"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/.


In 'Brave,' A Pixar Princess At Odds With Her Place

Jun 21, 2012

Not since Walt Disney's heyday has an animation company enjoyed a creative — and technically innovative — run like Pixar, now on a two-decade stretch that started with Toy Story in 1995 and continued with modern classics like Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc., The Incredibles, WALL-E, Ratatouille and two Toy Story sequels that took on improbable depth and complexity. Over the years, the only persistent knock against Pixar is its lack of one thing Disney movies had in spades: female heroines.

With the vibrant Scottish adventure Brave, the company sets about solving that political problem by offering a distinctly 21st-century princess — strong and rebellious, swift with a bow and uncompromising in her quest for self-determination. Yet they've also solved the problem the Pixar way, which means family comes first, whether it's the surrogate bonds of Cars and Toy Story or the close-knit units of Finding Nemo and The Incredibles. Everything that's good about Brave — beyond the expected eye candy, anyway — stems from the push and pull between the princess' ambition and the demands of family tradition. Pixar may specialize in reinventing genres and creating new worlds, but this theme draws from a vast emotional reserve.

But there's a lot that isn't good about Brave, too, or at least that's woefully conventional by Pixar standards. Beyond the strong core relationship between Merida (voiced by Kelly Macdonald), the film's frisky Celtic princess, and her equally iron-willed mother, Elinor (voiced by Emma Thompson), Brave creates a universe that's beautifully rendered yet thinly imagined, with rote mythology and a wealth of lowbrow gags. At its worst, it would be tempting to say that Pixar is playing on rival DreamWorks' turf — all one-liners and blocky character designs — if DreamWorks hadn't stepped up its game recently with Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon.

With an unruly shock of red hair that makes a statement well before she opens her mouth, Merida has more in common with her father, King Fergus (voiced by Billy Connolly), a man of lusty appetites, than her mother, who asserts a quieter power that's rooted more in wisdom than in brute force. When Merida comes of age, Elinor surprises her with the news that suitors from three different clans will compete for her hand in marriage, an arrangement Merida rejects as thoroughly as her mother's lessons on proper etiquette.

Like many a fairy tale princess, Merida flees to an enchanted forest and comes upon a witch, but the spell she hopes will change her mother's mind has unintended consequences. Viewers are better off discovering what happens to Elinor for themselves; suffice it to say that Merida's mother will finally be forced to listen to her for once.

The mother-daughter scenes in Brave have a marvelous tension that turns from dramatic to deftly comic when the spell takes effect and transforms Elinor completely. And the issues between them are not trivial: Granting her daughter the freedom she craves — freedom from all men, not just princes — isn't a simple case of Elinor getting hip to changing times, but a threat to the tenuous peace between clans. For Merida, part of growing up is understanding that personal fulfillment isn't the only consideration, but something that has to be reconciled with the needs of those closest to you.

Brave hits on this powerful message eventually, but it gets there by way of run-of-the-mill plotting and strained attempts at comic relief, from the shenanigans of Merida's three trouble-making little brothers to the bungling oafs in the other clans. The future of Merida's kingdom depends on her family's sustaining a fragile relationship with their neighbors; turning the latter into lovable half-wits and blowhards lowers the stakes a little. While the character of Merida answers Pixar's cultural critics emphatically — and offers young girls a spirited wild card to add to their gallery of satin-gowned Disney princesses — the studio hasn't imagined a vehicle worthy of her.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.