A police officer is free on bond after being arrested following a rash of road-sign thefts in southeast Alabama.  Brantley Police Chief Titus Averett says officer Jeremy Ray Walker of Glenwood is on paid leave following his arrest in Pike County.  The 30-year-old Walker is charged with receiving stolen property.  Lt. Troy Johnson of the Pike County Sheriff's Office says an investigation began after someone reported that Walker was selling road signs from Crenshaw County.  Investigators contacted the county engineer and learned signs had been reported stolen from several roads.

NPR Politics presents the Lunchbox List: our favorite campaign news and stories curated from NPR and around the Web in digestible bites (100 words or less!). Look for it every weekday afternoon from now until the conventions.

Convention Countdown

The Republican National Convention is in 4 days in Cleveland.

The Democratic National Convention is in 11 days in Philadelphia.

NASA has released the first picture of Jupiter taken since the Juno spacecraft went into orbit around the planet on July 4.

The picture was taken on July 10. Juno was 2.7 million miles from Jupiter at the time. The color image shows some of the atmospheric features of the planet, including the giant red spot. You can also see three of Jupiter's moons in the picture: Io, Europa and Ganymede.

The Senate is set to approve a bill intended to change the way police and health care workers treat people struggling with opioid addictions.

My husband and I once took great pleasure in preparing meals from scratch. We made pizza dough and sauce. We baked bread. We churned ice cream.

Then we became parents.

Now there are some weeks when pre-chopped veggies and a rotisserie chicken are the only things between us and five nights of Chipotle.

Parents are busy. For some of us, figuring out how to get dinner on the table is a daily struggle. So I reached out to food experts, parents and nutritionists for help. Here is some of their (and my) best advice for making weeknight meals happen.

"O Canada," the national anthem of our neighbors up north, comes in two official versions — English and French. They share a melody, but differ in meaning.

Let the record show: neither version of those lyrics contains the phrase "all lives matter."

But at the 2016 All-Star Game, the song got an unexpected edit.

At Petco Park in San Diego, one member of the Canadian singing group The Tenors — by himself, according to the other members of the group — revised the anthem.

School's out, and a lot of parents are getting through the long summer days with extra helpings of digital devices.

How should we feel about that?

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.

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

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.


'2' Bad: Plot, Style Taken Straight From The Original

Oct 4, 2012

Even though he has the face and build of a leonine Celtic warrior, there's also something gentle and mouselike about Liam Neeson. That's what makes him such an unlikely and invigorating action hero, and it's part of what made the 2008 thriller Taken so disreputably pleasurable: Somehow, watching this sad, sweet galoot zap Albanian bad apples with a jillion volts of electricity just felt so right.

So how could Taken 2 feel so wrong? For one thing, this follow-up was directed by Olivier Megaton, whose approach isn't as explosively brilliant as his totally fake name might lead you to believe. (The original was directed by Pierre Morel, a filmmaker of far subtler gifts, at least as far as action pictures go.)

And the plot mechanics of Taken 2 are so clunky and overloaded that even the eminently capable Neeson has trouble shouldering them: This time around, Neeson's retired CIA operative Bryan Mills takes pity on his estranged wife (Famke Janssen), who has split with her husband, and invites her and their perpetually clueless daughter (Maggie Grace) along on an easy-peasy freelance security gig he's landed in Istanbul.

Meanwhile, the relatives of the guy Neeson fried in the first installment have decided to take revenge on him and his family. You can tell they're bad because they have scrubby beards and scowling expressions; you can tell they're Albanian because they're wearing pleated pants and oversized leather jackets from the Who's the Boss? era. (The Taken franchise is never going to win any prizes for political sensitivity.) They scheme and plot and bark sentences like "He knows!" and "Do it now!" into their cellphones.

You just know what's going to happen: Janssen is going to get nabbed while strolling through the market stalls doing a little picturesque souvenir shopping, while Grace, back at the hotel pool stretching her long limbs near the silvery water, will be set upon by furry-faced creeps who scoop her up and sling her over a shoulder, even as she kicks, scratches and bites.

Actually, it doesn't quite go down that way — Janssen never even gets to go shopping, and Grace is told by her father, via furtive cellphone communique, to go into his hotel room and hide in the closet. Because that's the last place those people from Albania would ever look.

OK, no one wants realism or logic in a movie written by a certified French-roasted coffee bean like Luc Besson (the co-writer is Robert Mark Kamen, who also collaborated with Besson on the first installment). Taken 2 must not be taken 2 seriously, although at the very least Megaton could have found better ways to use all those glorious, antique-looking Istanbul backdrops.

On the plus side, the action sequences — desaturated, chopped up and herky-jerky as they are — are mildly thrilling: The sight of gentle-giant Neeson walloping the heads, kneecaps and nonmentionables of assorted thugs is pretty much enough to make the angels sing the Notre Dame Victory March. It's all the stuff around those scenes that needs a hefty rewrite. Or at least a little more shopping.

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