Alabama authorities say a home burglary suspect has died after police used a stun gun on the man.  Birmingham police say he resisted officers who found him in a house wrapped in what looked like material from the air conditioner duct work.  The Lewisburg Road homeowner called police Tuesday about glass breaking and someone yelling and growling in his basement.  Police reportedly entered the dwelling and used a stun gun several times on a white suspect before handcuffing him.  Investigators say the man was "extremely irritated" throughout and didn't obey verbal commands.

Montgomery Education Foundation's Brain Forest Summer Learning Academy was spotlighted Wednesday at Carver High School.  The academic-enrichment program is for rising 4th, 5th, and 6th graders in the Montgomery Public School system.  Community Program Director Dillion Nettles, says the program aims to prevent learning loss during summer months.  To find out how your child can participate in next summer's program visit

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.

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 vegetables 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.


Debate Watchers Get A Town Brawl

Oct 17, 2012
Originally published on October 17, 2012 1:27 pm

There will be blood.

Or at least a lot of aggressive walking and glaring, vigorous head-shaking and interruptions, all glazed with equal parts feigned respect and visceral distaste.

This season's presidential debates between incumbent Democratic President Barack Obama and his challenger, Republican Mitt Romney, including Tuesday's engagement, have evolved into base-rousing spectacles of their dislike for each other.

It's a development that Ted Jelen, who watched the debate on the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, campus with a group of students, can't recall seeing play out so overtly in recent history.

"They simply do not like each other," Jelen, a UNLV political scientist, told more than 70 students who gathered to watch the debate over pizza in a tiered lecture room. "And I think that a lot of peoples' reactions [to the debate] will be about the level of civility."

The students? They reflected their young demographic: most Obama supporters, almost all registered to vote, largely ready to give the debate edge to the president.

"The president was more aggressive, and that's what he needed after the first debate," said Christian Bato, 21, a senior political science major and president of the university's debate team.

Romney's stumble on answering questions about Libya, Bato said, was the "damaging point in the debate for him."

One student wondered if Romney strategically flubbed the Libya question so he could come on strong during Monday's final debate, dedicated to foreign policy. Said a highly skeptical Jelen: "If that's the strategy, this guy shouldn't be a dog catcher."

Peppered with questions from the students — about candidate strategy, the town hall format, even whether war is more likely with Iran under a Romney or Obama presidency — Jelen and a pair of his UNLV colleagues, political scientist David Fott and debate program director Jacob Thompson, came up with these perspectives:

-- A student asked: How effective is it to create a bogeyman of China, a subject of the debate?

"It's red meat for both sides," said Thompson, in terms of the issues of outsourcing and the effect on the domestic economy, with appeal to the Democrats' union base and free-enterprise Republicans.

Said Jelen: "I think it's fairly effective," playing on xenophobia and providing an "ideal target for both sides."

-- On Romney looking more angry or exercised at times than Obama:

"People who aren't white males have a more limited range of acceptable responses," Jelen said. "[Obama] learned a long time ago there's something threatening about an angry African-American male. It's something Romney can get away with, but Barack Obama cannot."

-- A debate watcher asked: With both candidates not looking very presidential at times — looking pretty bad, in fact — how can they attract undecided voters?

Voters still undecided at this point likely aren't going to the polls on Election Day, said Fott. Jelen added: The key to the discussion now is "turnout, turnout, turnout," identifying supporters and getting them to the polls. The debate was about energizing the base.

-- On Romney's bad Libya moment, but Obama's problem, too:

"I think Obama is clearly running out the clock on this issue," Jelen said. The president didn't want to talk about the events leading up to the assassination of a U.S. ambassador and three others for one of two reasons: "Maybe it was screwed up so badly that it would be embarrassing, or he feels a conflict between his role as president and his role as candidate. As president, you always leave your adversary [in this case, Libya] a graceful way out."

Said Thompson: Obama had a presidential moment when he pushed back on Romney's criticism of the Libya events. It led the New York debate audience to break the no-clapping rule, applauding Obama's "pro-America, rally-around-the-flag" assertions.

-- "What's it going to take to get a third party?" asked William Miller, 45, who works in security for a hotel/casino.

Thompson: "An act of God."

Though Jelen, Fott and Thompson said they think the two candidates essentially tied on substance, they gave the style edge to Obama — perhaps because his performance stood in such stark contrast to the listless debate he turned in two weeks ago.

And they remained struck by the tone of the undertaking.

When a challenger (Romney) cuts off the president of the United States with a curt, "You'll get your chance," well, that says something about the proceeding, Jelen said.

"I'm not sure how people will react to that," he said, noting that there were plenty of bad manners to go around.

-- When asked, "Who won? And you can't say, 'The American public,' " Jelen and Fott responded in unison: "I wouldn't say that."

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