Beijing to clear beggars from Tiananmen Square, major street for Olympics

Beijing has launched a campaign to remove beggars and unlicensed peddlers from Tiananmen Square and a major street running through the city center in the run-up to the Olympic Games, state media reported Thursday. Beggars, unlicensed vendors and illegal touts will be fined and have their goods confiscated, Xinhua News Agency said. Tiananmen Square is a major tourist attraction where visitors are constantly accosted by beggars and people selling maps or goods such as pirated watches. The crackdown will also focus on Chang'an Avenue, the capital city's major east-west artery, which cuts across one side of the square.