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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!":


Economy's Holiday Wish List: Buy Big-Ticket Items

Sep 26, 2012
Originally published on September 26, 2012 10:36 am



Warning. It's only September and we have a story about holiday shopping. Large retailers like Wal-Mart and Toys 'R' Us are hiring tens of thousands of people for the upcoming holiday shopping season.

But NPR's Ailsa Chang reports that this seasonal hiring is not the best measure of how well the economy is doing.

AILSA CHANG, BYLINE: This holiday season, Toys 'R' Us is predicting one of its hottest sellers is going to be the Doc McStuffins doll by Disney. She's a girl who gives medical check-ups to her stuffed animals and toy fire trucks.


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: (as Doc McStuffins) Hmmm, Lenny, has anything else been bothering you?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (as Lenny) Well, I've been feeling kind of tired and my head sort of hurts sometimes?

CHANG: To meet demand for Doc McStuffins and other big-name items, Toys 'R' Us has announced it is adding 45,000 jobs. That's a jump from the 40,000 seasonal workers it hired last year.

Wal-Mart is expecting to hire more than 50,000 people, also an increase from the last holiday.

But before you think that means consumer confidence and retail sales are bolting up, economists say think again.

Mesirow Financial's Diane Swonk says what you really want to see is an upswing in sales for big ticket items.

DIANE SWONK: Vehicle sales, home sales, everything you fill a home with, appliances, furniture, carpeting. And that's what's really been missing in the retail picture for some time now.

CHANG: Swonk says small ticket items just aren't a good indicator of the overall health of the economy.

Also, while Toys 'R' Us and Wal-Mart will add workers this Christmas, Target says it's going with fewer employees than last fall.

Ailsa Chang, NPR News, New York. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.