Police in Baton Rouge say they have arrested three people who stole guns with the goal of killing police officers. They are still looking for a fourth suspect in the alleged plot, NPR's Greg Allen reports.

"Police say the thefts were at a Baton Rouge pawn shop early Saturday morning," Greg says. "One person was arrested at the scene. Since then, two others have been arrested and six of the eight stolen handguns have been recovered. Police are still looking for one other man."

A 13-year-old boy is among those arrested, Greg says.

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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 the Permanent Court of Arbitration in 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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.


Army Moves To Act Fast On Battlefield Brain Injuries

Feb 20, 2012

Nineteen-year-old Army Pvt. Cody Dollman has a look in his eyes that makes you think he probably used to fight much bigger kids on the playground back home in Wichita, Kan. He says he always wanted to be a soldier — both his grandfathers served in the military — but he's the first in his family to see action overseas.

"I love it. It's what I signed up to do, you know?" says Dollman, who had been patrolling the battle-scared villages around Kandahar, Afghanistan. "I get to go back home and tell stories. That's one of the coolest things. What did you do on Christmas? I got blown up."

He isn't joking. Since he deployed last April, Dollman has been "blown up" three times by roadside bombs that hit his convoy of armored trucks. The third time was the worst.

"We were rolling on a mounted patrol," he says. "I was in the lead vehicle, which hit an IED [improvised explosive device]. I hit my head, blacked out for a little bit."

At first Dollman shook it off as his platoon pursued the insurgent fighter who set off the bomb. Within an hour he was feeling the aftereffects of the blast: He threw up and his head hurt.

The medic said Dollman was a sure bet for traumatic brain injury. TBI is often caused by blasts: A roadside bomb explodes and the concussive effect violently shakes the brain inside the skull. Sometimes there are symptoms. Sometimes there are not.

Dollman wanted to stay with his platoon, but the medic wasn't having it. A chopper flew him to the hospital at Kandahar Airfield.

"It's one of those things that if you're treated, it shouldn't be anything to worry about, as long as you're not stubborn like me," he says.

Diagnosing TBI

Problem is, most soldiers — and many of their leaders — are a bit stubborn like Pvt. Dollman. Soldiers don't like being taken away from their unit, especially for an injury they can't see.

The Army, in particular, has had a mixed record treating soldiers for TBI. Now it is trying to spot the injury close to the battlefield and get soldiers out of the fight.

Medics began carrying a laminated quiz that tests a soldier's ability to concentrate, but they soon found that soldiers were memorizing the answers. Now the medics carry several different versions of the quiz.

But that touches on a challenge with TBI: how to diagnose it.

The symptoms aren't always as obvious as Dollman's — sometimes there aren't any obvious symptoms at all.

"Everyone wants a pregnancy test for TBI," says Maj. Gen. Richard Thomas. The surgeon has just finished a tour as lead medical adviser to U.S. forces in Afghanistan. He says someday a blood test or brain scan may be able to indicate whether a soldier has TBI or doesn't; the Army is researching both. But Thomas says those tests cold be years away.

"While that's working, that takes time. What are we going to do immediately? Immediately we gotta identify these guys as soon as we can, get them out of the fight," he says. "Because we know that for concussion the best thing to do immediately is take them away from the insult, rest them, let their brain recover."


That's what happens at the newly completed concussion care center at Kandahar Airfield, where Dollman is currently on bed rest. The facility has neurologists and occupational therapists, there's even an MRI machine in a trailer — a first in military field hospitals.

Once the soldier is here it's easier to start tackling symptoms, but that's another tricky thing about TBI. Navy Cmdr. Greg Caron, a clinical psychiatrist, says that the symptoms for TBI are easily mixed up with symptoms for other battle injuries like post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

"What's interesting about blast-related concussion is that it impacts the same region of the brain that is implicated in anxiety disorders and mood disorders," he says "About a third of the folks who are diagnosed with MTBI or concussion actually have other psychiatric diagnosis, whether that's depression or PTSD."

The challenge for doctors is to figure out which symptoms are from TBI and which aren't. Like with PTSD, some victims don't feel any effects until months after their injury. In fact, the Army's own studies show that as of a couple years ago, most cases of TBI in Iraq went undiagnosed. Critics say the military took a long time to realize the enormity of the problem. That raises another issue though: For the majority of both wars, the Army kept little data on concussions.

Returning To The Battlefield

The Kandahar Concussion Care Center is trying to correct the military's course on TBI.

Dollman takes brain scans regularly. He's takes cognitive tests almost every day. He recently got the news — bad news if you ask him — that he can't go out on any more patrols.

"I'm not allowed to leave the wire as of now just because it's my third [concussion]," he says.

That's one rule military doctors have come up with since they've been looking at TBI close to the fight. It's arbitrary; no one knows if one concussion or five concussions lead to the long-term problems, but doctors think it's a good rule of thumb. Dollman decided he would probably lose an argument with the neurologists here in Kandahar.

"It is hard, but I know it's for a reason, because I know I need to get treated," he says. "That way I'm not hurting my platoon, because when we go on missions they can't be worrying about me. ... I'm more of a danger going out to the line with TBI, so it's a big thing I get treated here before I go back out."

That argument works with soldiers: They'll do for the guys in their unit. Another argument may be winning over their commanders.

According to Thomas the new procedures — getting soldiers to take a break and rest up, but stay in Afghanistan — is actually getting troops back to the battlefield sooner.

Before, many soldiers thought to have TBI would be flown all the way to Germany for treatment. Many would never get back to their units in Afghanistan.

Keeping soldiers healthier — but also getting them back in the fight — are the kind of results that may help senior military leadership embrace the new approach to TBI.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.