6 - Tuesday, February 4, 2014
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Sochi preparations ongoing
U.S. warships and
FBI agents deploy
in response to
WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S.
officials saythe first of two Amer-
ican warships heading into the
Black Sea in advance of the Olym-
pic Games has sailed from Italy.
In another sign of U.S. efforts to
protect Americans at the Winter
Games, the FBI says at least two
dozen agents are going to Sochi,
athletes may speak
out against anti-gay
NEW YORK (AP) - Despite
seven months of international
outcry, Russia's law restrict-
ing gay-rights activity remains
in place. Yet the eclectic protest
campaign has heartened activists
in Russia and caught the atten-
tion of its targets - including
organizers and sponsors of the
Sochi Olympics that open on Feb.
Over the past two weeks, two
major sponsors, Coca-Cola and
McDonald's, have seen some of
their Sochi-related social media
campaigns commandeered by
gay-rights supporters who want
the companies to condemn the
law. Several activists plan to
travel to Sochi, hoping to team up
with sympathetic athletes to pro-
test the law while in the Olympic
orders killing of
SOCHI, Russia (AP) - Thou-
sands of stray dogs have been liv-
ing amid the mud and rubble of
Olympic construction sites, roam-
ing the streets and snowy moun-
tainsides, and begging for scraps
But as the games drew near,
authorities have turned to a com-
pany to catch and kill the animals
so they don't bother Sochi's new
visitors - or even wander into an
Islamic militants have threat-
ened to derail the Winter Games,
which run from Feb. 7-23.
The USS Mount Whitney got
underway Friday from Gaeta,
Italy, and the Navy frigate USS
Taylor is expected to leave from
Naples, Italy, on Saturday. The
officials spoke about the war-
ships on condition of anonymity
because they are not authorized
to publicly disclose ship move-
FBI Director James Comey
told reporters in Albuquerque,
N.M., on Friday that the FBI is
in constant contact with Rus-
sian authorities as the Games
approach. Comey says he spoke
And on Friday, a coalition of
40 human-rights and gay-rights
groups from the U.S., Western
Europe and Russia - including
Amnesty International, Human
Rights Watch and the Human
Rights Campaign - released
an open letter to the 10biggest
Olympic sponsors, urging them
to denounce the law and run ads
promoting equality for lesbians,
gays, bisexuals and transgender
"LGBT people must not be tar-
geted with violence or deprived of
their ability to advocate for their
own equality," the letter said. "As
all eyes turn toward Sochi, we ask
you to stand with us."
The law, signed by Russian
President Vladimir Putin in July,
bans pro-gay "propaganda" that
could be accessible to minors -
a measure viewed by activists
as forbidding almost any public
expression of gay-rights senti-
ment. The law cleared parlia-
ment virtually unopposed and
has extensive public support in
Since July, when theylaunched
a boycott of Russian vodka, activ-
Alexei Sorokin, director gen-
eral of pest control firm Basya
Services, told The Associated
Press thathis company had a con-
tract to exterminate the animals
throughout the Olympics, which
Sorokin described his company
as being involved in the "catching
and disposing" of dogs, although
he refused to specify how the
dogs would be killed or say where
they woul4,take thfe carcasses.
The dogs have been causing
numerous problems, Sorokin said
Monday, including "biting chil-
He said he was stunned last
earlier in the day to the head of
the Russian Federal Security Ser-
Comey says Russian authori-
ties face a serious threat and he
wants the FBI to be ready to help.
Russian and U.S. defense offi-
cials, including Pentagon chief
Chuck Hagel, have discussed the
Olympic security threat. The U.S.
has offered to help in any way
needed, but no specific assistance
has been requested.
The Pentagon has said the U.S.
warships are deploying to the
Black Sea as part of normal mili-
tary planning and could perform
any required missions, including
communications or evacuations.
ists have pressed the Interna-
tional Olympic Committee and
Olympic sponsors to call for the
law's repeal. Instead, the IOC
and top sponsors have expressed
general opposition to discrimina-
tion and pledged to ensure that
athletes, spectators and others
gathering for the Games would
not be affected by the law. Putin
has given similar assurances
in regard to Sochi, but remains
committed to the law's broader
IOC President Thomas Bach
has warned Olympic athletes that
they are barred from political
gestures while on medal podiums
or in other official venues, but
says they are free to make politi-
cal statements at news confer-
One Olympian likely to speak
out is gay Australian snowboard-
er Belle Brockhoff, who told Aus-
tralia's Courier-Mail newspaper
that she plans to lambaste Putin.
"After I compete, I'm willing to
rip on his ass," she told the news-
paper. "I'm not happy and there's
a bunch of other Olympians who
are not happy either."
week when he attended a rehears-
al for the opening ceremony and
saw a stray dog walking in on the
"A dog ran into the Fisht Sta-
dium, we took it away," he said.
"God forbid something like this
happens at the actual opening
ceremony. Tbis will be a disgrace
for the whole country."
The strays tend to gather near
construction sites where they
have gotten food and shelter from
workers. Dogs have even been
able to get inside the Olympic
Park and accredited hotel com-
plexes and villages, in the coastal
cluster of arenas and venues up in
In this Sept. 10, 1984 file photo, Joan Mondale, wife of the Democratic presidential candidate Walter Mondale, center,
waves to the campaign workers gathered at the Illinois headquarters for the Mondale-Ferraro election effort, in Chicago.
Former vice president's wife,
nown for her love of art, dies
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Joan Mondale was
an avid potter,
gave her pieces to
dignitaries as gifts
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Joan
Mondale, who burnished a repu-
tation as "Joan of Art" for her
passionate advocacy for the arts
while her husband was vice presi-
dent and a U.S. ambassador, died
Monday. She was 83.
