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Russia’s World Cup headache: Keeping it safe, keeping it fun

first_imgWinfrey details her decision to withdraw from Simmons film Vehicles can also be used as weapons, though. Cities from New York to Barcelona can attest to that.Overall, Russia has rolled out exceptionally high security measures for its first-ever World Cup, coordinating with law enforcement from around the world. The measures can seem heavy-handed — fans forced to walk nearly a kilometer (half a mile) to enter a stadium, Cossacks roaming on horseback, riot police watching over night club parties. Officials say they’re just trying to ensure that fans can safely have fun.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownWHAT FANS FACEThe last thing Russian President Vladimir Putin wants is for an attack to spoil this party. He wants the world to walk away from this tournament in awe, not in fear. So Russia has closed sea ports to dangerous cargo, halted factory production that might pose chemical risks, and positioned fighter jets, just in case.In the city center of Kazan, police and military patrols are posted about every 500 meters (yards). To enter the stadium territory, an Associated Press journalist was made to open all his cigarette packs and test out his lighters, among other security measures.A similar scene greets fans in Nizhny Novgorod. Fans must walk several hundred meters through double security checkpoints, with X-ray machines and body frisks, plastic police barriers and metal fences — just to reach the “Fan Fest” site where matches are shown on giant screens.In the Ural Mountains city of Yekaterinburg, uniformed police stand guard near bars downtown, and sealed off all roads around the arena several hours ahead of the first match Friday. The traffic lights continued functioning, ignored.In Sochi on the Black Sea, which hosted the 2014 Olympics, the stadium is surrounded on three sides by the well-secured Olympic Park. That creates a natural buffer and leaves only one well-protected road that fans can funnel through to enter the stadium.ADVERTISEMENT Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Dave Chappelle donates P1 million to Taal relief operations FILE – In the June 16, 2018 file photo a police officer patrols outside the stadium ahead of the group D match between Argentina and Iceland at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Spartak Stadium in Moscow, Russia. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, file)MOSCOW — When a taxi driver suddenly rammed into pedestrians near Red Square, despite intense security measures around Russian cities for the World Cup, fans and other visitors asked themselves: Are we safe?Moscow authorities insist Saturday’s taxi crash was an accident, after the driver apparently fell asleep . And car accidents can happen just about anywhere.ADVERTISEMENT Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award MOST READ The dramatically worded message may be in part politically driven. Security cooperation has shrunk as Russia-West ties have suffered in recent years over the wars in Syria and Ukraine, alleged Russian election meddling, and the poisoning of an ex-spy in Britain. U.S. government staff in Russia has shrunk after tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions.Hooliganism is the other big problem. Russia is working with FIFA and authorities in Britain and other countries to identify threats , and threatens to deport anyone unruly.KILLING THE FUN?At times, the security threatens to extinguish the tournament’s festive spirit.As crowds streamed into Moscow’s Spartak stadium Saturday, a police van rumbled through slowly, keeping watch and separating the throngs. Cheerful chants fell silent.At Bar 11 in Kazan, a newly-opened small club with a DJ playing records, heavily armed OMON police officers came in twice overnight Saturday for routine checks.For fans, the security presence is both a reminder of the risk and a relief, said Jan Petersen of Denmark, heading into Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium. “I feel pretty secure,” he said, but at the same time, “I feel the excitement.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES WATCH OUT FOR CARSSaturday’s taxi crash in Moscow revived a long-standing concern: that attackers could use cars to attack soft targets like shopping areas or crowded sidewalks.Moscow police said Sunday this risk was already built into World Cup security measures, and the crash was purely accidental. FIFA and Russia’s World Cup organizing committee wouldn’t comment on whether any extra measures were put in place after the crash.But AP reporters discovered the security perimeter for cars was expanded around Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium for Sunday’s Germany-Mexico match — even beyond the broad limit drawn for Thursday’s opening game.In Saransk, a six-lane bridge over the Insar River is shut to all traffic to keep cars away from the stadium crowds on match days. Traffic is blocked not only on the territory of the Mordovia Arena but also from a perimeter stretching another 250 meters (yards) from the property’s edge.WHY THE WORRYThe threats to Russia, and the danger inherent in the world’s most-watched sporting event, are real.First and worst is terrorism. Moscow, St. Petersburg and Volgograd have suffered suicide bombings by Islamic extremists in recent years — and count among the 11 cities hosting World Cup matches over the next month.While security measures are similar at other major sporting events, this one is especially challenging because it lasts so long and is so spread out.The U.S. State Department even sent a travel warning Friday titled “Russia, Level 3: Reconsider Travel.” In addition to terrorism, the warning said Americans “are often victims of harassment, mistreatment and extortion by law enforcement and other officials.”center_img Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. China population now over 1.4 billion as birthrate falls Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Weinstein rape trial In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Police: Taxi driver who hit 8 Moscow pedestrians fell asleep Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours View comments DepEd’s Taal challenge: 30K students displacedlast_img read more

Women’s Basketball Set For Italy Trip

first_imgThursday, Aug. 11Tour FlorenceGame vs. TK Hannover (German team) Saturday, Aug. 13Tour San MarinoGame vs. Pesaro Select Tuesday, Aug. 9Tour Vatican City Friday, Aug. 12Travel – Florence to San MarinoTour San Marino DES MOINES, Iowa – The Drake University women’s basketball team is nearing the start of its 10-day trip to Italy. Drake will have the last of the 10 allowable practices to prepare for the trip on Saturday morning before departing for Italy on Sunday night. Sunday, Aug. 14Travel – San Marino to Venice, ItalyTour VeniceTravel – Venice to Lake Como, Italy Sunday, Aug. 7Travel – Des Moines to Minneapolis to Rome, Italy Monday, Aug. 8Arrive in RomeTour Rome Wednesday, Aug. 17Travel – Lake Como to Milan, Italy to New York to Minneapolis to Des MoinesPrint Friendly Version Monday, Aug. 15Tour Lake Como Below is the Bulldogs’ itinerary for the trip along with the schedule for their three games. Be sure to visit the trip central page here for a daily recap that will include daily blog posts via Tumblr from the student-athletes. Photos and videos will also be posted. Use the hashtag #DogCiao to follow the team’s twitter (@drakewbb) and instgram (@drakewbb) accounts. The trip also includes an educational aspect as the team started a class Italy in a Global Economy on July 5 and is taught by Dr. Jeffrey A. Kappen, assistant professor of international business at Drake University. The class met for two hours a day, Monday to Thursday for four weeks leading up to the trip. The class will continue for the Bulldogs in Italy with the itinerary filled with ample chances to experience and learn from immersion in Italian culture while touring sites of historical and cultural significance. The Bulldogs will visit several Italian cities, including Rome, Florence, Venice and Como as well as microstate San Marino before returning to Des Moines on Aug. 17. Tuesday, Aug. 16Tour Lake Como Wednesday, Aug. 10Tour RomeTravel – Rome to Florence, ItalyGame vs. Italian Select Fifth-year head coach Jennie Baranczyk is excited for her team to partake in this once-in-a-lifetime trip while also getting the extra practices for her team that features three freshmen and Becca Jonas, who is back after missing the entire 2015-16 season due to injury. The extra practices allowed by the NCAA for teams taking overseas trips gave the Bulldogs opportunities to develop as a team before playing three games against foreign competition while in Italy. This will mark the first time in program history that Drake women’s basketball has taken an international summer trip.last_img read more