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."

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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.


Obama, Romney To Meet In Town Hall-Style Debate

Oct 16, 2012
Originally published on October 16, 2012 10:45 am



It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.


And I'm Renee Montagne, good morning.

Presidential candidates play a game before debates, each lowers expectations that he'll do well, then tries to beat expectations. The last part didn't work out for President Obama this last time, so he tries again tonight.

INSKEEP: The president meets Mitt Romney with their contest effectively tied. They hold a town hall meeting with about 80 uncommitted voters.

MONTAGNE: CNN's Candy Crowley will moderate.

Here's NPR's national political correspondent, Mara Liasson.

MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Democratic strategist Tad Devine says tonight the stakes could not be higher. By whiffing his first encounter with Governor Romney, President Obama has put tremendous pressure on himself.

TAD DEVINE: Yeah, he has. I think that everybody, including the president, recognizes he had a very weak first debate performance. And this town hall meeting debate, he's going to have to perform much better. If he doesn't, Romney's going to be able to continue to build the momentum that came out of the first debate. And so what happens in this town hall meeting could determine the election's outcome.

LIASSON: Romney, for the first time, is feeling the wind at his back.

MITT ROMNEY: Now, you may have noticed that earlier in the week we had a debate. That was last week. And...


ROMNEY: ...that was that was a good debate. I enjoyed that debate.


LIASSON: Romney's top strategist, Ed Gillespie, told "Fox News Sunday" that tonight Romney will make the contrast with the president very clear.

ED GILLESPIE: This is a big choice election. And the fact is, what we saw was, even if he changes his style - and whatever political tactic the president settles on as being in his best interest for this debate - he can't change his record and he can't change his policies.

LIASSON: The Obama team has been promising a more aggressive approach tonight. But in a town hall debate format that could be hard to, say Tad Devine.

DEVINE: And for the president, it's going to be a little difficult because everybody wanted him to be more aggressive - after that first debate. But this is not a format that rewards that kind of aggressiveness. So he's going to have to find the balance between connecting with people, answering their questions, being on their side.

And also, making sure that Governor Romney doesn't do what he did in the first debate, which is essentially dominate the president; and also put forth policy positions that were different than the ones he had talked about for a long time in the campaign and get away with it.

LIASSON: That's a very long list of goals to accomplish in one debate. The president has been prepping in private. And in public, he's trying out some humorous attack lines.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: After running for more than a year in which he called himself severely conservative, Mitt Romney's trying to convince you that he was severely kidding.


LIASSON: Another thing about town hall debates, they're unpredictable. And the audience provides the surprises like this plea the president got from voter Velma Hart at a town hall meeting in 2010.

VELMA HART: I'm a wife. I'm an American veteran. And I'm one of your middle-class Americans. And quite frankly, I'm exhausted. I'm exhausted of defending you, defending your administration, defending the mantle of change that I voted for, and deeply disappointed with where we are right now.

LIASSON: Or this man, who confronted Romney in a town hall meeting during the New Hampshire primary.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: You've said that corporations are people. But in the last two years corporate profits have surged to record highs, directly at the expense of wages. It seems that the U.S. is a great place to be a corporation, but increasingly a desperate place to live and work.

LIASSON: Before the first debate with the president, Romney looked like he was on the verge of losing. But since then, says Republican strategist Terry Holt, he's turned the race into a dead heat nationally, and he's within striking distance in the Electoral College battleground.

TERRY HOLT: The race has always been more fluid than I think some pollsters have tried to show us. This is a race between an incumbent that people want to like, but whose policies are unpopular, and a challenger who seems to have the right recipes of policies, but has failed to make a solid connection with the voters.

What happened in the debate, in my view, the other night, was Mitt Romney finally got unplugged. He was in the spotlight and he demonstrated that he has leadership qualities, that he can stand toe-to-toe with the president.

LIASSON: Expectations always play a huge role. Before Denver, most voters expected the president to dominate, but the opposite happened. So tonight, expectations will be a little higher for Romney. Tad Devine, who ran campaigns against Romney in Massachusetts, says tonight people will tune in just to see whether or not it's going to be a different show.

DEVINE: Can the president come back? There's still a lot of interest now. You know, these debates are becoming like a mini-series on television, a dramatic mini-series. So I think the expectations this time for Governor Romney are going to be much higher. The expectations for the president, I don't think they've been diminished, even though he had a poor performance, but I think there are a lot of people out there wondering what's he going to do?

LIASSON: So tonight is a real political cliffhanger, with the suspense all about President Obama and whether he can reverse Governor Romney's newfound momentum. Mara Liasson, NPR News, Washington. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.