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The game of winning the Games

The current obsession with winning the right to host sporting events has resulted in the 2014 Commonwealth Games being awarded to Glasgow. The news was greeted by the media with unalloyed joy. Politicians from all sides hugged one another, athletes proclaimed this as yet another opportunity for aspiring sporting types to win medals, the site of the proposed athletes’ village was declared to be an industrial wasteland and the project was described by one politician (does it matter which?) as ‘irresistible’. The watching media failed to debate the issues or provide any detailed information

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Mega-projects research centre

A new research centre is aiming to develop better ways of keeping large-scale projects on track.

The traditional tools and techniques of project management are no longer sufficient for the complex task of major programme management, according to BT which is setting up the centre with the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford.

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Public support for Olympics plummets

A new poll for The TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) shows for the first time that a clear majority of the public are now opposed to the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Coinciding with the Channel 4 Dispatches programme which raises further questions about the cost estimates of the Games, the YouGov poll asked the public to give their views on the financial risk associated with the 2012 Games, their estimate of the likely final bill, and whether they think the games will be a good investment.

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London Underground refurbishment company Metronet bankrupt

London's £30 billion subway upgrade program, aimed at easing overcrowding and vital to the success of the 2012 Olympics, is at risk after its leading contractor applied for protection from creditors.

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A Who's Who of 2012 organisations

The 2012 Olympics is littered with organisations claiming to be bringing benefits London and the UK. These goodies include the vital achievement of ‘world city’ status for London and a range of other ‘unquantifiable benefits’.

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Chavez Ravine: 1949: A Los Angeles Story

Three years in the making, Chavez Ravine: A Record by Ry Cooder, is his first "solo" offering since 1987's Get Rhythm.

In addition, it is a concept album; but don't be afraid. It documents in mythical style the disappeared Los Angeles neighborhood of Chavez Ravine, a Mexican-American district that was fought over by real etate developers, urban planning activists and city government. It was bulldozed in a sleazy deal was cut and it was razed order to erect a stadium that would lure Walter O'Malley's Brooklyn Dodgers to L.A.

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The factions of the circus

A material difference may be observed in the games of antiquity: the most eminent of the Greeks were actors, the Romans were merely spectators.

The Olympic stadium was open to wealth, merit, and ambition; and if the candidates could depend on their personal skill and activity, they might pursue the footsteps of Diomede and Menelaus, and conduct their own horses in the rapid career.

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The Repositioning of Citizenship

Extract from: The Repositioning of Citizenship:
Emergent Subjects and Spaces for Politics, Saskia Sassen, Berkeley Journal Of Sociology 4, 2002

…..current conditions in global cities are creating not only new structurations of power but also operational and rhetorical openings for new types of political actors which may have been submerged, invisible or without voice. A key element of the argument here is that the localization of strategic components of globalization in these cities means that the disadvantaged can engage the new forms of globalized corporate power, and secondly that the growing numbers and diversity of the disadvantaged in these cities under these conditions assumes a distinctive “presence.”

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