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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 http://www.npr.org/.

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!":

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Consumer Group Files Suit Against Sweetner For Claiming It's 'Essential'

Aug 10, 2012
Originally published on October 15, 2012 11:06 am

Ok guys, reality check here: Nutella is not really a health food, POM Wonderful may be wonderful, but it doesn't necessarily prevent heart disease and... eating Splenda Essentials doesn't single-handedly make the pounds drop off.

But some people could be led to believe that it does. At least that's the contention of a class action lawsuit filed against Splenda Essentials, an artificial no-calorie sweetener, on Thursday by the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

The group is representing three consumers in California who say they're being misled.

For example? Well, depending on which "Essential" you think is most essential, the website claims that using Splenda's B-vitamin-, fiber- or antioxidant-enriched powder, you can "make everything you sweeten a little better for you."

But "fortifying an artificial sweetener with vitamins or fiber doesn't make it 'essential' for health," says CSPI in their press release about the lawsuit. The group says the label falsely implies you can lose weight or avoid disease by using the product.

Johnson & Johnson, which owns the Splenda brand, tells The Salt it doesn't comment on litigation.

Ultimately, the U.S. District Court in Northern California, where the case was filed, will decide. Why there? The state has particularly strong consumer protection laws.

With everyone, it seems, turning into a picky eater, it makes sense that food manufacturers push the envelope to tout the benefits of consuming their products. What's the deal, though, with making health claims when marketing food?

It's up to the Food and Drug Administration to oversee food labels, but food advertising regulation is shepherded by the Federal Trade Commission. What you can or can't say about a product in a health claim relies on whether there's scientific evidence to back it up.

"Exactly what you'll need will depend on the claims you're making," writes the FTC on their Bureau of Consumer Protection site, "but newspaper articles, letters from satisfied customers or other non-scientific material won't be sufficient."

And a lot of claims don't pass official muster. Some, like a class action suit brought against Diamond Walnuts for touting the benefits of Omega 3 for heart health, get settled outside of court.

Why does the FTC have a hand in this stuff at all? They want the messages on food to be accurate, FTC Division of Advertising Practices Director Mary Engle tells The Salt, "because consumers most likely can't judge for themselves whether the food has the claimed benefit."

That's because health benefits often relate to conditions that take a long time to develop, she adds, and it's impossible to know objectively if something worked or didn't — imagine a medical study with a sample size of one.

Still, much like health conditions, it can take a while for the wheels of justice to turn. In the meantime, have a helping of skepticism before you get served humble pie.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.