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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.


Auction Of Audubon Set On Friday Could Mark New Record For Books

Jan 19, 2012
Originally published on January 19, 2012 1:08 pm

A rare four-volume set — John James Audubon's Birds of America — stands a good chance of becoming the most expensive such books ever auctioned on Friday.

The auction house, Christie's New York, says the books are likely to fetch $7 million to $10 million. But that's just something of a suggestion and very likely won't be the final figure. As Barron's reports:

"Tom Lecky, Christie's head of books and manuscripts ... [says] another full set of Birds of America reached [a record] $11.5 million when it was sold by Sotheby's in London in 2010. Lecky says that set, known as the Hesketh, was estimated [before the sale] at less than the [value of the] volumes" that will be auctioned Friday.

And according to The Guardian:

"Only 120 complete sets of Audubon's 435 hand-colored, life-sized engravings of America's birds are believed to exist today, with the majority (107) owned by institutions. ... The new set was bought by the fourth Duke of Portland at some point after 1838 and is in 'excellent' condition, said Christie's. ... Measuring over three feet in height and running to four volumes, The Birds of America was created by Audubon between 1827 and 1838."

The Christian Science Monitor adds that "the size of the book was dictated by Audubon who insisted on dimensions that would enable life-size renderings of the hundreds of birds he depicted." Each volume measures 3 feet by 2 feet.

The Daily Beast has a gallery of images from the set posted here.

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