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!":


Neil Armstrong: An 'Exemplary Life'

Aug 25, 2012
Originally published on August 25, 2012 8:16 pm



James Fallows of The Atlantic joins us as he does most Saturdays. Jim, let me get your thoughts on the passing of Neil Armstrong.

JAMES FALLOWS: I had the chance to meet him only once. This was almost 10 years ago, the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers flight in Kitty Hawk. And there was every icon of aviation you could imagine there, from a Chuck Yeager or two, then serving President Bush to John Travolta, but there was a special standing for Neil Armstrong. And I think that reflected the fact not simply had he been part of this historic achievement for humanity, but also the rest of his life had been so exemplary too.

Before that, he had been a test pilot and a combat pilot and an engineer and a professor. And after his achievement in the Apollo program, he went on to have this exemplary life of avoiding political complications, of being very careful about the kind of business enterprises he was involved in. He had been a small-town person from Ohio. So I think everything that American's liked to think about themselves was reflected in the person of this man.

SULLIVAN: Obviously, the country just experienced an exhilarating moment with the landing of the Mars Curiosity. Of course, that was an unmanned mission. But it just couldn't match the feeling of the moon landing. I mean, Neil Armstrong just seems like the kind of hero that we just might not see again for a long time.

FALLOWS: That kind of heroism requires the sort of national effort, of course, that President Kennedy had kicked off less than a decade before in saying that we would land a man on the moon and bring him back safely. I think the national excitement about the control room for this Curiosity landing on Mars was some glimpse of the sense of national possibility that people felt back in the 1960s during the space declaration where you saw in that control room lots of ordinary-seeming Americans from a variety of backgrounds who were trying their best for this one pooled effort to do something that hadn't been done before.

And I think that regardless of party, there is a kind of national desire for achievement and greatness and success and pushing frontiers that could be retapped.

SULLIVAN: Hmm. Jim, let's turn now to some other news just for a minute. Republicans are converging on Tampa, Florida, right now for their national convention. And my question is - Romney's nomination is a foregone conclusion. The other candidates usually hand over their delegates to the presumptive nominee. What's the purpose of a convention now? Is this really a much ado about nothing?

FALLOWS: In a sense, these gatherings have outlived their natural purpose. In days of yore, the nominations sometimes weren't decided until the conventions. There will be deals made and all the rest. That doesn't happen now. I think they still do matter, though, for a couple of reasons. One is it's the only time when people from one party, from every part of the country get together and there is still some difference in seeing people face-to-face, even if it's a crowd of tens of thousands.

Sometimes there are moments that change political identity and make political stars. It was eight years ago that Barack Obama, then just a candidate for Senate, made his historic speech at the Boston convention for Democrats. And four years ago, Sarah Palin introduced herself with her speech. And finally, this really is the time when the serious part of the presidential campaign season begins. Each party has a chance to present itself, its candidate. And so starting now, we're in for the serious part of the campaign.

SULLIVAN: James Fallows is national correspondent with The Atlantic. And you can read his blog at And his latest book is "China Airborne." Jim, thanks so much.

FALLOWS: My pleasure, Laura. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.