Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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 http://www.npr.org/.

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 http://www.npr.org/.

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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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.

Pages

Christmas Stamps Are OK; Christmas Carols? Not At The Post Office

Dec 14, 2011

There's been some consternation on the Web about what happened this weekend at a post office in Silver Spring, Md., when three Christmas carolers — all decked out in shawls, bonnets and a top hat (for the guy) — popped in and started singing.

It seems that one of the USPS managers on duty jumped into action, telling the trio that they couldn't do that because they were on government property.

J.P. Duffy, a spokesman for the conservative Family Research Council, happened to be among the customers in line at the time. He told the tale on the FRC's blog. And he added this view:

"Over the last several years, we have watched militant secularists team up with federal bureaucrats in the effort to sterilize the public square of anything remotely connected to anything religious. This postal manager has clearly received the memo which has led him to stamp out Christmas caroling. But I have my own memo to all the Christmas carolers out there. Let's not surrender to the secularist version of Christmas future. Let's hold onto Christmases of past and do our part to pass that on to our children."

Duffy wants those who agree with him to tell the Post Office to let such people sing.

For its part, as the local Gazette.Net reports, the Postal Service basically says rules are rules:

"U.S. Postal Service spokeswoman Laura Dvorak said the carolers, dressed like characters from A Christmas Carol, were in violation of the Postal Service's rules on public assembly and public address. 'Inside the post office, however, the expectation is that public assembly will be either conducted or sponsored by the Postal Service,' Dvorak wrote in an email."

Duffy (and Fox News) seem to see this as another skirmish in the "war on Christmas" (the url for Fox's story even has "war-christmas" in it: http://nation.foxnews.com/war-christmas/2011/12/12/post-office-bans-christmas-carolers).

But the Post Office also sells some of the most Christmassy stamps you can imagine. And many of its mail carriers aren't shy about getting all ho-ho-happy around the holidays.

War on Christmas? Feel free to discuss in the comments thread.

(H/T to NPR's Liz Halloran.)

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