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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.


Undecided In Iowa: Potential Caucus-Goers Doing Serious Work Before Tuesday

Dec 29, 2011
Originally published on January 2, 2012 6:25 am

As we continued our Iowa travels in the days leading up to next week's presidential caucuses here, NPR photographer Becky Lettenberger and I have been struck by the utter seriousness of the state's Republican voters.

Presidential caucus seasons past have often been marked by fun and some frivolity at campaign events: Funny T-shirts and hats, jokes and punch lines offered up by candidates, a sense of hope and anticipation.

Not so this year. Republican voters — especially the undecided ones we've been seeking out — are dead serious, not easily moved to applause, and pressing for answers as thoughtful as their questions, and signs they've found a candidate they believe can lead — and can win next fall.

In our ongoing effort to chronicle the voices of the state's undecided voters, we headed to events for Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and Texas Gov. Rick Perry in the central Iowa city of Indianola, and to a boisterous rally for Texas Rep. Ron Paul Wednesday night in Des Moines.

Here's what we saw and heard.

Ron Wyckoff, 61, of Carlisle, retired from the heating and air conditioning business, at the Perry event:

"Rick Perry is leading for me right now because I like the idea of his faith and I've heard he's a doer. But still in the running? Mitt Romney because of his electability and business background and Michele Bachmann because she has lots of good ideas," he said. "Newt Gingrich would be a tremendous debater but may not be electable. I want someone who can beat Obama."

Celma Higgins, 63, of New Virginia, at the Perry event:

"I think Gingrich has oratorical skills and is someone who can beat Obama," said Higgins, who came to the Perry event with her friend, Janet Erwin, a Perry supporter. "But I liked Herman Cain first - his business sense, the freshness of him not being from Washington, D.C." Higgins, who voted for Romney in the 2008 Iowa caucuses, says she "likes him if he is what he says he is." But he already had his chance four years ago, she says, "and didn't make it."

Katherine Burns, 18, of Des Moines, and a senior at East High School:

"We're candidate hopping," said Burns, who with a couple friends planned to attend at least three candidate events on Wednesday. "What am I looking for? I'm not quite sure." Burns will be a first-time caucus-goer, and, it turns out, does have some idea of what she wants in her candidate: "Security, security for families, helping families to be able to be supportive," she said.

Edith Hirsch, 81, of Indianola, at the Perry event:

"There's a lot of sorting out you've got to do," Edith Hirsch said. "I like Perry's idea of a part-time Congress, but I don't know if that's feasible or not." She says she is leaning toward Romney, whom she voted for in the 2008 caucuses, because "he's been a success in business, leadership in government." She's not been persuaded by her granddaughter, a Ron Paul supporter, because of what she views as his isolationist foreign policy views. "We live in a different world than what he's talking about," she said.

Natividad Hirsch, 18, Edith Hirsh's granddaughter and a senior at Indianola high school:

"It's hard to find a perfect solution. I'm for Ron Paul because he's for getting our troops out of other nations, and he doesn't come off as fake to me as the others do."

Rick Halvorsen, 54, insurance salesman in Indianola and chairman of the Warren County Republicans:

"I'm stuck between three candidates — Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum and Rick Perry," Halvorsen said at the Bachmann event. "I told Santorum's people that I'd support him, but now I don't know." Halvorsen said he'd like to see support coalesce behind one of his three favorites — "I don't care who gets in the front seat" — to thwart Romney. "We're not interested in working for Mitt Romney," he said.

Gregory Welsher, 65, Marine Corps veteran of the Vietnam War and retired postal worker from Hampton:

"At first I was leaning toward Perry because he seemed like the outsider. But I didn't like it when I heard he was taking a state pension and salary as governor at the same time," says Welsher, who came to Wednesday night's Paul rally with his neighbor, a Paul supporter. After the rally, Welsher, who has never participated in a caucus, said he was moving toward Paul. "Why do we got our noses up in everybody's business in the world?" he said. "Why don't we keep that money at home?"

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