Thursday, July 31, 2008 | Categories: Episodes
It's Thursday, July 31st.
Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert will resign in September, putting Middle Eastern peace talks in limbo and throwing the coalition government into disarray.
Currently, pundits say the resignation was needed -- to preserve Israel's status quo.
This is the Current.
Green Politics and Poverty
The poor have a smaller carbon footprint, because they can't afford to travel or consume as much, and they live in smaller homes. They're also less able to invest in green technology and they feel the pinch of any increase in energy prices more acutely.
U.S. Congressman James Clyburn is afraid that lower income Americans -- and African-Americans, in particular -- aren't aware of the stake they have in environmental policy, nor how it could affect them financially. He's concerned they haven't had meaningful input into how that policy is shaped.
Congressman Clyburn is the highest-ranking African-American in Congress. He's the majority whip for the Democrats in the House of Representatives. This month he launched a Commission to engage African-Americans on the issue of climate change. Congressman Clyburn joined us from Washington.
Niger Innis, for one, believes they are hurting African-Americans. Mr. Innis is co-chair of the "Stop The War On The Poor" campaign, which is backed by one of the oldest civil rights groups in America the Congress of Racial Equality, also known as "CORE". He also joined us from Washington.
Listen to Part One:
The world fell in love with a fourteen-year-old girl at the 1976 Montreal Olympics. Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci wowed the judges.They rewarded her with perfect tens on the uneven bars and balance beam. Millions of spectators were captivated by the grace and explosive athleticism of her fourteen-year-old body.
Nadia Comaneci became a model for gymnasts. For two decades after the Montreal Games, girls under 16 routinely won Olympic gymnastics medals. But in 1997, the minimum age for international competition was raised to sixteen.
That sets the stage for the latest controversy to beset the Beijing Olympics. This one isn't about doping, air quality or human rights it's about falsifying the ages of athletes. It concerns two Chinese gymnasts: He Kexin -- a gold-medal favourite -- and Jiang Yuyuan. Their passports say they're sixteen. But documents from prior competitions put their ages at fourteen.
The International Gymnastics Federation say it is satisfied the passports confirm they're old enough to compete. But the controversy has again raised the question of how young is too young when it comes to elite international competition.
Finding the Balance
Current producer Dominic Girard visited some young competitive gymnasts in training at Toronto Gymnastics International. Here he spoke with one promising 10-year old and coach Lauren Mooney.
We also spoke with Bela Karolyi. He was an Olympic gymnastics coach for both Romania and the United States, and he trained both Nadia Comaneci and Mary Lou Retton, to gold medal-winning standard. He is now the Director of the U.S. national team training centre in Houston.
Listen to Part Two: