Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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 http://www.npr.org/.

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 http://www.npr.org/.

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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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.

Pages

Mitt Romney Declines Donald Trump's Debate Invite

Dec 6, 2011
Originally published on December 6, 2011 6:35 pm

Donald Trump's planned Republican presidential debate lost a major reason for tuning in: watching Mitt Romney contend with Newt Gingrich, the latest rival to claim frontrunner status.

Romney said Tuesday he planned to skip the debate to be moderated by Trump, the TV reality show star and real-estate developer.

The former Massachusetts governor told Fox News' Neil Cavuto of his decision to decline the invitation to the Trump debate being sponsored by NewsMax and ION TV.

From a post by Serafin Gomez on Fox News' politics blog, America's Election HQ:

"Appearing a short time ago on FOX News, Romney told anchor Neil Cavuto that he chose against the event because there were already two debates in Iowa this month and he wanted to spend the rest of the time before the primaries campaigning and 'doing work you have to do.'

"Romney said he called Trump to inform him of his decision.

" 'He understood my perspective and wished me well,' Romney said."

With Romney sending his regrets to Trump, that makes three Republican presidential candidates who now have declined to attend the debate.

Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and Jon Huntsman Jr., the former Utah governor, both said they they planned to be elsewhere during the Dec. 27 event scheduled to take place in Des Moines just days before the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses. And they were a lot less polite about it publicly than Romney.

Paul and Huntsman joined other Republicans, including top GOP political strategist Karl Rove, in denouncing Trump's debate as a distraction that was beneath the dignity of the presidency. Rove said all the candidates should decline to attend the debate.

Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker and current Republican frontrunner, accepted the invitation, as did Rick Santorum, the former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania. As of this writing, Rep. Michele Bachmann had still not publicly said whether she would attend.

Turning down Trump gave Romney a chance to show some resolve, a necessity for him because of his reputation for irresolution. He might have made more of a point if he had done it first instead of third.

Romney gets the added benefit of not only gaining some separation from Trump but from Grover Norquist, the head of Americans for Tax Reform famous for his anti-tax pledge, who endorsed the debate.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.