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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.


Missing Ex-FBI Agent's Family To Captors: 'Tell Us Your Demands'

Dec 9, 2011
Originally published on December 9, 2011 6:37 pm

In a direct message to the people who have held retired FBI agent Robert Levinson since he disappeared nearly five years ago in Iran, his son and wife today ask the captors to "please tell us your demands."

"We need to know what you want our family to do so that my father can come home safely," David Levinson says in a video posted by the family on its Help Bob Levinson website.

To her husband, Christine Levinson says: "Bob ... I will continue to do everything I can to bring you home alive. ... We love you, we miss you every day. We will not abandon you."

David Levinson thanks the captors "for taking care of my father" and says a video of Robert Levinson that the family received a year ago was "a comfort ... because it shows that my father is alive and he looks healthy."

That video of Robert Levinson, which the family received in November 2010 but made public for the first time today, has "transformed the mysterious disappearance into an international hostage standoff," The Associated Press writes.

However, the wire service adds, "the U.S. government has no evidence of who is holding the 63-year-old father of seven." In a video report, the AP notes that the elder Levinson may be being held in Iran, Afghanistan or Pakistan.

"Mr. Levinson, who worked as a private investigator after retiring from the F.B.I., disappeared in March 2007 while on Kish Island, a resort in the Persian Gulf," The New York Times writes. "He had gone to meet with an American fugitive known as Dawud Salahuddin. Mr. Salahuddin has lived in Iran since 1980 when he fled there after assassinating a former aide to the Shah of Iran outside his home near Washington. Mr. Levinson's family and American officials have said that Mr. Levinson went to Iran to investigate cigarette smuggling for a private client."

The Times says it reviewed the tape showing Robert Levinson last year, "but at his family's request withheld its publication." The Associated Press writes that it "saw the video soon after it arrived last year but did not immediately report it because the U.S. government said doing so would complicate diplomatic efforts to bring Levinson home."

In the video, a tired-looking and at times emotional Robert Levinson says "I have been treated well. But I need the help of the United States government to answer the requests of the group that has held me for three and a half years." He says he is not in very good health and is "running very quickly out of diabetes medicine."

Since receiving the tape, the family has received some photos of Robert Levinson "dressed in an orange prison jumpsuit like the ones worn by detainees at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba," the AP reports. His "hair and beard were much longer and he looked thinner. In each photo, he wore a different sign hung around his neck. One read, 'Why you can not help me.' "

Iranian and U.S. officials have held "discreet discussions" about Robert Levinson, the AP says.

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