News / Europe

UN Chief Carries Olympic Torch in Sochi

IOC President Thomas Bach, right, hands over the Olympic torch to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as the torch relay arrives in Sochi,  ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 6, 2014, in Russia.
IOC President Thomas Bach, right, hands over the Olympic torch to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as the torch relay arrives in Sochi, ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 6, 2014, in Russia.
VOA News
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon took part in the Olympic torch relay Thursday, one day before the Winter Olympic Games officially open in Russia's Black Sea resort city of Sochi.

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach passed the torch to Ban next to the Sochi River. Bach said he was glad to send an "Olympic message of peace and understanding."

Fans cheered both men as they carried the Olympic flame toward Fisht Olympic Stadium, where opening ceremonies promising to be spectacular will be held on Friday.

Qualifying rounds began on Thursday in several sports.

WATCH: Video clip of Ban Ki-moon press conference in Sochi:

UN Chief Condemns Anti-gay Lawsi
X
February 06, 2014 10:10 AM
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned anti-gay discrimination and called on warring parties worldwide to observe an "Olympic truce," the day before the winter Olympic Games officially open in Sochi, Russia.

Russia took the lead in team figure skating competition, a new team gold medal event at the Winter Olympics.  Russia's world pairs champions Tatiana Volosozhar and Maksim Trankov crafted a thrilling performance to finish first with 83.79 points.

Snowboarding slopestyle also debuted at the Winter Games on Thursday.  Austria's Anna Gasser qualified for the women's final with the top score of 95.50, while Canada's Maxence Parrot secured his place in the men's final with the high score of 97.50.  

In other news, Ban condemned anti-gay discrimination and called on warring parties worldwide to observe an "Olympic truce."

On Thursday, he indirectly referenced a new Russian law banning the spread of "gay propaganda" among minors - a law critics say can be broadly interpreted to crack down on support of gay rights in general.

On the security front, officials remain on high alert for possible terrorist attacks linked to the Olympic Games.  U.S. homeland security officials are warning airlines flying to Russia to watch out for toothpaste tubes that may be filled with bomb-making materials.

The officials cited no specific threat.

  • Jamie Anderson of the U.S. gestures at the finish line during the women's snowboard slopestyle qualifying session at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games, Feb. 6, 2014.
  • Jessika Jenson of the U.S. performs a last jump during the women's snowboard slopestyle qualifying session at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games, Feb. 6, 2014.
  • Swiss team members ski past an anti-aircraft missile battery during a training session for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games in Rosa Khutor, Feb. 6, 2014.
  • Russia's Semen Pavlichenko speeds down the track during a men luge training at the Sanki sliding center in Rosa Khutor, Feb. 6, 2014.
  • France's four-man bobsleigh pilot Thibault-Alexis Godefroy and his team start during an unofficial men's bobsleigh progressive training at the Sanki sliding center in Rosa Khutor, Feb. 6, 2014.
  • Members of the U.S. freestyle skiing team pose with members of a Cossack dancing chorus dressed in traditional costumes in Rosa Khutor, Feb. 6, 2014.
  • A stray dog sits near Olympic volunteers in Olympic Park ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 6, 2014.

You May Like

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

Euro falls after European Central Bank announces a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program More

Saudi King’s Death Clears Succession Route

Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef is Saudi Arabia's New Crown Prince-in-waiting More

Cloud Hangs Over US Counterterrorism Efforts in Yemen

Sources say resignations of Yemen's president, government has left US anti-terror operations 'paralyzed,' yet an American military 'footprint' remains More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youthi
X
Julie Taboh
January 23, 2015 11:08 PM
Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.
Video

Video Secular, Religious Kurds Face Off in Southeast Turkey

Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast has been rocked by violence between religious and secular Kurds. Dorian Jones reports on the reasons behind the stand-off from the region's main city of Diyarbakir, which suffered the bloodiest fighting.
Video

Video Kenya: Misuse of Antibiotics Leading to Resistance by Immune System

In Kenya, the rise of drug resistant bacteria could reverse the gains made by medical science over diseases that were once treatable. Kenyans could be at risk of fatalities as a result if the power in antibiotics is not preserved. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story from Nairobi.
Video

Video Solar-Powered Plane Getting Ready to Circumnavigate Globe

Pilots of the solar plane that already set records flying without a drop of fuel are close to making their first attempt to fly the craft around the globe. They plan to do it in 25 flying days over a five month period. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video How Experts Decide Ethiopia Has the Best Coffee

Ethiopia’s coffee has been ranked as the best in the world by an international group of coffee connoisseurs. Not surprisingly, coffee is a top export for the country. But at home it is a source of pride. Marthe van der Wolf in Addis Ababa decided to find out what makes the bean and brew so special and how experts make their determinations.
Video

Video Yazidi Refugees at Center of Political Fight Between Turkey, Kurds

The treatment of thousands of Yazidis refugees who fled to Turkey to escape attacks by Islamic State militants has become the center of a dispute between the Turkish government and the country's pro-Kurdish movement. VOA's Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video World’s Richest 1% Forecast to Own More Than Half of Global Wealth

The combined wealth of the world's richest 1 percent will overtake that of the remaining 99 percent at some point in 2016, according to the anti-poverty charity Oxfam. Campaigners are demanding that policymakers take action to address the widening gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid