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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In Florida, The Early Birds May Be The Deciders

Jan 27, 2012

From Pensacola to Miami, the Republican primary is in full swing. Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are blanketing the state with rallies and personal appearances. The airwaves are full of campaign ads.

But Jeanne Casserta has heard enough. With several days left to go in the campaign, she stopped by the library in Coral Springs this week to cast her vote. She said she's heard plenty from both the Romney and Gingrich campaigns.

"I don't need to listen to any more speeches," she said. "I just had to follow who I think would be the strongest person to win the primary." And for Casserta, that's Romney.

Coming off his big win in South Carolina, Gingrich has found in Florida a number of challenges that appear to be slowing his momentum.

There's organization and money, of course. Romney has a lot more of both. Those are assets that Florida — with its 10 media markets and its large population — demands. On the air, Romney and a superPAC supporting him have outspent Gingrich and his allies 7 to 1.

Another potential problem for Gingrich are the hundreds of thousands of Florida Republicans who have already voted.

Voting Early

It's easy to cast your vote early in Florida elections, and an increasing number of voters are doing so. In most counties, polls opened last Saturday. Well over 100,000 people have already voted early that way.

Another popular way to vote early is through an absentee ballot. But, as Brian Hughes, a spokesman for Florida's Republican Party, says: "These days calling it absentee is almost a misnomer. It's almost better to call it vote by mail."

Because of Florida's liberal absentee ballot rules, anyone who chooses can mail in their vote. In the 2008 primary, 300,000 Republicans cast absentee ballots. This year, Republican voters are expected to surpass that.

Hughes says it's a sign Florida Republicans are energized — in part because of the state's early primary. "We're a much bigger prize in the early landscape," he says.

A Game Changer?

In Florida, working the early and absentee vote has become an important tactic, even for campaigns at the county commission level. Brett Doster, a Florida Republican strategist working with the Romney campaign, says in primary campaigns, absentee and early voters are critical.

"Primary elections are lower turnout," he says. "So ... the more likely votes for your candidate you can track and get in the bank for the absentee ballot program — or the early voting program — ensures you a greater possibility of success on Election Day."

And this is an area in which Romney has an advantage. The Romney campaign began working in December to follow up with mailers and phone calls to Republicans who requested absentee ballots. By the time the Gingrich campaign turned its attention to Florida, more than 100,000 ballots had already been returned.

When primary day rolls around next Tuesday, more than a half-million Floridians —maybe a quarter of the estimated turnout — are likely to have already voted. That's enough to sway an election.

Doster says the case study for this was in the 2008 Republican gubernatorial primary in Florida. That's when political newcomer Rick Scott edged out the establishment candidate, Bill McCollum.

"Bill McCollum actually won a plurality of votes on Election Day," Doster recalls. "But Rick Scott had beaten Bill McCollum in the absentees and the early vote. And he ultimately was the winner of that primary."

People who vote early are not influenced by last-minute revelations or momentum shifts that sometimes change the course of campaigns. That may not work in Gingrich's favor.

A survey conducted by the American Research Group found that at the beginning of the week, 17 percent of likely Florida voters had already cast ballots. Within that group, Romney has a 7-point lead over Gingrich.

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