Russia Anti-gay Law Casts A Shadow Over Sochi’s 2014 Olympics

Russia and Shishin shine in the sun

Russia and Shishin shine in the sun

Once passed by the former imperial capital, the law was picked up by deputies in the federal lower house of parliament the State Duma and passed nationwide and was signed into law by President Putin in June. But activists say the law can be used for a broad crackdown against gays in Russia and the controversy has created a huge headache for the Kremlin which has faced calls for a boycott of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games. But Milonov remains defiant in the face of the furore and makes no secret of his views about Fry who has called for Russia to be stripped of its right to host the Games and led an increasingly visible Internet campaign. ???For me Stephen Fry is a bringer of evil, as he expresses ideas which are evil,??? Milonov told AFP in an interview in Saint Petersburg. Milonov and Fry became arch enemies after the two men held a face-to-face meeting in Saint Petersburg in March and have traded insults through the media ever since. Fry is an implacable critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who he once memorably said looked like the Dobby the House Elf from the Harry Potter books. ‘We don’t have to apologise’ Despite the outcry sparked by the adoption of the law both in Saint Petersburg and nationwide, Milonov sees no harm in what he describes as ???preventative??? legislation. ???It???s a declaration of our values, our response to the challenges of the present time.??? ???Thank God that we have Putin, who defends the basic interests of Russia, for defending its values,??? said Milonov, saying that Russia ???needs to resist the wave of degradation that has seized the Western world.??? ???I do not know why we have to apologise in front of Westerners. The preaching tone that they adopted in this area does not suit us.???

U.S., Russia Agree On Syria U.N. Chemical Arms Measure

President Vladimir Putin signed a law at the end of June prohibiting the promotion of nontraditional sexual relationships to minors. It has been interpreted as banning gay pride parades children might see them and preventing any discussion of homosexuality among teenagers. The law has made gay athletes and spectators fearful of discrimination, and even arrest, at the Olympics. And Thursday, as the International Olympic Committee coordinating commission made its last inspection tour of Sochi before the opening ceremony Feb. 7, its members added fuel to this particular flame. Russia, they said, was not violating Olympic anti-discrimination principles. The spirit of the Games is awakening here, said Jean-Claude Killy, chairman of the coordinating commission. Advocates in the West were furious. They had been lobbying the IOC to confront Russia over its policies, which they say encourage not only discrimination but also violence toward gay men and lesbians. Looking past the piles of gravel and seas of mud, ignoring the deluge, the IOC declared the competition venues ready and offered Russia hearty congratulations. On Sunday, the Olympic torch was lighted in ancient Olympia, beginning its seven-day journey across Greece and on to Russia, which Putin calls a very special country, different from the West. In a recent speech to international scholars, Putin had little patience for what he called political correctness.

Photographer take pictures as the Soyuz TMA-10M spacecraft carrying the International Space Station (ISS) crew of U.S. astronaut U.S. astronaut Michael Hopkins, Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazanskiy blasts off from the launch pad at the Baikonur cosmodrome September 26, 2013. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov  (KAZAKHSTAN - Tags: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY)

Their level of professionalism and single-minded approach is undoubted and was on display in Papeete on Saturday night as they overpowered the Spaniards. They were made to work hard throughout the tournament to ultimately claim the spoils. They had two single-goal wins plus a hugely challenging comeback victory against Tahiti in the semi-final when the hold on their crown hung in the balance. This time, however, Russia dominated once they took the lead in the second period, and the retention of their crown was rarely in doubt from the moment Anton Shkarin hit the opener 30 seconds into the second period. Little wonder then that Russia coach Mikhail Likhachev was of the view that they left their best to last. It was our best match of the tournament and we are so happy to take home a winners medal, he said. Perhaps the Tahiti game in the semi-final was our most difficult. Golden Shishin A recurring theme throughout the tournament for Russia has been the goalscoring form of Dmitrii Shishin . A tireless and powerful figure all over the park, Shishin collected the adidas Golden Scorer Award edging out Brazils Bruno Xavier. Im so happy to win the World Cup for a second time, Shishin told FIFA.com in the bowels of the Toato stadium with his winners medal hanging proudly around his neck. I think this proves that last time was not an accident. The level of all the teams have grown a lot, especially teams like Tahiti and Japan. They have really developed quickly and it shows that beach soccer is growing rapidly. Shishin scored in every match, although it took until the final ten seconds of the final to complete the full set.

177e8112f4aeee72a61eba42d8988bb9c1a71abd.jpg

(AP Photo/Hadi Mizban) In this image taken from video obtained from the Shaam News Network, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, a Syrian man comforts a child injured by a missile strike in Raqqa, Syria, Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2013. (AP Photo/Shaam News Network via AP video) Syrian refugees cross into Iraq at the Peshkhabour border point in Dahuk, 260 miles (430 kilometers) northwest of Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban) In this citizen journalism Monday, Aug. 12, 2013, image provided by Aleppo Media Center AMC, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, buildings are seen damaged from the shelling of Syrian forces at Karm al-Jabal area in Aleppo province, Syria. (AP Photo/Aleppo Media Center, AMC) In this citizen journalism Monday, Aug. 12, 2013, image provided by Aleppo Media Center AMC, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, Syrian rebels open fire as they battle against the Syrian forces in Aleppo, Syria. (AP Photo/Aleppo Media Center, AMC) In this image released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, a Syrian army soldier stands behind his machine gun during a battle against the Syrian rebels at an unidentified location in Latakia province, Syria, Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013. (AP Photo/SANA) In this image taken from video obtained from the Shaam News Network, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, a Syrian man carries an injured child away from a missile strike in Raqqa, Syria, Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2013. (AP Photo/Shaam News Network via AP video) In this image released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, a Syrian forces tank fires during a battle against the Syrian rebels at an unidentified location in Latakia province, Syria, Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013.