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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.


Emergency Room Closures Hit Minorities, Poor Hardest

Nov 16, 2011

Patients in California may find a shuttered glass door the next time they seek out emergency care, as hospitals across the state close emergency rooms.

California hospitals that serve large numbers of blacks and Medicaid patients, who often rely on ERs the most, run a higher risk of closing the emergency deparment, according to an analysis just published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

Financial factors, such as how much the hospital relies on Medicaid payments, contribute to the shutdowns, says Dr. Renee Hsia, study author and assistant professor of emergency medicine at University of California, San Francisco.

Using data from 1998 to 2008 — a period when 7 percent of the Golden State's emergency departments closed — researchers found that for every 10 percent increase in black patients, a hospital's risk of shutting down its ER shot up by 40 percent. For every 10 percent increase in Medicaid patients, the risk jumped up by 17 percent.

Similar results were not seen with Hispanic patients, a population that has traditionally been considered vulnerable as well.

"In many places, the emergency room is where most patients first come through to get care," Hsia tells Shots. "If you close that department, you close the door to those patients."

Areas with poorly insured residents have fewer emergency departments. More affluent areas, plentiful with privately insured patients, have hospitals that are more likely to add emergency departments.

She says the closures affect everyone, though. "Even if your ER doesn't close, those people who need services will come to yours," she says. "The increased pressure on the remaining ERs will fuel the overcrowding we're experiencing."

Another problem: patients who have to travel farther for emergency care tend to have worse treatment outcomes.

ER closures aren't limited to California. Another recent study by Hsia found a 27 percent decline in nonrural emergency departments across the country from 1990 to 2009.

Even as ERs disappear, the need for emergency care is growing, Hsia says: "It's important for people to understand that there will be an increase in demand for emergency care."

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