Over from governmental president

(CNN) — Russias stand off with Ukraine might be spilling over into the sporting arena with the idea floated for Fabio Capellos team to be barred from contesting Junes World Cup, but the UEFA president believes this would be a travesty for the players who worked so hard to qualify for the finals in Brazil.
Ukrainian officials and Western diplomats accuse Russia of sending thousands of troops into the Crimea region in the past week — a claim Russia has denied.
Earlier this week, an unnamed European Union official was reported to have told a BBC journalist that his organization may try to expel Russia from the 2014 finals.
I dont know why 11 players would not be allowed to play at the World Cup. Where is their responsibility? Michel Platini told CNN.
Read: Is Ukraine splitting?
Why dont you (shut down) the Embassy? Embassies are still in the country.

Ukraines PM defiant and passionate

Senator: Putins ambitions like Hitlers

Ukraine crisis

New Russia sanctions wont have much effect

Ukrainian PM urges Russia to pull back

Platini might now be an administrator, but he speaks from personal experience of how politics is never far away from sport.
The former France international had a similar decision to make when considering whether to contest the 1978 World Cup or not.
There were calls from various quarters to boycott the finals because of the repressive measures being undertaken by the military junta, which took charge in a coup in March 1976 and would rule until 1983.
One of the most infamous periods in Argentinas history followed, as thousands of individuals — primarily with left wing leanings — disappeared during the Dirty War.
As the South American nation prepared to host its only World Cup to date, calls for a potential boycott were led by the Dutch whose team — perhaps ironically — would not just attend the event but reach the final as well.
Amnesty International was also a prominent campaigner as was a group in France called COBA, the French acronym for the Committee for the Boycott of the World Cup in Argentina, who wanted the competition scrapped altogether.
Read: Former dictators found guilty of baby-stealing
Despite the pressure, Platini — who was just 20 at the time — chose to play.
Its always better to go and explain what you think is good rather than boycott, said the UEFA president.
I think its better to explain that you are not happy, which is the same opinion I had in 1978 when I was in Argentina for the World Cup, added the 58-year-old.
I thought it was better to go and explain that we were not happy with what was happening in Argentina.
It could be the same in Russia.
The Ukrainian Paralympic team is facing an equally tough choice as to whether it will boycott the Sochi Games or not.
Ukraines sports minister has already announced a personal boycott and as the tense diplomatic and military standoff continues with Russia, its possible the whole team could follow suit.
Read: Ukraine needs worlds support
Should they do so, such a move could overshadow Fridays Opening Ceremony.
In addition to Ukraines sports minister, politicians from Germany, Britain, the Netherlands, Canada and Poland are among those who have already said they will stay away.
Earlier this week, the White House canceled a presidential delegation to the Paralympic Games.
On Thursday, Germany announced it would not send governmental representatives in order to make a very clear political signal to Russia, according to disabilities commissioner Verena Bentele.
Ukraine Paralympic Committee spokeswoman Natalia Garach told CNN a decision on whether the Ukrainian team will boycott Sochi will be announced at a press conference at 0930 GMT on Friday.

On an partners with

Jerusalem (CNN) — An Israeli judge on Monday convicted former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of taking bribes while mayor of Jerusalem.
Judge David Rosen of the Tel Aviv District Court convicted Olmert of receiving about $161,000 in bribes related to a controversial Jerusalem housing project called Holyland. The judge acquitted Olmert on a third count of bribery.
The developer of Holyland, Hillel Cherney, had been previously convicted of bribing Olmert and other high-level officials in exchange for Holyland approvals.

