Howard Berkes http://kplu.org en U.S. Olympic Committee Plans To Examine Speedskating's Woes http://kplu.org/post/us-olympic-committee-plans-examine-speedskatings-woes For American speedskaters, this Winter Olympics has been defined by controversy over racing suits and disappointment over a lack of podium finishes. Now comes word that the U.S. Tue, 18 Feb 2014 22:39:43 +0000 Howard Berkes 13790 at http://kplu.org U.S. Olympic Committee Plans To Examine Speedskating's Woes 2 Summer Olympic Cities Are Chasing The 2022 Winter Games http://kplu.org/post/2-summer-olympic-cities-are-chasing-2022-winter-games With the <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/parallels/2013/10/29/241642365/100-days-to-the-sochi-olympics-some-key-things-to-know">upcoming Winter Olympics</a> set in a subtropical, palm tree-lined resort city on Russia's Black Sea, it's no surprise that two former Summer Olympics hosts are now seeking the 2022 Winter Games.<p><a href="http://www.npr.org/2012/07/10/156368611/chinas-post-olympic-woe-how-to-fill-an-empty-nest">Beijing</a>, host of the 2008 Summer Games, must miss the Olympic glow — or polluting murky mist, as it turned out to be, given its formal bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics. Fri, 15 Nov 2013 20:52:40 +0000 Howard Berkes 11098 at http://kplu.org 2 Summer Olympic Cities Are Chasing The 2022 Winter Games House Lawmakers Seek Federal Probe Of Black Lung Program http://kplu.org/post/house-lawmakers-seek-federal-probe-black-lung-program Two Democratic congressmen have <a href="http://democrats.edworkforce.house.gov/sites/democrats.edworkforce.house.gov/files/documents/Miller%20and%20Courtney%20Letter%20to%20Labor%20OIG%20RE%20Black%20Lung.pdf">formally asked the Labor Department's Inspector General</a> to investigate "allegations of misconduct by doctors and lawyers working on behalf of the coal industry" and their roles in the denials of benefits for coal miners stricken with black lung disease.<p>In their letter, Rep. Fri, 08 Nov 2013 19:33:25 +0000 Howard Berkes 10935 at http://kplu.org NSA Says It Has 'Mitigated' Meltdowns At Utah Data Farm http://kplu.org/post/nsa-says-it-has-mitigated-meltdowns-utah-data-farm This was supposed to be the month the National Security Agency cranked up its <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2013/09/23/225381596/booting-up-new-nsa-data-farm-takes-root-in-utah">biggest data farm yet</a>, in a Salt Lake City suburb.<p>The $1.2 billion complex covers 1.5 million square feet, and includes 100,000 square feet devoted solely to computers and servers.<p>But some of that equipment has fried in 10 "meltdowns" and "power surges" in the past 13 months, according to sources and documents quoted in <em><a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304441404 Wed, 09 Oct 2013 00:23:44 +0000 Howard Berkes 10351 at http://kplu.org NSA Says It Has 'Mitigated' Meltdowns At Utah Data Farm National Parks Close As Other Public Lands Stay Open http://kplu.org/post/national-parks-close-other-public-lands-stay-open From Acadia in Maine to Zion in Utah to the North Cascades in Washington, America's 401 national park areas have gates blocking entrance roads.<p>The last remaining campers and hotel guests in the parks must leave Thursday, and park rangers will patrol to keep others out.<p>The national parks "belong to the American people, and the American people should have the right to come in," says National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis. Thu, 03 Oct 2013 17:46:40 +0000 Howard Berkes 10258 at http://kplu.org National Parks Close As Other Public Lands Stay Open Hands-Free Gadgets Don't Mean Risk-Free Driving http://kplu.org/post/hands-free-gadgets-dont-mean-risk-free-driving If you've felt smug and safe using built-in, voice-controlled technology for text messages, email and phone calls while driving, forget it. There are some sobering findings about the risk of distraction from the American Automobile Association and the University of Utah.<p>The proliferation of hands-free technology "is a looming public safety crisis," AAA CEO Robert Darbelnet says. Wed, 12 Jun 2013 22:28:20 +0000 Howard Berkes 9056 at http://kplu.org Hands-Free Gadgets Don't Mean Risk-Free Driving Poll: Romney Has Large Lead In Rural Swing Counties http://kplu.org/post/poll-romney-near-landslide-rural-swing-counties As Mitt Romney and President Obama get ready for their second debate, a new bipartisan survey shows a surge for Romney in a key voter group following their first debate Oct. 3.<p>The random cellphone and land line poll of 600 likely rural voters in nine battleground states Oct. 9-11 has Romney at 59 percent among the survey's respondents. Tue, 16 Oct 2012 15:22:03 +0000 Howard Berkes 6728 at http://kplu.org Poll: Romney Has Large Lead In Rural Swing Counties Badminton Federation 'Looking Forward' In Response To Scandal http://kplu.org/post/badminton-federation-looking-forward-response-scandal On this final day of badminton at the London Olympics, leaders of the Badminton World Federation (BWF) were vague about how they will respond to <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetorch/2012/08/01/157703869/badmintons-detrimental-conduct-rule-and-losing-on-purpose" target="_blank">a match-throwing scandal at the games</a>.