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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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Behind Unemployment Figure, A Nuanced Outlook

Dec 3, 2011

The U.S. unemployment rate took a big tumble in November, from 9 percent to 8.6 percent, according to the government's monthly jobs data. Still, it's probably too soon pop the champagne corks. A combination of forces caused the big drop, some good and some bad.

Getting a big fall in the unemployment rate is always good news in the White House, but President Obama was careful not to gloat at an appearance Friday in Washington.

"This morning we learned that our economy added another 140,000 private sector jobs in November. The unemployment rate went down," he said.

The president didn't make a big deal about the unemployment rate falling sharply — maybe because he's afraid it will go up again.

Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial in Chicago, says the president might be playing it down because there's another reason the rate fell so much: 315,000 people gave up looking for work.

"Many people are just not even trying right now," she says, "and seeing people just drop out of the labor force entirely is not the best reason in the world to have the unemployment rate move down."

Of course, the best reason to have the unemployment rate go down is because new jobs were created. There was some of that in November, but the headline number — 120,000 net new jobs — was not enough to bring the unemployment rate down.

That probably sounds like a contradiction — because it is.

The disconnect between the unemployment rate and the job growth number happens, says Swonk, because they come from two different sets of data. The headline unemployment rate comes from a survey of households. Meanwhile, every month, the headline job growth number comes from a survey of businesses.

"That's a survey of established firms, and it doesn't always capture changes in small business formation, the new businesses that are being created out there," Swonk says, "and we're starting to see some evidence that that may be picking up."

The fact is it takes a few months for the Labor Department to find those new businesses, like designer Anke Loh's new online fashion store, launched two months ago.

"In the online store you can see mainly scarves and shawls and a T-shirt line," she says.

So far, though, Loh's the only person on the payroll.

"I do have freelance people, graphic designers, I mean for every little bit of this company, I have people who help me," she says.

Loh says she hasn't received any forms from the Labor Department asking for the number of employees she has.

This is the kind of business that's not picked up in the statistics immediately, and it's much more likely to show up in the household survey because it's more grassroots than the survey of established businesses.

However, even if there are entrepreneurial juices producing jobs unnoticed in the official data, the economy continues to face many challenges. Right now, the darkest cloud may be the debt crisis in Europe. If there's a financial meltdown there, it would hurt the U.S. economy and the job market.

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