Tag Archives: Olympics

How Vladimir Putin 'gave order to shoot down passenger plane' at Sochi Winter Olympics

How Vladimir Putin 'gave order to shoot down passenger plane' at Sochi Winter OlympicsRussia's Vladimir Putin in 2014 ordered a passenger aircraft which was reported to be carrying a bomb and targeting the opening of the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi to be downed, the president said in a film shown on Sunday. In a two-hour documentary titled "Putin" and available on Russian social media, Mr Putin told reporter Andrey Kondrashov he received a telephone call from security officers responsible for the Sochi Olympics on Feb. 7, 2014, shortly before the opening ceremony was due to start. "I was told: a plane en route from Ukraine to Istanbul was seized, captors demand landing in Sochi," Mr Putin said in the film seen by Reuters. The pilots of a Turkish Pegasus Airlines Boeing 737-800 flying from Kharkiv to Istanbul reported that one of the passengers had a bomb and the plane had to change course to Sochi, Kondrashov said in the film. There were 110 passengers onboard, while over 40,000 people had gathered at the stadium to watch the opening ceremony, the reporter said. Vladimir Putin and Russian Premier Dmitry Medvedev watch the men's 4×10 km cross-country relay at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia Credit: AP Mr Putin said he sought advice from security officers and was told the emergency plan for that type of situation called for the plane to be shot down. "I told them: act according to the plan," Mr Putin said, adding that shortly afterwards he arrived at the Olympic venue with the International Olympic Committee officials. After several minutes Mr Putin received another call, he said, informing him that it was a false alarm – the passenger was drunk and the plane would continue its flight to Turkey. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Sunday confirmed the comments in the film. Mr Putin runs for the presidency next Sunday, March 18. The country is on a high alert ahead of the football World Cup from June 14 to July 15, with matches in a number of cities.



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Beijing spends big as it prepares for 2022 Olympics

Beijing spends big as it prepares for 2022 OlympicsVillages are being razed in northern China. With the Pyeongchang Games in South Korea having wrapped up on Sunday, the focus turns to Beijing as China spends big to host its first Winter Olympics in 2022. Beijing won the Games for its willingness to spend.



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All The Best Moments From The 2018 Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony

All The Best Moments From The 2018 Winter Olympics Closing CeremonyThe 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, drew to a colorful conclusion on Sunday.



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Here's How We Say Goodbye To The Winter Olympics

Here's How We Say Goodbye To The Winter OlympicsTOP STORIES (Get this roundup directly in your inbox each weekday ― sign up for The Morning Email here.)



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Controversial North Korean general met with protests ahead of Olympics closing ceremony

