SOCHI, Russia -- Russian President Vladimir Putin sought Friday to reassure gay visitors to the Sochi Games that they are welcome in Russia despite a law banning gay "propaganda" to minors. Jose Mauri Jersey . Responding to a question from an Olympics volunteer during a visit in the Black Sea resort city, Putin vowed that gays face no discrimination in Russia and could feel "at ease." But he emphasized that because of the new Russian law, they cannot express their views on gay rights issues to anyone under age. Putin appeared to lump homosexuality and pedophilia together. "We have no ban on nontraditional sexual relations. We have a ban on propaganda of homosexuality and pedophilia, I want to underline that, on propaganda among minors," he said. Putin and other politicians have defended the June propaganda law as a protection of child rights, but critics believe that the law discriminates against sexual minorities. The law specifically refers only to "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations." "We arent banning anything, we arent rounding up anyone, we have no criminal punishment for such relations unlike many other countries," he said. "One can feel relaxed and at ease, but please leave the children in peace." In the wake of the international outcry against the bill, Russian authorities have put limits on the right to protest during the Sochi games, which run Feb. 7-23. A presidential decree initially banned all rallies in Sochi from Jan. 7 to March 21, but Putin later rescinded the ban to allow demonstrations at venues determined by the Interior Ministry. Andrea Bertolacci Jersey . It was Kerbers third final of the year after losing to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia in Monterrey in April and to Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic in Tokyo two weeks ago. The 10th-ranked German improved her record in finals to 3-5. Mattia De Sciglio Jersey .ca looks back at the stories and moments that made the year memorable. http://www.acmilansoccershop.com/c-28-l ... ersey.aspx
.J. -- Marshawn Lynch said Thursday it will be good to get back to football after the Seattle quiet talking running back wrapped up his final mandatory media session of Super Bowl week.GULLANE -- A blue sky and a gentle breeze usually means ripe scoring conditions at the British Open. Just not on the brown links of Muirfield. Zach Johnson handled it better than anyone Thursday. Helped along by a 45-foot eagle putt and only one bogey despite trouble lurking around every pot bunker, Johnson had a 5-under 66 for a one-shot lead, the first time hes been atop the leaderboard at any major since he rallied to win the Masters six years ago. Tiger Woods more than survived the late end of the draw, after the sun had thoroughly baked out the crispy greens and allowed only eight of the 20 rounds under par. He knocked one putt clear off the green, but 10 one-putts -- most of them for pars -- carried him to a 69, a good start in his bid to end his five-year drought in the majors. "The golf course progressively got more dried out and more difficult as we played," Woods said. "And Im very pleased to shoot anything even par or better." And for all the talk about Muirfields men-only membership, at least the club doesnt discriminate against age. Mark OMeara, the 56-year-old who won his claret jug in 1998 at Royal Birkdale, shot a 67 and nearly tied Johnson for the lead until his 25-foot birdie putt on the 18th took a hard spin out of the cup. Another former champion, 54-year-old Tom Lehman, opened with a 68. It was an eclectic group who broke par, from major champions to players making their British Open debut. What they all had in common was finding a way to get through a firm, fast and frightening test at Muirfield that figures to get even harder if the Royal & Ancient doesnt put some water on the links course. Phil Mickelson opened with a 69 and felt like he got off easy by playing in the morning. Mickelson was concerned about some hole locations being too close to the edge of slopes, and he pleaded with the R&A to let go of its ego and "just set the course up the way the best players can win." Some of the best did just fine. "Anytime you shoot under par in an Open -- or a major, for that matter -- you have to be putting at least somewhat decent," Johnson said. "And I putted great. I made some nice birdie putts and obviously that one for eagle. But I struck some really nice, solid par putts. Thats what youve got to do to stay in it." Rafael Cabrera-Bello of Spain joined OMeara at 67, while the group at 68 included Dustin Johnson and Brandt Snedeker, who each have contended on Sunday over the last two years in the Open. Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera, who lost in a playoff at the Masters in April, and 19-year-old Jordan Spieth were in the group at 69. Graham DeLaet of Weyburn, Sask., playing in his first major, opened at 5-over 76. It was a beautiful day along the Firth of Forth. And it was hard work. No one felt safe until the ball stopped bouncing along the crusty fairways, and no one was sure when that would happen. "I havent seen anything like this," said Snedeker, who tied the 36-hole Open record a year ago at Lytham. "Ive played in, I think, five Opens. This is completely new to me -- foreign to see a 2-iron going 300 yards. You have got to be wary of how youre shaping your golf ball, and what shot selections youre using on the greens." OMeara thought he hit a reasonable bunker shot on the 15th until it kept rolling -- and rolling -- off the green and into another bunker. Gianluca Lapadula Jersey. "They get so glassy and crispy around the holes," Graeme McDowell, who played with Woods, said after a 75. "You literally can see 300 footprints around the hole from all the players and caddies that have been out there today. They just get really shiny, and really glassy. I couldnt single out a pin that I thought was unfair. But if you got on the wrong side of them, they could make you look very, very silly." Yes, there was plenty of that. Rory McIlroy never looked comfortable, and it caught up with him. After missing left of the 12th green, he chipped it up the slope and watched it roll back down to his feet. His next chip was long and he wound up with double bogey. On the 15th hole, his putt to the back pin rolled well past the hole and into a bunker for another double bogey. A bogey-bogey finish gave him a 79, his highest score at the Open since that 80 in the vicious wind of St. Andrews in 2010. At least he had some company. Luke Donald, another former No. 1 player in the world, had a double bogey and a triple bogey two holes apart on the back nine. He shot 80. Nick Faldo celebrated his 56th birthday with a return to the links where he won two of his three claret jugs. He shot a 79, but still enjoyed the nerves and the emotions of seeing the gallery lining both sides of the fairway in his first Open in three years. Lloyd Saltman got the 142nd Open off to a dubious start when it took him three tee shots to get his ball in play. He made a quadruple-bogey eight. Some eight hours later, Woods hooked his opening tee shot so far left, and into grass so deep, that he took a penalty shot for an unplayable lie. Woods hit into a bunker, but blasted out to 4 feet to escape with bogey. He made four birdies in his round, including a 25-foot bender behind the 13th hole. But it was the clutch putting that kept him going. Dustin Johnson played the three par 5s in 4-under, yet what made him smile was a par. From left of the par-3 seventh green, he chipped between two bunkers and watched the ball ride the rounded face of one, roll precariously near the top of another and settled 4 feet away. "That," he said, "was sweet." Mickelson, coming off a win at the Scottish Open on a links-styled course at Castle Stuart, rolled in three big putts early in his round and kept it together with great lag putts for par when he ran into what he called "technical difficulties." He rallied with a pair of late birdies, only for his last attempt from 15 feet above the hole on the 18th to slide some 6 feet by for a three-putt bogey. Even so, Lefty was pleased to be done as the greens turned brown. "I got very lucky to play early today because as the day wore on and we got to the back nine, about a third of every green started to die and become brown," he said. "And the pins were very edgy, on the slopes. The guys that played early had a huge, huge break. Because even without any wind, its beyond difficult." It was tough all day. Ninety-eight players in the 156-man field had at least a double bogey on their scorecards. Former U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover might have summed it up best when he took to Twitter after opening with an 80. "Muirfield 1, Me 0." Cheap NFL Jerseys ' ' '