Alabama authorities say a home burglary suspect has died after police used a stun gun on the man.  Birmingham police say he resisted officers who found him in a house wrapped in what looked like material from the air conditioner duct work.  The Lewisburg Road homeowner called police Tuesday about glass breaking and someone yelling and growling in his basement.  Police reportedly entered the dwelling and used a stun gun several times on a white suspect before handcuffing him.  Investigators say the man was "extremely irritated" throughout and didn't obey verbal commands.

Montgomery Education Foundation's Brain Forest Summer Learning Academy was spotlighted Wednesday at Carver High School.  The academic-enrichment program is for rising 4th, 5th, and 6th graders in the Montgomery Public School system.  Community Program Director Dillion Nettles, says the program aims to prevent learning loss during summer months.  To find out how your child can participate in next summer's program visit

A police officer is free on bond after being arrested following a rash of road-sign thefts in southeast Alabama.  Brantley Police Chief Titus Averett says officer Jeremy Ray Walker of Glenwood is on paid leave following his arrest in Pike County.  The 30-year-old Walker is charged with receiving stolen property.  Lt. Troy Johnson of the Pike County Sheriff's Office says an investigation began after someone reported that Walker was selling road signs from Crenshaw County.  Investigators contacted the county engineer and learned signs had been reported stolen from several roads.

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.

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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.

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Now there are some weeks when pre-chopped vegetables 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.

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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.


Candidates' Plans For U.S. Military At Home, Abroad

Oct 22, 2012



As we just heard, the candidates have already said a lot about foreign policy, but they have not necessarily addressed every question. Tom Ricks has been thinking about a subject that lurks somewhere beneath almost all discussions about global hotspots. Ricks has covered the U.S. military for the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and in many books. His most recent work, "The Generals," examines top military officers in recent history and their grasp of strategy.

What is something that you think the candidates have overlooked so far in their discussions and debates that have touched on foreign policy?

TOM RICKS: I've generally been disappointed in the quality of discussion about the military. The only thing (unintelligible) about the military is the defense budget. And I don't understand why there's an assumption that defense spending has to remain about the same, which is kind of President Obama's view, or that it has to increase, which is Governor Romney's view. We are coming out of two long wars here, fighting for a decade in Afghanistan and Iraq. Usually, at the end of our wars, the defense budget goes down, and Governor Romney's talking about increasing it. So it seems to me there's a basic discussion that has not been taking place. And generally I find the tone of discussion about the military quite odd. A lot of people I know in the military think we do spend too much on the military. They think that the national interest would really be better served by rebuilding inner cities or by paying our teachers more. Not all of them think we need more B-2 bombers.

INSKEEP: Some must, but you're saying not all do.

RICKS: Yeah.

INSKEEP: Well, let me present to you, though, a summary of Mitt Romney's argument on this point. He's essentially been arguing for peace through strength, that if you eviscerate the military you end up encouraging our enemies. Isn't there something to that?

RICKS: No, I don't think there is. I think what you want is a smarter, more effective, more adaptable military. You need a military that thinks first. There's a famous British saying: We ran out of money so now we must think. That actually would be a good thing for the U.S. military to start doing. We've learned the hard way that simply going into Iraq and spending billions and billions of dollars produced very little except billions and billions of wasted dollars and a lot of money going into Swiss banks and banks in the Persian Gulf. Often the cheaper way is the better way, but the U.S. military has forgotten that and it might be time for some tough love.

INSKEEP: Well, now, the Obama administration and actually the tail end of the Bush administration, you had Robert Gates, a defense secretary under both presidents, who championed restraining spending in a lot of different ways. Admiral Mike Mullen, who was the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for a while, was also identified with restraining military spending. Are you saying that not enough has been done?

RICKS: Oh, absolutely. I think the Obama people are kind of afraid of the military, especially as a political issue, and so they kind of treat them almost as an interest group. It's a little bit like giving your lunch money to the playground bully. You don't do it because you like them, you do it because you're kind of afraid of them. And Romney, I don't know. Romney seems to be sort of driven by just, you know, what's the convention Republican view. What's been left out of this is, are there better ways of doing it and why don't we ask about less expensive but equally effective ways to do things?

INSKEEP: I want to ask you about one other thing, Tom Ricks, which also came up in the vice presidential debate. Both presidential candidates have signed onto the idea of the U.S. not completely ending but fundamentally ending its leading role in Afghanistan by 2014. In the vice presidential debate, the moderator, Martha Raddatz, referred to military officers who she said think that's a bad idea. Are there a lot of military officers you know who think it's a bad idea?

RICKS: It's not that they dislike the idea of getting out of Afghanistan; they dislike the idea of publicly announcing a date. I'm not sure it's a bad idea though. You need to get out of these places. We need to operate in different lower-key, more indirect ways that are also effective. And I think making it clear to our Afghan partners that we are leaving is probably an essential act in getting Afghan security forces, the police and the military, to become more effective.

INSKEEP: Tom, thanks very much.

RICKS: Great to talk to you, Steve.


INSKEEP: Thomas E. Ricks is a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security and he writes for Foreign Policy. His newest book is called "The Generals." Of course many NPR stations will bring you tonight's presidential debate live and we'll have complete coverage tomorrow, including our close read of what the candidates say, or don't say. You can, of course, follow this program throughout the day on social media. We're on Facebook. You can also find us on Twitter. We are @MorningEdition, @NPRGreene and @NPRInskeep.


INSKEEP: You're listening to MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.