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 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!":

Pages

Head Start To Absentee Dads: Please Come Back

Aug 22, 2012
Originally published on August 22, 2012 8:01 pm

It's a typical day at a Head Start center near downtown New Haven, Conn., and restless 3- and 4-year-olds squirm and bounce on a colorful shaggy rug vying for their teacher's attention. Down the hallway several women make their way to a parenting class, stopping to marvel at a 4-month-old baby.

What you don't see, says the center's Keith Young, is men, fathers.

"Head Start is not just about the child going to school, not just about the child. It's about the whole family and that male is a part of that, so let's put them back in the picture and see what happens," Young says.

Young is the center's male involvement coordinator and community outreach partner liaison, a complicated title for a man with a simple message about fathers.

"We want to be nurturers," he says.

The center has embarked on an effort to bring fathers back into the picture to help raise their children. And Young works tirelessly to find absent fathers and bring them to parenting classes at centers like this one.

"We're meeting men on all different levels. We're meeting men that don't have jobs; we're meeting men who might have been kicked out of the house or might have caused some kind of crime, domestic, whatever. The thing is, when they come in are we asking them, 'How can we get you involved?' " Young says.

But why would anyone want these men involved, especially if they've been kicked out of their home or been abusive?

"It's very hard to know how and when to allow that individual who's ripped your heart and soul apart into the lives of your children," says Susan Chorley, who has worked with battered women and was once a victim herself. She is ambivalent about men with a history of abuse reconnecting with their children.

And yet, Chorley concedes the research shows kids lose out when they have no contact with their fathers.

"We see it a lot with the boys in our shelter who are really yearning for a male role model, a male relationship, and if their father is not there for whatever reason and can't be there, you can see the heartbreak," she says.

Being There

Young believes deeply that even men with troubled lives can find redemption by connecting with their children. That's what his weekly meetings with the fathers in his program are all about.

Caleb Davis, a tall, soft-spoken man in his mid-30s, is raising his 4-year-old daughter on his own. "It's hard being a single father, raising a daughter and not given that much credit. I have to fight for my rights and coming here talking to Keith helped me deal with that," Davis says.

But for some men, says Young, fatherhood is one big question mark.

"I had one guy say to me, 'I don't know what it is to be a father.' He never had a father in his life. He spent a good portion of his life in prison, and he came out and now he's ready for this child and he didn't know how to be a father," Young says.

Across the table, a stocky older man with a black beanie and gold crucifix necklace nods in agreement. Rickie Knox comes to Head Start almost every day to be with his two grandchildren. He says it has helped him make up for his mistakes as a father.

"My son is 31. He's a grown man. We were never really close, but this program has allowed me to become closer to my son," Knox says.

Knox's only son is in prison for drugs and weapons possession. Knox takes his grandchildren to visit their dad at least once a month. He says his son now realizes how much he needs his children and how much they need him.

Experts say reconnecting absent fathers with their kids is a good thing as long as mothers have a say, too. Fernando Mederos has studied domestic violence and the role of fathers for the past 30 years.

"We need to be sensitive and aware of that. It doesn't mean that because we want to work with fathers, you'll roll out a red carpet for all fathers," Mederos says. "I think what we owe these women is to say to them, 'What are your concerns about him and is there any way having him involved with your kids in a safe way, even in a helpful way, to you?' "

Young says that's the whole point — to reconcile fathers with their families for the sake of the children.

"Dads do care. We just have to look deep enough," Young says.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

I'm Melissa Block. And we begin this hour with an important debate about fathers and broken families. All too often, mothers find themselves raising young kids on their own after fathers had left, been arrested, or told to get out. In recent years, child welfare advocates who work with low income families have been trying to bring these fathers back into the picture.

Here's where the debate comes in. Should fathers be involved if they've had a troubled past or if mothers don't want them around? NPR's Claudio Sanchez takes us to New Haven, Connecticut where leaders of the city's head start program say the answer is yes.

CLAUDIO SANCHEZ, BYLINE: It's a typical day at this Head Start center near downtown New Haven.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: You ready? Three little monkeys jumping on the bed.

