TIME Morning Must Reads

Morning Must Reads: December 17

Capitol
The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC. Mark Wilson—Getty Images

Terror Threat Nixes The Interview

Some cinema chains are pulling Sony’s film The Interview from their lineups after hackers threatened a 9/11-style attack against theaters who screen the upcoming movie. Sony said it is going forward with plans to release the film, but would support theaters’ decisions

Starbucks CEO Talks Racism

Howard Schultz outlined his concern about the effects of racism and increasing social polarization in America in a letter to all Starbucks employees

Putin’s Influence Wanes

Russia’s worst economic crash since 1998 may force the Russian President to rethink his adventures abroad

Jeb Bush Eyes Run for Presidency

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush announced Tuesday that he will “actively explore” running for president in 2016. “I think we need to have candidates lift our spirits,” he said, one day before announcing his formal intention to explore a campaign

U.S. Will Bid to Host the Summer Olympics in 2024

The United States Olympics Committee (USOC) unanimously approved on Tuesday a U.S. bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics and Paralympic Games. One of Boston,

Washington D.C., San Francisco and Los Angeles will be picked for the bid in 2015

Pakistan Mourns After Peshawar School Massacre

Pakistanis mourned collectively and individually on Wednesday after a brutal attack on a school in Peshawar by Taliban militants that claimed more than 140 lives, including 132 children. But questions remain over the military’s relationship with extremist groups

Angelina Jolie Hires Experts to Protect Her Kids Online

Angelina Jolie and her husband Brad Pitt, who don’t use social media, have hired a cyber-security team to monitor their children’s Internet usage and exposure. “We wouldn’t even know what to look for,” she said

Australia’s PM Demands Answers After Sydney Siege

Tony Abbott has said that everything from the nation’s gun laws to its national security policies are up for serious review after a troubled Iranian migrant on bail was able to evade watch lists, buy a firearm and take over a Sydney café, leading to three deaths

Clifford the Big Red Dog Creator Norman Bridwell Dies at 86

Author and illustrator Norman Bridwell died on Friday, Dec. 12, in Martha’s Vineyard at age 86. His publisher, Scholastic, announced the news Tuesday, but did not give a cause of death. Bridwell was best known for creating the Clifford the Big Red Dog book series

Bill Cosby Won’t Be Charged Over L.A. Molestation Claim

Los Angeles prosecutors on Tuesday declined to file any charges against Bill Cosby after a woman recently claimed the comedian molested her around 1974. The rejection of a child sexual abuse charge by prosecutors came roughly 10 days after Judy Huth met city police

NHL Teams Postpone Seasonal Hospital Visits

Several NHL teams are postponing their annual holiday visits to hospitals, amid a mumps outbreak within the league. At least 15 NHL players have so far come down in the outbreak, including for the Anaheim Ducks, Minnesota Wild, New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers

Poll: 57% of Americans Say Race Relations in U.S. Are Bad

A majority of Americans now say that race relations in the United States are bad, according to a new poll, which showed the most pessimistic assessment of racial issues in almost two decades

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TIME olympics

U.S. Will Bid to Host the Summer Olympics in 2024

The last Summer Olympics were held in London.
The last Summer Olympics were held in London. Dan Istitene—Getty Images

One of four cities will be picked for the bid in 2015

The United States Olympics Committee (USOC) unanimously approved on Tuesday a U.S. bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics and Paralympic Games.

The four possible bid cities are Boston, Washington D.C., San Francisco and Los Angeles, whose representatives gave pitches to the committee Tuesday morning, according to a USOC statement. A selection for the bid will be made in January, and the International Olympic Committee will select a host city in 2017 after reviewing all submitted bids.

The organization’s last decision to bid to host the Olympics was for the 2016 Games, which was awarded to Rio de Janeiro instead of Chicago. The USOC had decided not to bid for the 2020 Olympics, which will place in Tokyo.

The last Summer Olympics to be held in the U.S. were the 1996 Games in Atlanta.

