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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 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.

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!":

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The Fed Goes Big

Sep 13, 2012
Originally published on September 13, 2012 6:06 pm

What people think is going to happen to the economy has a huge influence over what actually happens. If you can change peoples' expectations, you can change the world.

The Federal Reserve knows this. And, as Robert Smith pointed out this morning, Ben Bernanke and the Fed have been using the power of expectations more and more in recent years.

This afternoon, the Fed took another huge step in this direction.

The Fed just released a policy statement that is a very big deal not so much because of the specific actions the Fed announced, but because of the language the Fed used, and the expectations that language will create.

The Fed announced a new plan to buy $40 billion of mortgage bonds every month. It's the third round of quantitative easing — buying long-term bonds to drive down interest rates, which is supposed to encourage people to spend money and get businesses to invest and hire workers. (Here's more on quantitative easing.)

But the purchases themselves aren't what makes today's announcement so important. In fact, $40 billion a month is smaller than previous rounds of quantitative easing.

In earlier rounds, though, the Fed announced at the outset how long the program would last. This time, the Fed says it will keep buying bonds until the job market gets a lot better — and that if that doesn't happen soon, the Fed will take even more action.

That's what makes today's announcement such a big departure from what's come before. Here's the key language from today's statement:

If the outlook for the labor market does not improve substantially, the Committee will continue its purchases of agency mortgage-backed securities, undertake additional asset purchases, and employ its other policy tools as appropriate until such improvement is achieved in a context of price stability ...

the Committee expects that a highly accommodative stance of monetary policy will remain appropriate for a considerable time after the economic recovery strengthens ...

Essentially, the Fed is saying: We are going to do whatever it takes to bring down unemployment (as long as inflation stays low).

The boldness of this statement will change people's expectations about the economy. And that may actually speed up the grindingly slow economic recovery in the real world.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.