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.

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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 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!":


Campaigns Beat Up On Their Own Ahead Of Debates

Oct 1, 2012
Originally published on October 1, 2012 6:20 pm



Now, despite all that debate training, if you listen to the campaigns, you might think the candidates are preparing to fail on Wednesday night.


That's right. Every four years in the lead-up to presidential debates, we've come to expect a game of sorts. Let's call it the expectations limbo.


BLOCK: That's when campaign surrogates suddenly beat up on their own guy. So how low can they go?

JENNIFER GRANHOLM: The president is going to lose the first debate. He will lose it. Mark my words.

BLOCK: That's Obama supporter Jennifer Granholm, former governor of Michigan on her Current TV show last week. And in the game of setting expectations, Granholm doesn't just preemptively declare the president the loser, she celebrates Mitt Romney.

GRANHOLM: His debating experience is fresh. He's in shape. He's effective at making strategic points. Plus, Romney has to change the race dynamics. And believe me, make no mistake, he is practicing 20 ways to do that.

CORNISH: Twenty ways. Now Republicans can play this game, too. Here's vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan yesterday on "Fox News Sunday" undercutting his boss and praising the president.


PAUL RYAN: Look, President Obama is a very - he's a very gifted speaker. The man's been on the national stage for many years. He's an experience debater. He's done these kinds of debates before. This is Mitt's first time on this kind of a stage.

CORNISH: But don't tell that to Republican Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, a Romney surrogate. Yesterday, on CBS's "Face The Nation," he suggested Romney's debate performance on Wednesday will be a game changer.


GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE: This whole race is going to be turned upside down come Thursday morning.

BLOCK: Known for his straight talk, Christie might have missed the memo on the expectations game.


CHRISTIE: Thursday morning, you're all going to be scratching your heads and saying, wow, we have a barn burner now for the next 33 days.

CORNISH: It's likely President Obama doesn't agree with that spin. Still, he's not above playing down his own debating abilities.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I know that most in the media are speculating already on who's gonna have the best zingers. I don't know about that, you know. Whose gonna put the most points on the board. No, no. Governor Romney, he's a professional. I'm just OK.

CORNISH: The expectations limbo, where just okay wins the game. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.