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Photo: Wolfgang Kumm/picture alliance via Getty Images

The International Olympic Committee issued a set of guidelines on Thursday to strengthen a rule that bars athletes from certain forms of political protest at the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo.

What they're saying... The Committee warns: "No kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas."

  • Activism such as kneeling, political hand gestures and wearing or holding signs or armbands is not allowed at fields of play, in the Olympic Village, during medal or other official ceremonies.
  • But, but, but: So long as athletes follow local laws, they're permitted to express themselves at press conferences, in interviews, at team meetings and on digital and traditional media platforms.

The committee states that "disciplinary action will be taken on a case-by-case basis as necessary" for those who violate the guidelines.

Between the lines: Sporting events, including the Olympics, have a lengthy history of attracting political protests. In the U.S., former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeled during the national anthem in 2016 to protest racial injustice, sparking a national dialogue on the issue.

  • In 1968, American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their fists on the medal stand at the Games in Mexico City, per the Washington Post.
  • Ethiopian marathoner Feyisa Lilesa showed support for civil rights protestors in his home country by crossing his wrists at the finish line during the 2016 Olympic Games, the Washington Post notes.
  • American fencer Race Imboden and hammer-thrower Gwen Berry faced probation from the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee last year over protesting during the national anthem.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Over 70 dead in worst bombardments between Israel and Hamas for years

Palestinian Muslims exchange wishes for Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, near a razed building in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Lahia, on May 13. Israeli forces said they had killed a senior Hamas commander in May 12 airstrikes. Gaza's health ministry said children died in the strikes. Photo: Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

At least 67 Palestinians and seven Israelis have been killed in fighting between Israel's military and Hamas since Monday, per Reuters.

The big picture: The worst aerial exchanges of fire between Israel and Hamas since 2014 continued into early Thursday. It comes days after escalating violence in Jerusalem that injured hundreds of Palestinians and several Israeli police officers during protests over the planned evictions of Palestinian families from their homes.

Biden admin grants Colonial waiver to ease fuel shortages

Fuel tanks at Colonial Pipeline Baltimore Delivery in Baltimore, Maryland on Monday. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

The Biden administration approved a temporary waiver of shipping requirements late Wednesday to help Colonial Pipeline transport fuel, as service resumes across the U.S. following last week's ransomware attack that that took it offline.

Why it matters: The century-old Jones Act requires ships to be built in the U.S. and crewed by American workers, but the waiver means foreign companies can transport gasoline and diesel to areas where there are fuel shortages.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Don McGahn agrees to closed-door interview with House panel on Russia report

Former White House counsel Don McGahn during a discussion at the NYU Global Academic Center in Washington, D.C., in 2019. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Former White House counsel Don McGahn agreed Wednesday to speak with the House Judiciary Committee about former President Trump's alleged attempts to obstruct the Russia investigation — with certain conditions, per a court filing.

Why it matters: The agreement ends a two-year standoff after McGahn, a key player in former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, repeatedly refused to agree to a subpoena for testimony — resulting in the matter being taken to court.