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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.


Sheriff Arpaio Violates Latinos' Rights, Justice Department Says

Dec 15, 2011
Originally published on December 15, 2011 12:29 pm

The U.S. Justice Department says Maricopa County (Ariz.) Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has become a national figure thanks to his tough treatment of inmates and his tough talk on immigration, engages in "a pattern or practice of misconduct that violates the Constitution and federal law," NPR's Carrie Johnson reports.

In a report issued this hour (posted below), "federal authorities cite a 'wall of distrust' between Arpaio and members of the Latino community," Carrie says. And Justice "says it found Latino motorists are four to nine times more likely to be stopped by sheriff's deputies than non-Latinos, often without any legal cause." There is also reason to be concerned about the "use of excessive force" by Arpaio's department, Justice says.

The federal agency "also says Arpaio retaliates against people who complain about his policies, including local government officials, and that his focus on Latino residents in Arizona may have distracted Arpaio from paying attention to other law enforcement problems, including rape and sexual assault in the community," Carrie tells us.

Arpaio has been under fire from some state lawmakers for allegedly botching a series of sex-crime cases, as Eyder reported last week.

According to Carrie, Justice Department civil rights chief Tom Perez says he wants to negotiate with the sheriff, but he won't hesitate to sue if necessary.

Or, as The Arizona Republic puts it, Justice "issued an ultimatum: come to a voluntary court-enforceable agreement to stop the unconstitutional practices, or face a lawsuit under provisions of federal Civil Rights Act."

It adds that:

"The Sheriff's Office has until Jan. 4 to decide whether to voluntarily cooperate with federal officials. If so, the Justice Department will work with Sheriff Joe Arpaio to correct violations in the next 60 days. If the sheriff declines to cooperate or fails to reach agreement, the Justice Department said it would file a civil action to force compliance with federal law."

Justice has been investigating Arpaio's office for more than three years. According to the Republic, "Arpaio and his administrators have consistently denied that the office's ongoing immigration-enforcement measures target Latino residents. Throughout the investigation, Arpaio continued his immigration enforcement tactics."

The Justice report is below (just click on the title to make it pop up in a larger box; our apologies if you're on a device that doesn't show it properly).

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