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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.


Will Improving Economy Bring Surge Of Job Seekers?

Mar 9, 2012

William Johnson, a graphic designer by trade, recalls with much bitterness the long, grinding job hunt that followed his 2007 pink slip in Milwaukee.

"There were some people I emailed or called 10 or 15 times," he says. "After a few years of that, not hearing back from people ... slowly but surely I just sort of gave up."

Johnson, 44, is one of about five million jobless Americans who have stopped looking for work and are therefore no longer counted in the Department of Labor's monthly unemployment rate, which stands at 8.3 percent.

If that number included those discouraged workers, it would be closer to 10 percent. And if it counted the millions of people working part-time because they can't find anything full-time, it would be more than 15 percent.

As the U.S. labor market slowly improves and the economy gains traction, many frustrated job-seekers will dust themselves off and start submitting resumes again.

How Many And How Fast?

In fact, there are signs it's already happening. Manpower, the country's largest employment-services firm, says it has seen a 20 percent to 30 percent increase in inquiries from job seekers in just the past few weeks.

"We're seeing people whose unemployment insurance has run out who are taking a more serious look at their prospects again," says Sunny Ackerman, vice president and general manager for major markets at Manpower.

But nobody seems to know exactly how many people will come off the sidelines or how rapidly they will move. If it happens quickly, it could drive the unemployment rate back up, because people who had dropped off the Labor Department's radar would suddenly be counted again.

Heidi Shierholz, an economist at the nonpartisan Economic Policy Institute, doesn't think workers will flood the market "until job prospects improve significantly" – and at the current rate of job growth, that could take years.

"We don't have some historical perspective to compare this to and go, 'Ok, we know from experience that when the unemployment rate gets to X, or the number of jobs gets to whatever, that's when people will start coming back,' " she says.

The Role Of Demographics

Regardless of how many people re-enter the fray, any influx of job-seekers likely won't significantly increase the unemployment rate. That's partly due to demographics, according to a recent study by Wells Fargo Securities. It said there's a natural attrition at work — baby bombers are retiring, moving out of the job pool and leaving a bit of room for others.

Economists also say many older people who lost jobs late in their careers are finding it hard to get rehired and may never come back. And many younger and middle-aged people, frustrated with their prospects, are hoping that more education may give them new, marketable skills.

"A lot of these people have opted out of the labor market by going back to school or staying in school," says Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist for IHS Global Insight.

That's where Johnson's path led him. Things got so tight financially that he was forced to move in with his elderly parents in Racine, Wis., where he became the primary caregiver for his ailing mother.

"I began to think, 'The heck with resuming a job search in graphic design, I'll see what I can do in health care,' " Johnson says. He's planning to cash in part of his retirement savings and go back to school to become a certified nursing assistant.

The two-year program will likely keep him out of the job market for some time.

'I'd Take Anything'

Younger, less educated job-seekers have had it particularly tough since the downturn that began in late 2007. But even those who are middle-aged and hold advanced degrees have had difficulty.

Mindy Martin of Olympia, Wash., has a master's degree in counseling and lost her job three years ago.

"I'd take anything, really, that would offset the cost of child care and make it worth me being out of the home," says the 38-year-old mother of two young children.

Jobs in her field that once were advertised at starting salaries of about $32,000 a year are now being offered at minimum wage, Martin says.

In the meantime, she says the family has been scraping by on her husband's job, which is steady but not well-paying. They are current on their house payments but have racked up about $15,000 in credit card debt in the months since her unemployment insurance ran out.

Martin says she still looks at the job listings a few times a week, though she finds the whole process demoralizing.

"I am an optimistic person, so I like to imagine in five years that I will be doing something that will both pay the bills and is satisfying work for me," she says. "But my track record is not very good. I just don't know."

Slowly But Surely?

Azhar Iqbal, a co-author of the Wells Fargo report, says he is cautiously optimistic about the future for discouraged workers. The job market, he says, is slowly getting better.

"Once people have really grasped that, they will say 'Ok' and get back in the market," Iqbal says.

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