The Olympics, in London last night, featured the best and worst of athletic behavior. American swimmer, Michael Phelps became the most decorated Olympian ever, winning his 18th and 19th career medals. But over at the badminton arena, eight women competing in doubles events seemed to do their best to lose, which has led to an uproar, not to mention an endless number of puns on the word: badminton.
NPR's Howard Berkes joins us from London to talk about both developments. Hi, Howard.
Let us go back an Olympiad, to August of 2008. Incredibly, then, in all four of the world's most popular men's individual sports, we were at a time when, quite possibly, the four greatest champions ever in each of those sports was at or near his peak.
There they were, as the Beijing Olympics began:
Tiger Woods, 32 years old, still a prime age for a golfer, winner of his 14th major, the U.S. Open, only a few weeks ago — gloriously alone at the top.
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. This might test the strength of the real estate recovery. A town is for sale - Woodside, a ghost town, a former railroad stop outside Salt Lake City. For $3.9 million you could own a dead gold mine, a geyser, and old buildings. The town is said to be near a former hideout of Butch Cassidy's gang, not the actual hideout, but near it. The buyer even gets the town's two current residents - a pair of free-range llamas. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Rent is notoriously high in London and especially so during the Olympic Games. That's why David Weeks stuffed his cab with a mattress, radio, mini-fridge and teddy bear. The cabbie is parking it outside his flat to rent out to tourists for about 80 bucks a night, much cheaper than most hotels, but there's still rules - no smoking and no pets. The vacancy sign is still on, but he's calling it the Hail-a-Hotel. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
A soldier wears a button bearing the image of coup leader Capt. Amadou Haya Sanogo with the words 'President, CNRDRE,' the French acronym of the ruling junta, as he stands guard at junta headquarters in Kati, outside Bamako, Mali.
Credit Romaric Ollo / AFP/Getty Images
Islamist rebels of Ansar Dine near Timbuktu, in rebel-held northern Mali, during the release of a Swiss hostage on April 24.
Hard-line Islamists in northern Mali stoned a reportedly unmarried couple to death for adultery last Sunday. Analysts worry this is growing evidence of the rebel fighters' avowed intention to impose strict Islamic law in the vast territory under their control.
Another version of the story put about by an al-Qaida-linked militant group is that the couple was married but engaging in extramarital affairs.
It's a raggedy moonscape; no lush green grass or tranquil arbors here. Concordia Cemetery in El Paso, Texas, just a few blocks from the Mexican border, is stark and dusty. It's overrun with crumbling concrete markers and old wooden crosses gone askew. And it goes on ... and on ... and on.
"It's 52 acres," says Bernie Sargent, chair of the El Paso County Historical Commission. "Sixty thousand people buried here. And they're all dead."
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius joins Democratic senators at a news conference on Capitol Hill on Tuesday to announce new preventive health coverage for women that takes effect Wednesday.
Representing Europe in NPR's Poetry Games is Slovenian poet Ales Steger. Steger's first work translated into English, The Book of Things, won last year's Best Translated Book Award for Poetry. The translator was poet Brian Henry, who also translated Steger's Olympic poem, "Once More."
The Telegraph reports that props from the Olympics opening ceremony are appearing on eBay — everything from an "Industrial Revolution" costume, to pieces of confetti that erupted as Great Britain's team entered the stadium. Some of the performers are calling it "crass." But a seller pointed out it is in the spirit of the games — because it could "help me achieve my own ambitions."