Tag Archives: Winter

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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Polish mountaineers call off winter K2 summit bid

Polish mountaineers call off winter K2 summit bidA team of Polish mountaineers attempting the first winter summit of K2, the world’s second highest peak, have called off their bid citing bad weather, after a drama-filled expedition which made international headlines. The decision means that K2, in northern Pakistan on the border with China, remains the only peak in the world above 8,000 metres that has never been climbed in winter. “Based on a deep analysis of the situation in agreement with the team I decided today to end the mountain action on K2,” wrote the team leader Krzysztof Wielicki on their Facebook page.



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Winter storm could bring blizzard conditions to northern US

Winter storm could bring blizzard conditions to northern USA new weather system is developing as many recover from nor'easter.



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Rome Gets Rare Snowfall, And It's An Ancient Winter Wonderland

Rome Gets Rare Snowfall, And It's An Ancient Winter WonderlandRome was greeted on Monday morning by its first snowfall in six years.



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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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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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11 Winter Olympic Sports You Probably Haven't Heard Of

11 Winter Olympic Sports You Probably Haven't Heard OfWith the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, in full swing, people around the world are tuning in to watch their favorite competitions.



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Kim Jong-un praises South Korea's warm welcome for Winter Olympics after sister's visit

Kim Jong-un praises South Korea's warm welcome for Winter Olympics after sister's visitNorth Korean leader Kim Jong-un has praised the welcome the South gave his sister and said it was important to build on the Olympics-driven momentum for dialogue on the divided peninsula. Kim's younger sister Kim Yo Jong – one of his closest confidantes – was part of the nuclear-armed North's diplomatic delegation to the Games that made worldwide headlines. She delivered his invitation for the South's President Moon Jae-in to come to a summit in Pyongyang – which he did not immediately accept, saying the "right conditions" were needed. The North is subject to multiple sets of UN Security Council sanctions over its banned nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, and conducted dozens of weapons tests last year. But the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang have triggered extraordinary scenes, with Moon and Kim cheering a unified Korean women's ice hockey team together – along with the North's ceremonial head of state Kim Yong-nam – and attending a concert by Pyongyang's artistes. Even so analysts warn that the positive mood could evaporate quickly after the Games, when the US and South are due to hold major joint military exercises that always infuriate the North. Kim Jong-un met the delegation on Monday after it returned to Pyongyang, the official KCNA news agency reported. It indirectly cited Kim as saying it was important to enhance "the warm climate of reconciliation and dialogue" created by the Winter Olympics – which for months the North refused to say whether it would attend. He gave instructions for "practical measures" to do so, it added, without giving details. The South's appreciation of the North's presence and the welcome it gave its representatives were "impressive", he said, thanking Seoul for its "sincere efforts". Close scrutiny  The KCNA report is the first official reaction from Kim - the third generation of the dynasty to rule the isolated and impoverished North – since his sister's charm offensive in the South. Kim Yo-jong's visit made her the first member of the family to set foot in the country since the end of the Korean War. Every detail of her trip was scrutinised, from the clothes she wore and her facial expressions to the bag she was carrying and even her handwriting. But it left South Koreans divided, with some hoping it might usher in a real opportunity for reconciliation while others angrily burned the North Korean flag and criticised Moon for being too soft on Pyongyang. How deep the rapprochement runs, how far it will go and how long it will last once the Games are over remain very open to question, analysts say. Pyongyang's Olympic diplomacy has also highlighted differences between Seoul and its key protector the United States over how to handle the reclusive regime and its nuclear weapons programme. Washington insists that Pyongyang must take concrete steps towards denuclearisation before any talks can begin, while Moon – whose parents escaped from the North in a US evacuation during the war – has long argued for closer involvement to bring it to the negotiating table.



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