LONDON (AP) — Around the 2012 Olympics and its host city with journalists from The Associated Press bring some the flavor and details of the games to you:
False alarm. But alarming nonetheless.
Britain’s Ministry of Defense says it scrambled a Typhoon fighter jet after an airplane entered airspace that came too close to the Olympic area. London is already clenching up with increased security two days ahead of the opening ceremony.
—Cassandra Vinograd — Twitter http://twitter.com/cassvinograd
A Greek athlete has been yanked from the national team after writing inappropriate comments on Twitter. And her colleagues have been warned not to follow in her tweetsteps.
Voula Papachristou mocked African migrants in Greece in a tweet that sparked some furious responses. The Hellenic Olympic Committee says it has since banned its athletes from expressing any opinions on social media that are not related to the games until the competition is over.
—Elena Becatoros — Twitter http://twitter.com/ElenaBec
Lots of people want to advertise during the Olympics. Among them: the president of the United States.
NBC says it has topped the $1 billion mark in advertising sales for the Olympic Games beginning this week in London. The network says President Barack Obama has spent $6.5 million to buy national ads during the Olympics. It says Mitt Romney hasn’t bought any yet.
The network said Wednesday it is the biggest advertising haul ever for an Olympics and topped the $850 million in ad sales for Beijing in 2008. There’s a lot more room for advertising, since NBC Universal is showing more than 5,000 hours of competition on NBC, its cable affiliates and online.
—David Bauder — Twitter http://twitter.com/dbauder
The tracksuits and bags of Egypt’s Olympic team are emblazoned with the familiar Nike and Adidas logos. But look closer — they’re fakes.
"We signed with a Chinese distributor in light of Egypt’s economic situation," the country’s committee chairman Gen. Mahmoud Ahmed Ali told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Wednesday.
Ali said the real thing was just too expensive, and the state of Egypt’s battered finances led him to opt for the counterfeit gear, which he said was "sufficient."
And what if the sports brands don’t like it?
If Nike has a problem with it, then it should deal directly with the Chinese distributor who sold it, Ali said in separate remarks to the state-run Ahram Online.
So far, the ones complaining are Egypt’s athletes.
Synchronized swimmer Yomna Khallaf wrote on Twitter that she spent more than $300 out of pocket to buy better training gear.
The Muslim female athletes are creating a lot of buzz in London, especially women from three Islamic countries that have never sent women to the Olympics before — Saudi Arabia, Brunei and Qatar.
The al-Sharshani atheletes from Qatar are not competing at the London Games along with the four Qatari female athletes who will break new ground by taking part in swimming, shooting and track. But Reema and Yasmian al-Sharshani are already thinking about making history at the Rio Games.
Reema, a shooter, wants to become the first Qatari woman to both become a doctor and win an Olympic medal.
"They used to think in our country that women should stay at home. Sports was not for us, only for men," Reema said at an exhibition of photographs profiling Arab women in sports. "We are good in anything, including sports."
— Barbara Surk — Twitter http://twitter.com/BarbaraSurkAP
LONDON — The Olympic athletes’ parade is two days away, but the celebrity parade has already begun in London. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are among the stars expected at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum on Wednesday night for a charity gala honoring boxing great Muhammad Ali. The 70-year-old boxer is expected to attend the Sports for Peace event, while other rumored guests include David Beckham. Tickets started at 2,500 pounds ($3,900) and will raise money for the educational Muhammad Ali Center and for research into Parkinson’s disease.
—Jill Lawless — Twitter http://twitter.com/jilllawless