TIME Disease

There’s a ‘Super Bacteria’ in Waters Where the 2016 Olympics Will Be Held

OLY-2016-RIO-SAILING-REGATTA
Athletes compete in the Men's Laser during the final day of Aquece Rio, the International Sailing Regatta 2014, the first test event for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games at Guanabara bay in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on August 9, 2014. Yasuyoshi Chiba—AFP/Getty Images

Newly discovered bacteria is resistant to much modern medicine

Scientists have discovered a hard-to-treat ‘super bacteria’ in the body of water where Olympic events are planned in 2016 in Brazil.

The bacteria, which contains a special enzyme that makes it highly resistant to medical treatment, was found in Rio de Janeiro’s Guanabara Bay, which will be the site of competitions in sailing and wind surfing, the Associated Press reports.

The Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, a Brazilian health institute, said it had not yet detected any infections from the contaminated water but that an infected person would need very strong antibiotics and possible hospitalization to fight off the bacteria. Infected people can spread the bacteria even if they don’t become sick, the institute said.

In Rio 70% of sewage goes untreated and flows into rivers, bays and beaches. Olympic planners have said they will reduce the amount of sewage flowing into Guanabara Bay by 80% in time for the Games.

[AP]

TIME Sports

See Athletes Who Have Taken a Stand on Political Issues

Here are 8 examples of professional athletes who demonstrated social consciousness in the realm of sports

The St. Louis Rams caused a stir Sunday when some players emerged onto the football field with their arms raised in the “hands up, don’t shoot” pose that’s been used to protest the killing of Michael Brown. The St. Louis Police department condemned the gesture, calling it “tasteless, offensive, and inflammatory.” Meanwhile, the NFL said it would decline punishment of any kind for the players’ expression of free speech.

But this is not the only time athletes have made political demonstrations during an event. Here are six more examples of players getting political.

TIME olympics

Olympics Committee Broadens Rules for Host Cities

OLY-2014-NORDIC-MEN
Skiers compete past the Olympic Rings in the Men's Cross-Country Skiing 15km + 15km Skiathlon at the Laura Cross-Country Ski and Biathlon Center during the Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia on Feb. 9, 2014. Alberto Pizzoli—AFP/Getty Images

40 recommendations were made that can change the games

The list of prospective Olympics host cities may soon grow, as the International Olympics Committee announced 40 new recommendations for the 2020 games that include allowing some events to take place outside of the city itself or even, “in exceptional circumstances,” largely due to sustainability reasons, outside of the host country.

This would mostly impact the summer games, as the winter Olympics already allows events to take place in bordering countries.

“These 40 recommendations are like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle,” IOC President Thomas Bach said in a statement. “When you put them together, a picture emerges that shows the IOC safeguarding the uniqueness of the Olympic Games and strengthening sport in society.”

The “Olympic Agenda 2020″ also put forth recommendations that would decrease the seven-year approval timeline to allow new sports to enter the games, and the introduction of an official Olympic broadcast TV channel.

TIME U.K.

Soccer Star Convicted of Rape Returns to Training Amid Angry Debate

Ched Evans playing for Sheffield United in 2012.
Ched Evans playing for Sheffield United in 2012. Stu Forster—Getty Images

More than 163,000 people have signed a petition against his return

Correction appended Nov. 15.

The story told by Ched Evans in an Oct. 22 video statement posted on YouTube features two victims. First among these is his girlfriend Natasha, who nestles alongside him in the film and remains in the relationship despite the crime Evans committed in a Welsh hotel room in 2011 which he terms “my act of infidelity.” The second is Evans himself. The soccer player, released from prison last month, uses the video to deny the rape verdict that put him behind bars. “The acts I engaged in on that night were consensual in nature and not rape,” he says, pledging to “continue to fight to clear my name.”

There is, of course, another victim—the unnamed 19-year-old woman Evans assaulted. Since Evans left prison, heated debate around whether or not he should be allowed to return to work at his former club Sheffield United risks creating further victims still. “Jean Hatchet”—her name is a pseudonym—has been subjected to online abuse since starting a petition calling on Sheffield United to drop the player.

