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FROM THIS EPISODE

Guest host Madeleine Brand looks at the frosty relations between the US and Russia. Why are gay activists clamoring for a boycott of the Russian Winter Olympics? Also, anti-US tensions mount in Egypt, and how scientists are using genes to determine what makes a star athlete. It's not necessarily what you think.

Banner image; Former Russian paratroopers shove gay rights activist Kirill Kalugin aside to stop his one-man protest in St. Petersburg, August 2, 2013. Photo: Alexander Demianchuk/Reuters

 

Producers:
Evan George
Sonata Lee Narcisse
Christian Bordal

Main Topic Beyond Stoli and Snowden: The Rift between Russia and the US 34 MIN, 41 SEC

Asylum for Edward Snowden, anti-gay laws and support for Syria's dictator are just some of the reasons the US is frustrated with Russia. This week, President Obama cancelled a summit with Vladimir Putin. Angry gay-rights supporters here and in Europe are pushing for a boycott of the Russian Winter Olympics. Today, Secretary of State John Kerry is meeting with his Russian counterpart in Washington. He said the two countries sometimes disagree but that's no reason not to negotiate. They'll discuss missile defense, Afghanistan, North Korea and Syria. We look at the frosty relations between the US and Russia.

Guests:
Matthew Rojansky, Wilson Center (@TheWilsonCenter)
Masha Gessen, Russian-American journalist (@mashagessen)
Kris van der Veen, Dutch filmmaker (@ikbenKRIS)
Walter Richmond, Occidental College
Nina Berezner, Russian political activist

Today's Talking Point Star Athletes: Good Genes or Good Training? 8 MIN, 33 SEC

book.jpgAre great athletes born with it?  When it comes to professional athletes -- a Michael Jordan or a Serena Williams -- most of us assume they are born with a rare talent. That, yes, they train really hard. But there's something innate that separates them from you and me. David Epstein set out to find out if that's true scientifically. He's a correspondent for Sports Illustrated and author of the new book, The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance.

Guests:
David Epstein, Sports Illustrated (@SIDavidEpstein)

The Sports Gene

David Epstein

Making News Anti-US Tensions Mount in Egypt 7 MIN, 52 SEC

Supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi have camped out in Tahrir Square calling for Morsi's reinstatement. The military is now threatening to empty the square Monday if they do not leave. Maria Abi-Habib, Middle East correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, joins us from Cairo.

Guests:
Maria Abi-Habib, Wall Street Journal (@Abihabib)

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