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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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Iran Much In Mind As U.S. Wraps Up $30B Sale Of Fighters To Saudi Arabia

Dec 29, 2011
Originally published on December 29, 2011 1:57 pm

The news that the U.S. has finalized a deal to sell nearly $30 billion worth of F-15SA fighter jets and other equipment to Saudi Arabia comes, as every story about the agreement says, as America and its allies seek to further isolate and pressure Iran so long as that Persian nation continues to be a threat to others in the region.

According to The Associated Press, "the U.S. will send Saudi Arabia 84 new fighter jets and upgrades for 70 more. Production of the aircrafts, which will be manufactured by Boeing Co., will support 50,000 jobs and have a $3.5 billion annual economic impact in the U.S., the White House said."

As The Washington Post writes, "the deal comes at a time of increased saber-rattling between Washington and Tehran. This week, Iran threatened to block the strategically vital Strait of Hormuz if the West imposed an oil embargo. The U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet, based in nearby Bahrain, responded by warning against the disruption of vessels' travel along the route."

The deal's timing, says The New York Times:

"Is laden with significance, with tensions over Iran mounting and the United States pulling its last soldiers out of Iraq. It could also indicate that the chill between the United States and Saudi Arabia has thawed since the two longtime allies clashed over how each handled the Arab Spring. ...

"The Saudis were angry that President Obama withdrew support for Egypt's embattled president, Hosni Mubarak, after he faced large-scale protests in Cairo and other major cities. ... Later, it was the White House's turn to be upset, when Saudi tanks rolled into in neighboring Bahrain in a show of support for that kingdom's Sunni monarchy."

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