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.

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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!":


The Importance Of Not Fiddling While Rome Burns (Or Floods)

Aug 27, 2012
Originally published on August 27, 2012 4:01 pm

It's not unusual for politicians and show business producers to put off planned events in the face of tragedy or national disaster.

The Republican Party delayed opening day festivities at its national convention in Tampa this week because of safety concerns as Tropical Storm Isaac barrels toward the Gulf Coast.

Four years ago, however, Republicans postponed their convention kick-off due to sensitivity about another storm that threatened the Gulf — even though the GOP was convening at a safe distance in Minnesota.

"When one of these big disasters happen, there are things that are going to seem inappropriate if they're right on the tails of them," says Robert Thompson, a professor of popular culture at Syracuse University.

Republicans might have special sensitivity to hurricanes, Thompson suggests, due to the political price the party paid over the Bush administration's handling of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

But the GOP is hardly alone in thinking that it can look bad to go forward with a planned celebration when horrible news is unfolding elsewhere.

The Academy Awards have been postponed twice due to political shootings: in 1981, when President Ronald Reagan was shot; and in 1968, when Martin Luther King was assassinated. (An earlier delay, back in 1938, happened for weather-related reasons similar to the current Republican troubles — major flooding in the Los Angeles area forced the ceremony to be put off for a week.)

Reagan himself altered his State of the Union address in 1986, after the Challenger space shuttle disaster. He gave a short, heartfelt talk from the Oval Office rather than addressing a broad range of issues before Congress, as had been scheduled.

"Ladies and gentlemen, I'd planned to speak to you tonight to report on the State of the Union, but the events of earlier today have led me to change those plans," Reagan said. "Today is a day for mourning and remembering."

Thompson, the Syracuse professor, says certain events are put off for fear of seeming "callow and insensitive." For example, the opening of Gangster Squad, a movie that features a mass theater shooting, has been delayed until January, due to the killings last month at a Colorado movie theater.

Thompson recalls that all manner of sports and entertainment events were postponed or canceled in the wake of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. "Not doing the Emmy Awards on the heels of Sept. 11 certainly didn't solve any problems, but it was probably appropriate," he says.

Comedians felt uncertain about when it would be appropriate to get back to making people laugh. Late-night talk show hosts such as David Letterman gave impassioned speeches when they returned to the air, easing into the business of talking to celebrities and making jokes.

Comedy Central's The Daily Show broadcast reruns for more than a week, carefully screening them first. "We are going through the old shows to make sure there aren't any references to terrorism or the president," Comedy Central spokesman Tony Fox said at the time.

Eventually, comedians were granted permission to be funny again by New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who appeared on Saturday Night Live on Sept. 29, 2001, flanked by members of the city's police and fire departments. The show, he said, must go on.

"Having our city's institutions up and running sends a message that New York City is open for business," Giuliani said. "Saturday Night Live is one of our great New York City institutions, and that's why it's important for you to do your show tonight."

Lorne Michaels, SNL's producer, asked, "Can we be funny?" Giuliani replied, "Why start now?"

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