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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.


Hundreds Of Pardons, Some For Killers, Spark Outrage In Mississippi

Jan 11, 2012

Just before he left office this week, outgoing Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) issued more than 200 pardons or sentence reductions — including more than a dozen to persons convicted of murder, manslaughter or other death-related crimes. And that has sparked outrage and calls for changes in the law that gives the state's governor such authority.

The list of Barbour's executive orders in the last four days before his departure from office on Tuesday is posted here.

Causing particular concern in the state are the pardons given to four convicted killers, who have now been released from prison. They are, as The Associated Press reports:

"David Gatlin, convicted of fatally shooting his estranged wife in 1993 as she held her baby and wounding her friend; Joseph Ozment, convicted in 1994 of killing a man during a robbery; Anthony McCray, convicted in 2001 of killing his wife; Charles Hooker, sentenced to life in 1992 for murder."

Mississippi Public Broadcasting reports about one of the killer's crimes:

"David Gatlin ... was convicted of killing his estranged wife Tammy Gatlin in 1993 while she held their child. Tammy's friend Randy Walker was also in the house. Walker says Gatlin then turned the gun on him.

" 'When I came to about 45 minutes later, this 6 week old baby was still laying in a puddle of blood on top of its mother's body. This guy didn't care enough to ever remove the baby from the body of its mother and put it in a safe spot. That just kind of shows where this guy's head is.'

"When Walker got word Gatlin was being released, he says he questioned Barbour's judgement. At the very least, Walker says he deserves an explanation.

" 'How is my life and the life of Tammy's parents and family and the people in Mississippi, how are we better off today than we were Friday prior to this pardon? How are we better off? How did we serve the best interests of Mississippi? I feel like Governor Barbour single-handedly circumvented the entire justice system.' "

All told, according to The Clarion-Ledger, Barbour pardoned eight convicted killers. Each "had served part of their sentence in the Governor's Mansion as a trusty, a privilege awarded to well-behaved prisoners that allows them to live and work in the mansion. It is a custom in Mississippi for governors to pardon such trusties."

Now, "survivors and family members want to mandate that a governor has to hear from them before he lets killers out the door," the newspaper adds.

And, according to Mississippi Public Broadcasting:

"Democratic Representative David Baria says he's sponsored legislation the past two years that would limit a governor's ability to issue pardons. His bill would require public hearings in the community where the crime occurred to allow public comment. Baria says he plans on filing that bill again soon.

" 'And I'm also going to file a bill that would prevent capital murderers from enjoying trusty status at the Governor's Mansion because that appears to be a path to a pardon.' "

So far, according to the AP and other news outlets, Barbour and his spokesman have not commented on the pardons and have not responded to requests for comment.

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