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Gay Rights Demonstrators Plan Olympics Rallies

Demonstrations around the world are planned for Wednesday to protest Russia's anti-gay law, as international athletes prepare to compete in the Sochi Winter Olympic Games.

Gay-rights activists plan to gather in cities including New York, London, Paris, and St. Petersburg in efforts to persuade corporate sponsors of the games to speak out against the law, which prohibits spreading so-called "gay propaganda" to minors.

Demonstrators are targeting sponsors such as Coca-Cola, McDonald's and Samsung.

U.S. Olympic Committee sponsor AT&T condemned the law Wednesday, saying it is harmful to a diverse society.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the Olympics village, saying security remains a major concern for the Sochi Games with opening ceremonies two days away.

He spoke as the Olympic torch made it its way Wednesday through Sochi for the first time.

Islamic militants from Russia's volatile Caucasus region have threatened to carry out attacks during the Sochi Games.

A jihadist group from Dagestan claimed responsibility for the two suicide attacks that killed more than 30 people in Volgograd late last year.

U.S. authorities have alleged that two ethnic Chechens who lived in the United States for a decade carried out the Boston Marathon bombings, which killed
three people and injured more than 260.

Chechnya and Dagestan are majority Muslim republics in the North Caucasus.

Russian authorities have spent an estimated $2 billion to shore up security in advance of the Sochi Olympics. Thousands of security personnel are patrolling what is described as a "ring of steel" around the Black Sea resort to prevent terrorist attacks.

Analysts have expressed concern about militants penetrating soft targets outside of the "ring of steel" such as train stations.