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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.


Romney Regains Stride; Gingrich Shows Old Newt At Sioux City Debate

Dec 16, 2011

Mitt Romney returned to form in the final Republican presidential debate before the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses.

Romney, who had perhaps his shakiest debate performance in Des Moines over the weekend, appeared to regain his composure in Thursday night's debate in Sioux City, Iowa.

He managed to once again convey the sense that he was the one GOP candidate of the seven remaining who could credibly stand on the same stage with President Obama next fall, the most electable of the candidates running for the Republican presidential nomination.

That being the case, Romney could said to be the debate's winner since he appeared to get his groove back and didn't add a new gaffe to the $10,000 bet offer of the last debate.

If the former Massachusetts governor came out the better for the debate, Newt Gingrich didn't.

Gingrich maintained his cool even though, as the race's latest frontrunner, he was the target at several points during the debate from his rivals. That was the new Newt on display.

But there were times when old Newt, the consummate Washington insider or proposer of crazy ideas, made an appearance.

At those moments, he did little to appeal to the conservative voters he needs in the primaries or the independents he would need in the general-election.

While there were no high-stake bets or utterances of "oops", the last debate had its moments.

There was the moment when Romney was asked about President Obama's response to the U.S. intelligence drone that somehow fell into Iranian hands. Romney ridiculed the Obama Administration's request of the Iranians to return the unmanned drone.

"The — this is a president — with the — the spy drone being brought down, he says pretty please? A foreign — (laughter) — a foreign policy based on pretty please? You got to be kidding."

In an answer when he defended his idea that judges should be subpoenaed to appear before Congress to explain decisions Congress doesn't like, Gingrich may have shown many people unfamiliar with his past why so many people who are familiar with his past tremble in fright at the thought of Gingrich being the nominee.

Told that two former Republican attorney generals rejected his idea as dangerous and silly, Gingrich said:

"So I would suggest to you actually, as a historian, I may understand this better than lawyers. And as lawyers, those two attorneys general are behaving exactly like law schools, which have overly empowered lawyers to think that they can dictate to the rest of us." (Cheers, applause.)

It was red meat for the conservatives in the audience who have come to blame much of what's wrong with America on so-called activist judges. But as Rep. Ron Paul of Texas explained to Gingrich, there's this little notion called the constitutional separation of powers.

Speaking of Paul, he and Michele Bachmann provided some of the debate's most electrifying moments. Neither one has much of a chance of being president, but a back and forth they had over Iran was nonetheless riveting.

Paul made his familiar argument that it's the hawkish talk of U.S. politicians that's the problem, not Iranian intentions of getting a nuclear weapon. Bachmann vehemently disagreed.

PAUL: You know what I really fear about what's happening here? It's another Iraq coming. It is war propaganda going on. (Applause.) And — and we're arguing — to me the greatest danger is that we will have a president that will overreact, that we will soon bomb Iran.

BACHMANN: And with all due respect to Ron Paul, I think I have never heard a more dangerous answer for American security than the one that we just heard from Ron Paul. And I'll tell you the reason why. (Cheers, boos, applause.) And the reason — the reason — the reason why I would say that is because we know without a shadow of a doubt that Iran will take a nuclear weapon, they will use it to wipe our ally Israel off the face of the map, and they've stated they will use it against the United States of America.

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