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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.

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Holiday Sales Have Strong Start, Will The Trend Continue?

Nov 28, 2011

The news that the holiday shopping season got a strong start on its unofficial launch day — Black Friday — has helped push stock index futures up sharply this morning.

After all, if American consumers are indeed feeling good this holiday season, that would be very welcome news for an economy still struggling to produce jobs. Stronger demand, in theory, should eventually put pressure on businesses to add to their workforces.

But — and there's always a but when it comes to stories about the economy — it's probably best to hold off on drawing too many conclusions from the first big shopping weekend.

"One swallow does not a holiday season make. After the deepest recession in decades, the solid Black Friday weekend is welcome news, but we're only in the second quarter of a long playoff game," Craig Johnson, president of consulting firm Customer Growth Partners, tells Reuters.

It's also possible, analysts say, that many shoppers did most if not all of their holiday shopping already — they may have effectively "borrowed" from future spending.

The National Retail Federation says "a record 226 million shoppers visited stores and websites over Black Friday weekend, up from 212 million last year. ... The average holiday shopper spent $398.62 this weekend, up [9.1 percent] from $365.34 last year. Total spending reached an estimated $52.4 billion."

The federation adds that "additionally, shoppers also checked out retailers' deals online, spending an average of $150.53 on the web — 37.8 percent of their total weekend spending."

Speaking of online shopping, today is the so-called Cyber Monday — when retailers try to get us to open our virtual wallets to score some online deals. Detroit Free Press columnist Mark W. Smith this morning takes a look at the "myth of Cyber Monday."

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.