Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

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.


Blasts Across Afghanistan Kill Dozens

Dec 6, 2011
Originally published on December 6, 2011 8:21 am



It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.


And I'm Linda Wertheimer.

There've been multiple bombings in Afghanistan today. In Kabul, a suicide-bomber has killed dozens of people at a procession marking the Muslim Shiite holiday of Ashura. Suicide attacks in Kabul have been sporadic. But today's incident is particularly disturbing because it appears to be a sectarian attack; something that Afghanistan had previously escaped, even amid the terrible violence of recent decades. This attack happened around midday, local time.

Joining us live from Kabul with the latest is NPR's Quil Lawrence.

Quil, what can you tell us?

QUIL LAWRENCE, BYLINE: It was around noon, local time. Eyewitnesses say a suicide bomber had insinuated himself into a crowd of pilgrims who were coming possibly from the province of Logar, south of Kabul. And they detonated his vest when they approached a Shiite shrine right in the center of the city. Witnesses said that they saw scattered debris and piles of bodies where about 30 feet out around from the entrance to the shrine.

There was also another bomb around the same time in the northern city of Mazar-e- Sharif that also hit a procession of Shiite pilgrims but with much smaller casualty figures.

WERTHEIMER: Any idea who might be behind this attack?

LAWRENCE: The Taliban have denied responsibility in a statement that came out a few hours after the attacks. They said that this was done by the enemies of Afghanistan. We've seen this in the past, where there are attacks; the Taliban sometimes come out with an immediate claim of responsibility, sometimes a denial hours after the fact. It's hard to say if it could have been one of the splinter groups, one of the smaller armed groups in the country that does have a connection with the Taliban, or some other Sunni extremist group - possibly al-Qaida. But we don't know and some people are taking this Taliban denial with a grain of salt.

WERTHEIMER: What about the attack in Mazar-e-Sharif, do you have any idea - anybody claiming that one?

No, not yet. Even less information about that one. They say that the bomb was perhaps attached to a bicycle. Mazar is sort of the capital of northern Afghanistan. It's one of the most stable cities in the country, and the shrine in the center of the city is, according to Afghan legend, the burial place of a famous Shiite Imam.

Just yesterday, an international conference on Afghanistan concluded in Bonn, Germany. They've been discussing NATO's support of Afghanistan after most troops withdraw in 2014. Do you think today's attacks have any bearing on that, or could affect what happened there?

LAWRENCE: Well, the expectations for the conference in Bonn had gone from low expectations to really no expectations. There had been hopes that perhaps over a year ago that even the Taliban delegation might attend. But after the assassination of the head of the High Peace Commission here, talks seemed off the table. And then, even worse, Pakistan declined to attend this meeting after the erroneous airstrike which killed about 24 Pakistani soldiers inside Pakistan last week.

So, without Pakistan's presence it seems impossible that any sort of peace talks would start. So, these attacks today just raise another specter of what might happen without a viable peace negotiation process, especially after NATO troops leave. Afghans here - everyone from shopkeepers to politicians - when I talk to them about what happens after the troops go, the first thing they say is they're afraid there could be a civil war, as there was in the past between Afghanistan's different ethnic groups. But this now raises the possibility that that civil conflict could be sectarian as well. There's something Afghanistan hasn't had a trouble with in past years, despite all the violence there. There hasn't been attacks like this specifically on Shia pilgrims on Shiite holidays. And so, this has people very nervous.

WERTHEIMER: Quil, thanks very much.

LAWRENCE: Thank you, Linda.

WERTHEIMER: We've been speaking with NPR's Kabul bureau chief, Quil Lawrence. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.