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 Monday on how he would go about reforming the Dept. 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.


Reports: Aid To Greece Won't Be Paid Without Reassurances

Nov 2, 2011
Originally published on November 2, 2011 7:40 pm

Update at 6:56 p.m. ET. French President Nicolas Sarkozy says that the next round of rescue loans will not be paid, until after Greeks vote on whether to accept the terms of the bailout package.

This is significant, because Greece has said it will run out of money some time this month and the referendum is so far slated for early December.

Greece's Prime Minister George Papandreou threw the European Union into crisis mode when he announced, yesterday, that he would call for a referendum on the bailout. Earlier today, he was summoned for talks with other EU members.

Our Original Post Continues:

There's word from Cannes, France, that European Union and International Monetary Fund officials are saying that beleaguered Greece won't be getting its next installment of financial aid — $11 billion — unless Prime Minister George Papandreou somehow convinces other leaders that his country is indeed going to live up to its side of a tough austerity agreement.

If the aid isn't forthcoming, that could lead to the collapse of the Greek government, a Greek withdrawal from the Euro and the spread of "financial contagion" to other weak economies on the continent, The Guardian says.

The Dow Jones newswire writes that when Papandreou "meets European officials Wednesday evening, he will be told in no uncertain terms that unless Greece provides clarity about its acceptance of the latest European bailout package, no money will be disbursed, according to a European Union official.

Reuters cites EU and IMF sources as saying the "sixth tranche of EU/IMF loans to Greece [are] unlikely to be paid until after Greek referendum is held."

Tuesday, Papandreou shocked other European leaders and sent financial markets reeling when he announced that the latest bailout package — and its austerity measures — would be put before Greek voters in a referendum. The announcement came as leaders of the so-called G-20 nations (including the U.S.) were preparing for a summit in Cannes that's scheduled to start Thursday. The agreement is not popular with Greeks.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel asked Papandreou to meet with them tonight to explain his decision. Their fear: The delay and uncertainty caused by a referendum could further endanger the Eurozone's economy.

Update at 7:37 p.m. ET: There's enough new news that we've started a separate post.

Update at 6:38 p.m. ET. Talks Continue:

The AP has moved two alerts that could be significant: First it reported that the Luxembourg prime minister said the Greek referendum on the bailout plan would be held Dec. 4.

And just moments ago, the AP reported, "French President Sarkozy says Greek rescue loans cannot be paid until after referendum."

If those two things hold true, it could put Greece in a tough spot and lead to the dire predictions we mentioned earlier in this post. Dow Jones reported that officials predict Greece could run out of money "anytime in the next month."

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