Good morning. The final weekend of the Summer Olympics is about to begin. In the medal count, the U.S. has jumped out to a 90-80 lead over China, with 39 golds to China's 37. And Russia has overtaken Great Britain, with 57 to the host nation's 54 medals.
Here's today's news that caught our interest:
American Steven Lopez has lost his preliminary taekwondo match by a score of 3-2, falling to Ramin Azizov of Azerbaijan. Now he's in a similar plight as his sister, Diana, who lost her match yesterday. In taekwondo, if the person who defeated you moves on to the gold medal match, you have a chance to fight for bronze, via the consolation round.
We've reported on the "rogue condoms" that spurred Olympic officials to action after they appeared in the Olympic Village. Now The Wall Street Journal reports that the brand police are even watching bathrooms — where "masking tape covers brand names on hand-dryers and toilet-paper dispensers."
The Spice Girls Are Back: Photos have leaked of the quintet rehearsing for their part of Sunday's closing ceremony. It looks like they'll be driven across the Olympic Stadium floor while standing on platforms built on the top of black London cabs that just smashed through a rhinestone factory.
And speaking of ceremonies, the Oxford University Press blog has an incredibly well-informed and relievedly short study of the opening ceremony, seeking to answer the question "Where are the Isles of Wonder?"
A Dutch law firm whose offices are on a city square that organizers wanted to use for a party honoring its athletes tried to stop the party from happening — until it faced an "outpouring of scorn from around the Netherlands," the AP reports.