Torch extinguished as protesters disrupt Paris relay leg

(dpa) - The Olympic torch was extinguished at least twice Monday in Paris as thousands of anti-China protesters disrupted its passage through the French capital, French media reported.
Police said that the torch was extinguished "for technical reasons" that were not related to the protests, but some media said that the action was taken to protect the torch from the human-rights demonstrators lining the planned 28-kilometre route.
An International Olympic Committee (IOC) spokesman said that the group would not comment on the incidents.
"The torch is the responsibility of ... the local Olympic committee," he said, adding that the Olympic flame "never dies."
The first incident occurred about one hour after former world 400- metre-hurdles champion Stephane Diagana left the first level of the Eiffel Tower on the first leg of the torch's scheduled itinerary through the French capital.
Police then interrupted the relay at least three times to place the torch on a bus to protect it from protesters.
Because the demonstrators delayed the passage of the torch by at least two hours, it made the final leg of its trip by bus, shortening the route by at least one-fourth.
In addition, a number of scheduled ceremonies including one foreseen for the Chinese embassy were cancelled to avoid further incidents. Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe said that Chinese officials had cancelled a scheduled ceremony at City Hall.
Dozens of French lawmakers joined the anti-China protest.
About 50 deputies from all French parties stood behind a Tibetan flag and a banner reading "Respect Human Rights in China," as the torch passed the seat of the National Assembly in central Paris, BFM television reported.
Some of the lawmakers chanted "Freedom for Tibet" before all of them sang the French national anthem, the Marseillaise.
The Interior Ministry said that 18 people had been arrested.
French Sports Minister Bernard Laporte said the chaotic torch relay through Paris had harmed France's image.
"The party is a bit sad this evening," Laporte told France 2 television. "This is not a good move for France's image."
The disruptions occurred despite a heavy police presence following the torch's tumultuous passage Sunday through London, where at least 36 people were arrested.
Some 3,000 police officers were stationed on the ground, in the air and even on the Seine River, while the torch was accompanied by a tight security perimeter of some 400 police officers on foot, horseback, motorcycle and roller blades as well as in cars.
The media rights group Reporters Without Borders had vowed to carry out protests that will be "symbolic, spectacular ... but respectful of the Games."
The group hung a large protest banner on the Eiffel Tower, and three of its members chained themselves to the monument.
Reporters Without Borders was at the heart of pro-Tibetan protests at the torch-lighting ceremony in Greece, and the non-governmental organization called for an international boycott of the August 8 opening ceremonies in Beijing.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner have both said that "all options are open" regarding a possible boycott of the ceremonies.
Also Monday, Tibetan nationals living in France held a "citizen's day of solidarity" at the Square of Human Rights near the Eiffel Tower, to protest the Chinese crackdown on Tibetan pro-independence demonstrations.
Paris is the final European stop for the torch, which will then be flown to the western hemisphere for appearances Wednesday in San Francisco and Friday in Buenos Aires.

Croatian companies increase export of IT technologies to Azerbaijan - Croatian Embassy
Croatian companies increase export of IT technologies to Azerbaijan - Croatian Embassy
EU shares new programs to be implemented in Georgia in 2021
EU shares new programs to be implemented in Georgia in 2021
Metallurgical production may increase in Azerbaijan
Metallurgical production may increase in Azerbaijan
Loading Bars
Croatian companies increase export of IT technologies to Azerbaijan - Croatian Embassy
Swedish police investigating possible 'terror motives' in knife attack
WHO reports over 348,000 new daily cases of COVID-19
Ukraine to receive 30 mln doses of COVID-19 vaccine in 2021: PM
Turkey’s export of chemical products up in early 2021
SpaceX’s Starship prototype explodes minutes after landing in Texas
Israel reports 4,173 new COVID-19 cases, 788,869 in total
EU shares new programs to be implemented in Georgia in 2021
UK reports 6,385 new COVID-19 cases, 315 deaths
Facebook to end ban on political ads in United States
Biden says it's a 'big mistake' for states to lift mask mandates
Covid protection measures vital due to unpredictability of its mutations — WHO
Africa's confirmed COVID-19 cases pass 3.91 mln
CoronaVac efficacy above 83% after Phase 3 trials in Turkey
Karaganda region to build mega sheep farm
Iran exports over 1.4mn tons of round bar in 10 months
Georgia reaches preliminary agreement with Novavax
Bitcoin rises by over 10% surpassing $52,000
One million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in Romania
Czech Republic reports record breaking number of people hospitalized with COVID-19
WHO doesn’t recommend introducing Covid passports for now
Azerbaijan holds command training of troops of Nakhchivan garrison (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Azerbaijan reconstructs houses damaged during Second Karabakh War – Trend TV
Iran preparing for possible travel restrictions for Nowruz holiday
