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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!":


For Lois Lowry 'Brooklyn' Was Raw And Real

Oct 1, 2012
Originally published on October 1, 2012 3:52 pm

Lois Lowry's latest book is called Son.

I certainly knew, by the time I turned 13 in 1950, that there were so-called "dirty books" out there. I had sneaked a peek at a popular English novel my mother was reading (one character's breasts were described as "ample" and "melon-shaped"), and there was a gritty street-gang book about Brooklyn that made the rounds among my peers, a book in which certain page numbers had become iconic, though I doubt if any of us read the book from start to finish for plot.

Aside from the pleasure of giggling with my friends over the racy passages, neither book interested me much. Restoration England was too busy and over-populated for my unformed taste, and Brooklyn street gangs were far removed from my adolescent concerns.

But Brooklyn itself interested me, because I had lived there as a young child — had gone to kindergarten in Brooklyn, in fact — and had fond memories of my playmates in our Bay Ridge neighborhood. That is why A Tree Grows in Brooklyn caught my eye in the library, why I picked it up, opened the book to enter the world of a girl named Francie Nolan, and found my life with literature changed.

It wasn't because I identified with the bookish, idealistic main character. I did, of course. But the books of my childhood had been filled with those spunky, literate girls: Jo March, for one. Or Anne Shirley. So Francie Nolan felt familiar and kindred, as they had.

It was her world that was new to me and caught me unaware. Francie's crowded tenement neighborhood was pulsating with sex. I was startled, at first, by Aunt Sissy: her unapologetic lifestyle (I think there were several husbands, with no widowhood or divorce in between), by the description of her bright red garter, by the voluminous breasts released from a pinching corset and falling forward, rosy and massive. None of that exuberant flesh in Concord or Avonlea! And it was cheerful — none of the wink-wink references. It was sex I was reading about — no question — but with a difference. It was part of life — not of my buttoned-up life, but of the noisy immigrant life made real in the pages of Betty Smith's novel — and it was sometimes a part that caused heartbreak or chaos. But it wasn't "dirty." I would not have known the word to put to it at 13; but it was earthy.

And it was real. I read of the teenage girls forced from school by the necessity of earning a living, of their hasty hallway embraces with loutish boys, the early pregnancies that condemned them to bad marriages and a repeat of the stifled lives of their mothers. I read of the cruelty: the shouts of "Whore!" directed at the young unmarried girl who dared to take her baby for a walk on Francie's street. The brutality: the lurking pedophile who grabs 13-year-old Francie in a dark hallway; and maternal passion: her mother, Katie, with a gun behind her apron, who shoots him and saves her daughter.

It was raw and real and, to me at 13, often shocking. But I never confided in my friends with a giggle that I had found a new dirty book — it wasn't. It was a book about life that revealed more to me than my earlier loved books ever had. I treasured it, and Francie, and my new knowledge of her world, the same world of mingled flesh and feelings I would one day enter.

PG-13 is produced and edited by Ellen Silva and Rose Friedman with production assistance from Annalisa Quinn.

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