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 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.

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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Does Your Gas Tank Hold Enough Food To Feed 22 People?

Oct 5, 2012
Originally published on October 11, 2012 10:35 am

Here's a little math problem for you: How many calories go into the ethanol that's in your tank of gas?

Enough to feed 22 people, if you're talking the bare minimum calories needed in a single day, according to researchers at the New England Complex Sciences Institute.

Their calculation, published today, is based on all the corn-based ethanol that's sloshing around in most U.S. gas tanks; it's really just grain alcohol — a quaff familiar to many college students. Most of the gas sold at the pump contains about 10 percent ethanol. You would never eat the ethanol once it's blended into gasoline, of course. But a lot of corn goes into making ethanol, and the researchers recently crunched the numbers on that corn's food energy value, which you can see in the graphic below.

The researchers detail their facts and figures here. A few caveats: The corn used to make ethanol doesn't all get turned into fuel. About a third of it comes back out of the ethanol factory as distiller's grains, which are then used to feed animals.

So some of those corn calories still end up in your steak, not your car. And if that corn weren't used to make ethanol, it would probably go into animal bellies (and, only indirectly, into human ones). Only a relatively small percentage of field corn gets processed into foods — from corn meal to sweeteners; the majority becomes animal feed or ethanol.

Still, the bigger question here — whether so much food should be burned up as fuel — is getting asked a lot these days. This year, ethanol could consume as much as 40 percent of the U.S. corn crop. But with the worst drought in more than 50 years leading to soaring corn prices, many people are calling on the U.S. to rethink its mandate requiring refineries to make a minimum amount of ethanol — 13 billion gallons this year — and blend it into gas.

The EPA is currently accepting public comments on whether to waive the ethanol mandate for next year. By law, a decision is due by Nov. 13. Farmers blame the mandate for driving up the price of livestock feed (some have resorted to feeding their cattle candy as a cheaper alternative).

That's why several governors and members of Congress have asked the EPA to lower or suspend the Renewable Fuel Standard requirements for next year.

But the researchers at NESCI say there's an even more pressing reason to consider dropping the ethanol mandate than hungry cattle: the risk of hungry, rioting people.

For Americans, higher corn prices will likely translate into higher meat prices at the grocery store next year. But it's the world's poor who really feel the impact. A growing number of studies have blamed the ethanol mandate in the U.S. — by far the world's largest corn exporter — for pushing up food prices around the world.

And as we told you earlier this week, mathematical modeling by NECSI researchers shows a strong link between high food prices and social unrest in places sensitive to price swings — so strong that it may be predictive of when riots are more likely to break out. That model found that the conversion of corn to ethanol is one of the key factors pushing food prices higher.

"What happens here ... is driving the global food crisis," Yaneer Bar-Yam of the New England Complex Sciences Institute tells The Salt. "We've put into place policies that affect food in a very large way."

But corn math can get complicated, and freezing or easing the ethanol mandate may not help as much as its critics hope. A paper by economists at Purdue University recently looked at several different possible scenarios. Their conclusion? Changing the ethanol mandate could make a big dent in corn prices next year — or not. The folks at WONKBLOG do a good job of breaking down the findings. As they succinctly put it, "there's no simple solution here."

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