WXXI Public Broadcasting: Emma Jacobs

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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 arbitration at 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.

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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 overhauling 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.

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Former WRVO/Central New York reporter for the Innovation Trail.

Emma Jacobs is a native of Boston. She studied history, so she went for more practical training in public radio at NPR member-stations WNYC and WBUR. She helped shape Wired's Haiti Rewired project, a 2010 Knight Batten Innovations in Journalism Awards notable initiative. 

She's contributed to NPR's National Desk, and to Living on Earth, The Environment Report, Only a Game, Voice of America, and Word of Mouth.  She now reports for WHYY in Philadelphia.

Before immigrants get deported, they are sometimes held temporarily by local law enforcement at the request of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE. But cities across the country, including Philadelphia, are saying they will no longer fully cooperate with that plan.

Offenses including traffic stops and felonies can lead to deportation for immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally — or even those who are legal permanent residents. ICE requests that municipalities hold suspects until they can be transferred into federal custody.

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act said that the federal government must recognize same-sex marriages from states that allow them. Since the decision, couples in states which do not recognize same-sex marriages have filed a flurry of lawsuits.

Conditions are ripe for litigation in those states, like Pennsylvania. In July, a rogue county clerk outside Philadelphia started granting marriage licenses to gays and lesbians, defying the state's ban.

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The leaks this month by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed just how widespread government surveillance of phone and online information actually is. The revelations of the government's PRISM program have been raising the concerns about privacy, but also have boom to companies that promise greater privacy online.

Emma Jacobs of member station WHYY in Philadelphia has this report.

Pinterest is known as a place where people share recipes, crafts or fashion. But a new set of images have started showing up on the social media site: mug shots.

Bonnie Stankunas has come to the post office in Pottstown, Pa., her entire life. She remembers, as a kid, spotting "most wanted" posters hung on a wall.

"It kind of reminded me of the Wild, Wild West," Stankunas says.

None of the people at this post office remembers exactly when the posters went away, but the FBI stopped sending the notices out a couple of years ago.

Many farmers want their farms to be located close to a city - especially organic farmers who'd like to sell their produce at big urban farmers markets. But the price of land within range of a big city is sky high and only getting higher.

Most small farmers buy their land, but some are now looking to lease in suburban or exurban areas. And to do that, they're using something straight out of Fiddler On The Roof: A matchmaker.

Marcus Hook, Pa., had been a refinery town for 109 years. But caught in big changes to the world of energy, the plant shut down last winter. Now the community's young mayor wants to reinvent the community as a hub for the natural gas industry.

Before IBM's Watson and Deep Blue, there was another celebrity robot: Elektro.

The first robot introduced to Americans, Elektro was the 7-foot-tall man who greeted millions of visitors who streamed through the gates of the 1939 World's Fair. He even appeared on film, in The Middleton Family at the New York World's Fair.

The robot was built as a showpiece for the manufacturer Westinghouse, which made clothing irons and ovens in Mansfield, Ohio, at the time.

In a remote corner of northern Canada, Joe Goudie is at work on his very last boat for sale.

The Inuit community in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador once used wood and canvas canoes to navigate the rivers of Labrador.

Goudie, 72, is Inuit, but grew up as that tradition was drawing to a close.

Today, he's the last person building wooden canoes in this corner of Canada.

The year the Quidi Vidi Brewing Co. started brewing beer with iceberg water, a giant iceberg floated up against the cliffs around St. John's, Newfoundland.

"It was a big berg and it jammed right across the harbor here," says Charlie Rees, the brewery's tour guide.

Rees says Newfoundlanders have a curious relationship with icebergs. On the one hand, they're a fact of life. On the other, when that iceberg was in the harbor's mouth, hundreds of people came down to gawk. He took pictures.

A new casino set to open in Atlantic City, N.J., has announced it will set term limits for its front-line staff. When employees' terms run out, they'll have to go through the hiring process again. The casino says the policy will keep its service fresh. Others say the company is taking advantage of a tough job market.

From bellhops to dealers, employees of the new casino — called Revel — will be hired for terms from four to six years. After that, they have to reapply for their jobs and compete against other candidates.

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