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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 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.

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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.

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After Fleeing, Syrian Activists Regroup In Turkey

Dec 2, 2011

In a matter of months, Turkey has gone from one of Syria's strongest allies to one of its sharpest critics as the uprising in Syria has been met with a harsh crackdown by President Bashar Assad.

Turkey has become a haven for Syrian refugees, a base for Syrian army defectors and a home for Syria's main political opposition group. And on Friday, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden was in Turkey for talks that included the deteriorating conditions in Syria.

On the streets of Istanbul, Akram Asaf, a 31-year-old lawyer who fled Syria, says he feels safe, but not yet free.

"I can't enjoy anything here, not while people inside Syria are dying," Asaf said. He arrived in Istanbul just a month ago after getting a warning that he was targeted for assassination. At that point, he had been leading the uprising for eight months in Deir Ezzor, one of the most volatile cities in eastern Syria.

He says he's still in contact with Deir Ezzor around the clock, adding that he manages to organize protests and plot strategy with other activists through the Internet. Even during an interview, the phone calls kept coming.

Asaf says that in his home town, the ranks of the Free Syrian Army are growing as more soldiers defect. For months, the Syrian security forces cracked down harshly against mostly peaceful protesters. Now, the opposition includes a growing number of armed men, and the rebels are playing an increasingly important role.

"Nobody did anything to protect the peaceful protests, to guarantee that the protests go on," he said. "We have to protect the protesters in some way."

Army Generals Tip Off Opposition

But even more importantly, he says, some top army officers in the city are aiding the uprising as informers.

"We are in contact with the Syrian army. They help us by giving us information," Asaf said.

Some sympathetic generals send warnings of operations by the security police, he said. The generals provide intelligence on targeted arrests – which allowed him to operate for months by moving from one safe house to another. But the final warning that he was on a death list forced him to flee.

Asaf is part of a growing community of Syrian activists now operating from Turkey.

Another is Hussam al-Marie, a 28-year-old from Tel Khalek, a town on Syria's border with Lebanon. He too says he's in constant contact with activists back home.

"It's my full time job now. It's better for us to stay inside [Syria] but we can't do that, we can be killed," he said.

Activists Take New Roles

Al-Marie, like Asaf, has expanded his role in exile. They have joined the Syrian National Council, the largest opposition group that includes exiled dissidents and a new generation of leaders from inside Syria.

The Syrian opposition has been playing a more prominent role, too. Encouraged by the Turks, the opposition group met for the first time with leaders of the Free Syrian Army. They agreed to coordinate actions against the Syrian regime – the rebels agreed to use force only to protect civilians, and to scale back attacks against the government.

Asked if he worries about the uprising becoming more violent, he says, "No, I don't think so. It's a peaceful revolution. I think you are talking about the Free Syrian Army. They are from the army – so they swear that they will defend the Syrian people. So they are just doing their job to defend those peaceful protesters.

The Free Syrian Army stepped up attacks on Friday, killing eight in an assault on an army intelligence center in northern Syria. Activists reported that at least 20 civilians died in protests across the country, shot by security police.

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