And on Nov. 14 police started an investigation after a Twitter troll posted a tweet about Jessica Ennis-Hill. The Sheffield-born athlete, who won gold in heptathlon for Britain in the London 2012 Olympics, has threatened to remove her name from a stand at the Sheffield United grounds if the club reinstates Evans. “Those in positions of influence should respect the role they play in young people’s lives and set a good example,” she said in a statement. “I hope [Evans] rapes her,” the troll responded.

Heat and hostility threaten to obscure the deeper questions at the heart of the discussion. Evans has served his time—or at any half of the five-year term originally meted out—and now seeks rehabilitation. Isn’t that the way the justice system is supposed to work? Evans seems to think so. “It is a rare and extraordinary privilege to be able to play professional football,” he says in his YouTube non-mea culpa. “Now that I’ve served the custodial part of my sentence of two-and-a-half years, it is my hope that I’ll be able to return to football. If that is possible, then I will do so with humility having learned a very painful lesson. I would like a second chance but I know not everyone would agree.”

That last point is undeniable. More than 163,000 people have signed Hatchet’s petition in support of her view that “to even consider reinstating [Evans] as a player at the same club is a deep insult to the woman who was raped and to all women like her who have suffered at the hands of a rapist.” Charlie Webster, a sports television presenter, lifelong fan of Sheffield United and patron of the club, resigned that after learning that the club had allowed Evans back to train. A victim of sexual abuse as a teenager, Webster has used her public profile to try to encourage other victims of sexual abuse to speak out. In her view Evans’s public profile means that he cannot simply be allowed to return to his old life. “We cheer him on as a role model and he’s influencing the next generation of young men who are currently making their decisions on how to treat women and what sexual mutual consent is,” she told the BBC.

Neither Sheffield United nor the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA), the players’ union, accepts this view. Sheffield United issued a statement on Nov. 11 confirming that Evans was back in training, but denying any final decision about his future. “The club rejects the notion that society should seek to impose extrajudicial or post-term penalties on anyone,” the statement said loftily. “In a nation of laws, served by an elected parliament and duly constituted courts of law, there can be no place for ‘mob justice’. The club believes that the only penalties following from a conviction on any charge should be those set forth in law and deemed appropriate by a court of competent jurisdiction.”

PFA chief Gordon Taylor made a similar point in more demotic language: “I didn’t know there was a law that said once you come out of prison you still can’t do anything.”

Such discussions are hardly unique to English soccer. Across the Atlantic two prominent National Football League players are currently serving suspensions after admitting acts of violence. In September, the Baltimore Ravens dropped Ray Rice, already suspended by the NFL for hitting his then-fiancée, now wife, after publication of a second and more graphic video of the attack. Adrian Peterson, running back for the Minnesota Vikings, is waiting a decision on his status as a player after pleading no contest to one count of misdemeanor reckless assault for whipping his four-year-old son with a switch.

Sporting history is garnished with individuals who serve as role models not only in their chosen disciplines but through their life choices: philanthropists, activists and all-round good eggs such as Ennis-Hill. But the same history is also full of flawed heroes and monstrous egos and yet darker tales. A question largely ignored in the current discussions is why that might be. Is sport simply a microcosm of the world, for good and ill, or might the people who run sports bear a greater share of the responsibility?

Football teams—soccer and American football—recruit kids young and work the raw material to create winners, but not necessarily rounded human beings. Joey Barton, a soccer player who returned to the professional game after serving a jail sentence for assault and affray and now aims to be a manager, gave a revealing interview when he retired as a player in September.

“I used a lot of the dark energy to make myself a footballer,” he told the Daily Telegraph. “If I’d been a balanced person I’d never have been an elite-level sportsman. There were a lot of players more technically gifted than me but what I had was an ability to harness my anger at the world. I used anger like a fuel, a propellant, to turn in to performances.”

He argued that his flaws—and criminal record—should not rule him out as a role model. “I realized, wow, I can’t be a role model for the squeaky clean because I’m not squeaky clean. There are a lot of kids out there who feel disconnected, a bit lost. They relate to me.”

That, of course, is only a good thing if the lesson they draw from Barton is to learn from mistakes, or hopefully to avoid them in the first place, because such mistakes often take a toll not just on the person who commits them but on other people.

