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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.


From Homeless To White House To 'The Martha Stewart Show'

Dec 20, 2011
Originally published on May 23, 2012 11:11 am

When NPR's Ari Shapiro earlier this month filed a report on the 2011 holiday decorations at the executive mansion, he focused some of his attention on the diverse group of volunteer decorators who were called on to help dress up 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Among those he spoke with was David Bondarchuck of Denver, who told about how he had been homeless as a teen — but was inspired to stay in school and become a caterer after watching Martha Stewart talk on TV with then-first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton about holidays at the White House.

"Fifteen years ago I was homeless," he said, but after seeing that TV special, "I decided that [catering and decorating was] something I'd love to do. So I stayed in school and I watched Martha Stewart every single day and started sending pictures of my events and my tablescapes to the White House. And this last August [I] got an acceptance letter" to be a volunteer decorator. He helped decorate the fireplace mantel in the Green Room and the mantel and trees in the Red Room, according to

"Now that this dream has come true for you, what's next?" Ari asked.

"Martha Stewart in New York, if you're listening, here I come," Bondarchuck said.

Bondarchuck, who runs a company called Scratch Catering Services in Denver, is set to get his wish on Wednesday.

He's scheduled to be among the guests on the Hallmark Channel's Martha Stewart Show. The show's staff heard Ari's report and invited Bondarchuck to come on.

Here's a slide show that ran when Ari's story was on Weekend Edition Saturday:

Update at 8 a.m ET, Dec. 22. "This Is Officially The Best Christmas Ever!"

Bondarchuck was indeed on the Stewart show Wednesday (there will be "encore" broadcast today on the Hallmark Channel at 1 p.m. ET) and during his appearance there was a video message from a special guest — first lady Michelle Obama.

She told Bondarchuck that "you are proof that if we keep our dreams in our sights, if we work hard enough, if we weather the bumps that are sure to come along the way, then we can achieve anything we set our minds to and that is a beautiful gift for all of us this holiday season."

After which he declared that "this is officially the best Christmas ever!"

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