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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.


Mood In North Korean Capital Is 'Subdued But Calm,' U.K. Diplomat Says

Dec 21, 2011

While North Koreans in Pyongyang are "in a state of mourning and ... paying their respects at landmarks across the city," the overall mood is "subdued but calm" as people there react to Saturday's death of leader Kim Jong Il and the likelihood that his son Kim Jong Un is now in charge, according to one of Britain's diplomats in the capital city.

The Los Angeles Times reports this morning that those comments from Barnaby Jones, first secretary at Britain's embassy in Pyongyang, are the first such report from a diplomat "with a bird's-eye view of Pyongyang in the days after the death of Kim Jong Il."

The Korea Herald adds that Jones, in a telephone conversation with reporters, also said:

"In terms of what we have seen on the streets we have seen groups of schoolchildren going to and from locations where they have been standing in front of monuments or murals of Kim Il-sung or Kim Jong-il, as well as other groups of people. At the biggest monuments or the biggest locations where people can stand those groups get much, much larger.

"In most places across the city I would say that we are not seeing crowds, we are seeing large groups and it is all very orderly."

His descriptions conflict somewhat with the tone of reports and images being distributed by North Korea's official news agencies, which have described and shown weeping and anguished people. Whether such reports are in fact true and whether any such displays of emotion are in fact genuine are uncertain, however, in a police state such as North Korea.

Jones also told reporters that Kim Jong Un had been receiving visits from foreign diplomats. The BBC says hat would seem to confirm "that he is indeed now in charge."

Meanwhile, South Korea's Yonhap News reports that a group of North Korean defectors in Paju, South Korea, "launched balloons carrying leaflets into the North on Wednesday, criticizing a power succession in the communist country after the death of its leader last week. ... Some 50 members of an emergency committee comprising 37 of the country's human rights groups for North Korean defectors launched 10 balloons carrying millions of anti-North Korean leaflets from Imjingak pavilion just south of the inter-Korean border."

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