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.

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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 disparaged him in several media interviews. He tweeted late Tuesday that she "has embarrassed all" with her "very dumb political statements" about the candidate. Trump ended his tweet with "Her mind is shot - resign!":


After Further Review, Having Regular Refs Back Made It 'A Real NFL Game'

Sep 28, 2012

Friday morning quarterbacks seem to be unanimous in saying that having a "regular" crew of officials back on the field for Thursday night's NFL game between the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns made an immediate — and positive — difference.

"It felt like a real NFL game because the real NFL refs were back," writes ESPN's Jamison Hensley.

The most noticeable moment when having real refs on the field made a big difference, according to USA Today's Robert Klemko, came in the first quarter when the Browns' Josh Cribbs was leveled by a devasting (and legal) hit. As Cribbs lay on the field, "one shove after the whistle led to another shove and a couple more, then Baltimore's James Ihedigbo and Cleveland's Johnson Bademosi took it from a tiff to a scuffle," Klemko writes.

But "head referee Gene Steratore's crew of comparatively tiny men rushed to put an end to it."

Had the "replacement refs" who filled in during the lockout that prevented experienced crews from officiating during the first three weeks of the season been on the field, there likely would have been a full-blown flight. "In each of the Ravens' previous three games this season, tiffs became scuffles, and dozens of times, scuffles became fights," Klemko writes. "If you watched an NFL game last week, it's not hard to imagine Cribbs lying prone while a dozen or more unknowing athletes jostled inches from his bare head."

Ironically, the game ended in a way reminiscent of the Monday night debacle that put intense pressure on the league and the officials to settle their differences. But unlike on Monday, when replacement refs blew the call and gave the Seattle Seahawks a win over the Green Bay Packers, last night the "hail Mary" pass thrown into the end zone by Cleveland did not produce any disputed call.

True, "the referees didn't have to make any key call because the throw sailed out of the back of the end zone," as ESPN's Hensley says. But it was also clear throughout the game, he writes, that "the officials restored order."

One more note: The officials' importance to the game was underscored by the greeting they got from the Baltimore crowd. They were cheered! As the Baltimore Sun writes, "instead of receiving the usual jeers that go with their profession, NFL referee Gene Steratore and his crew were treated like conquering heroes Thursday night at M&T Bank Stadium."

Afterward, the Sun reports, "Steratore said it was a special game for him and his crew after the NFL officially ended the lockout of the regular officials."

"The emotional kind of overtook all of us for a second there," he said, according to the Sun. "We know what this is. We know how special this, and we have always taken such pleasure in being a part of this whole thing and having it go smoothly without being recognized. When you're actually recognized, it was a little different feeling. So, you have a moment."

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