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Volume 10 No. 22


The Russian government "imposed a ban on all new building in Sochi to fight the illegal construction of apartments and hotels" in the city preparing to hold the 2014 Winter Olympics, according to the MOSCOW TIMES. Governor Alexander Tkachyov said that "the ban was necessary because more than 800 buildings had gone up illegally in recent years." Courts have been asked to rule on whether they should be torn down. Tkachyov said during a televised meeting with security officials Wednesday that illegal construction has long "infected" resort cities along the Black Sea coast, but "the scale of this disease in Sochi is simply astonishing." Almost all of the Olympic venues and hotels in Sochi "are being built from scratch, and demand for housing is high" (MOSCOW TIMES, 4/18).

In five months, the IOC will decide whether Madrid, Istanbul or Tokyo will be the host of the 2020 Olympic Games. One source of support for Madrid's bid to host the Games is coming from Argentina. Buenos Aires football club Deportivo Español has decided to promote the effort on its jerseys, which prominently feature the words "We Support Madrid 2020" (EL CONFIDENCIAL, 4/18). ... The German cultural project logistics company Conceptum Sport Logistics signed a contract with the New Zealand Olympic Committee to provide "complete logistical services for the Olympic teams" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 4/18). ... Russia's Olympic host city of Sochi "ran into controversy Thursday after the city authorities announced a plan to exterminate more than 2,000 stray cats and dogs" ahead of the Games next year. The Black Sea resort city asked companies to bid for a contract to "dispose" of 2,028 stray cats and dogs by the end of this year. The Trud newspaper wrote, "When you translate bureaucratic language to human language, the term 'disposal' means 'murder'" (BANGKOK POST, 4/18).