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.

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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/.

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Potential Conflicts At Freddie Mac Draw Scrutiny

Feb 9, 2012

A federal Inspector General's office confirmed Wednesday it is looking into Freddie Mac investments that act as bets against homeowners being able to refinance.

In addition, U.S. senators are expected to probe Freddie Mac's investment practices at a hearing on Capitol Hill on Thursday.

Freddie Mac, based in northern Virginia, is the taxpayer-owned mortgage giant whose public mission is to make homeownership more affordable for Americans.

But a recent investigation by NPR and ProPublica, a non-profit newsroom, showed that the company, which was chartered by the federal government, has made $5 billion worth of investments that benefit when homeowners are blocked from refinancing their current mortgages to take advantage of today's lower rates.

Freddie Mac is one of the gatekeepers that gets to set the rules by which homeowners are allowed to refinance.

The inspector general for the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Freddie Mac, issued a statement saying: "We currently have an open evaluation on capital markets, which encompasses this issue. We'll know more when the evaluation is completed."

Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., had sent a letter to the inspector general, saying: "If Freddie Mac stood to benefit from homeowners being trapped in above-market interest rates, are such transactions consistent with their mission?"

Lawmakers are interested in exploring the matter because millions of homeowners are frustrated that they can't lower their mortgage payments by qualifying for today's interest rates — the lowest on record. Some prominent economists estimate that upward of 10 million homeowners are being unfairly blocked from refinancing because of unnecessary restrictions, fees and other frictions within the mortgage industry.

The concern is that in recent years Freddie, has been changing the rules to make it more difficult for homeowners to refinance. At the same time, Freddie placed $5 billion worth of bets that pay off if homeowners stay stuck in higher interest rate loans.

"It's pretty outrageous — Freddie shouldn't be betting against homeowners to begin with," Menendez told NPR. He is the chairman of the Senate subcommittee on housing.

Both Freddie Mac and its regulator have said a "firewall" separates the investment part of the company from the rule-making part. They say lending policy has not been influenced by the investment portfolio.

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