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.

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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.

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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.

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Donald Trump wrapped up his public tryout of potential vice presidential candidates in Indiana Tuesday night with Gov. Mike Pence giving the final audition.

The Indiana governor's stock as Trump's possible running mate is believed to be on the rise, with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich also atop the list. Sources tell NPR the presumptive GOP presidential nominee is close to making a decision, which he's widely expected to announce by Friday.


The Higgs: What's The Big Deal?

Jul 4, 2012

Now that we have the long-awaited announcement on the Higgs, it's time to ask that other question. You know the question I am talking about, the one that makes so much sense and yet we blue-sky research researchers cringe whenever someone brings it up.

"So what? What's the big deal? What's it good for?"

I call this the "Aunt Nona Question" because my Aunt Nona, who was not real impressed with me still being in school at age 27, used to poke me with it on every visit. If she were alive today and I told her about the discovery of the Higgs, she would raise a skeptical eyebrow and say "So what? What's the big deal? What's it good for?"

I won't waste space here describing why the Higgs is important for particle physics. Lots of other folks have done so (you can find links here, here and here). Let me just summarize by saying the Higgs was the last, and perhaps most important, puzzle piece in a theory that describes the fundamental nature of matter. Its discovery is like putting that final stone on top of a great pyramid or grand cathedral. At the same time, now that the Higgs has been discovered, physicists can get to work probing its properties as they try to open the trap door leading down to the next, deeper level of understanding about matter, energy and the cosmos.

For some folks, that explanation will be enough. When it comes to justifying the billions spent on fundamental research, the human aspiration to know the true and the real represents a kind spiritual commitment on the part of our species. It balances (a little) the far greater sums spent killing each other for stupid reasons. In doing so it offers hope that we can be our better angels right here and now via the wonder, awe and hope discovery gives us.

That is why I never had a problem with calling the Higgs the "God Particle" and always felt physicists were a little disingenuous in their disclaimers. We ask for a lot of money from the public to carry out these explorations. If it calls up religious metaphors then so be it.

But for some folks this "God Gambit", as I call it, will never serve to justify fundamental research. For them my response comes in just two words: the Internet.

How much money is the Internet worth? How many jobs has it generated? Lots and lots, right? And who invented the Internet? Well, that is a complicated question with a bunch of answers (poor Al Gore not being one of them) but one "father" of the modern Internet was, without a doubt, Tim Berners-Lee. It was Berners-Lee who came up with the hypertext protocols (HTTP) to make the World Wide Web possible. And where was Tim Berners-Lee working when he did this? CERN. Yes, that CERN. The one where the LHC that just discovered the Higgs lives. The World Wide Web was, in part, invented to help particle physicists do their work — work like discovering the Higgs.

There has always been a close association between fundamental research and new inventions. The link has tightened enormously in the last few decades. While I doubt you will be using a Higgs–O-Matic lawnmower anytime soon, I have no doubt that the investment in its discovery will be paid back. It already has been.

So there you go. Count your money or look to the stars, either way, the discovery of the Higgs is a significant step forward.

You can keep up with more of what Adam Frank is thinking on Facebook and on Twitter @AdamFrank4. His latest book is About Time: Cosmology and Culture at the Twilight of the Big Bang.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit