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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Obama's Budget: Political Tool Or Spending Plan?

Feb 13, 2012
Originally published on February 13, 2012 11:57 am

Deficit reduction takes a back seat to job growth in the federal budget President Obama will unveil Monday. The spending plan forecasts more red ink in the current fiscal year than in 2011. Under the president's plan, budget deficits wouldn't reach a sustainable level until 2018.

The budget blueprint calls for hundreds of billions of dollars in new federal spending, aimed at spurring economic growth. Many of the proposals are recycled from the American Jobs Act that Obama put forward in September. Most of those plans have languished in a divided Congress, and the president's budget is likely to do the same.

Rather than a realistic road map for government spending, the White House budget is likely to serve as a political tool in the president's re-election bid. It provides more detail for the policies spelled out in the State of the Union address.

"We must transform our economy from one focused on speculating, spending and borrowing to one constructed on the solid foundation of education, innovating and building," says a budget document prepared by the White House.

The plan calls for $140 billion in research and development spending, including $2.2 billion for advanced manufacturing. Obama also wants to invest $476 billion over six years in transportation infrastructure, financed in part with money that will no longer be needed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The president's budget renews his call for higher taxes on the wealthy. That includes an end to Bush-era tax cuts for families earning more than $250,000 a year, limited tax deductions for high earners, and the so-called "Buffet Rule," which would ensure that millionaires pay a minimum tax rate of 30 percent.

All told, the budget proposes $1.5 trillion in new tax revenue over the coming decade. That includes a new $61 billion tax on big banks and $41 billion in additional taxes on fossil fuel producers.

Even before Monday's formal release, Republicans criticized the spending plan for raising taxes without doing more to stem the deficit. Republican presidential candidates and members of Congress favor deeper spending cuts and lower taxes. That disagreement is likely to frame the debate between now and the November election.

"I think there is pretty broad agreement that the time for austerity is not today," said White House chief of staff Jacob Lew on NBC's Meet the Press. Lew served as White House budget director until recently.

Obama spent much of the past year trying unsuccessfully to reach a deficit-cutting "grand bargain" with Republicans. Since September, he has focused more aggressively on promoting job growth, and his approval ratings have improved slightly.

The president has also benefited from an improving job market, but that won't be reflected in the new budget. The document's economic section, which was locked in months ago, predicts average unemployment this year of 8.9 percent, a figure that White House economists say is already out of date. January's jobless rate was 8.3 percent.

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