"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!":

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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The unassuming hero of Jonas Karlsson's clever, Kafkaesque parable is the opposite of a malcontent. Despite scant education, a limited social life, and no prospects for success as it is usually defined, he's that rarity, a most happy fella with an amazing ability to content himself with very little. But one day, returning to his barebones flat from his dead-end, part-time job at a video store, he finds an astronomical bill from an entity called W.R.D. He assumes it's a scam. Actually, it is more sinister-- and it forces him to take a good hard look at his life and values.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Pages

High Court Rules 'Equal Protection' Doesn't Extend To Municipal Taxpayers

Jun 4, 2012

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that the Constitution's guarantee to equal protection of the law does not extend to taxpayers who paid more for a sewer hookup than their neighbors.

The case centered on what essentially amounted to an amnesty program for some taxpayers when Indianapolis switched from one payment system to another.

For decades, Indiana law authorized cities to charge lot owners the cost of sewer hookups. Taxpayers could pay a lump sum up front, or pay monthly, with interest, for up to 30 years. In 2005, Indianapolis adopted a new program, underwritten in part with bonds, because the city thought the old funding mechanism was too burdnesome.

In short, the city thought the old system encouraged people to stick with their septic tanks and discouraged them from switching to healthier — and more expensive — sewer hookups. The city forgave the debt still owed by those who were paying on the installment plan, but it refused to refund the up-front money — as much as $9,278 for taxpayers who had funded the most recent project .

Thirty one homeowners from that most recent project went to court, claiming that they were denied their constiutional right to equal protection of the law, since they paid as much as 30 times more than their neighbors whose debt was forgiven under the new plan. Standing behind them in line were thousands more homeowners who had paid up front for decades, while some of their neighbors were still making installments.

But on Monday, the Supreme Court ruled against the refund claim.

The court said ordinary administrative considerations can justify a tax related distinction.

Writing for the court majority, Justice Stephen Breyer noted that under the Court's precedents, the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment applies to fundamental rights and to distinctions based on race, gender, or ethnic origin. In contrast, he said, administrative concerns can ordinarily justify tax distinctions, as long as they have some rational justification. And in the Indianapolis case, there are many such rational justifications.

It is fairly common in law, he noted, that there are amnesty programs from taxes, parking tickets, and mortgage payments, and that does not mean that others who paid what they owed on time are now eligible for refunds.

Joining Breyer's opinion were Justices Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan.

Writing for the dissenters, Chief Justice John Roberts agreed with the general principle that the taxing authority gives great leaway to governments. But he said, "every generation or so a case comes along when the court need to say enough is enough," and this is one of those cases.

Joining Roberts in dissent were Justices Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.