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Manic Monday Markup 7/27/15…

The State of Things:

We begin today in Boston, which will not host the 2024 Olympic Games after the local bid and the United State Olympic Committee pulled the plug on the effort to have Boston host the first US games since 2002. The move was anticipated. While Mayor Marty Walsh’s rejection of a contract to hold the city responsible for overruns only happened today, the low public support was cited as the reason. The USOC will solicit alternative cities, most likely Los Angeles. Being the host of two previous Olympiads, some of the infrastructure from which is still extant, it is well-positioned to promptly fashion a bid. Although The Los Angeles Times indicated San Francisco and Washington might also revive their bids.

…And the World:

President Barack Obama is in Africa on a trip, which included stops in Kenya and Ethiopia. In the former, the land of his father, he urged Kenyans to progress on a number of issues. While in Ethiopia, he called the country’s government“democratically elected” even though its election this year was widely criticized. Consequently, human rights activists in Ethiopia expect little of Obama’s visit, despite his admonition against the government’s heavy-handed tactics.

Haaretz, often likened to the Israeli Times, has a number of pieces about the future of the Left in the tiny Middle Eastern country. Columnist Gideon Levy documents the sudden shift of the left (and even center) factions to the right including Zionist Union head Isaac Herzog and Yesh Atid’s Yair Lapid. The former and many in his party have seemingly struck a more militant chord, while Lapid seems to be backing off his secularist approach. Meanwhile the far-left Zionist party Meretz is contemplating a merger, which, Haaretz says in an editorial could cost the Knesset its most critical voice in favor of equality and justice in Israel.

Greece’s former Finance Minister said his country had plans to exit the Eurozone if necessary.

British Prime Minister David Cameron says there will not be another referendum on Scottish independence during the current Parliament, which, barring unforeseen circumstances, will run through 2020.

The Feds:

When the sideshow becomes the main event. Another poll shows the rest of the GOP Presidential field has been Trumped again.

With the need for new tunnels under the Hudson River connecting New York City and New Jersey by train ever more pressing, US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx is calling for meetings with Governors Chris Christie and Andrew Cuomo. Amtrak, to its credit, is spending millions on the bet the tunnels will get built. Hurricane Sandy flooded and damaged the current tunnels, which Amtrak owns and are only one part of the railroad’s deteriorating Northeast Corridor. They need repairs, but closing even only one of the tunnels would dramatically cut the number of trains going into Penn Station.

The only threat to Philadelphia mayoral candidate Jim Kenney looks likely to seek a seat on the City Council instead.

Hartford Mayoral candidate looks primed to upend incumbent Pedro Segarra at tonight’s nominating convention in the Insurance City.

The State of Things (cont’d):

Springfield native Sgt. Thomas Sullivan, murdered during the attack on a Chattanooga recruiting station, was laid to rest today in the veteran’s cemetery in Agawam.

WMassP&I Editor-in-Chief Matt Szafranski joins Natalia Munoz and New England Public Radio’s The Short List to discuss the Hampden Sheriff’s alcohol rehabilitation center, safety at recruiting centers and pay equity.

The Boston Globe writes about the GOP’s growth in Worcester County, which US Rep. Richard Neal calls one of the most underreported political stories in the state.

Votes this week may reverse some of Gov. Charlie Baker’s cuts to the state budget.

Westfield Mayor Dan Knapik does not want to leave City Hall. He just does not want to be mayor anymore. He is seeking a seat on the Council.

The Fourth Estatements:

Following The New York Times’s botched story on a request for an investigation into the handling of Hillary Clinton’s email, the public editor, Margaret Sullivan, issues a scathing review of what went wrong. Essentially, the Times trusted its sources’ incorrect information and then was slow to make corrections in a transparent manner. Sullivan rapped The Times for putting a premium on speed (and anonymous sources) over accuracy. Executive Editor Dean Baquet told Sullivan the errors might have been unavoidable, but Washington Post media columnist Erik Wemple questions that notion.

Following the announcement of its sale of The Financial Times, Pearson looks to unload its 50% stake in centrist newsmagazine The Economist.

It’s Working:

Verizon landline employees have authorized a strike amid heated contract negotiations (union leadership actually calls a strike depending on the state of negotiations). Though Verizon has said it has offered pay hikes to employees, the raises were part of a menu of givebacks the company wants including reduced job security, higher health insurance payments and pension cuts.

City Slickers:

Signatures necessary to run for municipal office must be returned to the Election Commission office by tomorrow. Our report from last week about the state of the busier than expected city races this year.

Rep. Carlos Gonzalez lends his support to North End residents who argue the neighborhood already has too many treatment programs in its midst to accommodate a permanent relocation of the Western Mass Alcohol Rehabilitation Center. It was previously in the South End and is currently located in Holyoke temporarily.

Twitter Chatter:

As The Times’s Public Editor Margaret Sullivan noted, however fair news about Hillary Clinton’s email account is, the impact of the story is huge given Clinton’s place in the presidential contest as a leading candidate. But getting past the impact on Clinton is the affect this has on The Times. It greatly harms the institution’s credibility and its refusal to identify the sources that led it astray (or at least narrow them down), affects the ability to accurate judge the accuracy of future reports about Clinton or anybody else. Today we award the tweet prize to New York University journalism professor Jay Rosen, whose tweets tweaking the response from Times editors. Many are good and worth a read, but the rip on the Times’s facile “our sources are wrong” is notable because it echoes what the Times sought to avoid after Judith Miller and Iraq.