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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!":


The Elusive, Endangered 'Knuckleball'

Sep 19, 2012

There are essentially two things that can happen with a knuckleball. It can float toward the plate without spin, jerk around like boozy relatives at a wedding hall and make the world's best hitters look like hapless Looney Tunes characters. Or it can float toward the plate with spin, lope with a steady trajectory at 65 mph and give the world's best hitters the juiciest slab of red meat this side of Sizzler. When a knuckleball specialist is on, he's a magician, conjuring the dark and mysterious forces of the universe; when he's off, he's the pot-bellied assistant manager throwing batting practice.

Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg's documentary Knuckleball! — the curious exclamation mark suggests the biggest flop in Broadway history — considers one of baseball's greatest quirks with good humor and a glancing touch. Last seen following Joan Rivers around for the affectionate profile Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, Stern and Sundberg view the small fraternity of knuckleball pitchers as outsiders in their own right. Just as Rivers was pegged as a groundbreaking female comedian, brash and vulgar in forbidding times, knuckleballers are cast as pariahs and freaks, a carnival act breezing through town. In other words, they're not real baseball players because real baseball players don't get laid up by a chipped fingernail.

Throughout the history of Major League Baseball, only one or two knuckleball pitchers have tended to play at any one time, which keeps the pitch on the endangered species list. Stern and Sundberg have done well to round up all the living knuckleballers for interviews, including old-timers like Phil Niekro, Charlie Hough and Jim Bouton, whose classic book Ball Four details his efforts to develop the knuckler when his other pitches faltered.

Other than Niekro, nobody enters the league as a knuckleballer; the common denominator is desperation, a last-ditch effort to stay in the majors when all else has failed.

Stern and Sundberg focus on Tim Wakefield and R.A. Dickey, the only two active knuckleball pitchers during the 2011 season. The two men are on opposing career paths: Wakefield, still well-preserved after 19 years and two championships with the Boston Red Sox, intends to retire at the end of the season, which he hopes will include his 200th victory. Dickey, a journeyman pitcher who was kicked around to dozens of major and minor league squads, had refined the knuckler to devastating effect for the New York Mets and was expected to be the staff ace — if, of course, the pitch didn't betray him.

Wakefield and Dickey are great stories and endearing subjects, and their meetings with Niekro and Hough reveal a secret society of pitchers who openly trade bits of wisdom and commiserate over the times when the breakers didn't break. For managers, having a knuckleball pitcher on staff is an ulcerous condition: Even when the pitch works, the catcher can't always catch it, there are many passed balls and walks, and base-stealers have an extra step toward second. For this exclusive fraternity, winning the faith of managers, teammates and fans was and is a near-constant battle, requiring patience and indulgence in the worst of times.

Knuckleball! looks and feels like a standard ESPN documentary, slickly packaged and a little bloodless, and Stern and Sundberg lean a little heavily on music to goose up the excitement. It's better when they simply follow Wakefield's and Dickey's dramatic and circuitous paths to glory — and best when Niekro and Hough stop by to tell stories and pore over the mechanics of arm motion and grip. Together, they're stewards of a junk pitch, masters of a sandlot special, and they don't want its glorious mysteries to die with them.

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