China has launched the global torch relay for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Amid tight security, President Hu Jintao passed the torch to Chinese sporting icon Liu Xiang at the Tiananmen Square. The 130-day relay will cross almost 19 countries before returning to China for the Games in August. Meanwhile activists from across the world have observed the day as a Global Action Day to highlight the suffering of the Tibetan people during China's recent crackdown. Protests have also been staged across Germany, including capital Berlin and Hamburg.
A Pro-Tibet Protestor in Hamburg