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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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Controversial Film Director Ken Russell Dead At 84

Nov 28, 2011

The acclaimed, eccentric, and very polarizing British film director Ken Russell has died, after a series of strokes at the age of 84.

The director of Tommy, Women In Love and Altered States, Russell was known for a florid style and fascination with sadomasochism that earned him condemnations and a cult following. His adaptations of classic literature and over-the-top biopics ranged from perverse to merely provocative — and an indelible nickname: "Kinky Ken Russell."

In the 1971 film The Devils, Vanessa Redgrave played a nun who is vividly tortured. The church objected, as did a legion of critics disgusted by the film's excesses and sadomasochism.

But Russell, a Catholic convert, defended his films.

He told NPR in 1991: "My films assault people, but that's because the images are potent. I don't have any gratuitous scenes in my films. They're actually integral to the plot."

It took Russell decades to become so proficient at pushing the public's buttons. At first his ambitions were more modest: He wanted to be a sailor.

He joined the British Merchant Marine but was constantly seasick. He returned home, suffered a nervous breakdown and then heard something on the radio that unleashed his inner artist.

Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 flayed him open. Russell started cranking Tchaikosvky while leaping around his parents' house naked. His ambition to dance professionally failed when he got kicked out of ballet school for being too clumsy.

Later attempts at the air force and acting also foundered, but a foray into photography opened the door to TV directing. And his newfound passion for classical music led to his making a film that become one of the BBC's most popular documentaries.

Elgar is a restrained portrait of composer Edward Elgar. There's nothing in it to presage the director's later overdramatized biopics of Tchaikovsky, Liszt or Strauss. That last one nearly got him sued by the BBC and the composer's son who were horrified by the fabricated — and very twisted scenes — involving orgies that included his father, Nazis and a few nuns.

But Russell relished controversy says his longtime producer Daniel Ireland.

"He lived for it," Ireland says. "Ken sort of celebrated being bad."

Ireland produced four of Russell's movies in the 1980s. As a young fan, he fell in love with Women In Love, the movie that made Russell's reputation. In 1969 it won an Oscar for star Glenda Jackson.

"He was very, very smart in picking actors. If you look all through his career — Glenda Jackson, Vanessa Redgrave — [he cast them] all at the beginnings of their careers."

Russell had an eye not just for strong actors who could handle his strong subjects, but material that shared his flamboyant sensibility.

He enjoyed one of his rare critical successes in 1975 with his adaptation of the Who's Tommy, a rock opera about bad acid trips and child molestation.

Ireland says Ken Russell was just as full of life as his films — he would egg his actors on with screams of "Way more abandon!" — but the director told NPR that his reputation as an extravagant, decadent figure could not be further from the truth.

"I've been made so by the press," he insisted.

Toward the end of his life, Russell retreated from feature films. But ever the provocateur, he continued to straddle high and low cultures and stay in the public eye — and raise the public's eyebrows — by appearing on the reality show Celebrity Big Brother in Britain.

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