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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.

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Historic Ford Plant Site Likely A Tough Sell

Dec 27, 2011
Originally published on May 23, 2012 11:11 am

The Ford Motor Co. recently closed its historic Twin Cities Assembly Plant on a scenic river bluff in St. Paul, Minn. In better times, the parcel of land might have made condo developers drool, but in today's real estate market, redevelopment of the old factory could be a long way off.

The industrial architect Albert Kahn was particularly skilled at making factories blend into their surroundings. The 2-million-square-foot plant has a classical stone facade that flows along the Mississippi River bluff. The red tile roof of its hydroelectric plant glows in the sunlight.

Tia Anderson, who lives near the plant in the Highland Park neighborhood, says this behemoth was scarcely a bother.

"A lot of people don't even notice that it's there," she says. "It is sort of walled off, almost, physically from the rest of Highland, so a lot of people don't necessarily think about it day to day."

But they will soon, as Ford puts this prime piece of land up for sale. Hydropower and silica for glassmaking brought Henry Ford here a century ago. Today, city officials hope the scenery and central location will attract someone with a new vision.

Life On The Assembly Line

Steve Overby popped each hood to check the fit as the last few Ranger pickups rolled toward the exit this month. Then, he nudged the hinges with his mallet.

Overby's job — using hand tools in a factory full of robots — is a throwback to the earliest days of auto making. On this very spot his predecessors churned out Model T's and Model A's.

In 1929, Ken Muxlow started work at the plant making seat cushions. In an oral history interview shortly before his death in 2000, he said those pre-union years were tough and unpredictable.

"The line kept going no matter what," Muxlow recalled. "If you had to go to the bathroom, you had to go, and you had to catch up your job when you got back. They didn't give you any time."

The threat of losing defense contracts during World War II forced Henry Ford to negotiate with the United Auto Workers and conditions slowly improved. The assembly lines produced tanks and armored cars. Postwar, it was Fairlanes, station wagons and trucks. Now Ford has ended Ranger production and closed the plant, even though it's hiring elsewhere.

A Rare Opportunity

While tales of life on the line will remain for historians and former workers, the future of the 122-acre site lies with a developer — once Ford finds one.

Cecile Bedor, St. Paul's planning director, says the job losses are unfortunate, but the plant's closing offers a rare chance for a city with little empty land to do something ambitious.

"What it does present is a really exciting opportunity to really realize a beautiful development that's really going to add to this community and the region," Bedor says. "And really, our hope is to showcase how to do really good development."

What that might be is anyone's guess. Ideas range from light manufacturing to a data center in the old silica mine, to housing.

With the Mississippi River nearby, Bedor says, attracting a green development is a priority.

But defunct factory sites in gritty industrial suburbs have proved tough to sell. And even though this one is in a thriving residential neighborhood, University of St. Thomas real estate professor George Karvel says finding the right buyer could take years.

"It's a great piece of property — for retail, for single-family housing, for apartments — but just not today," Karvel says.

Crews will spend the next year demolishing the buildings. Then they need to figure out how polluted the land is after nine decades of manufacturing. Cleanup will likely take several more years. By then, city leaders say, they hope the economy will have finally caught up with their ambitions.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

For many years, people in St. Paul, Minnesota supported themselves with jobs at a Ford Motor Company plant. Now that plant is closed and Ford is preparing to sell the property. The real estate could have a new economic life. It's in a quiet residential neighborhood on a scenic river bluff - an attractive property. But in today's real estate market, redevelopment may take time. Here's Matt Sepic of Minnesota Public Radio.

MATT SEPIC, BYLINE: It's not easy to make a two million square foot factory blend into its surroundings, but industrial architect Albert Kahn did. The plant's classical stone facade flows along a Mississippi River bluff. The red tile roof of the hydroelectric plant glows in the sunlight. And Tia Anderson, who lives near the plant in the Highland Park neighborhood, says this behemoth was scarcely a bother.

TIA ANDERSON: A lot of people don't even notice that it's there. I mean it is sort of walled off, almost, physically from the rest of Highland. So a lot of people don't necessarily think about it day to day.

SEPIC: But they will soon, as Ford puts this prime piece of land in the heart of the Twin Cities metro up for sale. Hydropower and silica for glassmaking brought Henry Ford here a century ago. And today, city officials hope the scenery and central location will attract someone with a new vision.

(SOUNDBITE OF NOISE)

SEPIC: As the last few Rangers rolled toward the exit this month, worker Steve Overby popped each hood to check the fit. Then he nudged the hinges with his mallet.

(SOUNDBITE OF HAMMER)

SEPIC: Overby's job - using hand tools in a factory full of robots - is a throwback to the earliest days of auto making. On this very spot his predecessors churned out Model T's and Model A's.

Ken Muxlow started work at the plant in 1929 making seat cushions. In an oral history interview shortly before his death in 2000, he said those pre-union years were tough and unpredictable.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

KEN MUXLOW: The line kept going no matter what. If you had to go to the bathroom, you had to go, and you had to catch up your job when you got back. They didn't give you any time.

SEPIC: The threat of losing defense contracts during World War II forced Henry Ford to negotiate with the United Auto Workers, and conditions slowly improved. The assembly lines produced tanks and armored cars. Postwar, it was Fairlanes, station wagons and trucks. Now Ford has ended Ranger production and closed the plant, even though it's hiring again elsewhere.

While tales of life on the line will remain for historians and former workers, the future of the 122-acre site lies with a developer - once Ford finds one.

St. Paul Planning Director Cecile Bedor says the job losses are unfortunate, but the plant's closing offers a rare chance for a city with little empty land to do something ambitious.

CECILE BEDOR: What it does present is a really exciting opportunity to really realize a beautiful development that's really going to add to this community and the region. And really, our hope is to showcase how to do really good development.

SEPIC: What that might be is anyone's guess. Ideas range from light manufacturing to a data center in the old silica mine to housing. With the Mississippi River nearby, Bedor says attracting a green development is a priority. But defunct factory sites in gritty industrial suburbs have proven tough to sell. And even though this one is in a thriving residential neighborhood, University of St. Thomas real estate professor George Karvel says finding the right buyer could take years.

GEORGE KARVEL: It's a great piece of property, for retail, for single family housing, for apartments, but just not today.

SEPIC: Crews will spend the next year demolishing the buildings. After that, they have to figure out how polluted the land is after nine decades of manufacturing. Cleanup will likely take several more years. But by then city leaders say they hope the economy will have finally caught up with their ambitions.

For NPR News, I'm Matt Sepic in St. Paul. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.