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

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!":


Aging Ungracefully, But Still Kicking (And Shooting)

Aug 16, 2012

The monosyllables fly fast and furious in The Expendables 2. It's the joints that are a little creaky, but what would you expect from this sequel to the 2010 blockbuster in which a cadre of aged action stars, led by Sylvester Stallone, gathered to fire guns, blow things up and beat the living daylights out of assorted baddies?

The Expendables 2 brings back essentially the same cast, with a few additions, and features approximately the same quota of explosions and ass-kicking as its predecessor did, give or take a few incidents of flame-throwing and skull-bashing.

Stallone returns as mumbling mercenary Barney Ross, who leads a band of musclebound merry men who'll do anything for a buck: Barney is most commonly found in the company of his sardonic sidekick Lee Christmas (Jason Statham, who somehow emerges from the most ridiculous scenarios with his coolness intact).

Milling around in the background, with not much to do except throw their weight around, are Gunner Jensen (Dolph Lundgren), Toll Road (Randy Couture) and Hale Caesar (Terry Crews).

Jet Li's Yin Yang — one of the most appealing characters in the first movie — appears in an early scene and is quickly dispensed with. He's replaced, sort of, by an Asian operative named Maggie (Yu Nan), who seems to exist solely to make moo-moo eyes at rugged he-man Ross, who's having none of that girly stuff. There's also a greenhorn named Billy the Kid (Liam Hemsworth), but let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Most of the action takes place in Bulgaria, where Ross and Co. have been dispatched by shadowy CIA go-between Mr. Church (Bruce Willis) to prevent a heap of weapons-grade plutonium from falling into the wrong hands. This requires crash-landing a plane that was pretty rickety to begin with, blowing assorted evildoers to kingdom come, and making the acquaintance of a village full of women whose menfolk have been enslaved and put to work in that plutonium mine. Director Simon West (The Mechanic, Con Air) guides the plot about as well as he needs to, given that the body count is what really matters here.

And boy, do those bodies pile up. The Expendables 2 is reasonably cathartic in a fall-down-go-boom way, and if the picture's self-conscious riffing becomes tiresome after a while — there are only so many jokes a bunch of middle-aged sides o' beef can make at their own expense — it's still much wittier than its predecessor.

The dialogue, broken down and remixed, works as a kind of brutalist comic-book haiku: "Better duck!" "Oh, [expletive]!" "I got this!" "Fire!" "Yeah!" "Whoa!"

And how can you resist Jean-Claude Van Damme as a villain named — what else? — Vilain, showing off the star-shaped tattoo on his neck and explaining helpfully that it is the "sign of the goat — the pet of Satan!"

The Expendables 2 stands strong against Satan, his goats and everything they represent. In its worldview, truth, justice and Doan's Pills are really all that matter.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit