The Department of Homeland Security has issued a warning to U.S. and some foreign airlines traveling to Russia for the Olympic Games to be on the lookout for toothpaste containers, which some intelligence indicates may actually hold ingredients that could be used to construct a bomb aboard a plane, a senior U.S. official told ABC News. [ABC News]
TONIGHT it begins…. Strike that. Men’s snowboard slope style qualifying runs begin today, hours before Friday’s Opening Ceremonies, with new warnings about possible terrorism being reported. The 2014 Olympics in Russia has been plagued by reports that reveal a country not ready for primetime, let alone the Olympics.
So far the reporting can be described in one word: eewwww.
— Stacy St. Clair (@StacyStClair) February 4, 2014
Then there’s NBC’s Richard Engel, who reported he was hacked within a minute of connecting to the Internet in Sochi. From HuffPost:
“It doesn’t take long here for someone to try to tap into your laptop, cellphone or tablet,” he said Tuesday night.
Engel decided to test Russia’s privacy system with the help of American computer security expert Kyle Wilhoit, who set him up with two brand new computers and a phony identity, with fake names and addresses. When Engel connected them to the Internet in Sochi, he said he quickly received a suspicious email and was shocked when his computer was hijacked immediately after opening the email.
“In a minute, hackers were snooping around,” he said. “The same thing happened with my cellphone — it was very fast and very professional.”
The main question everyone should be asking right now is why Russia was awarded the games in the first place? Reports of corruption were only the beginning.
ASHTYR, Russia — If any one place embodies the allegations of corruption, abuse, and alarming human cost of the Sochi Olympics, it’s here. …
The village has not had running water for over three years. Residents blame Olympic construction for contaminating their wells. A new water pipe lasted just one day, locals say, after being severed by construction vehicles. Officials only promise relief that never comes.
Two large limestone mines used to build the $8.7 billion road and rail project connecting the coast to the mountains, left massive, ugly divots in the slopes just outside town. Even worse, the powerful state-owned company that controls the mines was caught dumping waste inside and covering it up, potentially contaminating water sources downhill. Some activists say that dumping continues.
This post has been updated and corrected, with Opening Ceremonies on Friday night, not Thursday, as originally posted.