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!":


A Look At Major League Baseball's Postseason

Oct 4, 2012
Originally published on October 4, 2012 5:12 pm



The Major League playoffs begin tomorrow, spinning off a dizzying last day of the regular season, and there's a ton of drama to talk about with Joe Lemire, baseball writer for Sports Illustrated. Welcome, Joe.

JOE LEMIRE: Thanks for having me.

BLOCK: That dizzying last day featured a remarkable finish by the Oakland A's. They won the American League West, but they were all but dead three months ago. They were 13 games behind the Texas Rangers. What happened?

LEMIRE: Oakland found its stride. As of June 1 they still had a losing record, but found success in a number of unlikely places. Some players that had been acquired with an eye toward building toward the future stepped up and produced much earlier than they expected. They finished the year with five rookies in their starting rotation. It's really been an all around team effort and certainly managed very well by Bob Melvin, who kept everyone involved and playing at a high level. Coming back from five games in the last nine days is unprecedented.

BLOCK: And a come-from-behind win last night.

LEMIRE: Yes, you know, they fell behind early behind Texas, but rallied and certainly benefitted from a missed play in center field that most people expected Josh Hamilton to make that catch and probably would make 99 times out of 100. But it's been that kind of a charmed season.

BLOCK: Tomorrow we're going to see two single elimination wild card games: the St. Louis Cardinals go up against the Atlanta Braves; the Baltimore Orioles up against the Rangers. This is a new thing for Major League Baseball. How does it change the postseason?

LEMIRE: Previously there was really no detriment to being a wild card. Sure you had one fewer home game, but that home field advantage is less important in baseball than it is in, say, football or basketball. This puts a lot of emphasis on winning the division. It'll add a lot of drama to the game. There's going to be great strategic decisions that managers will have make about when to pitch which pitcher, how long to hold on to him, when to make pinch hits. Some daring risky bold moves are likely to be on display because your whole season you've played 162 games just to come down to this one.

BLOCK: And this means one loss, you're out, you go home.

LEMIRE: Yes, it does. And even if you do advance, you've probably used your best pitcher, so you have to plan your staff accordingly.

BLOCK: Now here in Washington, of course, everybody has Nationals fever. They're bringing post-season baseball to the nation's capital for the first time since 1933. What do you make of their chances?

LEMIRE: They're very good. Certainly anything less than a World Series title and people are going to ask those what-if questions: if they hadn't shut down Stephen Strasburg, their best pitcher, who, in returning from an elbow surgery the previous year, they'd limited the number of innings he had. But they still have four very good pitchers on that team who are plenty capable enough of pitching them deep into the postseason. It seems like their offense the last month or two has really picked up. In particular, Bryce Harper, the 19-year-old phenom, is playing the longest season of his career. The major league season is an extra month longer than the minors. And yet he's actually been better this month, showing no signs of slowing down. So I think the Nationals have a very strong chance.

BLOCK: I want to talk to you also, Joe, about the remarkable feat yesterday by Miguel Cabrera from the Tigers. He got the Triple Crown, hasn't happened since 1967. He got the batting title, home run title and the most RBIs. How did he do it? And why doesn't it happen more often?

LEMIRE: It's a really difficult task to lead the league in those three categories, because it isn't just your own performance which needs to be exceptional, but it's also dependent on players on other teams not having also superlative seasons, even if it is in just one of those three categories. The approach to hitting has changed somewhat. There are players in the game who are basically told swing for the fences every time they swing, and thus, frequently you have players who may lead the league in home runs, but not be competitive in batting average. So, to have a well-rounded game the way Miguel Cabrera has is really quite remarkable.

BLOCK: The last player to win the Triple Crown was Carl Yastrzemski for Boston in 1967. He told the Boston Herald this: We were so involved in the pennant race I didn't know I won the Triple Crown until the next day when I read it in the paper.

LEMIRE: Certainly media attention has changed. You don't have, you know, quite as much coverage, and I think there's an increased focus and emphasis on statistics which, you know, why Miguel Cabrera certainly did not sneak up on it.

BLOCK: Joe Lemire, baseball writer for Sports Illustrated, Joe, thanks so much and enjoy the postseason.

LEMIRE: All right. Thanks for having me. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.