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.

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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A Closer Look: Beyond the Buzzwords

Oct 11, 2012
Originally published on October 11, 2012 9:19 pm

A few terms and figures became flash points for later discussion in the first presidential debate between President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney. From Simpson-Bowles (which was mentioned at least eight times) to the much-discussed $716 billion cut in Medicare, the presidential debate and the wider campaign have featured a growing list of devilish details that could use a good footnote. Here's a closer look at a few of these disputed terms that are likely to come up in the vice-presidential debate.


Romney's plan would amount to a $5 trillion tax cut.

Obama's Take:

"The fact is that if you are lowering the rates the way you describe, Governor, then it is not possible to come up with enough deductions and loopholes that only affect high-income individuals to avoid either raising the deficit or burdening the middle class. It's — it's math. It's arithmetic."

Romney's Take:

"I will not under any circumstances, raise taxes on middle-income families. I will lower taxes on middle income families. ... Let's get to the bottom line. That is, I want to bring down the rates, at the same time lower deductions and exemptions and credits ... so we keep getting the revenue we need."

A Closer Look:

The $5 trillion figure comes from the Obama campaign, which based the claim on an analysis by The Tax Policy Center. Romney's tax plan would reduce marginal tax rates by 20 percent and eliminate other taxes such as the estate tax. Romney says the $5 trillion figure is wrong because tax cuts would be coupled with the elimination of tax exemptions.

NPR's John Ydstie explains, Romney "hasn't said which loopholes and deductions would go away."

Fact checkers at PolitiFact call Obama's $5 trillion assertion half-true, arguing that although Romney hasn't specified the tax deductions, he has always said he would include them in his tax cut plan.


The deficit reduction ideas of the Simpson-Bowles commission should be used.

Obama's Take:

"That's how the ... bipartisan commission that talked about how we should move forward suggested that we have to do it — in a balanced way with some revenue and some spending cuts. And this is a major difference that Gov. Romney and I have. ... If you take such an unbalanced approach, then that means you are going to be gutting our investments in schools and education."

Romney's Take:

"What I do is I bring down the tax rates, lower deductions and exemptions the same idea behind Bowles-Simpson, by the way. Get the rates down, lower deductions and exemptions --to create more jobs, because there's nothing better for getting us to a balanced budget than having more people working, earning more money, paying — more taxes. That's by far the most effective and efficient way to get this budget balanced."

A Closer Look:

The Bowles-Simpson Commission, a group of Republican and Democratic lawmakers and budget specialists, was created by President Obama and met over many months in 2010.

The commission's final proposal included a mix of spending cuts, tax reductions and big changes to entitlement programs, such as raising the age for Social Security. The commission itself was split on the plan. Rep. Paul Ryan was on the commission and voted against the final proposal.

The authors of the commission spoke with NPR following the first debate.


Replacing Medicare with a "voucher" plan

Obama's Take:

"The problem is that because the voucher wouldn't necessarily keep up with health care inflation, it was estimated that this would cost the average senior about $6,000 a year."

Romney's Take:

"This is an idea that's been around a long time, which is saying, 'Hey, let's see if we can't get competition into the Medicare world so that people can get the choice of different plans at lower cost, better quality. I believe in competition."

A Closer Look:

An essential part of Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plan is to change the Medicare system so future retirees would chose from the current Medicare system or a private health care provider. As NPR's Scott Horsley explains, the $6,000 cited by Obama comes from a Congressional Budget Office estimate based on health care costs rising faster than what's allotted for private care. Republicans say competition would keep that price in check. says the $6,000 cost applies to an outdated Ryan budget plan.

Affordable Care Act

Obama's health care plan cuts $716 billion from Medicare

Obama's Take:

"$716 billion we were able to save from the Medicare program by no longer overpaying insurance companies, by making sure that we weren't overpaying providers. And using that money, we were actually able to lower prescription drug costs for seniors by an average of $600."

Romney's Take:

"I want to take that $716 billion you've cut and put it back into Medicare. By the way, we can include a prescription program if we need to improve it, but the idea of cutting $716 billion from Medicare to be able to balance the additional cost of 'Obamacare' is, in my opinion, a mistake."

A Closer Look:

$716 billion is a term debated on both sides. As NPR's Liz Halloran explains, the number comes from the CBO, which said repealing Obama's health care plan would increase Medicare costs by $716 billion. So is that a cut to Medicare? It's definitely a reduction in spending. Obama says that's "savings" achieved by better managing payments to doctors and hospitals. Romney says it's a cut in payments that will drive doctors and hospitals away.

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