World News

Russia Leads in Medals Entering Final Day in Sochi

Russia won two gold medals and a bronze Saturday at the Sochi Olympics, as the host nation took the lead in total medals heading into the last day of competition.

The United States led, 27-26, before Saturday's events.

In the men's 4-by-7.5-kilometer biathlon relay, Alexey Volkov, Yevgeny Ustyugov and Dmitry Malyshko kept Russia in third for most of the race, before anchor Anton Shipulin beat Germany's Simon Schempp on the final lap.

Russia, now a record seven-time Olympic relay champion, was 3.5 seconds in front of Germany. Austria won bronze.

In the relay, Norway's Ole Einar Bjoerndalen missed out on a chance for a historic ninth Winter Olympics gold medal. The 40-year-old Bjoerndalen set a record at the Sochi Games by winning his 13th medal, but he is tied with Norwegian cross country skier Bjoern Daehlie for the most golds with eight.

American-born Vic Wild took the gold -- for Russia -- in the men's snowboard parallel slalom, the first time the event has been held in the Olympics. Snowboarders from Slovenia and Austria came in second and third, respectively.

The women's title in that event went to Austrian Julia Dujmovits, with Germans taking the silver and bronze.

Russia has 29 medals to 27 for the United States, which failed to reach the medals podium Saturday. Norway has 26, and Canada and the Netherlands have 24 apiece. Russia is tied with Norway for the most gold medals with 11.



In other competition Saturday, the Dutch added to their unparalleled medal totals in speedskating. They won the men's and women's team pursuit races, giving them a record eight gold medals in Sochi and a record of 23 overall at the 2014 Games.

In the men's slalom, Austria's Mario Matt became the oldest Olympic skiing champion. The 34-year-old Matt finished with a combined time of 1 minute, 41.84 seconds over two runs. His Austrian teammate, Marcel Hirscher, won silver and Norway's Henrik Kristoffersen took bronze. At 19 years old, Kristoffersen became the youngest Olympic medalist in men's alpine skiing.

The Norwegian women swept the women's 30-kilometer mass start freestyle skiing race. Marit Bjoergen won her sixth career gold medal, tying the record for the most gold medals by a woman at the Winter Olympics. She also tied the record of 10 medals overall.

Norway has dominated the skiing competition in Sochi, posting four medal sweeps in the 10 individual events.

In men's ice hockey, 43-year-old Teemu Selanne scored two goals and Tuukka Rask had a 27-save shutout in Finland's 5-0 rout of the United States in the bronze medal game. On Sunday, Canada will face Sweden for the gold medal at the Bolshoi Ice Dome.

Canada, which beat the United States in the finals at the 2010 Vancouver Games, is seeking to become the first team since 1988 to win back-to-back gold medals in men's hockey.

Medals are also at stake Sunday in the four-man bobsleigh and the men's 50-kilometer mass start freestyle skiing race, before closing ceremonies.

In other news Saturday, Olympic officials said Ukrainian cross country skier Marina Lisogor and Latvian ice hockey player Vitalijs Pavlovs tested positive for banned substances. The cases came a day after German biathlete Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle and Italian bobsleigh athlete William Frullani tested positive in the first announced doping cases of the Sochi Olympics.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Interneti
X
Mike O'Sullivan
June 30, 2015 8:20 PM
Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs