Alabama authorities say a home burglary suspect has died after police used a stun gun on the man.  Birmingham police say he resisted officers who found him in a house wrapped in what looked like material from the air conditioner duct work.  The Lewisburg Road homeowner called police Tuesday about glass breaking and someone yelling and growling in his basement.  Police reportedly entered the dwelling and used a stun gun several times on a white suspect before handcuffing him.  Investigators say the man was "extremely irritated" throughout and didn't obey verbal commands.

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

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 vegetables 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.


How Obama Got His Groove Back, And Other Debate Takeaways

Oct 17, 2012
Originally published on October 17, 2012 1:25 am

Anyone who thought the presidential candidates couldn't get aggressive within a town hall-style format underestimated the sharp differences in policy that divide them.

President Obama and Mitt Romney remained continuously critical against one another throughout their second debate Tuesday night. Neither ever seemed to finish a statement without launching an attack against his opponent.

The two men differed over economic policy, immigration, gun control and essentially every subject that was brought up in questions from members of the audience at Hofstra University. A rare moment of accord came when they discussed the importance of education.

Obama clearly sought to regain the advantage he had enjoyed among women, frequently invoking Planned Parenthood and contraception. Romney said that as governor of Massachusetts he had made every effort to hire women, noting he'd gathered "whole binders full of women."

All in all, the debate may not have reshaped the race, but it served to underscore the starkly different approaches the two major party candidates would take to address the nation's problems.

How Obama Got His Groove Back

Obama had been widely criticized for his desultory and politically disastrous performance in the first debate, back on Oct. 3, which appears to have cost him his lead in the national polls.

He came prepared for this fight, ready to defend his record and to put the knock on Romney at every opportunity. Obama remained focused, leaning forward eagerly in his chair while waiting for his turn to speak, and giving no quarter when it was his time to stand up and deliver.

His mantra in response to many of Romney's remarks was to say, "It just isn't true." After failing to do so in the first debate, Obama attacked his challenger about his career as an outsourcer of jobs and chided him for his infamous remarks about 47 percent of Americans believing themselves to be victims.

Romney tried to fend off Obama's complaints at one point by suggesting that Obama check the investments his own pension fund makes to see if he doesn't also hold investments in Chinese companies.

"I don't look at my pension," Obama said with a shrug. "It's not as big as yours."

Romney Highlighted All The President's Perceived Failures

But if every political junkie in the land knew that Obama would want to go on offense, Romney himself gave no quarter. He complained that the president had mischaracterized his record and rhetoric on issues such as tax policy.

For the most part, though, Romney concerned himself with pointing out Obama's failures. About two-thirds of the way through the debate, he launched into a litany of problems on the president's watch — persistently high unemployment, trillion-dollar deficits, the failure to reform entitlements, the lack of a plan to address illegal immigration and an increase in poverty and the number of people receiving food stamps.

"The middle class is getting crushed under the policies of a president who has not understood what it takes to get the economy working again," Romney said. "The policies he's put in place, from Obamacare to Dodd-Frank to his tax policies to his regulatory policies — these policies combined have not let this economy take off and grow like it could have."

Many Voters Are Not Just Undecided But Unhappy

Several of the questions asked by the undecided voters in the Hofstra audience amounted to bread-and-butter rephrasings of larger campaign themes, such as the state of the economy. One man wanted lower gas prices, while a college student was nervous about finding a job after graduation.

But some of the questioners made their unhappiness with the candidates quite clear. One of them, Michael Jones, told Obama that while he had voted for him back in 2008, "I'm not as optimistic as I was in 2012. Most things I need for everyday living are very expensive."

"We've gone through a tough four years, there's no doubt about it," Obama conceded, before offering a litany of achievements he's proud of, such as cutting taxes and killing Osama bin Laden.

The Candidates Argued Ceaselessly Over The Past

Former presidents George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan both figured prominently in the debate. Romney was confronted by a question from Susan Katz, who said she attributes "much of America's economic and international problems to the failings and missteps of the Bush administration." She challenged Romney to explain how he would avoid a repeat of the Bush presidency.

Romney sought to turn the question into an opportunity, suggesting he held several differences with his fellow Republican, promising to do a better job in promoting trade and small businesses and confronting China than President Bush did.

Obama was having none of it. He put his own predecessor in a more flattering light than Romney, arguing that Bush had pursued superior policies when it came to Medicare and immigration.

Romney also said his opponent suffered by comparison with a Republican president, saying Reagan had created more jobs following a deep recession than Obama has.

Obama offered one final blast from the past, brushing off a line from Bush's re-election campaign.

"I think Gov. Romney was for an assault weapons ban before he was against it," Obama said, echoing a comment that haunted Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry — Obama's debate prep sparring partner — in his 2004 race against Bush.

The Debate On Foreign Policy Is Well And Truly Teed Up

Foreign policy will be the subject of the final presidential debate next Monday. It was little discussed at Hofstra, but the subject still provided perhaps the most heated moment of the town hall debate.

In recent weeks, Romney has frequently criticized Obama for the events last month at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that ended with the death of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.

During the debate, Romney said the administration's response to events had been confused for days, with various officials either characterizing them incorrectly or disturbingly failing to understand properly what had happened.

He said the incident "calls into question the president's whole policy in the Middle East," arguing that things were out of hand not just in Libya but in Syria and Egypt as well.

Obama took full responsibility for what happened in Benghazi, but he also took offense at Romney's suggestion that he had neglected the crisis in favor of campaigning. The president's remarks were peppered with anger and conviction as he described his task in greeting the caskets when they returned home.

But he also sought to score points with humor. After Romney questioned Obama's claim to have described the Benghazi killings as an "act of terror" in the Rose Garden the day after they occurred, moderator Candy Crowley of CNN backed up the president's account.

"Can you say that a little louder, Candy?" Obama asked, triggering a rare moment of laughter.

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