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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 Tuesday on how he would go about reforming 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 South Carolina, A Resurgent Gingrich Attracts Jubilant Crowds

Nov 30, 2011
Originally published on November 30, 2011 11:14 pm

Newt Gingrich traveled across South Carolina this week appearing at a number of town-hall-style meetings where he talked to voters and answered questions — mostly the same questions at every stop. He talked about the improving the economy, creating a new immigration policy, repealing President Obama's health care reform plan and transforming Washington.

Gingrich himself said he was surprised at the size of the crowds that came to see him. Every venue — from coastal Charleston to tiny Newberry and Greenville further inland — was packed with hundreds of GOP faithful wanting to meet the candidate and wondering if he can lead the party to victory in 2012.

The crowds have been supportive of the former U.S. House speaker — even jubilant. This is a very conservative state and an important one: it holds the first primary in the South on Jan. 21.

One voter told me that although Gingrich is not the most conservative candidate, he probably could get the GOP nomination. Voters don't seem bothered much by his past indiscretions, including his three marriages and the more than $1.5 million he received as a consultant from mortgage giant Freddie Mac. Most voters said those things shouldn't be an issue.

The candidate himself admits he's not perfect and people appreciate his candor. Gingrich jokes with audiences while still making his point that he thinks President Obama is a radical who needs to be replaced — a line GOP crowds love and greet with resounding applause each time they hear it.

While Gingrich has been seen as a bit aloof in the past, he's now embracing voters in places like Tommy's Ham House in Greenville, SC., a famous breakfast hangout for politicians and regular folks.

He avoids controversy, not talking much about Herman Cain and whether he should stay in the race.

Gingrich says he's learned to be positive. He didn't lose hope earlier this year when the media counted him out in June. After all, he's used to soldiering on: Gingrich ran for Congress three times before he was elected in 1978.

Just a few weeks ago, many GOP voters said they wanted a new face, a nontraditional, outsider candidate to take on Obama. But after studying the Republican lineup, many now tell me they want someone who knows the system — someone who can work with Congress.

They point to Gingrich because they say he was able to work with President Bill Clinton in the 1990s on welfare reform and a balanced budget. Responding to a question from a voter who asked about that cooperation, Gingrich also noted that sometimes you have to take a stand. He says that's what he did when the Republicans shut down the government in 1995. But he said it worked and everyone eventually had to compromise — without abandoning their core principles.

Many voters here say Gingrich is a better fit for South Carolina voters than his GOP rival, Mitt Romney. Polls in South Carolina suggest that it may, indeed, come down to a choice between the two. One poll released on Tuesday showed Gingrich leading with 33 percent of the vote, followed by Romney with 22 percent and Cain with 10 percent.

Gingrich told crowds this week he needs South Carolina to win the GOP presidential nomination and he promised to return to court voters often before the January primary. So far, his pitch seems to be working.

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