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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 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.


California Court Says Same-Sex Marriage Opponents May Defend Prop 8

Nov 17, 2011
Originally published on November 17, 2011 2:00 pm

Californians who oppose same-sex marriage just won a procedural victory in court.

The state's Supreme Court ruled this hour that opponents of same-sex marriage who successfully pushed the Proposition 8 law that bans such unions in the state may defend the initiative in court. The court's opinion is here.

The justices did not rule on the legality of same-sex marriage or on the merits of a federal judge's ruling that Prop 8 is unconstitutional (the ruling that Prop 8 supporters want to challenge).

The state justices had only been asked by the federal Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for an opinion on whether the initiative's supporters have the "standing" to defend the law. The Prop 8 supporters want to take their case to the federal court because California Gov. Jerry Brown and other state officials have declined to defend the ban's constitutionality.

In its ruling, the California court says:

"Neither the Governor, the Attorney General, nor any other executive or legislative official has the authority to veto or invalidate an initiative measure that has been approved by the voters. It would exalt form over substance to interpret California law in a manner that would permit these public officials to indirectly achieve such a result by denying the official initiative proponents the authority to step in to assert the state's interest in the validity of the measure or to appeal a lower court judgment invalidating the measure when those public officials decline to assert that interest or to appeal an adverse judgment."

As The Sacramento Bee's Capitol Alert says, "the state court can't tell the federal court what to do, of course, but the federal court may consider the state court's opinion when deciding who can defend it before the federal bench."

And as ScotusBlog said in a preview of the decision, if the state court had gone the other way — and said that same-sex opponents had no standing to defend Prop 8 — that could have brought an abrupt end to efforts by the initiative's proponents to defend it because the federal court could have then decided to cede to the California jurists' opinion.

"Even though Prop. 8 was struck down as unconstitutional," NPR's Richard Gonzales has reported, "it remains in effect while it moves through the appeals process."

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