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

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!":


Marvin Hamlisch, Movie And Broadway Composer, Has Died

Aug 7, 2012
Originally published on September 18, 2012 7:22 pm

Marvin Hamlisch won just about every big-time award there is — Emmys, Grammys, Oscars, a Tony and a Pulitzer. He wrote music for The Sting, A Chorus Line and dozens of other movies, stage shows and TV specials. Hamlisch died Monday in Los Angeles. He was 68.

Hamlisch was precocious. When he was 7, he started at Juilliard. "My big thing at Juilliard — because I hadn't taken that many piano lessons at that point — was not that I could play Bach or Beethoven, but that I could play 'Goodnight Irene' in any key," Hamlisch told NPR's Scott Simon in 1987. "Between that and my Lord Fauntleroy suit, I got in."

Just shy of his 30th birthday, at the 1974 Academy Awards, Hamlisch won three Oscars: one for his score for The Sting, an adaptation of Scott Joplin rags that helped spark renewed interest in Joplin, and both original song and original score, for The Way We Were.

The star of that film, Barbra Streisand, said in a statement that she's devastated. "He was my dear friend. He's been in my life ever since the first day I met him in 1963, when he was my rehearsal pianist for Funny Girl. He played at my wedding in 1998," she writes. "He was a true musical genius, but above all that, he was a beautiful human being."

Hamlisch won his Pulitzer for A Chorus Line, which opened in 1975. In that show, Hamlisch's music tells as much of a story as Edward Kleban's lyrics, says Donna McKechnie, who played Cassie in the original Broadway cast. McKechnie remembers when director and choreographer Michael Bennett sat the entire cast down to hear — for the first time — one of the songs from the show.

"Marvin played the piano. He played 'At the Ballet.' It was so stunning. I knew immediately when I heard that, that we were into something good," she says. "That is the most beautiful song to convey the simple everyday feelings of a dancer."

Hamlisch seemed to have an endless supply of imagination, energy and passion, says McKechnie. They were even planning a concert together before he died.

In his interview with Scott Simon, Hamlisch admitted that his childhood fantasy was to play center field in the seventh game in the World Series. "And you'd hear, 'He's going back, he's going back,' " said Hamlisch, then making the sound effects of a roaring crowd after he caught the ball. "But that's not what I do. That's not my gift."

Liza Minnelli knew what his gift was. She wrote on her Facebook wall that she and Hamlisch had been friends since they were teenagers. "I have lost my first lifelong best friend, and sadly we have lost a splendid, splendid talent."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit



A major force in American popular music has died. Marvin Hamlisch wrote music for The Sting and "A Chorus Line" and for dozens of other movies, TV specials and musicals. He was 68.

NPR's Elizabeth Blair has this appreciation of a man who conquered the world of American entertainment, winning an Oscar, Grammy, Emmy and a Tony.

ELIZABETH BLAIR, BYLINE: Marvin Hamlisch won just about every award there is, sometimes more than once.


BLAIR: For "The Sting," Hamlisch adopted Scott Joplin rags. That won him an Oscar and sparked a Joplin revival.


BLAIR: One Academy Award would have been a major victory for a composer who was just shy of his 30th birthday, but in 1974, Marvin Hamlisch won two other Oscars for original song and original score for "The Way We Were."


BARBRA STREISAND: (Singing) Misty, watercolor memories of the way we were.

BLAIR: Three Oscars in one year and to think, that was before "Singular Sensation." Every song in "A Chorus Line" is considered a winner.


UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: (Singing) One thrilling combination, every move that she makes. One smile and suddenly nobody else will do...

BLAIR: Marvin Hamlisch's music tells as much of a story as Edward Kleban's lyrics, says Donna McKechnie, who played Cassie in the original Broadway cast. McKechnie remembers when choreographer Michael Bennett sat the entire cast down to hear for the first time one of the songs from "A Chorus Line."

DONNA MCKECHNIE: And Marvin played at the piano "At the Ballet." It was so stunning for all of us, so I thought I knew immediately when I heard that that, now, we're into something good because that is the most beautiful song to convey the simple, you know, everyday feelings of a dancer.


UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: (Singing) Yes everything was beautiful at the ballet. I was pretty. I was happy. I was loved too at the ballet.

BLAIR: Imagination, energy and passion. Donna McKechnie says Marvin Hamlisch seemed to have an endless supply. She says they were even planning a concert together before he died.

Marvin Hamlisch grew up playing music. His dad was an accordionist and a band leader. When he was seven, he went to Julliard. In 1987, Marvin Hamlisch sat down at the piano with NPR's Scott Simon.


MARVIN HAMLISCH: And my big thing at Julliard - now, this is true - because I had not really taken many piano lessons up to that point - was not that I could play Bach or Beethoven. My thing was that I could play "Good Night Irene" in any key, so I'd come in. They'd say, what are you going to play? I said...


HAMLISCH: They said, what else do you do? I go...


HAMLISCH: Between that and my Lord Fauntleroy suit, I got in.

SCOTT SIMON, BYLINE: Why didn't you want to play little league or something? Why was it so important that you - at the age of seven?

HAMLISCH: Oh, you don't understand something. My fantasy was to be the guy, say, in center field and you hear, he's going back. He's going back, back, back, back. (Unintelligible). And the people - you know, I mean, that's what I wanted to be. I wanted to be a baseball - I love baseball, so - but that's not what I do. That's not my gift.

BLAIR: No. Marvin Hamlisch, your gift was to knock it out of the ballpark with melodies that will make people cheer for a very long time. Marvin Hamlisch died Monday. He was 68. Elizabeth Blair, NPR News.


CORNISH: You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.