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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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Baseball's Houston Astros To Switch Leagues In 2013

Nov 17, 2011
Originally published on November 17, 2011 3:13 pm

The Houston Astros will be moving from Major League Baseball's National League to the American League "as soon as the 2013 season," MLB announced this afternoon.

And, two "wild card" teams are going to be added to baseball's playoffs, possibly as soon as next season. The league said "specifics are being worked out" on how that will be done. USA Today's Daily Pitch blog reports that Commissioner Bud Selig said an owners committee favors one-game playoffs, involving wild card teams, in each league.

There are three divisions in each league. Now, each division's winner automatically qualifies for the playoffs, and one wild card from each league — the team with the best record that didn't win a division — also gets in. Presumably, under the plan Selig discussed, the two best non-division winners in each league would have a "play-in" game to see who goes on. So the number of teams involved in post-season play would rise from four in each league to five. If the system had been in effect this year, the American League's Tampa Bay Rays and the National League's Atlanta Braves would have been part of the playoffs.

The move of the Astros is part of a deal involving a group lead by businessman Jim Crane's to purchase the team. The group had agreed to buy the team for $680 million, but was given a $70 million price cut in exchange for agreeing to switch leagues because of the move's potential negative effect on the Astros TV ratings.

When the Astros change divisions, the team will switch from the National League's Central to the American League's West. That will put Texas' two teams — the Texas Rangers is the other — in the same division. The move will also mean that both leagues will have three divisions with five teams in each. Under the current lineup, the National League's Central division (Houston's current home) has six teams and the AL West has four.

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