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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.


Texas Redistricting Plan Tossed Out By Supreme Court

Jan 20, 2012

A plan for how to redraw Texas' congressional and state legislative districts that was put together by a three-judge federal court in San Antonio was rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court this morning because, the justices ruled, the lower court should not have disregarded the Texas state legislature's wishes and should not have stepped into that legislature's shoes.

In an 11-page "per curiam" opinion that does not say how the nine justices voted but instead speaks on behalf of the full court, the judges in Texas are basically told to come up with new district lines and not to ignore the Republican-controlled legislature's maps when doing so.

Time is of the essence. Texas' 32-member House delegation is set to expand to 36 because of the state's population growth — much of it Hispanic. SCOTUSBlog points out that there is a "Feb. 1 deadline for creation of new maps." Texas holds its primaries on April 3.

As NPR's Nina Totenberg has reported, the GOP-controlled Texas legislature drew up House maps that likely would have resulted in three of the four new districts going to Republicans. Critics went to court to stop it, saying the lines discriminated against minorities. The Justice Department, now run by the Democratic Obama administration, also weighed in against the legislature's plan, NPR's Carrie Johnson tells us.

The plan the three-judge panel in San Antonio came up with likely would give three of the four new districts to Democrats.

Federal approval of Texas' plans is necessary, as Nina has reported, because "states like Texas, with a demonstrated history of racial and ethnic discrimination," are required by the Voting Rights Act to "get pre-clearance before putting into effect a new redistricting plan."

Still, in its ruling today the Supreme Court writes that "redistricting is 'primarily the duty and responsibility of the State,' " citing a 1975 opinion. "The failure of a State's newly enacted plan to gain pre-clearance prior to an upcoming election does not, by itself, require a court to take up the state legislature's task."

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