A number of events got started even before the official opening, including men's and women's soccer. Already, the US women's team has claimed its first win. NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman reports from London with a look at what to watch for at the 2012 Olympic Games.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. We usually hear about the civil war in Syria from cell phone videos posted by anti-government activists to YouTube or government press releases from Damascus. Usually, those stories can't be verified because very few journalists have been allowed in.
Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie is a lifelong Seattle Mariners fan, and such an Ichiro Suzuki devotee he wrote a song about the outfielder. Though he wrote it years ago, he decided this week — when Suzuki was traded to the New York Yankees — was the right time to release "Ichiro's Theme."
Rebecca Smith owns a Tampa, Fla., construction-management firm that does a lot of work overseeing the building of schools and jails, and other projects for state and local governments.
But even though much of her firm's $80 million in annual revenue comes from contracts with government agencies, she says she was "disgusted" by President Obama's thesis that government had a significant role in her business achievements.
Obama's actual words, from a July 13 speech in Virginia, were:
Facebook reported slightly stronger than expected profits. For the second quarter, it reported a net loss of $157 million or 11 cents a share. But when it adjusted its earnings to remove stock compensation charges related to its IPO, Reuters reports, Facebook actually made 12 cents a share.
In the novel What Happened to Sophie Wilder, writer Charlie Blakeman runs into his former college love after 10 years and finds out that she has converted to Catholicism. Charlie can't make sense of her conversion, but as he finds out more about Sophie's past, he sees her life is more complicated than he previously thought. When Sophie once again disappears, Charlie sets out to discover what has happened to her.
A couple of months ago, I visited Beijing, and like so many before me, I was stunned by how hypercapitalist Communist China has become — the hundreds of glossy highrises, the countless shops selling Prada and Apple, the traffic jams filled with brand new Audis. You felt you could be in L.A. or Tokyo — until you wanted some information. Then you discovered that Facebook was permanently blocked, certain words in Google searches always crashed your browser, and, as my wife joked, it was easier to buy a Rolls-Royce than a real newspaper. Here was a country at once booming — and repressive.