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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 Tuesday on how he would go about reforming 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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Made In China Doesn't Mean Cheap In China

Nov 23, 2011

China has made a fortune producing cheap products that sell for low prices around the world.

Yet many high-end goods manufactured in China –- everything from iPads to Coach bags — actually cost more in China than they do in the United States.

To figure out why, I recently visited a luxury shopping mall in Beijing with Professor Nie Huihua, who teaches economics at the People's University.

We went to the sixth floor of the mall, where Apple products were being sold, including an iPad 2 that was going for $700. The same iPad 2 costs $499 at an Apple store in Washington, D.C.

We then went to a Columbia sportswear store to get some prices. There was a blue backpack, called the Trail Grinder, which wasn't very big and was selling for 1,399 Chinese yuan — or about $220. Back in the U.S., that made-in-China backpack retails for just $139.

Graft Contributes To High Prices

Nie says products like this cost more in China because of the country's high transportation fees and local government corruption.

Last year, a trucker in East China's Henan Province was caught using fake military license plates to avoid paying tolls along a 110-mile stretch of road. It's easy to see why: Tolls and fees for a single trip are $230.

"It is impossible for him to make a profit if he pays all the tolls and fees legally," Nie says.

Paul French, chief China strategist for Access Asia-Mintel, a consumer analysis firm, says local governments can continue to gouge truckers because China is still essentially a state-run economy.

"In a market economy, those things will work themselves out," French said. "People will push to reduce those costs. It's just not possible to do that in China. You can buy all the trucks you want. What you can't get rid of is local officials that are on the graft."

China Imposes High Taxes

Another reason high-end goods cost more here is because China taxes them so much. But in a market loaded with fakes, wealthy Chinese are willing to pay a premium for authentic products they can show off.

"At the high end of the market, there is also a certain, kind of flash-for-cash culture," French said. "It doesn't really matter what the price is. The whole point is to be seen to pay and to be able to pay."

Because of the price differential, many Chinese buy luxury goods when traveling overseas.

On a recent trip to New York, a woman named Ling, who didn't want her full name used, went bargain hunting for a Gucci bag on Fifth Avenue.

Ling, who works for an Internet company, still had to shell out $1,000, but she says she thinks she got a good deal compared to what she would have paid in China.

Like other Chinese, she asks friends traveling abroad to buy items for her, including clothes.

Even inside China, products can sell for very different prices.

Luxury goods are cheaper in Hong Kong, which is part of China but doesn't have a luxury tax. Recently, police nabbed a couple trying to smuggle hundreds of thousand of dollars in merchandise from Hong Kong onto the mainland. The stash included Prada handbags, Cartier jewelry and four iPhones.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.