FROM Philip Hersh
Going for the Gold: Winter Olympics Kick Off Tonight Canadians might be welcoming spring weather in British Columbia in the middle of winter, except that the 2010 Olympic Games open in Vancouver tonight -- and you need snow for that. Officials say that rain may postpone outdoor events for a few days, but otherwise the XXI Winter Games will go ahead as planned. Who's expected to shine? Will Canada finally win a gold medal while hosting the games? Are the new figure skating rules working out? How is Vancouver coping with the mammoth logistics of staging the event? What about danger in winter sports? Are the games becoming too extreme? We speak with sports writers and photographers in Vancouver. On a tragic note, as we were discussing the dangers of more extreme Olympic sports, the IOC announced that 21-year-old Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili has been killed while training.
Olympic Torch Politics: San Francisco Today, Buenos Aires on Deck San Francisco police, sheriff's deputies, agents from the Department of State and the FBI are all gearing up for today's Olympic Torch Relay on San Francisco's Embarcadero. Meantime, the International Olympic Committee may curtail visits to other cities and it's backed away from a statement urging China to settle its conflicts with Tibet. When the torch was carried through crowds of protesters in London and Paris, guards included a Chinese paramilitary force. Philip Hersh is covering the Olympics for the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times .
The Torch Goes over the Mountain China's worst fears were realized today when the Olympic flame couldn't be lit without disruption caused by the recent unrest in Tibet. At the lighting ceremony in Ancient Olympia, protesters evaded massive security to unfurl a banner showing the Olympic rings as handcuffs. A Tibetan woman covered in fake blood briefly blocked the path of the torchbearer.
The Torch Goes over the Mountain China's worst fears were realized today when the Olympic flame couldn't be lit without disruption caused by the recent unrest in Tibet. At the lighting ceremony in Ancient Olympia, protesters evaded massive security to unfurl a banner showing the Olympic rings as handcuffs. A Tibetan woman covered in fake blood briefly blocked the path of the torchbearer. Phillip Hersh is Olympics sports reporter for the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times.
The Beijing Olympics: Human Rights, Smog and Peking Duck When the world's greatest athletes arrive in Beijing, China for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games , the focus will shift to international competition. In the meantime, it's on smog, human rights and international politics. Recently, Stephen Spielberg resigned as the Games' artistic advisor, claiming that China is not doing enough to make peace in Darfur. Human rights groups say political dissidents are being rounded up by a government that promised to allow greater freedom of speech. Coaches worry about the health of their athletes, not to mention the Chinese people, despite the pledge to clean up the air. Looking forward to the greatest sports event in the world, we'll hear about smog, human rights and international politics.
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."
The flight bumping heard around 'round the world Recent video of a passenger forcibly removed from a United Airlines plane is a worst-case example of what's happened since consolidation into just four US-based carriers. Management seems to be tone-deaf to a decline in service — and even abuse — of passengers.
Why Don't Facts Matter? "Fake News" may have a long history, but social media and 21st Century politics have brought it front and center. One reason for its appeal and its power is the tendency of so many people to cling to their beliefs — even when confronted with contradictory evidence. Today, another look at the Emotional States of America.