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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.


Iraq PM, Obama Get Together To Break Apart

Dec 11, 2011
Originally published on December 11, 2011 9:58 am



This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

Nearly nine years after the Iraq War began, the U.S. is winding down its involvement there. U.S. troops will be out of Iraq by December 31st. The Obama administration says what comes next will be a new phase in the relationship with Iraq. What that involves will most likely be part of the discussion when Iraq's prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, heads to Washington to meet with President Obama tomorrow.

NPR's Kelly McEvers reports from Baghdad.

KELLY MCEVERS, BYLINE: The invitation for Prime Minister Maliki to come to Washington was made in October when President Obama announced that all U.S. troops would be leaving Iraq for good.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Today, I can say that our troops in Iraq will definitely be home for the holidays.

MCEVERS: That announcement came as a kind of surprise to Iraqis and Americans who'd expected the two sides reach some kind of agreement to allow a few thousands troops to remain in Iraq into next year. Analysts here in the region say Maliki and Obama might be discussing the question of inviting some troops back, mainly to work as trainers.

But questions remain about how many of these trainers would return, and how they'd be protected from prosecution under Iraqi law. This question of immunity is what caused talks between the U.S. and Iraq to break down before. The U.S. insists the Iraqi parliament should provide immunity for American soldiers. But some political groups here in Iraq - especially those backed by Iran - are against any troop presence. So the issue would be hard to pass in parliament.

Either way, the large combat presence - that at one time numbered more than 150,000 American soldiers here in Iraq - is now down to just a few thousand. Hundreds of soldiers and trucks are leaving every day.

Iraqis are mixed about the departure. Many, especially in the oil-rich, but ethnically divided city of Kirkuk, fear that violence could flare up again now that U.S. troops are leaving.

Kirkuk Governor Najmaldin Karim says the U.S. and Iraq should've tried harder to reach a deal for some American troops to stay.

GOVERNOR NAJMALDIN KARIM: We have made it clear months ago that some U.S. troops should stay in Iraq. And I honestly think that Iraqi government is at fault. But also, the U.S. government in a sense that they didn't push hard for this. I think there was no hard push.

MCEVERS: Kelly McEvers, NPR News, Baghdad. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.