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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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Italy's Cruise Crisis Spawns An Unlikely Star

Jan 18, 2012

Five days after a cruise liner slammed into rocks off Italy's Tuscan coast, the country is gripped by the contrasting profiles of two key figures in the drama — the captain charged with abandoning ship and the captain who demanded he get back onboard.

For many Italians, the accident has become a metaphor for a country that sees itself mired in economic and moral decline.

Francesco Schettino, the disgraced captain of the 1,000-foot-long floating palace known as the Costa Concordia, is under house arrest on suspicion of multiple manslaughter, shipwreck and abandoning ship.

Italians are now mesmerized by the audio of a heated conversation between him and coast guard Capt. Gregorio De Falco.

During the four-minute conversation hours after the collision, an increasingly enraged De Falco orders Schettino to return to the ship and help coordinate the evacuation of the many remaining passengers.

"You've abandoned ship! I'm in charge now," De Falco rages at Schettino, who was apparently in a rowboat at this time. "Go back and report to me how many passengers [are still onboard] and what they need. ... Perhaps you saved yourself from the sea, but I'll make you pay for this, dammit!"

Schettino can be heard trying to refuse the order. "You don't understand, it's dark here. Can't see anything," he says.

"What is it, you want to go home Schettino?" De Falco spits out. "It's dark and you want to go home?"

Eventually De Falco demands: "Go back onboard, dammit!"

De Falco's Italian expletive is actually much harsher than "dammit" — but the line has become a national catchphrase and is Italy's top trending hashtag, or keyword on Twitter.

Minutes after that audio was posted online, Italians had a new hero.

Within hours, a Facebook page created in De Falco's name had 10,000 friends.

By Wednesday morning, his words were a national slogan, with T-shirts being sold online with the words, "Go back onboard, dammit."

An Unlikely Hero

De Falco is an unlikely idol — 48 years old and balding, with a gray beard. He tried to avoid reporters as he entered a magistrate's office to give testimony for the investigation, insisting he's no hero.

But judging from comments posted on Twitter, Facebook and newspaper websites, many Italians disagree.

One tweet from a woman named Sofia Rosada said, "It's men like De Falco who should be governing, instead we are full of men like Schettino."

A boy named Salvatore Garzillo wrote, "The next time someone asks me what I want to be when I grow up, I'm going to say, a man like De Falco."

Yet several Twitter comments were similar to this one: "How low have we fallen that we make a hero of a person who simply did his duty?"

"Go back onboard, dammit!" has exploded into a howl of indignation against the incompetence, greed and corruption that have pervaded Italian society in recent decades.

By steering his ship with 4,200 people onboard too close to a rocky coastline, Schettino's nautical bravura was all too reminiscent of what many commentators call "Berlusconismo."

They are referring to the extravagant lifestyle associated with former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who was synonymous with flashiness and cutting corners.

The new prime minister, Mario Monti, has to deal with a potentially bigger shipwreck — the eurozone debt crisis.

He has, at least for now, yielded the spotlight to Corrado Clini, his environment minister. Clini is closely monitoring the risk of an ecological disaster should fuel leak from the stricken cruise ship into the Tuscan marine sanctuary.

So far, no fuel has seeped out. But rescue operations were suspended Wednesday because of the ship's movements. Eleven people have been confirmed dead, and 24 are missing.

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