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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Signs Of Recovery Emerge After A Long Downturn

Mar 11, 2012
Originally published on March 12, 2012 10:08 am

Millions of Americans are still searching for jobs or facing home foreclosures. For them, the Great Recession drags on into its fifth year.

But for others, the U.S. economy is looking up.

Companies in certain sectors are buying equipment again and hiring workers. These pockets of strength — found in energy, technology, manufacturing, autos, agriculture and elsewhere — are helping invigorate the broader economy.

"A virtuous circle may be building where employment, incomes and consumer spending move up together," IHS Global Insight's chief U.S. economist Nigel Gault wrote in a recent assessment of the economy.

The evidence of better times is all around. So far this year, employers have created about a half-million jobs, sending the unemployment rate down to 8.3 percent from a peak of 10 percent in October 2009.

The improving labor market is driving up both personal income and consumer confidence. In February, retail same-store sales posted strong gains, and auto sales ran at the highest annual rate in nearly four years.

And it's not just consumers who are feeling more confident. Business executives are smiling more, too.

Last week, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants released its quarterly Economic Outlook Survey, which polls chief financial officers, controllers and other accountants in senior management. Its "optimism index" shot from 25 points in the third quarter of 2011 to 69 in the first quarter of 2012. On the zero-to-100 scale, anything above 50 is positive.

"Optimists now outnumber pessimists on the U.S. economy by an almost 2-to-1 margin, which is a striking change from six months ago," AICPA Vice President Carol Scott said. "While a substantial number of respondents remain neutral, we're seeing a clear shift toward a more positive outlook for the coming year."

Stock investors have been riding that wave of optimism, as well. The Dow Jones industrial average is up nearly 25 percent since October.

To be sure, the recovery is still wildly uneven. More than 12 million people continue to seek work. U.S. home prices are down 34 percent from their peak, wiping out a decade of appreciation. Rising gasoline and jet fuel prices threaten to derail hopes for profits in the travel industry.

Some industries remain deeply depressed. If you work for a newspaper or a homebuilder, this does not feel like a recovery.

The economy also faces threats from abroad. The confrontation between the West and Iran, and the European debt crisis, could trigger trouble for the U.S. economy.

But despite these reasons for worry, large swaths of the economy are undeniably looking up. To see how the recovery is transforming some lives, NPR sent reporters out to look around the country. They found many people excited about the future.

"Yeah, I feel very lucky, and very glad I chose engineering — and specifically petroleum engineering," Chris Enger told NPR. In May, Enger will graduate from the Colorado School of Mines — and he already has a job lined up with EOG Resources, a Texas-based oil and gas company.

The average starting salary for School of Mines graduates in petroleum engineering jobs today? Nearly $79,000.

Reporters found similar stories about optimism from the farm to the factory to the high-tech office. These stories will be airing Monday through Wednesday on NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

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