Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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.

Pages

New Rules Turn Up Heat On Florida's Redistricting

Dec 9, 2011

History shows us that elections can turn on details — a momentary lapse during a debate, the design of a butterfly ballot, who oversees a recount. That's why so much attention is being paid this year in state capitals to redistricting.

Every 10 years, congressional and state legislative districts are redrawn to reflect changes in population.

Although many states have already finished redistricting, Florida is just getting started. And it's turning into a heated political battle.

Defining 'Gerrymandering'

In the political lexicon, few politicians have reached the status of 19th century Massachusetts Gov. Elbridge Gerry. After he presided over his state's legislative redistricting in 1812, the Boston Gazette newspaper said a resulting district resembled a salamander. Add to that his last name, Gerry, and the term "gerrymandering" was born. It means drawing an electoral district in a way that benefits an incumbent or political party.

But state Sen. Don Gaetz says that in Florida, gerrymandering is in the eye of the beholder.

"It is a verb and a noun which has been abused a great deal," he says. "One person's gerrymander is the next person's court-ordered district."

Gaetz is a Republican and one of the legislators in charge of overseeing Florida's redistricting process.

Here, as elsewhere, Republicans drawing new district maps see minority voters — particularly Hispanics and African-Americans — as allies. Florida is one of the states covered by the federal Voting Rights Act, so it has to take special care with minority voting districts and submit its maps to the Justice Department for approval. It's the law, but for Republicans it can carry a bonus: Packing Democratic-leaning minority voters into those districts can help Republican candidates in adjoining areas.

This year, because of its population growth, Florida is adding two new congressional seats. The map being considered by the state Senate draws one of them as a majority Hispanic district in central Florida. At a hearing in Tallahassee, Emilio Perez, a political activist from the Orlando area, was there to say thanks.

"It was because of the growth of the Latino community in Central Florida that Florida gained two new congressional seats. We will support you in all your efforts to make sure that these seats will be protected against any potential lawsuits or any other suggested violations that anyone can mention against it," he said.

On The Road To Court?

Legal challenges are likely because of a new set of rules guiding redistricting in Florida. Constitutional amendments adopted last year now require lawmakers to draw districts without regard to parties or incumbents — in other words, without gerrymandering.

Because of those new guidelines, Democratic leaders in Congress have high hopes for Florida. They need 25 seats to regain control of the House. The head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Steve Israel, said last month the path to those 25 seats "flows straight through Florida."

Now, after months of hearings and meetings, the first redistricting maps have just come out. And Florida Democratic Senate leader Nan Rich doesn't like what she sees.

"I believe that it does not comply with the specific standards that are now in our constitution. I think we were directed by them to allow the voters to select their elected officials, not the other way around," she says.

Because Republicans have control of the House, Senate and governor's mansion, Democrats will have little say in Tallahassee about how the maps are drawn.

Already, it's clear that both sides are girding up for a showdown in court. At the Tallahassee hearing, Republican Sen. Joe Negron, an attorney, sounded very much like a lawyer preparing for a court appearance.

"The facts show that this was done through hearings, done through public testimony, done through having our staff look at nothing except what was following the law and what was in the best interest of Florida," he said. "There's been no evidence that our process has been tainted in any way by political considerations."

That ultimately may be decided by the courts. Challenges have already begun. Republican leaders in Florida's Legislature are seeking to overturn the new redistricting rules — the same rules that for now they say they're being careful to follow.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.