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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.


In Search Of An 'Anti-Romney': Guide To The Players

Jan 13, 2012

More than 150 leaders in the conservative evangelical Christian community are getting together Friday and Saturday at a private ranch west of Houston in a last-ditch effort to derail Mitt Romney's march to the Republican nomination.

The meeting, which will feature state and regional leaders as well as prominent pastors and national-profile evangelical stars, is not intended as a Romney-bashing event, says Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council and a big voice among conservative evangelicals.

"Some have portrayed this as an anti-Romney rally, a bash-Mitt weekend," says Perkins, who has become the de facto spokesman for the supposed-to-be-secret event. "It's not."

"What is driving it is discomfort with Mitt Romney among evangelicals, and the search for another candidate," he said. Some evangelicals see this as their last chance to stop Romney, with the South Carolina primary just a week after their meeting.

The list of possible alternatives to Romney, who already has wins under his belt in Iowa and New Hampshire:

  • Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who finished within eight votes of Romney in Iowa.
  • Texas Gov. Rick Perry, an early evangelical favorite now barely registering in preference polls.
  • Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, whose redemption story has appealed to some evangelicals. But some say he's hurt himself with recent attacks on Romney's private-equity work.

"Realistically, I don't think that there's any expectation that people are going to come out of the meeting and say that we've arrived at a unanimous decision for candidate A or B," Perkins says. "An endorsement was not the purpose or the expected outcome."

What will probably happen, he says, is a vigorous discussion about where candidates stand on the issues and perhaps a consensus among the leaders, who could make their own endorsements.

That consensus appears to be moving toward Santorum, who could benefit greatly in South Carolina from big evangelical endorsements.

However, recent polls show that many evangelicals in South Carolina are not unhappy with Romney. A Time poll conducted last week found that 35 percent of the state's born-again Christians supported Romney, with Santorum picking up 22 percent.

One of the problems for the stop-Romney forces is the abundance of alternatives.

"You have a few conservative candidates slicing up the conservative voting bloc," Perkins says.

Perkins and others have repeatedly likened the situation to 2008, when Sen. John McCain, no favorite of the Christian right, got a crucial win in South Carolina on his way to the GOP nomination. He topped a divided field that included former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson.

In addition to Perkins, other influential evangelicals expected at the Texas gathering include:

Donald Wildmon

Founder in 1977 of the National Federation for Decency, renamed the American Family Association, which lists "restraining evil by exposing the works of darkness" as one of its aims. Wildmon, 73, a Methodist minister when he started the organization, is prominent in anti-abortion and anti-gay efforts. He made a name for himself protesting retailers and TV networks because of advertising and programming he viewed as immoral or anti-Christian.

He stepped down as chairman of the powerhouse AFA in 2010, ceding authority to his 48-year-old son, Tim. The organization has more than 170 radio stations and a multimillion-dollar budget. The Southern Poverty Law Center considers it a hate group.

Wildmon, a Mississippi native who remains AFA's chairman emeritus, has endorsed Gingrich.

James Dobson

Dobson, 75, founded Focus on the Family in 1977 and built it into one of the most influential platforms for social conservatism in the nation. He became the voice of a generation of evangelicals, producing a daily radio program that once reached an estimated 220 million people around the globe.

The Louisiana-born Dobson, who received a doctorate in child development in 1967, has supported parenting that includes corporal punishment, has postulated that God does not approve of homosexuality, and famously issued a statement in 2008 saying he would not vote for McCain "as a matter of conscience." He backed Huckabee four years ago.

Dobson, who left Focus on the Family in 2010, now hosts a radio program, Family Talk With Dr. James Dobson. He is also the founder of the Family Research Council, the conservative Christian lobbying group that Perkins heads.

He has not yet endorsed a candidate.

Richard Land

Since 1988, Land has been president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. He also served in the George W. Bush administration on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. He was the main author of a letter that outlined for Bush the religious right's argument that the invasion of Iraq would be a "just war."

When Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, then a prospective GOP presidential candidate, said last spring that Americans want a "truce" on social issues until the economy improves, Land pushed back on the pages of the Wall Street Journal. "Social conservatives are mad," he wrote about Daniels' comment, "and rightly so."

A Baptist pastor, Land, born in 1946, has described Mormonism as "the fourth Abrahamic religion," but he asserts that many evangelicals do not view the faith as Christian. He has said that should not be a disqualifier for evangelical Christians, but he questions Romney's past stands on abortion and gay rights.

In 2008, Land's positive comments about Romney led some to suggest he had endorsed the former Massachusetts governor. Land was forced to clarify his position, saying that comments he made defending Romney's right to run, despite evangelical discomfort, should not be construed as an endorsement.

Gary Bauer

Onetime presidential candidate Bauer, 65, is a former president of the Family Research Council. He heads American Values, a nonprofit focused on opposing abortion rights and gay marriage. He's also founder of the political action committee Campaign for Working Families.

Bauer, who's active in pro-Israel efforts within the evangelical community, has endorsed Santorum.

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