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Russia talks LGBT tolerance for WCup but locals have doubts

By James Ellingworth and Iuliia Subbotovska, Associated Press MOSCOW (AP) — Tolerated during the World Cup, Russia's LGBT communities face a return to widespread discrimination when the FIFA circus packs up and leaves the country in mid-July. As head of Russia's LGBT Sports Federation, Alexander Agapov says he can't advertise sports events without hiring security and he's been attacked on public transport. Still, he predicts foreigners arriving for the World Cup won't notice a thing. "In the stadium and around it will be quite safe, I believe," to display symbols of gay activism like the rainbow flag, he told The Associated Press. That echoes the tolerant line from Russia's government-run World Cup organizing committee. "All visitors to Russia in 2018 - regardless of race, gender, religion, ability or sexual orientation - can expect a warm welcome," it said in a statement. "Persons will not be fined for expressing their feelings. The display of rainbow flags in the stands or at public celebrations will be allowed." Rainbow flags are generally seen by Russian authorities as banned "gay propaganda". Under Russian law, anyone who displays a rainbow flag in a public setting where children are present — such as a stadium — could be fined. Jonny Dzhibladze of the "Coming Out" organization in St. Petersburg suggested foreign LGBT fans will be treated better than locals. During the tournament, "if there's some kind of attack or abuse, then maybe the authorities will even start to investigate it or publicly condemn it as a demonstration case," he said. "But, knowing Russian media and the homophobic rhetoric that they use, it will probably be framed as: 'These crazy rainbow people have come from Europe. Let's forgive them and put up with them while they're here. They're guests. But as soon as they leave, we return to our Russian traditional values.'" A 2013 law bans so-called "propaganda" of homosexuality to under-18s. In practice, it's been used to stifle debate in any public context or to prevent protests in any public context where a child could conceivably see or hear. Russian anti-gay rights groups have used social media to out LGBT teachers and have them fired. Some criminals, Dzhibladze says, use gay dating apps to find targets to rob, assuming their victims won't trust the police. The law puts a financial burden on Agapov's sports federation. A football competition might only require two fields in a sports complex, he says, but the organization has to hire a third nearby, just to block it from being rented for a children's event. If that happened and children could see the LGBT competition, it could be breaking the law. Vitaly Milonov, a lawmaker who played a key role in passing the "gay propaganda" law, has called for a harder line on World Cup fans. Comparing gay people to chimpanzees, he said "sodomites" flying the rainbow flag had no place at the tournament. "I want to remind them that, no matter how much they try lobbying, their hideous way of life is condemned all over the world," he told the AP. "They do not have the right to propagandize their hideousness." Last year, reports emerged from the predominantly Muslim region of Chechnya in southern Russia that men were tortured and killed on suspicion of being gay. Chechnya will be home to the Egyptian team during the World Cup. Dozens spoke about torture at secret prison facilities overseen by allies of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who has claimed there are no gays in Chechnya. A Russian government investigation said there was no proof. Russia's World Cup is also a test for FIFA's image ahead of the 2022 tournament in Qatar and a possible 2026 World Cup in Morocco, both countries where gay sex is illegal. FIFA says it has a "zero-tolerance approach to discrimination" and has discussed gay rights issues with Russia. "We are absolutely aware of discriminatory concerns and have always addressed them in close collaboration with the (local organizing committee), the Russian Football Union and the Russian authorities," FIFA's head of sustainability and diversity, Federico Addiechi, told the AP by e-mail. Russia has no openly gay professional athletes. However, Agapov says he's had messages of support from closeted athletes and knows of one well-known male footballer who dates men. "We will be happy if one day a gay footballer will come out in Russian football because we know that there are gay footballers," he said, recounting how he found the player using a gay dating app in a World Cup host city. "It works in Russian football like 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'. He's open to date with guys, but he's not open to speak about his sexuality in public." The World Cup is unlikely to change much, Agapov predicts. "The World Cup is over, we are still here, and the persecution of LGBT people in Chechnya and other regions is still going on." ___ Subbotovska reported from St. Petersburg, Russia......»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnJun 2nd, 2018

Asian shares gain despite doubts over US-China trade talks

Tokyo -- Asian shares were mostly higher Tuesday amid doubts about the prospects for resolving the trade dispute between the U.S. and China. KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 gained.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated News3 hr. 10 min. ago

Federalism probe, Grab pricing, PH weather | Evening wRap

Today on Rappler: Grace Poe wants Senate probe into federalism info campaign. Jose Reyes Jr appointed Supreme Court justice. Antitrust body OKs Grab-Uber deal, sets conditions. PH pivot to Russia advances with port visit, submarine talks. Karding, another tropical cyclone enhancing monsoon. {module 3998}.....»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsAug 10th, 2018

