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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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

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!":


Embracing, Then Rejecting, A Life Of Melodrama

Sep 3, 2012

Tara Altebrando is the author of The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life.

The summer before high school, I was dreading the required reading list. I was switching from public school to an all-girls Catholic school. I feared the worst.

Dickens made two appearances. Hemingway, at least one.

But in a one-of-these-things-is-not-like-the-other scenario, there was a book on there called Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. It turned out to be a dark, Gothic novel. A young bride lives in an isolated mansion, where secrets swirl around Rebecca, her husband's dead first wife.

I remember wondering — what kind of nuns are these?

I had spent most of my childhood wishing that my life was more interesting and dramatic. I would lie awake in bed wishing to someday be loved obsessively and die tragically. Then ideally I'd haunt someone who'd scorned me.

I loved books that let me pretend I was something other than a normal girl with a schoolteacher and insurance adjuster for parents. I wanted to look for wrinkles in time, fight for survival on the Island of the Blue Dolphins. And if a book didn't make me desperate to be a part of the story, I'd put it down.

Rebecca is narrated by the second Mrs. Maxim de Winter. We never learn her first name. In the beginning of the story she's a young woman with no parents and no prospects. Then she meets the handsome widower, Mr. de Winter. He marries her and saves her from a life of servitude. He whisks her off to Manderley, his country estate.

It should have been a field day for my 13-year-old imagination. Especially when you factor in that I'd just been to Europe for the first time. I had even taken a ferry along the Cornish coastline where Manderley would have been.

But something had happened while we were away. A friend of mine from elementary school had died of encephalitis. We'd missed the wake and funeral, and she was gone. I felt awful.

I didn't start reading Rebecca until after I was home. I was hooked by the writing, but as the pages whipped by I realized I wasn't so desperate to identify. Here was the kind of adult drama I'd always loved. But somehow the darkness just felt too close to home.

It was Rebecca that made me realize I didn't wish my life were more like a Gothic novel. For the first time, the melodrama didn't appeal. There was no one in the world of Rebecca whom I wanted to be. Nothing in its pages I wanted to experience. And when the whole tragic love story — all of the betrayals and manipulations — ended in a fiery blaze, I was glad to be released from it.

I entered high school as a different person. Still an eager reader, but at bedtime I dreamed of happy endings — not tragic ones.

I dreamed, specifically, of a return trip to England, another ferry ride and a cute boy who would stroll over to me so that I might casually say, "Hey. Have you ever read Rebecca?"

PG-13 is produced and edited by Ellen Silva and Rose Friedman.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit