Report: German president to boycott Olympics over human rights - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Report: German president to boycott Olympics over human rights

Posted: Updated:
  • CBS19.tv Web ExclusivesMore>>

  • Web Exclusive: Company cancels class to nix Southern accents, y'all, after complaints

    Web Exclusive: Company cancels class to nix Southern accents, y'all, after complaints

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 12:00 PM EDT2014-07-30 16:00:17 GMT
    We live in the South, so some of us may have a Southern accent, but would you consider saying "goodbye" to "howdy, y'all"?
    The Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee was going to offer a speech class for its workers next month to do just that, until it got canceled.
    More >>
    We live in the South, so some of us may have a Southern accent, but would you consider saying "goodbye" to "howdy, y'all"?
    The Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee was going to offer a speech class for its workers next month to do just that, until it got canceled.
    More >>
  • Web Exclusive: Ultra HD TVs

    Web Exclusive: Ultra HD TVs

    (CNN) -Some people just have to have the latest in television technology. The newest TVs on the market- ultra-high definition TVs- or UHD TVs. They have higher screen resolution than current high def screens, and are also known as "4-K" sets. "More >>
    (CNN) -Some people just have to have the latest in television technology. The newest TVs on the market- ultra-high definition TVs- or UHD TVs. They have higher screen resolution than current high def screens, and are also known as "4-K" sets. "More >>
  • Web Exclusive: A product to help keep sharks away on sale

    Web Exclusive: A product to help keep sharks away on sale

    Monday, July 28 2014 9:40 AM EDT2014-07-28 13:40:46 GMT
    If you're headed on a beach vacation, there's a product you may be interested in to help keep sharks away.  The device is called a Shark Shield.  It is now being sold in Florida.More >>
    If you're headed on a beach vacation, there's a product you may be interested in to help keep sharks away.  The device is called a Shark Shield.  It is now being sold in Florida.More >>

(CNN) -- German President Joachim Gauck will boycott the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, according to a report Sunday.

The announcement would make Gauck, a former pastor, the first major political figure to boycott the Games, which will be held at the Black Sea resort in February.

According to a report in the German publication Der Spiegel, Gauck made the decision in protest against human rights violations and the harassment of Russian opposition political figures. The magazine said the Russian government was informed of his decision last week.

The German presidential office could not be reached for comment Sunday. Russia's Presidential Press Service said there was no immediate official reaction to the report.

Germany's presidency is largely ceremonial; Chancellor Angela Merkel oversees the government.

Some athletes have spoken out against Russia's new "propaganda" law that bans even discussion of homosexuality anywhere that children might hear it.

The legislation, which President Vladimir Putin signed in June, gives authorities the power to impose fines as well as detain and deport foreigners who are deemed to have breached the law.

Some artists and activists have called for a boycott of the Sochi games, which run from February 7 to 23.

"I don't think that we should be going to the Olympics at all," Lady Gaga said last week during an interview on the British television show "Alan Carr: Chatty Man." "I just think it is absolutely wrong for so many countries to send money and economy in the way of a country that doesn't support gays."

In August, British actor and writer Stephen Fry wrote an open letter to the International Olympic Committee and British Prime Minister David Cameron saying: "An absolute ban on the Russian Winter Olympics of 2014 on Sochi is simply essential.

"Stage them elsewhere in Utah, Lillehammer, anywhere you like. At all costs Putin cannot be seen to have the approval of the civilized world," he wrote in the letter posted on his website.

Putin said in an interview on state television in September that gay people would not be discriminated against at the Sochi games. But that appeared at odds with statements made by government officials that the anti-gay propaganda law would be enforced.

Putin also later said everyone would be welcomed to the Winter Olympics in Russia, regardless of sexual orientation, state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported.

The IOC in August said it received assurances "from the highest level of government in Russia" that the law would not affect people attending or taking part in the Games. The next month, the IOC said the law did not violate the Olympic Charter.

U.S. President Barack Obama rejected calls for the United States to boycott the Games, saying such a move would hurt American athletes who trained and sacrificed to qualify.

Earlier this year, Sen. Lindsey Graham suggested a possible boycott of the Olympics if Putin allowed NSA leaker Edward Snowden to remain in his country and if Putin continued supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Powered by WorldNow

CBS19, MYTX & KCEB
2211 ESE Loop 323
Tyler, TX 75701
Phone (903) 581-2211
Fax (903) 581-5769

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KYTX. All Rights Reserved. Users of this site agree to the Terms of Service, Privacy Notice/Your California Privacy Rights, and Ad Choices.