PH, Russia navies in talks for security

Sailors take part in Russia's Navy Day parade in Crimea, which Russia invaded and made part of its territory in defiance of international condemnation. --AFP The Philippine and Russian navies.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsAug 5th, 2018

Elon Musk s latest outburst raises doubts on leadership

In this photo, taken Sept. 29, 2015, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors Inc., talks about the Model X car at the company's headquarters, in California. In tweet on Monday, July 3, 2017, Musk annou.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsJul 17th, 2018

Rody: Maximum tolerance

“ I don’t want to see any rifle, except your baton and your shield.” President Rodrigo Duterte over the weekend slammed shut the door on peace talks with communist rebels, citing their call to oust him. In a speech in Davao City, the President stressed he will not push through with negotiations even if it […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJul 8th, 2018

Brazil coach Tite not a fan of penalty shootouts

Brazil head coach Tite, left, talks to his player Neymar during the round of 16 match between Brazil and Mexico at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Samara Arena, in Samara, Russia, Monday, July 2,.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsJul 6th, 2018

Migrant workers the key to Russia’s smooth-running World Cup

MOSCOW --- Behind the veneer of Russia's smooth-running World Cup are legions of migrant workers from Central Asia, who built the stadiums and keep them running, staff concession stands, and clean up after fans who revel through city streets. They are among millions of migrants who perform menial jobs across Russia, and face routine police harassment and ethnic profiling. They are accused of depressing wages and plotting terrorism, yet unlike in Europe or the US, no one talks of building a border wall to keep them out. That's because they form a pillar of the economy and aid Vladimir Putin's geopolitical strategy --- and without them, Russia might not have managed to host a World Cup ...Keep on reading: Migrant workers the key to Russia’s smooth-running World Cup.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJul 5th, 2018

UN Security Council to hold emergency Syria talks

UNITED NATIONS – The UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting Thursday, July 5, to discuss the Syrian army's Russia -backed offensive against rebel groups that has forced some 300,000 people to flee, diplomats said. Sweden, which holds the rotating Security Council presidency, requested the closed-door meeting along ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJul 4th, 2018

Rebels, Russia pursue talks over battered south Syria – monitor

DARAA, Syria – Syrian rebels and local officials pursued talks with regime ally Russia on Sunday, July 1, over the fate of a key southern region facing a government offensive, a Britain-based monitor said. The Jordan-backed talks came as a tentative calm reigned over most fronts in the southern province of ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJul 1st, 2018

Serbs angrier at World Cup ref than at nationalist gestures

By Mike Corder, Associated Press KALININGRAD, Russia (AP) — Serbs appeared angrier Saturday at the referee who officiated their country's 2-1 World Cup defeat than at two Swiss players who provocatively flashed Albanian nationalist gestures after scoring. Years of simmering Balkan tensions surfaced at the World Cup on Friday night as Switzerland beat Serbia in Kaliningrad. The two Swiss goals came from ethnic Albanians Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka, both of whom celebrated with a hand signal of the double-headed eagle on the Albanian flag. "The Swiss Provocation," wrote Serb nationalist daily newspaper Vecernje Novosti alongside photographs of the gestures and a picture of Shaqiri's boots, which have the Kosovo flag on one heel and the Swiss flag on the other. FIFA's disciplinary committee opened proceedings against the two for the politically charged goal celebrations. FIFA also said Saturday it has opened disciplinary proceedings against the Serbian Football Association for crowd disturbance and the display of political and offensive messages by Serbian fans. FIFA also is reviewing statements that Serbia coach Mladen Krstajic made after the match. The families of both goal scorers hail from Kosovo , the former Serb province whose 2008 declaration of independence is not recognized by Serbia and remains a source of friction between the Balkan neighbors. Thousands of Kosovo Albanians trekked across Europe in the 1990s, fleeing rising ethnic tensions that culminated in a bloody 1998-99 war of independence between ethnic Albanians and Serb forces that left about 10,000 people dead. Many settled in Switzerland, but still have strong feelings for their homeland — Xhaka's brother plays for the Albanian national team. Serbian football officials complained to FIFA, soccer's governing body, about the gestures, but appeared far angrier about the failure of German referee Felix Brych to use a video review when two Swiss defenders manhandled Serbia striker Aleksandar Mitrovic to the ground in the second half. Brych ignored Serbian players' penalty appeals. FIFA had no comment Saturday about the video decision. Serbian football association Vice President Savo Milosevic reacted angrily after the match. "I understand maybe the referee didn't see it, but that's why we put VAR (video assisted review) on," Milosevic said. "What are (those) guys doing up there?" Serbian newspapers gave more space to the VAR spat than to the nationalist gestures. In the Kosovo capital, Pristina, fans set off flares when the Swiss players scored . Fans in the Albanian capital, Tirana, cheered as they watched the match on outdoor screens. Kosovo's president Hashim Thaci wrote on Twitter: "Congratulations to goalscorers Xhaka, Shaqiri and entire #Switzerland on a well deserved win! Proud of you." He finished his tweet: "Kosova ju don!" — an Albanian phrase meaning "Kosovo loves you!" Thaci is due to meet his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vucic in Brussels on Sunday for European Union-brokered talks on their countries' strained relationship. Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama posted on his Facebook page photos of Shaqiri and Xhaka with their hands crossed in the two-headed eagle symbol and wrote: "Photo of the day." Meanwhile in Kaliningrad the day after the match, fans of both sides were not impressed by the gestures. "Politics shouldn't be mixed in with sports," said Stefan Gabrilovic, a Serbia supporter who lives in Australia. "I mean, it's not right, it's not right at all." Switzerland fan Mannie Affolter agreed. "I think it's not necessary but I cannot stop them," Affolter said. "For me it's too political, they should concentrate on sports. I don't like it either." Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic, who was born in Bosnia, another Balkan nation that fought a war of independence as Yugoslavia collapsed in the 1990s, didn't approve, either. "You should never mix politics and football. You should always show respect," he said after the match. "It's a wonderful atmosphere and a positive experience and that's what football should be about." ____ Associated Press writers Dusan Stojanovic in Belgrade and Llazar Semini in Tirana, Albania, contributed......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 24th, 2018

