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Posts Tagged ‘ world

A woman’s brutal killing shocks the Arab world

Prosecutors say Naira Ashraf was fatally stabbed by a man after she rejected his advances.

In Beijing’s BRICS summit, Putin is back on the world stage

Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa pose during a BRICS meeting held during a G20 summit in Osaka in June 2019.

Putin lambasts the West and declares the end of ‘the era of the unipolar world’

Putin unveils imperialist mission: Taking back land he says is Russia’s 02:59

(CNN)Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared the end of “the era of the unipolar world” in a combative speech that lambasted Western countries at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on Friday.

“When they won the Cold War, the US declared themselves God’s own representatives on earth, people who have no responsibilities — only interests. They have declared those interests sacred. Now it’s one-way traffic, which makes the world unstable,” Putin told the audience.
The much-hyped speech was delayed by more than 90 minutes because of a “massive” cyberattack. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told journalists in an impromptu conference call that the speech was postponed due to distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on the conference’s systems.
It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack. Ukrainian IT Army, a hacker collective, named the St. Petersburg Forum as a target earlier this week on its Telegram channel.
Putin’s address at the annual conference, one of his more substantial speeches since he ordered the invasion of Ukraine almost four months ago, was seen as an opportunity for the world to get some insight into his thinking.
Once the Russian president took the stage in the western Russian city, he wasted no time on pleasantries and went straight into attacks on the United States and its allies.
“They live in the past on their own under their own delusions … They think that … they have won and then everything else is a colony, a back yard. And the people living there are second-class citizens,” he said, adding that Russia’s “special operation” — the phrase the Russian government uses to describe its war on Ukraine — has become a “lifesaver for the West to blame all the problems on Russia.”
After accusing western countries of blaming their problems on Russia, Putin tried to pin the blame for rising food prices on the “US administration and the Euro bureaucracy.”
Ukraine is a major food producer, but the Russian invasion has affected its entire production and supply chain. The United Nations has said the war has had a devastating impact on supplies and prices and warned it could push up to 49 million more people into famine or famine-like conditions.
European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said last week that food has become part of the Kremlin’s “arsenal of terror.”
Ukrainian officials have accused Russia of stealing Ukrainian grain, accusations that appear to have been confirmed by satellite images showing Russian ships being loaded with Ukrainian grain. On top of that, Russia is blocking maritime access to the Black Sea ports held by Ukraine, meaning that even the grain that is still under Ukrainian control cannot be exported to the many countries that rely on it.
Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg on June 17, 2022.

The long-time Russian leader also blamed the West for trying to hurt the Russian economy, calling the sanctions on Moscow “crazy” and “reckless.”
“Their intention is clear to crush the Russian economy by breaking down the chain the logistical chains, freezing national assets and attacking the living standards, but they were not successful,” he added. “It has not worked out. Russian business people have rallied together working diligently, conscientiously, and step-by-step, we are normalizing the economic situation.”
The Russian president has long framed his decision to launch an invasion of Ukraine as a response to Kyiv’s growing diplomatic and security ties with the West. Last week, he hinted that his aim in Ukraine is the restoration of Russia as an imperial power.

Putin claims Russia ‘forced’ into the conflict in Ukraine

Speaking about his war on Ukraine on Friday, Putin went straight to his propaganda playbook, claiming Russia was “forced” into the conflict.
He called the invasion “the decision of a sovereign country that has an unconditional right … to defend its security.”
“A decision aimed at protecting our citizens, residents of the People’s Republics of Donbas, who for eight years were subjected to genocide by the Kyiv regime and neo-Nazis who received the full protection of the West,” he said.
The two areas — the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) and Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR) — fell under the control of Russia-backed separatists in 2014.
The Kremlin has accused Ukrainian authorities of discriminating against ethnic Russians and Russian speakers in the regions, a charge Kyiv has denied. Starting 2019, Russian passports were offered to the residents of the two entities.
Finally, in late February, Putin announced he would recognize them as independent, a move that was seen as the opening salvo of the war.
He said on Friday that Russian soldiers and the separatists were “fighting to defend their people” in the Donbas and the right to “reject any attempt to impose pseudo values of dehumanization and moral degradation from outside.”
No country other than Russia recognizes the two as independent. Ukraine and the rest of the international community considers the territories to be under Russian occupation.
The European Commission announced Friday that it was recommending Ukraine and neighboring Moldova as EU candidate states, with the commission’s chief Ursula von der Leyen saying that Ukrainians are “ready to die” for the European perspective.
Speaking about the European Union on Friday, Putin said the bloc had “lost its sovereignty.”
“The European Union has fully lost its sovereignty, and its elites are dancing to someone else’s tune, harming their own population. Europeans’ and European businesses’ real interests are totally ignored and swept aside,” he said.
He later added that Russia has “nothing against” Ukraine joining the EU.
“The EU is not a military-political bloc, unlike NATO, therefore we have always said and I have always said that our position here is consistent, understandable, we have nothing against it,” Putin said during a panel discussion following his speech.
“It is the sovereign decision of any country to join or not to join economic associations, and it is up to this economic association to accept new states as its members or not. As far as it is expedient for the EU, let the EU countries themselves decide. Whether it will be for the benefit or to the detriment of Ukraine is also their business,” he said.

