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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.


White House Decks The Halls In Military Brass

Dec 3, 2011
Originally published on May 23, 2012 11:13 am

A group of more than 100 volunteers helped decorate the White House this year, covering the mansion in Christmas trees, cookie ornaments and several versions of the Obamas' dog, Bo. The real stars, however, were the military families who joined the celebration.

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The White House has many holiday traditions. One is that volunteers from around the country decorate the White House in the days after Thanksgiving. Well, on this program we have a related tradition. For the second year in a row, at least, NPR's Ari Shapiro brings us the voices of some of those decorators.


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: Good morning. Welcome. Good morning.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #2: Good morning. Good morning.

JOSE POLONKO: My name is Jose Polonko(ph), from Rhode Island. And I'm here with my dad.

PEDRO POLONKO: Mi nombre Pedro Polonko.

JOSE POLONKO: My dad's 91. He's always wanted to visit the White House so I had applied on his behalf.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Did your father know that you had applied?

JOSE POLONKO: No. I actually surprised him right till the end.

SHAPIRO: Well, you have a wonderful son to do that for you.

JOSE POLONKO: (Foreign language spoken)

PEDRO POLONKO: Gracias. (Foreign language spoken)

JOSE POLONKO: He says, thank you. He gives me thanks and he well, prays to God that I have a good life.


DENISE INGLE: I'm Denise Ingle from Charlotte, North Carolina, and I've had a son in the military for 18 years. I've only had one Christmas with him, so Christmas has been, you know, a little on the sad side. And the last time I saw him was a year ago, when my husband died. So my friend contacted the White House. She wanted to give something back to me. And you know what? I did get that little bit of shine back. Sewing the buttons on the tree skirt in there for the military, that was close to my heart. Watching the chefs bring in the gingerbread house - oh, my gosh, that was thrilling.

BILL YOSSES: My name is Bill Yosses. I'm the executive pastry chef at the White House.

SHAPIRO: And last year you told me that the gingerbread White House that we're looking at seems to get heavier and heavier every year. Does this year surpass last year's?

YOSSES: It doesn't surpass in weight. It may surpass in complexity, though. But one reason that it's lighter is that we opened up two more of the rooms. The green room and the red room we opened, in the sense that now you can look into them. There's the lighted chandelier in there, and we re-created furniture, in marzipan and chocolate, of each of those rooms.

DAVID BARTOSHUCK: David Bartoshuk(ph), Denver, Colorado.

SHAPIRO: And tell me how you ended up here, decorating the White House for the holidays.

BARTOSHUCK: Well, 15 years ago I was homeless, and I saw Martha Stewart with then-first lady Hillary Clinton in a White House special, and I decided that's something I'd love to do. So I stayed in school, and I watched Martha Stewart every single day, and started sending pictures of my events and my tablescapes to the White House, and this last August got an acceptance letter.

SHAPIRO: That's amazing. How did you feel when you heard that you'd been accepted?

BARTOSHUCK: There was some screaming. There was some crying. And I ultimately have attained my goal.

SHAPIRO: And now that this dream has come true for you, what's next?

BARTOSHUCK: Martha Stewart in New York, if you're listening, here I come.


SIMON: The voices of White House volunteer decorators; the music by Russell Wilson of the U.S. Marine Band.


SIMON: You're listening to NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.