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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.


Give Immigration Reform A Chance, Say Nation's Most Conservative Voters

Dec 6, 2011

When new GOP presidential front-runner Newt Gingrich recently advocated a "humane" approach to addressing illegal immigrants in America, some conservatives questioned whether it would fatally damage the former House Speaker's campaign.

After all, Texas Gov. Rick Perry saw his bid for the GOP nomination falter in part because of his support for a program that allows children of illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition at state colleges and universities.

But a new survey in Iowa of some of the most conservative voters in the nation — that state's likely GOP caucus-goers — suggests that a wider swath of Republicans than previously believed support changes to immigration law that would help young people, as well as businesses and foreign-born entrepreneurs.

The survey, released Tuesday, showed that just 16 percent of likely Iowa GOP caucus attendees surveyed for a coalition of conservative Republicans said they were "outright opposed to proposals" that would modernize and expand legal immigration.

"This survey demonstrates that while opinions are strong on tough enforcement for illegal immigration, it is not the top-tier, hot-button issue among Republican caucus-goers it's often made out to be," says John Stineman, spokesman for the coalition of Iowa Republicans who are working with Partnership for a New American Economy, a national organization that supports immigration reform and sponsored the poll.

"It's eye-opening," Stineman says, and "resets" perceptions of how Iowa Republican caucus-goers view the issue.

Stineman, a GOP strategist who is not working for any of the Republican candidates, said: "There is clearly an appetite for working to solve problems with our legal immigration system, and Iowa Republicans make that connection that doing so can help grow our economy."

Des Moines pollster J. Ann Selzer conducted the survey Nov. 16-19. Selzer conducts the respected Iowa Poll for the Des Moines Register and polls for Bloomberg News.

Reducing government spending and creating jobs "best reflects the mood" of caucus-goers this year, she says, and topped the list of issues important to Iowa Republicans. Fewer than half said that halting illegal immigration is a critical issue.

Social issues, including abortion, were seen by only 35 percent of those surveyed as critical this election year.

"This is a different year, this is a different mood, this is a different agenda," Selzer said.

Iowa Republicans, the survey found, overwhelmingly support tough border security, systems that verify the immigration status of new hires and punishment for businesses that hire those in the country illegally.

But they indicated in the survey that they are open to policies that help foreign-born young people educated in the U.S. to enter the workforce, as well as those that help companies hire seasonal and permanent employees for vacant jobs Americans are not filling.

They also expressed strong support for increasing opportunities for highly-skilled legal immigrants and entrepreneurs to come to the United States.

When asked about legal immigration, 57 percent of Iowa Republican caucus-goers surveyed said that it would be a "good idea" for the U.S. to expand legal immigration in a way that would create jobs.

"Likely Iowa caucus-goers separate concerns with illegal immigration from the potential opportunity of legal immigration," Selzer says.

There's an openness to modernizing the nation's visa policies, she says, including devising a temporary visa program for workers, both low- and high-skilled.

Of those surveyed, 83 percent described themselves as very or mostly conservative. Most had some college or a college degree, and skewed a little older.

"We all know that immigration can be controversial," Stineman says. "We wanted to dig a little deeper and get away from tired talking points."

Iowa Republicans get that immigration reform and visa reform can create jobs, he said.

What that means for Mitt Romney, recently overtaken by Gingrich in Iowa caucus polls as well as national polls, remains to be seen.

Romney has fashioned himself as a tough-on-illegal-immigration candidate, criticizing both Perry for his tuition stand and Gingrich for suggesting that illegal immigrants who have been here a long time, "paying taxes and obeying the law" should be allowed to stay.

The Partnership for a New American Economy describes itself as a bipartisan group of mayors and business leaders working to "raise awareness of the economic benefits of sensible immigration reform."

Its co-chairs include Steven Ballmer of Microsoft Corporation, Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City, Bob Iger of the Walt Disney Co., and Rupert Murdoch of News Corp.

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