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 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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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.


Picking The Best Bond: Connery And Craig Rise To The Top

Oct 5, 2012

It's official: Sean Connery IS James Bond, according to NPR readers who weighed the question this week. The final results show that Connery set the gold standard as 007, the spy known for his playfulness, his ruthlessness — and his ability to look good in a suit. Today marks the Bond film franchise's 50th anniversary.

Six actors have played James Bond in the Eon Productions films that began in 1962, when Connery established the role in Dr. No. He went on to star in six of the first seven Bond films. And more than 50 percent of those who voted think that he made the most of his head start.

"Sean Connery," commented reader Pops Parker, is "the clear number one. There is humanity behind the noble facade and the man has an unassuming style."

Several others who wrote in followed Connery's name with "of course" — suggesting it's a no-brainer that the man who first immortalized the line "Bond... James Bond" and romped with Ursula Andress and Honor Blackman made the role his own.

"Certainly Sean [Connery] was a fantastic first Bond," says Michael G. Wilson, step-son of original Bond film producer Albert "Cubby" Broccoli, in an interview with Morning Edition's David Greene. "He really set the bar, and everyone else has to measure up to that."

Eon Productions, the company that Broccoli co-founded to produce the James Bond films, is now run by Wilson and his step-sister, Barbara Broccoli. The company will soon release its 23rd Bond movie.

The current Bond, Daniel Craig, placed a strong second in our survey, with more than a quarter of the votes. Many readers said they like the intensity and the humanity they feel in Craig's portrayal. And for both Craig and Connery, some folks just admit to being enthralled by their good looks and effortless cool.

Craig was praised for bringing "Bond back from the dead," as Mark Novak wrote, after Pierce Brosnan's run ended with 2002's Die Another Day. And he did it in Casino Royale, a box office hit that retraced Bond's origins and revived the edge and sophistication that marked Connery's best films.

Many voters said Craig's mix of strong acting skills and "physical prowess" won them over. But others docked him a few points because he doesn't share the tall and dark-haired physical traits of the other actors. At 5 feet 10, the blue-eyed and blond-haired Craig is the only Bond to stand less than 6 feet 1.

But to NPR reader Brim Stone, Craig's appearance helps to put him ahead of the others — because he is "by far the least concerned with the condition of his hair."

Some readers who sided with Connery added that they expect Craig to strengthen his position as more viewers see him in the role. He returns as Bond in Skyfall, which has its U.S. debut in November.

Many readers who prefer Pierce Brosnan's portrayal point to his charm, his good looks, and his ability to pull off action scenes like the fencing duel in Die Another Day. Others find him too "suave." But it's indisputable that when GoldenEye was released in 1995, Brosnan breathed fresh life into a franchise that had lain dormant for six years — the longest gap in the Bond films.

And it should be noted that if Brosnan hadn't been attached to the NBC TV series Remington Steele in 1987, he would almost certainly have been the Bond who followed Moore. Famously, the burst of publicity over his looming choice as 007 led TV executives not to kill the show, and Brosnan's contract required him to turn the role down.

If that hadn't happened, Brosnan might have reached his reported goal of appearing in six Bond films, instead of four. And his case as the best Bond could have been that much stronger.

Timothy Dalton and Roger Moore provoked some of the most polarized responses, with Dalton alternately praised for the light-hearted The Living Daylights and shunned for the "disturbingly vicious" License to Kill, to quote commenter David Brown.

Impressions of Moore seem to depend on which phase of his career is being considered. Is he the 1970s box office power behind Live and Let Die and The Spy Who Loved Me, or the 58-year-old who chased Grace Jones around Paris in A View to a Kill in 1985?

"Roger Moore played the role for too long," wrote Sarah Rasul, boiling down the sentiments of several voters.

And perhaps he did. But Moore also set the record for starring as James Bond — an apt seven times. (Connery also played the role seven times, but one of those was the not-quite-official Never Say Never Again, a 1983 remake of his own Thunderball).

