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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.

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Diners' Guide Rates Working Conditions Inside Restaurants

Dec 3, 2011
Originally published on December 3, 2011 8:03 am

Move over Zagat and Yelp. There's a new diners' guide in town, designed to help consumers choose restaurants based on what's happening behind the kitchen door. But this isn't about what's on the plate; it's a rare survey of the working conditions and employment practices of restaurants.

The guide, compiled by the Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United, a food service workers advocacy group, evaluates the 150 highest-grossing restaurants in the United States, plus others that have been working with ROC United to do better by their employees.

"We have extraordinary power with our forks," says Saru Jayaraman, the co-founder of ROC United. "This is the first time we're asking you the consumer to work with us."

The guide gave high scores to several individually-owned or regional chains, like the Colors restaurants in Detroit and New York City. Meanwhile, big chains like McDonald's, Starbucks and T.G.I. Friday's earned straight zeros.

The guide grades each restaurant in five categories: availability of paid sick days, opportunities for advancement within the company, whether or not the restaurant followed ROC's "high road" of sustainable practices, wages for tipped workers, and wages for non-tipped workers.

Minimum wage for tipped employees has been frozen at $2.13 per hour since 1996. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that waitstaff have a median income of $8.03 per hour, including tips. Their non-tipped counterparts don't do much better, with hosts and hostesses averaging around $8.42 per hour. If those workers are trying to support a family of three, they'd need to earn at least $8.80 to get above the federal poverty line.

"We have members around the country that are homeless," Jayaraman says.

In terms of wages, ROC United praises companies that pay at least $5 an hour to tipped employees and $9 per hour to non-tipped employees, which are the minimums that the organization considers a livable income.

The guide doesn't necessarily offer straightforward answers, even among restaurants that meet some of ROC United's criteria. Is it better to buy lunch at In-N-Out Burger, where employees receive paid sick leave and make at least $9 an hour, or Hardee's, where over 50 percent of employees have moved up the company ranks since they were first hired?

Andy Shallal, a Washington, D.C. restaurateur whose establishments received high scores in the guide, says that while consumers are increasingly concerned about where their food comes from, they're not focusing on the people who serve their food or wash their dinner plates. "It should've happened the other way around," Shallal says. "I think it's time for cage-free employees."

Washington, D.C. is among the growing number of places mandating restaurant workers get paid sick leave. But Shallal says the law has a number of loopholes making its enforcement difficult, including an exception of any hosts or servers working in the front of the restaurant rather than in the kitchen.

As Radiolab recently pointed out, Typhoid Mary wouldn't have been such a public menace if she hadn't also been a cook.

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