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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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Dirty Ovens: Built-In Seasoning Or Grimy Mess?

Nov 19, 2011

With some types of cookware, the more you use it, the better flavor it lends to food.

Instructions for cast iron skillets, clay dishes, or woks often include elaborate instructions on how to create a seasoning with oils or fats. To avoid damaging that protective seasoning, the typical advice is to "never use soap or an abrasive cleaner."

So that got some Yelp users wondering: might this apply to ovens, especially dirty ones awaiting a Thanksgiving turkey? Could those bits of char be the source of tasty smoke for the bird?

The Salt did a little homework on this, and determined: probably not.

First off, we're not talking about infusing the bird with a fine applewood undertone here. There's a difference between smoked cedar planks and smoked frozen pizza remains.

As cookbook author and culinary teacher Rick Rodgers tells The Salt, the metal inside an oven is much thinner than a pot or pan, which affects the way it reacts. "Food on oven walls just burns and the burned food will make smoke that will flavor your food and not in a good way," he says.

Karen Blakeslee, coordinator for Kansas State's food hotline, agrees. She says that food buildup can damage the inside of the appliance and reduce its heating efficiency.

Carol Miller, who has been answering calls at Butterball's Turkey Talk-Line for the past 27 years, admits that oven cleaning is not at the top of her Thankgiving prep list. "I personally wouldn't clean my oven unless it was really, really dirty," she says.

It's a common sentiment. Informal polling on the cooking blog circuit suggests that scrubbing the oven is a task most renters take on only when they want their cleaning deposit back, and homeowners probably even less frequently.

So that strange patina in the oven has to be attributed to laziness rather than quirky cooking strategy. But the good news is the self-cleaning cycle on most ovens is an easy way to burn off the grease. And a dirty oven probably isn't a a huge health hazard unless it's creating enough smoke to affect the air quality at your dinner party.

"Your oven should not be so dirty that it's smoking," says Rick Rodgers, a cookbook author who also teaches classes on American cuisine. But it also doesn't need to be squeaky clean. "Frankly, I would plan on cleaning the oven after Thanksgiving," he says.

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