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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!":


For Party Defectors, A Warm Welcome (Then Maybe Siberia)

Aug 29, 2012
Originally published on August 29, 2012 5:26 pm

There's a lot of glory in switching parties, but often not much future.

Both major parties are giving prominent speaking roles to political apostates at their conventions. On Tuesday, Artur Davis — a former Democrat and a former congressman from Alabama — condemned President Obama during a speech at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.

"America is the land of second chances," said Davis, who had seconded Obama's nomination four years ago at the Democratic convention. "And I gather in this close race you have room for the estimated 6 million of us who got it wrong in 2008 and want to fix it."

Democrats will turn the tables next week at their convention in Charlotte, N.C., featuring at the podium former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist. Elected as a Republican, Crist found himself at the losing end of a 2010 Senate primary battle against Marco Rubio.

Crist ended up staying in the race as an independent, but Rubio won easily. Still, Democrats will be glad to showcase Crist as a disillusioned Republican.

"I'm confident that President Barack Obama is the right leader for our state and the nation," Crist wrote in a Tampa Bay Times op-ed on Sunday. (Rubio remarked the next day that Crist is "running out of political parties.")

"You're showing that this ticket is attractive enough that it is making converts of people who had long ties to the opposite party," says Charles Bullock, a political scientist at the University of Georgia.

Once startling, giving time over to turncoats has become almost a convention tradition in recent years. In 2008, Democrats gave a prime speaking role to former Rep. Jim Leach, an Iowa Republican who now serves as chairman of the National Endowment of the Humanities.

That same year, Sen. Joe Lieberman — who had been the Democratic nominee for vice president in 2000 and ran as a Democrat for president in 2004 — gave a speech strongly endorsing his friend, Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain.

Former Georgia Gov. Zell Miller delivered the Democrats' keynote address in 1992, and performed the same function for Republicans in 2004, offering a blistering attack against Democratic Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts.

"It serves the interests of the party promoting them," says Hal Bass, a political scientist at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkansas. "But I'm not sure how well it serves the interests of the speaker himself."

The reason is that even if party leaders welcome switchers with open arms — offering high-profile speaking gigs or, to sitting legislators, committee chairmanships — rank-and-file voters may reject the turncoats.

That happened to former Sen. Arlen Specter, who is currently battling cancer. He had served Pennsylvania as a Republican for five terms before switching to the Democratic side in 2009, helping to give his new party a filibuster-proof, 60-seat majority.

His reward? He was defeated in the Democratic primary the following year.

The same fate befell Rep. Parker Griffith of Alabama, who bolted Democratic ranks in 2009 out of anger over Obama's health care law, only to lose in the GOP primary a few months later.

"They find themselves not trusted by the people they're embracing and condemned by the people they're leaving," says Bass.

Lieberman himself lost his party's Senate nomination in 2006, but defended his seat successfully as an independent. He's retiring this year. Vermont Sen. Jim Jeffords, a former Republican, became an independent in 2001, giving Democrats a majority in the Senate. He never faced voters again.

There have been politicians who have switched parties and enjoyed sustained success, including many former Southern Democrats who became Republicans. That historic shift had its roots at the 1948 Democratic convention, when South Carolina Sen. Strom Thurmond bolted the hall. He ran for president that year as head of the Dixiecrats but eventually joined the GOP.

Numerous Southern Democrats have made the switch to the Republican side over the years since. Many, unlike Griffith, have prospered, including Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama and Gov. Nathan Deal of Georgia.

"For Shelby and Deal, that was probably the best thing they ever did for their careers," says Merle Black, a political scientist at Emory University.

Black says he doesn't know whether Artur Davis will be embraced as a candidate by Alabama Republicans, but notes Davis didn't have much of a home in the Democratic Party. He was the only African-American Democrat to vote against Obama's health law, and he lost the party's gubernatorial primary in 2010.

Black says there's no question Republicans will want to hear more from this African-American ex-Democrat willing to criticize Obama and embrace the GOP. "He'll be in big, big demand to speak at Republican events all over the country," he says.

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