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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.


GOP Michigan Debate: Auto Industry, Herman Cain Likely Topics

Nov 9, 2011

When the Republican presidential candidates meet Wednesday evening in Michigan for their ninth debate (it feels like there've been many more than that) the main topic up for discussion is supposed to be the economy.

But is there anyone who expects that the travails of Herman Cain won't be a subtopic?

The former Godfather Pizza CEO's flat-tax plan encountered severe turbulence at the last debate and it is likely to experience more during the encounter at Oakland University outside Detroit.

Cain should experience some added buffeting, however, due to the sexual harassment charges that have dominated coverage of the Republican presidential campaign in the last week. Indeed, this is the first debate to occur since the scandal broke.

It actually should be fairly easy for the CNBC moderators to introduce the scandal into the debate scheduled to start at 8 pm ET.

They could ask Mitt Romney the following, for instance: "Last week you introduced your fiscal plan to reduce deficits and the debt. But almost no one paid attention because of the Cain sex harassment scandal. How can you get your fiscal message across to voters so long as the Cain scandal overshadows it?" See how simple it is?

So we can expect the Cain harassment scandal and his response to same to get at least a few minutes during the debate. And we expect that Cain will, naturally, do whatever he can to change the subject.

With the debate occurring at a school just outside Detroit, the comeback of the U.S. auto industry should be high up on the list of topics.

What could make for some interesting moments is how Romney and the others on stage deal with their opposition of the federal bailouts for GM and Chrysler.

Those bailouts are credited with saving the U.S. auto industry and hundreds of thousands of direct and indirect jobs.

Romney, just as an example, has said he would have allowed the car makers enter the normal bankruptcy process.

But as many people in Michigan know, that would have been tantamount to a death sentence for the automakers. Many experts said it would have been virtually impossible for the companies to obtain the private financing for restructuring which means they're right, the Michigan the candidates will be in tonight would have been a far different, and not necessarily better, place.

That being said, the debate is something like a homecoming for Romney whose father was a Michigan governor governor an chief executive of the defunct AMC car company.

Thus we should expect to see Romney, who has been mostly cruising through the debates being the veteran presidential campaigner he is, to likely do more of the same since on what should feel like his home turf.

For the other candidates — Texas Gov. Rick Perry; former House speaker Newt Gingrich; Rep. Ron Paul of Texas; Rep. Michele Bachmann; Rick Santorum, the former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, and Jon Huntsman Jr., the former Utah governor, the debate is mostly one more chance to try to get hit by lightning while the time to do so dwindles.

For most of them at this stage, that would mean trying to win over the anti-Romney voters who went to Cain in large numbers.

This is where, once again, the sexual harassment scandal could come in handy again because it raises doubts about Cain's viability.

Meanwhile, as you watch the debate, you may want to consider if as something of a reality show. That's how Jennifer Collins, a reporter for American Public Media described the debates in a recent report.

An excerpt from her report:

COLLINS: Rita Kirk is a political consultant and a professor at Southern Methodist University. As the campaign gets underway, political debates are becoming major events. They're unpredictable. They've got rowdy audiences — and even rowdier candidates.

KIRK: Week after week, we go back to see how they're doing this week and what has changed.

LARRY NOVENSTERN: It's like train-wreck television. They want to see crashes.

COLLINS: Larry Novenstern is with Orion Trading, an ad-buying firm. He says those crashes are no accident — they're straight out of the reality show playbook.

NOVENSTERN: Producers are using that script in their head to come up with the most inflammatory ways to get viewers.

COLLINS: And they're getting them. A recent debate on CNN brought in 10 times the viewers who typically show up for primetime cable news. As for revenue, Novenstern says a 30-second commercial during the debates might bring in five times the usual fee. Little wonder, there are more than 20 debates on the calendar and more added all the time.

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