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 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.

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

Officials Detail Plans To Fight Terrorism At Home

Dec 8, 2011

The White House will unveil a broad, new strategy Thursday aimed at battling homegrown terrorism in the U.S. The program aims to empower communities by teaching local officials to recognize violent extremism and see the threat as a public safety issue, like the battle against gangs and drugs.

The plan comes as the terrorism threat against the U.S. continues to evolve. All eyes used to be trained on al-Qaida in Pakistan. But more recently the attacks have come from violent extremists here in the U.S. who picked up radical ideas from the Internet. Those plots, though less spectacular, are the ones the Obama administration is trying to fend off.

"What we have to do is be prepared for these different types of approaches that al-Qaida is pursuing," John Brennan, Obama's chief counterterrorism adviser, told NPR in an interview about the plan. "The large attacks, the small attacks, the groups that are operating together and the individuals who may be vulnerable to these types of entreaties."

New Partners

The 20-page White House strategy — entitled "Strategic Implementation Plan for Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States" — puts some meat on a bare-bones outline the administration released four months ago. In that August dispatch, the White House laid out broad initiatives for preventing the spread of violent extremism in the United States. That plan, just seven pages long, was criticized for being thin on details.

The latest offering, which is expected to be released Thursday afternoon, is not exhaustive, but it provides a better idea of what the administration has in mind. The plan envisions a fusion of local partners — schools, community boards and leaders — with both local and federal law enforcement and other agencies. Many of these new partners, like the Department of Education, have never participated in national security issues before.

"We had a long conversation about what kinds of things education can do," said Quintan Wiktorowicz, a senior director of the National Security Council at the White House, who spearheaded the initiative. "In the same way they fight gangs, or bullying, they can help here. The challenge is going to be trying to put the violent extremism initiatives into existing programs. But there are lots of ways to do it, and we'll work with the schools to tailor the approach to what they need."

U.S. counterterrorism officials have become adept at spotting terrorism suspects who travel overseas to get training or arrange large money transfers to support terrorist groups. But homegrown followers who quietly embrace violent extremism after watching al-Qaida propaganda on their computers don't raise those same flags. In those cases, federal officials often learn about their intentions when it is too late. That's why the Obama administration is so eager to get into the fight local partners who are better positioned to pick up on these subtle cues.

A U.K. Model

The plan has some hints of a 2008 program in the United Kingdom called "Prevent." Authorities in the U.K. began dealing with homegrown terrorism long before it became an issue in the United States. Wiktorowicz was in London studying the program for years before starting his job on the National Security Council in Washington.

The Prevent program broke new ground in trying to get local officials and community leaders involved in spotting radicalization in its early stages. The program came in for some criticism, though; specifically, detractors said there wasn't enough separation between the community work officials were doing and the intelligence they ended up gathering. But Prevent has taught counterterrorism officials a lot about how to engage communities.

Because the new American strategy will fold in many players who haven't had much exposure to counterterrorism, it will require a good deal of training. Officials familiar with the plan said they are concerned that if the training isn't done properly, or sensitively, it could hobble the strategy. Wiktorowicz said he is familiar with the concern.

Training has become a bugaboo in the wake of revelations about FBI counterterrorism training practices. The first inkling that something was amiss came in March. That's when NPR reported on the cottage industry of independent counterterrorism trainers who signed up to teach local and federal law enforcement officials about terrorism. The report found that the instructors were not being properly vetted and some were presenting skewed views about Muslim-Americans and their potential links to terrorism. Follow-up reports showed how Islamophobia had crept into both federal and local law enforcement training.

Wiktorowicz said the new strategy addresses those issues. A complete training review and specific training standards are expected to be in place by spring. The Department of Homeland Security will review the training and evaluate experts to weed out any lurking anti-Muslim bias. The idea is to inject some quality control into the training process. Wiktorowicz said the new program will focus on behavior, not religion or appearances.

"There are potential behavioral signals," he said. "For example, has someone in the community seen them watching violent extremist videos? Are they publicly coming out in defense of Osama bin Laden? Are they talking about the kuffar [unbelievers]? That's not enough alone, but if that is in a combination of other things, that's what we are looking for."

Public Safety

The new White House strategy is attempting to broaden the government's engagement with local communities across the board. If it works, the idea is to broaden the context of local discussions so they aren't just about terrorism; they are about something bigger.

"We see what we're doing as a public safety issue," Wiktorowicz said. "If a community was being targeted by gangs, the government would have some responsibility to help them. The same applies to a community that might be targeted with violent extremism; we have the same responsibility to help them. All parents are concerned about these kinds of issues, not just Muslim parents."

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