"O Canada," the national anthem of our neighbors up north, comes in two official versions — English and French. They share a melody, but differ in meaning.

Let the record show: neither of those lyrics contains the phrase "all lives matter."

But at the 2016 All-Star Game, the song got an unexpected edit.

At Petco Park in San Diego, one member of the Canadian singing group The Tenors — by himself, according to the other members of the group — revised the anthem.

School's out, and a lot of parents are getting through the long summer days with extra helpings of digital devices.

How should we feel about that?

Police in Baton Rouge say they have arrested three people who stole guns with the goal of killing police officers. They are still looking for a fourth suspect in the alleged plot, NPR's Greg Allen reports.

"Police say the thefts were at a Baton Rouge pawn shop early Saturday morning," Greg says. "One person was arrested at the scene. Since then, two others have been arrested and six of the eight stolen handguns have been recovered. Police are still looking for one other man."

A 13-year-old boy is among those arrested, Greg says.

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

After an international tribunal invalidated Beijing's claims to the South China Sea, Chinese authorities have declared in no uncertain terms that they will be ignoring the ruling.

The Philippines brought the case to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, objecting to China's claims to maritime rights in the disputed waters. The tribunal agreed that China had no legal authority to claim the waters, and was infringing on the sovereign rights of the Philippines.

Donald Trump is firing back at Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg after she made disparaging comments about him in several media interviews. He tweeted late Tuesday that she "has embarrassed all" with her "very dumb" comments about the candidate. Trump ended his tweet with "Her mind is shot - resign!":

Donald Trump wrapped up his public tryout of potential vice presidential candidates in Indiana Tuesday night with Gov. Mike Pence giving the final audition.

The Indiana governor's stock as Trump's possible running mate is believed to be on the rise, with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich also atop the list. Sources tell NPR the presumptive GOP presidential nominee is close to making a decision, which he's widely expected to announce by Friday.

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/.

Pages

Why Chen's Blindness Is 'The Central Fact' Of The Chinese Activist's Life

May 9, 2012
Originally published on May 9, 2012 11:38 am

For two weeks now, the world has been following the story of Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng. And in nearly all reports, the phrase "blind activist" is used at least once. Friday, Alan Greenblatt wrote for us about why some say Chen's blindness is just one factor in "a much larger life." Today, NPR's Louisa Lim, who is based in Beijing, tells us why Chen's blindness is "the central fact" of his existence:

From the outside, Chen Guangcheng's blindness may seem simply one factor in a much larger life, but within China, his blindness elevates him to become an inspirational figure, rather than a "sympathetic victim."

Statistics tell the story: there are 16 million blind and visually impaired people in China, according to the official Xinhua news agency. This disclosure comes in an article explaining there are just 28 trained guide-dogs in the whole country.

As for high schools for the blind,China has only 19 such schools, whose entire intake last year was just 1,009 students. (Like some other links in this post, you'll need to use Google translate or a similar application to translate that page into English.)

So only a tiny minority of visually-impaired Chinese ever receive an education. Chen was one of them, receiving four years of education at Qingdao High School for the Blind. But that did not change his future, and he — like many other blind Chinese — ended up training to become an acupuncturist and masseur. This is the default occupation for blind Chinese, with 14,067 blind masseurs receiving training last year.

"I never wanted to be a masseur," a 35-year old visually impaired masseur, Mr. Guo, tells us. "I wanted to study hard and get high marks at school. But then my sight began to fail, and my father suggested this as a job." Of his blind friends and acquaintances, he says the vast majority are masseurs, with many on duty for 15 hours a day. "I have to tell you, it's a very very hard life, being a blind masseur in China," Guo says. "The work hours are very long. There are no holidays, and on public holidays, we are extremely busy."

So it is really the central fact of Chen Guangcheng's existence — and testament to his strength of character — that he managed to study law, despite being blind and while working as a masseur. Supporting others with disabilities was clearly important to him, since his first successful legal challenge was against the local government's taxation of disabled people in contravention of the law. Then he angered local authorities, by helping villagers sue family planning officials in Linyi,Shandong, for forcing women to have abortions and sterilizations.

In 2006, he was given a four-year jail sentence for allegedly damaging public property and organizing an illegal assembly which stopped traffic. On his release from jail, he was put under house arrest, despite the absence of any outstanding charges, and for the next 19 months he was kept a prisoner in his own home, sometimes brutally beaten.

For Chen's devoted core of supporters, his tireless work for others, despite his own disability, is inspirational. And the persecution by the local authorities has served to multiply outrage and rally support. This much is clear when talking to He Peirong, also known as Pearl Her, who was instrumental in Chen's escape from house arrest, taking enormous risks to drive him to Beijing, even though she had never even met him before.

When asked why, she talks about her first attempt to visit him in January 2011, when her car was smashed by his guards, "It was extremely terrifying," she says. "I felt it was so terrible for such a blind person, to be living in such a village. The risk I was taking was just temporary. After I came back to Nanjing, I felt safe. But for a blind person to be living in such an environment, I thought he needed more help."

China's official press has also emphasized Chen's blindness, in an attempt to undermine him. One opinion piece in a state-run newspaper refers to him repeatedly as "the blind masseur" and "the blind peasant masseur," without a single reference to his legal activism.

Another piece, in the Global Times, also singles out his physical condition, in arguing that he has been used as a political tool of the U.S.: "As a disabled man, Chen hasn't received a higher education. He has a very unusual way to deal with his conflicts in rural society. You can say this is paranoid or impulsive."

The piece is illustrated by a cartoon of a blind man with a white stick walking into a black hole. Such offensive commentary from state-run newspapers is just one small indication of the widespread discrimination against those with disabilities in China today.

Yet, for many internet users, Chen's blindness gave his escape from the all-seeing eyes of the state an almost allegorical significance. After it became public, artist Ai Weiwei tweeted a remark made by a friend about Chen Guangcheng: "You know he's blind, so the night to him is nothing. I think that's the perfect metaphor."

And another netizen obliquely dodged censorship by posting a line from a contemporary poet Gu Cheng:

"The dark night gave me black eyes, but I used them to find the light."

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