Kozak Takes Lead in Crimea; G8 Summit No Longer In Russia

(ATR): Also: Two die in Sochi avalanche ... Olympic TOP Sponsor McDonald's COO retires.

Olympic Leader Trusted With Crimea Development

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak has been appointed by Vladimir Putin to oversee economic development in Crimea.

Kozak was appointed by then-President Dmitry Medvedev to oversee the construction of the Sochi Olympics in 2008.

Before becoming deputy prime minister, Kozak worked with Putin in developing the Southern Russian Federal District economically in the mid-2000s.

Crimea and Sevastapol were incorporated into the Russian Federation as the Crimean Federal district. The future of the territory remains in doubt, due to limited recognition of Russia's annexation of the territory abroad.

G8 Summit Not in Russia

United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron says the G8 Summit will not be held in Russia this year.

Cameron made the comments speaking in the Netherlands while meeting with the other G7 members.

Cameron said it was "absolutely clear" that Russia would not host the event due to the political situation in Ukraine and Crimea.

The 2014 G8 Summit was planned to take place on June 4-5 in Sochi at the Gorki Media Center.

Avalanche Kills Two at Rosa Khutor

Two people died in an avalanche Sunday at the ski resort used for the Sochi Olympics the day after it opened to the public.

The avalanche hit the Labirint run in the resort where six skiers were said to be affected by the cascading snow.

Two women were buried by the avalanche. The other four skiers escaped the avalanche unharmed.

The run in question was labeled black, designating the hardest difficulty of any stretch of the Labirint run.

According to a statement from the Rosa Khutor resort, the cause of the avalanche is still unknown, and the resort is clearing snow to determine its cause.

McDonald’s Restructuring

McDonald’s chief operating officer Tim Fenton announced his retirement effective October 2014.

As a result, Pete Bensen and Steve Easterbrook were promoted to senior vice presidents,replacing the COO position.

"On behalf of the entire McDonald's system, I salute Tim for his 41 years of continuous service to McDonald's and want to thank him for his countless contributions to our business," McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson said in a statement.

"We have benefitted greatly from his international experience, deep commitment to operational excellence, and proven track record of success."

Putin Gives Out State Awards to Sochi Officials, Athletes

Vladimir Putin celebrated success in Sochi by handing out state awards to people who helped prepare for the 2014 Olympic Games.

The Voice of Russia reports that forty Russian citizens received awards in a ceremony in the Kremlin on March 24th, including Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, Governor of the Krasnodar region Alexander Tkachev, and head of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee Dmitry Chernyshenko.

Putin also honored constructors, organizers, media representatives, and the champions of the Russian Olympic Team.

"Dozens of thousands of people who worked hard for nearly seven years made it possible for Russia to host the Olympics and the Paralympics in Sochi," Putin said at the awards ceremony.

Doping Victim Blames Tainted Food

Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle says tainted food supplements caused her positive test at the Sochi Olympics.

Speaking at her anti-doping hearing with the International Biathlon Union in Salzburg said, "It is protected definitively that these were these food supplement means."

Sachenbacher faces a two-year ban from the sport if found guilty.

"I think everything happens for any certain reason. And for something, everything is good. Even if I do not know at the moment yet for what this is good. I hope that I find out it sometime," Sachenbacher said after finishing her testimony.

According to her lawyer, the decision will come in a few weeks.

Written by Aaron BauerandAndrew Murrell

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