Around the World

Around the World

Friday, July 4, 2008


Greener Games Backed

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Thursday ordered organizers of the 2014 Winter Olympics to relocate several planned facilities, including the bobsled track and a village for athletes, away from protected wilderness.

Greenpeace, the World Wildlife Fund and other environmental groups had objected that some of the proposed construction near the Russian resort of Sochi, the site of the Games, would take place on the border of a U.N.-designated World Heritage site.

The facilities would damage wildlife and plants and open a pristine area in the Caucasus Mountains to further development, the groups contended.

"In setting our priorities and choosing between money and the environment, we're choosing the environment," Putin said during a meeting in Sochi with Jean-Claude Killy, chairman of the International Olympic Committee's coordinating commission for the 2014 Games.

-- Peter Finn


Mugabe Foes Seek Help

About 200 opposition supporters crowded outside the U.S. Embassy in Zimbabwe on Thursday, appealing for protection amid new reports of violence aimed at opponents of the heavy-handed rule of President Robert Mugabe.

The United States, meanwhile, presented a draft resolution at the U.N. Security Council calling for new sanctions against Mugabe and his top aides and talks on a coalition government for Zimbabwe, although the opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, has ruled that out.

Congo's Bemba Sent to Trial

Former Congolese vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba was extradited from Belgium to stand trial at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, the court said. Bemba faces charges stemming from his militia's intervention in the Central African Republic in 2002-03.

Russian Governor Steps Down

Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich quit as governor of the Arctic region of Chukotka, ending a deal with former president Vladimir Putin to give something back to the country that made him rich. Abramovich, owner of Britain's Chelsea soccer club, had invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the region since his 2000 election.

Burmese Ferry Sinks, Killing 38

YANGON, Burma -- A ferry sank in a river in Myanmar's cyclone-battered Irrawaddy delta, killing at least 38 people, state-media reported Friday. The motorized ship sank in the Yway river Tuesday after water entered its stern section, the New Light of Myanmar newspaper reported. It said 44 people were rescued.

Concorde Crash Trial Ordered

A French judge ordered Continental Airlines and five people to stand trial for manslaughter in connection with the July 2000 crash of a Concorde jet that killed 113 people. French investigators blamed a titanium strip on the runway from a Continental Airlines DC-10.

From News Services

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