Olympic reporting veterans like myself (London is Games No. 8) noticed something extraordinary this weekend at the first London 2012 news conference called by International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge.
The "something" sat there on the podium, directly in front of Rogge: an aquamarine bottle of Powerade, a Coca-Cola product. And next to Rogge, in front of IOC spokesman Mark Adams, was a carefully positioned bottle of caramel-colored Coke. Dozens of photographers and TV cameras were capturing the event; it seemed impossible to miss the OIympic sponsor's products.
In the Main Press Center, where thousands of journalists are gathered to cover the London 2012 games, the call went out Monday: Let the drinking begin!
It was all part of a welcome party for journalists covering the Summer Olympics. First, cute kids from a nearby elementary school serenaded the group. The next thing you knew, London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe was talking about cheap booze.
The meeting features speeches from U.S. Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former first lady Laura Bush, health ministers from many countries around the world, Bill Gates, NIH scientists Anthony Fauci and Francis Collins and hundreds more.
The U.S. Olympic basketball team narrowly beat Argentina late Sunday, 86-80, as the two teams prepare for the start of the London Games Friday. The tight score came despite a fast start for the U.S. squad, who were dressed in throwback uniforms inspired by the 1992 Dream Team.
The Americans raced to a 31-16 lead early on, but they were only 4 points ahead late in the game, and pulled away thanks to three-pointers by Kevin Durant and Chris Paul — who posted a photo of his uniform on Instagram.
At age 13, I survived almost entirely on green apple Jolly Ranchers and Flowers in the Attic, and to this day I can't look at the book without my mouth watering. My much loved copy must have come from a supermarket (it was impossible to go to a supermarket in the '80s to, say, secretly stock up on green apple Jolly Ranchers, without a V.C. Andrews book lurking by checkout).
An ongoing political crisis has left Pakistan's government paralyzed and near collapse, as the country's Supreme Court attempts to revive corruption charges against the president in an apparent effort to force his resignation.
Accusations of corruption have always clouded the reputation of President Asif Ali Zardari, the widower of slain Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.
Some time ago, the government of Switzerland opened an investigation into Zardari's financial dealings, but the case was closed with no action taken.