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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.


Top Stories: Kim Jong Il's Death, Philippines Disaster, Payroll Tax Impasse

Dec 19, 2011
Originally published on December 19, 2011 8:20 am

Good morning.

The major story of the past 12 hours or so, as we've been reporting, is the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.

We've taken an early look at the "uncertainty and anxiety" his death has created and at The Economist magazine's irreverent way of headlining the news.

There's much more coverage on, of course. One place to start might be Anthony Kuhn's look back at Kim Jong Il's life.

Several other major stories are developing. We'll have more on some of them later. For now, here are a few of the top headlines:

-- "With Morgues Full, Mass Burial Held For Philippine Flood Victims; Nearly 700 People Die In Flash Floods, Landslides." (

-- "House GOP Threatens To Kill Bipartisan Payroll Tax Deal In Vote Set For Monday." (The Hill)

-- "Last U.S. Troops Make Quiet Exit Out Of Iraq." (Weekend Edition Sunday)

-- "World Pays Tribute To Václav Havel As Czechs Mourn." (

-- Off Russia's Far East Coast, Only 14 Of 67 People On Board Capsized Oil Rig Have Been Saved. (

-- Hearing Into Army Pfc. Bradley Manning's Alleged Handing Over Of Secrets To WikiLeaks "Turns To Computer Security." (The Washington Post)

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