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.


At 79, Ex-Party Official Lambastes Chinese Leaders

Oct 29, 2012

The frail 79-year-old in a pale brown shirt with close-cropped hair sitting at a fast-food restaurant table looks absolutely unremarkable. But Bao Tong has a lightness in his eyes, a confidence that speaks of a man whose conscience is clear, a man with nothing to fear.

"I have become my own person," he says. "When I was a Communist Party member, I had to follow party discipline. When they threw me out of the party, my brain was set free."

Bao was once secretary to Zhao Ziyang, the reformist Communist Party leader who sympathized with protesters in 1989 and spent the rest of his life under house arrest. In the aftermath of Tiananmen Square events that year, Bao spent seven years in prison. He was released in 1996, but his life is hardly that of a free man.

"After leaving prison, I was followed 24 hours a day," he says, with an airy lack of concern. "Some people came with me today. They always come with me. They sit near me. They might record."

"I'm totally used to it," he adds. "If they're not with me, I feel lost."

As a foreign journalist in China, I'm used to tense, truncated meetings with dissidents in noisy fast-food restaurants, where we sit nervously, communicating in low voices, constantly scanning for signs of surveillance.

With Bao, it's totally different. He's calm and unflustered, speaking loudly even when the music dips.

"I couldn't speak so freely when Zhao Ziyang was alive," he admits. "I was scared I might draw him in."

But now, this octogenarian is relaxed, chuckling gently as he describes goading his security agents.

"I say to them, 'If you think [jailed Nobel peace laureate] Liu Xiaobo should be in prison, then you can send me to prison with him.' There are advantages to being in prison. It makes people realize how cruel this government is," he says.

Harsh Criticism For Current Leaders

Bao is damning in his assessment of the current administration: "There's no ideology, there's no socialism, there's no communism. All that's left is power."

He describes the Communist Party as having "the tightest net" of control over the population.

"The party is more powerful than an emperor. No emperor could mobilize and organize 80 million people. Every company and every law court has a party branch. They're all under the party's control, including lawyers and newspapers. What emperor could do that?" he asks.

He decries the explosion of corruption among party members, blaming the absolute lack of respect for the rule of law.

"If I were an official, I'd definitely be corrupt. People would say, 'How about your son becoming the chairman of the board in a state-owned company?' If I refused, they would say, 'If my son can become one, why can't your son?' If I still said he wouldn't do it, then they wouldn't consider me as being in the same boat as them. So they would push me out of the boat," he says.

But Bao still has hopes for the new administration that will be headed by a new president, Xi Jinping. He believes that if the administration can act fast in pushing through reforms, it may be able to claw back some legitimacy.

"They need to be pro-active," he says. "If they admit that many mistakes were made in the past, the people would immediately forgive them."

As for the future, Bao has no doubt that China's Communist Party can postpone its demise, but not indefinitely, "I don't know if it will happen soon, but it will definitely end one day. No totalitarian system can last for long."

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