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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.


Listeners On Political Talk, Phyllis Schlafly

Jan 13, 2012
Originally published on January 13, 2012 4:11 pm



And now, it's time for BackTalk. That's where we lift the curtain on what's happening in the TELL ME MORE blogosphere. Editor Ammad Omar is here again to tell us what listeners are talking about.

But before we hear from him, I want to clarify something. On Wednesday's program, we talked about how former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, Republican presidential contender, was under fire for his work at Bain and Company. Actually, it was Romney's tenure at Bain Capital that is the source of the controversy.

Ammad, what else are people talking about?

AMMAD OMAR, BYLINE: Well, Michel, we had quite a few thoughts from listeners on your Can I Just Tell You commentary from this week. You talked about restoring civility in election campaigns. Here's a clip from Michelle Shalfoon(ph) from Glen Cove, New York.

MICHELLE SHALFOON: I would like to see the moderators follow up when a candidate dodges a question. I would also like to see the moderators take a page from the comedian Jon Stewart and play back clips where the candidate has changed their stance and ask why they have made this change.

MARTIN: Thanks, Michelle, for writing and, remember, I'd asked if people had ideas about how campaigns could be more productive and keep writing. What else, Ammad?

OMAR: Well, we've got a couple of news updates, as well. First off, on the death of Robert Champion. He was the drum major in the Florida A&M University marching band who died after being beaten in a hazing ritual.

The hazing happened on a bus that was transporting the band, and on Tuesday, Champion's parents said they plan to sue the bus company.

MARTIN: Now, Ammad, some people are saying that Robert's sexual orientation may have been a factor in the beating, but his parents and their attorney say his outspokenness against hazing is what made him a target. Obviously, we're going to keep following this story.

Ammad, any other updates?

OMAR: Yeah, that's right. Another difficult story is one we discussed back in June about a state sponsored sterilization program in North Carolina. Up until the 1970s, thousands of people were forcibly sterilized because the state decided they were unfit to reproduce. These were people with mental illnesses, low IQs, even gay people.

Now, North Carolina is thinking about compensating those victims. A panel voted to pay thousands of people $50,000 apiece, but the legislature still has to approve that.

MARTIN: I understand that we also got quite a lot of response to the interview I did with conservative leader Phyllis Schlafly, on Tuesday's program. Tell me more about that.

OMAR: Yeah. A lot of people weren't so happy that you did that conversation, Michel. Susan McGee(ph) from Conshohocken, Pennsylvania writes in: TELL ME MORE is one of my favorite NPR shows, but when you interview people like Phyllis Schlafly, I feel like you're cheating on me. I almost turned off the radio.

And here's another listener, Kiki Judd(ph) from Philadelphia.

KIKI JUDD: The talk with Phyllis Schlafly made my blood boil. Whenever a conservative Republican goes off on, quote, "Obamacare" and how it, quote, "must be repealed," what is their solution? I want to drop kick the radio whenever I hear interviewers let conservatives spout off on how horrible it is, while offering no alternatives.

MARTIN: Well, thank you, Kiki, and I'm glad you haven't drop kicked your radio yet. Ammad, anything else?

OMAR: Yeah. Well, ended up with a little bit of sad news. We talked about the legendary broadcaster Georges Collinet quite a bit in the last couple of weeks. You did a little segment for us about his favorite music and he told us one of his favorite songs is "I'm Your Puppet" by the duo James and Bobby Purify. Well, Wanda Carter from Tallahassee, Florida, wrote in to tell us that one of the group's members, Robert Dickey, passed away last week at age 72.

And as much as Georges Collinet loved that song, according to his AP obituary, Dickey says he hated the top 10 hit because he once sang it for 23 straight hours.


JAMES AND BOBBY PURIFY: (Singing) Pull the string and I'll wink at you. I'm your puppet.

MARTIN: Well, thank you, Ammad. And remember, with TELL ME MORE, the conversation never ends. To tell us more, you can call our comment line at 202-842-3522 or visit us online at Please, remember to leave us your name. You can also find us on Twitter. Just look for TELL ME MORE, NPR.


PURIFY: (Singing) Darling, you've got full control of your puppet. Pull another string and I'll kiss your lips. I'm your puppet. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.