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 Montgomery-ed.org

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.

Pages

Democrats See Opportunity In Fiery Illinois House Race

Oct 28, 2012
Originally published on October 29, 2012 3:06 am

One of the most bitter congressional races is in the suburbs of Chicago, where controversial freshman Republican Joe Walsh is fighting to keep a seat he was actually drawn out of.

The Tea Party favorite's bombastic rants frequently get him into trouble, even with members of his own party, and Walsh is facing a tough Democratic opponent in Iraq war veteran Tammy Duckworth, who lost both of her legs in combat.

When the two political opponents get together, it doesn't take long for the fireworks to begin. They've battled over spending cuts, taxes, Medicare, social security, and in a recent debate on public television, Walsh's opposition to abortion, without exception.

"Not for rape, incest, or life of the mother," Duckworth said of her opponent. "He would let a woman die, rather than give her—"

"Now Ms. Duckworth, that's not fair," Walsh interjected.

After that debate, Walsh told reporters that abortion is never necessary to save the life of the mother.

"There's no such exception. With modern technology and science, you can't find one instance," he said.

After being called inaccurate by medical groups, Walsh backtracked. To Tammy Duckworth, the comments are part of a pattern.

"Unfortunately, this is Mr. Walsh," Duckworth says. "He has repeatedly said many things that are inappropriate, many things that are not true, and that he continues to say things that are very irresponsible, especially in a sitting congressman."

Indeed, Walsh stands out among the freshman class of Tea Party-backed Republicans much more for what he's said than for anything he's done.

Walsh has called the president a tyrant and idiotic, and he's suggested Duckworth is not a true war hero because she talks too much about her service. He's even berated constituents at town hall meetings.

Walsh has insisted he is not a loose cannon. "There are times when I've gotten ahead of myself and whenever I've felt like I've stepped over the line, I've tried to apologize," he said at a debate.

But Walsh says he has no regrets, adding that most constituents he meets appreciate his brand of straight talk.

"I think we're all sick of politicians who poll test every single word that comes out of their mouth," he says. "This country is broke. This great, good country is dying right now. I'm an odd duck in that I'm not driven by my re-election."

In a way, Walsh has nothing to lose. The former political activist is getting only limited support from his own party, and Democrats have targeted Walsh from the start.

They carved Walsh and almost three quarters of his old district out of Illinois' Eighth, and made it one that not just leans more Democratic, but a district that would favor Duckworth in particular. She ran and narrowly lost six years ago in a neighboring district, much of which is now in this new district.

Conservative superPACs and tax exempt groups have come to Walsh's rescue, however, airing a steady drumbeat of negative ads attacking Duckworth.

Duckworth has plenty of money on her own side, and has hit back at Walsh — hard.

The latest Chicago Tribune poll shows Duckworth leading Walsh by 10 points.

Political scientist Alan Gitelson at Loyola University of Chicago says Democrats see a symbolic opportunity in defeating Walsh.

"Knocking him out would certainly be a very strong message that the Tea Party can't hold onto all of the candidates they hope to hold onto in the House of Representatives," Gitelson says.

Joe Walsh's seat is one of five Republican congressional seats in Illinois that Democrats hope to pick up, and in a race that has been nasty from the start, constituents should only expect the mudslinging to intensify in its final days.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

One of the most bitterly fought congressional races in this election is in the suburbs of Chicago, where controversial freshman Republican Joe Walsh is fighting to keep a seat he lost as a result of redistricting. Walsh is a Tea Party favorite, but his bombastic rants frequently get him into trouble with members of the Republican Party And Walsh is facing a tough Democratic opponent in Tammy Duckworth, a wounded Iraq War veteran.

From Chicago, NPR's David Schaper reports.

DAVID SCHAPER, BYLINE: When Republican Congressman Joe Walsh and Democratic challenger Tammy Duckworth get together, it doesn't take long for the fireworks to begin.

REPRESENTATIVE JOE WALSH: Yes or no? That's - I don't mean to be disrespectful.

TAMMY DUCKWORTH: Mr. Walsh - Mr. Walsh continues - Mr. Walsh continues to distract people from the issues at hand...

WALSH: OK, OK, OK...

DUCKWORTH: That's what we're really talking about...

SCHAPER: This exchange in a recent raucous debate was over Duckworth's tenure as Illinois director of Veteran's Affairs. But they've also battled over spending cuts, taxes, Medicare, Social Security, and in this subsequent debate on public television, Walsh's opposition to abortion, without exception.

DUCKWORTH: Not for rape, incest, or life of the mother. He would let a woman die, rather than give her...

WALSH: Now, Ms. Duckworth, that's not fair. That's not fair. That's not fair.

DUCKWORTH: ...than to give the doctor the option to save...

SCHAPER: After that debate, Walsh told reporters that abortion is never necessary to save the life of the mother.

WALSH: There's no such exception. With modern technology and science, you can't find one instance.

SCHAPER: After being called inaccurate by medical groups, Walsh backtracked. To Tammy Duckworth, the comments are part of a pattern.

DUCKWORTH: Unfortunately, this is Mr. Walsh. He has repeatedly said many things that are inappropriate, many things that are not true, and that he continues to say things that are very irresponsible, especially in a sitting congressman.

SCHAPER: Indeed, Walsh stands out among the freshman class of Tea Party-backed Republicans much more for what he's said than for anything he's done. He's called the president a tyrant and idiotic. He suggested Duckworth is not a true war hero because she talks too much about her service. He's even berated constituents at town hall meetings.

WALSH: Don't blame banks and don't blame the marketplace for the mess we're in right now. I am tired of hearing that crap.

SCHAPER: At that recent public television debate, Walsh insisted he is not a loose cannon.

WALSH: No. There are times when I've gotten ahead of myself. And whenever I've felt like I've stepped over the line, I've tried to apologize.

SCHAPER: But Walsh says he has no regrets, adding that most constituents he meets seem to appreciate his brand of straight talk.

WALSH: I think we're all sick of politicians who poll test every single word that comes out of their mouth. This country is broke. This great, good country is dying right now. I'm an odd duck in that I'm not driven by my re-election.

SCHAPER: And in a way, Walsh has nothing to lose. The former political activist is getting only limited support from his own party, while Democrats have targeted Walsh from the start. They carved Walsh and almost three quarters of his old district out of Illinois' 8th, and made it one that not just leans more Democratic, but a district that would favor Duckworth in particular. She ran and narrowly lost six years ago in a neighboring district, much of which is now in this new district.

Conservative superPACs and tax exempt groups have come to Walsh's rescue, airing a steady drumbeat of negative ads attacking Duckworth. But Duckworth has plenty of money on her own side, and has hit back at Walsh hard. The latest Chicago Tribune poll shows Duckworth leading Walsh by 10 points.

Political Scientist Alan Gitelson, at Loyola University of Chicago, says Democrats see a symbolic opportunity in defeating Walsh.

ALAN GITELSON: Knocking him out would certainly be a very strong message that the Tea Party can't hold onto all of the candidates that they hope to hold on to in the House of Representatives.

SCHAPER: Joe Walsh's is one of five Republican congressional seats in Illinois that Democrats hope to pick up. And in a race that has been nasty from the start, constituents should only expect the mudslinging to intensify in its final days.

David Schaper, NPR News, Chicago. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.