Tuesday, July 31, 2012

  • Olympic Goodwill Image Belied by Arrests, Censorship and Corporate Ties Behind London Games

    Bike_protest

    While NBC has been airing wall-to-wall coverage of Olympic Games in London, little attention has been paid to what has taken place behind the scenes and just outside Olympic Park. London police arrested 182 people Friday for taking part in the monthly Critical Mass bike ride during the Olympics’ opening ceremony. Meanwhile, public outcry is growing after thousands of fans were told the Games were sold out, but prime seats reserved largely for sports federations and corporate sponsors have remained empty. Although many locals cannot afford to attend the Games, this year’s Olympics is estimated to cost British taxpayers a staggering $17 billion. Residents have been subjected to sweeping censorship laws enacted by their government at the behest of the International Olympic Committee. Meanwhile, activists are outraged that the Olympics’ long list of sponsors include Dow Chemical and BP, companies with human rights records that critics say are at odds with the Olympic ideals of global peace and goodwill. We go to London to speak with scholar and former U.S. soccer team member Jules Boykoff, who has been in England since April researching a book on dissent and the Olympics. "The Olympics provide a real opportunity for activists," ," Boykoff says. "We often say [at protests] that the entire world is watching, the whole world is watching. And, in fact, at the Olympics, it almost is. This is a real opportunity for activists to put their ideas in front of people who might not otherwise be able to or willing to listen to them." [includes rush transcript]

  • Key Figures in Salt Lake Olympic Bribery Scandal Now Backing Romney’s Presidential Campaign

    Wayne-romney

    On the campaign trail, Republican candidate Mitt Romney often touts his stewardship of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Utah, which he took over following a massive bribery scandal. In a series of new articles, longtime investigative reporter Wayne Barrett reveals Romney may have violated the new ethics rules he put in place. Today, Romney continues to accept campaign contributions from many key figures tied to the bribery scandal. Barrett, a Newsweek/Daily Beast contributor and a fellow at The Nation Institute, joins us to discuss his findings. [includes rush transcript]

  • Exhaustive Study Finds Global Elite Hiding Up to $32 Trillion in Offshore Accounts

    Offshore_tax

    A new report reveals how wealthy individuals and their families have between $21 and $32 trillion of hidden financial assets around the world in what are known as offshore accounts or tax havens. The actual sums could be higher because the study only deals with financial wealth deposited in bank and investment accounts, and not other assets such as property and yachts. The inquiry was commissioned by the Tax Justice Network and is being touted as the most comprehensive report ever on the "offshore economy." It also finds that private banks are deeply involved in running offshore havens, with UBS, Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs handling the most assets. We’re joined by the report’s author, James Henry, a lawyer and former chief economist at McKinsey & Company. [includes rush transcript]

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