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USA Swimming Wants More Diversity In The Pool

Aug 13, 2016

Simone Manuel made history Thursday night by becoming the first female African-American swimmer to win Olympic gold in an individual swimming event.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Sean Brown knows his way around a candy shop.

"My candy knowledge is pretty crazy," he says. "Put me up against anyone in a candy battle — and I'll beat them."

But Brown is less interested in the candy than the wrappers. For the past five years, this Philly-based artist and (full disclosure!) former neighbor of mine, has been transforming the refuse from Skittles, Tootsie Pops, Starburst, Mamba — and whatever other candy he can get his hands on — into works of art.

Michelle Carter Wins Historic Shot Put Gold

With a final, herculean hurl, Michelle Carter scored a gold medal in the women's shot put final Friday night in Rio — a first for any U.S. woman in the event.

"I knew I had more in the tank," Carter told reporters. "And to be able to go out there and put the pieces together and pull it out, I'm just really excited."

Taking advantage of that reserved energy, Carter truly saved her best for last.

Alex Rodriguez returned to the infield, hugged a reception line of teammates and was handed the final ball from his final game with the New York Yankees. He walked to the area behind third base, leaned down and grabbed a handful of dirt.

Baseball's most notorious star of the last two decades then headed back to the dugout after a Yankee Stadium finale Friday night that included a pregame ceremony punctuated by thunder cracks and cut short by a downpour, a first-inning RBI double and a surprising ninth-inning return to third base.

U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo's social media commentary earned her the wrath of Brazilians before she arrived in Rio. She dug a much deeper hole for herself Friday by insulting the Swedish team that had just bounced the heavily favored Americans from the tournament in a penalty shootout.

The leader of the Islamic State in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Hafiz Saeed Khan, was killed in a U.S. drone strike in late July, according to NPR's Tom Bowman, citing American military officials.

As Tom reports,

"Officials say Khan was killed by a drone strike in Afghanistan's eastern Nangarhar province, where most Islamic State fighters are located. There are several thousand ISIS fighters in the province, officials say, and the group has been increasing its attacks.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

After 13 years as a New York Yankee, Alex Rodriguez will play his last game in pinstripes tonight. Reporter Jim O'Grady of member station WNYC recounts the ups and downs of the slugger's career, which has been nothing less than operatic.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And to talk more about this and the week in politics, we have E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and Brookings Institution. Hey there, E.J.

E J DIONNE, BYLINE: Good to be with you.

The U.S. women gymnasts have dazzled all week in Rio. And we're not talking about their crystal-studded leotards. The Americans won the team gold on Tuesday, and Simone Biles and Aly Raisman took gold and silver in the individual all-around on Thursday.

This wasn't traditionally a sport the U.S. dominated. The American women didn't win their first team gold until 1996. But they have now captured the team title at the last two Olympics, and American women have won the individual all-around at the last four Summer Games.

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Two Fox News insiders have been tapped to fill the shoes of outgoing Chairman and Chief Executive Roger Ailes, who was forced to resign as a result of allegations he sexually harassed a former female news anchor.

Louisiana is under a state of emergency because of a storm system that is expected to exacerbate existing flood conditions.

In a statement, Gov. John Bel Edwards said preparations and efforts to assist saturated areas were well underway:

Half a century ago this summer, labor activist Cesar Chavez joined thousands of striking farmworkers in Texas as they converged on Austin, the state capital, to demand fair wages and humane working conditions.

Their march, which started from the punishing melon fields of South Texas, was his march, too. It was a deep and abiding understanding of the challenges of the farmworker's life that drove his commitment to labor rights. The life of Cesar Chavez mirrored that of the people he was trying to help. Their cause — La Causa — was his.

Jonathan Garaas has learned a few things in three seasons of backyard beekeeping: Bees are fascinating. They're complicated. And keeping them alive is not easy.

Every two weeks, the Fargo, N.D., attorney opens the hives to check the bees and search for varroa mites, pests that suck the bees' blood and can transmit disease. If he sees too many of the pinhead-sized parasites, he applies a chemical treatment.

Thursday night in Rio, for the first time in history, a black woman won an individual swimming medal in the Olympics. Simone Manuel, a 20-year-old from Sugar Land, Texas, tied for the gold medal in the women's 100-meter freestyle with an Olympic record time of 52.70 seconds.

It came down to penalty kicks — and after two of the U.S. women's soccer team players missed theirs, Hope Solo couldn't stop Sweden's shots in an elimination game in the quarter-finals of Rio's Summer Olympics.

Facing their old coach Pia Sundhage, the Americans were trying to improve on a draw with Colombia that marred an otherwise stellar opening round to the games in Brazil. But they couldn't capitalize on early chances against Sweden, and Sundhage's squad made them pay in the end.

A computer may soon be able to offer highly personalized treatment suggestions for cancer patients based on the specifics of their cases and the full sweep of the most relevant scientific research.

IBM and the New York Genome Center, a consortium of medical research institutions in New York City, are collaborating on a project to speed up cancer diagnoses and treatment.

I was reporting recently on the challenges the DIY "maker movement" faces as it moves into more classrooms, when I flipped through a copy of new book, The ABCs of How We Learn: 26 Scientifically Proven Approaches, How They Work, and When to Use Them. It's based on a popular course at Stanford University.

Hmm, M is for Making.

Lead problems with the water in Flint, Mich., have prompted people across the country to ask whether they or their families have been exposed to the toxic metal in their drinking water, too.

When it comes to assessing the risk, it's important to look in the right places.

Even when municipal water systems' lead levels are considered perfectly fine by federal standards, the metal can leach into tap water from lead plumbing.

It was expected to be closer than this — but in their fourth race in the men's 200-meter individual medley, Michael Phelps took gold, as usual, and Ryan Lochte faded out of medal contention in the Summer Olympics in Rio.

Hours after their U.S. teammates Simone Biles and Aly Raisman went head-to-head to decide who should take a gold medal home, the two most talented swimmers of their generation stepped up on the blocks to race one last time in the Olympics.

Just 12 years ago, researchers feared that the California Island fox, a species about the size of a cat inhabiting a group of islands off the Southern California coast, was toast. Non-native predators and pesticides had dramatically reduced their ranks. The few that remained were placed on the endangered species list.

The murder trial of the man accused of killing Kate Steinle, whose 2015 shooting death on a San Francisco pier became part of the national debate over illegal immigration and sanctuary city policies, is not likely to start until next year.

Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, who had been deported back to his native Mexico five times before the July 1, 2015, shooting, will have his trial date set in December of this year.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has released a second list of economic advisers in less than a week, and this time the names are almost all women.

The advisers include several longtime GOP fundraisers, including Diane Hendricks, co-founder and chairman of ABC Supply in Wisconsin, who was called "America's richest self-made woman" by Forbes magazine.

Drones, surveillance, torture, rendition, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. These are just some of the subjects over which Jameel Jaffer has fought the U.S. government.

He is the head of the ACLU's Center for Democracy — and now he's leaving after more than a decade with the civil liberties organization to run the new Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University.

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Donald Trump is in Florida today where once again he is making unbelievable claims. Sam Sanders has been with the Trump campaign for the last couple days and joins us now. Hi, Sam.

SAM SANDERS, BYLINE: Hey, Ari.

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