David Wallechinsky

International Society of Olympics Historians

Guest

President of the International Society of Olympics Historians, and commentator on the 2014 Sochi games for Westwood One and NBC radio; author of Tyrants: The World's 20 Worst Living Dictators and The Complete Book of the Olympics; founder of Allgov.com, a website dealing with US policy towards other countries

David Wallechinsky on KCRW

Just four days before South America's first Summer Olympic Games, there's still widespread fear that Rio is unprepared to stage a global spectacle.

Is Rio ready for the Olympic Games?

Just four days before South America's first Summer Olympic Games, there's still widespread fear that Rio is unprepared to stage a global spectacle.

from To the Point

It's a saga that echoes the darkest intrigues of the Cold War: Dozens of Russian Olympic athletes accused of taking performance-enhancing drugs under state supervision, then faking…

Tarnished Gold: Will Russian Olympic Doping Jeopardize Rio?

It's a saga that echoes the darkest intrigues of the Cold War: Dozens of Russian Olympic athletes accused of taking performance-enhancing drugs under state supervision, then faking…

from To the Point

Russia's elite athletes are involved in alleged doping scandals in track and field — and at the last winter games in Sochi.

Russian Sports Doping and the Rio Olympics

Russia's elite athletes are involved in alleged doping scandals in track and field — and at the last winter games in Sochi.

from To the Point

More from KCRW

Students are cutting class, and workers are striking worldwide.   At the UN, governments will be held accountable for promises made in the Paris Accords.

from To the Point

Climate change is an existential crisis. If Americans cut just one hamburger from their diet every week, it would be like taking 10 million cars off the road every year. After cutting energy use, less meat and more plant-based food add up to the easiest--and healthiest--way to reduce your carbon footprint. From the land and water needed to raise feed and the methane produced at the end of digestion, “Cattle are actually mini fossil-fuel, greenhouse gas producers.” So says Sujatha Bergen, head of health campaigns at the NRDC. As her title suggests, eliminating beef from your diet--in addition to pork and lamb-- is also better for you. She explains the trade-offs for helping to reduce climate change and says, “Starting with your fork is much less daunting for many people.”

from To the Point

A bone-chilling documentary about Roy Cohn, Donald Trump’s mentor, reveals the all-American evil that brought us modern-day politics.

from Scheer Intelligence

Nearly 200 years ago, the Cherokee Nation signed a treaty with the United States. The result? They were forcibly removed from the Southeastern part of the U.S. to Oklahoma.

from Press Play with Madeleine Brand

66 million years ago, an asteroid caused Earth’s Fifth Extinction, destroying the dinosaurs and most other life forms. Now Earth is facing another extinction, as fish, plants and animals vanish forever. But this time, it’s not the asteroid, it’s us. This week, hundreds of people, both young and old, took to the streets in cities all over the world to begin weeks of protest called the Extinction Rebellion. In the natural course of evolution, the decline and disappearance of a life form takes thousands of years. In the course of a human lifetime, not even one species might disappear. But now, some 28,000 species are vanishing all of a sudden. Elizabeth Kolbert of the New Yorker magazine has written a book called “The Sixth Extinction.” She says, “Extinction rates are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of times higher than what is known as the background extinction rate that has pertained over most of geological history.” In her words, “You should not be able to see all sorts of mammals -- to name just one group -- either going extinct or on the verge of extinction. And that is a tipoff that something very, very unusual, and I would add, very dangerous, is going on.” “We’re running geological history backwards. Fossil fuels that were created over the course of hundreds of millions of years buried a lot of carbon underground. We’re now combusting it, putting that carbon back into the atmosphere over a matter of centuries. So we’re taking a process that hundreds of millions of years to run in one direction and then, in a matter of centuries, running it in another direction.” We’ll hear what that means now and for the future of life as we know it.

from To the Point

Lots of news this week.

from Left, Right & Center

Absolute immunity, executive privilege, crony privilege?

from LRC Presents: All the President's Lawyers

Hurricane Dorian devastated the Bahamas and battered the Carolinas, but what dominated the news cycle?

from Left, Right & Center

The two international giants are linked in inextricable ways, and yet Americans’ understanding of China consistently lacks nuance.

from Scheer Intelligence