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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.


Safety Concerns Linger Around Genetically Modified Salmon

Dec 12, 2011
Originally published on December 12, 2011 4:03 pm

This just in: After 15 years of deliberation, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has yet to decide whether it will approve a genetically modified salmon for human consumption.

Now there's a catchy lead. But the truth is, the long-running regulatory saga of AquaBounty's application to sell salmon with a growth hormone gene from one fish plus a promoter of an antifreeze gene from another — which help it grow twice as fast as typical farmed salmon — does not seem headed toward a conclusion.

You might ask why. After all, according to Alison Van Eenennaam, a specialist in animal genomics and biotechnology at University of California, Davis, the FDA has basically decided that there is "a reasonable certainty of no harm" from food safety and environmental perspectives. Van Eenennaam was on the FDA's panel of experts that evaluated FDA's decisions about the salmon.

But as listeners of Talk of the Nation's Science Friday learned last week, the FDA has yet to formally make those decisions about safety. Part of the reason for the delay is likely the intense opposition to the application mounted by some environmentalists and food safety groups. But even academics without an axe to grind have some questions about the safety of the new product.

Anne Kapuscinski is a professor of sustainability science and chair of the Environmental Studies Program at Dartmouth College. She told me on Friday's show that she was not convinced that the company had adequately addressed the question of what would happen if the genetically modified fish got into waters with a population of non-engineered fish. AquaBounty argues that there are physical barriers that will prevent that from ever happening, and genetic barriers to interbreeding if it did, but Kapuscinski remains unconvinced.

One gets the sense that the ultimate decision about whether to approve the fish or not is likely to be made by a more senior part of the executive branch, possibly even the White House, itself. As last week's decision on Plan B suggested, science isn't the only consideration when making regulatory decisions.

But it's unclear whether Republicans or Democrats are more likely to favor — or oppose — a bioengineered fish on supermarket shelves.

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