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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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/.

Pages

In Iran's Oil Gambit, EU Nations Have Much To Lose

Jan 29, 2012

The Europeans are in the midst of their most serious economic crisis in 60 years, and now they're hearing it's not just their own fate they have to consider: The whole global economy hangs in the balance.

The International Monetary Fund last week warned that if Europe's problems get any worse, it could push the entire world back into recession.

European Union leaders, meeting in Brussels on Monday, are said to be close to resolving some of their most difficult issues — and they'd better be.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde has been busy reminding the Europeans what's at stake.

"There's no leader that I have spoken to in the last few weeks that has not mentioned the euro crisis as top priority on his or her agenda," Lagarde said in a recent interview with the BBC. "The Europeans are clearly under huge pressure."

Some economists question the IMF's mostly pessimistic outlook on Europe. In fact, there are some positive signs: borrowing costs for the most indebted countries have actually gone down, and the European leaders are close to agreement on a big bailout mechanism. But Jacob Kirkegaard of the Peterson Institute for International Economics says some governments have had to do so many budget cuts that they've endangered their own growth prospects.

"That is the main reason, in my opinion, that we're seeing a slowdown in the euro area as a whole," Kirkegaard says, "and that both Italy and Spain are likely to fall back into recession in 2012."

And then there's the Iran problem. The European Union planned to institute its embargo on Iranian oil gradually, over the next six months. Countries that buy Iranian oil — Greece, Italy and Spain particularly — need that time to find alternative oil suppliers. But Iran has upset that plan with its threat to cut off the oil before those countries have a chance to prepare.

Cliff Kupchan of the Eurasia Group says they shouldn't be surprised.

"Iran has a long history of saying, 'OK, I'll see you and raise you 10.' This would be consistent with that pattern," Kupchan says.

Iran currently exports about 600,000 barrels of oil each day to Europe, so it would lose revenue by shutting that business down. But Kupchan, a Middle East analyst, says Iran could fairly quickly find other markets for its oil; more quickly perhaps than the Europeans could find other sellers.

"I think it would be a lot more painful for the Europeans, in that they're going to have to get the Saudis, primarily, to provide them with more supply," he says. "That's time consuming ... I think Iran could cause distress to European markets if it does choose to go this route."

Kupchan and other analysts say other governments would probably come to the rescue if Iran tries to punish Greece, Italy and Spain. But in the short term, at least those three countries could face higher oil prices.

Jacob Kirkegaard of the Peterson Institute says if they have difficulty replacing the lost Iranian oil, these fragile economies could quickly find themselves in much deeper trouble.

"This could easily be what pushes them, from my projection of a relatively mild and shallow recession, into something much deeper and longer lasting," he says.

That longer lasting event could have the potential for destabilizing all of Europe, he says. And as goes Europe, so may go the global economy.

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