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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.


Europe Overthrows Politicians For Technocrats

Nov 19, 2011
Originally published on November 19, 2011 4:37 pm



Italy and Greece, two European countries mired in debt, are pinning their hopes on technocrats. It got us wondering, what exactly is a technocrat? For some answers, we first turned to former technocrat Ricardo Hausmann. He's an economist by trade and currently teaches at Harvard. But for a brief moment, starting in 1992...

RICARDO HAUSMANN: I was a, yeah, I was a minister of planning in the government of Venezuela.

WERTHEIMER: Hausmann left the post the following year. Politics, he says, has never been his calling.

HAUSMANN: I'd rather think about problems than kiss babies.

WERTHEIMER: But Hausmann says sometimes when countries get into trouble, like a debt crisis, and career politicians are unable to manage the situation, that's when highly skilled experts like himself are called into service.

HAUSMANN: You want to delegate responsibilities on people who are perceived to understand the technical aspects of the problem.

WERTHEIMER: And, just as significant, they're also perceived as apolitical. NYU political scientist Joshua Tucker says in the short term, Italy and Greece's new technocratic leaders will probably be able to make the tough decisions needed to put the countries' financial houses back in order. But, Tucker says...

JOSHUA TUCKER: Saying that technocratic government is going to solve all these problems is merely sort of pushing the problem down the road.

WERTHEIMER: For technocrats, winning politicians' support is easier than winning over the public. In the end, Joshua Tucker says, technocrats can only do so much.

TUCKER: The more this European crisis unfolds, we're always looking for the next big thing that's going to save us. There's going to be stabilization fund. Oh, we'll have technocratic government, right? Ultimately, Europe is filled with democracies now and the democratically-elected leaders of these countries are going to have to make difficult decisions. And there is no quick fix.


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