2012: Right-wing dollars killed peace

Olmert was mayor of Jerusalem from 1993 to 2003.
Sentencing is scheduled for April 28.
Olmert, an attorney who in 1973 became the youngest person ever elected to Israels parliament, the Knesset, served as prime minister from 2006 to 2009.
He announced his resignation shortly after police recommended corruption charges against him.
In August 2012, he was convicted of breach of trust and acquitted on two corruption-related charges after a trial that lasted nearly three years. He was given a 3-month suspended jail sentenced and fined about $19,000 in that case.
The allegations stemmed from Olmerts time as mayor as well as prime minister. Prosecutors accused him of double-billing government agencies for travel, taking cash from an American businessman in exchange for official favors and acting on behalf of his former law partners clients.
READ: 2012: Ex-Israeli prime minister accused of corruption gets mixed verdict
READ: Former Israeli Prime Ministers exclusive interview with Christiane Amanpour

Match escort glad were reunion culture

(CNN) — Megumi Yokota was only 13 when she was abducted by a North Korean agent in the 1970s. Now, escort almost 40 years after her disappearance, her aging parents, Shigeru and Sakie Yokota, have traveled to Mongolia to meet her daughter — their granddaughter.
In a series of meetings in Ulan Bator arranged by Japanese and North Korean foreign ministry officials, the Japanese couple met 26-year-old Kim Eun-gyong, her husband and 10-month-old daughter.
Our long-cherished dream had come true, Shigeru Yokota said at a press conference. It was actually first time to meet her although Ive been seeing her on TV (since she was) 14 or 15.
Few answers decades after kidnapping
Does China coddle North Korea?
1950: The Korean War begins
Yokota, who was kidnapped from the port city of Niigata in 1977, was not present at the meeting. North Korean authorities insist that she committed suicide, although this is disputed in Japan and repatriated ashes proved not to be a DNA match.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters Monday morning that he was glad to hear that the meeting was conducted safely.
We are determined to resolve the abduction issue at any cost, he said.
The abductee issue is a considerable sticking point in Japan-North Korea relations. The reclusive state has admitted to kidnapping a number of Japanese nationals, mostly to help train spies in Japanese language and culture.
The Yokotas said that they were unable to confirm their daughters safety with Kim, as political matters were off the table. However, her mother said, I spent time with them believing Megumi is still safe somewhere.
The meeting took place as North Koreas bellicosity is once again on the rise, with reports that the Stalinist state has fired a number of short-range missiles into the sea off its east coast.
After 40 years in North Korea, escapee returns to Seoul
Unspeakable atrocities in North Korea
North and South Korea hold first family reunion in three years
CNNs Junko Ogura in Tokyo contributed to this report.

Got space credibility there if

Tweets by @CNNFC

In the end, despite plenty of courage and endeavor, goals from Lionel Messi and Dani Alves decided this tie as Barcelona gained a 2-1 win to progress 4-1 on aggregate.
Vincent Kompany had briefly leveled the game with a minute of normal time remaining before Alves struck — and City finished the game with 10-men after Pablo Zabaleta was sent off.
Weve got nothing left in the tank, we gave everything, Kompany told Sky Sports.
We could have scored earlier which would have changed the game.
You have to take your half chances against the best teams. Over the course of the two games there was not much between the sides. Lionel Messi is incredible player but outside of that it was even.
Only the winners get remembered but its only our third season in the Champions League.
The way we have played means we should fear nobody next season and our time will come.
Much had been made of Barcelonas supposed fragility under Tata Martino and its recent defeats by Real Sociedad and Real Valladolid.
Martino, who replaced Tito Vilanova at the start of the season, has come under increasing pressure with his team four points off league leader Real Madrid.
But here, his team had too much for City, even if some doubts remain about its ability to challenge the likes of Bayern Munich and Real for the trophy.
It was City which started the better of the two but the visitor soon began to ride its luck as Barcelona grew frustrated at the decisions of the officials.
Read: Pellegrini banned for three games
With manager Manuel Pellegrini sat in the stands after being handed a touchline ban following his disparaging remarks about Swedish referee Jonas Eriksson, who presided over the first leg, City was left in the hands of assistant Ruben Cousillas.
Not that there was much Cousillas could do as Barcelona began to turn the screw.
First, the home side felt it should have been awarded a penalty when Messi went down under the challenge of Joleon Lescott but referee Stephane Lannoy waved away the appeals.

