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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Settlement Only The First Step In BP's Legal Woes

Mar 3, 2012
Originally published on March 3, 2012 5:09 pm

Oil giant BP has agreed to settle thousands of lawsuits stemming from its well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico.

The deal was announced late Friday and prompted a federal judge in New Orleans to postpone a Monday trial, but the proposed settlement solves only one piece of BP's legal exposure from the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history.

The settlement would cover only private plaintiffs — individuals and businesses with either economic losses or medical claims resulting from the oil spill. BP estimates it will pay out $7.8 billion to compensate oil spill victims, but there's no cap on claims.

Plaintiff Chris Nelson of Bon Secour Fisheries, a seafood processor on the Alabama Gulf Coast, isn't yet sure whether the settlement will satisfy his family's claim for lost business. But he's somewhat disappointed the trial has been delayed.

"I understand court cases often settle, but people deserve to know what actually happened out there," Nelson says.

Though the framework of the deal between BP and what's known as the Plaintiffs Steering Committee was announced, the terms have yet to be finalized. That lack of detail is troubling for Daniel Becnel Jr., a lawyer in Reserve, La., who represents oil spill victims.

"We don't know the finite amount of money that is going to go to various types of plaintiffs because no claims data has been collected," Becnel says. "We don't know exactly how long the process will take. Most of these people are going to have to start from ground zero."

The settlement must be approved by the court before it is official. But the fact that the parties have an agreement is significant, says Martin Davies, director of the Maritime Law Center at Tulane University in New Orleans.

"It's a big step forward to final resolution of the private claims," Davies says. "It doesn't settle everything though; it won't make the trial go away altogether — or at least not just yet."

That's because BP still faces lawsuits from other companies involved in the well, and from the federal and state governments. Billions more are at stake in civil and potential criminal fines for environmental damage caused when the well blew in 2010, killing 11 rig workers and spewing some 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf.

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange is coordinating the state claims against BP. He declines to discuss settlement negotiations, but says the states want to go to court.

"We have a very strong case to make against BP and other defendants, so we look forward to trial," Strange says. "Of course if something happens on the settlement front we'll have to review that at the appropriate time."

The Department of Justice says it is pleased BP may be stepping up to address harms to individuals, but says the deal by no means addresses the company's full responsibility.

Nelson hopes there will ultimately be a trial.

"It was pretty traumatic for everyone, certainly not to the extent for those families who lost loved ones," he Nelson, "but all of us that had suffered an impact from it, we want to achieve some kind of closure with it, and I don't think the money is what people are really looking for here."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Jacki Lyden, in for Guy Raz.

Our cover story today is on the upcoming election in Russia where President Vladimir Putin's appeal is challenged. We'll have that story in just a moment. But first, oil giant BP has agreed to settle thousands of lawsuits stemming from its well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico.

The deal was announced last night and prompted a New Orleans federal judge to postpone a Monday trial. As NPR's Debbie Elliott reports, the settlement solves only one piece of BP's legal exposure from the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history.

DEBBIE ELLIOTT, BYLINE: This settlement would cover only private plaintiffs - individuals and businesses with either economic losses or medical claims resulting from the oil spill. BP estimates it will pay out $7.8 billion to compensate oil spill victims, but there's no cap on claims. Plaintiff Chris Nelson of Bon Secour Fisheries, a seafood processor on the Alabama Gulf Coast, isn't yet sure whether the settlement will satisfy his family's claim for lost business. But he's somewhat disappointed the trial has been delayed.

CHRIS NELSON: You know, I understand court cases often settle, but I think that people kind of deserve to know what actually happened out there.

ELLIOTT: BP and what's known as the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee announced the framework of the agreement last night, but the terms have yet to be finalized. And that lack of detail is troubling for Daniel Becnel Jr., a lawyer in Reserve, Louisiana, who represents oil spill victims.

DANIEL BECNEL JR.: We don't know how long the claims process will take. We don't know the finite amount of money that is going to go to various types of plaintiffs because no claims data has been collected. We don't know exactly how long the process will take. Most of these people are going to have to start from ground zero.

ELLIOTT: The settlement must be approved by the court before it's official. But the fact that the parties have an agreement is significant, says Martin Davies, director of the Maritime Law Center at Tulane University in New Orleans.

MARTIN DAVIES: It's a big step forward to final resolution of the private claims. It doesn't settle everything though. It won't make the trial go away altogether, or at least not just yet.

ELLIOTT: That's because BP still faces lawsuits from other companies involved in the well, and from the federal and state governments. And billions more are at stake in civil and potential criminal fines for environmental damage caused when BP's well blew in 2010, killing 11 rig workers and spewing some 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf.

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange is coordinating the claims from Gulf states against BP. He declines to discuss settlement negotiations. He says the states want to go to court.

LUTHER STRANGE: We have a very strong case to make against BP and the other defendants, and so we look forward to trial. Of course, you know, if something happens on the settlement front, we'll have to review that at the appropriate time.

ELLIOTT: The Department of Justice says it's pleased BP may be stepping up to address harms to individuals but says the deal by no means addresses the company's full responsibility. Alabama oysterman Chris Nelson hopes there will ultimately be a trial.

NELSON: It was pretty traumatic for everyone, certainly not to the extent that it was for those families who lost loved ones. But all of us that suffered an impact from it, we kind of - we want to achieve some kind of closure with it, and I don't think the money is gonna be - what people are really looking for here.

ELLIOTT: Debbie Elliott, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.