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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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Santorum Goes Hunting For Pheasants — And Votes — In Iowa

Dec 27, 2011
Originally published on December 28, 2011 12:12 pm

With just one week until the caucuses, Republican presidential candidates will be everywhere in Iowa this week. Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry and Mitt Romney are all riding buses around the state while Ron Paul makes multiple appearances — a last-minute bid to motivate Republicans to come out and vote for them next Tuesday.

But no candidate has spent more time in Iowa than former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. The day after Christmas was a holiday for most, so Santorum went hunting — with cameras.

Joining Santorum at Doc's Hunt Club west of Des Moines was his teenage son John — who got his first kill using a new shotgun he received for Christmas. Santorum said his son actually shot better than he did — but he admitted to bagging at least four birds.

"I'm always very conservative when I do this. I'm talking about what I would consider to be clean kills. I think I had four clean, clean kills. And then I had some group kills," Santorum said.

It was also a clean photo op aimed squarely at Iowa's many hunters and gun owners. Santorum, wearing a hunter's orange NRA cap, talked about the need to nominate federal judges who would uphold second amendment rights.

Some observers noted that another social conservative, Mike Huckabee, went pheasant hunting shortly before winning the last Iowa caucuses in 2008.

But although Santorum had a good day hunting, one thing he didn't bag was the endorsement of Steve King, Iowa's most outspoken conservative congressman. King went along with Santorum on the hunt, and was at a news availability afterwards.

But when asked if he was ready to endorse Rick Santorum, he said ... no.

"You know I came here to shoot some pheasants today with my friend Rick Santorum and we're having a great, great day. So, I'm going to deliberate on all of this. I've got a few days yet before a decision has to be made," King said.

Santorum shrugged it off, saying he's gotten more than his share of endorsements already, and that more may be coming. But Santorum was also reminded yesterday that endorsements can come with controversy.

Last week, the former Pennsylvania senator won a coveted endorsement from Bob Vander Plaats, a leading Christian conservative in Iowa. Within a few hours, the Des Moines Register was reporting that as part of the endorsement conversation with Santorum, Vander Plaats asked for help in raising money to promote the endorsement.

Santorum says Vander Plaats didn't ask him directly for money. "He was just describing what he wanted to do with his endorsement. And I'm tickled to death he would do more than just a press conference," Santorum said.

Santorum said yesterday he's spent so much time running in Iowa he's practically a resident. But for all that, he's still well back in the pack — jostling with Bachman and Perry for social conservative voters. Santorum says in his view, there are actually three Iowa primaries.

"There's the libertarian primary which Ron Paul is going to win. And then you got the moderate primary which Gingrich and Romney are scrumming for. And you've got three folks who are running as strong conservatives. And I think if we win that primary, we're in very good shape as the non-Newt-Romney," Santorum said.

But as Santorum himself says, a good showing in Iowa is all about managing expectations.

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