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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.


Doctor Isolates Exercise Hormone; Tells People To Keep Exercising

Jan 11, 2012

What if your New Year's resolution to get more exercise could be fulfilled — by taking a pill? That's the far-flung idea suddenly brought much closer to reality by the discovery of a hormone called irisin, which is produced by the human body in response to exercise.

Irisin may hold some of exercise's key benefits that relate to obesity and Type 2 diabetes, researchers say.

WBUR's CommonHealth blog has the story, which came out today thanks to a study in the journal Nature. CommonHealth's Carey Goldberg spoke to the study's senior author, Dr. Bruce Spiegelman, who stresses that the researchers' intent was not to give people another reason to be lazy.

"The last thing in the world we're trying to do is substitute for diet and exercise," he tells Goldberg.

But Spiegelman, who works at the Harvard Medical School and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, says there are plenty of people out there who simply cannot perform some activities related to exercise. And whether that's because of paralysis or illness, they might someday benefit from the discovery of irisin.

The hormone's name comes from the Greek goddess Iris, whose mythic role was to carry messages between gods and humans.

And like a message telling your body, "Hey, don't be so fat," the hormone encourages what Spiegelman calls " the 'browning' of white fat — turning on a thermogenic program in some white fat."

Brown fat is seen as the most useful, and least harmful, type of fat — while white fat merely sits there, storing potential energy, your body's brown fat actually burns calories. And recent studies have found that some people simply have more of it than others.

Because it's a polypeptide naturally produced by the body, a trial of irisin on human test subjects for irisin injections might only be a few years away, Goldberg writes.

For now, Spiegelman is excited to learn more about the hormone.

"I think people have been thinking for a long time that exercise has benefits that go well beyond the muscle," he tells Goldberg. "It affects your heart, your blood vessels, it's very anti-diabetic. So to find a polypeptide that embodies some of that is very cool."

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