Russia Gets Black Eye In Heavyweight Bout

Russia, U.S. agree on how Syria should eliminate chemical arms – Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin has vowed to deliver a brilliant Games to show how far Russia has come since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. But Russia has come under mounting international criticism over a new anti-gay propaganda law, which critics believe is repressive, and preparations for the Games will not be plain sailing for the Russian hosts. Earlier in the day, a group of Greek gay activists raised the rainbow flag outside Greece’s Acropolis museum in Athens. Russia receives the Olympic flame, a globally recognized symbol of humanitarian ideals, the Athens-based gay rights group Color Youth said in a statement. Yet the laws in Russia are far from the ideals of human rights when it comes to LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-gender, queer) people, who are tortured, abused and discriminated against. We choose not to be silent this day, it said. Frustration among principals on both sides appears to be growing as government shutdown drags on in Washington More Featured Videos Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe’s Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player . Indian Villagers Look to Sky for Water Supply Indian Villagers Look to Sky for Water Supply At least 11 percent of the global population does not have access to improved drinking water sources. And although the situation has improved in India, the United Nations says the world’s second most populous country still has some 97 million people living without a safe water supply. VOA New Delhi correspondent Aru Pande travels to a village in northern India where residents are turning to ancient water gathering practices.

Last month, meanwhile, Russia began construction of a new military base in the Arctic,in the New Siberian Island archipelago. Russia didnt crack down on the Greenpeace protests because Greenpeace was trying to bring attention to the potential environmental impacts of hydrocarbon exploration. Putin is clear that Arctic oil and gas will form the basis of Russias future economic prosperity, and thus Russia wants to send the message that anybody who attempts to interfere in its Arctic activities will feel the full legal and political force of the state. Its recent behaviorsuggests that, however unlikely it may be, it will not rule out using military force either. The Kremlin decided long ago that it would act pragmatically in the Arctic — cooperating with the West on issues of mutual interest, and diverging from the West where interests clashed. The West, however, has so far failed to understand that in the Arctic, much like in Syria, Russia acts, first and foremost, in its own interests. For now, international attention is focused on a courtroom in Murmansk. But later this year, it will be on New York, where Russia is expected to re-submit its 2001 application to theUN to extend its continental shelf to include 1.2 million square kilometers of Arctic seabed. It is the outcome of this event that will have the most far-reaching implications for the future of the Arctic. Business editor Derek Thompson looks at how such a simple commodity became as pricey as soda. Video A quick, animated look at at where emissions come from on our planet Video A brief history of technological progress and why it’s not necessarily a bad thing Video Inequality explained in pie charts (made of actual pie) Video Two longtime Atlantic writers hit the runway in their Cirrus plane. Video A quick explainer on monetary policy Video The Eurythmics star discusses insights from her life as a musician, AIDS activist, mother, and more. Video No, seriously, what *is* money? Video A video explores urban legends from around the world.

Russia Receives Sochi Olympics Flame

5, Russia and Ukraine did. Ukrainian heavyweight boxing champion Wladimir Klitschko met Russian contender Alexander Povetkin in the most heralded title fight of the year. Animosity between Russia and Ukraine runs deep. Lately, it has been expressed in a battle over Ukraine’s plans to seek a free-trade deal with the European Union — a move that would weaken a separate customs union championed by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Ukrainian support for the EU deal has persisted despite Russia’s efforts to undermine the country’s ties with Europe, prompting angry outbursts from Putin and other Russian politicians. The acrimony turned the title fight into a settling of geopolitical scores. It helped that Klitschko’s older brother Vitali, also a boxing champion, is one of Ukraine’s most prominent pro-Europe politicians. Povetkin, for his part, is known as a Putin loyalist, having served a term as a local legislator for Putin’s United Russia party in his native Kursk region. Russian promoters turned the event — the first of its caliber in Moscow — into an ostentatious display of wealth, selling ringside seats for $5,000 and offering Klitschko $17 million and Povetkin $6 million regardless of the outcome. One of the promoters, Andrei Ryabinsky, wrote on Twitter that scalpers were offering tickets to the fight for as much as $20,000. One had only to watch the pre-fight ceremony to see what was at stake. Povetkin sported the emblem of Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft on his black robe. Rosneft’s chief executive officer, close Putin ally Igor Sechin, watched him march toward the ring to a live performance of a song invoking the ancient Slav god Svarog. Singer-songwriter Nikolai Yemelin, Povetkin’s favorite artist, clad in chain mail for the occasion, intoned: “We have had to fight many wars, so we mixed blood into our land to live free!” Povetkin’s nickname, Russky Vityaz, or Russian Warrior, was embroidered in gold across the band of his shorts.

What Russia’s Treatment of Greenpeace Activists Reveals About its Arctic Policy

“We have a common understanding of what needs to be done and how. I am very glad that President (Barack) Obama is occupying this position (on chemical arms),” Putin told reporters at the end of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation trade summit on the Indonesian island of Bali. International experts charged with starting the process of verifying and eliminating chemical weapons arrived in Syria earlier this month. Russia, Syria’s long-time ally and arms supplier, has offered to assist with the demolition process. Putin said he believed experts from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) would be able to accomplish their goal of ridding Syria of its chemical arms within a year. “We and the Americans, the whole international community trust them,” he said. “If they are saying it is possible to do this (eliminate Syria’s chemical arms) in one year, then that’s the way it is.” The team of experts, supported by the United Nations, aim to oversee destruction of the Syria’s chemical weapons production and mixing equipment by November 1, and deal with all chemical weapons materials by the end of June 2014. Putin praised Syria for cooperation on the plan to destroy its chemical arsenal, a deal brokered by Moscow and Washington last month amid a possibility of U.S. military strikes against the forces of President Bashar al-Assad. “The doubts regarding the readiness of the Syrian leadership to adequately respond to the decisions on chemical weapons proved to be unjustified,” he said. “Syria has joined these efforts actively, is acting very transparently…and I hope this work will continue further at the same pace and in the same direction.” Relations between Washington and Moscow are strained by a number of issues, including remaining differences on Syria and Putin’s record on human rights and democracy.