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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Like Grits? You Just Might Be A Republican Candidate

Mar 13, 2012

"Strange things are happenin' to me" a bewitched Mitt Romney said recently to a crowd of Mississippi supporters. The former Massachusetts governor is right: Strange things do happen to folks, especially national political candidates, when they talk to us Southerners. They start drawling and twanging, trying to sound like us. Sometimes, they're mocking us; sometimes they're just trying to be friendly. We know the difference.

And they often start talking about things they think we're fascinated by — guns and grits and Gettysburg.

The Republican primary candidates are just the latest batch. The last four standing candidates — Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Romney and Rick Santorum — have been courting constituents in the South off and on throughout the campaign. (On Tuesday people in Alabama and Mississippi go to the polls; 90 Republican delegates are at stake.)

And for some inexplicable reason, when speaking to Southerners each of the men has adapted his message to what he thinks Southerners want to hear.

  • Mitt Romney, the consummate non-Southerner, waxes prosaic about cheese grits – calling them "cheesy grits."
  • Newt Gingrich, who is from Georgia but sounds like he was born in a Washington think tank, preaches about the difficulty of putting gun racks in Volts and about how it's politically important to "understand grits."
  • Ron Paul — who moved to Texas as an adult — shows up on YouTube, with some variation of a Southern flag behind him, arguing in his professorial way that slavery was not the primary cause of the Civil War.
  • Pennsylvanian Rick Santorum, mobilizing folks in Mobile, starts dropping his g's and saying things like hostin' and helpin'.

Goldarnit, it's National Talk Lack A Southerner Day.

The Republicans aren't the only practitioners. Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama took a turn during their 2008 primary race too.

But what exactly do candidates hope to accomplish? "Usually, the role of Mississippi and Alabama is to follow, not to choose. The states have voted for every GOP nominee since Ronald Reagan. But their primaries have usually come too late to matter, and the nominee has already been picked," reporters David Farenthold and Krissah Thompson pointed out Monday in The Washington Post. "The two are left out in other ways: They haven't produced a president since the Confederate president, Mississippi's Jefferson Davis. They have never produced a GOP nominee."

Some observers believe the blending-in attempts are futile — even self-defeating. Voters "can see that these politicians are nakedly trying to score points and if they can't figure out grits for example, it is counterproductive," says Louisiana Republican Party activist and radio commentator Jeff Crouere. He adds that Romney "may still prevail in Alabama, but not because of his expertise in Southern culture."

And Merle Black, a Southern politics professor at Emory University says, "Pandering usually becomes a story when journalists notice a candidate using different language than their normal expressions, and especially when the candidate uses words or phrases that ring false."

Catering to the catfish and hushpuppy crowd could backfire, Black says. "A person might lose some votes over such pandering, but rarely gains votes. So I don't think it helps. Few voters would pick candidates on this basis."

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