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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.


U.S., Iraqi Leaders Mark 'New Day'

Dec 12, 2011

"A war is ending, a new day is upon us," President Obama said this afternoon at a joint news conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki at which the two leaders are marking the departure of the last U.S. troops after nearly nine years in Iraq.

For his part, Maliki said the two nations' relations "will not end with the departure of the last American soldier ... it has only started."

Obama also said the sacrifices of so many should not be forgotten, including "the untold Iraqis who gave their lives ... nearly 4,500 fallen Americans who gave their last full measure of devotion" and "tens of thousands" of Americans who were injured.

We'll update this post with more from the news conference as it continues, so be sure to hit your "refresh" button.

Update at 12:50 p.m. ET. Obama Sees A "Comprehensive Relationship" With Iraq:

The future U.S.-Iraq relationship will be "comprehensive," Obama says. That means it will include "everything from expanding trade and commerce to scientific exchanges to providing assistance as Iraq is trying to make electricity and power generation consistent." And, the president added, the relationship will include "joint exercises, militarily."

Update at 12:45 p.m. ET. On Syria And Iraq's Independence:

Asked if he worries that Maliki is being influenced by Iran or other nations, Obama says he is confident that the Iraqi leader is making decisions based on what he thinks are the best interests of Iraq — not because of any outside influence.

That includes Iraq's position on Syria. Maliki says that while he is concerned about the right of Syrian people to express themselves peacefully, he believes he does not have the right to ask another nation's leader — in this case Syrian President Bashar Assad — to step down.

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