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December 20 2013

07:12

Week In The News: Fed Tapers, NSA Pushback, Billie Jean King To Sochi

A Fed step back, NSA pushback, Billie Jean King will go to the Olympics. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke listens to a question during a news conference at the Federal Reserve in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013. The Fed will begin to reduce bond purchases by $10 billion in January because of a stronger U.S. job market. (AP)

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke listens to a question during a news conference at the Federal Reserve in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013. The Fed will begin to reduce bond purchases by $10 billion in January because of a stronger U.S. job market. (AP)

Guests

Diane Brady, senior editor at Bloomberg Businessweek. (@DianeBrady)

Bryan Monroe, Washington editor of opinion and commentary for CNN. (@BryanMonroeCNN)

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

The Guardian: NSA goes on 60 Minutes: the definitive facts behind CBS’s flawed report — “Even if NSA doesn’t mean to break the law, the way its data dragnets work in practice incline toward overcollection. During a damage-control conference call in August, an anonymous US intelligence official told reporters that the technical problem bothering Bates in 2011 persists today. The NSA even conceded to Walton in 2009 that ‘from a technical standpoint, there was no single person who had a complete understanding’ of the technical ‘architecture’ of NSA’s phone data collection.”

Bloomberg: Billie Jean King’s Message To Vladimir Putin — “These gestures are first of all important for the countries making them, which like to think they are being consistent about standing up for universal values (even if their own societies only rather recently saw the light on gay rights). They are also important in letting gay men and lesbians inside Russia know they have international support.”

USA Today: Stocks mixed after Fed’s mini-’taper’ – “The Fed said that starting in January, it will reduce its bond-buying program to $75 billion a month from $85 billion. The reductions, or tapering, will be the first step toward winding down a program that has been in place since the 2008 financial crisis.Asian markets were mixed Thursday, although Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index soared 1.7% to 15,859.22.”

August 11 2012

16:42

PRI: To the Best of Our Knowledge

Competition for Sport -- The thrill of victory… the agony of defeat. And the human drama of athletic competition. We love sports. And every 4 years we get the pleasure to watch amateur athletes, at the top of their game, compete in the Olympics. And that got us thinking about competition. Because that's what it's about, right?
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14:56

August 04 2012

21:48

Stuff You Missed in History Class

The Nazi Games and Jessie Owens -- Most people associate the 1936 Berlin Olympics with African-American sprinter Jesse Owens. Yet the games were successful in terms of Nazi propaganda: More nations than ever participated, and the Olympic torch was used for the first time.

July 26 2012

08:51

Big Picture Science

Olympics for the Rest of Us -- Let the games begin! The mad dash to the phone … the sudden spring out of bed … the frantic juggling of car keys, grocery bags and a cell phone! Olympic athletes may have remarkable speed and strength, but it’s easy praise the extraordinary. Here’s to the extreme averageness of the rest of us. From beer bellies to aching backs, we’re all winners in the Darwinian Olympics just by virtue of being here. Identify the one physical trait that you share with all Olympians – your head – and why it’s a remarkable human evolutionary achievement. Plus, the role of genes in putting on the pounds … and what event Spiderman would enter to win the gold.
08:20

Stuff You Missed in History Class

The Strangest Games: the 1900 Paris Olympics -- In 1900 Paris Olympics are considered some of the strangest. Some sport historians don’t even consider them true Olympic Games. Many of the events were so under-promoted, the athletes competing in them didn’t know they were even in the Olympics.
08:19

Stuff You Missed in History Class

The First Olympics -- In this episode, we revisit a podcast on the first Olympics. The first Olympics featured familiar events, but also some lethal exhibitions. Married women were barred from watching the games, but victors could sometimes expect to receive meals for life.
Tags: olympics
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