Route changes, scuffles mark Olympic torch relay
SAN FRANCISCO, California (CNN) -- Heavy security surrounded runners taking part in the controversial Olympic torch relay in San Francisco Wednesday, as the threat of violent protests prompted officials to make dramatic last-minute changes.
Thousands of people who had gathered at Justin Herman Park to watch, to support China or to protest China's record on human rights and its crackdown in Tibet began leaving the site.
The announcement came during a day in which the torch's trek through the city was shortened and its path altered to try to minimize the chances that protesters would mar the event.
NVDL: Where do you stand? Douse the flame or support for Beijing? Suppose one should spare a thought for the athletes who just want to turn up and have a chance (and a neutral stage) to shine. The problem is, what stage? Maybe Switzerland or New Zealand, or Iceland.