These are lessons team managements and sports bodies must do better in imparting to their rising stars. Their messaging must be clear and unequivocal. That is why many people believe Sheffield United should not reinstate Ched Evans.

Correction: The original version of this story mischaracterized the career of Joey Barton. He is currently a player with Queens Park Rangers.

TIME movies

The True Story Behind Foxcatcher

FOXCATCHER
Steve Carell and Channing Tatum in Foxcatcher Scott Garfield—Fair Hill, LLC

Is the story of two Olympic wrestlers and their benefactor as twisted as the movie suggests?

Foxcatcher, out Friday, chronicles the real-life story of Mark and Dave Schultz (played by Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo, respectively), brothers and Olympic gold medalists in wrestling, who accept the patronage of John du Pont (Steve Carell), heir to his family’s chemical company fortune. The eccentric and erratic Du Pont is obsessed with the sport of wrestling but was never good enough to compete himself. When he attempts to live vicariously through the Schultz brothers, the situation turns foul.

The relationship between the three men was closely examined after an incident at Du Pont’s estate, called Foxcatcher Farms, caught the press’ attention in 1996. TIME’s 1996 coverage of those events and Mark Schultz’s upcoming memoir—also named Foxcatcher, and out Nov. 18—both elucidate how much of the Hollywood version is true and which details have been added for dramatic effect. (Schultz’s memoir, of course, is based on his own personal memory of and take on the events. The director conducted interviews with others who lived on Foxcatcher at the time.) Here’s what’s fact and what’s fiction.

Warning: contains spoilers.

Mark Schultz would hit himself in the face after losing

Ruling: Fact

Schultz writes in his book that he wanted to make losing “the worst experience ever.” He would hit himself after a loss so that he would associate the bad wrestling match with pain and thus motivate himself not to make the same mistakes again.

In a testament to how committed Channing Tatum was to the part, Tatum actually hit his head through a mirror in a scene as Schultz—and injured himself doing it. Director Bennet Miller told Vanity Fair, “He punched that thing with his head three times and shattered it, and put his head through it and through the frame behind the mirror and through the drywall that the mirror was hanging on and left a divot two inches deep. When we took that mirror down, there was a hole in the wall. He actually cut himself, and you see his blood in that scene.” Guess Tatum really wants that Oscar.

John Du Pont built a wrestling facility at Foxcatcher to train potential Olympians

Ruling: Fact

Du Pont had long been preoccupied with participating in the Olympics in some capacity. He wanted to compete in the pentathlon in the 1968 games in Mexico. (Someone had once told Du Pont that since he already knew how to shoot, this was his best chance at making an Olympic team.) Du Pont built a shooting range and Olympic sized swimming pool on his estate to train. He even commissioned a mosaic of himself competing in all the events made of tiles shipped from Italy. Despite this heavy investment, he came in second to last in the trials for the Olympic team that year.

After giving up on his own athletic ambitions, Du Pont thought he could coach a team to a gold medal. Du Pont created Team Foxcatcher to train potential Olympians in swimming, pentathlon and triathlon. He brought wrestlers to Foxcatcher years later.

Du Pont offered Mark Schultz money to train at Foxcatcher

Ruling: Mostly Fiction

Mark Schultz did not immediately move to Foxcatcher to train. Du Pont first offered him a job helping to coach the wrestling team at Villanova University, which the magnate was reviving with his generous donations. (Du Pont’s first call was to Dave, but Dave turned down the job.) Mark Schultz moved to an apartment near campus and lived there while working and training at Villanova. Du Pont later fired Mark Schultz from Villanova but told Mark he could continue to train there if he moved onto the Foxcatcher estate. Seduced by the free rent and facilities, Mark did so. The Villanova wrestling program folded shortly thereafter, after just two years of competition.

Du Pont sustained the program at Foxcatcher by making millions of dollars of donations to U.S. Wrestling and attracting top talent with Schultz’s name. The mission was to churn out as many Olympians from the group as possible but, as shown in the movie, Du Pont’s preoccupation with glory over discipline made that task impossible.

