Ioc: Russia Won’t Discriminate Against Gays In Sochi

Russia’s Weapons in the Woods

The West 2013 exercise conducted Thursday near the city of Grodno in western Belarus and in Russias westernmost Kaliningrad region also involved more than 500 armored vehicles and about 90 aircraft along with ships of Russias Black Sea Fleet. Karla Adam Interpol issues arrest notice for British national in connection to Nairobi attack, setting off a media frenzy. Liz Sly and Karen DeYoung The new alliance with an al-Qaeda affiliated group complicates U.S. plans to arm moderates. Pakistans earthquake relief effort comes under attack Tim Craig and Shaiq Hussain As rescue efforts enter a third day, at least 350 fatalities and more than 500 injuries are reported in Baluchistan. Russia and Belarus are allies and have close economic, political and military ties. Russia has several military facilities in Belarus, and the two nations operate a joint air defense system. The two armies have regularly conducted joint maneuvers, Thursdays exercise being the biggest so far. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko attended the exercise along with his nine-year old son, who donned full combat fatigues. Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Pierluigi Lugano, an Abissi wine maker, checks a Primat, a bottle that contains 27 litres of sparkling wine that was brought to the surface by scuba divers on September 25, 2013 in Chiavari. Pierluigi Lugano is experimenting by storing his wine three to four years in the sea at a depth of 60 metres and some 3 kilometres offshore, where the water temperature remains constant under 6 bars of pressure with a slight deepwater current. 
AFP PHOTO / OLIVIER MORINOLIVIER MORIN/AFP/Getty Images

The New York Times quotes “officials” as saying the full text of the resolution will not threaten military force. “This is a breakthrough arrived at through hard-fought diplomacy,” the State Department official said. “Just two weeks ago, no one thought this was in the vicinity of possible. After close consultation with the P3, the Russians have agreed to support a strong, binding and enforceable resolution that unites the pressure and focus of the international community on the Syrian regime to ensure the elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons.” The statement goes on: “This is historic and unprecedented because it puts oversight of the Assad regime’s compliance under international control and it’s the first [U.N. Security Council Resolution] to declare that the use of chemical weapons is a threat to peace and security. Equally as important, it makes absolutely clear that failure of the Assad regime to comply will have consequences. Later this evening there will be a full consultation with the UNSC to discuss text.” The full 15-member Security Council is set to meet at 8 p.m. ET. for “informal consultations.” Syria quickly signed papers that opened the door for membership into the Chemical Weapons Convention and the U.S. and Russia worked through the U.N. to try to put together a resolution that would enforce the U.S.-Russia agreement. The big issue here was what kind of language Russia would agree to, when it came to detailing the kind of consequences Syria could face if it doesn’t comply with the resolution. The U.S. was looking for so-called “Chapter VII” language, which would leave the door open to military action. Russia was opposed to that.

U.S. Official: Russia Agrees To U.N. Resolution On Syria

Another thing I must add: the IOC doesn’t really have the right to discuss the laws in the country where the Olympic Games are organized. As long as the Olympic Charter is respected, we are satisfied, and that is the case.” Russian officials insist the law is designed to protect children and doesn’t infringe on the rights of gays. “Regarding this law, if people of traditional sexual orientation spread propaganda of non-traditional sex to children, then they will also be held accountable,” said Dmitry Kozak, a deputy prime minister in charge of overseeing preparations for the Sochi Olympics. “So there is simply no need to talk about discrimination.” The Human Rights Campaign, the largest gay rights organization in the U.S., condemned the IOC’s assessment of the Russian law. “If this law doesn’t violate the IOC’s charter, then the charter is completely meaningless,” HRC president Chad Griffin said in a statement. “The safety of millions of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) Russians and international travelers is at risk, and by all accounts the IOC has completed neglected its responsibility to Olympic athletes, sponsors and fans from around the world.” He noted that Killy spoke a day after gay rights activists were arrested outside the Moscow headquarters of the Sochi Olympics organizing committee for protesting the law. In Strasbourg, France, a leading European human rights watchdog that counts Russia among its 47 member states said the law “raises serious issues” under its 60-year-old human rights convention. The Council of Europe’s committee of ministers released a statement Thursday that “invited” Russian authorities to take measures to raise awareness about the fundamental rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. Russia was urged to submit a plan toward that end as soon as possible. President Vladimir Putin signed the ban on propaganda into law in late June. In August, he signed an additional decree banning all demonstrations and rallies in Sochi for two and a half months around the time of the games, a measure seen as intended to thwart protests by gay rights activists. Killy said the IOC commission was pleased with the ongoing construction ahead of the games, which with a total cost of $51 billion will be the most expensive Olympics in history. Much of the city still looks like an enormous building site, with unfinished hotels and debris from construction scattered across the Black Sea coast, but the Olympic venues are impressive. The coastal venues, where the skating events will take place, are sprawled like beached metallic whales across what used to be a residential coastline.

BY JOHN REED | SEPTEMBER 26, 2013 Russia is holding its annual celebration of military hardware this week in the Ural Mountain town of Nizhny Tagil. The Russian Arms Expo 2013, which lasts from Sept. 25 through 28, is held to promote Russia’s $14-billion arms industry. This year’s show boasts more than 400 exhibitors from 50 countries and, according to the shows promoters, is one of the largest weapons shows held in Russia. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev attended the show’s grand opening to watch the fanfare which included such grand displays as MiG-29 fighter jet flybys and demonstrations of Russia’s newest armored vehicles. The prime minister toured the exhibition making hands-on inspections while rubbing elbows with soldiers, arms dealers, and, apparently, priests. Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dimitry Rogozin was also there, calling for a new generation of “intelligent” and “unconventional” Russian weapons for land, air, sea, and space. Since 1999, the Russian Arms Expo (RAE) has been held nine times at the Staratel test range at the Nizhny Tagil Institute of Metal Testing’s (NTIIM). According to the RAE’s official website , the show’s primary purpose is to “promote Russian military equipment, arms and ammunition to both domestic and foreign markets.” What follows is a collection of all the show had to offer so far — from 1980s-vintage fighter jets to a new armored vehicle called the “Terminator.” Above, Russian Orthodox priests hang out in the tank pavilion. It’s unclear if the priests attended the RAE in any official capacity. Perhaps they were blessing the tanks. Corbis