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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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Beer Or Sugar Water? For Flies, The Choice Is Pale Ale

Nov 25, 2011

Scientists in California think they've figure out why flies like beer. That may sound a bit trivial, but in fact it could lead to new ways of combating plant and animal pests.

That flies like beer is well known. "The attraction of flies to beer was first reported in the early 1920s," says Anupama Dahanukar. She's part of an inter-disciplinary program involving neuroscience and entomology at the University of California, Riverside. She's been studying how flies recognize chemicals, so answering the question of why flies like beer is actually quite relevant to her research.

It's not a simple question. Scientists are only just beginning to understand the basics of smell and taste in humans, so research on flies has been extremely helpful with that.

Since flies are well known to like sugar, it could just be that flies like beer because they can detect some residual sugar in beer. But Dahanukar suspected that might not be the case. So she planned an experiment. She would give the flies a choice between beer and sugar water, and see which they preferred.

"We selected a pale ale, and the main reason was because pale ales have very lower sugar contents," says Dahanukar. "So we were trying to identify other chemicals — chemicals other than sugars that taste good to flies."

Zev Wisotsky, a graduate student in Dahanukar's lab, actually performed the experiment. "I remember it was a Saturday," he says. "I grabbed the beer at the grocery store, came into the lab, and performed the two-choice assay."

The two-choice assay forces the flies to choose between a sip of beer and a sip of sugar water. The flies went for the beer.

Now that that was established, Wisotsky and Dahanukar went about trying to figure out which compound in the beer was attracting the flies.

"The answer, as it turns out, was quite simple," says Dahanukar. "It's a molecule called glycerol, which is made by yeast during fermentation." Glycerol is the stuff that's used in antifreeze. It actually tastes sweet, but it's not a sugar.

Dahanukar and Wisotsky even found the particular gene responsible for flies' ability to detect glycerol. When they created flies missing that gene, and gave them the sugar water-beer choice, the flies went for the sugar water.

This research appears in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

Dahanukar is interested in understanding more about the genes responsible for taste and smell in flies. But others are already beginning to turn this information into powerful insect repellents. A team of scientists at Vanderbilt University has found a compound that is more powerful than anything on the market today that takes advantage of this molecular understanding of how insects perceive the chemical world.

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