Iran's Health Minister expresses concern over spread of UK Coronavirus variant across country
Iran plans to release held up commodities from customs
Metallurgical production may increase in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan's foreign trade balance with Israel remains positive in Jan. 2021
Venezuela always supported Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity - Ambassador
Azerbaijan, Pakistan discuss areas of military cooperation (VIDEO)
Bio-smart pavilion ready for integration with Smart City project network - Azerbaijan Innovation Agency
Georgia makes rapid progress on its commitments under Energy Community - Green for Growth Fund
Azerbaijani State Customs Committee develops new portal for visualizing customs statistics
'Uzbekistan GTL' plant receives fuel gas for first time
All deals with corporate securities in Azerbaijan fell on secondary market - BSE
Most transactions on state securities in Azerbaijan accounts for primary market
Azerbaijan plans to expand geography of wine export
U.S. private payrolls rise less than expected in February
Prosecutor's Office talks details of mine explosion accident in Aghdam
Loan portfolio of trade and services sector increases in Azerbaijan
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price starts to rise in Iran
Azerbaijan announces net foreign assets of commercial banks for January
Croatian 'green energy' companies could contribute to dev't of Azerbaijani liberated lands
President Aliyev receives in video format delegation led by Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee of Pakistan (PHOTO)
Next equipment from India will be brought to Iran’s Chabahar port
Silk Way Technics company has been keeping aircraft flying safely for 15 years
Turkmenistan has potential to benefit from future co-op with EU
Uzbek currency rates for March 4
Azerbaijani, Italian FMs discuss prospects for comprehensive development of relations
Iran plans to increase mushroom production and exports
Growth of trade turnover observed between Turkey and Uzbekistan
Azerbaijan's experience of implementing 'smart' projects to be presented in Belarus
PayPal in talks to buy Israeli co Curv
Kazakhstan expects recovery of business activity in 1Q2021
Chief of Azerbaijani Aghdam's Irrigation Department heavily injured in mine explosion (PHOTO)
OPEC+ considers oil output roll over for April
Azerbaijani police officers find air defense systems left by Armenians in Fuzuli (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Kazakhstan's Home Credit and Finance Bank may face additional asset quality pressure
Iran's exports to Turkmenistan via railways increase
Turkish revenues from export of defense-related products grow
Turkey increases steel exports to Azerbaijan since early 2021
Turkey plans to increase trade turnover volume with Georgia
Hungarian Globalia Kft to support solar park creation in Kazakhstan
Significant number of people receive unemployment benefits in Georgia
Turkey attaches importance to Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey trilateral format of co-op - FM
Uzbek-Chinese JV to buy gas piston power station via tender
Azerbaijan’s PASHA Bank to continue to improve digital products
Fruits and vegetables make up majority of Azerbaijan's export of non-oil products since early 2021
EU to promote local entrepreneurship in Georgian Adjara
Georgia's Batumi sees decrease in real estate transactions
Number of apartment transactions down in Georgia's Tbilisi - Colliers International
Major Azerbaijani state companies' revenues from non-oil products' export up in Jan.2021
Belarusian Belavia Airlines extends suspension of flights to Turkmenistan
Sales of Iranian mining companies soar
Moody's unveils current account balance in Azerbaijan's GDP for 2021
Uzbekistan’s economic activity index drops significantly
French Senate interested in strengthening bilateral co-op with Turkmenistan
Uzbekistan enters list of world’s largest cotton producers
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for March 3
Russia's Rosselkhoznadzor allows imports of apples, tomatoes from some Azerbaijani enterprises
Bosnian journalist talks parallel between genocides in Srebrenica and Azerbaijani Khojaly
Azerbaijan confirms 161 more COVID-19 recoveries
Approving FATF related bills in Iran's interest - Iranian President
No Mystery, Top American Pandemic Expert Lists 9 Govt Actions Behind Plummeting Covid Cases in India
Georgian VTB Bank to maintain adequate capitalization with RAC - S&P Global Ratings
Union of OIC News Agencies and ICD through THIQAH sign MoC to enhance cooperation in media field
Azerbaijan shares data on 2020 int'l cargo transportation by rail
Kazakhstan Railways opens tender for equipment repair
Georgian citizens can enter Turkey only if they have negative PCR test
Demand for notes of Azerbaijan's Central Bank surpasses supply
Moody’s says Azerbaijan’s economy to grow in 2021
Over 14 million Covid-19 vaccine doses administered in India: Government
India's women scientists breaking barriers in space exploration
Number of Mastercard products and operations increases in Azerbaijan
Crucial lessons to be learnt from Covid-19 outbreak
India's oil demand set to hit record high as recovery from Covid sets in
UK To Receive 10 Million AstraZeneca Covid Vaccine Doses From India: Report
Iran expects the US to take serious steps toward JCPOA
Biden appoints Indian-American Maju Varghese as Director of White House Military Office
India to invest $82 billion in port projects by 2035: PM Modi
All news