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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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In New Hampshire, Romney Aims For Common Touch, With Mixed Results

Dec 22, 2011
Originally published on December 22, 2011 4:10 pm

As he continued his bus tour on Thursday, Mitt Romney may have been hoping to connect with regular folks. At a service station in Randolph, N.H., he pumped the gas himself.

But voters weren't necessarily buying his 'just folks' demeanor. When he joked with a woman at the service station about buying a classic car her family owns, she asked, "$10,000?" — an echo of his unfortunate bet with Texas Gov. Rick Perry in a recent debate.

Earlier in the day, Romney had stopped off at a store called Simon the Tanner in Lancaster, N.H.

He and his wife, Ann, discussed the best and worst Christmas gifts he ever got her. "The best gift was a horse," Ann said. "A horse — that gift is the gift that keeps on giving," Romney laughed.

Of course, most voters probably don't think about finding a horse under their tree. Even if you don't buy a thoroughbred, it can cost as much as $10,000 a year to keep your new gift happy and healthy.

But Romney wasn't done. Lancaster is not far from the Canadian border, so the shop op also gave him the chance to practice his French — he became fluent in the language as a missionary in Paris.

As Romney and his wife examined a pair of red plaid boots, he remarked, "cinquante-quatre" ("fifty-four," presumably the price) and, a few seconds later asked, "quel size?" ("Which size?") Later, he met the shop owner's wife, who said she was from Quebec.

"On parle francais alors?" ("So we'll speak French?") Romney asked, then remarked "Vous etes francaise? Ah, vrai." ("You're French? Ah, yes.")

Of course the last candidate from Massachusetts who spoke French while campaigning — 2004 Democratic nominee John Kerry — was ridiculed by Republicans for "looking French" and didn't fare so well in the general election.

The foray into francais also seemed to undercut Romney's argument — part of his standard stump speech this week — that President Obama is trying to make the United States more like Europe.

Romney also picked up another big endorsement on Thursday, this time from former President George H.W. Bush. That could help in New Hampshire, where moderate GOP voters and independents may have some residual affection for the president who's spent so much time in nearby Kennebunkport, Me.

But it's not likely to help win over Tea Party enthusiasts, much less cement Romney's common-man cred with voters. Though the story is apocryphal, Bush '41' was widely believed to have been amazed by encountering a supermarket scanner for the first time on the campaign trail in 1992.

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