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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!":


Deflating Jobs Report May Not Move The Needle On The Election

Sep 7, 2012
Originally published on September 7, 2012 2:52 pm

It wasn't what President Obama was hoping for: another disappointing jobs report the morning after he accepted the Democratic nomination and asked Americans to stay the course.

The U.S. economy added just 96,000 jobs last month, according to the Labor Department, and a drop in the unemployment rate to 8.1 percent was mostly due to people giving up on job searches.

Still, a number of analysts say the latest economic numbers likely won't change voters' minds.

Both political parties were quick to pounce on the data released hours after the Democratic National Convention wrapped up in Charlotte, N.C. Republicans painted the report as more evidence of Obama's failed policies, while Democrats said the recovery will take more time and that it has been hamstrung by the lockstep partisan divide in Congress.

"If last night was the party, this morning is the hangover," GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney said in a statement. "It's clear that President Obama just hasn't lived up to his promises and his policies haven't worked. We aren't better off than we were four years ago."

Obama, who made a quiet exit from Charlotte en route to campaign stops in Iowa and New Hampshire, initially left the task of responding to the jobs report to his staff:

"Today's unemployment report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to recover from the worst downturn since the Great Depression," Alan Krueger, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said in a statement. He emphasized that the downturn began in December 2007, a full year before Obama took office.

Later, on the stump in New Hampshire, the president contrasted the August job gains to the massive job losses when he took office. "We need to create more jobs, faster," he said.

Romney running mate Paul Ryan told CNBC: "This is not even close to what a recovery looks like."

The latest employment numbers may be deflating, but they seem unlikely to change the course of an election just two months away, says Allan Louden, a professor of presidential politics at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C.

"That ship has sailed," Louden says.

"Sure, for the Democrats, it steps on any afterlife of the convention," he says, "but at this point, a good or bad jobs report might have a marginal, but not significant, impact on attitudes."

Susan Drucker, a professor of political communication at Hofstra University, notes that Obama, Bill Clinton and other Democratic speakers this week sought to reframe the economic recovery as a marathon rather than a sprint.

"My impression is that public reaction to this jobs report will be the first test of that reframing," she says.

Obama campaign adviser Robert Gibbs today reiterated what has become a monthly mantra from the White House, saying the president "understands we still have a long way to go."

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi blamed Republicans for "standing in the way of growth and certainty for our economy."

Indeed, employers may be leery of hiring amid uncertainty over the looming fiscal cliff.

Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist at IHS Global Insight, says businesses are feeling anxious about what lies ahead, given the partisan impasse in Congress that has delayed key decisions about tax rates and threatens to slash government spending.

"It creates enormous uncertainty and is surely having a depressing effect on hiring," he says.

And there's still one pre-election jobs report, due a month from now. What if things looked a lot better (or a lot worse)?

"People's views on the economy over the past four years are pretty well established," Gault says. "If we did see some improvement over the next month or two, I doubt that is really going to convince people that the big picture is a lot different."

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