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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.


Dozens Killed In Syria: Regime Blames Terrorists, Opposition Blames Regime

Dec 23, 2011
Originally published on December 23, 2011 4:59 pm

"Twin suicide car bomb blasts ripped through an upscale Damascus district Friday, targeting security and intelligence buildings and killing at least 40 people" according to authorities, The Associated Press writes.

NPR's Deborah Amos says it's the "first such attack since the beginning of a 10-month revolt" against President Bashar Assad's regime.

Now there's the question of who is responsible.

President Bashar Assad's regime was quick to declare it was the work of terrorists — a claim that supports its contention that it's not at fault for the deaths of several thousand people this year because it is battling armed gangs and terrorists, even though the U.N. has said the regime is to blame for as many as 5,000 deaths.

Those who have been protesting against Assad's authoritarian regime are saying, according to the BBC, that "the government ... staged the attacks to influence an Arab League observer team" that arrived in Syria on Thursday to monitor the situation.

NPR's Amos, who is following the news in Syria from Beirut, says government officials "escorted the [Arab League] monitors through the smoking wreckage even before the dead were removed."

Update at 4:54 p.m. ET. Skeptical Of Government Claims:

NPR's Deb Amos reported on All Things Considered that the government in Damascus was quick to blame al-Qaida for the attack and they made that accusation clear to the visiting monitors.

Deb spoke to Salman Shaikh, a fellow at Brookings' Saban Center for Middle East Policy, who said he was "deeply skeptical of the government's claims," especially because they were made very quickly after the bombing.

Deb also pointed out that the bombing has diverted attention from the clashes that have left scores of Syrians dead in the northern part of the country.

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