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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!":


'All Gone' Offers Disappointing Take On Hot Topic

Sep 25, 2012

The best memoirs transcend the strictly personal. New York Times columnist Alex Witchel's book All Gone, about one of the hottest topics among baby boomers — caring for our aging parents — comes across as boomerish in a bad way: self-absorbed and immature, as if she's the first to suffer this sort of stress and loss.

For years after her mother's diagnosis of stroke-related dementia, Witchel is a barely contained "muddle of anguish, anger, and self-pity." While some readers may appreciate her raw honesty, it's not enough ballast in a book that brings too little that is fresh to the growing literature of parent care.

A pity, because as the recent, powerful excerpt in The New York Times Magazine made clear, All Gone would have been much stronger had Witchel stayed tightly focused on her mother. Instead, Witchel has padded the book with her own personal history, including her childhood in Passaic, N.J., and Scarsdale, N.Y., as the oldest of four children in a functional but none-too-happy kosher Jewish household; her uncertain path to journalism; and her marriage to former Times drama critic Frank Rich.

She also writes about the comfort she's found in her mother's tried-and-true menu staples, and then includes these ho-hum recipes in her book, examples of "housewifery in the age of Betty Crocker." Her mother, a college psychology professor, was a dutiful, serviceable and, by all appearances, unexceptional cook. Her recipes are heavy on Bac-O's, canned soups and the "dynamic duo of Lawry's seasoned salt and garlic powder ... the kitchen crack of 1957."

While Nora Ephron might have whipped them into deliciously frothy sociological treats, the Witchels' Frankfurter Goulash, meat loaf and latkes sit heavily on the page. "The key to home cooking is knowing a good thing when you see it and having the sense to stick to it," Witchel insists. "If you want to express yourself, buy a pair of chartreuse socks." In other words, whatever you do, steer clear of Nigella, Ina, Smitten Kitchen and the rest of the foodie gang — never mind the Mark Bittman Variations: They may give you ideas.

In her 1998 book of essays, Girls Only, Witchel dubbed her meticulous, punctilious mother a "human Swiss Army knife." In All Gone, she paints a vivid, admiring portrait of a triple survivor — of a frivolous, overcritical mother; polio; and an often difficult husband. Barbara Goldfein Witchel pursued a doctorate and full-time career when mothers rarely did, valued honesty and brightness above all, and was a supermom and close friend to her older daughter.

In 2000, when she was almost 70, this lifelong smoker and Type 2 diabetic started showing signs of mental slippage. Witchel, as the only child without young children (her two stepsons were grown), stepped in. CT scans showed evidence of strokes, the scar tissue from which was contributing to depression and "emotional incontinence."

What to do? Witchel organized part-time home care and launched a crusade to find relief for her mother. This included a parade of doctors, tests and medications, including antidepressants with unfortunate side effects. Unable to accept the "ambiguous loss" of a mother who was "gone, but not gone," Witchel exhausts herself trying to show her mother that she hasn't abandoned her. While Witchel's loving concern is touching, we're left wishing she could, as Wordsworth put it, "grieve not, rather find / Strength in what remains behind."

Her mother — clearly not "all gone" — was wise even in her diminution. At one point she asks sharply: "I have to be perfect when I die? Why is that?" Another of "Barb's barbs" to her daughter, at once put-down and absolution: "There's nothing you can do because it's not up to you." Ah, mothers.

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