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.

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


Markets Hit Milestones; Goldman Sachs Gets Bashed

Mar 17, 2012



This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden. Checking on your retirement and mutual fund statements is getting a bit less scary. The stock market cleared another hurdle this week with the S&P 500 closing above 1,400 for the first time in almost four years, and the Dow Jones Industrials up almost 25 percent from in recent low back in early October. NPR's John Ydstie is here to tell us what's driving the market. John, thank you for coming in.

JOHN YDSTIE, BYLINE: You're welcome, Jacki.

LYDEN: So, some interesting numbers - and unemployment is still high, gas prices higher, deficits still extraordinarily large. Why are investors pushing stocks higher?

YDSTIE: The economy still faces some big challenges, but there were a number of things this week that provided some optimism. For instance on Tuesday, Federal Reserve officials offered a somewhat brighter view of the economy in the statement that they issued following their regular meeting. They used phrases like the economy has been expanding moderately, and the labor market has improved, and strains on global financial markets have eased - a reference to some lessening of the European debt crisis. The Fed officials were still guarded - not popping champagne corks - but investors responded very positively.

LYDEN: There was another thing that was interesting this week: the Fed issued another report card on some of the nation's big banks. And what did that tell us about the health of the economy?

YDSTIE: Well, it certainly suggested that the financial sector, which has at the center of our economic problems, is healing. The Fed put the nation's 19 largest banks through another stress test to find out how many could continue to lend if the economy really tanked again. It found all but one of them had enough capital to absorb loses and continue operating. And passing the test means many of the banks were taken off this short regulatory leash they've been on, and that means they can boost dividend payments to shareholders and buy back stock. And this made investors much more interested in owning bank shares, and that helped boost the market.

LYDEN: But gasoline prices continued to rise this week. And certainly that is a drag on the economy?

YDSTIE: Yes, they did rise. They're up about 20 percent since mid-December, and closing in on the $4.00 a gallon on average for regular. And it is a negative for the economy. It has hurt consumer sentiment. On the other hand, a report earlier in the week showed retail sales rising, and consumers continuing to spend. And remember the unemployment rate is down. We've had the best three months of job creation in a couple of years. And consumers are spending less to heat their homes because of the warm winter. So, all that is helping support confidence.

LYDEN: You know, with that sort of good news, is it too soon to say that a recovery is finally here?

YDSTIE: Well, we're in a recovery. It's very slow. And remember, both last year and the year before we started strong and then faded. There are still threats to this recovery; from rising oil prices, a potential confrontation with Iran, another flare-up in the European debt crisis, a slowdown in China. So, there's still plenty to worry about, though it does feel a little different right now.

LYDEN: John, there's one other story we noted in the news this week that we want to ask you about, and that is a story of a Goldman Sachs vice president named Greg Smith who resigned publicly from the investment bank in the op-ed pages of The New York Times. And he slammed the bank for what he said was a toxic culture at the firm and a disdainful attitude toward clients. Given the doubts that have already been raised around companies like Goldman Sachs, what impact do you think that's going to have on Americans' attitudes about Wall Street?

YDSTIE: Well, it certainly doesn't help. In his letter, Smith says that Goldman employees denigrated clients, calling them Muppets and tried to sell them products aimed only at maximizing profits for Goldman Sachs. We've heard similar stories before. You'll remember congressional hearings after the financial crisis where Goldman executives were condemned for selling financial products to clients and then betting against them. Smith's letter got a lot of attention. And things like this may be one of the reasons that small investors continue to be distrustful and have not really jumped back into the market.

LYDEN: Well, NPR's John Ydstie. Thank you very much for being with us today.

YDSTIE: You're welcome, Jacki. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.