Should Olympic Flameout Disqualify Russia? Opinionline

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With Malala in the spotlight, Taliban issues new threat Tim Craig and Saleem Mehsud Amid Nobel buzz, the group warns the Pakistani teen it will harm her again if she keeps speaking out. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said Borodin had been arrested over an absolutely contrived allegation of child abuse, and that the Dutch ambassador to Russia had been summoned to the ministry in Moscow to receive an official protest over the case. The Netherlands Foreign Ministry said an incident occurred with a Russian diplomat that led to an arrest by the Dutch police and that it is under review. Speaking from the APEC summit in Bali, Indonesia, Putin described the arrest as a rude violation of treaties on diplomatic relations. The Dutch ministerial statement, while not exactly conciliatory, said, If it emerges from the investigation that actions were taken in conflict with the Vienna Treaty on Diplomatic Relations, the Netherlands will apologize to Russia. The timing of the disputed arrest is sensitive. On Sept. 18, the Russian coast guard seized the Dutch-flagged ship Arctic Sunrise after Greenpeace activists used it to stage a demonstration at an offshore oil platform owned by Gazprom. Last week, the Russians charged all 30 on board the ship with piracy which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years. Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans said Friday that he would seek to recover the ship at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, based in Hamburg, Germany, because it wasnt clear whether the ships seizure was legal. He said he would seek the release of the 30 detainees, among them activists and journalists, via diplomatic channels. Greenpeace, meanwhile, staged demonstrations around the world over the weekend calling for the release of the Arctic 30, who are being held in the northern Russian city of Murmansk. A Murmansk court on Tuesday denied bail to two of the activists and a freelance photographer who was with them. According to Borodins Twitter account, men he took to be Dutch police entered his home late Saturday night after he had refused them entry, that he identified himself and told them he enjoyed diplomatic immunity.

An artisan gives finishing touches to an effigy of demon king Ravana in preparation for the upcoming Hindu festival of Dussehra in the northern Indian city of Chandigarh October 8, 2013. The effigies are burnt during the festival which commemorates the triumph of Lord Rama over Ravana, marking the victory of good over evil. REUTERS/Ajay Verma (INDIA - Tags: RELIGION SOCIETY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

Torchbearer Savarsh Karapetyan indicates that his flame has blown out in Moscow on Sunday. (Photo: APTN via AP) SHARECONNECT 2 TWEET COMMENTEMAILMORE Frank Jannuzi, The Huffington Post : “The torch and the Olympic Charter symbolize peaceful competition, fair play, camaraderie and a chance to express one’s individual spirit. Tellingly, an errant gust of wind briefly extinguished the flame Sunday (before) it reached the hands of President Vladimir Putin. An aide relit the torch, but it may not burn so brightly in Putin’s Russia, where speaking your mind or celebrating your sexual orientation or gender identity can land you in jail. Russia’s crackdown on freedom of expression should offend sports fans and human rights activists everywhere.” Colin Schultz, : “To be fair to the Russian president, this isn’t the first time the Olympic torch has flamed out. In 2012, during the torch relay for the London Games, the flame went out on the third day, the result of a faulty burner. In 2008, the Olympic flame, this time on its way to Beijing, was snuffed out multiple times while traveling under armed guard through Paris. … As the years go by, the torch relays are getting more and more complicated. The torch has been to space. It’s been through the air, through water, and over ice and snow. This is why there’s a system in place to deal with the inevitable flameouts.” Alexander Besant, Global Post : “When Prometheus stole the fire from Olympian Zeus to give to mankind, little did he know that fire would have to be relit by a bulky Russian security guard. … Having apparently ordered 16,000 torches (at $6.4 million), the Russian government will hopefully have no trouble finding at least one that works.” Danielle Tarasiuk, Neon Tommy : “The torch is first lit in Greece and then passed on in a relay to the location of the Olympic Games. Throughout the entire relay, the torch is supposed to stay lit, but like Napoleon in 1812, no one took into account the windy and wet Russian winter.” Effie Orfanides, : “So, the Olympic torch goes out but only for a few seconds, really, and this can’t be the first time that this has ever happened, right?

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

Credit: Reuters/Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Pool By Alexei Anishchuk NUSA DUA, Indonesia | Tue Oct 8, 2013 5:45pm BST NUSA DUA, Indonesia (Reuters) – Russia and the United States agree on how to eliminate chemical weapons in Syria, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday after meeting U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. “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. Russia has been a staunch supporter of Assad, whose fight against armed opposition groups has taken the lives of 100,000 people in more than two years. Moscow and Beijing have vetoed three U.N.