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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.


Politicians Who Made You Laugh Out Loud In 2011

Dec 30, 2011
Originally published on December 30, 2011 12:03 pm



I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News.

Coming up, social conservatives in Iowa have several candidates facing their support ahead of next week's caucuses, but one of the most prominent leaders among so-called values voters has thrown his support to an underdog. We are going to hear from Bob Vander Plaats about his endorsement. That's coming up in just a few minutes.

But first, we want to continue our broadcast of the second annual TELL ME Awards for the top political performances of the year. Our judges are Cynthia Tucker, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. She's now a journalism professor at the University of Georgia. And Mary Kate Cary, a blogger and columnist for U.S. News and World Report and a former speechwriter for President George H.W. Bush. Thank you for staying with us, ladies.

MARY KATE CARY: Of course.

CYNTHIA TUCKER: This is too much fun to miss.

MARTIN: Yes. And, of course, we've saved the best for last. It's time for the Best Comedy Album. Mary Kate, get us started. Your nominee is a nod to a musical pop icon. Here it is.


JON 2012 GIRLS: (Singing) We're bringing Huntsman back. The rest of them is one big circus act. We're right behind the guy who's right on track. You know we're going to bring Jon Huntsman back.

MARTIN: OK. This is one of my all time favorite songs, which I play at any moment. That's not, obviously, Justin Timberlake bringing sexy back. But Mary Kate, let's talk about...

CARY: Bringing Jon Huntsman back.


CARY: That is the Jon 2012 Girls. Our listeners can get on YouTube and see the whole thing. Just like Betty Ford, they have beat their dad in terms of record sales and he's lucky to have them. They've sort of stolen the show from him and added a little bit of humor to the presidential race. And I think we're going to see a lot more of the Huntsman Girls in the future because they're...

MARTIN: Yeah. Mary Anne, Abby and...

CARY: They're very good.

MARTIN: ...Liddy Huntsman.

CARY: Yeah.

MARTIN: The daughters of Jon Huntsman. I just have to wonder what's next for them because this is too good.


CARY: "X Factor," "American Idol"?


MARTIN: Cynthia, you went to a one-time media favorite. Let's see if people remember his voice. Here it is.


HERMAN CAIN: Let me leave you with this. I believe these words came from the Pokemon movie. Life can be a challenge. Life can seem impossible. It's never easy when there's so much on the line.

MARTIN: Cynthia, tell us.

TUCKER: Well, Mary Kate had made a couple of references to my winner for Best Comedy Album earlier.


TUCKER: That, of course, was Herman Cain, who definitely was a media favorite. He was one of my favorites because he provided me so much column fodder over the last several months.

This guy's range of unintentional comedy hits - it just went on and on. But for me, it was the interview with the editorial board of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. That was the interview where he was asked about the president's policy on Libya. He looked up at the ceiling. He said: Libya. The president took the rebel's side, right? And then he looked up at the ceiling some more and then he said: Oh, no, that's somewhere else. I got so much twirling around in my head.

He clearly just didn't know the subject matter. He had entered a presidential campaign and I think, much to his surprise, he had become a frontrunner and then was taken seriously as a frontrunner and expected to know things he just did not know. So he's out of the race, but I think his string of YouTube hits will be with us for some time to come.


MARTIN: Maybe next year, Cynthia, will tell us how she really feels about - she'll come out of her shell.

CARY: Newt and Herman Cain - she's - no love lost.

MARTIN: Exactly. Cynthia Tucker is a journalism professor. She's a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. She joined us from Georgia Public Broadcasting in Atlanta. Mary Kate Cary is a columnist and blogger for U.S. News and World Report. She's also a former speech writer for President George H.W. Bush and she joined us in our Washington, D.C. studios. Ladies, thank you for your contributions to the program throughout the year.

CARY: It was a great year.

MARTIN: 2011. Thank you so much. Happy New Year.

CARY: Happy New Year.

MARTIN: And let's hope for more in 2012.

TUCKER: Happy New Year to you.

CARY: Yeah. It's going to be a great year. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.