Countries around the world will pay tribute to the Queen’s historic reign

Portraits of Queen Elizabeth are displayed in front of the British Ambassador's Residence to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee in Paris, on June 1.
Portraits of Queen Elizabeth are displayed in front of the British Ambassador’s Residence to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee in Paris, on June 1. (Edward Berthelot/Getty Images)

The Queen’s historic reign is going to be commemorated in countries around the world, with Britain’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) spearheading a host of international events.

France’s President Emmanuel Macron will lead a ceremony of thanksgiving and recognition to the Queen at the Arc de Triomphe on Thursday, supported by a band from the Royal Regiment of Scotland.

On Saturday, the Red Arrows will stage a flypast at Le Touquet-Paris-Plage on the northern coast at the English Channel, while the British Embassy in Paris is exhibiting a collection of portraits measuring almost 10 feet tall of the Queen at the Ambassador’s residence, including a 1953 Cecil Beaton Coronation portrait and a David Bailey portrait from 2014.

British Embassy staff in Switzerland have been working with famous light artist Gerry Hofsetter to project a Platinum Jubilee display onto four Bernese Alps mountains, including the 13,015 feet high Eiger.

Beacons will be lit in the Commonwealth capital cities — 54 in total. The event in Wellington, New Zealand, will start at the steps to the Tangi Te Keo Mount Victoria lookout with a Maori prayer known as “karakia.” Then, indigenous peoples — mana whenua — will ignite a torch from a beacon and ascend to the lookout, according to the New Zealand Defence Force.

The beacons in the Commonwealth countries and United Kingdom Overseas Territories will be lit at 9.15 p.m. local time. Pitcairn Island, the smallest British overseas territory with just 35 inhabitants in the Pacific, will stage a jubilee dinner tonight and will be the final place to light a beacon, being nine hours behind the UK.

Fire engines in Valparaíso and Santiago in Chile will be branded with the Platinum Jubilee emblem, while the British Embassy in Santiago will host its first ever street party to mark the occasion.

FCDO staff based in the US will host a series of celebratory events in Washington, New York, Chicago, Houston, San Francisco, Boston, Miami, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Minneapolis.

British ambassadors and high commissioners around the world have nominated 70 of their favorite recipes to a special Platinum Jubilee cookbook, including many dishes served to the Queen on overseas visits.

In a statement issued by the FCDO, foreign secretary Liz Truss said: “In an ever changing and uncertain world, the Queen has been a rock who has offered wise counsel to over 170 Heads of State and dedicated her life to promoting unity and social freedom.
“Her remarkable service to the UK and the Commonwealth is rightly being recognised across the globe, during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations, as she continues to touch the lives of millions of people beyond our shores.”

Miss World crowned amid calls for peace in Ukraine

Miss Poland Karolina Bielawska (C) smiles after winning the 70th Miss World beauty pageant at the Coca-Cola Music Hall in San Juan, Puerto Rico on March 16, 2022.

Poland’s Karolina Bielawska was crowned the 70th Miss World on Wednesday, with contestants and organizers expressing solidarity with Ukrainians during an on-stage candle tribute at the televised finale.
Bielawska, who works as a model and is studying for a master’s degree, claimed the title in Puerto Rico’s capital, San Juan, three months after the contest was delayed due to a Covid-19 outbreak. Miss USA, Shree Saini, oofos shoes was named first runner-up, while Ivory Coast’s Olivia Yacé took the second runner-up spot.
As well as the usual performances and live judging, the glitzy ceremony featured messages of support for Ukraine following Russia’s unprovoked invasion of the country, which shares a border with Poland. In one segment, Jamaica’s Toni-Ann Singh, who won Miss World in 2019, sung a rendition of Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli’s “The Prayer” as those on stage and in the audience held candles aloft.
Miss World 2019 Toni-Ann Singh sings "The Prayer" during the 70th Miss World beauty pageant at the Coca-Cola Music Hall in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Miss World 2019 Toni-Ann Singh sings “The Prayer” during the 70th Miss World beauty pageant at the Coca-Cola Music Hall in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The words “a prayer for peace” appeared on a screen behind the finalists. The official Miss World Twitter account tweeted that the performance was part of the pageant’s efforts to “stand with Ukraine.” Organizers also said that more than 7,000 candles had been prepared for the show, which was broadcast in over 100 countries.
In a statement published prior to the pageant, CEO of Miss World Ltd., Julia Morley, said: “We must do something, even if it may seem never enough to light one candle, if we all light a candle together we can change the world,” while inviting people around the world to “shine their light for Ukraine” and post images to social media.
Earlier this week, Miss World organizers published a video message from 2016’s Miss Ukraine, Oleksandra Kucherenko. Against a virtual backdrop of footage from the conflict, she appealed to countries around the world “to support us, to close the sky above Ukraine and to save the world (from a) nuclear catastrophe,” adding: “Our peace is your peace.”
The current Miss Ukraine, Oleksandra Yaremchuk, who did not qualify for the final event, is currently in Kyiv, the organization said.
Miss Poland Karolina Bielawska waves after winning the 70th Miss World beauty pageant.
Miss Poland Karolina Bielawska waves after winning the 70th Miss World beauty pageant.
Initially scheduled for December, the Miss World pageant was postponed after multiple people linked to the event — including 23 of the 97 contestants — tested positive for Covid-19 with just days to go.
Only the 40 semi-finalists were invited back for Wednesday’s rearranged event, which was hosted by the English singer and TV personality Peter Andre and the Mexican singer coach outlet and actor Fernando Allende.
Preliminary competitions had already taken place by that time, with Yacé named winner of the pageant’s Top Model portion, Mongolian representative Burte-Ujin Anu winning the Miss World Talent content and Mexico’s Karolina Vidales named Miss World Sports.

