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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.

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To Kill Or Not To Kill Horses That Others May Eat?

Dec 2, 2011
Originally published on February 1, 2013 5:52 pm

The thought of eating Mr. Ed or Seabiscuit is likely to pull the heartstrings of most Americans. But there are plenty of people around the world who see our horses as just another source of protein and energy.

In November, President Obama signed a bill that included a provision to reopen American slaughterhouses for horses after a five-year ban on inspecting the facilities, which forced their closure. With the economy hurting for new jobs, slaughterhouse proponents say it's a good time to renew the practice to meet demand for horse meat in countries like France and Japan, where it's sometimes served as sashimi.

Killing horses for their meat may sound inhumane, but the issue is not so clear-cut. A recent study by the Government Accountability Office found that horse neglect and abandonment have been on the rise over the last few years. That has divided animal welfare groups over the practice of slaughter — the same groups who helped push the slaughterhouse ban through in the first place.

Some of those in favor of regulated slaughter argue the practice is more humane than letting horses languish and suffer in old age. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, agrees that the ban had unintended consequences and led to additional suffering, according to the L.A. Times. Recently, many horses that would have been slaughtered in the U.S. have instead been shipped under inhumane conditions to Mexico and Canada, PETA told the Times.

Other groups say the onus falls on horse owners to find a humane way to end their animals' lives.

"Being a horse owner is a choice," Lauren Silverman Simon of the Humane Society tells The Salt. "If someone can no longer care for their horse, there are a number of options available."

But euthanasia is pricey, and many owners may not seek out a sanctuary for their sick horses. "You see a lot of malnourished and abandoned horses that probably would have been humanely slaughtered before," horse trainer Windy Allen told The New York Times in October.

Traditionally, ranchers sold their unwanted and free-roaming horses to slaughterhouses. It helped cull the population, gave a purposeful ending to an animal's life, and put a few dollars in a rancher's pocket, proponents say.

In North America, horses were essential for heavy work and transport, which helped forge a sentimental connection between early Americans and horses. "Originally the horse was utilitarian and gave settlers a tremendous advantage in the conquest of the U.S.," says anthropologist and author Susanna Hoffman.

Horse meat has appeared on U.S. menus in hard times (think World War II). But even though Americans have become more adventurous gastronomes in recent years, Hoffman is doubtful it will ever make a comeback. "It's never been a U.S. custom to eat their meat," she says.

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