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.

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Pages

In Battleground Colorado, Independents On The Rise

Feb 6, 2012
Originally published on February 6, 2012 7:33 pm

At the upscale Cherry Creek Mall in Denver, Scott Kardos, 24, said he's not interested in being either a Democrat or a Republican.

"I don't really identify with either party," said Kardos, a recent college graduate with an electrical engineering degree, who was shopping with his girlfriend and her parents. "A lot of the things I agree with the Republican side, and a lot of things I agree on the Democrat side. So, can't really decide on either one, and I flip-flop pretty much every other election on who I'd rather vote for."

Kardos is part of a growing national trend, especially in battleground states like Colorado.

The centrist think tank Third Way studied eight key states and found that nationally, both major parties are losing voters, while the number of independents continues to grow. In Colorado, the percentage of registered Republicans and Democrats rose slightly since 2008, but at a much slower pace than the rate of newly declared independents, Third Way found.

Third Way analyst Lanae Erickson said in Colorado, it's now practically a three-way tie in registration.

"Independents actually rose by nearly 10 percent in Colorado just since 2008," Erickson said. "So there's been a huge surge in independent voters. And, so, as a proportion of the electorate, independents have really gained on both parties."

That's not good news for Ryan Call, the state GOP chief running Tuesday's caucuses.

Officials do not expect more than 10 percent of registered Republicans to show up. But Call said the caucuses are still good for energizing the base and recruiting the volunteers who will help voter outreach, including to independents.

"So [independents are] not getting a lot of calls right now, but it is a very important priority for us as a party to make sure we're reaching out," said Call.

Brady Maughan, a registered independent, said he is turned off by politics and by both major parties.

"Especially right now, we want to blame [George W.] Bush for the last eight years for the reasons why Obama hasn't succeeded. We want to blame Obama for not fixing everything that needed to be fixed. And nobody wants to take responsibility for themselves," said Maughan.

Maughan, 36, works in advertising and has had to take pay cuts and take in a roommate because of the economic downturn. He said he opposed the bank bailouts and wants less government regulation. But he also has no health insurance, so he likes President Obama's health care policy.

Colorado pollster Floyd Ciruli said independent voters are hard to pin down. They usually wait until the last minute to make up their minds.

"It just sort of makes our polling and our elections volatile," said Ciruli.

Obama won Colorado by 9 percentage points in 2008. Nationwide, he captured 52 percent of the independent votes.

But a recent poll by the Pew Research Center found that more than half of independents now disapprove of the job the president is doing.

Maughan, who said he voted for Republican George W. Bush twice and Democrat Barack Obama four years ago, said he's not sure how he'll vote this year.

"I'm going to vote for the person that I want to vote for, and hopefully that person puts the least amount of barriers in my way," said Maughan. "But regardless of what happens, I got to take care of me. That's why I'm independent."

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

This week, the race for the Republican presidential nomination moves back to the middle of the country. Tomorrow, Minnesota and Colorado hold caucuses and Missouri holds a primary. None of these events will actually commit delegates for the convention in August. But the campaigns will watch closely for trends in all three.

NPR's Carrie Kahn is in Colorado, where only Republicans can caucus now, but where independents may be the key vote in November.

CARRIE KAHN, BYLINE: At the upscale Cherry Creek Mall in Denver, Scott Kardos is shopping with his girlfriend and her parents. He's 24 years old and just graduated with a degree in electrical engineering. He says he's not so interested in being either a Democrat or a Republican.

SCOTT KARDOS: I don't really identify with either party. A lot of the things I agree with the Republican side and a lot of things I agree on the Democrat side. So, can't really decide on either one. And I flip-flop pretty much every other election on who I'd rather vote for.

KAHN: Kardos is part of a growing national trend, especially in battleground states like Colorado. The centrist think-tank Third Way studied eight key states and found that both major parties are losing voters, while the number of independents continues to grow.

Analyst Lanae Erickson says in Colorado it's practically a three-way tie now in registration.

LANAE ERICKSON: Independents actually rose by nearly 10 percent in Colorado just since 2008. So, there's been a huge surge in independent voters. And so, as a proportion of the electorate, independents have really gained on both parties.

KAHN: That's not good news for Ryan Call, the state GOP chief running tomorrow's caucus here. Officials do not expect more than 10 percent of registered Republicans to show up. But Call says the caucus is still good for energizing the base and recruiting the volunteers who will help voter outreach, including to independents.

RYAN CALL: So, they're not getting a lot of calls right now. But it is a very important priority for us as a party to make sure we're reaching out.

KAHN: Brady Maughan, a registered independent, is glad he's not getting calls right now. He's turned off by politics and by both parties.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

KAHN: Maughan was at an outdoor Super Bowl party in Denver last night. The crowd was huddled around a big fire watching the game projected on a white sheet. Maughan says he's turned off by the bickering of the Republican candidates and doesn't want to be part of either party.

BRADY MAUGHAN: Especially right now, we want to blame Bush for the last eight years for the reasons why Obama hasn't succeeded. And we want to blame Obama for not fixing everything that needed to be fixed. And nobody wants to take responsibility for themselves.

KAHN: Maughan, who's 36 and works in advertising, has had to take pay cuts and take in a roommate because of the economic downturn. He was against the bank bailouts and wants less regulation. But he also has no health insurance, so he likes President Obama's health care policy.

Colorado pollster Floyd Ciruli says independent voters are hard to pin down. They usually wait until the last minute to make up their minds.

FLOYD CIRULI: It just sort of makes our polling and our elections volatile.

KAHN: President Obama won Colorado by 9 percentage points. Nationwide, he captured 52 percent of the independent votes. But a recent poll by the Pew Research Center found that more than half of independents now disapprove of the job the president is doing.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERLEADERS)

KAHN: Back at the Super Bowl party, Brady Maughan says he voted for George W. Bush twice and for President Obama last time. This year, he's not sure.

MAUGHAN: I'm going to vote for the person that I want to vote for. And hopefully that person puts the least amount of barriers in my way. That regardless of what happens, I got to take care of me. That's why I'm independent.

KAHN: Very independent.

MAUGHAN: Yeah, I think so. I try.

KAHN: Carrie Kahn, NPR News, Denver. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.