German reporter who exposed Russia doping ‘won’t be at World Cup’

German journalist Hajo Seppelt, whose investigative reporting exposed Russia's alleged state-sponsored doping, will not travel to the football World Cup tournament out of security concerns, national broadcaster ARD said. World Cup host Russia had initially refused to issue Seppelt a visa, but later relented after massive international pressure, with FIFA stressing the importance of media freedom to President Vladimir Putin's government. But Germany's security agencies have since evaluated the situation and found that it was risky for the journalist to travel to Russia, said ARD in a statement late Wednesday. Representatives from the broadcaster also held talks with Foreig...Keep on reading: German reporter who exposed Russia doping ‘won’t be at World Cup’.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJun 14th, 2018

British police: LGBT fans at World Cup should obey local law

British Chief Inspector Joseph Stokoe speaks to the media at the International Police Cooperation Center opened in Domodedovo, outside Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, June 12, 2018. The top British police.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsJun 13th, 2018

Zidane s successor faces high bar, doubts about stars

By Joseph Wilson, Associated Press BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Zinedine Zidane had barely finished announcing that he was leaving Real Madrid when speculation began about who would succeed him. Twenty-four hours later, both Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino and Germany coach Joachim Loew — two of the top names rumored to be on Madrid's list of candidates — have said they are staying put. Pochettino said Friday that his "commitment is total" to Tottenham. He signed a five-year contract extension last week. Loew, who is preparing Germany to defend its World Cup title in Russia, said "it's not an issue for me. I'm at the World Cup now. I can completely rule it out now." Other coaches that Madrid president Florentino Perez supposedly is considering include Chelsea's Antonio Conte, exiting Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and former Madrid player Jose Maria "Guti" Gutierrez. While the Madrid job is one of soccer's most coveted posts, its next coach will have some hurdles to tackle. STARS IN DOUBT The biggest worry for any coach coming to the Spanish capital will be the uncertain future of the team's top stars. Both Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale appear to be mulling an exit, at least according to statements they made just moments after Madrid beat Liverpool in last weekend's Champions League final. Ronaldo put a huge damper on Madrid's celebrations by appearing to speak of his time at Madrid as having reached its end. "In the next few days I'll give the fans an answer because they are the ones who have always been by my side," Ronaldo said. "It was very beautiful to be with Madrid." Ronaldo said he would clear up his future once he joins the Portuguese national team next week as it prepares for the World Cup. Bale, who scored twice as a substitute to beat Liverpool 3-1, was more explicit in stating his desire to get more playing time after a season during which he lost his spot in the starting 11. Midfielder Francisco "Isco" Alarcon has also complained about not enjoying the same untoucbable status as Ronaldo, defender Sergio Ramos or midfielder Luka Modric. COMMITMENT Zidane could hardly have set the bar any higher with three straight European Cups. Still, the Frenchman leaves a Madrid team that woefully underperformed in both the Spanish league and the Copa del Rey this season. It is likely that only his status as fan favorite from his playing days at Madrid and his titles from the previous two seasons kept Zidane in his job through the first six months of last season, until the team finally found its form in the Champions League. Madrid finished in third place in the league, a whopping 17 points adrift champion Barcelona. In the Copa del Rey, the team was eliminated at home by a modest Leganes in the quarterfinals, a moment which Zidane said was the worst of his coaching stint with the club. Whoever inherits the team will have to improve its work ethic to face the weekly grind of games in the Spanish league and the Copa del Rey if it hopes to dethrone Barcelona from both domestic competitions. BENZEMA Zidane has been the biggest public defender of Karim Benzema, fending off calls from fans and the local sports media to bench the struggling striker. Benzema scored only five times in 32 league appearances this season, his lowest mark since arriving at Madrid in 2009. If the club doesn't sign a replacement for Benzema this offseason, then its next coach will have to help him recover his best form. YOUNG PLAYERS Madrid tried to rejuvenate its squad last year by bringing in a group of young Spanish players, including defenders Theo Hernandez and Jesus Vallejo, midfielders Dani Ceballos and Marcos Llorente, and forward Borja Mayoral. But none earned a spot in Zidane's starting lineup or his group of preferred backups. Madrid's in-coming coach will have to bring those players into the fold so their careers don't stagnate any further......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 2nd, 2018

