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/.


China Laces Up Its Chuck Taylors

Feb 9, 2012

Stroll along a street in downtown Shanghai for very long, and you're likely to run into someone wearing Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars. One recent afternoon, Xu Jing was heading back from lunch to her job at an ad company in a pair of raspberry-colored Chuck Taylors.

"They have a young image, upbeat and outdoorsy, sporty," said Xu, 27, explaining the appeal. "Young people with an artistic sense prefer Converse."

Xu was accompanied by Chen Xiaolei, a co-worker who owns three pairs of Chuck Taylor high-tops.

"The shoes are pretty light, good looking, they go with skinny jeans," said Chen. "Nowadays, young people like these shoes because they're fashionable."

Yes. Fashionable.

Nostalgia Factor

The canvas-and-rubber shoe that dates to 1917 Massachusetts is now considered reasonably cool among 20-somethings in Shanghai.

Even some seniors wear them. Xuan Zhihui, a 62-year-old retiree from a state-run factory, strolls past the city's glass-and-steel towers in brown, 15-year-old high tops her daughter handed down to her.

Last year, about 5 million pairs of Chuck Taylors were sold in China — not counting all the fakes. That's not a huge number in this giant market, but it's up 50 percent from 2007.

To understand the shoe's emerging popularity here, it's worth looking at how its image has morphed over time.

The Chuck Taylor spent its first decades as a hoops sneaker. When Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points in a single game in Hershey, Pa., in 1962, he was wearing Chuck Taylors.

In the 1970s, punk rockers began adopting the shoe: The Ramones wore Chuck Taylors. As did Kurt Cobain of Nirvana in the 1990s. The shoe finally arrived in China in 1993, and Chinese rockers followed the fashion lead of American groups they admired.

Yang Haisong sings with the Beijing indie band P.K.-14. He's been wearing Chuck Taylors for years. Yang thinks they are popular because of their price and image, and the sense of individuality that comes with the shoe's variety of colors and styles.

"It's quite cheap compared with Nike or Adidas," he says. "The second reason is people like to look back."

It's retro. That stripped-down look contrasts with the prevailing trend among increasingly wealthy Chinese consumers: the rush for showy status brands like Louis Vuitton bags and Bentley sedans. And Chuck Taylors are comparatively affordable. Pairs sold for as little as $35 during the recent Chinese New Year celebrations.

Promotional Help

Until relatively recently, Converse licensed its brand here to a Taiwanese company that marketed the shoes as sportswear. In 2007, Converse took the brand back and began emphasizing a more casual, youthful image.

Steve Parker, vice president and general manager for Converse Asia Pacific, says the company partnered with street artists and built on existing, influential customers like Yang.

Converse underwrote a tour for P.K.-14 and another Chinese band, Queen Sea Big Shark.

"We put them on a bus. I think they traveled through nine different provinces, and it ended up in a big party in a show in Beijing right at the time of the Olympics," Parker says.

Converse still gives Yang and his band free sneakers, but it also gets marketing help from people with whom it has no relationship.

Kenny Lee runs My Tee in Shanghai. It's a Converse store/museum with no connection to the company.

Lee says he carries 1,300 different Chuck Taylors, including limited editions from Tokyo and New York. He shows me a two-toned shoe that fuses styles from the 1960s and the 1980s. I ask how much it costs.

"This pair is priceless," he says. "Many people offered me $1,500 or $3,000 and I wouldn't sell. No matter how much money you offer, I am not going to sell."

A potential customer, Zhu Lingling, walks in and looks at a fur-lined Chuck Taylor. Zhu used to wear the brand as a college student. She now designs cosmetic packaging and recently had a child.

"Now that I work, I don't wear these shoes as often," she says. "But sometimes I still want to chase the memories of my college days."

Lee wants $160 for the shoes. Zhu says she loves them, especially the fur, but can't see paying that much for nostalgia.

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