World No. 1 Ko Jin-young shatters records in HSBC Women’s World Championship win

Ko Jin-young celebrates winning the HSBC Women's World Championship at Sentosa Golf Club on March 6, 2022 in Singapore.

How the world of travel is responding to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

From professional sports to Hollywood to food and beverage, a wide range of industries have announced boycotts, bans and other forms of retaliation against Russia in response to its violent invasion of Ukraine.
Now, the travel sector is starting to take action, too.
Cruise lines, including prominent brands like Carnival, tour operators and various industry organizations have announced plans to cancel upcoming tours in Russia and also restrict participation of Russian entities in their business dealings.
These developments come on the heels of continued upheaval in air travel, as the European Union, Canada and Moscow all issued reciprocal airspace bans this week. In his State of the Union speech on Tuesday, President Joe Biden also announced the US thorogood boots will be closing its skies to Russian aircraft.
Not surprisingly, Russia’s travel industry is responding in kind. On Tuesday, its Federal Tourism Agency recommended for its citizens to avoid visiting countries that have imposed sanctions on Russia and advised tour operators to suspend sales of tours to such countries.
Meanwhile, many prominent tourist landmarks and monuments have glowed with the yellow and blue colors of the Ukrainian flag, adding to the momentum from massive protests around the world. On a smaller scale, at least one major travel brand — booking platform Kayak — has added Ukraine’s national colors to its digital logo.
How such moves will impact Russia’s tourism sector, which brought in about $84 million in 2019, remains to be seen. For now, though, some industry leaders say a united, industry-wide show of support is crucial.
“Most tourism corporations, including ours, see our mission as being global ambassadors of cultures,” Catherine Chaulet, president and CEO of Global DMC Partners, a network of independently owned destination management companies, told CNN Travel via email. “In a time of war, it is even more important to share the history, values and stories of those affected. More than ever, our role today is to share and protect what unites us, not what divides us.”
Here, a look at some noteworthy developments so far.

Canceled tours

A nightime long-exposure shot shows central Moscow in December 2021.
A nightime long-exposure shot shows central Moscow in December 2021.
Famed guidebook writer Rick Steves was one of the first and most high-profile names in the industry to share news about his tour company, Rick Steves’ Europe, canceling all trips with a stop in Russia.
Steves announced the decision in a February 24 blog post entitled “Comrades No More,” writing, “Our mission at RSE is to help Americans better know and understand our neighbors through travel. But when we bring travelers to another country, we also bring their dollars — dollars that would support Putin’s aggression.”
Another prominent travel provider, Toronto-based G Adventures, took its own response a step further. In addition to canceling tours with stops in Russia, the adventure travel outfitter will not accept bookings from Russian travel agencies or Russian nationals as clients “for the foreseeable future,” G Adventures founder Bruce Poon Tip told CNN Travel.
“The goal of sanctions, the goal of the globe coming together, is to put pressure internally within the country,” Poon Tip said. “So, as businesses, we should [all] do our parts.”
In 2019, G Adventures had more than a dozen trips that included stops in Russia; all such offerings have now been removed from its website. The company announced the news in an email to employees and clients Tuesday evening. “I oofos shoes have always said travel can be the fastest path to peace, so it breaks my heart that it has come to this,” Poon Tip wrote in the email.
BusinessClass.com, an Oslo-based search platform specializing in premium travel, also announced it’s blocking all Russia-based bookings and content from its site, a move CEO Jason Eckoff is urging his industry colleagues to make. “I am now calling on ALL travel companies in the world, to join us by excluding everything relating to Russia in their respective services until this terrible, unprovoked invasion comes to an end,” Eckoff wrote in a LinkedIn post.
Other operators are making similar moves. Charles Neville, marketing director for JayWay Travel, a US-based provider of custom tours to several eastern European destinations, told CNN Travel that it’s no longer promoting or booking travel to Russia, Ukraine or Belarus.
Combined, trips to those countries made up less than 5% of the company’s business, Neville said, and the company has remained in close communication with clients who have already booked regarding options for postponing or reorganizing their trips.
Far more complex, however, is the complicated issue of whether JayWay Travel will eventually promote travel to Russia again — an especially difficult task for organizations that have employees with firsthand experience and family history of oppression from dangerous regimes.
“We have a colleague in Ukraine and [local] providers there who this is happening to right now, and for them, this is, pardon my language, “Screw Russia, why would we ever send people there?’,” Neville said. “I think it’s a discussion a lot of travel companies are going to have to have. I mean, there are very few companies sending people to North Korea. Is that where Russia ends up?”

