July 01, 2017

Notebook



The problem-plagued Krestovsky Stadium in St. Petersburg continues to cause headaches for World Cup organizers. With just weeks to go before June’s Confederations Cup, an event meant to be a warm up for the 2018 soccer championship, it emerged that the grass on the pitch was unfit for matches.

The pitch at the $800-million, 68,000-seat venue, which took ten years to build, a process fraught with scandal, had bare spots and was in such a sorry condition that home team Zenit spoke out publicly. At press time, officials had moved Zenit matches to another venue and were replacing the turf at the state-of-the-art stadium.

Sergei Kislyak, 66, Russian ambassador to Washington, is on his way out after a run of nearly nine years. His final months in the posting were plagued by fallout from “undisclosed contacts” with staffers of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign – apparently to establish a back channel between Presidents Trump and Putin. National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was forced to resign over the affair.


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