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

The Power Of Memoirs, Biographies

Feb 29, 2012

We hope you enjoyed digging into our Black History Month memoirs as much as we did.

And if you are hungry for more good, true stories about people you may not know much about ... for Women's History Month, which starts on Thursday, we will be doing much the same thing.

We will be checking out recent biographies of famous and not so famous women whose life stories have been explored by talented writers.

We will hear about women as varied as the Egyptian monarch Cleopatra, the famous designer Coco Chanel ... and an Iranian woman who was forced into an arranged marriage at 13, but later managed to flee to make a new life for herself in the U.S. — to name just a few.

Now at this point, you might be asking yourself, "Why memoir and now biography?"

Opportunity, for one thing. One of the perks of working at NPR, along with exposure to great music, is access to many wonderful books. Writers and their representatives know that people who listen to NPR also read and appreciate books, and so they send us books. Lots and lots of books.

And I couldn't help but notice that there seems to have been an explosion of memoirs in recent years, some of them by already established writers, like CNN executive Mark Whitaker or The Onion's Baratunde Thurston.

But also people like Bertie Bowman, who ran away from sharecropping at 13 with everything he owned in a flour sack, but who now manages the hearing room for one of the most prestigious and sensitive committees on Capitol Hill.

Some of the true life stories that come our way involve amazing turns of fate or acts of courage. But I confess — I am equally captivated by stories, like Bertie Bowman's, where the courage displayed is the quiet kind.

In fact, one of the passages in his story that I found most compelling was where he explained why jobs like setting up and cleaning up hearing rooms at the Capitol, and otherwise taking care of lawmakers, were so prized by black men and women of his generation. Yes, it was a job where he and his colleagues called themselves "the invisibles" because they were treated as if they were invisible. But it was a job they did not have to fear losing because they were sick or needed to go back South to bury a relative. It was a job with paid holidays, retirement benefits and regular salaries — the kinds of things middle class white people were starting to take for granted. And there were also the perks of proximity to power — friends in high places who could pick up the phone and cause things to happen.

Can I just tell you? The stories of other people's lives are the one true remedy of arrogance. When you think about what your forebears went through so you could have the luxury to judge them, it is truly humbling. But it is also exciting because however ridiculous the political campaigns get, however high gas prices go up, however hard it gets to make that mortgage payment, you can be assured that someone has gone through worse.

It is also true that the pace of the way we live now does not often lend itself to reflection. Perhaps that reflection comes mainly in the mirror we hold up to the past.

In any event, we continue on this journey, and we love your company, so please join us. Our first conversation about women and biography is on Thursday.

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