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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.

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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.

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!":


In High-Stakes Speech, Obama Seeks To Shift The Argument Forward

Sep 6, 2012
Originally published on September 6, 2012 2:15 pm

President Obama won't be giving the speech he might wish to give tonight.

All presidents accepting their party's renomination seek to shift from a message of hope and change to one of progress and accomplishment. Although Obama will certainly talk up the highlights of his term, he won't want to sound triumphant — not with a jobs report due tomorrow that's expected to show a 43rd straight month of U.S. unemployment above 8 percent.

"In an acceptance situation, you want to paint a bright picture of all the wonderful things that have happened over the past four years," says Martin Medhurst, a professor of political science and rhetoric at Baylor University.

"While good things have happened, the economic picture is such that he'll be hard-pressed to paint a terribly bright picture," he says.

Obama's other main task — aside from knocking his opponent, Republican Mitt Romney — will be convincing voters that another four years in office will lead to greater things.

"He's got to remind people that he's done a tremendous amount and the best is yet to come," says Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, a vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

Rybak points to accomplishments Obama is likely to tout: bailing out the domestic auto industry, expanding health coverage for millions of Americans, reshaping the student loan business, ending the war in Iraq and winding down the one in Afghanistan, and green-lighting the mission that killed Osama bin Laden.

"He's delivered and is going to deliver a lot more than Mitt Romney can ever dream of doing," Rybak says.

As has been the case throughout the Democratic convention and the campaign as a whole, attacks on Romney's platform will certainly be a hallmark of Obama's speech.

"Both of them have to savage their opponent," says George C. Edwards III, a presidential scholar at Texas A&M University who has written a book about Obama's leadership titled Overreach.

"Obama has to frame the election as a choice, not a referendum [on his own record] — 'I'm better than the other guy,' " Edwards says.

Obama will seek to raise doubts and fears about what a Romney administration would look like, arguing above all that it would imperil the middle class. And he'll be taking a page or two from the 1936 renomination acceptance speech of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Baylor's Medhurst suggests. Seeking a second term in the face of continuing depression and tremendously high unemployment, Roosevelt argued that the "economic royalists" in the Republican Party favored the rich, while he was for the little guy.

That fall, Roosevelt went on to win every state but Maine and Vermont.

"That's exactly the stance Obama is going to have to take," Medhurst says, "that he stands for the middle class and Romney is for the rich people."

Raising the stakes by painting a dire picture of a Romney presidency may be enough to prod the Democratic base, which has been noticeably less energized about this election than it was about Obama's run four years ago.

"I don't think he can recapture the magic of 2008 — no president can," says David Woodard, a Republican consultant who teaches at Clemson University. "But he has to make them feel he can lead them to victory."

Obama also has to speak to those other potential supporters who are disillusioned but might still be won over.

Romney and other Republicans sought at their convention last week to portray Obama as a well-intentioned man who has failed, so that voters will not feel bad about booting out a personally popular president.

"He's been president for four years, and I'm not sure the average person right now could answer the question, 'What does Barack Obama want to do in a second term that would have a better result?' " says Gary Bauer, chairman of the Campaign for Working Families, a conservative political action committee.

The theme of the Democratic National Convention has been "Forward." Obama has to answer the question, "Forward to what?"

"The challenge for Obama is that he needs to put out, much more than he has, a strong vision for what he wants to do in a second term," says Michael Waldman, a former speechwriter for President Bill Clinton and president of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University's law school.

"Not an imaginary vision of what he would do if Democrats had all the power," Waldman adds, "but, realistically, what people could expect from him if elected for a second term."

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