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.

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!":


Commentary: Ban On Big Sodas A Big Mistake

Sep 16, 2012

The new ban on the sale of soft drinks in large containers in New York City is arbitrary and insulting.

Just because something is bad, that doesn't mean you should ban it. Bad is something that people need to decide for themselves, for the very simple reason that no one has a monopoly on knowing what bad is.

Some people think that sitting on a park bench and enjoying a pipe while you read the afternoon paper is a good thing. Others, like New York's Mayor Bloomberg, think this is such bad behavior it should be made illegal.

Some people don't like to have to make several lengthy trips to the concession stand to buy sodas during a ballgame. They think it is bad to stand in line at the ball park. They think it is good to buy one extra-large soda at a single go. This new rule will ban this type of convenience.

This restriction is insulting because it only makes sense if we think we need the government to tell us what and when and how much to drink. It is insulting because its premise is that we can't make up our minds for ourselves.

Now I am inclined to agree with the mayor that our population is vulnerable to the blandishments of marketing and advertising, particularly the poor and the poorly educated. These are problems — education and poverty — I wish he would tackle.

This particular regulation is also arbitrary. The ban only applies to some shops, not others; it targets the size of containers, not the amount of soda sold; the ban takes no account of the fact that, by volume, most of what fills up those giant beakers of soda is ice; the ban doesn't apply to milk shakes, or alcoholic drinks, or coffee drinks.

The mayor says the purpose here is not to ban soda, but to make people mindful of the dangers of obesity. As if people don't know that? As if we don't all know that thin is beautiful and positive and healthy and fat is dangerous and unsexy and negative? Thank you, Mr. Mayor!

My personal view is that there's two things going on here.

First, instead of tackling real problems, this mayor, like so many of our politicians, is just creating a diversion. He's making up problems he can solve.

Second, there's a deeper complex at work. A little knowledge is a very dangerous thing. Yes, obesity is a problem. Yes, it costs taxpayers. Yes, it would better if people were not obese. But if you think you can make a dent on something as deep and personal and important as how people eat and feel about their food by this kind of regulation, then you've got your head screwed on backwards.

We saw this same kind of simple-minded, technological approach to natural phenomena in New York City back when Hurricane Irene struck. This mayor shut down the subways, as well as the bridges and the tunnels, in advance of the storm. His actions — meant to avert disaster, or merely to divert the impression that he was inactive in the face of the incoming storm? — were immensely costly to the city and upsetting to its residents. He locked down New York.

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

You can keep up with more of what Alva Noë is thinking on Facebook and on Twitter: @alvanoe

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit