The Beijing Olympic organizing committee (BOCOG) said that China is ready to hold one of the most successful games ever as the country prepares for the Olympics opening ceremony tonight, AFP reported. "Of course we hope that these will be a great games, even the greatest," said BOCOG spokesman Sun Weide. US President George W. Bush on Thursday gave a speech in Bangkok on US-China relations before departing for Beijing, highlighting China’s human rights record. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang responded to Bush’s remarks, saying Chinese citizens’ basic rights and freedoms are "indisputable facts." Beijing’s skies were hazy as of Friday morning as pollution remained a concern for some athletes. Four US cyclists who were photographed wearing protective masks as they arrived at Beijing’s airport apologized for doing so, saying that the move "was not meant to insult Chinese organizers or countless others who have put forth a tremendous amount of effort to improve the air quality in Beijing." Meanwhile, an Islamist group known as the Turkistan Islamic Party has threatened to carry out an attack during the games, and urged Muslims to stay away from Olympics-related events.
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