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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!":


Jackie Chan: Portrait Of The Action Star At 58

Sep 14, 2012

Onstage at the Toronto International Film Festival, Jackie Chan describes his first visit to the United States. "I speak no English at that time — I do not even know how to order breakfast. Everyone know ... you know the story?"

"No," says the audience, almost in unison.

"No? Wow!" The 58-year-old action star is being feted in TIFF's "Mavericks" program, but most of his fans in the audience are unfamiliar with this anecdote. In his imperfect English, Chan begins: "When I first in U.S., my company ... they want me to only speak English. I was first there in U.C.L.A. in hotel, I sit there, I was hungry, I don't know how to order breakfast ... I went down to the lobby, I see — ah, in the morning, everybody went on the line for the breakfast. And I look inside: 'How can you order?' I don't know how to order! And I go back to the room to practice: 'Milk, egg, bacon, toast ...'" — he extends fingers to enumerate each item.

The story continues, as Chan describes practicing the simple refrain of "milk, egg, bacon, toast" over and over for two days before summoning the courage to head to the hotel restaurant. "The waiter: 'What you order?' I said, 'Milk, bacon, toast, egg!'" Chan closes his eyes and flashes a beaming smile, pausing for maximum comic effect. Then, Chan assumes the role of the waiter: "How would you like your eggs?"

The audience laughs, and Chan's eyes widen in exaggerated terror. "Egg!" he exclaims. From his facial expressions to his animated gestures to his wide-eyed naivete, the real-life Jackie Chan comes across like a character in a Jackie Chan movie.

Earlier this year, the world's most famous martial artist made headlines by announcing his retirement from "big action movies," and his intention to focus on straight drama — or, in his words, to become "the Asian Robert De Niro." That declaration might seem awfully unlikely to stick, but then again, Jackie Chan is getting to an age where it's no longer easy to crawl across fiery coals (as he did in Drunken Master II), or fall from a clocktower and land on his head (as he did in Project A).

Still, there will be one last extravaganza: Chinese Zodiac, opening worldwide on December 12. At his TIFF event, Chan shows several trailers, in which, among other feats, he races down the side of a mountain in a rollerblade suit.

"When you fight on the screen, it looks like it's a real fight, like you could get hurt," observes moderator Cameron Bailey.

"Oooh ... hurt too many!" says Chan. "Because at that time, we don't know special effect, we just know: one shot, camera, boom, pa-pa-pa-pa-pa ..." He waves his fists in the air. "This day — boom-kah! Ka-ka-ka-ka!" — he twists his hands in such a way as to suggest fast editing — "Is so easy this day!"

Chan, who began his career as a stuntman in two of Bruce Lee's films, first attempted to become a leading man by playing Lee-like tough-guys. When Chan scowls and strikes a heroic pose, the audience laughs. "I'm not this kind of person! I'm just me!" His breakthrough came with 1978's Drunken Master, where he subverted the kung-fu genre by adding humor. "Every night, we say, 'How can we different than Bruce Lee? Okay: opposite Bruce Lee!' When he do, aahh!" — he mimes a punch — "then I do, owww!!!!" — he mimes shaking his fist in pain. "Everything opposite. Bruce Lee never get hurt — I get hurt!"

Though he was a star in Asia throughout the '80s, most Americans first encountered Chan via Rumble in the Bronx (1995). On the publicity trail, he summersaulted onto Leno's couch, did kung-fu tricks for Letterman, and immortalized his nose in cement outside Mann's Chinese Theater. In Asia, he could be cheeky and Chaplinesque, but in America, he excelled in the role of a small, smiley, slightly confused foreigner.

He solidified this persona in Rush Hour (1998), playing the culture-shocked straight-man to Chris Tucker. Tucker, who is also at TIFF, makes a surprise appearance onstage with Chan, and more or less reprises his role. "I said to Brett Ratner, the director, 'Does Jackie speak English? How'm I gonna do this movie? He didn't say one word to me, did he like me, did he want Wesley Snipes, does he know who I am?"

Chan is also seemingly in character. "The whole time when I see him he just keep talking! I don't even know one word out of your mouth!"

In the west, Chan has a peculiar kind of celebrity: not exactly an object of worship, difficult to accept as "the Asian Robert De Niro," but regarded with affection by practically everyone. Perhaps this is because more than most stars, his cheerful, slightly goofy onscreen persona seems virtually indistinguishable from his offscreen one. He's the kind of celebrity whose very name causes people to smile fondly, as if remembering an amusing coworker, classmate, or relative.

At 58, Chan may be the most famous Asian entertainer in the world, but in Hong Kong — the territory where he was born, and the one that first embraced him — his popularity has recently cooled. In 1999, his squeaky-clean image was punctured when he fathered a child with a former Miss Asia, and in 2006, he drunkenly interrupted a concert and cursed at the audience. His close relationship with the Mainland Communist government, and his controversial suggestion that "We Chinese need to be controlled," led to him being voted one of Hong Kong's "least trusted" public figures in a Reader's Digest poll.

But those stories are difficult to process seeing him onstage at TIFF, flashing his Jackie Chan smile and singing Edwin Starr's "War" on request. He's Jackie Chan. And on this afternoon, everybody likes Jackie Chan.

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