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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.

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Blocking Keystone Won't Stop Oil Sands Production

Jan 18, 2012

President Obama is feeling election-year pressure on the pending decision over the Keystone XL pipeline. Republicans say the Canadian project would provide the U.S. with oil and new jobs, but environmentalists want him to block it. They say Alberta's oil sands generate more greenhouse gases than other kinds of oil, and Americans must not become dependent on such a dirty source of energy. But it may already be too late to change that.

Tucked in among the ranch houses in Burnaby, British Columbia, a quiet suburb east of Vancouver, is the terminal for the Trans Mountain Pipeline, which brings in oil from Alberta. For decades, that oil was mainly consumed in the Vancouver region. But that is changing.

Ben West, an anti-oil tanker activist with a group called the Wilderness Committee, says when the pipeline company Kinder Morgan bought this facility in 2005, it shifted its focus to exports — primarily to the American West Coast.

"We've seen this huge increase of tanker traffic," he says. "We went from 22 tankers in 2005, up to 79. You know these 700,000-barrel tankers that are now coming through the Burrard Inlet, which passes through one of the most populated areas of British Columbia."

The pipeline also has a branch that crosses the border, feeding crude oil to refineries in Washington state. Kinder Morgan is now exploring the possibility of doubling the pipeline's capacity. West calls it the "quiet repurposing" of the Trans Mountain Pipeline. And because of it, oil sands gasoline is now fueling cars from Seattle to San Francisco.

Philip Verleger, an economist who specializes in oil markets, says even if environmentalists convince President Obama to block the Keystone XL pipeline, it won't stop the growth of production in the Canadian oil sands.

"With prices around a hundred dollars a barrel globally, that oil is going to make it to the market somehow," Verleger says. "The development may be slowed for a year or two. But one can move the oil west on the existing Kinder Morgan pipeline. They could expand pipelines east. Those pipelines already exist and they can be expanded."

In fact, Enbridge, a Canadian energy company, recently asked Canadian regulators for permission to reverse the direction of one of its pipelines in Ontario, which many see as the first step to move more Canadian oil to the American East Coast — and relieve some of the Canadian oil glut in the upper Midwest.

Back in Burnaby, activist West is well aware of the spider's web of pipelines exporting oil from Alberta, but that doesn't make him any less opposed to the Keystone XL.

"I think it's true that the Keystone pipeline is not the only way that the oil is making its way to market, and there's definitely enough demand that if one of these gets built, people will want to build the other ones," West says. "But, you know, we really need to turn that around."

But demand is the key, say most economists. If you can get American drivers to buy less gas — by raising fuel efficiency standards, as the Obama Administration recently did ‑-- then, they say, you stand a much better chance of slowing down production in the oil sands.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.