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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!":


Can College Students Resist The Lure Of Facebook, Twitter During Class?

Aug 16, 2012
Originally published on August 17, 2012 3:04 pm

Dear college students across the U.S.,

Like millions of my colleagues who teach at universities and colleges, I'm working hard this week to put an updated zing into the syllabus for each of my fall classes. Describing the course content and readings for Biological Anthropology and Primate Behavior is the fun, mind-engaging part.

By contrast, the "Policies" (do's and don'ts) section of each syllabus is less than fascinating to compose, but it contains one particularly key passage: Do resist the urge to send email, texts or tweets, check Facebook, read the news, or otherwise engage online via your computer or phone during class!

Because I imagine many professors across the land are constructing similar statements right about now, I'd like to issue you a College Challenge '12-'13: Make the lecture hall, science laboratory and seminar room a haven of focused concentration, free of online distractions. Surprise the critics who say college kids today can't — or don't choose to — concentrate for more than a few minutes at a time.

There's quantitative support for concern about concentration in the classroom. One study showed that, on average, students at the University of Pittsburgh in Bradford said they read 2.6 texts per class and send 2.4, and that their learning probably suffers for it.

A larger survey of more than a thousand students at the University of New Hampshire revealed that only 20 percent of them said they send no texts during a "typical" class. A stunning 15 percent send more than 11 texts in a single class period.

When, as a teaching mentor to a younger colleague, I sat in the back of two classrooms last year, I saw with my own eyes what the teacher up front could not: More than a few of your peers used their open laptops in ways quite apart from taking thorough notes. A writer at the Harvard Crimson reflects upon this same startling "Facebook in class" phenomenon at Harvard University, suggesting that less-than-stellar teaching may be party to blame.

Of course, after 24 years at the College of William and Mary, I know firsthand that a great number of you show up to class with laser-beam focus, and engage with your professors and peers in ways that bring benefits to us all-- even when you may find the material (or its delivery) less than riveting.

And lots of us faculty embrace online interactions. I wrote here last week about the joys of learning science via Twitter. Some of us may bring online teaching tools into our classrooms by, say, assigning a series of high-quality blog posts, showing a YouTube video or "Ted" talk, or arranging Skype discussions with professionals in our field.

But as Jason Lanier says in his book You Are Not A Gadget, "The most important thing about a technology is how it changes people." As a culture, we have to fight the seductive appeal of constant connection via our technology, which fragments our attention and interrupts the joy of full immersion in thinking, problem-solving, and questioning.

So, students, help us college teachers out as we work hard to impart the material we love and as we learn along with you. During our 50- or 75-minute classes, or our three-hour seminars or labs, shut down the electronics unless invited to do otherwise. The collective classroom dynamic will change for the better!


Barbara J. King (after class, join me on Twitter: @bjkingape)

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit