"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 http://www.npr.org/.

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!":

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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.


Aretha, Einstein And Knowing 'Too Much'

Jun 26, 2012

America is a nation of fans. And though you might not know it by whichever forgettable pop singers are currently shooting up the Top 40 chart, we're serious about our music. "You can dispute folks' politics or theology and still drink with them," as Anthony Heilbut writes in his entertaining new essay collection, The Fan Who Knew Too Much. "But [tell me], for example ... that Bob Dylan's music is 'worthless' and, well, you're on your own." This is true. I had bitter debates about serious issues in college, but none got as strident or contentious as when I asserted that the Beatles were an inferior band to the Stones (I was right) and the Kinks (I was young).

Heilbut is a journalist, biographer and record producer, but, essentially, he's a professional fan. As a teenager in the late '50s, he became an audience regular at Harlem's Apollo Theater, having fallen in love with gospel music. Later, he'd get to work with his idols, recording albums by legendary artists Mahalia Jackson and Marion Williams, among others. The best essays in The Fan Who Knew Too Much draw heavily on Heilbut's encyclopedic knowledge of gospel and his intimate friendships with the performers who became masters of the genre.

In the essay "Aretha: How She Got Over," Heilbut considers the career of the Queen of Soul, "foxy lady, proto-feminist, earth mother, avatar of high culture from opera to ballet, and storefront evangelist." It's a fascinating look at America's most famous gospel singer turned pop superstar, and Heilbut writes almost lovingly about her early songs and tender relationship with her father, civil rights activist the Rev. C.L. "Frank" Franklin. Heilbut is notably more critical — sometimes harshly so — of Aretha's late-career choices, scolding her for "what must ... have been an embarrassing Hattie McDaniel moment" while "impersonating a waitress in the movie The Blues Brothers" and "[c]oming on like an Ella Fitzgerald wannabe" in a 1994 concert at the White House.

His prose can be vicious and occasionally petty, but Heilbut has never been one for hero worship. In "The Curse of Survival," he suggests that Robert Johnson, who became a legend after his death at 27, wasn't the pioneer that most blues aficionados herald him to be. "[H]e invented almost nothing. ... So be it. If we end up valuing Johnson less, we acquire a greater purchase on musical history." And musical history is where Heilbut's heart lies. In "The Male Soprano," he traces how men with exquisitely high voices have been received through the past century, from Little Richard to Kenneth the page from 30 Rock (It makes sense in context. Trust me).

The Fan Who Knew Too Much is a fine collection, but it's chiefly notable for one essay — arguably, the highlight of Heilbut's writing career. In "The Children and Their Secret Closet," the author chronicles the experience of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender performers and patrons of gospel music over the years. "Without lesbians and gay men there could be no gospel music," he writes, estimating that "most of the male gospel stars" in the 1950s were gay. The essay isn't just enormously well-researched; it's heartbreaking and angry. Heilbut, an atheist, says he began to write it "after the church abandoned its responsibility toward gay men suffering from AIDS and ... began to swim in homophobia."

Heilbut's collection also includes essays about "Hitler's emigres to American culture" (Albert Einstein, Thomas Mann, Hannah Arendt) and soap opera pioneer Irna Phillips, the Guiding Light and As the World Turns creator he calls "the daytime serial's unwed mother." They're interesting, although a bit out of place in a book largely dedicated to the soulful and vibrant world of gospel and R&B. Then again, the true enthusiast doesn't limit his or her tastes, and is never afraid to express an opinion — loudly. That's Anthony Heilbut: biographer, journalist, rabid and unleashed fan to the end.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.