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

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!":


Finnish Patriotism, Christian Hymns And One Trumpeter's Mom

Sep 19, 2012
Originally published on October 5, 2012 11:29 am

The band above is the new Dave Douglas Quintet, who we're webcasting live Wednesday night as part of WBGO's The Checkout: Live series. The quintet is actually six people: special guest Aoife O'Donovan, a folk and bluegrass singer, joins the band on stage and on the new album, Be Still. The rest of the band is Douglas on trumpet, Jon Irabagon on tenor saxophone, Matt Mitchell on piano, Linda Oh on bass and Rudy Royston on drums (Clarence Penn will play the gig). If you can join us, we'll be live with video from 92Y Tribeca at 8 p.m. ET this Wednesday, Sept. 19; we'll be recording if you miss it.

"Be Still My Soul," above, is the leadoff track from the new album. Perhaps you've heard the song before? It's a fairly popular Christian hymn: "Be still my soul, for God is on your side," it begins. But it's also quite likely that if you have heard this tune before, it had different lyrics — or even no lyrics at all.

The original melody comes from a small section of composer Jean Sibelius' piece Finlandia, written in 1899. Since it was commissioned for a Finnish pride event when Finland was seeking independence from Russia, it has assumed a place in the Finnish national imagination. In 1941, there were words added to the "hymn" section, beginning, "Finland, behold, thy daylight now is dawning." That hymn is now an unofficial national anthem in Finland, akin to "America, The Beautiful" in this country.

Obviously, those aren't the only words which go with this melody. "This Is My Song" is another popular rendition, and curiously, the lyrics carry a message of overarching holy governance (above any nationalistic concerns such as, say, Finnish pride): "This is my song, O God of all the nations / A song of peace for lands afar and mine." An NPR Music colleague says he used to sing this melody as "I Sought The Lord" as a kid in church. And if Wikipedia is to be believed, there are plenty of other lyrics — sectarian and secular — that go with the "Finlandia Hymn."

"Be Still My Soul" is just one of those versions. The words originally come from a German woman named Katharina von Schlegel, who died in 1768. The English translation comes from a Scottish woman named Jane Borthwick, who died in 1897. Since Finlandia first appeared in 1899, that means the lyrics actually pre-date the melody!

In any event, "Be Still My Soul" was the version known to Dave Douglas' mother, Emily Douglas. Before she died of ovarian cancer last year, she left her son with a collection of hymns and folk songs to play at her memorial service, this being one of them. Dave Douglas has found some inspiration in them, arranging and rearranging the music for a new band and a new collaborator in Aoife O'Donovan. In a newsletter, he writes, "Far from funereal (!), playing these tunes has become a true celebration for us, and the kind of party that Emily would have wanted." Be Still the album collects these arrangements and adds a few originals too.

Jazz folks often breathe new life into old tunes. Of course, sometimes those old tunes have seen many lives before any jazz musicians get there in the first place.

As a bonus, here's another song from the album:

This is "High On A Mountain," by Ola Belle Reed, a pioneering folk and bluegrass musician from the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina. It too has become standard repertoire, at least within the bluegrass community. Reed recorded the song for a 1976 album called My Epitaph, and she talked about the tune for the liner notes (link opens PDF):

I've been asked many times to describe my life in the mountains. There's one point I'd specifically like to make and want to make is that I don't believe there would be any way in the world that you could possibly describe it. ... really and truly we were so close to the earth and the elements and the God's creation. I think that's the one thing that made them know. I think that the music and everything comes through communication with people. The people lived with the earth, they had to make their living. That's why I'm saying that you can not separate your music from your lifestyle. You cannot separate your lifestyle, your religion, your politics from your music. It's a part of life. And that's what our music was in the mountains. It was a part of our life.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit