Montgomery Education Foundation's Brain Forest Summer Learning Academy was spotlighted Wednesday at Carver High School.  The academic-enrichment program is for rising 4th, 5th, and 6th graders in the Montgomery Public School system.  Community Program Director Dillion Nettles, says the program aims to prevent learning loss during summer months.  To find out how your child can participate in next summer's program visit

A police officer is free on bond after being arrested following a rash of road-sign thefts in southeast Alabama.  Brantley Police Chief Titus Averett says officer Jeremy Ray Walker of Glenwood is on paid leave following his arrest in Pike County.  The 30-year-old Walker is charged with receiving stolen property.  Lt. Troy Johnson of the Pike County Sheriff's Office says an investigation began after someone reported that Walker was selling road signs from Crenshaw County.  Investigators contacted the county engineer and learned signs had been reported stolen from several roads.

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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Media Circus: Who Won? The Moderator

Oct 12, 2012
Originally published on October 12, 2012 12:51 pm

Atmospherically, the vice presidential debate pitted old versus new. Vice President Joe Biden lives in a world where no lily goes ungilded, and every 'lative is super. Rep. Paul Ryan speeds through campaigning energetically, like the heroic train in the new movie Atlas Got Cut Using the P90X Workout.

And the moderator Martha Raddatz? She came out guns blazing. No avuncular, passive Jim Lehrer she.

Indeed, Raddatz started the evening with a touch of Catskills, telling people in the audience, "I've spent a good deal of time in war zones, so I'm not used to sitting with my back to the audience."

She was not intimidated by the two politicians, no matter how polished they were, or how willing they were to use the word "malarkey." (On that score: Biden 3, Ryan 0.)

First question to Biden on the assault on the American consulate where the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were murdered: "Wasn't this a massive intelligence failure, Vice President Biden?"

Later to Ryan, on former Gov. Romney's detail-free promise to reduce taxes and eliminate enough deductions to compensate for the lost $5 trillion in federal revenues: "You have refused yet again to offer specifics on how you pay for that 20 percent across-the-board tax cut. Do you actually have the specifics, or are you still working on it and that's why you won't tell voters?"

Ryan ultimately says: "It is mathematically possible." But still no specifics.

Ryan had signaled before the debate he wasn't to be addressed as "Congressman Ryan" but "Mr. Ryan" — an apparent effort to distance himself from the unpopularity Congress uniformly suffers. Seventeen minutes in, Raddatz was referring to him as "Representative Ryan."

Biden interrupted far more than was polite, but Raddatz kept the debate moving with a light but firm touch — allowing the often barbed back and forth Lehrer said he was seeking to foster between President Obama and Mitt Romney. Biden and Ryan talked about the same amount of time during the 90 minutes, according to CNN's tabulation.

Romney was himself not punished for his own aggressive posture in interrupting Obama and Lehrer last week; undoubtedly the Obama camp took note. Biden showed restraint just once: When Ryan invoked "Jack Kennedy" as a Democrat willing to work across the aisle, Biden riposted, "Oh, now you're Jack Kennedy!" Somehow he managed not to repeat Lloyd Bentsen's unforgettable line about JFK verbatim. It was impossible not to think he wanted to.

Biden showed fire and served as (a liberal) fact checker in real time; Ryan presented an earnestness and seriousness of purpose. And the debate that ensued was substantive.

Raddatz, an ABC correspondent, not a network anchor, was the one uncontested winner of the night, serious and even-handed.

Attacks from a conservative news site, The Daily Caller, that Raddatz was compromised by the role her ex-husband plays within the Obama administration, seemed all the more flimsy after the debate played out. (She divorced Julius Genachowski, the current chairman of the Federal Communications Commission and a Harvard Law classmate of the president, in 1997, the same year Obama became a state senator in Illinois.)

Perhaps predictably, Fox News talk show host Sean Hannity called her "the worst moderator."

Critics of Jim Lehrer last week were numerous, but more so on the political left, given Obama's failure to punch back at Romney.

On Thursday night, Raddatz challenged the two candidates on their specifics, though on the whole she didn't fact check either. Instead, she called their bluff on responses that sidestepped and deflected.

One of her final queries, about the meanness of political campaigns, came off as naive — something she decidedly is not — and could have been asked of candidates dating back to John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. All in all, however, Raddatz redeemed the idea of an establishment journalist leading the debate.

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