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Global 'day of action' against Russia's gay rights record

Russia's "anti-gay" laws will be in the spotlight today with human rights groups holding a global day of action before the start of the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

The Sochi Winter Olympics' opening ceremony is on Friday. Credit: Reuters

Protests against the country's gay rights record will be held in London, Sochi, Moscow and Rio de Janeiro, just a day before events get underway and only 48 hours ahead of the opening ceremony.

There will be a rally outside Downing Street today by group All Out, who will be calling on Olympic sponsors to speak out against homophobia in Russia.

Rio sewage protesters take toilets for beach sit-in

A protester eats his lunch on a toilet on the beach. Credit: APTN

Activists sat on toilets along Rio de Janeiro's famed Ipanema beach to protest against the lack of basic sanitation in the Brazilian city.

The protest organisers, Meu Rio (My Rio), said the toilets represented the thousands of litres of untreated sewage that ends up into the sea waters of Rio everyday.

Another protester on the toilet. Credit: APTN

Activists carved out silhouettes of bacteria and other micro-organisms, carried to the beach in sewage, on the sand.

These beaches are set to host several of Rio's events at the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics.

Rio's state government has pledged that the city's waterways will be clean in time for the 2016 Olympics.

The city's Olympic committee has promised that pollution will also be reduced.

A protester's sign reads: 'Bacteria are going to invade you beach' Credit: APTN

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London 2012 Olympics £11 billion target met

One of Britain's leading lights from London 2012, Tom Daley, won a bronze medal. Credit: Adrian Dennis/PA Archive/Press Association Images

A four-year target of raising £11 billion worth of economic benefit from the London Olympics has been met in 12 months, the Government has announced.

The country has benefited from new foreign investment, additional sales and firms winning contracts since last summer's events, according to a report.

The total includes £130 million of contracts won by UK companies for next year's soccer World Cup in Brazil, and the next Olympic Games, in Rio in 2016.

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Russia's Olympics planning has 'unified the country'

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, who carried the Olympic flame in a lantern as part of a ceremony ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, said Russia's Olympics planning had unified the country.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak holds the Olympic flame after landing in Moscow . Credit: Reuters

"Today is a symbolic day for all of us which quite possibly may turn out to become a historic date. After 30 years, Russia is again meeting the Olympic flame which was lit in the homeland of the Olympic Games, in the ancient Olympia", said Kozak.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (C), Russian ice-skaters Lina Fyodorova (L), 16, of Moscow and Maksim Miroshkin (2nd L), 19. Credit: Reuters

Putin kicks off 2014 Winter Olympics torch relay

Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed the Olympic flame to the country today in a spectacular ceremony in the capital's Red Square.

President Vladimir Putin kicks off Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics torch relay. Credit: RTV

Putin championed the work of Olympic planners, volunteers and supporters and said: "It is quite logical that Russians love sports so much and appreciate everything that is connected with it.

"Without such active and engaged support by the public, citizens of Russia, it would have been impossible to implement gigantic sports projects. The Sochi Olympics has really become our common dream which is becoming a reality".

'High level' of bad teeth among athletes at London 2012

Some Olympians' teeth were always going to be threatened by their endeavours at London 2012. Credit: Nick Potts/PA Wire

Despite the beaming smiles of gold medal winners at London 2012, a study at last year's Games has found "high levels" of bad teeth among competing athletes.

Using data from 278 athletes from 25 sports, researchers found 55% had tooth decay or cavities, 45% had dental erosion and 76% had gingivitis. More than 40% were "bothered" by their oral health.

The study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, concluded: "The oral health of athletes attending the dental clinic of the London 2012 Games was poor with a resulting substantial negative impact on well-being, training and performance."

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