Sports Commentary: Why Wimbledon Still Thrills

31 minutes ago
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

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

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

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.


Nicaraguan Presidential Election Fraught With History

Nov 6, 2011


AUDIE CORNISH, host: Nicaraguans go to the polls today and are expected to reelect President Daniel Ortega, who is running in spite of a constitutional ban on presidents serving consecutive terms. Ortega, a Marxist icon of the 1980s, has become a polarizing figure in the Central American nation. NPR's Jason Beaubien reports from the Nicaraguan capital, Managua.


JASON BEAUBIEN: Martha Alicia Alvado loves Daniel Ortega. After all, it's because of him that she has her own house.

MARTHA ALICIA ALVADO: (Spanish spoken)

BEAUBIEN: She says she's very thankful to the comandante because before she was renting a house without a future. Alvado has spent her entire career as a janitor at a public school. When her daughter's were young, her husband went to Costa Rica to look for work and never came back. As a single mother, Alvado says she struggled to raise her children and pay her rent, then three years ago Ortega's administration was offering houses to teachers, and the teachers at her school got her name on the list.

ALVADO: (Spanish spoken)

BEAUBIEN: But thanks to God they included me, she says. Now she lives with her two adult daughters in the simple cinderblock house. Instead of paying rent, she pays a mortgage of $80 a month but there was no down payment and the first year was free. Alvado says this is what Daniel Ortega has been doing for the country.

ALVADO: (Spanish spoken)

BEAUBIEN: He's always thinking about the poor, she says. He's always thinking about what's best for Nicaragua. But his critics say by doling out social programs to his Sandinista supporters, Ortega is shoring up support among his political base and consolidating power for himself.

CARLOS CHAMORRO: This election is important because of the candidacy of Daniel Ortega for reelection.

BEAUBIEN: Carlos Chamorro is a prominent journalist in Managua.

CHAMORRO: It is an illegal and unconstitutional candidate.

BEAUBIEN: Chamorro is the son of Violeta Chamorro, who in 1990 defeated then incumbent president Daniel Ortega for the presidency. Carlos Chamorro says the Nicaraguan constitution clearly bans Ortega from running in this election. Ortega won a controversial ruling from six members of the Supreme Court authorizing his candidacy. Chamorro says Ortega can't envision Nicaragua without him as president, nor does Ortega accept the idea of a legitimate loyal opposition.

CHAMORRO: I can tell you something, if he continues in this trend of concentrating power, of not accepting any kind of accountability, or any kind of balance of power, Ortega is going to end badly - very, very badly.

BEAUBIEN: In the 1970s, Ortega was one of the leaders of the Marxist Sandinista Guerillas fighting to overthrow the U.S.-backed Somoza dictatorship. But Chamorro says Ortega is now on track to become a dictator just like Somoza. Chamorro says Ortega is expanding his private business interests at the same time that he's consolidating control over all aspects of the government. But Ortega supporters say El Comandante actually is getting things done in Nicaragua. They point out that the electricity remains on in the capital, something that was a rarity five years ago.

Ortega, who still describes himself as a socialist, has been praised by the World Bank for his free market macroeconomic policies. Edwin Castro is the coordinator of the Sandinista bloc of the deputies in the Nicaraguan National Assembly. He says Ortega is focused on reducing poverty.

EDWIN CASTRO: (Spanish spoken)

BEAUBIEN: I think the people understand this, Castro says, and for this, there's a lot of sympathy for the government of Daniel Ortega. He says public support for Ortega has grown steadily over the last five years of his presidency. Castro and other backers of the Sandinista leader say they aren't concerned that Ortega is violating the constitution to run for reelection.

CASTRO: (Spanish spoken)

BEAUBIEN: Using a sports analogy, Castro says, when you're team is winning, why should you change the captain? But this disregard for the law by Ortega and the Sandinistas isn't lost on ordinary Nicaraguans. Luz Cecilia is a fish seller in Managua. She won't give her last name, but she said the Sandinistas rigged the vote for mayor of the capital in 2008, and they're going to rig this election.

LUZ CECELIA: (Spanish spoken)

BEAUBIEN: It's not worth it to vote because they're going to rob the election she says, and she adds that's why she's not going to give me her last name. Preliminary election results are expected tomorrow. Jason Beaubien, NPR News, Managua.


CORNISH: You're listening to NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.