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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.


In Detroit, Drastic Steps To Avoid Bankruptcy

Dec 9, 2011
Originally published on December 9, 2011 10:35 am



Lack of money is also a big problem in Detroit. Three weeks ago, the city's mayor, Dave Bing, made a stark announcement. Without major action, the city will go broke sometime early next year. That leaves state officials saying they may have no choice but to send in an emergency manager, a person with extraordinary powers over the city's finances.

Michigan Radio's Sarah Cwiek reports.

SARAH CWIEK, BYLINE: There are a lot of complicated factors in the swirling drama that is Detroit's financial meltdown. Massive population loss and economic disaster have decimated Detroit's tax base. But for the most part, its infrastructure and legacy costs still reflect the much bigger city it once was.

That means somebody has some tough, unpopular decisions to make. And even though he insists he doesn't want to, Michigan's Republican Governor Rick Snyder has initiated the process that could lead to an emergency manager.

But Detroit's elected officials insist they can handle the problems themselves. As state leaders ramped up their rhetoric, Detroit's politicians emerged with a sudden sense of unity.

MAYOR DAVE BING: This is our city.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: That's right.



BING: And we are Detroit.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: That's right.

BING: Detroit needs to be run by Detroiters.


CWIEK: That's Mayor Dave Bing at a press conference last week, flanked by city council members and union officials, groups that are now meeting to try to reach a hasty budget agreement. It's a race against the clock bid because state law grants emergency managers extraordinary - some would say draconian - powers to tackle municipal finances.

Governor Snyder and the state's Republican-dominated legislature beefed up that law earlier this year, giving managers the right to throw out collectively bargained union agreements and essentially fire local elected officials. That's already happening in a handful of Michigan cities. But there's also an effort underway to repeal the law by voter referendum.

BING: If you will get 100 signatures personally...


BING: Raise your hand or stand up. Stand up if you will get 100 signatures personally.

CWIEK: At a rally just last week, organizers said they're very close to getting the roughly 162,000 petition signatures they need to get the measure on the ballot. If certified, the emergency manager law would then be suspended until a vote next November. But in response, state officials are now trying to cobble together a new law, one that presumably referendum-proof. All of this infuriates many Detroit residents, who see emergency manager rule as tantamount to taxation without representation.

Maureen Stapleton is a state representative from Detroit, who says Michigan has pushed cities like Detroit to the financial brink.


STATE REP. MAUREEN STAPLETON: We have policies that are disproportionately unfair to communities of color, whether we like it or not. Whether they want to admit it or not. When I said that on the floor of the State House, they booed, ooh.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #2: They know it's the truth.

STAPLETON: Because they know it's the truth.

CWIEK: But amidst all the drama and disagreement, there is one virtually undisputed fact: Detroit stands on the brink of going broke. Bettie Buss is with the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, and she says the city's finances are so out of whack that whoever ends up having to deal with them will likely have to deal with a judge as well.

BETTIE BUSS: We're sure that pretty much everything is going to be challenged in court, but we're not real sure what the eventual outcome is going to be.

CWIEK: And everyone is hoping that enough can be done to stave off what a few experts have suggested might be the inescapable outcome - a bankruptcy filing.

For NPR News, I'm Sarah Cwiek in Detroit. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.