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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.


Who Is Kim Jong Un? Who Really Knows?

Dec 19, 2011

It's been two years since Kim Jong Un effectively became North Korea's "Great Successor" and heir to the seat of power in the communist nation run by a family dynasty — a dynasty that began with his grandfather, Kim Il Sung (the "Great Leader") and continued with his father, Kim Jong Il (the "Dear Leader").

But in that time about the only new thing we know is that he's two years older and now thought to be in his late 20s. And, that he appears about to become at least the titular head of an impoverished nation that threatens its richer neighbor to the south with nuclear weapons

Other than that, you could pretty much reread this 2009 report from NPR's Anthony Kuhn, this 2010 story from NPR's Corey Flintoff and any number of other such stories from those years and be up to speed about Kim Jong Un. Still, with Saturday's death of his father, the world is watching anxiously to see what happens in North Korea and hoping to learn more about this Great Successor.

So, here is some biographical material about North Korea's latest mystery man. Note: Because so much of what we've heard from North Korea about its leaders in the past has obviously been fantastical (such as Kim Jong Il's ability to control the weather), everything that's been reported about Kim Jong Un has to be viewed skeptically:

-- "Jong Un is believed to have been educated in Switzerland, where he learned to ski, and to speak English, French and German." (From Anthony's 2009 report.)

-- "Analysts believe he is Kim Jong Il's son by his third wife (or consort — their marital status is unclear), a dancer named Ko Hyong Hui. ... He reportedly was disguised as the son of a North Korean embassy employee while in Berne, attending the school under a fake name. Former classmates have said he liked skiing and basketball, and idolized hoops star Michael Jordan." (From Corey's 2010 report.)

-- He is "said to have a fondness for James Bond and Hollywood tough guy Jean-Claude Van Damme. He is rumored to be married but there has never been any official word. ... [North Korean officials say] he graduated from Kim Il Sung Military University and in the fall of 2010, he was made a four-star general. ... He also received two key political posts — membership on the Central Committee of the party, and a vice chairmanship of the party's Central Military Committee, which had been overseen by his father. The anointed heir was given the titles of 'Young General' and 'Great Comrade.' " (Canada's CTV News.)

-- "He was always said to be his father's favorite, particularly after his older half brother, Kim Jong Nam, became something of an embarrassment by famously turning up in Japan in 2001 on a phony passport and asking to visit Tokyo Disneyland." (Time magazine.)

-- Last year's two attacks from the North on targets in South Korea, "sinking a warship and shelling an island," have been "widely regarded as linked to Kim Jong Un's rise: the 'young general' showing his mettle." (BBC News)

-- Kim Jong Un was quickly named "first in the membership list of the ... 232-member funeral commission" that will oversee his father's burial later this month. "That could also be seen as a possible sign that the communist nation is under control." (South Korea's Yonhap News.)

We'll keep our eye out for more about him.

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