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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 Time Of Need, Romney Turns To Media

Dec 11, 2011

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has a newfound eagerness to talk to reporters — some of them, at least.

To hear Romney tell it, you'd think he had always welcomed the press corps.

"You're going to see me all over the country, particularly in early primary states," Romney said last week to Fox News host Neil Cavuto. "I'll be on TV — I'll be on Fox a lot because you guys matter when it comes to Republican primary voters. I want them to hear my message and have an opportunity to make their choice."

Off Mic, On Script

Last week, Romney was as good as his word, popping up on Fox several times. ABC interviewed him Saturday. Next week he'll appear on Fox's Sunday public affairs show. And, yes, there have been a lot of debates.

But until the last week or so, Romney had made himself awfully scarce.

"I understand their mindset: They look at the rest of the field, saying, 'None of these bozos can beat us,' " says John Feehery, a Republican communications consultant. "But you never know — stranger things have happened — and you can't play not to lose, but you play to win."

Romney has appeared on many conservative radio talk shows. This fall, however, he routinely shut out reporters on the trail, preferring to deliver carefully honed messages at tightly controlled forums.

In the four weeks between Oct. 11 and Nov. 7, Romney did exactly zero interviews with the national press corps, according to his aides. The New York Times Magazine and Time Magazine both did cover stories on Romney without any help from the candidate.

For much of the fall, Romney has just watched as his rivals self-destruct in public view. Take, for example, Rick Perry during that now infamous debate where he could not recall all three of the government agencies he would get rid of.

There was also Herman Cain on CNN, vainly trying to keep his lead in the polls while saying that someone was going to come forward and accuse him of having a long-term affair. Ultimately, that allegation, along with others regarding sexual harassment, lead Cain to suspend his campaign.

As for the thrice-married Newt Gingrich, he would hardly resonate with cultural-conservative voters, would he? Actually, he would. He's been clobbering Romney in the polls.

Giving Media A Shot

In late November, after meeting privately with Fox News executives, Romney surfaced several times on the network. Then he sat down with Fox political anchor, Bret Baier.

"There's videotape of you going back years speaking about different issues: climate change, abortion, immigration, gay rights," Baier said to Romney. "How can voters trust what they hear from you today is what you will believe if you win the White House?"

The interview went downhill from there.

Melinda Henneberger, a veteran political reporter for The Washington Post, says Romney couldn't wait any longer.

"His interview with Bret Baier was a complete disaster, and he [has] to show that he's not so brittle," she says.

Henneberger says that earlier reserve has probably cost Romney.

"People who talk and think a lot of about the so-called 'liberal media bias' fail to take into adequate account that our greatest temptation is not an ideological bias," she says. "It's a personal, human bias of rewarding people and candidates who are nice to us."

Despite changes in how campaigns are waged, and despite his desire for a tightly controlled message, it turns out Romney still needs media exposure. So far, his new recipe appears heavy on Fox — with a dash of the rest.

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