Rerouted cruises

The State Hermitage Museum and Winter Palace is one of the attractions that draws tourists to St. Petersburg.
The State Hermitage Museum and Winter Palace is one of the attractions that draws tourists to St. Petersburg.
Cruise operators were among the first travel companies to announce rerouting of itineraries with stops in Russia, with key players including Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, Viking and Carnival Corporation, the parent company of nine cruise lines.
Other operators that have announced similar changes include Atlas Ocean Voyages, a new player in the industry, MSC and boutique brand Sea Cloud, Colleen McDaniel, editor-in-chief of Cruise Critic, a leading online resource in the cruise industry, told CNN Travel via email.
Many itineraries include St. Petersburg, sometimes known as Russia’s “cultural capital,” which, according to its tourism board, drew some 10 million visitors in 2019.
Rerouting itineraries to avoid bad weather or destinations where conflict has broken out in order to keep passengers and crew safe isn’t uncommon within the cruise industry.
However, the recent shifts away from Russia also reflect a decidedly humanitarian stance: Carnival Corporation, for example, concluded its February 26 announcement, which happened on Twitter, with the statement “We stand for peace.”
McDaniel said that’s in line with the underlying values of many cruise passengers. “This does reflect what we’ve seen on our boards and on social media as well, with guests reporting that they will also speak with their dollars,” she said.
Meanwhile, Royal Caribbean International, which owns Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Silversea, on Tuesday issued a statement announcing cancellations of its itineraries with stops in Russia, a RCI spokesperson confirmed to CNN Travel via email.
Saga Cruises and Hurtigruten Expeditions both have ships scheduled to call in Russia ports this summer and are continuing to monitor the situation, according to McDaniel.


The sails of the Sydney Opera House were illuminated with the colors of the Ukrainian flag on March 1, 2022.
The sails of the Sydney Opera House were illuminated with the colors of the Ukrainian flag on March 1, 2022.
At least one Eastern European tourism group has made good on the popular hashtag #StandWithUkraine. ANTRIM, a nonprofit organization representing the private sector in the tourism industry of Moldova (which shares its nearly 760-mile eastern border from Ukraine), announced on Instagram plans to make hotels, guesthouses and restaurants available to the country’s influx of refugees fleeing the war.
“Dear ukrainian neighbours [sic], we stand by you in these difficult times. The sad events in your country have forced you to cross our borders. We hope that the borders and walls of our country will make you coach outlet feel safe,” the agency wrote, directing refugees to its website or visitor information center in Chisinau. A subsequent post shared details on how to donate to an account to provide financial support set up by the country’s Ministry of Finance.
Rental platform Airbnb also announced plans Monday to offer free temporary housing to up to 500,000 Ukrainian refugees.
Greece’s Tourism Minister, Vassilis Kikilias, meanwhile, announced plans this week to open 50,000 jobs in tourism to Ukrainian refugees or Greek expatriates.
Other displays of solidarity with Ukraine can be seen in tourist landmarks across the globe.
On Friday, as Russian forces moved into Ukraine’s capital of Kyiv, many of the world’s most famous monuments were illuminated with the blue and yellow colors of the Ukrainian flag. Among them: New York City’s Empire State Building, the London Eye, the Eiffel Tower, and Rome’s Colosseum.
In Berlin, the Brandenburg Gate glowed with the blue-and-yellow colors of the Ukrainian flag over the weekend. And on Sunday, more than 100,000 people walked around and through Germany’s famed landmark during one of the biggest protests against Russia’s invasion.

The Winter Olympics don’t really represent the world: Costs, climate and quotas keep the majority off the podium

At 38, Benjamin Alexander became Jamaica’s first ever alpine skier to compete in the Winter Olympics — just six years after he first strapped on skis.

In his first few years in the sport, skiing with friends, he attracted a lot of attention.
“Being the only Black representative in the group, even though I am only half-Black and being of Jamaican heritage, people kept throwing jokes, sideways jokes at me about ‘Cool Runnings,’ the Jamaican bobsled team and, ‘You should go to the Olympics,'” Alexander told CNN Sport.
Benjamin Alexander represented Jamaica in alpine skiing -- a first for the island nation.

Although the Summer Games are often heralded as a melting pot — 11,417 athletes from 206 countries and regions across 33 sports participated in Tokyo 2020 — the Winter Games are nowhere near as diverse, with 91 delegations taking part at Beijing 2022.
That’s five times more than the number of teams represented in the first Winter Games in Chamonix, France in 1924.
But athletes from Africa, South Asia, as well as those from smaller island nations still find themselves olukai shoes struggling to qualify for competition in the Winter Olympics due to warmer climates, the prohibitively high cost of equipment, lack of infrastructure and limited opportunities to practice and compete.
And one athlete and his coaches that CNN interviewed for this story warn that continental quota systems that allowed countries and regions with smaller Winter Olympic delegations the opportunity to establish and expand in sliding sports in PyeongChang 2018 were scrapped ahead of Beijing, with a knock-on effect on African countries.

A push for diversity, with limited success

More countries are making their debut in the Winter Olympics.
Saudi Arabia and Haiti each sent an alpine skier to Beijing while Nigeria and Eritrea competed in the Winter Games for the second time after making their debut in PyeongChang 2018. In fact, eight African countries sent athletes to South Korea four years ago, a record number.
But just five African countries participated in this year’s Games, where the medal tables were dominated by athletes from Europe, North America and Asia.
European and North American dominance in the Winter Games can in part be explained by the fact that their climates, where ice and snow are more plentiful, lend themselves to winter sports.
But climate isn’t the only factor affecting Olympic participation — when it comes to representation at the Winter Games, there is also a huge gap between wealthier and poorer nations.
At PyeongChang 2018, no athlete from Africa, Central or South America won a medal, while Norway — one of the world’s wealthiest countries but with a population of just about five million — topped the medal table as it did at Beijing 2022.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) says it “aims to make success at the Games achievable by everyone.”
It allocates a “substantial portion” of profit from the Games to athletes and coaches through individual National Olympic Committees (NOCs) as part of the Olympic Solidarity Plan to help “athletes and coaches from countries with the greatest financial need.”
Some 429 athletes from 80 NOCs were awarded scholarships ahead of Beijing to “support qualification efforts,” according to the IOC. But European athletes nabbed nearly 69% of 429 scholarships awarded by the IOC before the Beijing Games. African athletes took home around 4% of those 429 scholarships.
Only NOCs “whose athletes had a proven winter sports track record” had access to the program, the IOC said.
Meanwhile, 236 athletes (139 men and 97 women) who received these individual athlete scholarships eventually qualified to take part in the Games.
Athletes in Europe benefited the most from these scholarships, receiving more than $5 million. Athletes in Asia received $955,003, the Americas $944,917, Oceania got $441,000 and Africa $177,000.

