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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Presidential Speeches: Sound And (Partisan) Fury, Signifying Not Much

Mar 12, 2012

When presidents give major set-piece speeches, they're mainly engaged in exercises in futility since a commander-in-chief's high-flown rhetoric rarely shifts voter attitudes for long.

Indeed, the exercise could even be more negative than neutral since speeches by presidents advocating specific policy not only leave citizen unswayed but can fire up political opponents in the other party, according to Ezra Klein in an essay in the New Yorker.

Indeed, after reading Klein, who also blogs for the Washington Post, it seems like presidential speeches are often the rhetorical equivalent of the old and discredited medical practice of bleeding patients; not doing much good in most cases, definitely harmful in many others.

Still presidents continue to do what they do in the speechifying department, just like the doctors of old who drained their patients of their precious life stuff. Maybe it's because presidents like the physicians of past centuries can't apparently think of a better alternative.

Actually, Klein cites political scientist George Edwards who says the prevailing state of affairs has more to do with the differences between campaigning and governing.

" Edwards believes that by the time Presidents reach the White House their careers have taught them that they can persuade anyone of anything. 'Think about how these guys become President," he says. "The normal way is talking for two years. That's all you do, and somehow you win. You must be a really persuasive fellow.'

"But being President isn't the same as running for President. When you're running for President, giving a good speech helps you achieve your goals. When you are President, giving a good speech can prevent you from achieving them."

Klein provides several examples where presidential rhetoric appears to have hardened an Oval Office occupant's opponents against him, including George W. Bush's speeches for reforming Social Security and Obama's for health care reform.

It's really a fascinating problem to consider. No matter how excellently crafted and delivered are a president's speeches, it's the real lives of voters that matter most even if voters' perceptions are arguably unfair.

That's borne out in the latest Washington Post/ABC News polling that shows Obama's approval ratings falling as gas prices rise.

The difficulty was captured aptly by Democratic political strategist and pundit, Paul Begala, who Klein quotes:

" 'The Titanic had an iceberg problem. It did not have a communications problem. Right now, the President has a jobs problem. If Obama had four-per-cent unemployment, he would be on Mt. Rushmore already and people would look at Nancy Pelosi like Lady Gaga.' "

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