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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.


Los Angeles Fires: 2 Men Charged In More Than 50 Blazes

Jan 2, 2012
Originally published on January 2, 2012 3:13 pm
(The top of this post was rewritten at 3:15 p.m. ET.)

Authorities in Los Angeles just announced they've made two arrests in connection with the more than 50 fires that had been set in the city in recent days, causing several million dollars worth of damage but no serious injuries.

Earlier, as we said, a "person of interest" was taken into custody in connection with the string of arson-related fires, according to our colleagues at KPCC. And this afternoon, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck told City News Service he is confident authorities had the right man, The Associated Press says. It isn't yet clear how the second subject is involved.

Our original post continues:

KPCC adds that:

"Early Monday morning, firefighters and police sped from one blaze to another in West Hollywood, on Laurel Canyon Road and in Sherman Oaks. Firefighters blocked access to Laurel Canyon road and stopped vehicles trying to enter the pass."

Then, according to the Los Angeles Times, "the suspect, believed to be the man in a video police released Sunday, was detained near Sunset Boulevard this morning, said an LAPD source familiar with the investigation into the case. However, in a statement, a Los Angeles fire official said 'it is too early to speculate if this person responsible for the spree arson fires.' "

That statement from LAFD spokesman Erik Scott, is posted on the department's LAFD ALERT blog. There, he also says that "a total of 55 fires of concern have broke out in the Los Angeles area over the last four days from 12/30/11 to 01/02/12. 45 fires in the Los Angeles area, nine in West Hollywood, and one in Burbank."

As KPCC says, Los Angeles police are calling the string of fires "the worst since the 1992 riots. Many have "been started in cars [hence the references by some to "carbeques"] and in some cases spread to carports, garages and apartments," the Times adds.

Among the structures damaged was a home once lived in by Jim Morrison of The Doors.

(Note: we're mostly "off" today — though we are helping our friends at It's All Politics with some of the Iowa caucuses coverage. But we will pop in a few times today, we expect, as news warrants.)

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