European athletes received most funding from Olympic scholarships ahead of 2022 Winter Games

Of the $7.5 million in scholarships issued ahead of Beijing 2022, athletes from Europe collectively received more than $5 million while athletes in Africa received just $177,000, according to the 2017-2020 IOC Olympic Solidarity report.

Olympic Scholarships for athletes allocated to National Olympic Committee (NOC) ahead of Beijing 2022

Scholarships make up just a part of Olympic Solidarity assistance programs designed jointly by the IOC and NOCs, which also direct funds — derived from Olympic revenue — towards training of coaches, sports administrators and promoting the Olympic values, according to the IOC.
CNN has reached out to the IOC for a further breakdown of funding.

Racial diversity not reflected

On a national level, the composition of delegations often isn’t very racially diverse.
“There have been Black medalists from the US and Canada and from Germany. I don’t know of any other Black medalists except for those three countries,” Olympic historian Bill Mallon told CNN Sport.
Black athletes have proven crucial to Team USA’s Olympic and Paralympic success in the Summer Games.
But even as Black athletes won medals at Beijing — speedskater Erin Jackson brought home gold, while bobsledder Elana Meyers Taylor became the most decorated Black athlete in Winter Olympics history — White athletes still made up the majority of Team USA at the Games this year.
Prior to Beijing, the US has only had around 25 Black hey dude representatives on all of their various Winter Olympic teams, with over half of them in bobsledding, according to Mallon.
In 1988, Debi Thomas became Team USA’s first Black Olympic Winter medalist, winning bronze in the ladies’ figure skating competition, and Vonetta Flowers became the first Black athlete to ever win gold in the Winter Games, when she drove to victory in the two-woman bobsled with Jill Bakken in 2002.
Hockey player Jarome Iginla became the first Black man to win gold at the same Games when Canada triumphed over the US.
Four years later, speedskater Shani Davis became the first African American athlete to win an individual gold medal in Turin, Italy.
Overall, there have been a relatively small number of Black figure skaters, and they have rarely excelled at the Olympic level. Though she demonstrated technical excellence in her routines, Black French skater Surya Bonaly never won an Olympic medal.
Surya Bonaly of France performs a backflip in her free skate routine in the women's Olympic figure skating in Nagano on February 20, 1998.

Bonaly performed a one-bladed backflip at the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics — an illegal move that was perceived as an act of defiance to the judges — which she landed on one foot.
That move is still illegal and has never been tried since in an Olympic competition.
“They want to keep the girls pretty, in a special way,” Bonaly told CNN Sport as she reflected on her career. Though now, according to Bonaly, “people are changing and trying to challenge themselves, and try to have more personality in their own style. And that’s good. And it’s more accepted.”
Bonaly added: “Now, back then … you only came from one mold, one way.”
Black athletes are now prevalent in sliding sports: African American women comprise a majority of America’s Olympic bobsled team.
Nathan Chen skates during the Men's Free Skating program at Beijing 2022 on February 10, 2022.

Asian American athletes, including figure skater Nathan Chen and snowboarder Chloe Kim, have also had a commanding presence at this year’s Games.
Four of the six Team USA singles figure skaters were Asian American: Karen Chen, Nathan Chen, Alysa Liu and Vincent Zhou. Madison Chock competed in the ice dancing event, while Abby Roque was the first Indigenous women’s hockey player in US team history.

Pay to play economics

Experts say that economics — not just talent — plays a huge part in whether athletes are able to participate in the Olympics.
“That notion of economics is very key because we’re looking at sports such as skiing, bobsledding, figure skating — and that equipment alone costs so much,” Akilah Carter-Francique, executive director of the Institute for the Study of Sport, Society and Social Change at San Jose State University told CNN Sport.
“Pay to play is not accessible to anyone but people with money,” Shireen Ahmed, senior contributor with CBC Sports, told CNN.
“It becomes not just a racialized issue, it’s a class issue, and those red wing boots two things go hand-in-hand. Not everybody’s going to be a working-class hero,” she said.
With stories of parents remortgaging their homes, working long hours and reducing expenses to facilitate their children’s Olympic dreams, it comes as no surprise that financial barriers in winter sports can be prohibitive.
Ghana’s first skeleton Olympian Akwasi Frimpong told CNN Sport that competing at an elite level costs around $250,000 a year, which would pay for a dedicated full-time sliding coach, a push coach, a strength and conditioning coach, physical therapist, a mechanic, sliding equipment, hotel, air travel, ground transportation and food.
“This does not include also having a family and a mortgage to pay,” he said, adding that sliding sports athletes would expect to pay $80,000 to compete in smaller, non-Olympic events, outside of the Olympic season.
Jamaica’s first Olympic alpine skier Alexander told CNN: “I’m competing with people that have been skiing since the age of two, ski racing since the age of four, and their parents have put $50,000 a year into their improvements while they were young.”
“And now, their national ski federation or local club is putting in $150,000-250,000 a year for their advancement,” he said.
In 2020, 58% of nearly 500 athletes surveyed by the athletes’ rights group Global Athlete said they did not consider themselves financially stable.
The athletes who participated in the survey hailed from 48 countries. 44% were actively competing with sport as their primary profession and 31% of the athletes were Olympians.
Shiva Keshavan, a six-time Olympian and India’s only Olympic competitor in luge in the 2018 Winter Games told CNN that European delegations, which have a better system of recruitment and employment for athletes, dominate Olympic winter sports.
“Athletes that come from developing sport nations generally have more of a challenge because you don’t have the systems in place that enable a successful career.
“Often, athletes are having to deal with training with less, with worse equipment or having to do their own logistics and, sometimes, without a coach,” he added.
Many elite skiers, snowboarders and ice skaters take expensive private lessons, hire coaches or attend private schools to facilitate their training as they’re growing up.
Bode Miller — the most decorated US Olympic skier, with one gold, three silver and two bronze medals — attended Carrabassett Valley Academy in Maine on a scholarship and said in 2021 that he “wouldn’t have been able to go if not for generous people in my small town of Franconia.”
Parents with means can expect to pay as much as $64,050 to send their children to the academy, which boasts that it has “earned more Olympic medals for skiing and snowboarding than some small countries.”
Privately educated athletes constituted 30.3% of athletes who participated in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, according to a 2017 study published in the journal Public Health.
The study analyzed sociodemographic data for all athletes representing Canada, the US, Great Britain and Australia in Sochi. 94.9% of winter athletes were White.
“If your parents ski, almost certainly, you will ski,” Alexander told CNN.
“If we look at minorities in America or in England, most of them are first- or second-generation immigrants, so they don’t have as much disposable income as their White counterparts,” Alexander said.
Adding that he doesn’t think” winter sports are racist at all,” Alexander says diversity will continue to grow in winter sports.
“I just think that as more and more minorities get equal treatment, get equal pay, and as more and more minorities spread out from urban centers by virtue of technology … then I believe the tide will turn.”
In a statement sent to CNN, the IOC said it “fully supports diversity and inclusion in the Olympic Games, as well as clear and fair qualification systems that apply equally to all athletes wishing to qualify for the Olympic Games.”
“We have to strike a balance between attracting the best athletes in the world and universality,” it added.
“Some sports in all reality are more accessible,” James Macleod, IOC Director of Olympic Solidarity and National Olympic Committees Relations told CNN Sport, referencing running the 100 meters.
“But you can’t sail a sailing boat tomorrow, unless you’ve got access to one, or ride a horse or ski down a mountain. And there’s factors in that that are socio-economic, that are political, that are climate driven,” he said.
“And that’s not something that us at the IOC are going to change.
“All sports have different levels of access,” Macleod said, adding that this is something the international federations of each sport “tries to look at.”
The IOC said that qualification systems are developed and put in place by international federations “to ensure a fair and credible process for athletes to qualify for the Olympic Games according to their sports’ structures and priorities.”
“Collectively, the qualification systems allow diversity at the Olympic Winter Games, however, this is not necessarily reflected at each discipline level in every sport,” it added.

Infrastructure challenges

Winter sports infrastructure is well established in some parts of Asia — notably in Japan, South Korea and China. But it remains an “unexplored market” in India, Keshavan said.
“For India, a country that has a lot more natural resources for winter sports, compared to China, or Japan or Korea because of the Himalayan Mountain range, it is a big opportunity.
“We don’t really have the kind of infrastructure: ski resorts, big sports facilities,” he said.
This year, a single athlete, Mohammad Arif Khan, represented India’s nearly 1.4 billion people, having qualified in the slalom and giant slalom events.
Khan finished 45th in the giant slalom. India has never won a medal at the Winter Games and does not have a prominent winter sports federation, Keshavan told CNN Sport.
Shiva Keshavan of India reacts following run 3 during the Luge Men's Singles on day two of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.

“Of course, it is more difficult for athletes from these countries to train at an elite level because you need access to a certain standard of ice quality which is maintained. You need to have modified slopes, you need to have certain equipment,” he said.
“Skiers from India and Pakistan, even all over Southeast Asia, Oceania, have to travel and go to Europe for training,” he added.
Athletes and politicians alike are hopeful that South Asia will become a winter sports destination: Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan recently expressed optimism that the northern city of Skardu would turn into a world winter sports destination in years to come.
Frimpong, the Olympian from Ghana, told CNN that people don’t necessarily see the lack of diversity in winter sports as illogical because many countries get little to no snow.
“But that doesn’t matter,” he explained. For six months of the year, skeleton athletes can train in pushing the sled, he said.
“You can do most of that in your own country in Africa. We do track and field training, we do weightlifting, I’ll be able to test for three, four months at a time in areas where there are tracks. It’s not like it’s impossible,” he said.
“Infrastructure is not something that the IOC invests in,” Macleod told CNN adding: “That’s within the remit of the national government.”
“Often, when we have this discussion about African participation and in winter sports, the reality is that within African countries, there is not the infrastructure,” Macleod said.
“We as the IOC are not going to start building ice rinks across Africa — that is not something that is in our mission. That has to come through the national governments, but the programs that we offer are grassroots and talent identification programs,” he added.
“Each of the 206 National Olympic Committees in the world has different priorities. When a NOC looks at our programs or looks at their own development opportunities, they will say, ‘Actually, we’re not going to invest in winter sports because that’s not a priority for us.’
“‘We’re going to invest in athletics, rowing or whatever.’ And they will always have to make that choice of where they’re going to put their funding and what programs from our side they’re going to apply for,” he said.
“We put at the disposal of our stakeholders — whether it’s NOCs or the IFs (international federations) — a range of opportunities, but we are not going to go into a country and say this has got to be your priority. They are going to decide on their own priorities,” he said.

