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 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.

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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.

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Why HPV Vaccination Of Boys May Be Easier

Nov 7, 2011

When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended a half-dozen years ago that preteen girls be vaccinated against human papillomavirus, two things happened.

A lot of parents and some conservative groups were jarred by the idea of immunizing young girls against a sexually transmitted virus. And uptake of the vaccine has been poor — only about a third of 13- to 17-year-old girls have gotten the full three-shot series.

Now, in the wake of a CDC expert panel's recommendation to extend vaccination to 11- and 12-year-old boys, there's reason to think things might be different this time.

"There's been a surprisingly muted reaction," says Dr. Don Dizon, a Brown University oncologist. "We tend to believe that girls are chaste and are going to 'save themselves for marriage.' But, you know, sexual activity is something that's almost expected of boys."

Seventeen-year-old Connor Perruccello-McClellan agrees. The idea that teenage girls might have sex is "just a touchy issue, a taboo, I guess," he says. "It's just not as accepted for girls."

Perruccello-McClellan, a senior at Providence Country Day School in Rhode Island, is among the 1 percent of U.S. males who have already been vaccinated against HPV. That's because Rhode Island has one of the nation's most aggressive campaigns to vaccinate schoolchildren against nine different infections, including HPV.

Still, like most people, he thought HPV vaccine protects only against cervical cancer — a notion that may have abetted the double standard associated with it.

Cervical cancer is why the vaccine originally got approved. But that's not the whole story. HPV causes a half-dozen different kinds of cancer, and some are gender-neutral.

Some of these malignancies are sex-specific: cancers of the cervix, vagina and vulva in females; penile cancer in boys; both get HPV-associated genital warts.

But both sexes get anal cancer linked to HPV — sometimes without ever having had anal sex. That's because the virus can migrate from the genitalia. And even though anal cancer is thought to be mainly a risk among men who have sex with men, more women get it than men.

But Dizon worries most about cancers of the head and neck — devastating, often disfiguring and hard-to-treat malignancies that used to be strongly linked to smoking and alcohol abuse.

"There's an epidemic of head and neck cancers, and we are seeing this increase in ... nonsmokers," he says. "And it's being tied to HPV."

Around 50,000 Americans will get head and neck cancers this year, versus 12,000 cervical cancers and 1,400 penile cancers.

The fact that HPV is linked to a variety of cancers has important implications for vaccination strategy. For one thing, it's clear that HPV is not just transmitted through sexual intercourse.

"Diseases like HPV or herpes are skin-to-skin transmitted," says Dr. Michelle Forcier, a specialist in adolescent medicine at Hasbro Children's Hospital in Providence. "So while condoms are very effective in preventing transmission, it's not 100 percent."

There's a whole range of sexual behaviors that can transmit HPV, many of them the kinds of things teenagers experiment with. That makes it tricky to wait until kids are just about to have sex before vaccinating them. To be protected, they need three shots of HPV vaccine over a six-month period.

"But teens don't plan when they have sex," Forcier says. "They don't go to their mom and dad and say, 'Oh, I'm 16 now and I think I'm going to have sex in the next six months, so I'd better get vaccinated.' "

That's why the experts are saying to parents of both sons and daughters that it's better to get ahead of the game.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.