"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!":

Donald Trump wrapped up his public tryout of potential vice presidential candidates in Indiana Tuesday night with Gov. Mike Pence giving the final audition.

The Indiana governor's stock as Trump's possible running mate is believed to be on the rise, with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich also atop the list. Sources tell NPR the presumptive GOP presidential nominee is close to making a decision, which he's widely expected to announce by Friday.

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The unassuming hero of Jonas Karlsson's clever, Kafkaesque parable is the opposite of a malcontent. Despite scant education, a limited social life, and no prospects for success as it is usually defined, he's that rarity, a most happy fella with an amazing ability to content himself with very little. But one day, returning to his barebones flat from his dead-end, part-time job at a video store, he finds an astronomical bill from an entity called W.R.D. He assumes it's a scam. Actually, it is more sinister-- and it forces him to take a good hard look at his life and values.

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The Myth Of The Particular

Jun 29, 2012
Originally published on June 29, 2012 1:46 pm

Does Bruce Springsteen's broad appeal lie in the conviction with which he conjures up a New Jersey working-class identity, one with hard boundaries, as David Brooks writes in The New York Times? Politicians could learn from the Boss, offers Brooks: "Don't pretend you're a member of every community you visit. Don't try to be citizens of some artificial globalized community. Go deeper into your own tradition. ... People will come."

Brooks has a point. Springsteen's popularity may be tied to the seductive power of the traditional. But this is not to his credit.

The greatest rock artists play with identities, they don't inhabit them. Think of the way the Rolling Stones moved from blues to country and western, from funk and disco to psychedelia. We find equally soft boundaries and playful identities in the Beatles, Bob Dylan, David Bowie and Bob Marley. The same can be said for Jay-Z and Kanye West.

Beside artists such as these, what Brooks calls Springsteen's "particularity" reads more like rigidity than authenticity. When I hear Springsteen I am sometimes reminded of Law and Order episodes with all those forced New York accents.

The very idea of authenticity — this is what lies behind talk of particularity — is bogus.

Muddy Waters' distinct Chicago sound is indebted to the contribution of the Chess brothers, Jews from Poland who produced his first records and sometimes played on tracks. Soft boundaries anyone? And what about Robert Johnson, so-called father of the Blues, who died in the 1938 at the age of 27. It turns out that his seminal status stems in good measure from the fact the he came of age listening to the juke box and was able, like the Stones later on, to jump from style to style.

The point is, it's soft boundaries — Brooks' "far-flung networks of pluralism and eclecticism ... sampling one style then the next ... " — all the way down.

Brooks may be right that people will come if you hawk a fake tradition. God help us.


You can keep up with more of what Alva Noë is thinking on Facebook and on Twitter @alvanoe

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.