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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.


Many Police Officers Are Sleep Deprived, Risky For Them And Us

Dec 20, 2011

Harvard researchers say they've uncovered a big problem among the nation's 700,000 police officers: a serious lack of sleep.

In what's believed to be the first study of its kind, the researchers queried nearly 5,000 municipal and state police officers in the U.S. and Canada about their sleep habits and symptoms of possible sleep disorders. Then they assessed their on-duty performance for two years.

Forty percent had sleep disorders, and the vast majority of these were undiagnosed before.

The implications are big – both for the officers themselves and the public they serve.

Consider these findings:

  • Those who screened positive for a sleep disorder had a 25 percent higher risk of expressing uncontrolled anger to a suspect or citizen, and a 35 percent higher chance of having a citizen complaint filed against them.
  • Sleep-deprived officers had 51 percent greater odds of falling asleep while driving on duty.
  • One in three officers has sleep apnea – waking up repeatedly because breathing has temporarily stopped. That's at least 8 times higher than the rate among the general population.
  • They had a 43 percent higher chance of making a serious administrative error.

Sleep-starved officers also reported falling asleep at meetings more often and calling in sick.

The surprisingly high incidence of sleep apnea has grave implications for officers and their departments. The disorder taxes the heart, probably because the sudden jolts of waking up are accompanied by a surge of adrenalin.

"That may be what lays the groundwork for an increase in cardiovascular disease," says Dr. Charles A. Czeisler of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Officers with sleep apnea "had 90 percent greater odds of cardiovascular disease, even when we adjusted for their age, sex, body mass index, smoking and other risk factors.

Officers with sleep apnea also had much higher risk of diabetes (61 percent), depression (150 percent), emotional burnout (270 percent) and risk of falling asleep while driving home from work (126 percent).

The driving implications are especially sobering, given the amount of time many officer spend behind the wheel – and the importance of police cars as an everyday work tool.

One in four of the total study group reported falling asleep at the wheel once or twice a month. They also reported a higher rate of falling asleep while stopped in traffic, talking on the phone or in meetings.

Czeisler thinks frequent problems with what he calls "drowsy driving" help explain why car accidents have overtaken criminal assaults as the top cause of death among police officers.

"Motor vehicle crashes have overtaken felonious assaults as the most common cause of police mortality," Czeisler told Shots. "And drowsy driving is one of the leading causes of motor vehicle crashes and fatalities."

Asked what can be done about the problem – given the intrinsic nature of police work, with frequent changes in shifts – Czeisler says the study, which appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association, contains an important clue.

Massachusetts state troopers had far less sleep apnea than other officers in the study. That fits, Czeisler says, because they were much less likely to be obese – and obesity is a prominent risk factor for sleep apnea.

The likely reason the Massachusetts troopers were more fit, Czeisler says, is that the state requires them to pass an annual fitness test and provides gym equipment and paid time to work out.

"I'm sure this fitness test has paid for itself many times over in reducing sleep apnea," Czeisler says, "because of the markedly increased health care costs and accident rates among those who have sleep apnea. If that turns out to be the reason, then Massachusetts could be a model for the nation."

Massachusetts officials tell the Harvard researchers that they will start screening troopers for sleep problems, using the questionnaires the researchers employed.

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