• Russia plays down Sochi Games boycott


    MOSCOW: Russia on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila) dismissed the impact of a decision by the United States and some European leaders to skip the opening of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi over Moscow’s record on human rights. US President Barack Obama last week named two openly gay sports stars but no acting official to his Games delegation, in a message of opposition to a ban on “homosexual propaganda” that Russia imposed this year. French President Francois Hollande and British Prime Minister David Cameron are among a clutch of EU leaders who have also decided to skip the Games’ opening ceremony on February 7.


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