The London Evening Standard reports that London has been "secretly asked" if it is prepared to host the 2016 Summer Olympics in the event that Rio de Janeiro isn't fully prepared for the games. "An informal approach was made by Olympics bosses to discover whether enough venues from the triumphant 2012 London Games could be brought back into use," according to the report.
The IOC seems very concerned about Brazil's preparations. A couple weeks ago, a high-ranking IOC official publicly blasted Rio for being behind in "many, many ways," describing the prep as "the worst I have experienced."
Still, a repeat of the London games seems highly unlikely. What are the odds? "Infinitesimally small," an otherwise unidentified "source" tells the Evening Standard. Jordan Valinsky
President Obama is honoring the late Shimon Peres, the former president of Israel who died Tuesday at age 93, calling him a "Founding Father of the state of Israel and a statesman whose commitment to Israel's security and pursuit of peace was rooted in his own unshakeable moral foundation and unflagging optimism."
In a statement, Obama said, "There are few people who we share this world with who change the course of human history, not just through their role in human events, but because they expand our moral imagination and force us to expect more of ourselves. My friend Shimon was one of those people." Obama shared that he first met Peres in Jerusalem when he was a senator, and asked him for advice. "He told me that while people often say that the future belongs to the young, it's the present that really belongs to the young," Obama said. "'Leave the future to me,' he said. 'I have time.' And he was right." He described Peres as a "soldier for Israel, for the Jewish people, for justice, for peace, and for the belief that we can be true to our best selves."
In 2012, Obama presented Peres with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States, and said Americans are "in his debt because, having worked with every U.S. president since John F. Kennedy, no one did more over so many years as Shimon Peres to build the alliance between our two countries — an unbreakable alliance that today is closer and stronger than it has ever been." Peres never gave up on the "possibility of peace between Israelis, Palestinians, and Israel's neighbors," and Obama believes there is "no greater tribute to his life than to renew our commitment to the peace that we know is possible." While a "light has gone out," Obama said, "the hope he gave us will burn forever." Catherine Garcia
For the first time in its history, The Arizona Republic newspaper is supporting a Democrat over a Republican for president, endorsing Hillary Clinton.
In an editorial published Tuesday night, the board said Clinton, not Donald Trump, understands that the "challenges the United States faces domestically and internationally demand a steady hand, a cool head, and the ability to think carefully before acting." Clinton not only has the "temperament and experience to be president," but she knows how to "compromise and to lead with intelligence, decorum, and perspective," the editorial says. For decades, Clinton has withstood "scrutiny so intense it would wither most politicians," including some attacks that "strain credulity," while Trump "hasn't even let the American people scrutinize his tax returns, which could help the nation judge his claims of business acumen." The board goes on to tick off several of Trump's "demeaning comments" about women, a disabled reporter, and POWs, saying they prove he has a "stunning lack of human decency, empathy, and respect."
When it comes to immigration, Arizona "went down the hardline immigration road Trump travels," the editorial says, and it earned the state "international condemnation and did nothing to resolve real problems with undocumented immigration." The editorial board does believe Clinton has made some "serious missteps," like the use of a private email server while secretary of state, but she "does not casually say things that embolden our adversaries and frighten our allies" and is the "superior choice" to Trump, who "responds to criticism with the petulance of verbal spit wads." Read the entire editorial at The Arizona Republic. Catherine Garcia
Shimon Peres, the ninth president of Israel and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in negotiating the Oslo Accords, died Tuesday. He was 93.
Peres suffered a stroke two weeks ago, and was on a respirator at a hospital near Tel Aviv when his health quickly declined and he died, the official Israel News Agency reports. During his long career in politics, Peres — who in 1934 emigrated at age 11 from Poland to British Mandate Palestine — held almost every significant position in the Israeli government. He was first elected to parliament in 1959, and had two brief turns as prime minister.
Peres served a seven-year term as president from 2007 to 2014, and argued for a two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He was a key player in putting together the Oslo Accords, and was jointly awarded the Nobel prize in 1994 with Yitzhak Rabin, the Israeli prime minister at the time, and Yasser Arafat, chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization. Peres, who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama in 2012 and founded the Peres Center for Peace, is survived by his wife, Sonya, and three children. Catherine Garcia
More than 84 million Americans watched Monday night's debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, and thousands of miles away in a secret location somewhere in Afghanistan, so did leaders of the Taliban.
A spokesman for the militant organization, which has killed thousands of people during two decades of violence, told NBC News they were "very interested in watching," but said there was "nothing of interest to us in the debate as both of them said little about Afghanistan and their future plans for the country." Zabihullah Mujahid also gave his opinion on Trump, declaring he says "anything that comes to his tongue" and is "non-serious." Catherine Garcia
On Tuesday, President Obama nominated Jeffrey DeLaurentis as the first U.S. ambassador to Cuba in more than a half-century.
Since 2014, when the U.S. Embassy in Havana reopened, DeLaurentis has been the country's chief diplomat in Cuba, but he's able to get a promotion to ambassador now that the diplomatic freeze is over. "Jeff's leadership has been vital throughout the normalization of relations between the United States and Cuba, and the appointment of an ambassador is a common-sense step forward toward a more normal and productive relationship between our two countries," Obama said in a statement.
DeLaurentis must be confirmed by the Senate in a simple majority, but some senators, including Cuban-American Republicans Marco Rubio of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas, have both said they will oppose any ambassador named by Obama. "A U.S. ambassador is not going to influence the Cuban government, which is a dictatorial and closed regime," Rubio said Tuesday. "This nomination should go nowhere." Catherine Garcia
The next time you have a kidney stone, don't go to the doctor or stay home in excruciating pain — head to your local amusement park.
After hearing from patients who said their kidney stones passed without pain after going for a ride on Big Thunder Mountain at Disney World, researchers at Michigan State University decided to conduct a test. Using a 3D printer, they created silicone models and put in kidney stones of various sizes, then took them for a ride. The scientists say even the largest stones were dislodged after two or three rides, and sitting in the back was more effective than being in the front.
Dr. Clayton Lau, a urologist at City of Hope in Duarte, California, told ABC Los Angeles the bumpiness of a roller coaster likely does not create enough turbulence to pass a stone, and the rush of adrenaline probably causes movement in the ureter, helping propel the stones. The researchers say their models show the stones did pass all the way after at least one ride, and suggest that people who are prone to getting kidney stones go for regular rides to keep them at bay. Lau doesn't see thrill ride therapy becoming the next big thing, saying, "I think that's the last thing you want to do when you're in pain is jump on a roller coaster," but ask any patient and even while hurting, they might choose Disneyland over the doctor's office. Catherine Garcia
Wells Fargo is opening an independent investigation into the company's retail banking practices, following the revelation that employees trying to meet sales targets opened as many as 2 million phony accounts for customers without their knowledge, the firm announced Tuesday.
During the investigation, Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf will not receive a salary and will forfeit equity awards valued at around $41 million. Carrie Tolstedt, the former head of retail banking, has also left Wells Fargo, and will not receive a severance package. The firm says it has fired 5,300 people, mostly low-level employees, in connection with the fraudulent practices, and has paid a $190 million fine. It also will eliminate sales goals in retail banking on Jan. 1, 2017. Catherine Garcia