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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Does The Case Against John Edwards Go Too Far?

Apr 12, 2012
Originally published on April 13, 2012 10:22 am

Prospective jurors head to court in North Carolina on Thursday to find out whether they'll be chosen to sit in judgment of former U.S. Sen. John Edwards.

Only four years ago, Edwards was running for the White House as a Democratic candidate. Now, he's a defendant, fighting campaign finance charges that could send him away for as long as 30 years.

Edwards rose to the top of the Democratic political elite as a blond, blue-eyed son of a mill worker made good. But that wholesome image curdled after people found out Edwards had an affair and fathered a baby with his mistress while his wife was fighting cancer; his wife later died.

"John Edwards is a despicable and loathsome human being, but that doesn't also make him a criminal," says Melanie Sloan of the nonprofit group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

Sloan is no fan of Edwards, but she thinks the Justice Department's criminal case against him is wrong.

Prosecutors accuse Edwards of accepting and failing to report nearly $1 million that two old friends and campaign donors funneled through intermediaries to support a lavish lifestyle for his mistress.

The donors themselves face no criminal charges. One of them, trial lawyer Fred Baron, has died. And the other — heiress Rachel "Bunny" Mellon, who looked upon Edwards as a sort of romantic hero — is 101 years old. She's not expected to testify in the trial.

New York University law professor Richard Pildes is shaking his head at the case.

"No campaign finance lawyer can tell you they've seen any case in which the government comes anywhere close to the extremely aggressive use they're making here of the idea of a campaign contribution," Pildes says.

The money, he says, came from people who'd long supported Edwards, and it didn't cover any specific campaign expense.

Pildes says under this new Justice Department theory, almost anything could be considered a contribution under the law, greatly expanding the legitimate uses of money in politics and confusing people about where prosecutors draw the line.

"We don't normally criminalize activity unless the criminal law makes it pretty clear that those actions are a crime," Pildes says.

In his own statements last June, outside a North Carolina courthouse where he pleaded not guilty, Edwards signaled that would be a core of his defense.

"There's no question that I've done wrong, and I take full responsibility for having done wrong," he said. "But I did not break the law, and I never ever thought I was breaking the law."

Justice Department prosecutors will try to poke a hole in that defense by presenting testimony from people who used to be in Edwards' inner circle.

First, there's Andrew Young, who agreed to tell people he was the baby's father, and who allegedly accepted checks from a wealthy donor hidden in boxes of chocolate. Eventually, Young renounced Edwards and wrote a tell-all book about him. Young's credibility, including his handling of a racy videotape that Edwards made with his mistress, could be a huge issue in the trial.

Then, there's Wendy Button, a former speechwriter for Edwards who wanted him to issue a public statement coming clean about the affair and the money he was getting from friends to support his mistress. The criminal charges say Edwards told the speechwriter not to mention that money for "legal and practical" reasons, which could demonstrate what the law calls guilty knowledge.

Sloan, of the nonprofit group, says the Justice Department's best chance for a conviction may be Edwards' deep unpopularity, which she says explains why prosecutors wanted a jury, not a judge, to hear the case.

"By proving to a jury that Mr. Edwards is loathsome, they are hopeful that they will in fact get a conviction," Sloan says. "And they know that in fact would have been a much riskier strategy with a judge."

The trial is expected to last about six weeks. Sources close to the case tell NPR that Edwards, who made his fortune as a lawyer by representing clients who suffered from medical malpractice and injuries, may testify in his own defense.

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

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Jury selection begins today in a trial that brings back to the news one of the more stunning falls in American politics. Just four years ago, John Edwards, who was running for president - a leading candidate in the Democratic primary race, with a passionate following. Now, he's a defendant in a North Carolina court, fighting campaign finance charges that could see him spend years in prison. NPR justice correspondent Carrie Johnson reports.

CARRIE JOHNSON, BYLINE: Johnny Reid Edwards rose to the top of the Democratic political elite as a blond-haired, blue-eyed son of a mill worker made good. But that wholesome image curdled after people found out Edwards had an affair, and fathered a baby with his mistress, while his late wife was fighting cancer.

MELANIE SLOAN: John Edwards is a despicable and loathsome human being, but that doesn't also make him a criminal.

JOHNSON: Says Melanie Sloan of the nonprofit group called Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. She's no fan of Edwards, but she thinks the Justice Department's criminal case against him is wrong.

Prosecutors accuse Edwards of accepting, and failing to report, nearly a million dollars that two old friends and campaign donors funneled through intermediaries to support a lavish lifestyle for his mistress.

New York University law professor Richard Pildes is shaking his head.

RICHARD PILDES: No campaign finance lawyer can tell you they've seen any case in which the government comes anywhere close to the extremely aggressive use they're making here of the idea of a campaign contribution.

JOHNSON: The money came from people who'd long supported Edwards, and it didn't cover any specific campaign expense. Pildes says under this new Justice Department theory, almost anything could be considered a contribution under the law. And there's one more fear, Pildes says.

PILDES: We don't normally criminalize activity unless the criminal law makes it pretty clear that the actions are a crime.

JOHNSON: In his own statements last June, outside a North Carolina courthouse where he pleaded not guilty, John Edwards signaled that would be a core of his defense.

(SOUNDBITE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)

JOHN EDWARDS: There's no question that I've done wrong, and I take full responsibility for having done wrong. But I did not break the law and I never, ever thought that I was breaking the law.

JOHNSON: Justice Department prosecutors will try to poke a hole in that defense by presenting testimony from people who used to be in Edwards' inner circle. First, there's Andrew Young, who agreed to tell people he was the baby's father and accepted checks from a wealthy donor, hidden in boxes of chocolate. Eventually, Young renounced Edwards and wrote a tell-all book about him. Young's credibility will be a huge issue in the trial.

Then there's a former speechwriter for Edwards who wanted him to issue a public statement coming clean about the affair and the money he was getting from friends to support his mistress. The criminal charges say Edwards told the speechwriter not to mention that money for legal and practical reasons, which could demonstrate what the law calls guilty knowledge.

Sloan, of the nonprofit group, says the Justice Department's best chance for a conviction may be Edwards' deep unpopularity, which explains why prosecutors wanted a jury, not a judge, to hear the case.

SLOAN: By proving to a jury that Mr. Edwards is loathsome, they are hopeful that they will, in fact, get a conviction. And they know that that would've been a much riskier strategy with a judge.

JOHNSON: The trial's expected to last about six weeks.

Carrie Johnson, NPR News, Washington. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.