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

Donald Trump wrapped up his public tryout of potential vice presidential candidates in Indiana Tuesday night with Gov. Mike Pence giving the final audition.

The Indiana governor's stock as Trump's possible running mate is believed to be on the rise, with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich also atop the list. Sources tell NPR the presumptive GOP presidential nominee is close to making a decision, which he's widely expected to announce by Friday.

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The unassuming hero of Jonas Karlsson's clever, Kafkaesque parable is the opposite of a malcontent. Despite scant education, a limited social life, and no prospects for success as it is usually defined, he's that rarity, a most happy fella with an amazing ability to content himself with very little. But one day, returning to his barebones flat from his dead-end, part-time job at a video store, he finds an astronomical bill from an entity called W.R.D. He assumes it's a scam. Actually, it is more sinister-- and it forces him to take a good hard look at his life and values.

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Are Obama And Romney The Same Guy?

May 4, 2012
Originally published on May 7, 2012 6:34 pm

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney just may be the same person. Think about it. Have you ever seen the two of them in the same limo?

All right. Of course, the pair of politicians who will in all likelihood be the major party nominees for the 2012 presidential election have their differences. Republican Romney, for instance, has been a governor and chairman of the Olympics; Democrat Obama has not. Obama, on the other hand, has been a senator and a president. Romney has not.

The two men do have different skin colors and they were raised with different religious beliefs. But we are here to explore their likenesses. Of which there are so many — major and minor — that political wags have referred to the two with mashed-up monikers, such as Barack Oromney, Baromney Obamitt and just plain Obomney.

President Obama, speaking at the recent White House Correspondents Association dinner in Washington, joked about his similarities with Romney: "He and I actually have a lot in common," Obama said. "We both think of our wives as our better halves. And polls show, to a alarmingly insulting extent, the American people agree."

Other people have noticed parallelisms between the pols. From the left, billionaire political activist George Soros told Reuters in January, "Between Romney and Obama, there isn't all that much difference."

From the right, Newt Gingrich agreed with Soros — which does not happen often. Gingrich, putting himself forward as different from Romney, told ABC News in January that Obama and Romney are "the same people." There are "a lot of parallels between these two guys," Gingrich added, pointing out that they both receive massive funding from Wall Street investors and share similar views on health care issues.

Both Obama and Romney "are very successful guys who kind of figured it out," says Mac McCorkle, who teaches the politics of public policy at Duke University. "They both have faced major challenges and they both have met those challenges."

And both Obama and Romney come across as cool and somewhat aloof. Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, says, "I've joked that we may finally have found a political solution to global warming. Let these two campaign incessantly for six months and we'll lower the temperature by a few degrees."

Tale Of The Tape

Arguably, Obama and Romney see the world pretty much the same way — in very many ways. They have at least a dozen data points in common:

1) Neither man served in the armed forces. This would be the first election without a veteran representing a major party in the race since 1944.

2) Both Obama and Romney hail from far-flung family histories. Obama's father was born in Kenya; his mother in Kansas. Romney's father was born in Mexico; his mother in Utah.

3) Both men operate from out-of-the-norm religious backgrounds. Obama, the Christian son of a Muslim father, says that his faith guides his decision-making; Romney is the Mormon son of a Mormon father. Both religious upbringings can elicit prejudice.

4) Both men earned degrees at Harvard University. Romney spent four years among the ivied towers, graduating in 1975 with a joint degree in law and business. Obama spent three years in Cambridge, graduating from Harvard Law School in 1991.

5) Both men worked in the financial sector. In 1983, Obama took a job at Business International Corp., a New York-based multinational business counseling firm, as a researcher in the financial services division. "He wasn't there long — only about a year," NPR's Scott Horsley reported in 2008. "But the job at Business International Corp. provided a crash course in market economics." Both politicians have been heavily funded by Goldman Sachs, Bloomberg reports.

Romney migrated from the banks of the Charles River to the banking world of Bain Capital, a private equity firm. "What Bain Capital did — and was among the first, if not the first, to do it — was to look at the operations before buying the company, as well as after," Romney told NPR's Ari Shapiro in 2011, "and try to figure out, how can we make it better and then help the management team to improve the company."

6) Both served, for a time, as advisers to their communities: Obama as a community organizer in Chicago; Romney as a bishop — a spiritual lay leader — in the Boston area.

7) Each man lost his first federal election. Romney lost to incumbent Ted Kennedy in a 1994 Massachusetts senatorial contest; Obama lost to incumbent Bobby Rush in a 2000 Illinois House of Representatives election.

8) Both men have championed comprehensive health care initiatives. Romney, when he was governor of Massachusetts and Obama as president. "Romneycare and Obamacare are essentially the same," Gingrich told ABC News.

9) Both Obama and Romney stay fit, dress sharply and look vaguely out of sync when wearing blue jeans.

10) Both occasionally laugh uncomfortably at their own humor.

11) Both have been known to lapse into song during public speaking.

12) Both are political pragmatists. "This presidential election tells us something unexpected about American politics," writes presidential historian Julian Zelizer on CNN.com. "For all the talk about polarization and discord in Washington, it appears that both parties will have pragmatic problem-solvers at the top of their tickets."

The Party Trumps All

Watching the 2012 slates materialize — bringing together two similar political figures — reminds Sabato of certain similarities between the candidates in the election of 2000. George W. Bush and Al Gore "were crown princes who had gotten as far as they did because of their fathers' successes," Sabato says. "So the parallels between Obama and Romney aren't that unusual in American politics." (Which may raise another question about the type of person who runs — and whom we nominate — for president.)

But what is different this time, Sabato says, is the political climate and the potently partisan atmosphere. The major distinction between Obama and Romney is where their support comes from — their parties.

"What they don't share politically — their party — trumps all similarities," Sabato says. "We live in a highly polarized era, and in the modern age at least, Democrats and Republicans have never had less in common on politics and policy."

The fact that Obama and Romney, left to their own devices, might well meet in the middle and find common ground, Sabato says, "is literally irrelevant. Their party bases will not permit them to do so, and their own partisan activists will go after them hard if they try to compromise too much. Or maybe at all."

On Monday's Morning Edition, NPR will air the first in its series, "Parallel Lives," comparing President Obama and Mitt Romney.

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