SANCHEZ: Restless 3- and 4-year-olds squirm and bounce on a colorful shaggy rug vying for their teacher's attention.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHILDREN PLAYING)

SANCHEZ: Down the hallway, several women make their way to a parenting class, stopping to marvel at a 4-month-old baby.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #2: Oh, my goodness.

SANCHEZ: What you don't see, says Keith Young, is men, fathers.

KEITH YOUNG: Head Start is not just about the child going to school, not just about the child. It's about the whole family and that male is a part of that, so let's put them back in the picture and see what happens.

SANCHEZ: Young is the Head Start's male involvement coordinator and community outreach worker in New Haven, a complicated title for a man with a simple message about fathers.

YOUNG: We want to be nurturers.

SANCHEZ: Young works tirelessly to find absent fathers and bring them to parenting classes at centers like this one.

YOUNG: We're meeting men on all different levels. We're meeting men that don't have jobs, we're meeting men who might have been kicked out of the house or might have caused some kind of crime, domestic or whatever. So we're meeting at different angles. The thing is, when they come in, are we asking them, how can we get you involved?

SANCHEZ: But why would anyone want these men involved, especially if they've been kicked out of their home or been abusive?

SUSAN CHORLEY: Well, I think it's an excellent question and I think that many folks are really struggling around this.

SANCHEZ: Susan Chorley has worked with batted women and was once a victim herself, so she's ambivalent about men with a history of abuse reconnecting with their children.

CHORLEY: It's very hard to know how and when to allow that individual who's really ripped your heart and soul apart into the lives of your children.

SANCHEZ: And yet, Chorley concedes the research shows kids lose out when they have no contact with their fathers.

CHORLEY: We see it a lot with the boys in our shelter that really are just yearning for a male role model, male relationship, and if their father is not there for whatever reason and can't be there, you can see the heartbreak.

SANCHEZ: In New Haven, Keith Young believes deeply that even men with troubled lives can find redemption by connecting with their kids. That's what his weekly meetings with fathers in his program are all about.

YOUNG: All right, fellas, thanks for coming here today, appreciate it.

SANCHEZ: A tall, soft-spoken man in his mid-30s raises his hand. Caleb Davis says Head Start staff members are friendlier now that they know he's raising his 4-year-old daughter on his own.

CALEB DAVIS: It's hard being a single father, raising a daughter and not given that much credit. And I have to fight for my rights. Coming here and talking to Keith helped me deal with that.

SANCHEZ: But for some men, says Young, fatherhood is one big question mark.

YOUNG: I had one guy say to me, I don't know what it is to be a father. He never had a father in his life. He spent a good portion of his life in prison, and he came out and now he's ready for this child and he didn't know how to be a father.

SANCHEZ: Across the table, a stocky older man with a black beanie and gold crucifix dangling from his neck nods in agreement. Rickie Knox comes to Head Start almost every day to be with his two grandchildren. He says it's helped him make up for his mistakes as a father.

RICKIE KNOX: My son is 31. He's a grown man. We were never really close, but this program has allowed me to become closer to my son.

SANCHEZ: Knox's only son is in prison for drugs and weapons possession. Knox takes his grandchildren to visit their dad at least once a month. Knox says his son now realizes just how much he needs his children and how much they need him. Experts say reconnecting absent fathers with their kids is a good thing as long as mothers have a say, too.

FERNANDO MEDEROS: And we need to be sensitive and aware of that. It doesn't mean that because we want to work with fathers, we roll out a red carpet for all fathers.

SANCHEZ: Fernando Mederos has studied domestic violence and the role of fathers for the past 30 years.

MEDEROS: I think what we owe these women is to say to them, what are your concerns about him and is there any way having him involved with your kids in a safe way, and even perhaps in a helpful way to you?

SANCHEZ: Keith Young says that's the whole point, to reconcile fathers with their families for the sake of the children.

YOUNG: Dads do care. We just have to look deep enough.

SANCHEZ: Claudio Sanchez, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.