The Olympics are a quest to be the best. But some Olympians are accused of purposely playing badly at badminton. The Badminton World Federation has launched disciplinary proceedings against four women's doubles pairs. First, the world champions, who are Chinese, faced off against opponents from South Korea. And spectators started booing when the players seemed to be making simple errors on purpose.
Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 11:08 am
Eight Olympic badminton athletes have been thrown out of the London Games after being charged by the Badminton World Federation with "not using one's best efforts to win a match" — which is against the rules of the sport. Because even some journalists may have forgotten badminton's rules, it seemed time to take a fresh look.
"Lt. John Pike, the UC Davis police officer who became a focal point of last November's pepper-spraying incident during a campus protest, is no longer employed by the university," a school spokesman confirmed to The Sacramento Bee Tuesday evening.
In London today the Swedish heir to a fortune worth billions of dollars pleaded guilty to "preventing the lawful and decent burial of his wife" and the court heard that Eva Rausing's body may have been lying beneath "bin bags, clothing and bed linen" for as long as two months, the BBC reports.
Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 12:41 pm
Kristin Armstrong has successfully defended her gold medal in the Olympic time trial, winning the race held in Surrey, England. Armstrong finished the 18-mile course in 37:34.82, nearly 16 seconds ahead of Judith Arndt of Germany, who won the silver.
Olga Zabelinskaya of Russia won bronze, seven seconds behind Arndt. American Amber Neben came in sixth, at 38:45.17. Britain's Elizabeth Armitstead, the silver medal winner in the road race, was tenth.
Let us go back an Olympiad, to August of 2008. Incredibly, then, in all four of the world's most popular men's individual sports, we were at a time when, quite possibly, the four greatest champions ever in each of those sports was at or near his peak.
There they were, as the Beijing Olympics began:
Tiger Woods, 32 years old, still a prime age for a golfer, winner of his 14th major, the U.S. Open, only a few weeks ago — gloriously alone at the top.
This week, the Senate is considering a plan to improve cybersecurity. Its advocates say they want to prevent computer hackers from going after the power grid or other vital infrastructure in this country. Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski contends a cyberattack could be worse than the freak storm that hit the nation's capital this summer.
On a Wednesday, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
At the London Olympics, the U.S. women's gymnastics team did what it was expected to do yesterday - and then some. The five Americans won the gold medal. It's the first time in 16 years that's happened for a U.S. women's team. And they did it in a big way - beating second place Russia by what team members called a huge margin. From London, NPR's Tom Goldman has the story.
Chick-fil-A has been in the news lately, not because of its chicken sandwiches but thanks to comments by the fast food company's president opposing same-sex marriage.
Social media helped spread the story and some of the country's mayors urged Chick-fil-A not to come to their cities. This led conservatives, including former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, to call for the public to support the chain on Wednesday by eating at one of its restaurants.
And members of Congress, this week, are head-lining rallies meant to inspire public outrage, outrage over potential cuts to Pentagon spending. Military contractors say they could lose a million jobs if Congress goes ahead with across-the-board spending reductions known as sequestration. As NPR's Larry Abramson reports, the fuss is about budget cuts that were never intended to actually happen.
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. This might test the strength of the real estate recovery. A town is for sale - Woodside, a ghost town, a former railroad stop outside Salt Lake City. For $3.9 million you could own a dead gold mine, a geyser, and old buildings. The town is said to be near a former hideout of Butch Cassidy's gang, not the actual hideout, but near it. The buyer even gets the town's two current residents - a pair of free-range llamas. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Rent is notoriously high in London and especially so during the Olympic Games. That's why David Weeks stuffed his cab with a mattress, radio, mini-fridge and teddy bear. The cabbie is parking it outside his flat to rent out to tourists for about 80 bucks a night, much cheaper than most hotels, but there's still rules - no smoking and no pets. The vacancy sign is still on, but he's calling it the Hail-a-Hotel. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
Hard-line Islamists in northern Mali stoned a reportedly unmarried couple to death for adultery last Sunday. Analysts worry this is growing evidence of the rebel fighters' avowed intention to impose strict Islamic law in the vast territory under their control.
Another version of the story put about by an al-Qaida-linked militant group is that the couple was married but engaging in extramarital affairs.
It's a raggedy moonscape; no lush green grass or tranquil arbors here. Concordia Cemetery in El Paso, Texas, just a few blocks from the Mexican border, is stark and dusty. It's overrun with crumbling concrete markers and old wooden crosses gone askew. And it goes on ... and on ... and on.
"It's 52 acres," says Bernie Sargent, chair of the El Paso County Historical Commission. "Sixty thousand people buried here. And they're all dead."
Gore Vidal came from a generation of novelists whose fiction gave them a political platform. Norman Mailer ran for mayor of New York City; Kurt Vonnegut became an anti-war spokesman. And Vidal was an all-around critic. His novels sometimes infuriated readers with unflattering portraits of American history.
Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 8:14 am
Representing Europe in NPR's Poetry Games is Slovenian poet Ales Steger. Steger's first work translated into English, The Book of Things, won last year's Best Translated Book Award for Poetry. The translator was poet Brian Henry, who also translated Steger's Olympic poem, "Once More."
The Internet is slowly becoming a less anonymous place. YouTube has a new policy encouraging commenters to use their real names, and many news sites have switched to a login system run by Facebook.
News sites that still allow anonymous comments are finding there are legal risks. The Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, Wash., has spent the last few months trying to protect the identity of a reader who saw a photo of a Republican Party official in Idaho named Tina Jacobson, and then posted a disparaging comment.
When I say citius, you say altius; when I say altius, you say fortius. Or don't. That's fine, too, traditional even. But these Olympics have conspicuously defied traditional notions by having cheerleaders, in a few different styles, at a few different venues. In basketball, dance teams perform between matches. In beach volleyball, highly choreographed teams delight attendees.
Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 9:32 am
The tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan drew international attention a few years back for saying gross national happiness should trump gross domestic product when measuring a nation's progress. If you're going to prioritize happiness, the Bhutanese thinking goes, you'd better include the environment and spiritual and mental well-being in your calculations.
A voluntary moratorium on certain experiments involving forms of bird flu altered in laboratories should continue until there can be more public discussion of safety concerns, a prominent government official told flu researchers at a meeting in New York City Tuesday.
What does President Obama have in common with his immediate White House predecessor?
Both men spent a disproportionate amount of their first terms making appearances in battleground states, Brendan Doherty, a political scientist at the U.S. Naval Academy, writes in a post on The Monkey Cage political-science blog.
The U.S. men's swimming team has won the 4x200m freestyle relay, in a race that also gave Michael Phelps a record 19 medals in the Olympics. He netted his 18th, a silver, earlier in the day.
Update at 4:05 p.m. EDT: For the relay final, the American team swam in the fourth lane, next to their greatest rivals, the French, who posted the fasted qualifying time. The French are led by Yannick Agnel, who soundly defeated Ryan Lochte and others in the men's 200m freestyle Monday.
Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 12:25 pm
It might be too early to say what the exact cause of India's latest massive power outage is, but in its simplest form, it probably has something to do with supply and demand –- not enough of the former and too much of the latter.
The outage, which left more than 670 million of the country's 1.2 billion people without power, snarled traffic, shut down electric trains and idled some businesses. Indian officials say they are rapidly restoring power, but it's unclear how soon the situation will be back to normal.