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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!":

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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.

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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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Rejected Pipeline Becomes Hot-Button Election Issue

Jan 19, 2012
Originally published on January 19, 2012 8:17 pm

President Obama rejected an application to build the 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast on Wednesday. He blamed congressional Republicans, who had set a 60-day deadline for his administration to complete its review of the project.

Just minutes after Obama issued a statement denying the permit, Republican members of Congress lined up before TV cameras.

"I'm deeply, deeply disappointed that our president decided to put his politics above the nation," said Rep. Lee Terry of Nebraska.

The Canadian pipeline would travel through his state. He repeated the two selling points advocates often mention — thousands of new construction jobs, and oil flowing into the U.S. from a friendly neighbor.

With the nation's unemployment rate at 8.5 percent, Terry said, there's no good reason for the president to reject the pipeline.

"To me, it's pretty obvious — it's all about election-year politics," Terry added.

As if to ensure that the pipeline will become an election-year issue, the American Petroleum Institute has been running television ads.

The oil industry and its allies are furious over the president's decision to block the pipeline. But those who oppose the project are celebrating.

"We actually are going to have a party, and we're trying to decide if we do it in the Sandhills or Lincoln or both," said Jane Kleeb, who heads the liberal group Bold Nebraska.

She echoed the praise environmental groups are lavishing on Obama for rejecting the Keystone XL. Many environmentalists see the pipeline as an important test of the president's commitment to their issues.

Environmentalists don't like tar sands oil, which starts out as a gunky substance that requires a lot of energy to turn into usable oil. That creates more pollution than traditional oil production.

Thanks in large part to the tar sands, Canada is the No. 1 supplier of foreign oil to the U.S.

Joe Oliver, Canada's minister of natural resources, said the prime minister made it "very clear" in a phone call to President Obama that they're "very disappointed" about the pipeline decision.

The decision also upset organized labor, which, like environmentalists, is a traditional Democratic ally.

"Our members would be doing the electrical work in the pumping stations," said Jim Spellane, media director for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

He said the union needs the kind of work that comes with a big pipeline construction project. Already, his members have been waiting three years for the approval process to finish.

"It would help a number of our locals in the industrial Midwest, especially, but in other places, too, that have been hit particularly hard during the recession," he said.

Spellane added that the IBEW considers this a temporary setback — one that he blames on political gamesmanship in Washington.

Meanwhile, TransCanada says it's still committed to finishing its pipeline. The company says it will once again apply for a permit from the U.S. government and hopes to complete construction by 2014.

At the Natural Resources Defense Council, Susan Casey-Lefkowitz said she and other opponents are ready: "We'll tackle those as they come, and fight, frankly, every tar sands pipeline proposal that gets raised."

The next round over the Keystone XL pipeline begins in a week on Capitol Hill. House Republicans plan to hold a hearing, and they've invited Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to testify.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

This next story involves energy, jobs and politics. Think through the political maneuvers over the Keystone XL Pipeline, which is meant to carry oil made from Canadian tar sands across the United States.

MONTAGNE: Last year, President Obama put off approving that controversial pipeline until after the election. He said it needed more study.

INSKEEP: Congress than passed a provision forcing the president to decide before the election.

MONTAGNE: So the president rejected the pipeline yesterday and welcomed the builders to reapply. The White House says they might get a yes next time, after more study.

INSKEEP: Many people gained political benefits from all of this. Environmentalists get to celebrate.

MONTAGNE: Republicans get to say the president rejected an important project.

INSKEEP: And the president gets to be the decider, while defying an unpopular Congress.

Here's NPR's Jeff Brady.

JEFF BRADY, BYLINE: Just minutes after President Obama issued a statement denying a permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline, Republican members of Congress lined up before cameras.

(SOUNDBITE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)

REPRESENTATIVE LEE TERRY: And I'm deeply, deeply disappointed that our president decided to put his politics above the nation in job creation...

BRADY: That's Nebraska Republican Congressman Lee Terry. The Canadian pipeline would travel through his state. He repeated the two selling points advocates often mention: thousands of new construction jobs and oil flowing into the U.S. from a friendly neighbor. With eight-and-a-half-percent unemployment, Terry said there's no good reason for the president to reject the pipeline now.

(SOUNDBITE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)

TERRY: To me, it's pretty obvious it's all about election-year politics.

BRADY: As if to ensure the pipeline will become an election year issue, the American Petroleum Institute has been running television ads.

(SOUNDBITE OF AN AMERICAN PETROLEUM INSTITUTE ADVERTISEMENT)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: He promised...

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I will do whatever it takes to put this economy back on track.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Now is his chance. The Keystone XL Pipeline is ready to be built, bringing energy...

BRADY: The oil industry and its allies are furious over the president's decision to block the pipeline. But those who oppose the project are celebrating.

JANE KLEEB: We actually are going to have a party. And we're trying to decide if we do it in the Sandhills or Lincoln, or both cities.

BRADY: Jane Kleeb heads the liberal group Bold Nebraska. She echoes the praise environmental groups are lavishing on President Obama for rejecting the Keystone XL. Many environmentalists see the pipeline as an important test of the president's commitment to their issues.

Environmentalists don't like tar sands oil, which starts out as a gunky substance that requires a lot of energy to turn into usable oil. That creates more pollution than traditional oil production. Thanks in large part to the tar sands, Canada is the number one supplier of foreign oil to the U.S.

Here's Canada's Minister of Natural Resources Joe Oliver, responding to the pipeline decision.

(SOUNDBITE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)

JOE OLIVER: We're very disappointed, and the prime minister made that very clear to the president in his conversation with him on the phone, when the president called to tell him.

BRADY: Back in the U.S., the president's decision also upset organized labor, like environmentalists - a traditional Democratic ally.

JIM SPELLANE: Well, our members would be doing the electrical work in the pumping stations.

BRADY: Jim Spellane, with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, says his union needs the kind of work that comes with a big pipeline construction project. Already, his members have been waiting three years for the approval process to finish.

SPELLANE: It would help a number of our locals in the industrial Midwest especially, but in other places, too, that have been hit particularly hard during the recession.

BRADY: Spellane says the IBEW considers this a temporary setback, one that he blames on political gamesmanship in Washington.

Meanwhile, TransCanada says it's still committed to finishing its pipeline. The company says it will once again apply for a permit from the U.S. government, and hopes to complete construction by 2014.

Over at the Natural Resources Defense Council, Susan Casey-Lefkowitz says she and other opponents are ready.

SUSAN CASEY-LEFKOWITZ: We'll tackle those as they come and fight, frankly, every tar sands pipeline proposal that gets raised.

BRADY: The next round over the Keystone XL Pipeline begins in a week on Capitol Hill. House Republicans plan to hold a hearing. They've invited Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to testify.

Jeff Brady, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.