Controversial North Korean general met with protests ahead of Olympics closing ceremonyProtesters attempted to block vehicles carrying a controversial North Korean delegation to the closing ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games as they crossed the Demilitarised Zone into South Korea on Sunday morning. Around 100 conservative politicians and activists staged a sit-in demonstration at the Tongil Bridge, according to local broadcaster YTN, accusing the delegation's leader of being behind a deadly 2010 attack on a South Korean warship. South Korean authorities deployed more than 2.500 police officers to control the protests. To avoid a clash, the motorcade took an alternative route via Jeonjin bridge, which is a military crossing, according to the Chosun Ilbo. The opposition Korea Liberty Party accused the government of “abuse of power and an act of treason” for shielding the North Korean vehicles from the protest. The protesters were furious that the South Korean government had permitted the North’s delegation to be headed by Kim Young-chol, head of the Workers’ Party United Front Department and the man accused by Seoul’s intelligence agency of having masterminded the sinking of the corvette Cheonan in March 2010 and the artillery attack on the island of Yeonpyengdo eight months later. The delegation travelled to the South for Winter Olympics closing ceremony, which will also be attended by the US president's daughter Ivanka Trump. Both sides have said they do not expect to meet face-to-face.  South Korean people attend a protest opposing Vice chairman of the North Korean ruling party's central committee Kim Yong Chol on the Grand Unification bridge Credit: Reuters “Kim Yong-chol is our sworn enemy who took away 46 sailors’ precious lives with the sudden torpedo attack”, Chang Je-won, a politician taking part in the demonstration, told Yonhap news. Mr Kim later ignored questions from reporters about his responsibility for the sinking of the Cheonan as he entered the Walkerhill Hotel in Seoul, where the delegation will be based for their three day visit. The South Korean government has attempted to play down Mr Kim’s involvement in the two attacks – 46 sailors died when the Cheonan was torpedoed and two soldiers and two civilians died in the subsequent artillery attack – claiming that it is difficult to confirm who was responsible for the incidents. Seoul’s decision to turn a blind eye to the past actions of Mr Kim – who is on South Korea’s financial sanctions blacklist but is not subject to an international travel ban – has been met with scorn. In an editorial, the Chosun Ilbo accused the government of Moon Jae-in of “spitting on the Cheonan victims’ graves” and of “ignoring any evidence directly linking Kim to the attack”. South Korean protesters tried to block the motorcade of Kim Yong Chol Credit: Reuters It pointed out that Mr Kim was named in an inquiry conducted by the Defence Ministry in October 2010 as being behind the Cheonan attack, while an executive order signed by former US President Barack Obama in September 2010 imposed sanctions on Mr Kim. “Denying that he was responsible for the attack is like saying a man who fires a gun cannot be held responsible for the bullet that kills his victim”, the editorial said. Criticising the government for its decision to “roll out the red carpet for a butcher”, the editorial added: “This must end here. North Korea’s decision to send Kim is a deliberate provocation and shows utter disdain of the victims of its attack”. A family member of victims of the sunken South Korean naval ship Cheonan by a North Korean attack sits on a road to protest against a visit of Kim Yong Chol Credit: AP More than 70 members of the Liberty Korea Party demonstrated outside the presidential Blue House on Friday, demanding that the government cancel its acceptance of Mr Kim’s visit. “President Moon’s decision to accept the North’s façade of peace is a serious issue and it will go down in history as a crime eternal”, the party said in a statement. Washington has also weighed in on the decision to permit Mr Kim to travel to the South, with a spokesperson for the State Department stating that he should “take the opportunity” to visit the Cheonan Memorial, in Pyenogtaek, which displays the wreckage of the ship.  



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North Korea canceled meeting with Pence at Olympics: U.S. officials

North Korea canceled meeting with Pence at Olympics: U.S. officialsU.S. Vice President Mike Pence was scheduled to meet with North Korean officials, including leader Kim Jong Un’s sister, while in South Korea for the Winter Olympics this month but the North Koreans canceled at the last minute, U.S. officials said on Tuesday. “North Korea dangled a meeting in hopes of the Vice President softening his message, which would have ceded the world stage for their propaganda during the Olympics,” Pence’s chief of staff, Nick Ayers, said in a statement.



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No, Mike Pence Isn't Sorry for Sitting for North Korea During the Olympics

No, Mike Pence Isn't Sorry for Sitting for North Korea During the OlympicsVice President Mike Pence at CPAC responded to criticism of his choice to ignore the North Korean Olympic delegation and sit.



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Olympics Commentator Explains 'They All Look The Same' Remark About Chinese Skiers

Olympics Commentator Explains 'They All Look The Same' Remark About Chinese SkiersAn Australian TV commentator caused controversy at the Winter Olympics on Thursday with a remark about Chinese athletes all looking “the same.”



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Maame Biney Is Now Down To Her Last Shot In The Winter Olympics

Maame Biney Is Now Down To Her Last Shot In The Winter OlympicsMaame Biney’s quest for Winter Olympics glory is still alive ― but it took a hit on Tuesday.



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Tongan Flag-Bearer Is Worried Sick At Winter Olympics

Tongan Flag-Bearer Is Worried Sick At Winter OlympicsPita Taufatofua, the Tongan flag bearer known for his shirtless marches in this year’s Winter Olympics’ opening ceremony and in the 2016 Summer Games, is competing in Pyeongchang, South Korea, with much more on his mind than sport.



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