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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New Jersey As Good-Government Leader? Believe It

Mar 19, 2012
Originally published on March 20, 2012 10:31 am

New Jersey isn't normally the first state that springs to mind when you're searching for an example of good government. Not even close. In fact, just the opposite.

But the Garden State can now boast that, compared to most other states, it is a democratic (small "d") oasis.

That's because New Jersey was awarded one of the highest grades for government accountability by an investigative journalism project of the Center for Public Integrity, Global Integrity and Public Radio International.

The organizations examined the states to see what laws for ethics and transparency they had on the books and how well those statutes were enforced.

No states got an "A", an indicator of the just how wide the gap is between what state governors and legislators say on the campaign trail and what they actually do when they're in office.

In a surprise to even New Jerseyans, their state got the highest score, 87, the only state to earn a B plus.

From an article on the StateIntegrity.org website:

"Even one of New Jersey's top elected officials was stunned to hear that the Garden State ranked first in the State Integrity Investigation.

" 'I'm still in shock,' Senate Majority Leader Lorretta Weinberg (D-Bergen) said, laughing. 'If we're number one, I feel bad for the rest of the states.' "

Her statement no doubt spoke for many.

In her report on New Jersey, journalist Colleen O'Dea acknowledged just how passing strange it was that New Jersey of all places should lead the nation in such good government traits of transparency and accountability.

"The ranking may seem counter-intuitive.

"Yes, Gov. Chris Christie made his reputation by busting more than 100 public officials when he was a U.S. Attorney in the state. And yes, at least five state legislators have been convicted of or pleaded guilty to official misconduct since 2004. And yes, others were investigated for lesser misdeeds or resigned before being charged.

"There was also a string of costly procurement debacles involving the motor vehicle inspection program, implementation of a toll road payment system and state-funded school construction.

"But thanks largely to these moral missteps and hard work by good-government groups and legislators, New Jersey now has some of the toughest ethics and anti-corruption laws in the nation. The Garden State ranks first in the integrity probe for ethics enforcement, first for executive branch accountability and fourth for procurement practices."

Connecticut got a B with a 86 percent score while several states received grades of B minus — Washington State (83 percent), California (81 percent) and Nebraska (80 percent.)

On the other end of the spectrum, Georgia brought up the rear with a failing grade of 49 percent. The Peach State earned that dubious honor by having ethics and open government laws filled with exemptions and through lax enforcement.

An excerpt from the Georgia report by Jim Walls, a former investigative reporter with the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

"Georgia law books are chock-full of statutes written to curtail undue influence on political activity and public policy.

"So utilities and insurance companies can't give to a candidate seeking an office that regulates them. Legislators can't take political donations while in session. Politicians can't use campaign money for personal benefit. State workers can't accept gifts from vendors or lobbyists.

"Except when they can.

"Time and again, Georgia journalists and watchdog groups have found that money finds a way to flow around those laws..."

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