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Trump Election Could Jeopardize United States’ Summer Olympics Bid

The international backlash begins

Los Angeles hosted the 1984 Summer Olympics.

The NBA pulled its All-Star Game from Charlotte due to North Carolina’s anti-LGBT laws regarding restroom access. The NCAA shifted multiple championship events away from North Carolina for the same reason.


The NFL once pulled the Super Bowl from Arizona for that state’s failure to make Martin Luther King Jr. Day a state holiday (Arizona eventually recognized the holiday and has subsequently been awarded Super Bowls). And the United States and the Soviet Union led boycotts of each other’s Olympics in the 1980s.

Sports being used as a political tool is nothing new. And it could be happening again—this time to the United States’ detriment.

Los Angeles is considered a favorite to land the 2024 Summer Olympics, which would mark the United States’ first Olympics since Atlanta in 1996, and LA’s first games since the boycotted event of 1984. The International Olympic Committee—which holds votes to award the winning bid, with a final vote on the 2024 games expected in September 2017—is comprised of 98 members from across the globe, representing countless ethnicities.

Considering U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s vocalized criticisms of various populations, IOC members are split as to whether Trump’s election victory has jeopardized LA’s Olympic hopes.

“It may have,” Canadian IOC member Dick Pound told the Associated Press.

It’s a fear that LA Mayor Eric Garcetti expressed over the summer while attending the Rio Games.

“I think for some of the IOC members they would say, ‘Wait a second, can we go to a country like that, where we’ve heard things that we take offense to?’” Garcetti told AP. “They (IOC members) wonder, ‘Is America going to take this strange turn?’”

Los Angeles is one of three remaining finalist cities in the bidding for the 2024 Olympics; Paris and Budapest, Hungary are the other two. Rome and Hamburg, Germany, each withdrew bids.

[quote position="right" is_quote="true"]Can we go to a country like that, where we’ve heard things that we take offense to?[/quote]

Putting aside questions around whether a city should even want to host the Olympics, the Los Angeles Olympic committee, LA 2024, believes its efforts shouldn’t be impacted by the potentiality of an internationally unpopular president.

“We strongly believe the Olympics and LA 2024 transcend politics and can help unify our diverse communities and our world,” the group, led by Casey Wasserman, said in a statement. “We look forward to working closely with President-elect Trump and his administration.”

Before the election, however, Wasserman acknowledged the potential issues a Trump presidency might cause.

“I think you should judge a country on who is the president and their beliefs and their policies,” Wasserman said last summer. “And clearly that’s something the members will take into account. But that’s something I can’t control.”

Garcetti believed that regardless of who won the election, the country could use the Olympics to display what he believes America represents—which is a more open, positive vision than the one commonly put forth by Trump, who frequently speaks of mass deportations, immigration bans, and walls.

“The idea that (some believe) we exclude people based on who they are at our borders gives us urgency to having things like the Olympics underscore who we are and what we’re about,” Garcetti said.

Trump managed to connect with a large portion of the U.S. population that was angry at its government, feeling that they had been left behind. Finding a way to express a message that resonates with an audience—or a way to create the appearance that the message resonates with him—is a skill Trump has employed in business, entertainment, and now, politics. And should he attend September’s IOC meeting in Lima, Peru, he may have the opportunity to use the skill to his advantage.

“If he is there, and evidently he is someone who feeds off his audience,” Pound said, “there is no reason to think he can’t work this audience as well.”

Or maybe he doesn’t even have to work the audience.

“He has been rude to everybody,” South African IOC member Sam Ramsamy told AP. “I don’t believe it will affect bidding in any way.”

Sports

Looking back, the year 1995 seems like such an innocent time. America was in the midst of its longest streak of peace and prosperity. September 11, 2001 was six years away, and the internet didn't seem like much more than a passing fad.

Twenty-four years ago, 18 million U.S. homes had modem-equipped computers, 7 million more than the year before. Most logged in through America Online where they got their email or communicated with random strangers in chat rooms.

According to a Pew Research study that year, only 32% of those who go online say they would miss it "a lot" if no longer available.

Imagine what those poll numbers would look like if the question was asked today.