Representation matters

Carter-Francique told CNN that while the Olympics is billed as an opportunity for all to participate, this is not reflected in delegations’ final offerings.
“For many, the key to involvement in a particular sport is seeing yourself,” she added.
In winter sports especially, there are a lack of development programs to encourage underserved communities to participate, said Carter-Francique.
“If you don’t see yourself as a representative in that space, the likelihood that you would push to try to enter a space and be the first or be the only is one that not many people would do,” she added.
Some sports, like soccer, basketball, and even tennis, are more accessible because training facilities and equipment can be cheaper, Carter-Francique said.
“But the opportunity to access a ski resort, a figure skating rink, a bobsled facility — and have the bobsled — is very limited in general,” she added.
Ahmed also points to an absence of Muslim representation in the Winter Olympics, which is contrary to the Summer Games.
“We see a general trend in … Summer Games — you’ve got Central Asian athletes doing a lot of weightlifting. You’ve got Middle Eastern women doing judo, judokas, or karate, artists and athletes,” Ahmed added.

Ditching continental quotas a step backwards for inclusion

Frimpong and Nigeria’s Simidele Adeagbo became the first African skeleton racers to compete at PyeongChang 2018 following the introduction of the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation’s (IBSF) continental quota system.
But the IBSF and the IOC opted to revoke the continental quota for the Beijing Games — something coaches had warned would deliver a “crushing blow” to African athletes hoping to participate in winter sports.
Coaches Brian McDonald and Zach Lund warned the IOC in a December 30, 2021 email seen by CNN that “inequitable quotas that didn’t take into account the massive hurdles African athletes must clear in order to train and aspire to be Winter Olympians.
“The dream of so many Africans to watch and be inspired by fellow Africans competing in the Winter Olympic Games will bear long-lasting fruit for Olympic sport,” they wrote.
Akwasi Frimpong of Ghana starts his men's skeleton training session at the Olympic Sliding Centre, during the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games on February 12, 2018.

Simidele Adeagbo of Nigeria reacts as she finishes a run during the Women's Skeleton on day eight of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games on February 17, 2018.

“An exclusion will be a crushing blow to African athletes who worked so hard and who dared to dream what once seemed impossible,” they added in the email.
The quota for sliding sports was removed ahead of Beijing — a decision which directly affected Frimpong.
“Giving an athlete a quota place, which is not according to the qualification criteria, would consequently imply the exclusion of another athlete qualified in the current qualification system,” an IOC representative told Frimpong’s coaches in a January 12 email seen by CNN.
“I qualified as Ghana’s first skeleton Olympian, and the first Black male skeleton athlete ever in history at the Olympic Games, both in the world as well as for Africa,” Frimpong told CNN.
Frimpong was 99th in world rankings ahead of PyeongChang and qualified through the quota system.
“Now, I am 36 points higher than I was, which means I am 63 on the world ranking. I needed to be in the top 60 which is the prerequisite to qualify for this Olympic Games — to be able to qualify outright,” he told CNN.
On December 29, hoping to compete in three final races and obtain enough points to make the top 60, Frimpong tested positive for Covid-19 and was unable to compete. He did not qualify for the Winter Olympics.
Frimpong said his pre-Covid rating meant “I could possibly almost qualify outright, meaning that I am as good — maybe not as good as the gold medalist or the top 10 Europeans or whatsoever — but I’m good enough to be in the world class sport that is dominated by Europeans, westerners.”
Frimpong said his coaches emailed the IOC asking them to reinstate a continental quota for all winter sports “for qualified African athletes who can safely compete.”
“We’re not asking them to take away a spot from any other nations, we’re not asking them to give us a free way, or a free card.
“But if there are African athletes in winter sports that are close to qualifying, which means they are competitive and qualified and can safely compete, that quota should be in place until there’s enough African athletes,” he added.
In a statement sent to CNN, the IBSF confirmed that the continental quota spot was not included in the Olympic Qualification System for Beijing 2022.
“To address Emerging Nations and their needs, the IBSF established a wider Development Program which focused as mentioned on Emerging Nations but equally on gender equity in supporting athletes on their qualification pathway to the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022,” the organization said in a statement.
No athlete representing an African NOC has ever won a medal.
“We were looking forward to seeing more and more Africans compete in 2022. And now it’s less than half, or at least half of what it was in 2018, so it’s disappointing. The message is clear that inclusiveness is not a priority,” Frimpong added.
But there is hope — even if only for a select few athletes.
American bobsledder Meyers Taylor’s bronze in the two-woman bobsled on Saturday gave the 37-year-old her fifth Olympic medal as she surpassed Davis’ four. Meyers Taylor is now the most decorated woman Olympic bobsledder ever.
When asked about passing Davis’ record saying, she said: “That is overwhelming. It’s so crazy to hear that stat and to know that I’m part of a legacy that’s bigger than me. Hopefully, it just encourages more and more Black athletes to come out to winter sports and not just Black athletes, winter sports for everybody.
“We want everybody to come out regardless of the color of your skin. We want winter sports to be for everybody, regardless of race, regardless of socio-economic class. I think the more diversity we have, the stronger our sport can be.
“So, hopefully, this is just the start of more and more people coming out and trying winter sports.”