<p>At a news conference at the Wembley Arena in London, <a href="http://bwfbadminton.org/page.aspx?id=14873" target="_blank">BWF president Dr. Sun, 05 Aug 2012 18:51:57 +0000 Howard Berkes 5888 at http://kplu.org Badminton Federation 'Looking Forward' In Response To Scandal Even A 'No' Is An Olympic Moment When It's Said By Michael Phelps http://kplu.org/post/even-no-olympic-moment-when-its-said-michael-phelps An only-at-the-Olympics tale:<p>As Michael Phelps left a news conference at the Olympic Aquatic Center on Saturday, a photographer rushed up and asked, "Can I get one more photo?"<p>There is, of course, no shortage of photos of the American swimming great. He has posed for them more times than most of us ever will. But this time, Phelps continued walking through a doorway, not stopping or turning back, cradling a silver trophy honoring him as the greatest Olympian of all time. Sun, 05 Aug 2012 18:51:13 +0000 Howard Berkes 5887 at http://kplu.org Even A 'No' Is An Olympic Moment When It's Said By Michael Phelps Missy Franklin on winning gold: 'Someone needs to pinch me' http://kplu.org/post/missy-franklin-winning-gold-someone-needs-pinch-me Missy Franklin couldn't contain herself — in the pool, on the medals stand and at her first gold medal news conference — after a dramatic finish in the 100 meter Olympic backstroke Monday night in London.<p>It wasn't an easy race. Out front and pulling hard with her graceful but powerful strokes, Emily Seebohm of Australia led in the last 50 meters, with the American Franklin a few strokes back.<p>The 17-year-old high school senior from Aurora, Colo, has that long and lean build perfect for swimming. Long legs; long arms; a long and muscular torso. Tue, 31 Jul 2012 16:08:29 +0000 Howard Berkes 5808 at http://kplu.org Missy Franklin on winning gold: 'Someone needs to pinch me' Olympic Flame Missed From London Skyline http://kplu.org/post/olympic-flame-missed-london-skyline Enduring symbols of the Olympics are everywhere in London, and I'm not just talking about ATMs for Visa, a ubiquitous Olympic sponsor.<p>The five Olympic rings grace every wall, walk, sign, banner and building in and around the Olympic Park and other venues.<p>But the Olympic flame, the other most recognizable symbol of the Olympics, is invisible to all but a relative few.<p>Spectators lucky enough — and affluent enough — to get tickets to track and field events in the Olympic Stadium will see the flame. Sun, 29 Jul 2012 19:32:02 +0000 Howard Berkes 5780 at http://kplu.org Olympic Flame Missed From London Skyline London Opens Up, In Danny Boyle's 'Warm-Up Act' For The Summer Olympics http://kplu.org/post/london-opens-danny-boyles-warm-act-summer-olympics Every recent opening ceremony of the Olympics went for glitter and glamour, in an escalating war of excess. Ceremony fanatics consider the Beijing opening ceremony the gaudiest of all — and Oscar-winner Danny Boyle (the director of <em>Slumdog Millionaire</em>) had $42 million to try to outdo the Chinese organizers.<p>Instead, Boyle says, "You can't get bigger than Beijing. So that, in a way, kind of liberated us. We thought, 'Great. Oh good. Fri, 27 Jul 2012 20:53:49 +0000 Howard Berkes 5754 at http://kplu.org London Opens Up, In Danny Boyle's 'Warm-Up Act' For The Summer Olympics Spotting An 'American Idol' Moment At The Olympics http://kplu.org/post/spotting-american-idol-moment-olympics 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.<p>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. Tue, 24 Jul 2012 04:52:26 +0000 Howard Berkes 5686 at http://kplu.org Spotting An 'American Idol' Moment At The Olympics Mormon Leaders Warn Followers To Stop Controversial Baptisms http://kplu.org/post/mormon-leaders-warn-followers-stop-controversial-baptisms Mormons around the world are getting this warning Sunday: Stop posthumous baptisms of "unauthorized groups, such as celebrities and Jewish Holocaust victims."<p>"Our preeminent obligation is to seek out and identify our own ancestors," says a <a href="http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/first-presidency-issues-direction-members-names-ordinances">letter</a> to be read in every Mormon congregation. Sat, 03 Mar 2012 20:25:09 +0000 Howard Berkes 4314 at http://kplu.org Mormon Leaders Warn Followers To Stop Controversial Baptisms ABC News: New D.B. Cooper clues come from 'niece' http://kplu.org/post/abc-news-new-db-cooper-clues-come-niece <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/US/db-cooper-exclusive-niece-provide-key-evidence/story?id=14219052">ABC News has a report out this morning</a> that claims to name the source of the new information in the D.B. Cooper skyjacking. ABC says unnamed and unspecified sources have confirmed that a woman named Marla Cooper provided the FBI with a guitar strap for fingerprint testing.<p>NPR is trying to independently confirm ABC's claim. The FBI has yet to respond to a request for comment.<p>Marla Cooper told the network that she believes the skyjacker is her uncle, a deceased man named L.D. Wed, 03 Aug 2011 21:05:17 +0000 Howard Berkes 2243 at http://kplu.org