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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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.

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A Curious Question Of Vanity, Urgency, Pleasure And Anxiety

Oct 5, 2012

Here's a question, dear reader. I'd like to know what you think.

Should kids have cell phones? Just to be exact, should sixth-graders have cell phones?

Let me see if I can formulate the issue a bit better:

Should I get my son a cell phone?

He's modest in his demands. He says he'll settle for an iPhone 4. It's not like he wants the latest model.

I am serious. What should I do?

I didn't need one when I was his age. They didn't exist then.

Has the world reorganized itself so that a kid his age really does need a phone?

When I was a kid I always had a dime in case I needed to reach my parents. Both my parents worked, and I knew where they worked, and I could pretty much count on reaching them.

I don't remember actually ever calling my parents. But I do remember the dime.

Well, there are no phone booths any more, at least not where I live. So that's a reason in favor.

A part of me loves the idea that he would have a phone. After all, as somebody once said, mobile phones are basically tracking devices with a few add-on features. And I love the idea that my son, in exchange for his phone privileges, would have to check in with me and keep me apprised of his movements.

And then there's the fact that I'm separated from his mother. A phone would give me access to him, directly, without having to go through his mother. Would that be good for him? Or me? I am his father, after all.

I'm sure it never occurred to my parents to want to check up on me or have me check in on them. Their idea was: if we don't hear anything, things must be OK. Was that a good policy? I don't know. But it is a striking fact that I don't know any parents who have that policy today. I think it was pretty common when I was a kid.

OK, enough about me. Here's the serious point: cell phones are powerful. I don't know anybody, at least not anybody grown up, who lived through the great transition brought on by the technology's arrival who doesn't have a love/hate relationship with the phone. The device is always with us, always beckoning, always tempting us to give in to whatever kind of urge it is that makes us check text, phone, Twitter, Facebook, email how many times an hour?

As long-time readers of this blog know, I am something of a skeptic about addiction-talk. But it seems like a good case can be made that we are addicted to our mobile devices. They obsess us. They interfere with our engagement with the world around us. They afford us pleasure, but also anxiety — they never let us rest!

Whether they are addictive or not, I think it is safe to say that for many of us they are problematic. We check our cell phones with compulsion, much as we might feel compelled to steal a glimpse at our reflection in the glass as we walk by.

I don't claim to understand the curious cocktail of vanity, urgency, curiosity, pleasure and anxiety that cell phones seem to serve up.

What I know is that it makes me nervous to think I should be serving that up to my son! Isn't that like buying your son his first smoke? And isn't that sort of gross? And isn't he too young anyway?

What do you think?


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 http://www.npr.org/.