Sports Commentary: Why Wimbledon Still Thrills

33 minutes ago
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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.

Pages

Boxer Joe Frazier, Who Beat Ali In The 'Fight Of The Century,' Has Died

Nov 8, 2011
Originally published on November 8, 2011 8:02 am

A "sledgehammer left hook" that put Muhammad Ali on the canvas in 1971 pretty much tells the story of Joe Frazier's career, NPR's Tom Goldman says.

"It was as crushing and symbolic" as any of Frazier's punches over his long career, Tom said on Morning Edition. "It put his bitter rival, Muhammad Ali, on his 'float like a butterfly, sting like a bee' keister at Madison Square Garden in what came to be known as the "Fight of the Century."

The punch, which clinched then-heavyweight champion Frazier's victory over Ali in that fight, "started around Joe Frazier's left hip," Tom said. But, he added, "its origins stretch back a couple of decades to segregated South Carolina, where a young boy from a sharecropping family — Frazier was about 8 — fashioned a punching bag out of a burlap sack stuffed with rags and corn cobs and Spanish moss. By Frazier's own estimation, he slugged that thing for the next six or seven years damn near every day."

Frazier, 67, died Monday night. As we reported yesterday, the former heavyweight champ had been in hospice care. Frazier had liver cancer.

Sports Illustrated's Richard Hoffer writes this morning of the "heroic trilogy" — the three fights Ali and Frazier fought from 1971 to 1975. Hoffer says the first battle (that "Fight of the Century") and the third (the "Thrilla in Manila") were:

"Such violent affairs, such protracted examples of desperation, that any seasons lived beyond them have to be considered a kind of boxing gravy. They were not heavyweight title fights so much as near-death experiences, a brutally choreographed and lightly regulated self-destruction, their pride and ambition so inflamed that survival was no longer part of either fighter's plan."

Ali and Frazier were bitter rivals in those days. Today, The Associated Press reports, Ali issued a statement saying that "the world has lot a great champion. My sympathy goes out to his family and loved ones." Ali is 69.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.