Sports Commentary: Why Wimbledon Still Thrills

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The unassuming hero of Jonas Karlsson's clever, Kafkaesque parable is the opposite of a malcontent. Despite scant education, a limited social life, and no prospects for success as it is usually defined, he's that rarity, a most happy fella with an amazing ability to content himself with very little. But one day, returning to his barebones flat from his dead-end, part-time job at a video store, he finds an astronomical bill from an entity called W.R.D. He assumes it's a scam. Actually, it is more sinister-- and it forces him to take a good hard look at his life and values.

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Donald Trump picked a military town, Virginia Beach, Va., to give a speech Tuesday on how he would go about reforming the Department of Veterans Affairs if elected.

He blamed the Obama administration for a string of scandals at the VA during the past two years, and claimed that his rival, Hillary Clinton, has downplayed the problems and won't fix them.

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The season for blueberries used to be short. You'd find fresh berries in the store just during a couple of months in the middle of summer.

Now, though, it's always blueberry season somewhere. Blueberry production is booming. The berries are grown in Florida, North Carolina, New Jersey, Michigan and the Pacific Northwest — not to mention the southern hemisphere.

But in any one location, the season is still short. And this means that workers follow the blueberry harvest, never staying in one place for long.

More than 4 in 10 working Americans say their job affects their overall health, with stress being cited most often as having a negative impact.

That's according to a new survey about the workplace and health from NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

While it may not sound so surprising that work affects health, when we looked more closely, we found one group was particularly affected by stress on the job: the disabled.

If you've stepped foot in a comic book store in the past few years, you'll have noticed a distinct shift. Superheroes, once almost entirely white men, have become more diverse.

There's been a biracial Spider-Man, a Muslim Ms. Marvel, and just last week, Marvel announced that the new Iron Man will be a teenage African-American girl.

Joining this lineup today is Kong Kenan, a Chinese boy who, as part of a reboot of the DC comics universe, is one of four characters taking up Superman's mantle.

On Tuesday, an international tribunal soundly rejected Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea, an area where China has been building islands and increasing its military activity.

The case before the international tribunal in the Hague was brought by the Philippines, challenging what's widely seen as a territorial grab by Beijing. The tribunal essentially agreed. Beijing immediately said the decision was null and void and that it would ignore it. There are concerns now that the tribunal's decision could inflame tensions between the U.S. and China.

The deaths last week of three African-American men in encounters with police, along with the killing of five Dallas officers by a black shooter, have left many African-American gun owners with conflicting feelings; those range from shock to anger and defiance. As the debate over gun control heats up, some African-Americans see firearms as critical to their safety, especially in times of racial tension.

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Baby Boomers Remain Skeptical Of The Establishment

Nov 4, 2011

The baby boomers were born in the two decades after World War II and known for their anti-establishment liberalism in the 1960s. But their beginnings have not made them a predictable Democratic voting block. In 2008, boomers narrowly backed Barack Obama, but they swung over to Republicans in 2010.

It should come as no surprise that the baby boom generation is a bit hard to pin down in its politics. After all, it represents 37 percent of the voting age population, bigger than any other age group. And the boomer birth years of 1946 through 1964 cover a lot of time — historic milestones included a moon landing, Vietnam, Watergate and the arms race.

In Portland, Maine, which happens to be the U.S. city with the highest concentration of baby boomers, former construction worker Peter Duffy, now 57, recalled that his first presidential election was 1972, when he voted for South Dakota Democratic Sen. George McGovern against Republican candidate Richard Nixon.

Though Duffy says he is still a Democrat, he says he thinks government "should be run by businessmen and not politicians."

Duffy says he has voted for Democrats and Republicans over the years. He backed President Obama in 2008 but this time he is considering the Republicans — especially Mitt Romney.

"I'm still looking into everything, and Romney is a businessman, good businessman," Duffy says. "He's made a lot of money for Massachusetts, but you know, I'm still looking."

Carroll Doherty of the Pew Research Center says many baby boomers voted for McGovern in 1972. Baby boomers were McGovern's strongest voting block in a landslide loss that year.

"They've moved quite a distance since then," Doherty says. "And just over the past decade an increasing percentage of boomers say that they identify themselves as conservatives and they're taking more conservative views on the role of government."

But ask a baby boomer who the best president of his lifetime has been and the top two answers are Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton.

Baby boomers' biggest worry is the economy. Savings and investments have taken a hit, along with the value of their homes. Two-thirds say they expect to delay retirement for financial reasons.

And they feel the squeeze between the cost of kids in college and the needs of aging parents.

"The whole college education cost is a whole other topic," says Anne Romano, a 60-year-old in Portland. "I mean, along with health care, that's a really hot topic for me."

Romano also cares for her elderly mother as well.

"I will watch what she does," Romano says. "She doesn't have a lot of money; she has to be very careful and if she needs money I would chip in."

Romano says she voted for President Obama and thinks he deserves a second term, even though she is frustrated by the state of the economy.

The Pew study shows that older boomers, like Romano, tend to vote more Democratic and younger boomers more Republican. As a group, more than half of all baby boomers today say government should be smaller, and there's a clear trend in that direction. But Doherty adds that it's still not clear.

"They favor the Republicans on some key issues," Doherty says. "You know, notably things like the deficit, but they favor the Democrats on Social Security so they're kind of conflicted at this point at a year ahead of the election."

As a result, the baby boomers remain very much a swing segment of the electorate. But there has been one constant for the members of this iconic generation, going back to the time of Watergate and Vietnam. They expressed a deep lack of trust in government back then — and that lack of trust persists today.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.