Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

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.


'Layaway Santas' Are Spreading Cheer This Year At Kmarts

Dec 16, 2011

We need a heart-warming story and this fits the bill:

"At Kmart stores across the country," The Associated Press writes, "Santa is getting some help: Anonymous donors are paying off strangers' layaway accounts, buying the Christmas gifts other families couldn't afford, especially toys and children's clothes set aside by impoverished parents."

We're seeing stories about this happening in:

-- Michigan. "Strangers have paid off more than 30 layaway bills at a Kmart near Grand Rapids," Michigan Public Radio reported earlier this week.

-- Indiana. "An anonymous woman made a special trip to the Indianapolis Super Kmart and paid off the outstanding layaway balances of several customers, according to ABC affiliate station WRTV-TV6."

-- South Carolina. " 'Probably two weeks ago, we started seeing people coming in asking to randomly pay off strangers' layaways,' Terry Northcutt, manager of the Mount Pleasant Kmart, told Mount Pleasant Patch. It adds that "so far, eight shoppers have come in to pay off stranger's layaways, and as similar stories across the country are reported, Northcutt expects to see more."

-- Nebraska. "Dona Bremser, an Omaha nurse, was at work when a Kmart employee called to tell her that someone had paid off the $70 balance of her layaway account, which held nearly $200 in toys for her 4-year-old son," the AP says. "I was speechless," Bremser told the wire service. "It made me believe in Christmas again."

-- Iowa. In Davenport, "store manager Amie Stone said a woman and her husband, who did not want to be identified, stopped in Monday and told store employees they wanted to pay on some customers' accounts," the Quad City Times says. "I didn't know what to say; I had to call my boss," Stone told the newspaper. "I was so touched." According to the Times, "Stone said she chose four accounts that were either delinquent or had high balances. 'We thought the best ones would be ones that have kids' clothes and kids' toys. That way, they would be helping a family.' "

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit