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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South Carolina Sues Justice Department For Blocking Its Voter ID Law

Feb 7, 2012
Originally published on February 7, 2012 6:46 pm

In the escalating fight over voter identification laws, South Carolina has filed a federal lawsuit to overturn a Justice Department decision blocking the state's new photo ID requirement.

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, representing his state in the case, said in the complaint filed Tuesday that the law "will not disenfranchise any potential South Carolina voter," as the Justice Department contends.

The lawsuit further argues:

"The covered voting changes in Act R54 [Voter ID law] do not and will not prohibit any voter in South Carolina from voting for or electing his or her preferred candidate of choice."

"... South Carolina's photo identification law ... merely imposes on voters a responsibility to obtain an approved photo identification card and to bring it to the polls unless one of the exemptions ... applies."

Laws requiring people to present government-issued photo IDs at the polls have become hotly debated this election year, as many of them have been enacted in presidential battleground states.

Supporters, mainly Republicans, claim the laws prevent election fraud. Opponents, primarily Democrats and voting rights activists, say that fraud is rare, and that the true intent of such laws is to suppress turnout among minority and other voters who tend to favor Democratic candidates.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has pledged to thoroughly scrutinize such election laws, in remarks taken by South Carolina officials and other voter ID supporters as a signal that he would oppose them.

South Carolina, along with eight other states, passed the law last year. In December, the Justice Department rejected South Carolina's new law, saying it would create unlawful barriers to participating in elections and "reduce minority voting strength across the state."

The Justice Department based its decision in part on findings that African-Americans, in particular, are far less likely than whites to own state-issued photo IDs and would face undue obstacles to obtain them.

Wilson refuted the contention in a statement. Citing an allowance under the law for people lacking IDs to sign an affidavit (attesting to eligibility) before voting at the polls, Wilson said:

"Nothing in this law prevents anyone from voting if they cannot immediately show a valid photo identification."

However, such votes may not be counted. Voters lacking ID use a provisional ballot, which only will be counted if the voters return within a set number of days with valid photo ID.

South Carolina, in effect, is taking on the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act. The measure mandates Justice Department approval of any changes to election laws in some or all parts of 16 states, including South Carolina, because of their histories of racially discriminatory voting practices.

Increasingly, a number of jurisdictions in the South have brought lawsuits seeking to be freed from the mandates, arguing that local election processes no longer inhibit minority voter participation. And Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, writing in a 2009 opinion, suggested continued enforcement of Voting Rights Act provisions "must be justified by current needs."

Another court battle looms over a similar photo ID law passed in Texas. In response to questions raised by the Justice Department, Texas has asked a federal court in Washington for clearance to enact its law.

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