Walter Mondale, sons Ted and
William and other family mem-
bers were by her side when she
died, the family said in a state-
ment released by their church.
The family had announced Sun-
day that she had gone into hos-
pice care, but declined to discuss
"Joan was greatly loved by
many. We will miss her dearly,"
the former vice president said in
a written statement.
An arts lover and an avid pot-
ter, Joan Mondale was given a
grand platform to promote the
arts when Walter, then a Demo-
cratic senator, was elected Jimmy
Carter's vice president in 1976.
Carter named her honorary
chairwoman of the Federal Coun-
cil on the Arts and Humanities,
and in that role she frequently
traveled to museums, theaters
and artist studios on the adminis-
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tration's behalf. She lobbied Con-
gress and states to boost public
arts programs and funding.
She also showcased the work of
prominent artistsin the vice pres-
idential residence, including pho-
tographer Ansel Adams, sculptor
David Smith and painter Georgia
Her enthusiasm for the cause
earned widespread praise in
the arts community, including
from Jim Melchert, director of
the visual arts program for the
National Endowment for the Arts
during Carter's administration.
"Your rare fire has brightened
many a day for more people than
you may imagine," Melchert
wrote to her after the 1980 Cart-
er-Mondale re-election defeat.
"What you've done with style
and seeming ease will continue
illuminating our world for a long
time to come."
As Carter's No. 2, Walter Mon-
dale was seen asa trusted adviser
and credited with making the
office of the vice president more
relevant. It was natural that his
wife would do the same for her
role. Vice presidential aide Al
Eisele once said of his boss: "It
was important to him that Joan
not just be the vice president's
wife, but his.partner."
Joan Mondale would later
take her cultural zeal overseas
when her husband was named
U.S. ambassador to Japan during
President Bill Clinton's adminis-
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heart disease, death
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Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobu-
char first met Joan Mondale
while working as an internfor the
vice president in 1980. Klobuchar
still has two coffee mugs on her
kitchen table that were made by
"She was always down to
earth," Klobuchar said Monday.
"She was just as happy going out
to rural farms in Elmore (Min.)
as she was mixing it up at fancy
receptions at the ambassador's
residence in Japan."
During her husband's ambas-
sadorship,she relished the chance
to study Japanese art and give
dignitaries clay pots she made as
gifts. In her 1972 book, "Politics
in Art," Joan Mondale framed a
connection between the two.
"Sometimes we do not realize
how important our participation
in politics is. Often we need to be
reminded of our duty as citizens,"
she wrote. "Artists can do just
that; they can look at our politi-
cians, our institutions and our
problems to help us understand
She was born Joan Adams in
Eugene, Ore., on Aug. 8,1930. She
and her two sisters moved sev-
eral times during childhood as
their father, a Presbyter'ian min-
ister, took new assignments. The
family finally settled in St. Paul,
Minn., where Joan would earn an
undergraduate degree at Macal-
drinking two cans
of soda a day can
CHICAGO (AP) - Could too
much sugar be deadly? The big-
gest study of its kind suggests.
the answer is yes, at least when
it comes to fatal heart problems.
It doesn't take all that much
extra sugar, hidden in many
processed foods, to substantial-
ly raise the risk, the researchers
found, and most Americans eat
more than the safest amount.
Having a cinnamon roll with
your morning coffee, a super-
sized sugary soda at lunch and
a scoop of ice cream after din-
ner would put you in the highest
risk category in the study. That
means your chance of dying pre-
maturely from heart problems is
nearly three times greater than
for people who eat only foods
with little added sugar.
For someone who normally
eats 2,000 calories daily, even
consuming two 12-ounce cans of
soda substantially increases the
risk. For most American adults,
sodas and other sugary drinks
are the main source of added
Lead author Quanhe Yang of
the U.S. Centers of Disease Con-
trol and Prevention called the
results sobering and said it's the
first nationally representative
study to examine the issue.
Scientists aren't certain
exactly how sugar may con-
tribute to deadly heart prob-
lems, but it has been shown to
increase blood pressure and
levels of unhealthy cholesterol
and triglycerides; and also may
increase signs of inflammation
linked with heart disease, said
Rachel Johnson, head of the
American Heart Association's
nutrition committee and a Uni-
versity of Vermont nutrition
Yang and colleagues analyzed
national health surveys between
1988 and 2010 that included
questions about people's diets.
The authors used national death
data to calculate risks of dying
during 15 years of follow-up.
Overall, more than 30,000
American adults aged 44 on
average were involved.
Previous studies have
linked diets high in sugar with
increased risks for non-fatal
heart problems, and with obe-
sity, which can also lead to heart
trouble. But in the new study,
obesity didn't explain the link
between sugary diets and death.
That link was found even in nor-
mal-weight people who ate lots
of added sugar.
"Too much sugar does not
just make us fat; it can also make
us sick," said Laura Schmidt, a
health policy specialist at the
University of California, San
Francisco. She wrote an edito-
rial accompanying the study in
Monday's JAMA Internal Medi-
The researchers focused on
sugar added to processed foods
or drinks, or sprinkled in coffee
or cereal. Even foods that don't
taste sweet have added sugar,
including many brands of pack-
aged bread, tomato sauce and
salad dressing. Naturally occur-
ring sugar, in fruit and some
other foods, wasn't counted.
Most health experts agree
that too much sugar isn't
healthy, but there is no univer-
sal consensus on how much is
U.S government dietary
guidelines issued in 2010 say
"empty" calories including
those from added sugars should
account for no more than 15 per-
cent of total daily calories.
The average number of daily
calories from added sugar
among U.S. adults was about 15
percent toward the end of the
study, slightly lower than in pre-