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    Beijing Tests Traffic, Security Measures

    Police and officials in Beijing have begun a rehearsal of traffic management, security and other measures designed to ensure the smooth running of the 2008 Olympics.

    The new measures will be used before and during a November 4-5 summit of Chinese and African leaders. The measures will include restrictions on vehicles, rounding up vagrants, early closure of schools, and promotion of public transport and cycling, reports the Beijing News.

    "The China-Africa Forum traffic safety will be a rehearsal for the 2008 Olympics," Li Jianhua, deputy head of the Beijing traffic bureau, was quoted as saying.

    About 40 African heads of state are expected to attend the summit, with hundreds of ministers and officials meeting in Beijing from November 1.

    Shopping centers are urged to display flowers, flags, African-style decorations and banners in English, French and Chinese.

    Health inspectors have already started checking restaurants within one km of the 22 official hotels for the China-Africa Forum as well as those in the popular Wangfujing, Xidan and Houhai commercial areas.

    Trucks will be banned inside Beijing's 4th Ring Road during most of the day and empty taxis will not be allowed on main roads in the city.

    The city government is urging all Beijing residents to use public transport or bicycles to ease traffic congestion.

    Jiang Xiaoyu, vice president of BOCOG said earlier this year that Beijing would address the "common problem" of traffic congestion and improve air quality by 2008.

    Ticketmaster Gets Beijing Assignment

    U.S.-based Ticketmaster has been named to provide ticketing services for the Beijing Olympics, reprising its role from the 2004 Games in Athens.

    The company has formed a joint venture known Gehua Ticketmaster. The Chinese partners are China Sports Industry Group and Beijing Gehua Cultural Development Group.

    Ticketmaster Chief Executive Terry Barnes is quoted as saying the Olympics offer his firm the best opportunity to enter the Chinese market.

    Ticketmaster operates in 19 markets worldwide and last year sold 119 million tickets worth $6 billion.

    Ticket sales for Beijing are to begin in 2007.

    Subway and Bus Lines to Operate 24 Hours

    Main subway and bus lines in the Chinese capital will operate 24 hours a day and no limits will be imposed on store operating hours when the Beijing Olympics take place in 2008, according to a briefing this week by a BOCOG official for a Japanese group.

    IOC Increases Drug Testing

    The IOC plans to test 25 percent more athletes for drugs at the Beijing Olympics than it did in Athens.

    About 3,500 doping tests were performed in Athens, with 22 athletes testing positive for banned substances or violating anti-doping regulations.

    With reporting in Beijing by Bill Smith

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