Du Pont got Mark Schultz hooked on drugs

Ruling: Fiction

In the movie, Mark Schultz’s career begins to spiral downward when Du Pont offers him cocaine in a helicopter. But Schultz admits in his book that he had done drugs, including cocaine, before he ever moved to Foxcatcher. In fact, Du Pont asked Schultz if he knew where he might get cocaine, and Schultz picked it up for him. Schultz says the two did the drug together only “two or three times” and even claims that Du Pont once showed him a kilo of coke labeled “evidence” that he was keeping in a drawer. Schultz assumed Du Pont had stolen it from a police precinct. (Police trained at DuPont’s shooting range, and he was considered a “friend of the force” thanks to his donations.)

That’s not to say that Schultz was the bad influence on Du Pont. Du Pont had a long-documented drug and alcohol problem. Even in their first meeting, Schultz says Du Pont was drunk and high. He rarely saw him sober in the years that followed. Friends, associates and neighbors confirmed as much to the press after Dave Schultz was shot. Even more bizarrely, they describe incidents like Du Pont driving two Lincoln Continentals into the farm’s pond, destroying property with his own personal tank and threatening people with guns. Du Pont’s former wife, Gale Wenk du Pont, filed a civil suit in 1985 claiming that he had threatened her with both a knife and a gun and tried to push her out of a moving car.

Du Pont and Mark Schultz had a close relationship

Ruling: Mostly Fiction

According to Schultz’s memoir the two were not as close as the movie might suggest. Schultz says that he got a bad feeling from Du Pont the moment they met and never warmed to him. The hostility between the two grew as Du Pont constantly interrupted Schultz’s training. Schultz writes that he once told Du Pont he was going to make t-shirts that said “Shut up and leave me alone” and wear them around the estate. Du Pont made the shirts and gave them to Schultz.

The movie also implies that Du Pont was harboring unrequited feelings for Schultz. Though Schultz says in his book that many suspected Du Pont might have been gay, he never saw any behavior to suggest so while living at Foxcatcher. However, a 1988 lawsuit (that was settled out of court) claimed Du Pont made improper sexual advances to Villanova assistant coach Andre Metzger.

Du Pont shot a gun during a wrestling practice

Ruling: Mostly Fiction

In the movie, Du Pont shoots off a gun during the middle of wrestling practice overseen by Mark Schultz at Foxcatcher. Schultz does not describe such an incident in his book. But he does relate a time when Du Pont burst into his apartment—Du Pont apparently entered the place without permission often—and threatened Schultz’s then-girlfriend by pointing the gun at her. Another Foxcatcher coach, Dan Chaid, left after eight years at the facility following an incident during which DuPont threatened him with a machine gun. According to Schultz, most people thought Du Pont was unbalanced but not dangerous. (During the apartment incident, Schultz stepped between his girlfriend and Du Pont without worrying that Du Pont would shoot him.)

Du Pont asked Dave Schultz to come live at Foxcatcher when he was disappointed with Mark’s performance

Ruling: Fiction

Dave Schultz and Mark Schultz never lived at Foxcatcher at the same time. Though Dave was under Schultz’s employ, he lived in Wisconsin while Mark was living on the estate. Schultz asked Dave to coach the Foxcatcher team after Mark had moved to a coaching position at BYU in Utah. Dave quit his job at Wisconsin and accepted. In the version Mark tells, the move had nothing to do with Mark’s disappointng performance in competition.

Mark Schultz once dropped 12 pounds in just 90 minutes for a weigh-in

Ruling: Fact

After “retiring” for a moment after a bad loss, Schultz says he indulged too much in room service and—when he decided to compete again—realized he was 12 pounds too heavy to wrestle in his weight class. Dave did help him “cut weight” quickly: “I puked up the first pound and a half. I put on four layers of sweats and rode a stationary bike like a madman for the rest of the ninety minutes.” But unlike in the movie, Du Pont didn’t see this happening and leave. (Du Pont’s mother had also already died at this point.)

Dave Schultz had “P.U. Kids” written on his hand when he died

Ruling: Fact

It was Schultz’s turn to pick up his kids from school the day he was shot and killed by Du Pont. He had written a reminder on his hand.

