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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!":

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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.

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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.

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High Court To Wade Into Immigration Debate

Dec 12, 2011
Originally published on December 12, 2011 6:33 pm

The United States Supreme Court added another red-hot rocket to its docket on Monday, all but ensuring that it will resolve a major immigration case just weeks before the major parties hold their conventions next summer.

The court agreed to hear a challenge to a controversial Arizona law that targets people suspected of being illegal immigrants. This is a setback for the Obama administration, which had urged the justices to wait for the lower courts to thoroughly examine the constitutionality of the issues in the case.

The court's decision to hear the Arizona case adds yet another politically charged controversy to a docket already brimming with divisive issues. The immigration case will likely be argued in April, just weeks after the challenge to the Obama health care law is argued.

But unlike in the health care case, the immigration case will have only eight justices on the bench. Justice Elena Kagan has recused herself, presumably because she took some action related to the case when she was solicitor general.

In addition to these blockbuster cases, the court last Friday agreed to hear a challenge to a new but temporary map of election districts in Texas. That case, which the court is hearing on an expedited basis, will be heard in January. It pits Latinos and the Texas Democratic Party against the Republican-controlled Texas Legislature and the state's Republican governor, presidential candidate Rick Perry.

At issue in the immigration case is a 2010 Arizona law that became a model for even tougher laws in other states. A federal appeals court blocked enforcement of some key parts of the Arizona law earlier this year.

Most notable is the "show-me-your-papers" provision, which requires state and local law enforcement officers in Arizona to detain any person stopped or arrested for any reason if that individual cannot prove that he or she is in the country legally.

Other provisions put on hold by the lower court make it a state crime to be in the country illegally or fail to register with the federal government, and allow state and local police to arrest anyone without a warrant if they believe the individual is subject to deportation.

The Justice Department filed suit against Arizona, contending that the state was usurping the federal government's exclusive authority over immigration. Arizona says that as a border state, it suffers disproportionately from the effects of illegal immigration, and that its measures complement the federal law and fill a void left by the federal government's lax immigration enforcement.

Border Patrol statistics, however, indicate that the number of people trying to cross the U.S.–Mexico border illegally has been dropping precipitously over the past few years.

Even with twice as many border agents in the field, the number of arrests for illegal crossings last year was 328,000, roughly one-fifth as many as a decade earlier. Experts say the number of arrests for illegal crossing is indicative of the overall flow rate , and some say the rate of those going back home is now about equal to those entering the U.S. illegally.

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Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

The Supreme Court entered the fray on another hot-button issue today. The court agreed to hear a challenge to a controversial Arizona law that targets people suspected of being in the country illegally. And that all but ensures that the court will resolve a major immigration case just weeks before the big party conventions next summer. NPR's Nina Totenberg reports.

NINA TOTENBERG, BYLINE: The court's decision to hear the Arizona case adds yet another politically charged controversy to a docket already brimming with divisive issues. The immigration case will likely be argued in April, just weeks after the challenge to the Obama health care law. But unlike in the health care case, the immigration case will have only eight justices on the bench. Justice Elena Kagan has recused herself, presumably because she took some action related to the case when she was solicitor general.

In addition to these blockbuster cases, the court last Friday also agreed to hear a challenge to the new map of election districts in Texas. That case, which the court is taking on an expedited basis, will be heard next month. It pits Latinos and the Texas Democratic Party against the Republican-controlled state legislature and the state's Republican governor, presidential candidate Rick Perry.

At issue in the immigration case is a 2010 Arizona law that became a model for even tougher laws in other states. A federal appeals court blocked enforcement of some key parts of the Arizona statute earlier this year. Most notable was the so-called show-me-your-papers provision, which requires state and local law enforcement officers in Arizona to detain any person stopped or arrested for any reason if that individual cannot prove that he or she is in the country legally.

Other provisions put on hold by the lower court make it a state crime to be in the country illegally and to fail to register with the federal government, and allow state and local police to arrest anyone without a warrant if they believe the individual is subject to deportation.

The Justice Department filed suit against Arizona, contending that the state was usurping the federal government's exclusive authority over immigration. Arizona says that, as a border state, it suffers disproportionately from the effects of illegal immigration, and that its measures complement the federal law and fill a void left by the federal government's lax immigration enforcement.

Border Patrol statistics, however, indicate that the number of people trying to cross the U.S.–Mexican border illegally has been dropping precipitously over the last few years. Even with twice as many border agents in the field, the number of arrests for illegal crossings last year was 328,000, roughly one-fifth as many as a decade earlier.

Experts say the number of arrests for illegal crossing is indicative of the overall flow rate. And some say the rate of those going back home is now about equal to those entering the U.S. illegally.

Nina Totenberg, NPR News, Washington. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.