90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Brazil Kicks Off A Troubled World Cup Tournament

As the World Cup kicks off, Brazilians are on the streets in protest. We talk soccer, Brazil, and Brazil’s problems.

Members of the Homeless Workers Movement march in front of Arena Corinthians stadium during a protest demanding better public services and against the money spent on the World Cup preparations in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, June 4, 2014. (AP)

Members of the Homeless Workers Movement march in front of Arena Corinthians stadium during a protest demanding better public services and against the money spent on the World Cup preparations in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, June 4, 2014. (AP)

Soccer fever is about to happen in Brazil.  The World Cup 2014 opens Thursday.  Before it ends a month later in Rio, there will be global delirium.  But hosting the World Cup – which was supposed to be a rising Brazil’s great coming-out party, like China with its Olympics – has turned out to be a lot more complicated than planned.  Protests all over Brazil saying build schools, hospitals, not stadiums.  Strikes and gridlock in Brazilian cities about to greet the world.  World soccer itself tarred with corruption allegations.  This hour On Point:  the World Cup rolls into a roiling Brazil.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Vincent Bevins, Brazil correspondent for the Los Angeles Times. Runs the “From Brazil” blog for Folha de Sao Paulo. (@Vinncent)

George Quraishi, founder and editor of Howler Magazine. (@quraishi)

Taylor Barnes, journalist based in Rio de Janeiro for USA Today Sports and the Christian Science Monitor. (@tkbarnes)

From Tom’s Reading List

The Wall Street Journal: Soccer, Made In America — “Mr. Klinsmann, whose contract runs through the next World Cup in 2018, insists he cannot turn the U.S. men into a soccer superpower single-handedly or quickly. But he isn’t letting up. In February, he ran a full-length, intrasquad scrimmage in high heat and humidity of Brazil. ”

Los Angeles Times: Stadium for World Cup opener gets an incomplete on test run — “Brazil’s government has been locked in disputes with FIFA, soccer’s ruling body, over delays to stadium completions, as cost overruns have soured part of the Brazilian population on the event and provided ammunition for ongoing street protests. Before the game, thousands of the famously working-class Corinthians fans shouted protests outside about the high cost of tickets to the new stadium.”

The Economist: Cheering for Argentina – “In the year since, the protests have become more overtly political, and more extreme—putting off moderates such as Mr Filho who had at first bulked them out. Again, the authorities have been partly responsible. After the initial panic, little changed. Talk of a constituent assembly, for example—an idea floated by President Dilma Rousseff in response to calls for political reform—came to nothing. ”

How To Watch The World Cup Tournament

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Mar 4, 2015
Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during a keynote address at the Watermark Silicon Valley Conference for Women, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015, in Santa Clara, Calif.  (AP)

Hillary Clinton’s week of bad headlines: about her emails and foreign money going to the Clinton Foundation. We’ll dig in.

Mar 4, 2015
This photo taken July 31, 2012 shows a "tiny" house April Anson built in Portland, Ore. For the past couple of months, 33-year-old Anson and her friends have been planning, measuring, sawing and hammering their way toward completion of what might look like a child’s playhouse. (AP)

Tiny houses, micro-apartments. They’re hot. Americans are downsizing.

RECENT
SHOWS
Mar 3, 2015
This July 21, 2014 photo shows strawberry banana chia breakfast smoothie in Concord, N.H. Breakfast habits in America are changing, leading to dramatic shifts in business strategy. (AP)

Food guidelines are changing. So is what we eat for breakfast. Cereal? Out of favor. Eggs? Maybe OK. And all kinds of new menus. We’ll look at Americans and breakfast.

 
Mar 3, 2015
A group of community activists in San Francisco, CA celebrate that city's February 2014 embrace of the Fair Chance Campaign's efforts to alter background checks on employment and housing for convicted criminals. (Courtesy All of Us Or None)

Is it time to stop asking job applicants if they’ve been convicted of a crime? We’ll look at employment and unemployment after prison.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Answers To Your Questions On Black Holes
Tuesday, Mar 3, 2015

Yale University’s Priyamvada Natarajan answers your black hole questions in full. (Well, most of them.)

More »
Comment
 
Want To Listen To Lead Belly? Here’s Where To Start
Monday, Mar 2, 2015

Loved our show on Lead Belly, but unsure on where you should start to listen? Jeff Place of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage offers his best picks for a beginning Lead Belly listener.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: February 27, 2015
Friday, Feb 27, 2015

We won’t lead you into a debate on the color of #TheDress (it’s blue and black, end of debate), but we do wonder about the blurring lines between so-called Internet culture and general popular culture. Also, it’s snowing in Boston. Still.

More »
Comment