RELATED: Bill and Melinda Gates had a surprising answer when asked about a 70 percent tax on the wealthiest Americans

"Few see online activities as essential to them, and no single online feature, with the exception of E-Mail, is used with any regularity," the Pew article said. "Consumers have yet to begin purchasing goods and services online, and there is little indication that online news features are changing traditional news consumption patterns."

"Late Night" host David Letterman had Microsoft founder and, at that time the richest man in the world, on his show for an interview in '95 to discuss the "the big new thing."

During the interview Letterman chided Gates about the usefulness of the new technology, comparing it to radio and tape recorders.

Gates seems excited by the internet because it will soon allow people to listen to a baseball game on their computer. To which Letterman smugly replies, "Does radio ring a bell?" to laughter from the crowd.

But Gates presses Letterman saying that the new technology allows you to listen to the game "whenever you want," to which Letterman responds, "Do tape recorders ring a bell?"

Gates then tells Letterman he can keep up with the latest in his favorite hobbies such as cigar smoking or race cars through the internet. Letterman shuts him down saying that he reads about his interests in magazines.

RELATED: Bill Gates has five books he thinks you should read this summer.

The discussion ends with the two laughing over meeting like-minded people in "troubled loner chat room on the internet."

The clip brings to mind a 1994 segment on "The Today Show" where host Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric have a similar discussion.

"What is internet anyway?" an exasperated Gumball asks. "What do you write to it like mail?"

"It's a computer billboard but it's nationwide and it's several universities all joined together and it's getting bigger and bigger all the time," a producer explains from off-stage.





Culture
via The Howard Stern Show / YouTube

Former Secretary of State, first lady, and winner of the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton, sat own for an epic, two-and-a--half hour interview with Howard Stern on his SiriusXM show Wednesday.

She was there to promote "The Book of Gutsy Women," a book about heroic women co-written with her daughter, Chelsea Clinton.

In the far-reaching conversation, Clinton and the self-proclaimed "King of All Media" and, without a doubt, the best interviewer in America discussed everything from Donald Trump's inauguration to her sexuality.

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Politics

The healthcare systems in the United States and the United Kingdom couldn't be more different.

The UK's National Health Service is the largest government-run healthcare system in the world and the US's is largest private sector system.

Almost all essential health services in the UK are free, whereas in America cost can vary wildly based on insurance, co pays and what the hospitals and physicians choose to charge.

A medical bill in the US

One of the largest differences is cost. The average person in the UK spends £2,989 ($3915) per year on healthcare (most of which is collected through taxes), whereas the average American spends around $10,739 a year.

So Americans should obviously be getting better care, right? Well, the average life expectancy in the UK is higher and infant mortality rate is lower than that in the US.

RELATED: The World Health Organization declares war on the out of control price of insulin

Plus, in the U.S., only 84% of people are covered by private insurance, Medicare or Medicaid. Sixteen percent of the population are forced to pay out of pocket.

In the UK, everyone is covered unless they are visiting the country or an undocumented resident.

Prescription drugs can cost Americans an arm and a leg, but in the UK, prescriptions or either free or capped at £8.60 ($11.27).

via Wikimedia Commons

The one drawback to the NHS system is responsiveness. In the UK people tend to wait longer for inessential surgeries, doctor's appointments, and in emergency rooms. Whereas, the US is ranked as the most responsive country in the world.

RELATED: Alarmingly high insulin prices are forcing Americans to flock to Canada to buy the drug

The New York Times printed a fair evaluation of the UK's system:

The service is known for its simplicity: It is free at the point of use to anyone who needs it. Paperwork is minimal, and most patients never see a bill. … No one needs to delay medical treatment until he or she can afford it, and virtually everyone is covered. …

According to data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United States spent 17.2 percent of its economic output on health care in 2016, compared with 9.7 percent in Britain. Yet Britain has a higher life expectancy at birth and lower infant mortality.

Citizens in each country have an interesting perspective on each other's healthcare systems. UK citizens think it's inhumane for Americans have to pay through the nose when they're sick or injured. While Americans are skeptical of socialist medicine.

A reporter from Politics Joe hit the streets of London and asked everyday people what they think Americans pay for healthcare and they were completely shocked.

Health