Sochi Olympics Hub
Bernie Ecclestone, the President and CEO of Formula One Management, often referred to as 'F1 Supremo' by tabloids, tells CNN that he support Russian President Vladimir Putin and his anti-gay law.
"He [Putin] hasn't said he doesn't agree [with homosexuality], just that he doesn't want these things publicised to an audience under the age of 18. I completely agree with those sentiments and if you took a world census you'd find 90% of the world agree with it as well. I've great admiration for him and his courage to say what he says. It may upset a few people but that's how the world is. It's how he sees the world and I think he's completely right."
Ecclestone's remarks come in advance of the first Russian Grand Prix, set to take place on the streets of Sochi in October.
Listen to his remarks in a CNN report, AFTER THE JUMP...
In February, Formula One team Lotus was forced to apologize after publishing a tweet that featured two men kissing with the message: "Ahead of the opening ceremony, we would like to wish all athletes a successful 2014 Olympic Winter Games #Sochi2014"
According to the BBC, "The Lotus F1 tweet upset top management and shareholders of the team, who are owned by the investment group Genii Capital, because it was causing problems for their business."
Kylie Minogue's anthem "Your Disco Needs You" is the centerpiece of Ryan James Yezak's latest YouTube opus highlighting the Sochi Olympics and the need for human rights in Russia.
Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...
You may remember Yezak's moving clips previewing his work-in-progress documentary The Gay Rights Movement, here.
On the heels of yesterday's public square whipping by Russian Cossacks, Pussy Riot has released its latest video, "Putin Will Teach You How to Love the Motherland", a rough "Olympics-centric protest song" as Animal reports:
The lyrics condemn the corruption, surveillance and censorship in Sochi, the jailing of anti-Olympics environmental activist Yevgeny Vitishko, the homophobia of Olympic torchbearer and the persecution of May 6 anti-Putin protestors.
It also features footage shot yesterday when Nadya Tolokonnikova, Masha Alyokhina and others were viciously horsewhipped and beaten by Sochi’s conservative, religious Cossack militia, including video filmed from right under their whips and their injured male art-bandmate wiping the blood from his face on a cop.
The group writes in the video's description:
Freedom to all political prisoners on the May 6 case, to the environmentalist Evgeny Vitishko and all other political prisoners! See you at the Zamoskvoretsky court in Moscow on February 21 at 12.00 - when the judge will start to read the sentence for the May 6 case.
Watch the video, AFTER THE JUMP...
As you may have read in our earlier reports, trans activist and former Italian MP Vladimir Luxuria was detained twice in Sochi over the weekend. Michelangelo Signorile interviewed Luxuria about her ordeal on his SiriusXM radio show yesterday.
The first time she was detained she was brought to a police station for several hours after trying to visit the gay nightclub Mayak in Sochi. She was carrying a rainbow banner at the time.
The second time she was with her colleagues and they were detained outside the hockey arena after purchasing a ticket to a women's hockey game. She was wearing a rainbow outfit at the time because they had told her she couldn't carry a banner of any kind. She describes being dumped in a rural area.
“At a certain moment I was really afraid, asking, ‘What you going to do with me?'" she recounted, noting that the men were making and receiving phone calls. “I was afraid, [thinking], 'Maybe they’re going to beat us. Maybe they’re going to arrest me.' They let us out, in the middle of nowhere, in the countryside, in the dark. It was a Fellini atmosphere. Me dressed as a fairy queen in the Russian country. I’m not ashamed to say that I cried. I was very nervous. Now I know that the Italian consulate was in touch with the Russian chief of police. And the order was to arrest me and keep me in prison but thanks to the intervention of the Italian consulate, I was released.”
Luxuria said that what authorities seemed to really be afraid of was that she would shout something as a political protest near an Olympic venue and that it would appear on TV.
Listen to two segments of the interview, AFTER THE JUMP...