Platini: Goal line technology too expensive

Zidane and Ronaldo tackle poverty

Bayem dressing room secrets revealed

If that decision was marginal, what followed was hugely fortunate as the assistant referee deprived Barcelona of what would have been a perfectly legitimate goal.
Messi found Xavi and when the midfield maestro slipped in Jordi Alba, the full-back crossed for Neymar to tap the ball into the empty net.
Unfortunately for Barcelona, the offside flag had been raised, despite Alba clearly being in an onside position.
Having survived the early scare, City slowly found their feet and should have taken the lead four minutes before the interval.
Read: Barca teaches City a lesson
Yaya Toure, formerly of Barcelona, picked out David Silva and when the Spaniards sublime flick found Samir Nasri, the City midfielder could only shoot straight at Victor Valdes.
The second half provided more enthralling action with Messi coming within inches of breaking the deadlock after jinking his way into the penalty area before smashing an effort against the post.
At the other end, Edin Dzeko, on as a halftime substitute for the injured Sergio Aguero, sent a looping header towards goal which was brilliantly clawed away by Valdes with the ball seemingly destined for the corner.
Pablo Zabaleta then fired wide as City threatened to plunder the goal that their play had deserved.
As City pushed forward in search of that elusive opener, Barcelona began to make the most of the space left behind.
And it came as little surprise when Messi finally broke through, clipping the ball past Joe Hart to score his 67th Champions League goal.

How Bayern Munich became the Worlds best team

Football grows in India

Champagne: Football has lost credibility

There was still more drama to come with a little over 12 minutes remaining when Dzeko appeared to be blatantly fouled inside the penalty area by Gerard Pique — but referee Lannoy disagreed.
Such was Citys anger that Zabaleta was shown a second yellow card and promptly dismissed for voicing his frustration.
City did net an equalizer through Kompany with a minute of normal time remaining to salvage some pride.
But Barcelona refused to be denied and Dan Alves netted a late winner, firing home from Andres Iniestas pass to secure victory.
It was a very tight game against a world class team, Barcelonas Cesc Fabregas told Sky Sports.
It was a great result to win 2-0 over there and today it was tough.
We created a lot of chances, we had a goal which was onside ruled out and could have had a penalty.
We go home happy. The last couple of games have not made us happy, we had some negative results but we have to be proud of todays result.
Everything is good at the club. We are in the final of the cup, we are four points behind in the league and in the last eight of the Champions League. A lot of teams would swap.
Messi, who scored his 28th goal of the season, believes this result proves Barcelona is on the way back to finding its best form.
Barca, which sits third in La Liga, faces Osasuna this weekend before traveling to Madrid for El Clasico on March 23.
I think tonight we got back to being the Barcelona that we all want to see and we were able to beat a very tough opponent, he told Canal Plus.
I dont know if the criticism (in the media after the La Liga defeat to Valladolid) was over the top. We are the first to criticize ourselves and we didnt play the way we should have done there.
We dont let the criticism affect us and we just focus on ourselves and try to turn things around and thats what we did tonight, I think.
Read: PSG thumps Leverkusen
In the nights other game, Paris Saint-Germain secured its place in the last eight with a 2-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen to secure a 6-1 aggregate victory.
After Sidney Sam had given the German side a surprise lead, PSG hit back through Marquinhos, who headed home from close range.
Simon Rolfes than missed a penalty for Leverkusen before Ezequiel Lavezzi sealed the win for the French champion.
Leverkusen ended the contest with 10-men after Emre Can was shown a second yellow card for diving.

Have but by cnnopinion join

Editors note: Sandra Fluke is a Los Angeles-based attorney and activist who is running for the California State Senate in the 26th Senate District for the Democratic Party.
(CNN) — I cant help but feel humbled and grateful when I hear the stories of women who marched for womens rights in the 1970s and the suffragists who fought for the right to vote. What they accomplished deserves more than a nod and lip service. We must honor them by making our generations mark on the concerns facing women today. Unfortunately, that still includes goals weve fought too long for, like reproductive rights.
Today is International Womens Day and March is Womens History Month. As we celebrate all that women have accomplished in the struggle for gender equality, we are also redefining what counts as a womens issue.
Gender-related violence

Sandra Fluke

Worldwide, about one in three women is victim of gender-related violence. From military sexual assault, to domestic violence, to rape on college campuses, we must do more to prevent violence against women.
Many people think of sex trafficking as a womens issue, but labor trafficking also has impact on women. Some of the industries in which labor trafficking is common, including domestic work, are dominated by women. And in industries like agricultural work, women are singled out for sexual abuse or exploitation.
Ive represented victims of human trafficking in Los Angeles, which is a major trafficking destination because of its port, international airport, and proximity to Asia and Mexico. Financially desperate adults are lured to Los Angeles by traffickers, only to be forced to work as laborers in Southern Californias agricultural sector. Runaway youth come to Los Angeles to find stardom or a warm place to sleep on the street, but many will be exploited through pornography, a thriving industry in the San Fernando Valley. We have a responsibility to improve our current labor trafficking laws.
Education
Republican Sen. Rand Paul said recently, look at how well women are doing at colleges across the country. What he failed to consider is that women are graduating not only with a degree, but with staggering level of student debt. Instead of telling women that theyre doing just fine, we need legislators who are going to fight for students so they can attain the degrees they want and enter chosen professions without an insurmountable amount of debt.
Senator Paul also forgot to mention that some of the best-paying jobs, jobs in science, technology, engineering and math fields (STEM), are still overwhelming dominated by men. Only 3% of tech startups are formed by women. We have a thriving tech industry, but men hold far more computer and mathematical occupations than women.
Why arent more women getting tech jobs? We need programs that promote STEM education for those who have historically been left out of these high-paying jobs.
Economic equality
We often talk about the impact of pay discrimination on womens pocketbooks because it costs women on average more than $10,000 annually and jeopardizes their retirement security.
But we forget that many poverty issues also impact women. Raising the minimum wage is actually a womens issue because 64% of minimum wage workers are women.
Women are increasingly becoming the sole or primary earners in their household, so economic issues that hold women back have huge impact on our entire economy. Lets help women financially support their families as we create more good-paying jobs in our communities.
Many women not only face pay discrimination in the workplace, but struggle at home as well, trying to provide care for their family on top of their job. Women are still mostly the caretakers for their families, so they are disproportionately affected by the lack of guaranteed sick days and the lack of paid family leave. It is hard to overstate how far behind America is compared to our global competitors when it comes to these basic policies that protect families.
When we talk about womens issues, we must look comprehensively at the challenges all women face to ensure our policies reflect the support women truly need, because these concerns impact not only women, but their families and communities. Our generation is ready to do that.
Follow us on Twitter @CNNOpinion.
Join us on Facebook/CNNOpinion.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Sandra Fluke.

Her before do schevitz

(CNN) — Last week, 19-year-old California university student Adeline Munguia was reported missing after she stopped responding to Snapchats and texts from her roommate.
As it turns out, Munguia was fine — shed just turned off her phone for a while — but the expectation of constant, instant communication was so normal in her social circles that taking a break was a shock to her friends.
Theres a growing movement that wants to make taking such a break from our electronics the rule, not the rare exception. Friday marks the start of the fifth annual National Day of Unplugging, an initiative launched by the national nonprofit group Reboot to help people take a break from their always-on lifestyles.
Participants are encouraged to put away their phones, tablets, laptops and other Internet-connected doodads from sunset Friday to sundown Saturday for a digital sabbath. The time might instead be used for quiet reflection, communing with nature, reconnecting with family or friends, focusing on a project and even getting a rare, uninterrupted nights sleep.
I think that people are overwhelmed. Its physically taken a toll on people, said Reboots communications manager, Tanya Schevitz. If you think you have to respond to everything all the time, thats an unrealistic expectation.
Participants are encouraged to sign a pledge on the events website and post a photo of themselves saying why they unplug. Some recent examples:
… to focus on the faces in front of me.
… to be open to the divine.
… to connect.
The concept has caught on since the first unplugging day in 2010. Organizers have signed up more than 200 local and national groups as partners, including the Ad Council, Digital Detox and Google. Many will be hosting their own official events such as in-person gatherings and phone-free parties.
Without the safety net of a smartphone, event-goers will probably work on dying social skills like maintaining eye contact, making small talk and communicating verbally in more than 140 characters.
Although the official holiday lasts for just 24 hours, the idea is to create more awareness of how we interact with our devices and the impact this has on our work, family and mental health. Then people can take smaller steps to carve out device-free pockets of time during the day and eventually find a balance that works for them.
Day to day, throughout your day, you should be thinking about unplugging moments, Schevitz said.
Concern about our dependence on our electronic devices has grown in recent years as its become increasingly difficult to step away from the online world. Phones beep and blink and beg for our attention with e-mail, text notifications, breaking news or updates from social media. Even when a phone is quiet, many of us still reflexively pick it up to check news and messages during moments of downtime.
Researchers are still studying the impact that smartphones and mobile technology have on our lives. In the work sphere, theres increasing evidence that multitasking is inefficient. The brain cant fully focus on a task when its constantly jumping around to do bite-size tasks like checking e-mail.
At home, the divided attention can have a negative impact on relationships with children and partners. Schevitz recently heard stories about overly connected families firsthand when she spoke to a class of eighth-graders about unplugging. The students shared tales of their parents working at all hours or not listening because they were glued to their smartphones.
It takes willpower to step away from technology. Schevitz has some tips for people interested in cutting down.
1. Replace the phone on your bedside table with an alarm clock. That way, youre not checking the device right before bed and first thing in the morning. The stimulation and even the light from the smartphone screen can disrupt sleep.
2. Set goals and schedule times when you think it would be beneficial to go sans phone. Make sure some of those times are when youre alone, not doing anything at all. People instinctively pick up their smartphones when theres a lull in a conversation or when theyre waiting in line. Look around, observe people, be alone with yourself and think about what you might be missing in those moments.
Psychologists have been researching something called attention-restoration theory. The idea is that people can better focus on tasks after taking a break to experience nature and giving part of their brains a rest. Something as simple as taking a walk or looking at photos of nature can reset peoples attention spans and reduce stress.
3. Before you drop off the grid, be sure to give people a heads up. As the Munguia incident illustrates, going cold turkey can be jarring when your friends or bosses expect instant responses to their messages. Set boundaries — like letting your workplace know you wont be checking e-mail after a certain hour — and stick to them.
The more people who participate, the less unusual it will seem, according to Schevitz.
What we we need to do is reset societys expectations, she said.

Some were a cool

Follow us at @WorldSportCNN and like us on Facebook
(CNN) — The Winter Olympics motto was Hot. Cool. Yours.
From eye-popping helmet designs to Formula One-influenced bobsleigh, the Sochi 2014 Games offered a bewildering array of technological innovation as well as some seriously pimped up athlete equipment.
As well as the funky headgear, who could forget the Norwegian curling teams pants, which were reminiscent of an abstract Mondrian painting?
Bobsleigh was in the vanguard of exploring new technological improvements, with a number of teams hooking up with leading F1 marques or car manufacturers.

Under Armour: Dont blame our suits

Tech takes speed skating to the next level

While the Italian National Olympic Committee worked with Ferrari, the U.S. two-men bobsleigh team benefited from its collaboration with BMW.
The result? The first American two-man bobsleigh medal in 62 years.
The U.S. speed skating team had less luck with its Mach 39 Under Armour suits, leaving the Winter Olympics without a medal for the first time since 1984.
Despite the criticism of the teams suits, last week U.S. Speed Skating renewed its partnership with Under Armour for another eight years.
Look, we got beat up a little bit last week and speed skating is obviously getting beaten up, Under Armour chief executive Kevin Plank told CBS This Morning show.
So what we dont do is we dont retreat. We dust ourselves up and we come back bigger, better and stronger than we ever were before.
Television companies got in on the act using a hexacopter — or remote piloted aircraft — to transmit live video of snowboard and ski jump competitions to a screen near you.
Take a look at the gallery above to see the gear that made Sochi cool.

