Sports Commentary: Why Wimbledon Still Thrills

31 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

Oil Industry Revs Up Tax Break Lobby

Nov 6, 2011
Originally published on November 6, 2011 6:58 pm

If your U.S. senator or representative is on the super committee, expect your local airwaves to be peppered with oil industry ads in coming weeks. The basic message: Higher taxes on oil companies don't make financial sense.

The super committee in Congress is racing to find places to cut more than a trillion dollars out of the nation's deficit by Thanksgiving. The oil industry fears that ending its tax breaks may be one way the super committee will decide to raise revenue. That's spurred Big Oil's lobbying machine to work overtime.

"We are a very successful industry and one of the few industries that is creating jobs in this economy," says Marty Durbin, executive vice president with the American Petroleum Institute. Durbin is the institute's chief lobbyist and he argues the tax breaks in question are the same benefits other businesses enjoy.

"They're simple deductions and cost recovery mechanisms. Sometimes they do have different names, because do they apply to our industry — they're in our part of the tax code as opposed to others — but these are not special deals in any way," he says.

No question though, they are worth billions each year to an industry currently earning tens of billions in profits.

Over at the Sierra Club, lobbyist Melinda Pierce is worried the super committee will trim budgets for agencies charged with protecting the environment.

"If you're looking for money to cut, don't do it from the programs that are chump change — let's go after some of these mature industries and make them pay their fair share," she says.

Pierce suspects the super committee may cut some incentives for renewable energy projects. She says that would be a little easier to accept if Big Oil's tax breaks go away, too.

"Maybe that will help level the playing field and move us away from oil and towards a clean energy future," says.

Of course, that assumes the Republicans and Democrats on the super committee are able to reach agreement before Thanksgiving. So far, that's an open question.

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, host: Meanwhile, the oil industry is launching an advertising campaign to keep billions of dollars in tax breaks. You might recall that the so-called supercommittee in Congress is racing to find places to cut more than a trillion dollars out of the nation's deficit by Thanksgiving. The oil industry fears that ending its tax breaks may be one way the supercommittee will decide to raise revenue. Jeff Brady reports, this has got big oil's lobbying machine working overtime.

JEFF BRADY: If your U.S. Senator or representative is on the supercommittee, expect your local airwaves to be peppered with oil industry ads in coming weeks. The basic message, higher taxes on oil companies don't make financial sense.

MARTY DURBIN: We are a very successful industry and one of the few industries that is creating jobs in this economy.

BRADY: Marty Durbin is the American Petroleum Institute's chief lobbyist, and he argues the tax breaks in question are the same benefits other businesses enjoy.

DURBIN: They're simple deductions and cost recovery mechanisms. Sometimes they have different names because do they apply to our industry - they're in our part of the tax code as opposed to others - but these are not, you know, special deals in any way.

BRADY: No question though, they are worth billions each year to an industry currently earning tens of billions in profits. Over at the Sierra Club, lobbyist Melinda Pierce is worried the supercommittee will trim budgets for agencies charged with protecting the environment.

MELINDA PIERCE: If you're looking for money to cut, don't do it from the programs that are chump change - let's go after some of these mature industries and make them pay their fair share.

BRADY: Pierce suspects the supercommittee may cut some incentives for renewable energy projects. She says that would be a little easier to accept if big oil's tax breaks go away, too.

PIERCE: Maybe that will help level the playing field and move us away from oil and towards a clean energy future.

BRADY: Of course, that assumes the Republicans and Democrats on the supercommittee are able to reach agreement before Thanksgiving. So far, that's an open question. Jeff Brady, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.