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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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!":


Before The Debate, Brush Up On Buzzwords

Oct 3, 2012
Originally published on October 3, 2012 8:56 am

In their first debate Wednesday night, the two presidential candidates will explain their plans for fixing the U.S. economy.

Good luck.

The problems are complicated and long-standing, so the solutions may not be easy to spell out in the two minutes allowed for each answer under the debate rules.

But President Obama, the Democratic incumbent, and former Gov. Mitt Romney, his Republican challenger, will try, and about 60 million people are expected to tune in. This first debate will focus on domestic issues, with the economy topping the list of homefront problems.

For five years, Americans have been struggling with waves of home foreclosures, high unemployment rates, stunted wages, crushing student-loan burdens and losses in retirement accounts. The economy has been recovering for more than three years now, but immense challenges remain.

Neither candidate has been clear about specifics. Romney, for example, has called for a 20 percent, across-the-board cut in income-tax rates, along with the elimination of many tax deductions and exemptions. But he has not spelled out which tax breaks he would end.

Obama, likewise, has said he would reduce the corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 28 percent. But he too has been vague on exactly which deductions he would eliminate to make up for lost revenue.

But the level of taxation won't be the only issue. Americans will hear lots of buzzwords whose meanings may not be entirely clear. Here are three terms likely to come up in the debate:

small business \ smol biz-nəs \

Candidates often pledge to help small businesses, but there is no one definition for "small." The U.S. Small Business Administration says that to qualify for federal support, businesses can vary in size, depending upon the industry. For example, a steel mill with as many as 1,000 employees is still "small." In contrast, a computer-equipment wholesaler can have only up to 100 employees to qualify. But in general, when politicians talk about small businesses, they mean those with 500 or fewer workers, and less than $7 million in annual sales. Many people who regard themselves as small-business owners are operating franchises of larger enterprises, such as chain restaurants and cleaning services.

marginal tax rate \ mar-jə-nəl taks rait \

This is the amount of taxes paid on an additional dollar earned. Here's an example: The government might impose a 10 percent tax on annual income of $25,000. But then, after meeting that income threshold, there could be a 20 percent marginal tax rate on each dollar above $25,000. The person making $25,001 a year wouldn't owe 20 percent taxes — just 10 percent on $25,000 and then 20 percent on the one additional dollar. Politicians typically are arguing about that marginal rate, not the basic tax rate.

bailout \ bail-aut \

A bailout is the catchall term for any help the government offers to prop up a failing business. The form of aid can vary — so it might be a loan or a cash infusion. Or the government might buy stock, which it can later sell, as it has done with the General Motors bailout. Sometimes, the government gets fully reimbursed, but not always. For example, Chrysler has repaid its loans in full. But the Treasury still owns GM shares that are worth about half the amount needed to fully repay the government. Congress usually offers a bailout to rescue lots of jobs, or to shore up a key sector, such as banks. For example, under the Bush administration, the government provided about $700 billion to bail out the financial institutions that were crumbling in 2008.

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