Russia foreign minister arrives for talks in North Korea

FILE - In this Monday, May 14, 2018, file photo, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov prepares to take a questions during a news conference in Moscow, Russia. Russia's foreign ministry said.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsJun 1st, 2018

Putin calls for culture of no tolerance to doping

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a new cabinet meeting in the Kremlin, in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, May 26, 2018. (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP) Russian President Vla.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsMay 30th, 2018

Putin calls for ‘culture of no tolerance’ to doping

Russian President Vladimir Putin called Tuesday for sports officials to restore Moscow's place in international sport and implement a "culture of no tolerance" to doping ahead of a vote to elect a new head of Russia's Olympic Committee. "It is important to ensure the restoration of our position in the international sport movement, to actively participate in the work of international federations and to continue working on improving the effectiveness of anti-doping systems," Putin said in a statement published on the Kremlin's website Tuesday. He added that "it is necessary to give priority to the formation of an absolute no tolerance culture to this negative phenomenon at all...Keep on reading: Putin calls for ‘culture of no tolerance’ to doping.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMay 29th, 2018

Putin, Abe pledge to reinforce cooperation

MOSCOW, Russia – Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday, May 26, held talks with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as the leaders pledged to "reinforce cooperation" at a time of tension with the West.  "I am very pleased to have the opportunity to talk in detail on our bilateral relations and ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMay 27th, 2018

Japan’s prime minister heads to Russia for talks with Putin

TOKYO --- Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe headed to Russia on Thursday for talks with President Vladimir Putin in hopes of making progress on joint economic projects on disputed islands as a step toward resolving the decades-old territorial row. Abe said he hoped to talk "heart-to-heart" with Putin on Saturday to achieve progress on the island issue and eventually sign a peace treaty. Abe also plans to reaffirm Russia's cooperation in efforts to rid North Korea of nuclear weapons. Abe has been pushing for a way forward in the dispute over the Russian-held islands that Japan also claims. The row has kept the two countries from signing a peace treaty formally ending their WWII ...Keep on reading: Japan’s prime minister heads to Russia for talks with Putin.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMay 24th, 2018

Modric, Rakitic headline Croatia s preliminary WCup squad

ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) — In possibly their last World Cup as midfield partners, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic were named Monday in the provisional Croatia squad for the tournament in Russia. Modric's focus could be distracted by perjury charges he faces in his country for testimony about financial deals with a former Dinamo Zagreb director charged with embezzlement and tax fraud. The prosecutors in the eastern town of Osijek say Modric gave a false court statement in June about his 2008 transfer from Dinamo to Tottenham. Striker Mario Mandzukic, who just clinched yet another Serie A title with Juventus, was also chosen by Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic for his 32-man selection. Mandzukic has scored 30 goals for his country in 82 international games. Forwards Ivan Perisic and Nikola Kalinic are also available up front. Center back Dejan Lovren, who will play in the Champions League final with Liverpool, and veteran Vedran Corluka will likely anchor Croatia's defense. Domagoj Vida, Josip Pivaric, Sime Vrsaljko and Ivan Strinic are also part of Croatia's defensive line. Goalkeeper Danijel Subasic and his likely backup, Lovre Kalinic, were also included. Croatia will play in Group D at the World Cup campaign against Nigeria on June 16 before facing Argentina on June 21 and Iceland on June 26......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 15th, 2018

Syria talks renew in Astana amid growing regional fears

Astana, Kazakhstan — Negotiators from Iran, Russia and Turkey gathered in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana on Monday, hoping to make progress on a political settlement in Syria as diplomatic tensions fan out across the region. The two-day talks are the first time the three foreign powers most deeply involved in Syria’s seven-year war have met together […] The post Syria talks renew in Astana amid growing regional fears appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: newsSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsMay 14th, 2018