“We can confirm the local organizing committee (LOC) will fully support Mr Garcia’s work if he contacts us,” read a statement issued to CNN. “The Russia 2018 committee ran a bid campaign in full compliance with FIFA rules and ethics, and we were awarded the right to host the FIFA World Cup because of the unique and compelling proposition we put together. “The LOC continues to conduct itself with exactly the same degree of transparency, commitment to excellence and spirit of fair play.” Blog: Can the Qatar World Cup be moved? How and where Garcia’s potential meeting with Russia takes place is open to question given in April he was one of 18 people barred from entering the country over what Moscow said were human rights abuses, linked to the lawyer’s arrest and charging of Viktor Bout, a Russian, who is serving a 25-year prison sentence in the U.S. for arms trafficking. News of Garcia’s investigation came ahead of FIFA’s executive committee in Zurich on Thursday and Friday where it will discuss the possibility of moving the 2022 tournament from the usual June and July slot to December. “I will conduct interviews in various places and I hope that those who have some information, even if they are not obliged to give me some, will agree to talk to me,” Garcia told France Football magazine. “My goal is to submit a report that covers the World Cup bidding and awarding process.” Read: FIFA puts heat on Qatar Mark Pieth, who will leave his post as chairman of the Independent Governance Committee at the end of the year, said Garcia’s task isn’t easy. “He’s in a very awkward situation,” Pieth told CNN. “He has no police powers. He can’t just walk into an office in Dubai and say, ‘I want these files and I want all your hard disks.’ “He has to use the techniques of an international investigator and so the big question is, even if there’s evidence around, will he find it? We don’t know. What I can do is make sure he gets the manpower and he gets the resources, the money, to run this.” FIFA’s decision to award Qatar the 2022 tournament has been particularly criticized, with many suggesting the oppressive heat in the Gulf state makes staging the World Cup there impractical and dangerous.
Russia says embassy staff in Libya evacuated after attack
CLAN DIVISIONS Clan and tribal rivalries, as well as Islamist groups, have flourished in the absence of strong central government in Libya. Security services have struggled to maintain order. Militant groups have staged a number of attacks on Western diplomats. Militants linked to al Qaeda affiliates attacked the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans on September 11, 2012. “When Gaddafi was in charge, ties (between Libya and Russia) were good. He was buying our weapons and there was talk of a railroad being built,” said Moscow-based analyst Georgy Mirsky. Asked about the attack, he said: “This kind of thing happens all the time, there is no reason to exaggerate it.” Russia says it lost billions of dollars in arms deals after the fall of Gaddafi, who was captured and killed in October 2011 after months of civil war. The violence prompted Russian companies, which had pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into Libya’s oil and natural gas sectors, to put their investments on hold. The attack on the embassy occurred as a Russian delegation was planning to visit Libya to try to put commercial relations back on track, the head of a business council said. “Unfortunately these kinds of things happen, not regularly, but they happen, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop business.
Russia Rounds Up Sochi Games Migrant Workers, Rights Group Says
The protest came after Moscow and Beijing for the second time vetoed a UN Security Council resolution on the President Bashar al-Assad regime’s crackdown on dissent./ MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP/Getty Images MOSCOW Russia’s Foreign Ministry says the Russian Embassy in Libya has been attacked by unidentified gunmen but none of its staff has been wounded. Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Ekho Moskvy radio the attackers fired at the embassy in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, and tried to break into its grounds. She said that according to preliminary information no one among the embassy personnel was wounded. An attack last year in the city of Benghazi killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans in Libya last year. Meanwhile Libyan security officials say gunmen have shot dead a naval officer and his 7-year-old son in the eastern city of Benghazi. The officials said the gunmen fired Wednesday on the vehicle of Col. Saleh el-Hudeiry of the coast guards, killing him on the spot. The son was wounded and later died. Libya has been hit by a months-long wave of targeted killings against activists, judges and security agents. On Tuesday, an air force pilot was shot dead in the capital Tripoli. Most killings are presumed to be the work of armed factions, but authorities later apprehended a Russian woman whom they said had killed the pilot and written offensive graffiti in his blood. Her alleged motives were not clear. Officials spoke anonymously because they weren’t authorized to brief the media.
Since early last month, Russian officials have rounded up the workers for alleged violations of migration or employment rules, the New York-based human rights group said today in an e-mailed statement. Many have been kept in arbitrary and inhuman conditions and some expelled from Russia, it said. Its outrageous for the migrant workers who helped to build Sochis shiny new Olympic venues to be herded into detention and deported, said Jane Buchanan, associate director for Europe and Central Asia. Ilya Djous, a spokesman for Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, whos in charge of Olympic preparations, said by phone that there havent been any mass violations of labor or migration rules. Russia stages the competition in February and has spent about $50 billion, making these the most expensive Winter Games . The project has included road building and a train service to connect the coastal hub to be used for the opening ceremony and ice skating events and the mountains that will host the skiing and downhill competitions. Construction workers are being exploited and cheated out of their wages, Human Rights Watch said in February. Some employers demanded 12-hour shifts with few days off, withheld passports and work permits and refused to pay promised salaries, the group said. President Vladimir Putin has sought to attract large international events, including the 2018 soccer World Cup and last years Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. To contact the reporters on this story: Henry Meyer in Moscow at email@example.com ; Ilya Arkhipov in Moscow at firstname.lastname@example.org To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at email@example.com More News: