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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 the Permanent Court of Arbitration in 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.


Palestinian Women Behind The Wheel, And Ahead Of The Pack

Jan 20, 2012

Palestine might not seem like a breeding ground for race car drivers. After all, the area is dotted with checkpoints and roadblocks, hundreds of obstacles that can cramp a driver's ability to explore a car's limits.

But that hasn't stopped a group of Palestinian women from driving very fast, winning races and making a name for themselves along the way.

"'In Saudi Arabia, women are prevented from driving - here in Palestine we have women who drive race cars," says an official in the Palestinian Motor Sport and Motorcycle Federation.

That's a quote from a feature article by Ruth Pollard in The Sydney Morning Herald, focusing on two members of Palestine's Speed Sisters, Betty Saadeh and Noor Daoud. The drivers are also a hit on Facebook.

In fact, Daoud has had her right to drive taken away before — in 2009, after Israeli police caught her going around 125 mph, she says. But she still drives her modified and stripped-down BMW at the track:

"'I like to go to Betunia when it is quiet on a Friday, throw down some cones and practice my turns. Every time I am mad or stressed I just go there and take it out in my driving," Daoud says.... 'They cannot believe that a girl has been driving that way. I love it.'"

And in December, Daoud raced in Israel's first (legal) car race in the coastal resort of Eilat, featuring Formula cars and a grand prix format. She was able to compete because her ID places her residency in East Jerusalem. Daoud also has ties to America, having been born in Texas and studied in Florida.

Saadeh, 31, also has international ties — she was born in Mexico, where her father was a pro racer in the 1980s. Now she's the top female driver in Palestine.

In a recent article in The Jewish Chronicle, Jessica Elgot writes:

"Despite her glamorous image, bright blonde hair and make-up, Ms. Sa'adeh is a serious competitor, who has raced across the West Bank and in Jordan, winning four out of five races. 'I'm ranked in the top eight in Palestine, including the boys,' she said proudly.... 'I have never had any negative reaction from anybody. I have supporters from all over the world. I have Israeli fans, but they can't come to watch my races, because they take place in Palestine.'"

The Speed Sisters were featured in a story on NPR in 2010. Now they have their own website, and a film about their exploits is slated to enter production this month. Last week, they were invited by Britain's motorsports association to visit the famed Silverstone track, home of the British Grand Prix.

That's all fine with the head of the Palestinian motorsport federation, Khaled Qaddoura, who has been trying to return motorsports to prominence in Palestine.

Pollard writes, "Seemingly nonplussed by having a team of glamorous, talented Palestinian women moving up the rankings in his sport, he says: "I have no problem with it - they love to race and they are good at it. We are proud to have them."

You can read more complete profiles of the other Speed Sister racers in an article over at The National.

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