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!":


Ben Bernanke: Fed Is Looking For 'Sustained Improvement' Of Economy

Sep 13, 2012
Originally published on September 13, 2012 3:55 pm

Federal Reserve Chief Ben Bernanke said the new monetary policy announced today is aimed at getting the U.S. economy moving for good.

After a meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, the Fed announced that it would spend $40 billion a month on mortgage-backed securities in an effort to stimulate the economy and drive the the unemployment rate down.

It's a policy commonly referred to as quantitative easing and this is the third round of the policy the Fed has taken on. There was a twist, this time however, because the Fed made an open-ended commitment. Bernanke was asked several times what measures the Fed would use to decide how long to continue with the securities purchases.

"We want improvement to be sustained improvement," Bernanke said. "We're not looking for wiggles in the data."

Bernanke was also pressed about the kind of effect this policy would have on Main Street. Essentially, one reporter said, this policy translates to trickle down economics. The banks are given more money and the Fed hopes that loans will trickle down to the rest of America.

"This is a Main Street policy because we're trying to create employment," he said, explaining the tools available to the Federal Reserve are tied to monetary policy, so they can't, for example, create a program that lends directly to consumers.

But he said, this policy will hopefully nudge home prices up, bring interest rates down and edge stock investments up.

Demand, he said, is a problem and "if people feel better ... they may spend more."

Ultimately, though, Bernanke admitted that Fed policy can only do so much.

"This is not a panacea," he said. In fact, he said, the tools at the hands of Fed may not be strong enough to contain the kind of economic shock that the Congressional Budget Office projects will happen if Congress doesn't act this year and allows the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts and across-the-board cuts to take place Jan. 1.

Bernanke also fielded a question about making this kind of policy change during an election year.

"We have tried very, very hard to be non-partisan and apolitical," Bernanke said, adding that the Fed's decisions are made solely on the basis of economic data not politics.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit