Alabama authorities say a home burglary suspect has died after police used a stun gun on the man.  Birmingham police say he resisted officers who found him in a house wrapped in what looked like material from the air conditioner duct work.  The Lewisburg Road homeowner called police Tuesday about glass breaking and someone yelling and growling in his basement.  Police reportedly entered the dwelling and used a stun gun several times on a white suspect before handcuffing him.  Investigators say the man was "extremely irritated" throughout and didn't obey verbal commands.

Montgomery Education Foundation's Brain Forest Summer Learning Academy was spotlighted Wednesday at Carver High School.  The academic-enrichment program is for rising 4th, 5th, and 6th graders in the Montgomery Public School system.  Community Program Director Dillion Nettles, says the program aims to prevent learning loss during summer months.  To find out how your child can participate in next summer's program visit

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 vegetables 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.


5 Foul-Ups In The Romney Campaign

Nov 8, 2012
Originally published on November 8, 2012 12:37 pm

File this under the Strange Case of the 2012 Presidential Campaign. It was a long, tortuous trip that ended up at a very familiar destination: the re-election of President Obama.

But along the way, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney did garner more electoral votes than a lot of losers, including John McCain in 2008, Bob Dole in 1996 or Jimmy Carter in 1980.

Romney must have done some things right. And he must have done some things wrong.

On Election Day, Romney was asked by a reporter if he had regrets. "No campaign is perfect," Romney said. "Like any campaign, people can point to mistakes."

And so here we are, as the election dust settles, asking seasoned political observers to do just that — point out a handful of foul-ups, fallacies and false steps in Romney's run.

1) At first, Romney didn't lead the Republican Party, it led him.
This one was not Romney's fault, but the "manufactured Republican primary" of 2012 was a major miscalculation by the party, says Massachusetts political pollster and Emerson College professor Spencer Kimball. Instead of the winner-take-all system that had been used in the past, he says, Republicans "tried to capture some of the energy from the Obama-Clinton [Democratic] primary of 2008 and changed the rules to basically a proportional vote system."

The result, Kimball says, was an artificial race — and Romney responded by tacking to the right on social issues as the campaign unfolded during the spring. Instead of the primary battle ending on Super Tuesday — March 6 — with a Romney nomination, the race continued for five more weeks before former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum finally stepped aside.

"His campaign spokesman tried to keep Romney looking moderate with the Etch-a-Sketch comment in late March," Kimball adds, "but this gave Romney problems out of the gate — with finances, fracturing of the party base and messaging, which caused him to trail in the polls until the convention and the first debate."

2) For too long, Romney let the Democrats define him.
Throughout the summer, "Romney basically allowed the Democrats to run a blizzard of ads telling the nation who he was, defining him as a vulture capitalist — uncaring," says presidential historian Julian Zelizer of Princeton University. "He didn't really respond, and by the time he did — at the convention, which was too late — the Democrats had already defined to the nation who Mitt Romney was."

Zelizer says it reminded him of 1988, when Michael Dukakis let George H.W. Bush pigeonhole him as a weak and ineffective leader.

3) For a while, the Romney campaign lost focus.
After the American consulate in Benghazi was attacked on Sept. 11 — and Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed — Romney repeatedly criticized the way the Obama administration handled the international crisis. The former governor "got caught up in foreign policy at a time he shouldn't have," Zelizer says. "He and his campaign made a big mistake. They took their eye off the economy. They focused so much on Libya and not on the economy."

On the day after the election, The Washington Post reported that Romney knew he had made a mistake by criticizing Obama immediately after the attack. "We screwed up, guys," Romney confided to his aides.

4) The campaign had too many unscripted occasions.
Mac McCorkle, who teaches the politics of public policy at Duke University, points to two misbegotten moments: First, the "messed-up convention launch" in late August — where Clint Eastwood addressing an empty chair stole the show. And second, the leaking in September by Mother Jones of the off-the-cufflink "47 percent speech" that Romney had delivered at a Florida fundraiser. In the clip, he insinuated that many Americans are basically freeloaders.

5) Instead of ending with a bang, Romney's campaign faded away.
By 9 p.m. on Election Night, says NPR's Senior Washington Editor Ron Elving, exit polls made it clear to Romney and his advisers that he was behind in the key states and had no path to 270 electoral votes. "It was time to stop denying the plain facts and offering an alternative reality through media mouthpieces," says Elving, referring to Romney advocates such as Karl Rove, who was telling Fox News that his candidate still had a chance to win.

Instead, Romney should have been crafting a runner-up speech. "It was time to start preparing a concession," Elving says. "John McCain did that. Even George W. Bush made some preliminary moves to prepare for a possible concession on Election Day 2004 before the trends changed."

Ultimately Romney was gracious, Elving adds. "But the final hours once again showed his campaign team in some disarray, unable quite to come to grips with their situation."

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