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 Questions 'Real' People Might Ask At The Debate

Oct 16, 2012
Originally published on October 16, 2012 11:30 am

As this election year began, political pundits insisted the No. 1 issue would be the economy. They expected the candidates to offer voters detailed plans for encouraging job growth.

Now, with the election just three weeks away, many Americans are still scratching their heads, wondering what exactly President Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney would do to improve the economy.

During the first presidential debate, the moderator did little to nail down details on the topics that matter most to average people, such as home prices, gasoline, wages, exports and jobs. At tonight's televised town hall meeting at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., at least a few voters will have a chance to ask questions to clarify differences between the candidates on "real" economy issues.

Here are five topics that many Americans would like to hear more about:

Helping the housing sector

The housing sector has been in a depression since 2007. In recent months, some indicators have been turning up, but construction spending is still mostly moving sideways, and home prices generally remain far below 2006 levels.

Romney has not said much about foreclosures and the home-price crash, except in a Las Vegas Review-Journal interview when he said: "Let it run its course and hit the bottom."

Obama disagreed, saying in his State of the Union address in January that "responsible homeowners shouldn't have to sit and wait for the housing market to hit bottom to get some relief." He has backed modest programs to slow foreclosures, such as the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP).

Question No. 1: Given how long the housing crisis has dragged on, is there something more you and the Congress could be doing to help? Please be specific.

Helping consumers cope with gas prices

This year, consumers have seen crazy swings in gasoline prices, with the average price per gallon shooting up from about $3.25 as the year began to $3.92 just three months later. Then the price fell again, rose again and now is back around $3.75.

It's tough to set a household budget when you never know how much you're going to pay at the pump. Both candidates agree Americans are too dependent on oil from the Middle East, a region where political instability contributes to price volatility.

"The plan is to control more of our own energy," Obama says.

"I'm going to take advantage of our energy resources and get us energy independent," Romney says.

Question No. 2: Every president since Jimmy Carter has been talking about making us energy independent. Is it just beyond the power of a president to do anything about gasoline prices, or do you have a plan that is different from all of those past presidents?

Helping households stay afloat

Food experts warn that grocery prices could be headed higher. Breakfast — an important meal for children — is already costing more, with retail prices going up for eggs, bacon, orange juice and milk.

Meanwhile, wages are hardly growing at all. Lots of families already have cut back on their driving, cancelled newspapers and clipped coupons. But until they get raises, budgets are tight.

Question No. 3: Is there anything a president can do to help get U.S. wages moving up again?

Helping factories by expanding exports

Both Obama and his Republican challenger say they want to boost U.S. exports. Selling more goods overseas certainly would be helpful to many U.S. factories.

"I want to export more products and outsource fewer jobs," Obama says.

"Where other nations are now competing, I want to make sure our goods can go throughout the world," Romney says.

Question No. 4: You each have expressed support for trade pacts. But since a free-trade agreement with South Korea took effect March 15, imports from South Korea have been surging, far outstripping U.S. exports to that country. In fact, our trade deficit with South Korea is up nearly 25 percent so far this year. Why do you want more free-trade deals?

Helping workers by increasing job training

About 3.6 million jobs are open right now in this country. At the same time, about 12 million people are looking for work but getting turned down. Many employers say job seekers just don't have the right skills for the available openings.

Both Obama and Romney say they want to fix that mismatch by upgrading workers' skills.

"I'm going to make sure we have the kind of training programs that give people the skills they need for the jobs of today," Romney says.

"I want to give more Americans the chance to get the skills that they need to compete," Obama says.

Question No. 5: What's the difference between your plans? At a time when Congress must cut spending, how would each of you reduce the skills mismatch?


In the comments section below, please tell us what questions you would ask the candidates.

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