Du Pont was arrested immediately after the shooting

Ruling: Fiction

In the movie, Du Pont tries to evade arrest but is quickly apprehended. In reality, Du Pont had a two-day standoff in the police. He holed up in his mansion (filled with many guns), as the police surrounded the building outside. After he was arrested, Du Pont did not articulate any clear reason for committing the crime.

Read TIME’s original report on the events at Foxcatcher, here in the TIME Vault: Blood on the Mat

TIME South Africa

Oscar Pistorius Gets 5 Years for the Culpable Homicide of Reeva Steenkamp

South African Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius attends his sentencing at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria
South African Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius attends his sentencing at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria Oct. 21, 2014 Herman Verwey—Reuters

The Paralympic gold medalist was acquitted of murder last month

Athlete Oscar Pistorius was sentenced Tuesday to five years imprisonment for the Valentine’s Day killing of his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

The 27-year-old double-amputee was found guilty of culpable homicide after shooting Steenkamp through the toilet door of his home in Pretoria on Feb. 14, 2013.

The “Blade Runner,” as Pistorius is known due to his trademark prosthetic limbs, claims he thought an intruder lurked inside, but the state maintained that he shot four times with the intention of killing Steenkamp after the couple had argued.

The South African was acquitted of murder by Judge Thokozile Masipa last month after a high-profile trial that was televised around the world.

In sentencing Pistorius, Masipa said she weighed, “The personal circumstances of the accused and interests of society.”

She added: “A non-custodial sentence would send the wrong message to the community, but a long sentence would also not be appropriate.”

Pistorius made history as the first Paralympian to compete against able-bodied athletes at the 2012 London Olympics. He has apparently been suffering from depression since Steenkamp’s death.

A separate firearms charge received three years imprisonment, suspended for five years.

Read next: Heated Reaction in South Africa to Pistorius Sentence

TIME South Africa

Oscar Pistorius Must ‘Pay for What He Has Done,’ Steenkamp Family Says

Athlete expected to be sentenced as early as Friday for culpable homicide of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp

Oscar Pistorius “needs to pay for what he has done,” Reeva Steenkamp’s cousin said Thursday at a court hearing to decide the athlete’s sentence for killing the model. “My family are not people who are seeking revenge, we just feel … taking somebody’s life, to shoot somebody behind the door that is unarmed, that is harmless needs sufficient punishment,” Kim Martin told the court. “I’m very fearful of the accused, I have tried very hard to put him out of my mind…because I didn’t want to spend any energy thinking about him,” she said.

After giving her testimony, Martin thanked…

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

TIME Athletes

USA Swimming Suspends Michael Phelps

Team USA Pan Pacs Squad Training Session
Michael Phelps looks on during a Team USA Pan Pacs training session at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre on Aug. 19, 2014 in Gold Coast, Australia. Phelps was banned for six months and dropped from the 2015 world championships roster by USA Swimming following a DUI arrest. Chris Hyde—Getty Images

This is Phelps' second DUI arrest in ten years

Michael Phelps will be suspended from USA Swimming-sanctioned events for six months, will withdraw from next year’s FINA World Championships and forfeit funding for six months, USA Swimming announced on Monday.

Phelps was cited for a violation of the organization’s Code of Conduct, specifically for conduct “detrimental to the image or reputation of USA Swimming, a LSC or the sport of swimming.”

Phelps was arrested on Sept. 30 in Maryland for driving under the influence. He was reportedly driving 84 mph in a 45 mph zone.

In addition to DUI, he has been charged with excessive speed and crossing double lane lines.

Michael Phelps arrested for DUI in Maryland

This is Phelps’ second DUI arrest in ten years. The previous incident, during which Phelps was 19-years-old, resulted in 18 months of probation.

In 2009, Phelps was suspended for three months after photos that appeared to show him smoking marijuana emerged.

Michael Phelps going to rehab after DUI arrest

A second conviction for DUI could mean up to one year in jail, a $1,000 fine and a six-month suspension of his driver’s license.

Phelps said on Oct. 5 that he would enter a six-week treatment program.

The 29-year-old, who recently began training for the 2016 Olympic games in Rio, hold 22 Olympic medals, including 18 golds.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

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