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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti was in the Bay Area this morning to make the case to the U.S. Olympic Committee for our city to host the 2024 Summer Games. What are our chances? Also, how did L.A. benefit from hosting the 1984 Olympics? Then, in our regular car news roundup, a look at why low gas prices are bad news for some car manufacturers. Next, China is funding the study of Chinese language, history and literature at American universities. Is it a cultural boon for our institutes of higher learning, or a bad influence on academic freedom? And finally, has the federal ban on medical marijuana been lifted?

Banner Image: Olympic Torch Tower of the Los Angeles Coliseum on the day of the opening ceremonies of the 1984 Summer Olympics.

L.A.’s Olympic Bid 16 MIN

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti was in the Bay Area this morning, pitching the U.S. Olympic Committee on why our city should host the 2024 summer games. Los Angeles is up against Boston, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. to become the American host candidate for 2024. If selected by the U.S.O.C., L.A. would then compete against international cities for the title. What are our chances? Also, we look back to the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles and what benefits they brought to the city.

Robert Livingstone, GameBids.com (@enotsgnivil)
Helene Elliott, Los Angeles Times (@helenenothelen)

Low Gas Prices Not So Great for Car Companies 8 MIN, 45 SEC

The price of oil has fallen below $60 per barrel for the first time in five years. This, of course, is good news for drivers at the gas pump. While it is leading to increased sales of some vehicles, the plunging prices are not all good news for car manufacturers. We discuss that and more with our regular auto industry commentator.

Matt DeBord, Business Insider (@mattdebord)

The Debate Over Confucius Institutes 15 MIN, 5 SEC

China is funding the study of Chinese language, history and literature at 90 American universities. These centers are called Confucius Institutes and several California schools have them, including UCLA and Stanford. But a recent hearing in Congress has raised questions about whether these institutes are having a bad influence on students and limiting academic freedom. We examine the controversy.

Perry Link, Former professor of Chinese language and literature at Princeton. He now teaches at U.C. Riverside
Randy Kluver, Executive director of Global Partnerships at Texas A&M. (@rkluver)

The End of Federal Pot Prosecutions? 5 MIN, 53 SEC

The Senate this weekend opted to pass a funding bill that’ll keep the government open through next summer. Here’s one thing that got the green light: medical marijuana. A provision buried in the 1,600-page bill defunds the federal prosecution of medical marijuana users and the people who run dispensaries. Does this amount to a lifting of the federal ban on medical marijuana?

Josh Voorhees, Slate (@joshvoorhees)

Despite Congress’ attempts to block D.C.’s legalization, there’s a major pro-pot provision hidden in the 2015 spending bill.

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