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.


Amid Discord, A 'Quartet' Strives For Harmony

Nov 1, 2012
Originally published on November 2, 2012 12:56 pm

It's rare these days to see an old-fashioned, elegant chamber-piece movie about life and art — let alone one with Christopher Walken as, of all things, a steadying influence.

In Yaron Zilberman's minor but satisfying A Late Quartet, Walken gets to keep his electric hair and preternatural calm. Otherwise, though, the actor flexes decidedly unmenacing new muscles as Peter, the recently widowed elder statesman of a highly regarded New York string quartet that has played together in apparent harmony for 25 years. A diagnosis of early Parkinson's disease (his unflappable physician is played by Madhur Jaffrey, queen of Indian cuisine) moves Peter to announce his imminent retirement, and the chips start falling all over.

The winter of upper Manhattan discontent that follows, gracefully shot under heavy snow by veteran cinematographer Fred Elmes, works the well-trod movie terrain of a work-family whose fragile balance is thrown off by infidelity, insecurity and personal and professional jealousy — to say nothing of the shenanigans of a nominally grown-up daughter still dining out on what she sees as her folks' deficient parenting. Or, to paraphrase T.S. Eliot, who gets a topic quote in the opening scene, the nasty past creeps into the present and threatens the bright future.

A Late Quartet keeps high-culture company with Eliot, with cellist Pablo Casals and with Beethoven, whose Opus 131, along with a discreetly plaintive score by Angelo Badalamenti, ushers the group through seven movements of crisis. A seasoned indie cast keeps things moving smoothly, with Philip Seymour Hoffman as the hotheaded second violinist who suddenly announces that he's had it with playing second fiddle to the perfectionist soloist (Russian-Israeli actor Mark Ivanir).

Catherine Keener is Hoffman's wife, until now a source of harmony in more ways than one. British actress Imogen Poots provides the only dissonant note with an overdone New York accent and a ton of sex-kitten posturing as Hoffman and Keener's talented lost soul of a daughter, who has scores to settle of which she's dangerously unaware until it's almost too late.

In truth, the dramas on display are fairly humdrum, and the ambience of hushed good taste can feel stifling. Yet Zilberman clearly loves imperfect people as much as he loves perfect music, and the movie's best moments show off his relish for, shall we say, the fullness of artistic temperament under pressure. When threatened or provoked, even — perhaps especially — sublime musicians can throw punches or scurry off for extracurricular trysts with winsome flamenco dancers or the barely-of-age offspring of close colleagues.

It falls to Peter to rein in the egos and bring the ensemble back in tune, and Walken is more suited to the task than you'd think. Whether channeling psychos or romancing John Travolta in Hairspray, the actor is by temperament an understater. Though the script sometimes lumbers him with superfluous exegesis and quote-filled anecdotes with built-in life lessons, it's Peter's wordless scenes, when his virtuoso cellist massages the fingers that no longer obey orders, or eyeballs the drop between his apartment and the street below, that speak eloquently to the way that time itself — more than lust, envy or any other of the venial sins — makes monkeys of us all.

For Zilberman — who made the remarkable 2004 documentary Watermarks, about a Viennese Jewish women's swim team that survived Hitler — only art, or any great labor performed with others, endures, and for a while, at least, makes us better than we are.

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