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/.

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!":

Pages

L.A. Sheriff Rebuked For Alleged Inmate Abuse

Sep 29, 2012
Originally published on September 29, 2012 3:23 pm

Los Angeles County's sheriff is under fire. A blue-ribbon commission issued a scathing report Friday accusing Sheriff Lee Baca of failing to address long-standing allegations of inmate abuse in his jails. The accusations include deputies beating inmates, cover-ups and a persistent culture of violence.

The sheriff has been able to weather many storms during his 14-year tenure, but this may be the toughest fight of his political career.

The L.A. County Sheriff's Department is massive. Along with patrolling one of the largest counties in the U.S., deputies run the nation's largest county jail system, with more than 18,000 inmates housed in eight facilities. According to Friday's commission report, they are failing at the job.

"There has been a persistent pattern of unreasonable force in the Los Angeles County Jails that dates back many years," the report reads.

Former federal prosecutor Robert Bonner says the problems have recently gotten worse. He and the other commissioners say there is a failure of leadership at the top, with Baca.

"The fact is, the sheriff does not seem to be someone as a manager who wanted to hear about problems," Bonner says. "He seems to have had his head in the sand, not minding the store when it came to running the jail in accordance with lawful and sound use-of-force policies."

Deputies in the jails have been accused of violent beatings of inmates — several witnessed by jail volunteers, including clergy. They've been accused of participating in secret cliques that glorify the beatings, of engaging in off-duty fights and of supervisors covering up years of excessive force.

One current captain in the jail system told commissioners he found a drawer full of discarded complaints and that he was told not to look too hard at other allegations of misconduct.

Commissioner Alexander Busansky said Baca told them he was running a model jail. Sadly, Busansky says, that's not the truth.

"What I and this commission have seen is not the best in the nation. It is a jail in desperate need of real leadership, meaningful accountability and simple honesty," he says, "leadership that has the tools and the know-how to change the dangerous culture that has been allowed to grow in much of the jail system."

Despite the blistering criticism of Baca, commissioners stopped short of asking for his resignation. They did say the current undersheriff, Paul Takana, should be removed from any supervision of the jail. They also made more than 60 reform recommendations, including hiring a national custody expert to supervise the jails and creating an independent inspector general.

The sheriff would not comment on the report. His spokesman, Steve Whitmore, says Baca needs to have time to study it but isn't afraid to accept criticism.

"He does not look at criticism in a negative way, he looks at criticism as a cornerstone to learn," Whitmore says.

Baca has garnered a reputation as a progressive sheriff. He is a Republican in a highly Democratic county, and has been re-elected four times. Raphael Sonenshein, executive director of the Pat Brown Institute of Public Affairs, says Baca is a skilled politician and still has a lot of community support.

"I think this moment we are in right now, though, is a different one. I think the sheriff hasn't yet come to grips with the fact that this is different from the other times he's had trouble. This is really a serious one," Sonesnshein says.

Unlike L.A.'s police chief, who is hired and fired by the mayor, the sheriff is an elected position. His budget is overseen by the County Board of Supervisors, but only the voters decide his fate. Mounting a countywide challenge to the sheriff is costly and seldom done.

Even so, County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky says Baca better pay attention to the commission's recommendations.

"They can't be ignored, and anybody who ignores them will do it at their own peril," he says.

Baca, who is 70 years old, says he is not going to retire. In fact, he says he plans to run again when his term is up in two years.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The sheriff of Los Angeles County is under fire. A blue ribbon commission issued a scathing report yesterday accusing Sheriff Lee Baca of neglecting longstanding allegations of inmate abuse in his jails. The accusations include deputies beating inmates, cover-ups and a culture of violence. NPR's Carrie Kahn reports that the sheriff has been able to survive many storms during his 14-year tenure, but this may be the toughest fight of his political career.

CARRIE KAHN, BYLINE: The L.A. County Sheriff's Department is massive. Along with patrolling one of the largest counties in the U.S., deputies run the largest county jail system in the country with more than 18,000 inmates housed in eight facilities. But according to yesterday's commission report, deputies are doing a failing job.

ROBERT BONNER: There has been a persistent pattern of unreasonable force in the Los Angeles County jails that dates back many years.

KAHN: Reading from the report, former federal prosecutor Robert Bonner, says the problems have recently gotten worse. And he and the other commissioners say there is a failure of leadership at the top with longtime Sheriff Lee Baca.

BONNER: The fact is the sheriff does not seem to be someone as a manager who wanted to hear about problems. He seems to have his head in the sand, not minding the store when it came to running the jail in accordance with lawful and sound use-of-force policy.

KAHN: Deputies in the jails have been accused of violent beatings of inmates, several incidents witnessed by jail volunteers including clergy. They've been accused of participating in secret cliques that glorify the beatings, of engaging in off-duty fights and of supervisors covering up years of excessive force. One current captain in the jail system told commissioners he found a drawer full of discarded complaints and that he was told not to look too hard at other allegations of misconduct. Commissioner Alexander Busansky said Sheriff Baca told them he was running a model jail. Sadly, he says, that's not the truth.

ALEXANDER BUSANSKY: What I and this commission have seen is not the best in the nation. It is a jail in desperate need of real leadership, meaningful accountability and simple honesty. Leadership that has the tools and the know-how to change the dangerous culture that has been allowed to grow in much of the jail system.

KAHN: Despite the blistering criticism of Sheriff Baca, commissioners stopped short of asking for his resignation. They did say the current undersheriff should be removed from any supervision of the jail. And they made more than 60 reform recommendations, including hiring a national custody expert to supervise the jails and creating an independent inspector general. The sheriff would not comment on the report. His spokesman Steve Whitmore says he has to have time to study it. But Whitmore says Baca is not afraid to accept criticism.

STEVE WHITMORE: He does not look at criticism in a negative way. He looks at criticism as a cornerstone to learn.

KAHN: Baca has garnered a reputation as a progressive sheriff. He's a Republican in a highly Democratic county, and has been re-elected four times. Raph Sonenshein of the Pat Brown Institute of Public Affairs says Baca is a skilled politician and still has a lot of community support.

RAPH SONENSHEIN: I think this moment we are in right now though is a different one. I think the sheriff hasn't yet come to grips with the fact that this is different from the other times he's had trouble. This is really a serious one.

KAHN: Unlike L.A.'s police chief, which is hired and fired by the mayor, the sheriff is an elected position. His budget is overseen by the County Board of Supervisors, but only the voters decide his fate. Mounting a countywide challenge to the sheriff is costly and seldomly done. Even so, County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky says Baca better pay attention to the commission's recommendations.

ZEV YAROSLAVSKY: They can't be ignored and anyone who ignores them will do it at their own peril.

KAHN: Baca, who is 70 years old, says he is not going to retire. In fact, he says, he plans to run again when his term is up in two years. Carrie Kahn, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.