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Members of Öfgar, an Icelandic feminist group that fights against gender based violence, pictured in Reykjavik in October 2021.

The Truth About Donald Trump’s Youngest Son

Barron Trump close-up with flags

What’s the truth about Donald Trump’s youngest son? The Trump name is recognized all over the world. Good or bad, Donald Trump, his wife, and his children have capitalized on the reality star-turned-President’s fame, and have launched themselves into positions of power and political authority. It seems that every day, we see the name Trump in the headlines, the stories almost always accompanied by intimate details and inside information.

But if there’s one Trump who’s managed to evade the spotlight, it’s Barron Trump, nfl jerseys the President’s 14-year-old son. The only child of 45 and his wife, First Lady Melania Trump, Barron remains a mystery to many. Seldom seen and almost always with his mother, Barron doesn’t occupy the headlines or make much news himself — unlike many other first children, like Chelsea Clinton, for example.

Have you ever wondered what Barron is interested in or what school he goes to? And what was his life like before he called the White House home? Wonder no more: here’s the truth about Donald Trump’s youngest son, Barron Trump.

Unlike his famous siblings, Donald Trump’s youngest son largely stays out of the spotlight
Melania, Barron, and Ivanka Trump at Donald Trump's inaguration
Donald Trump’s youngest son is one of five Trump children, all from three different marriages. His older brothers, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, are the children of 45 and his first wife, Ivana Trump. Also from Donald’s first marriage is Ivanka Trump, the eldest Trump daughter; she’s an official assistant to the President, and her husband is a senior adviser. And while Ivanka is not the first child of a president to serve in the White House, she did acknowledge the “unprecedented nature” of her role, as noted by USA Today.

Barron’s two older brothers are often in the spotlight due to their leadership in The Trump Organization. Additionally, all three of the elder Trump children made appearances during their father’s campaign; they spoke at both the 2016 and the 2020 RNC. At hoka shoes each convention, the siblings were joined by their sister, Tiffany Trump (from 45’s marriage to Marla Maples), who made speeches supporting her father.

While Barron is significantly younger than his siblings, his low profile at these important political events is notable. After all, he does live in the White House.

Donald Trump’s youngest son and Melania Trump speak her native language Slovenian together

Barron and Melania Trump walking outside

Thanks to his mother’s native country and language, Donald Trump’s youngest son is multilingual; he speaks both Slovenian and English, as noted by Bustle. Additionally, his mother told People in 2009 that Barron Trump also speaks French, making him at the time a trilingual toddler.

According to Mary Jordan, the Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Art of Her Deal (a book about Melania Trump and her life), Barron continues to speak to his mother in Slovenian to this day. This even happens in front of the Secret Service, a unique fact of life in the White House. “There’s a unit within the family unit, and it’s Melania, her mother, her father, and Barron,” Jordan told CBS News. “And they all speak Slovenian.” That means that no one in the Secret Service can understand what they’re saying, either.

Jordan also revealed how Barron and Melania’s conversations in Slovenian impact the President, who unlike his son, did not learn his wife’s native language. “He has said it annoys him sometimes, ’cause he has no idea what they’re saying,” Jordan added.

Donald Trump’s youngest son appears to be a sneakerhead

Barron Trump wearing a T-shirt in 2017

Like many other American teenagers, Donald Trump’s youngest son appears to be a sneakerhead. In fact, Barron Trump has made sneakers one of his notable fashion statements since moving into the White House. As for what his favorite pair of kicks appear to be? According to Footwear News, Barron is a fan of the 574 Core sneakers from New Balance.

Barron has sported those sneakers on more than one occasion, too. For one, he salomon boots was photographed in early 2020 wearing the sneakers in black, paired with black jeans and a bomber jacket. A couple of weeks earlier, he was spotted wearing a different pair of the shoes with what appear to be reflective detailing. Then, during the Thanksgiving festivities in 2019, Barron again rocked an all-black edition of the sneakers. Finally, in March of 2019, Barron was seen wearing a camel-colored version of the same style, after wearing a grey and white pair the year before. It’s safe to say that Barron has found his footwear of choice!

Donald Trump’s youngest son and his mother lived in New York for the first six months of the Trump presidency

Melania and Barron Trump at an Easter event in 2018

Children are no strangers to the White House. Donald Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, had two young daughters when he took office, and both children and teens have lived at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue during past administrations.

But when Donald won the 2016 election, Melania Trump made it clear that she and Barron Trump would not immediately be moving from their Manhattan penthouse. That’s because she didn’t want to interrupt Barron in the middle of his school year, according to The New York Times. Officials also said that Melania and Donald Trump’s youngest son would remain in New York for at least six months.

While Melania also worried about exposing Barron to the scrutiny of the press, the pair finally moved to Washington, D.C. in June of 2017. However, Melania remained cautious of the decision. According to People, she was reluctant to relocate in not just because of Barron’s schooling, but also due to her love of New York City.