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

The Mysterious Case Of China's Disappearing Heir Apparent

Sep 11, 2012
Originally published on September 14, 2012 11:21 pm

In the rarefied air of China's leadership circle, anything that strays from strict protocol becomes grist for the rumor mill.

So it is with the mysterious and sudden disappearance of Xi Jinping, the presumptive heir to President Hu Jintao.

Xi, 59, has inexplicably missed a series of important meetings with foreign dignitaries in the past week, including one with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Beijing. The last time anyone saw him in public was Sept. 1.

Just as telling as the missed meetings, perhaps, is that China's Communist Party leadership has yet to announce a date for the 18th Party Congress, which was expected to be held next month. The event is slated as the venue for the country's decennial transfer of power, where Hu will step down as general secretary, paving the way for Xi's ascension.

In China, where things are supposed to proceed according to a meticulous plan, the whole thing has got people, many of them journalists, wondering aloud about what exactly is going on. Here's the BBC's Damian Grammaticas:

"Is Xi Jinping sick? Has he had a mild heart attack? Did he hurt his back playing football or swimming? Is he extraordinarily busy preparing for the day, probably next month, when he will be elevated to take over from Hu Jintao as the head of China's Communist Party, or is there some more sinister power struggle happening?

"All have been suggested as explanations on China's buzzing social media sites."

The New York Times notes that while analysts who follow Chinese politics think the transition of power will take place as planned, "at the very least, the atmospherics are turning out to be far messier than envisioned, with officials stumbling to maintain their usual careful choreography."

Reuters quotes an unnamed Chinese government source that lends some official sanction to the back-injury-while-swimming theory. The news agency quotes yet another unnamed source as saying Xi is "unwell, but it's not a big problem."

Speculation goes farther afield from there, the Times says:

"One media report, since retracted, had it that Mr. Xi was hurt in an auto accident when a military official tried to injure or kill him in a revenge plot. A well-connected political analyst in Beijing said in an interview that Mr. Xi might have had a mild heart attack."

Asked on Tuesday about Xi's health, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said: "I have already answered reporters' questions on this many times. I have nothing new to add."

Asked whether Xi was even alive, Hong appeared to scoff at the question.

"I hope you can ask a serious question," he said, according to Reuters.

UPDATE at 2:50 ET:

NPR's Louisa Lim spoke with Steve Tsang, a China specialist at the University of Nottingham.

"The most likely scenario is that Xi Jinping is suffering from a medical condition which makes it impossible for the Communist party to parade him on television," Tsang told Lim, who is based in Beijing. "But because the party does not enjoy very strong credibility in terms of telling the truth, anything short of seeing him on television is not likely to be convincing enough [for most people in China.]"

Andrew Nathan, a professor of political science at Columbia University, told Lim that the Chinese Communist Party's credibility has taken a hit over the sensational trial of Gu Kailai, the wife of former Politburo member Bo Xilai. Gu was given a suspended death sentence last month for the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood.

Bo's fate, however, remains in limbo.

"The theory I have is that Xi Jinping is busy working out, figuring out, negotiating a solution to the Bo Xilai case," Nathan says.

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