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The Beijing 2022 Olympics: Political Tension, Privacy Concerns, Positive Tests And More

Published February 2, 2022 at 9:23 AM PST
Andrea Verdelli/Getty Images
Getty Images AsiaPac
A security guard stands behind a barricade in an area not accessible to the general public, that will host Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics at Olympic Park on January 23, 2022 in Beijing, China.

The Beijing 2022 Olympics: Political Tension, Privacy Concerns, Positive Tests And More

Winter Olympics Beijing 2.2.22

The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics get underway this week under complicated circumstances including allegations of human rights violations, concerns over privacy and security, plus an ongoing pandemic with significant testing protocols. Concerns over human rights prompted the United States and some other governments to announce a diplomatic boycott of the games. Today on AirTalk, Larry talks with David Wharton, feature sportswriter for the Los Angeles Times who’s in Beijing covering the games and Susan Brownell, an expert on Chinese sports and the Olympic Games, about the rising tension, how it impacts the athletes and what it means for the overall success of the Games.

A Recent Study On Tennessee Universal Pre-K Showed Flaws To Its System. What Can California Learn From It?

Pre K Study 2.2.22

A recent study on Tennessee’s universal pre-kindergarten program found the state-funded program led to ‘significantly negative’ effects for the children involved in the study. Researchers followed nearly 3,000 low-income children over several years. The parents of all the children applied to the state’s universal Pre-K lottery. One group got in, the other didn’t. Some of the children who weren’t randomly selected went on to attend Head Start, daycare, or had home-based care. Researchers then followed those children through sixth grade and found the children randomly selected to enroll in the state’s pre-K program were more likely to be referred to special education services than those students who had not been selected. The study raises questions about what these findings could mean for the rest of the nation, including California, which is moving to expand universal Transitional Kindergarten – or T-K – by 2025. What lessons can California learn from the Tennessee study? Today on AirTalk, Larry discusses the outcomes with research professor at Vanderbilt University & co-author of the study Dale Farren, we also discuss its applicability and significance in California with KPCC/LAist early childhood reporter Mariana Dale and UC Berkeley professor of education and public policy Bruce Fuller.

January Snowpack Dwindles To Below Average From December High -- What This Means For California’s 2022 Water Supply

Snowpack Update 2.2.22

The water contained in California's mountain snow is now lower than the historical average after a January without significant rain or snow - a dramatic reversal from December that demonstrates the state's challenges in managing its water supply.

Snow totals updated Tuesday by the state Department of Water Resources show the amount of water in the Sierra Nevada mountain's snowpack is at 92% of what's normal for this date. In December, heavy rain and snow left the state with 160% of its average snow water content. The extremely wet December followed by a dry January was strikingly similar to previous months, which included a very wet October followed by a dry November. California needs a wet winter to ease the drought because much of the state's precipitation typically falls between December and March. Most of California is now in what's considered severe drought according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, with only a small part of the state classified as being in the more serious extreme drought. That's a significant improvement over the situation a year ago.

Today on AirTalk, Larry talks with Sean de Guzman, manager of the snow surveys and water supply forecasting unit for the California Department of Water Resources about what the latest survey results portend for California’s water supply for the remainder of the year.

With files from the Associated Press

COVID-19 AMA: Pfizer Seeks Vaccine Approval For Kids Under 5, U.S. Has Higher Death Rate Than Other Wealthy Countries, And More

COVID Update 2.2.22

In our continuing series looking at the latest medical research and news on COVID-19, Larry Mantle speaks with Kristen R. Choi, professor of nursing and public health at UCLA.

Topics today include:

  • Pfizer asks the F.D.A. to allow COVID-19 vaccine for kids under 5
  • U.S. has far higher COVID death rate than other wealthy countries 
  • A study finds that vaccines provide robust protection against Omicron
  • Fast-spreading Omicron variant is more likely to cause reinfection 
  • Denmark halts virus restrictions. The rest of Europe is a patchwork 
  • Disneyland requires vaccines for workers but not for visitors 
  • Omicron hit poor L.A. communities of color hardest 
  • Johns Hopkins analysis finds lockdowns only reduced COVID-19 death rate by .2% 

New Book Helps Us Understand The “Grieving Brain”

The Grieving Brain Book 2.2.22

Grief is a complicated topic, and the way we process it varies: it can feel painful, isolating, anxiety-inducing, or confusing. How do we process these intense emotions? And why do some people experience more intense, prolonged grief than others? That’s what psychologist and grief expert Mary-Frances O’Connor set out to answer in her new book, “The Grieving Brain: The Surprising Science of How We Learn from Loss and Love.” Today on AirTalk, Larry speaks with University of Arizona associate professor Mary-Frances O’Connor about her new book, the concept of complicated grief, and how we can better understand life, loss, and love.

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