With the metal-toothed Jaws as his recurring nemesis, Moore put a sense of humor and fun into the role that, for better or worse, made Bond more approachable. Armed with two of the most agile eyebrows ever captured on film, Moore often seemed to invite his audience in on the fun.

His successor, Timothy Dalton, brought more subtlety to the role, along with a focus that leads many fans to see his two films as a crucial transition phase. A commenter who wrote in as "Stanford White Cat" says that Dalton, an accomplished stage actor, got Bond back on track from being a "gadget toting womanizer" to the more complex character of an elite spy.

Fans of the Ian Fleming novels that introduced the Bond character seem particularly likely to endorse Dalton, thanks to his no-nonsense approach. But Dalton didn't get a chance to build a true body of work, as he appeared in fewer Bond films than anyone except George Lazenby.

And then there was one. What to say about George Lazenby? He had the tough job of following Sean Connery, who had become so identified with James Bond that he stepped away from the role to avoid being typecast. After a gap of only two years, the Australian Lazenby stepped into the breach. And 1969's On Her Majesty's Secret Service didn't grab the fans — or the money — that its predecessors had.

As perhaps the most athletic Bond, Lazenby had no trouble with the role's physical demands. But his voice was dubbed in sections of the film, and he decided before its debut that he didn't want to continue in the role. Today, Lazenby seems to benefit from fans who are either suckers for an underdog, outright revisionist, or Australian. At 30, he was the youngest actor to play Bond.

For our survey, Lazenby figures in one of the funniest comments. It came from Dave J, who wrote, "A vote for lazenby is like a vote for ralph nader." But the remark didn't impress Lois Immerman, who responded with "Two words: BOBSLED CHASE; Lazenby is the MAN."

While our informal survey might not have settled this question for all time, it has at least put the actors into perspective, and into a rough pecking order. Each of them have their good points, as our more open-minded readers note. And all of them were at the mercy of the moviemakers behind their projects.

Many readers say that the films featuring Connery and Craig benefit from having the best scripts and the strongest cinematography.

As Donald Westrich notes, "I never thought I'd say it, but Craig by a nose over Connery.... thanks to the script writers for Casino Royale II, which allowed Craig to invest the Bond character with a depth earlier portrayers never had a chance to explore, even if they'd been capable of doing so."

Each Bond film also reflects its era, from the neato gadgetry of the 1960s to the cheesey indulgence of the 1980s. In the 21st century, producer Barbara Broccoli says, Craig "has allowed the audience into Bond's inner life. Into the complexities, the conflicts that Bond expresses in the novels."

Spanning 50 years, the Bond films have served as landmarks in many viewers' lives. And their appreciation for the actors who played 007 sometimes changed over the years, as well.

As reader Will Wood put it, "I grew up with Moore, and I liked him until I turned twelve, then I saw Connery and he clearly reset the bar for me. When I was in my twenties I decided to read the books, and I have to say, the Ian Fleming character is a restless, angry, violent, heavy drinking, barely in control, and deeply cynical spy fully aware that his license to kill is also a license to be killed."

The resourceful and volatile spy portrayed in Fleming's books is also the character that the current version of Bond aspires to, Broccoli says.

"And that Bond is, yes, a lot darker," she says, "but he also has vulnerability."

Note: Our informal survey was restricted to actors who portrayed Bond in the widely seen Eon/Broccoli-produced films.

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



OK. We asked and you answered by the thousands. When we kicked off Bond week on Monday, we invited you to go online and vote for the actor you think was the best.


SEAN CONNERY: (as James Bond) Bond. James Bond.


The Scottish brogue there might give away the winner - and it was not even close. The original Bond, Sean Connery, thumped the competition, getting twice the number of votes as his nearest challenger, the latest Bond, Daniel Craig.

INSKEEP: Dead last on the list was Australia's George Lazenby, whose only appearance was on "Her Majesty's Secret Service," a film maybe most notable for its Louis Armstrong song, which brings us to our next Bond topic. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.