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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.

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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!":


Crayfish Go On The Menu To Restore Lake Tahoe's Blue Hue

Aug 14, 2012
Originally published on October 22, 2012 11:30 am

Around the country, environmentalists are cooking up ways to battle invasive species by serving them up on a platter.

Over in the mid-Atlantic, they're broiling up the snakeheads that have taken over local lakes and rivers. In the Southeastern U.S., they're writing cookbooks to inspire gourmands to get coral reef-destroying lionfish out of the waters and into the frying pan. Now, Lake Tahoe is getting into the act.

Last month, the state of Nevada gave business entrepreneur Fred Jackson the green light to harvest crayfish in Lake Tahoe. It's the first time since the 1930s that commercial fishing has been allowed in the lake. Jackson's venture is small, but the hope is that it will keep the lake clear of algae — and provide a local dish for area visitors.

Scientists estimate Lake Tahoe is home to around 300 million crayfish. The crustaceans graze on algae at the bottom of the lake — they're "like cattle in the landscape," says Sudeep Chandra, a freshwater biologist at the University of Nevada, Reno. Algae cloud the lake waters — but the crayfish only make matters worse by eating them, Chandra says.

"They can graze some algae down, but when they excrete nutrients, they can stimulate algal production," he says.

As The New York Times points out, crayfish were introduced to Lake Tahoe more than a century ago. Over time, they've contributed to algae growth that's diminished the clarity of Lake Tahoe's storied clear blue waters. It's a major concern for state and regional environmental agencies.

Because reducing the crayfish population will help clean up the lake, Jackson's business venture has received virtually no criticism from local environmental groups.

But the venture's impact on lake clarity overall depends on California lawmakers. That's because two-thirds of Lake Tahoe is in California, and that state has yet to lift its ban on commercial harvesting of crayfish on the lake. The cost of environmental studies and permits has stalled legislation that would repeal the California ban.

In the meantime, Jackson is busy finding the best harvesting sites on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe through simple trial and error. On a recent trip out onto the lake, he and his nephew, Justin Pulliam, check on traps set 48 hours earlier.

"This is what we're looking for, right here," Jackson says when he pulls up a bucket full of crayfish.

"Pretty good," Pulliam agrees.

The two men empty the traps and quickly head to shore, where the crayfish will soon be served up at a local casino seafood buffet.

Betty "B" Gorman, the president of South Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce, says Tahoe crayfish are a new product the chamber can market to tourists as a local food.

"We don't grow anything up here. It's hard to make a gourmet dish out of pine boughs," she says, laughing. "We don't have pine tree oil; we don't have a lot of products."

Copyright 2012 KUNR-FM. To see more, visit



At Lake Tahoe, the tourism industry is a given. Now, for the first time since the 1930s, Lake Tahoe is open to commercial fishing. Nevada has given the green light to an entrepreneur to harvest crayfish.

Kate McGee with member station KUNR in Reno reports it's a small business venture that might also prove useful to tourism.

KATE MCGEE, BYLINE: The sun is still rising over the surrounding mountains as Fred Jackson and his nephew Justin Pulliam pilot their boat out onto Lake Tahoe.

They cut bait and they set their traps.

FRED JACKSON: All right, we're good. You can start anytime you want.


MCGEE: Scientists estimate there are around 300 million crayfish in Lake Tahoe. Jackson had the idea to harvest the lobster-like creatures as a small business. Right now he says, he and his nephew are looking for the best fishing sites through trial and error.

JACKSON: As we move along and research tells us where to go, then well end up moving to a spot where we can hit it really hard. We'll go in, we'll soak the traps for two days, pull them back out and bring the harvest back in.

MCGEE: Jackson is working with wholesaler, Sierra Gold Seafood, which has around 30 local hotels, casinos and restaurants interested in buying the crayfish. Sierra Gold expects that number to grow.

B. Gorman with the South Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce. She says Tahoe crawfish are a new product the chamber can market to tourists as a local food.

B. GORMAN: We don't grow anything up here. You know, it's hard to make a gourmet dish out of pine boughs.


GORMAN: You know, we don't have pine tree oil; we don't have a lot of products.

MCGEE: The crayfish are more than a business opportunity. Harvesting them could also improve water clarity near the shore. Tahoe is famous for its clear ice blue water, but its clarity has diminished over time. It's a major concern to state and regional environmental agencies.

Dr. Sudeep Chandra, a freshwater biologist at the University of Nevada, Reno, studies crayfish at Lake Tahoe.

DR. SUDEEP CHANDRA: These crayfish are like cattle in the landscape, where they're moving across the bottom of the lake grazing on algae.

MCGEE: Algae makes the lake cloudy, so it stands to reason that crayfish would improve lake clarity. But Dr. Chandra says that's not the case.

CHANDRA: They can graze algae down, but when they excrete their nutrients, they could stimulate algal production.

MCGEE: The crayfish project has received virtually zero criticism from local environmental groups because of its potential to clean the lake. But its impact on lake clarity overall depends on California lawmakers. Two-thirds of Lake Tahoe is in the state of California. The cost of environmental studies and permits has stalled legislation in the California Assembly.


MCGEE: Forty-eight hours after setting the traps, Fred Jackson and his nephew are back out on the lake to see what they've caught. Some traps have only a handful of crayfish, but others are full. The crayfish fill an entire bucket.

JACKSON: This is what we're looking for, right here.

JUSTIN PULLIAM: Pretty good.


MCGEE: The two men empty the traps and quickly head to shore, where the crayfish will soon be served up at a local hotel-casino seafood buffet.

For NPR News, I'm Kate McGee in Reno. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.