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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Truffles Take Root In Appalachian Soil

Feb 29, 2012
Originally published on February 29, 2012 5:09 pm

As orchards go, truffle orchards are upside-down and backwards. The magic happens not on the branches of oak and hazel trees, but beneath them, where a richly flavored mushroom sprouts from fungal colonies laced about the trees' roots. This cultivated variety is the black Perigord truffle, or tuber melanosporum.

These truffles are notoriously hard to farm, even in France, where Perigords originate. Now, in the rolling hills and clay soils of eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina, a growing number of farmers are hoping to establish southern Appalachia as the new truffle capital of the world.

Tom Michaels, owner of Tennessee Truffle, says he was the first American to grow Perigords commercially in 2007, from trees inoculated with melanosporum fungus using a relatively new French technique. He tells The Salt that about 200 orchards are now in development in the U.S., but because it takes years before truffles appear, few are producing yet. "The next few years are the moment of truth" for the burgeoning industry, he says.

Restauranteurs and gourmands are taking notice. Last weekend Michaels joined a roster of truffle experts at the fourth annual National Truffle Fest in Asheville, N.C. Similar celebrations of the truffle have sprung up in Oregon, where wild and cultivated truffles grow, and Napa Valley, in recent years.

Although there are dozens if not hundreds of truffle species – some native to North America – most are not edible. Among palatable varieties, the Perigord is considered the crown jewel and, accordingly, is known as the "black diamond" truffle. It's prized for its pungent aroma, a delicate mix of fruit, musk, and earth.

Michaels says each truffle has a unique flavor profile. He selects them individually to meet his customers' requests, and delivers them fresh the next day, which has earned him accolades from chefs like Momofuku's David Chang. European truffles can take ten days to reach American kitchens, by which time the flavors have already started to fade.

Freshness doesn't come cheap, however: Even American Perigords can fetch upwards of $800 a pound.

The long years of cultivation mean many truffle growers are still in the dark about how to squeeze the most from their trees. How far apart to place the trees, or what balance of minerals to maintain in the soil, are still very much open questions. Michaels says managing a truffle orchard "is really art. It's not [yet] a science at this point."

But truffle-gathering will probably always rely on old-world methods: specially trained dogs – or pigs, who find truffles irresistible – to sniff out the mature fungi.

Between rapid growth and rising demand, the small American truffle industry could soon be big business. Michaels says he currently harvests just 3 to 5 percent of what his orchard could, in theory, produce.

"I'm supposed to be famous because I grow a few pounds per acre," he says. "But if you look at what is possible, it's way more than that."

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