Montgomery Education Foundation's Brain Forest Summer Learning Academy was spotlighted Wednesday at Carver High School.  The academic-enrichment program is for rising 4th, 5th, and 6th graders in the Montgomery Public School system.  Community Program Director Dillion Nettles, says the program aims to prevent learning loss during summer months.  To find out how your child can participate in next summer's program visit Montgomery-ed.org

A police officer is free on bond after being arrested following a rash of road-sign thefts in southeast Alabama.  Brantley Police Chief Titus Averett says officer Jeremy Ray Walker of Glenwood is on paid leave following his arrest in Pike County.  The 30-year-old Walker is charged with receiving stolen property.  Lt. Troy Johnson of the Pike County Sheriff's Office says an investigation began after someone reported that Walker was selling road signs from Crenshaw County.  Investigators contacted the county engineer and learned signs had been reported stolen from several roads.

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/.

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A Hollywood Noir Starring 'Seven Psychopaths' (Or So)

Oct 11, 2012

If you do the math, the number of true psychopaths in Seven Psychopaths may not quite add up. Perhaps writer-director Martin McDonagh didn't want to go overboard with the murderous crazies. As it is, he's peopled his whimsically brutal comic thriller with — to name just three — an Amish throat-slasher, a dynamite-packing Buddhist and a serial killer who's fond of white bunny rabbits. That's probably enough.

Then again, the killer sickos are just the gimmick in Seven Psychopaths. This is really a movie about the creative impulse and its tendency to make people nuts, a subject it explores with incessant and sometimes exasperating restlessness.

Colin Farrell plays Marty, a Hollywood screenwriter who's behind on his latest script: He has the title ("Seven Psychopaths") and one or two characters (including the killer Buddhist, though he hasn't yet figured out exactly how a Buddhist goes about killing), but beyond that, he's lost.

His best friend, aimless actor-type Billy Bickle — he's played by Sam Rockwell, and his last name is perhaps an all-too-obvious clue regarding his psychological temperament — begs Marty to let him co-write the screenplay, going so far as to take out a "calling all psychopaths" newspaper ad without his buddy's consent.

Billy is extremely loyal to his friends: He believes, rightly, that Marty has a drinking problem and tries to get him off the sauce. He uses up other portions of his generally empty days helping another pal, Hans (Christopher Walken), kidnap dogs and return them to their owners shortly thereafter; Hans accepts, with faux reluctance, whatever reward money is offered, and then uses it for his wife's cancer treatments, so his heart is in the right place.

But one day, Billy nabs a petite Shih Tzu on Hans' behalf. (The dog's name, in real life and in the picture, is Bonny, and the movie's press notes describe her as a "fur fatale," which is about right.) He doesn't know that the winsome little puffball is the beloved pet of a ruthless Hollywood gangster named Charlie (Woody Harrelson), who's ready to break kneecaps, or worse, to get his pooch back.

Seven Psychopaths is McDonagh's first film since his 2008 debut feature, In Bruges, and it shares that picture's precocious archness. Characters trade barbs and quips like crazy blue jays, and the rambunctious exchanges are entertaining at first.

But the picture is so aggressively clever that it becomes wearisome. What starts out as a funny-grim Hollywood noir, complete with grisly razor slashings and blunt, point-blank stomach shootings, ends up as a semi-existential rumination on the nature of creating art, as three of the major characters camp out in the desert, waiting — and waiting — for a Peckinpah-style shootout to happen. It's probably supposed to mean something deep, but what? There's something overtly mechanical about McDonagh's approach that keeps it all from being as outrageously fun as it's pretending to be.

But it is enjoyable to watch the parade of actors McDonagh has assembled: Farrell, with his perpetually anxious brow, is refreshingly low-key in the midst of all this overwritten folderol. Tom Waits appears in a small but potent role; he's scruffy and touching, as earnest as a tattered valentine. And Walken — nominated for a Tony Award for his role in McDonagh's 2010 play A Behanding in Spokane — is something to behold, thanks to his trademark Walken weirdness.

When a mob baddie sticks a gun in his face and asks him to put his hands up, he retorts, with the bland indifference of a lizard sunning himself on a rock, "No." When the aggressor asks him why he refuses to comply, he elaborates: "Because I don't feel like it." Walken strides through Seven Psychopaths casually, gracefully, like the superb dancer that he is. Everything else around him is working overtime, but he doesn't seem to notice.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.