Summer sunshine is seen through Olympic rings displayed at Nihonbashi district in Tokyo, Japan August 5, 2019. [Photo/Agencies]
>Tokyo Games may be canceled
A senior member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said Tuesday that if it proves too dangerous to hold the Olympics in Tokyo this summer because of the coronavirus outbreak, organizers are more likely to cancel it altogether than to postpone or move it.
Dick Pound estimated there is a three-month window - perhaps a two-month one - to decide the fate of the Tokyo Olympics, meaning a decision could be put off until late May.
As the games draw near, he said, "a lot of things have to start happening.
You've got to start ramping up your security, your food, the Olympic Village, the hotels.
The media folks will be in there building their studios.
"Pound said the future of the Tokyo Games is largely out of IOC's hands and depends on the course the virus takes. "If it gets to be something like the Spanish flu," Pound said, referring to the deadly pandemic early in the 20th century that killed millions, "at that level of lethality, then everybody's got to take their medicine."
Hosni Mubarak, the former president of Egypt. [Photo/Agencies]
>Mubarak dies at age 91
Hosni Mubarak, the former president of Egypt, has died at the age of 91 after undergoing surgery, Egyptian state media reported on Tuesday.
Mubarak was the country's leader for 30 years until he resigned as a result of the "Arab Spring" mass protests in 2011.
After the uprising, he was jailed on charges of corruption and killing protesters, but he was released in 2017 after being acquitted of most charges.
China and Egypt established diplomatic ties in 1956.
While Mubarak's two predecessors put more focus on the political dimension of bilateral relations, he played a key role in diversifying these ties, which particularly advanced economic and cultural relations.
During his 30 years in office, Mubarak visited China several times.
The two countries established a strategic partnership during his presidency in 1999.
Puzzle with printed EU and UK flags is seen in this illustration taken on Nov 13, 2019. [Photo/Agencies]
>UK unveils post-Brexit passports
The British government has unveiled the country's new, blue post-Brexit passports, hailing the return of an "iconic" document that became a thorny issue during the UK's protracted departure from the European Union.
The first dark blue passports, which ditch the burgundy covers used by EU member states, will be issued in early March, Home Secretary Priti Patel announced.
Patel spoke of her excitement that "the British passport will once again be entwined with our national identity."
What she didn't mention, however, was that the new passports are being made by the Franco-Dutch firm Gemalto at its site in Tczew, Poland.
The UK will now join 81 other countries that use blue on their passport covers, according to the Passport Index. The color is also adopted by nations including Argentina, Australia, Syria, Tuvalu and DPRK.
Britain left the EU on Jan 31, but negotiations with the EU are set to continue this year ahead of the expiration of the transition period in the withdrawal agreement.
>Areas lower response level
More provinces have lowered their emergency response level to the novel coronavirus, as the country is seeing a slowing trend in the epidemic.
Anhui province on Tuesday lowered the response level from the top level to the second level, and Guangdong, Jiangsu and Shanxi provinces made the same decision on Monday.
Gansu, Liaoning, Guizhou and Yunnan provinces, and Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region decided to switch the response level from level one to level three, based on their current situation of virus treatment and control.
In health crisis emergency response ratings, first is the most urgent, which means a province's control and treatment work needs direction from the central government.
Fourth is the lowest level, under which county-level government should be in charge.
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