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!":

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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.

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Catholics Split On Obama's Birth Control Decision

Feb 10, 2012
Originally published on February 10, 2012 10:21 pm

Reaction from the Catholic community to the Obama administration's decision to revise its birth control policy was swift and mixed.

Under the new rule, employers with a religious objection to offering contraceptive coverage as part of their health care plans wouldn't have to provide it directly. Instead, the requirement to provide that coverage free of charge would fall on the insurance companies.

Some Catholics believe the president's new rule resolves the religious liberty issues. But others, including key bishops, say it is smoke and mirrors.

'A First Step' Or Nothing 'Substantial'?

In a statement, Timothy Dolan, the head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said the president's new rule is "a first step in the right direction." He said the bishops are reserving judgment until they see the details.

But Archbishop Thomas Wenski already sees big problems ahead. Wenski, who heads the Catholic archdiocese of Miami, has said in the past that he couldn't comply with the health care mandate. Friday's announcement has not changed his mind.

"I think what he's offered today is a smoke screen in which he has decided to kick the can down the road in the hope that the controversy will go away," Wenski says. "I think he is mistaken."

Wenski says this is a unilateral decision. The White House didn't consult the bishops, as far as he knows. He says the rule still mandates that employees of Catholic charities, hospitals and universities receive birth control coverage.

"I don't believe he's offered us anything really substantial," Wenski says. "We still have serious issues, and these are issues of religious freedom."

Wenski notes that shifting the burden to insurance companies doesn't solve the religious liberty problems either — since many dioceses and charities are self-insured, and would be violating their religious principles.

Ending A Stalemate?

But Sister Carol Keehan, who heads the Catholic Health Association, was cheered by the White House response.

"I think that they listened to us and they heard the things that we were most concerned about, and we're pleased," she said.

Keehan, whose association oversees some 600 Catholic hospitals, believes everyone wins. Women get the health care they want, the church does not have to pay for or endorse birth control, and the stalemate is ended. Now, she says, the country can implement health care reform, which has at its core a principle dear to the church — helping the poor and uninsured.

The Rev. Thomas Reese, a Jesuit priest at Georgetown University's Woodstock Theological Center, agrees. For the past few weeks, he says, the bishops have dominated the debate. They've drawn support from both conservative and liberal Catholics.

"The bishops were getting support because people saw this as a religious liberty issue. They were not supporting the bishops in their opposition to contraceptives," he says.

Reese believes that by ensuring that religious groups do not have to pay for or recommend birth control coverage, that religious liberty issue has gone away. And in the end, most Catholic women want, and use, birth control.

Archbishop Wenski of Miami says the two sides will keep talking, but in the end, there's only one right outcome: "The best thing would be rescission — to take back the whole mandate and go back to the status quo before."

That's something the administration has said it will not do.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Reaction from the Catholic community was swift and mixed. As NPR's Barbara Bradley Hagerty reports, some believe the president's new rule resolved the religious liberty issues, but others, including key bishops, say it's just smoke and mirrors.

BARBARA BRADLEY HAGERTY, BYLINE: In a statement, Timothy Dolan, the head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said the president's new rule is, quote, a first step in the right direction. He said the bishops are reserving judgment until they see the details. But Archbishop Thomas Wenski already sees big problems ahead. Wenski heads the Catholic archdiocese of Miami and has said in the past that he could not comply with the health care mandate. Today's announcement has not changed his mind.

THOMAS WENSKI: I think what he's offered today is a smoke screen in which he has decided to kick the can down the road and the hope that the controversy will go away. I think he is mistaken.

HAGERTY: Wenski says this is a unilateral decision. The White House didn't consult the bishops, as far as he knows. He says the rule still mandates that employees of Catholic charities, hospitals and universities receive birth control coverage.

WENSKI: I don't believe he's offered us anything really substantial. We still have serious issues and these are issues of religious freedom.

HAGERTY: Wenski notes that shifting the burden to insurance companies doesn't solve the religious liberty problems either, since many dioceses and charities are self-insured, and would be violating their religious principles. But Sister Carol Keehan, who heads the Catholic Health Association, was cheered by the White House response.

CAROL KEEHAN: I think that they listened to us and they heard the things that we were most concerned about, and we're pleased.

HAGERTY: Keehan, whose association oversees some 600 Catholic hospitals, believes everyone wins. Women get the health care they want, the church does not have to pay for or endorse birth control, and the stalemate is ended. Now, she says, the country can implement health care reform, which has at its core a principle dear to the church, helping the poor and uninsured.

Father Thomas Reese, a Jesuit priest at Georgetown University's Woodstock Theological Center, agrees. For the past few weeks, he says, the bishops have dominated the debate. They've drawn support from both conservative and liberal Catholics.

THOMAS REESE: The bishops were getting support because people saw this as a religious liberty issue. They were not supporting the bishops in their opposition to contraceptives.

HAGERTY: Reese believes that by ensuring that religious groups do not have to pay for or recommend birth control coverage, that religious liberty issue has gone away. And in the end, most Catholic women want, and use, birth control. Archbishop Wenski of Miami says the two sides will still keep talking, but in the end, there's only one right outcome.

WENSKI: The best thing would be rescission, to take back the whole mandate and go back to the status quo before.

HAGERTY: Something the administration has said it will not do. Barbara Bradley Hagerty, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.