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.


Eat Your Heart Out, Columbus: A Sailing Ship That Travels On Sunshine

Oct 8, 2012
Originally published on October 10, 2012 11:29 am

Columbus, they say, crossed the Atlantic at a speed of roughly four knots. That's four-plus miles an hour. When the wind gusted, he could hit 9.2 mph. In 1492, that was speedy.

Sailing has improved since then. There is now a sailing ship built by the Japanese being pushed along by sunshine through deep space. It has only one sail (The Santa Maria had many) and that sail is just 7.5 micrometers thin, about one-tenth the thickness of a human hair. And yet this little voyager is rushing along at about 328 feet per second. "It's the space equivalent of a yacht sailing the sea," says Yuichi Tsuda, deputy project manager. The Japanese have named it IKAROS, after the Greek boy Icarus who tried to fly to the sun. IKAROS has already sailed past Venus.

This is an ancient dream. In 1610, the great astronomer/mathematician Johannes Kepler wrote to his friend Galileo about how one day, it might be possible to "Provide ships or sails adapted to the heavenly breezes, and there will be some who will brave even that void."

Then, in the 19th century, James Clerk Maxwell predicted that when a wave of light hits an object, the wave might be absorbed, or reflected, pushing electrons on the surface, and thus, the whole object forward. He was right. It turns out there are indeed heavenly breezes. And they can push sailing ships, but very gently. Photons are very small, and they don't land with a punch. They wouldn't move a sailboat on Earth, because the drag from water and air would cancel them out. But in space, where it's very empty, it turns out sunshine is an unlimited, never-ending, accumulating source of power. Over time, IKAROS has gained speed — on heavenly fuel. The tricky part was getting the sail up.

In this gorgeous video, you'll see how the Japanese did it.

They released a compact rotating cylinder, which over a few weeks (this video compresses time) grew masts, radiating in four directions. Then the masts, like spring time buds, swell, open and release a square sail. It's 46 feet across. Then the masts, like sails on Earth, can be turned to change direction. Elegant, no?

IKAROS is an acronym, created by Japan's Aerospace Exploration Agency. It stands for Interplanetary Kite-craft Accelerated by Radiation of the Sun. I like the word "kite-craft." It suggests that we on Earth are like boys and girls running along a beach, catching a breeze and dreaming of far away places — which is, sometimes, not too far from the truth.

We've always been a little that way. Happy 520th, Columbus!

This form of celestrial navigation is called "Solar Sailing." What's literally happening is photons create pressure when they land on extra-reflective embedded panels in the sail. The force here, as I said, is very small, about 0.0002 pounds on a nearly 700 IKAROS instrument. This particular voyage is not a pure sailing experiment. Some of the sunshine is being turned into electric power by (I think this is right) spinning the mast and turning it into a generator, but it is now clear that true solar sailing is indeed possible. Another thing: I wondered how a ship can move against the radiation pouring off the sun. Wouldn't the sunshine push the craft away? No. In the same way that sailors can "tack" against a current, so can IKAROS. Amazing. Thanks to Chris Impey, astronomy professor at the University of Arizona, for explaining some of this to me.

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