For Sunday, January 26, 2014
POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Jan 26, 2014
Russians jest at semiprivate toilets
SOCHI, Russia » It's a tale of two toilets.
When BBC reporter Steve Rosenberg went to use the bathroom at the cross-country skiing and biathlon center for next month's Winter Olympics in Sochi, he found two toilets but only one stall.
His tweeted picture instantly became a national joke.
Although toilets like that are not common in Russia, social media users posted photos of other toilets side by side, including some said to be in a courthouse and a cafe.
The editor of the state R-Sport news agency said such communal toilets are standard at Russian soccer stadiums.
"Why are the BBC folks scaring us?" Vasily Konov wrote in this personal Twitter account. "This is what the gents look like at football stadiums in Russia." He posted a photo showing two urinals and three toilets in a large room.
Russians jested that the toilets in Sochi were designed for a "tandem," the name used to describe the duo of President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. One blogger altered Rosenberg's photo to put in a framed portrait of the two leaders above the toilets.
In a nod to the tight security measures imposed in Sochi for the Olympics, another joke has it that the second toilet was for a security officer.
The Sochi organizing committee refused to comment.
Marriott to open hotel in Rwanda
DAVOS, Switzerland » Marriott International's chief executive says a planned hotel in Rwanda should open by the end of this year. He also says that will make Marriott the first big international hotel chain to enter the country since its genocide two decades ago.
Arne Sorenson says the Kigali Hotel should be ready to open by December and that the company is working with local partners to fill jobs.
Those about to become employed "feel like they've won the lottery," Sorenson said on a panel Wednesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Rwanda has won plaudits for its economic renewal over the past few years, but there have been concerns over its human rights record and alleged meddling in neighboring Congo.
In April it will be 20 years since the genocide began.