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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.


FAA Issues New Rules Aimed At Keeping Tired Pilots Out Of Cockpits

Dec 21, 2011
Originally published on December 21, 2011 2:24 pm

Saying that they will help make sure that airline pilots are rested before they fly, the Federal Aviation Administration today unveiled new rules about the amount of time off they must get between flights and how long they can be on the job.

"We made a promise to the traveling public that we would do everything possible to make sure pilots are rested when they get in the cockpit," Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement issued by his department. The new rules, he added, raise "the safety bar."

Some of the details:

-- "Different requirements for pilot flight time, duty period and rest based on the time of day pilots begin their first flight, the number of scheduled flight segments and the number of time zones they cross."

-- "The allowable length of a flight duty period depends on when the pilot's day begins and the number of flight segments he or she is expected to fly, and ranges from 9-14 hours for single crew operations."

-- "Flight duty includes deadhead transportation, training in an aircraft or flight simulator, and airport standby or reserve duty if these tasks occur before a flight or between flights without an intervening required rest period."

-- "A 10-hour minimum rest period prior to the flight duty period, a two-hour increase over the previous rules."

-- "Pilots [must] have at least 30 consecutive hours free from duty on a weekly basis, a 25 percent increase over the previous rules."

As The Associated Press explains:

"Researchers say fatigue, much like alcohol, can impair a pilot's performance by slowing reflexes and eroding judgment. The National Transportation Safety Board has been campaigning for two decades for an overhaul of pilot work schedule rules. An effort by the FAA in the late 1990s to develop new rules stalled when pilot unions and airlines were unable to find common ground.

"That effort was revived after the February 2009 crash Continental Connection Flight 3407 near Buffalo [which killed 50 people]. Neither pilot appeared to have slept in a bed the previous night. The flight's captain had logged onto a computer in the middle of the night from an airport crew lounge where sleeping was discouraged. The first officer had commuted overnight from Seattle to Newark, N.J., much of the time sitting in a cockpit jumpseat. They could be heard yawning on the ill-fated flight's cockpit voice recorder."

The FAA says the rules should add about $300 million to passenger airlines' costs over 10 years. The carriers have two years to implement them. Pilots on cargo flights will not be subject to the new rules because the FAA decided they would be too costly for cargo carries to implement. The Air Line Pilots Association finds that exemption disappointing. But the union also cited the new rules as "historic progress" in the effort to address pilot fatigue.

Update at 2:25 p.m. ET. Higher Fares, Fewer Small Planes?

Bloomberg News reports that:

" 'The basic bottom line is consumers can expect to see higher airfares and reduced levels of service as a direct result of these rules," Helane Becker, a Dahlman Rose & Co. airline analyst in New York, said in a telephone interview. Fifty-passenger planes operated by regional airlines including Pinnacle Airlines Corp. (PNCL), Republic Airways Holdings Inc. (RJET) and SkyWest Inc. (SKYW) will 'become dinosaurs' as they become less cost-effective to operate, she said."

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