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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


Terrorists Struggle To Gain Recruits On The Web

Dec 29, 2011

Terrorist groups seemed to be all over the Web in 2011. There were al-Qaida videos on YouTube, Facebook pages by Islamic militants in Somalia, and webzines – like Inspire magazine – produced by al-Qaida affiliates in Yemen.

If there were an award for the best known terrorist music recording in the past couple of years, it would probably go to the Somali militia group al-Shabab for a YouTube video that extolled the virtues of jihad, or holy war.

The tune became so popular it was actually covered by other aspiring violent jihadis, who added hip-hop beats and rap lyrics.

The Shabab music video caught the attention of U.S. counter-terrorism officials. They saw it as dangerous because it was slick and catchy and in English. The video ignited an effort in Washington to figure out how to counter the use of social media among terrorist groups.

What no one is saying, however, is that the effort to use social media sites like Facebook and YouTube, and even Twitter, hasn't been the recruitment boon that terrorist organizations had been hoping for.

Terrorist groups appear to be still working out the kinks in their new media strategy and concerns about terrorists and social media may be overblown.

"The worry in official Washington has been that kids are going to be attracted by its message and that they are going to spontaneously arise and become terrorists," said Will McCants, an analyst at the Center for Naval Analysis. "But we just haven't seen the numbers to suggest that that's true. Before social media, after social media... it is just a trickle of individuals who get involved in terrorist activities."

McCants says U.S. officials — perhaps because they don't use social media on a regular basis — may see it as a larger menace than it actually is.

Tracking Websites

It is easy to track how many people are browsing websites and, on the terrorism front, who is entering jihadi chatrooms and threatening to attack. Counter-terrorism experts like McCants say that there is no research to indicate that the al-Shabab music video — or any other jihadi social media offering, for that matter — is actually winning over many new recruits.

"Social media is interesting as a new outlet for terrorist groups," McCants said, "but in terms of achieving al-Qaida's goal or the Taliban's goal of creating new recruits... I think it is a complete disaster."

Bruce Hoffman, a professor and terrorism expert at Georgetown University, agrees to a certain extent. "I don't think anyone is going to be radicalized or mesmerized by this media to pick up a gun or throw a bomb," he said. "But it does provide a very extraordinarily important first step. It certainly serves that purpose."

In other words, while social media may not be turning people into violent jihadis all by itself, it can help that process along.

One of the early players in jihadi social media was a radical Islamic organization called Revolution Muslim. Based in New York, the group's founders claimed that the RevMuslim blog received 1,500 hits a day. Its YouTube channel had some 1,000 subscribers. The group was open about its goals to establish Islamic law in the U.S., destroy Israel, and take al-Qaeda's messages to the masses.

Revolution Muslim became like a gateway drug for young men, enabling those who might be just tangentially interested in the global jihad to link up with real jihadists in Pakistan and other places.

RevMusim's relative success -– a list of its recent members reads like a who's who of American homegrown terrorism suspects — has yet to be repeated by other violent jihadi groups.

Even so, Georgetown's Hoffman says there is a lesson to be learned from all of this: "These jihadi groups have been all over this a lot faster and far more ahead of it than many of their government opponents," he said, "so that it will continue to evolve and they will be able to exploit it even more effectively."

Leads For Law Enforcement

There is one part of government that has learned to exploit the intersection of terrorism and the web: law enforcement.

The New York Police Department and FBI never shut the Revolution Muslim website down because it provided leads on young men who were inclined toward violent extremism. Now law enforcement can go to Facebook to provide the same kind of intelligence.

"I have been very surprised by the number of people who are moving to Facebook who are talking openly about their admiration for al-Qaeda," said CNA's McCants. "This can be a great boon for law enforcement because you can watch the flow of propaganda and you can see who is connecting to whom and if they are getting in the orbit of very dangerous people."

Al-Shabab, the Islamist militia that produced that popular music video, now has a Twitter account with thousands of followers. The joke among terrorism experts? About 99 percent of them are journalists and law enforcement.

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