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Published:Monday | April 20, 2015 | 11:02 AM

'Stay home,' Blatter tells detractors

SOCHI, Russia (AP):

FIFA President Sepp Blatter says politicians who are unhappy with Russia hosting the 2018 World Cup should "stay at home" during the tournament. A group of United States senators have asked FIFA to move the tournament out of Russia to supplement international sanctions, while Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko reportedly called for a boycott last month.

Meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, Blatter says critical politicians should "stay at home, but we're going to be setting up the biggest World Cup in Russia".

In a Russian-language transcript of the conversation published by the Kremlin, Blatter also says that preparations for the tournament are ahead of schedule.

Putin says Russia will "try not to disappoint you, dear Mr President, and all football fans in the world".

Survivors beg pardon for bomber


A married couple who lost limbs in the 2013 Boston Marathon attack has joined the family of an eight-year-old victim in opposing the death penalty for bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes are asking the federal government not to put Tsarnaev to death, just as the parents of Martin Richard did last week.

In a statement to The Boston Globe, the couple said: "If there is anyone who deserves the ultimate punishment, it is the defendant. However, we must overcome the impulse for vengeance."

They call their position "intensely emotional and profoundly practical".

Like the Richards, they call for life in prison without parole or appeals to ensure Tsarnaev "disappears from our collective consciousness as soon as possible".

The penalty phase of the trial starts today.