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Washington (AFP) – The United States said Monday it would not send a presidential delegation to the Winter paralympics in Sochi as part of measures drawn up to protest Russia’s incursion into Ukraine.

The White House said, however, that U.S. athletes would still take part in the Games, which start Friday in the Black Sea resort used for the recent Winter Olympics.

“In addition to other measures we are taking in response to the situation in Ukraine, the United States will no longer send a presidential delegation to the upcoming Winter Paralympic Games in Sochi,” said National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden.

“President Obama continues to strongly support all of the U.S. athletes who will participate in the Paralympics and wishes them great success in the Olympic competition.”

The U.S. move mirrors that of its ally Britain, which announced on Sunday it would withdraw its delegation, saying it would not be right to send government ministers to Sochi after Russian forces entered Crimea.

AFP Photo/Brendan Smialowski

Photo by Mediamodifier from Pixabay

Reprinted with permission from TomDispatch

When it rains, pieces of glass, pottery, and metal rise through the mud in the hills surrounding my Maryland home. The other day, I walked outside barefoot to fetch one of my kid's shoes and a pottery shard stabbed me in the heel. Nursing a minor infection, I wondered how long that fragment dated back.

A neighbor of mine found what he said looked like a cartridge case from an old percussion-cap rifle in his pumpkin patch. He told us that the battle of Monocacy had been fought on these grounds in July 1864, with 1,300 Union and 900 Confederate troops killed or wounded here. The stuff that surfaces in my fields when it storms may or may not be battle artifacts, but it does remind me that the past lingers and that modern America was formed in a civil war.

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