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Feb 7, 2014

Olympics-Opening ceremony fails to follow Putin’s script

SOCHI, Russia, Feb 7 (Reuters) – The opening of the Winter Olympics was supposed to be a triumph for Vladimir Putin that ended months of criticism of the Russian president over gay rights and talk of corruption surrounding the Games.

But a technical glitch and the choice of an athlete who tweeted what was widely seen as a racist photo of U.S. President Barack Obama to light the Olympic flame meant it ended up stoking controversy.

Feb 7, 2014

Google makes a point on gay rights at Sochi Games

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) – Google has placed a rainbow version of its logo on its search page, increasing pressure on President Vladimir Putin over Russia’s “gay propaganda” law at the Sochi Winter Olympics.

The page now shows a winter sports competitor above each of the six letters in the U.S. Internet giant’s name, set against backgrounds in the six colors on the gay pride flag – red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple.

Feb 7, 2014

Olympics -Google makes a point on gay rights at Sochi Games

SOCHI, Russia, Feb 7 (Reuters) – Google has placed a rainbow version of its logo on its search page, increasing pressure on President Vladimir Putin over Russia’s “gay propaganda” law at the Sochi Winter Olympics.

The page now shows a winter sports competitor above each of the six letters in the U.S. Internet giant’s name, set against backgrounds in the six colours on the gay pride flag – red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple.

Feb 6, 2014

At Sochi Games, Putin evokes spirit of 1980

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) – Political controversy, tight security and mega-construction projects: for Sochi 2014, read Moscow 1980.

The Communist Soviet Union has collapsed and the Cold war has ended since Moscow organized the Summer Olympics 34 years ago, but there remain some striking parallels with the Winter Games opening in Sochi on Friday.

Feb 6, 2014

Olympics-At Sochi Games, Putin evokes spirit of 1980

SOCHI, Russia, Feb 6 (Reuters) – Political controversy, tight security and mega-construction projects: for Sochi 2014, read Moscow 1980.

The Communist Soviet Union has collapsed and the Cold war has ended since Moscow organised the Summer Olympics 34 years ago, but there remain some striking parallels with the Winter Games opening in Sochi on Friday.

Feb 6, 2014

UN chief condemns homophobia before Sochi Games

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) – U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon condemned sexual discrimination and attacks on homosexuals on Thursday in comments that turned the spotlight on concerns over Russia’s “gay propaganda” law at the Winter Olympics.

Ban made no direct reference to gay rights in Russia in a speech to Olympic officials in Sochi, the Black Sea city which is staging the Games, but his remarks underlined the intense scrutiny President Vladimir Putin is under because of the issue.

Feb 6, 2014

Olympics-UN chief condemns homophobia before Sochi Games

SOCHI, Russia, Feb 6 (Reuters) – U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon condemned sexual discrimination and attacks on homosexuals on Thursday in comments that turned the spotlight on concerns over Russia’s “gay propaganda” law at the Winter Olympics.

Ban made no direct reference to gay rights in Russia in a speech to Olympic officials in Sochi, the Black Sea city which is staging the Games, but his remarks underlined the intense scrutiny President Vladimir Putin is under because of the issue.

Feb 5, 2014

IOC says no ‘healthy’ dogs being killed in Sochi

SOCHI, Russia Feb 5 (Reuters) – Olympic chiefs tried to ease concern about the fate of stray dogs in Sochi on Wednesday, saying only sick and dying animals were being destroyed before the city hosts the Winter Games.

In the latest problem to mar President Vladimir Putin’s preparations for the Olympics, animal rights activists have protested to him over reports that stray dogs are being culled to clear them off the streets before the Games begin on Friday.

Feb 5, 2014

Games unlikely to boost Russian economy: Moody’s

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) – Hosting the Winter Olympics at great cost in Sochi is unlikely to give the Russian economy a big boost, ratings agency Moody’s said on Wednesday, undermining one of President Vladimir Putin’s main goals at the Games.

Putin has staked his personal and political prestige on hosting a successful Games, and promised the vast sums spent on Sochi would turn the Black Sea resort into an attractive tourism destination and give the Krasnodar region around it a lift.

Feb 5, 2014

Olympics-Games unlikely to boost Russian economy – Moody’s

SOCHI, Russia, Feb 5 (Reuters) – Hosting the Winter Olympics at great cost in Sochi is unlikely to give the Russian economy a big boost, ratings agency Moody’s said on Wednesday, undermining one of President Vladimir Putin’s main goals at the Games.

Putin has staked his personal and political prestige on hosting a successful Games, and promised the vast sums spent on Sochi would turn the Black Sea resort into an attractive tourism destination and give the Krasnodar region around it a lift.

    • About Timothy

      "Timothy Heritage is Brussels Bureau Chief and European Affairs Editor, responsible for coverage of the European Union. He has previously been based in Moscow, Jerusalem, Paris, London, Warsaw and Belgrade, covering events ranging from the fall of Communism and conflict in the Balkans and Middle East to the euro zone debt crisis."
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