian Authority (PA) to assume power in the coastal enclave.

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But neither Israel nor the U.S. put a detailed plan for a governing body in post-war Gaza, let alone offering a vision for a bonafide Palestinian state that would also encompass the West Bank.

The Palestinian Authority, which administers much of the occupied West Bank, was created in1994 as part of the Oslo Accords peace agreement. It’s now led by President Mahmoud Abbas, who succeeded Yasser Arafat in 2005. Over the past few years, the question of who would succeed Abbas, now 88 years old, has largely dominated internal Palestinian politics.

But that question has gained new urgency — and was fundamentally altered — with the war in Gaza.

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