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 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.

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 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.

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.

Pages

With Alternative Giving, A Nudge Out Of Poverty For The Poor

Dec 16, 2011

Jim Eckhardt says there was a time he'd fill his holiday shopping cart with toys for his 6 grandchildren. But 7 years ago, he had an epiphany: The kids had too much stuff.

"You look at all the things we throw away and that money could be put to better use," Eckhardt says.

After checking out alternatives, Eckhardt settled on the idea of farm animals. He decided he'd give one animal on behalf of each grandchild through the organization Heifer International.

Lydia Lapporte, of Lafayette, Calif., was about 7 when she received a goat from her grandfather. At the time, she didn't really understand who it was for. But then her mom, Juleen Lapporte, explained to her that this gift was a contribution given in her name. She was never going to see this animal.

Heifer said it would give the goat to a poor family in Vietnam or Africa in Eckhardt's name. The family could drink the goat's milk, breed the animal and eventually perhaps sell goat meat.

"It was going to help people earn money for food, for bare essentials of life," Lapporte says.

The idea that giving someone a few goats or a flock of chicks can change their life by giving them a way to earn a living is not new. But there are now more of these groups that cater to American givers than ever – organizations like Kiva, Give Well, and Charity Navigator help connect givers with giving opportunities. Fonkoze and BRAC are groups working on the group that also help givers directly support the people they're working with.

Heifer has been around since the 1940's. It has about $100 million dollars in annual revenues and 400,000 donors. In a nutshell, it uses the "teach a man to fish" model through giving.

Economic development experts say these programs can't reverse poverty all on their own.

"What you're trying to do is establish a base from which individuals who are really poor generate a source of income for many years to come," says Dean Karlan, a professor of economics at Yale University who studies solutions to poverty and was a founder of Innovations for Poverty Action. He says groups such as Heifer are popular with donors because people love the idea of connecting one family with an animal.

"It's very concrete and small enough that we can give it and it makes us feel good," Karlan says.

The part that's more complicated for donors to understand is that on its own, the gift of one goat or pig is not a magic bullet, Karlan says. It takes a lot more to lift someone out of poverty and keep them there. It's a complicated process.

"It's easy to make things sound good," he says, "and there are lots of things that work. But it's not always the things that sound best."

Karlan has never evaluated Heifer. But in studying similar programs, he has found that what works best is what he calls the "big push." You give the recipients livestock. But you also train them to care of the animals, you help them set up savings accounts, get their children in school, even give them short-term food assistance so they don't end up eating the one goat they've been given.

Susan Davis, president and CEO of BRAC-USA, says charity giving is a little gimmicky, but it's also a great way to raise people's awareness and makes them feel as if they're part of the solution "In the end we're not going to solve big problems until we proliferate the number of change-makers," Davis says.

And for many donors, their gift of a goat or a chicken is just the beginning of that.

In 2009, Lydia Lapporte and her mom traveled to Vietnam on a a Heifer International study tour to meet families that are recipients of Heifer gifts. She's now 14 and she has helped raised about $20,000 dollars for Heifer from her family and friends. Lydia says, "When you think about the big picture, we should be the happiest people, because we're the most fortunate."

She adds that learning about poverty has taught her that receiving doesn't make her nearly as happy as giving.

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