Alabama authorities say a home burglary suspect has died after police used a stun gun on the man.  Birmingham police say he resisted officers who found him in a house wrapped in what looked like material from the air conditioner duct work.  The Lewisburg Road homeowner called police Tuesday about glass breaking and someone yelling and growling in his basement.  Police reportedly entered the dwelling and used a stun gun several times on a white suspect before handcuffing him.  Investigators say the man was "extremely irritated" throughout and didn't obey verbal commands.

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 vegetables 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.


Nothing 'Zero' About This Kung Fu Hero

Oct 18, 2012

With its frisky camerawork, eclectic scenario and playful stylization, the Chinese period action romp Tai Chi Zero is an impressive package. That there's not much inside the glittery wrapping is just a minor drawback.

Like many kung fu movies, Tai Chi Zero draws on Chinese history. The era is circa 1900, and the Boxer Rebellion is under way. British imperialists and their local minions represent evil, while the "zero" hero is based on a real person, Yang Lu Chan, who founded his own school of tai chi. But such backstory is hardly essential; director Stephen Fung bends the past every which way as he ventures into the Victorian-futurist genre known as steampunk.

Lu Chan (Jayden Yuan) is introduced on the battlefield, fighting madly for the crazed Divine Truth Cult. The action sequences — choreographed by longtime Jackie Chan collaborator Sammo Hung — are as brawny and fanciful as the score, which shuffles European classics, swing jazz and Swedish death metal.

A quick flashback, rendered with minimal color and no dialogue, reveals that Lu Chan was born with a gift for martial arts — and a small horn protruding from his temple that got him dubbed "The Freak." His gift for berserking is also a curse, likely to cause an early death. A doctor advises the warrior to go to the Chen village, where a specialized local style of fighting might save his life by balancing exterior and interior forces.

When he arrives, however, Lu Chan learns that the Chen villagers refuse to teach their technique to outsiders. Encouraged to keep trying by a mysterious local (Tony Leung), the would-be student is repeatedly beaten up and kicked out. But his problems are soon overshadowed by those of the town: A British-educated villager, Zijing (Eddie Peng), has returned to build a railroad through the area, and won't take no for an answer.

When that's exactly the response he gets, Zijing and his British paramour (American-Chinese model Mandy Lieu) return with a steam-powered tank that towers over the hamlet. Lu Chan sets out to disable the war machine, joined by a former antagonist, pretty Yuniang (played by a Chinese actress who bills herself as Angelababy). To add to the winking melodrama, Yuniang is the daughter of the Chens' kung fu master, and is officially engaged to Zijing.

The dialogue is merely functional, and not always delivered convincingly. (Lieu's English is particularly wooden.) But the movie tells its story mostly with action and text. Like Timur Bekmambetov, the Russian director of Day Watch and Night Watch, Fung makes a virtue of subtitles by treating on-screen words as part of the overall design. Phrases pop up in simultaneous Chinese and English, and actors are introduced on screen not only by name but also by credits. (Since several of the players are real martial artists, these past accomplishments are as likely to involve athletics as acting.)

The running commentary adds another layer to a story that, on its own, is not exactly deep. It also highlights features that zip by so fast that they might otherwise be missed, such as cameos by a few noted performers and one Hong Kong director. Short animated sequences accent the movie's affinity with comic books, and places and actions are helpfully diagrammed.

The other cheeky touches include a false ending and an end-credit sequence that includes scenes from the upcoming sequel, Tai Chi Hero. Fung is enjoying himself so much that he doesn't want the movie to end — and his delight is infectious.

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