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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.

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The NBA Is Bullish On Christmas, By Necessity

Dec 20, 2011

This time last year, Phil Jackson, then the coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, complained that the NBA scheduled games on Christmas Day. It seemed, he said, that "Christian holidays don't mean anything" any longer.

A few players echoed Jackson's sentiments, but the complaint died aborning. This Christmas, Sunday, the league has scheduled ... (to the tune of "The 12 Days Of Christmas"):

  • 5 gold games,
  • 4 point guards,
  • 3 referees,
  • 2 free throws,
  • and an ad pitch in a timeout.

Of course, this year the pro basketball quintuple-header is not so much a Christmas bacchanalia as it is a debutante coming-out party for the NBA, inasmuch as the whole season so far has been lost to the lockout.

If ever pro basketball were going to give up Christmas, it would not be 2011, because Christmas is to the NBA, well, what Thanksgiving is to the NFL.

All that old-fashioned Currier and Ives/Norman Rockwell stuff –– with the family gathered 'round the turkey, and then the Christmas tree –– is nice. But winter holidays are now primarily for gathering the family 'round whatever games are on television.

Anyway, sports are pretty agnostic when it comes to religion. As joyous as Christmas might be, the holiest day in the Christian calendar is Good Friday, and baseball has never shied away from scheduling games then. Nor, for that matter, has Our National Pastime been any more considerate about the most sacred times in other religions.

Yom Kippur is most famous athletically as the day the World Series went on as usual — but Sandy Koufax didn't pitch. Muslim athletes have an even more trying time during Ramadan, when they must fast during daylight. I spent a day of fasting once with Hakeem Olajuwon, and I couldn't help but believe that his dining routine had to have some debilitating effect on his ability to play 40 minutes or so a game.

Some people get terribly upset when players offer any displays of personal faith. Tim Tebow's kneeling has become a cause celebre in some circles, but games are not government, and athletes are not elected officials.

And, good grief, that Tebowing sort of thing has been around forever. I remember playing Catholic schools in basketball, when every kid on the team would cross himself before he took a foul shot. I asked a Jesuit priest I knew if that helped. "Well," he said, "it does if you're a good free-throw shooter."

Rather than worrying about Christmas Day, if I were the NBA, I'd be worried about all those days on the schedule before Christmas this year, when nobody much seemed to care that the NBA was missing in action. If there's one thing the lockout showed us, it's that no matter how many shopping days before Christmas, we can very well do without any basketball days before Christmas.

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