Adds ı direct actually it

Editors note: African Voices is a weekly show that highlights Africas most engaging personalities, exploring the lives and passions of people who rarely open themselves up to the camera. Follow the team on Twitter.
London, England (CNN) — A young boy sits in his bedroom staring up at the poster of Bruce Lee hanging on the wall. Like most kids in Kafanchan, a small town in the heart of Nigeria, he is a big fan of the martial arts supremo, frequenting the local cinema which almost exclusively shows Hong Kong karate movies or Bollywood films.
Other times the young boy immerses himself in a world of literature reading work from acclaimed writers like Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka and Charles Dickens. And while outwardly he may still appear to be a child, the die has been cast.
I knew I wanted to be a writer from when I was six, Biyi Bandele tells CNN. My dad took me to the local library, I was five or six and I just fell in love with the books.
Some three decades later and Bandele has become a celebrated novelist and playwright who most recently moved behind the camera to try his hand at directing.
Bandele inspired by Brixton upbringing
Nigerian soap-opera tackles HIV
A task he seems well suited for after receiving critical acclaim for his directorial feature film debut, Half of a Yellow Sun, based on Chimamanda Ngozi Adichies much-loved novel of the same name and starring Hollywood stars Chiwetel Ejiofor and Thandie Newton.
What really particularly attracted me to Half of a Yellow Sun was that … there were these characters — middle, upper-middle-class characters, educated characters, Nigerian characters — who I suppose had been seen in quite a few novels set in Africa, written by Africans, but they had never been seen in any movie set in Africa, says Bandele. I felt it was a great opportunity to bring these people to the big screen, he adds.
I was really fed up of going to the cinema and watching a movie about Africa and all you saw were them as victims without any say over their own destiny, explains Bandele. They just seemed to live this passive existence but that was redeemed only by gifts from NGOs.
I felt like I could do a better job than [others] had and so I decided that I had to take the plunge and direct.
From writer to director
Talented and ambitious, Bandele left Nigeria at 22 after studying drama at Obafemi Awolowo University with two novels hed written in his luggage.
I then started directing theater because I think subconsciously, I was preparing to get into film … I kept thinking I can do this, I can do this better.
Biyi Bandele on becoming a director
I actually came [to London] because Id been invited to a theater festival … within weeks, I had a publisher, not just in the UK but in Italy and in France and in Germany, he recalls. Then I got offered a job to be the literary editor of a weekly Nigerian newspaper in London so I had actually come with absolutely no intention of staying.
Shortly after his arrival to the UK, his work was published and he received his first commission from the Royal Court Theatre where he was catapulted into arts.
Just three years later — his career flourishing in playhouses up and down the country — Bandele wrote a screenplay which was picked up by the BBC, who attached a young up and coming director to it. His name was Danny Boyle.
Working with Danny was a game changer, recalls Bandele. I wasnt that interested at the time in actually directing anything but I watched Danny … it was a joy working with him, he adds.
I then started directing theater because I think, subconsciously, I was preparing to get into film … I kept thinking I can do this, I can do this better.
Behind the camera
It was Bandeles empathy for storytelling — a trait he has held all his life — that spurred him to take Half of a Yellow Sun and begin a six-year production process from adaptation to the big screen.
Upon completion of his debut film, Bandele was approached by MTVs Staying Alive Foundation to direct Shuga, a popular TV series aimed at educating viewers on HIV/AIDS.
Set in Lagos, the eight-part series follows a group of young people trying to live normal lives as HIV/AIDS becomes more prevalent in their world. Bandele says this was a project he simply couldnt say no to.
Theres a culture of complete denial and I felt it was important for us to do the series to get people talking.
Biyi Bandele on HIV/AIDS in Nigeria
Nigeria has, depending on which authorities you listen to, between 3.4 million and 4.3 million people suffering from HIV/AIDS, says the director. But when you go to Nigeria and talk to anyone about this epidemic, people will tell you, We dont have a problem — theres a culture of complete denial and I felt it was important for us to do the series to get people talking, he adds.
We also knew from the TV-watching habits of Nigerians, the likelihood was that this 15-year-old kid was watching it and so was their parent and probably their grandparents … youd have several generations actually having this conversation and thats exactly what happened.
For Bandele, this is what it all comes down to — telling stories that matter whether it is on stage or screen.
I like telling stories but if telling stories actually has a positive effect on how people live their lives, the better.
READ THIS: How Mariah Carey transformed this womans life
READ THIS: Come back to Africa! says tech innovator