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.

Pages

Poison And Petticoats: The Incomplete Jane Austen

Oct 9, 2012
Originally published on October 21, 2013 3:13 pm

Rebecca Harrington is the author of the book Penelope.

As a young child, I was very much enamored with romance (my Barbies were subjected to appallingly long balls — Ken was very urbane in his own way). So it was with a kind of relief that I first discovered Jane Austen. I was 9 years old when I stole my mother's copy of Pride and Prejudice and read it very late at night. I didn't really understand much or even who was speaking (old J.A. was never one for attribution) but I knew it was extremely romantic and that was all I needed.

The next couple of years became a blur dominated by Jane Austen. I couldn't get enough of her novels, the withholding heroes, the impossibly witty heroines and the inept curates who always ruined everything. When I was done with her entire oeuvre, I was bereft. I tried reading other things — the Brontes or Thomas Hardy — but nothing was the same. The heroines were alienatingly spirited, the heroes far too verbal (sometimes insane!), and there were no curates of which to speak.

Finally, after a particularly tiring day at Barnes and Noble, I found a copy of Jane Austen's Juvenilia, a collection of the scraps she had written as a teenager. I was overjoyed. I thought she had only written novels, and I had read all of those. It was like a gift for poor Ken. He was absolutely having trouble with Heathcliff. It also saved me from not having anything to read, and gave me an entirely different perspective on Austen's more well-established works.

Austen wrote most of what is considered her Juvenilia as a teenager. In the edition I had, there are many unfinished novels, usually named after two minor people contained in the plot, like "Jack and Alice" or "Frederic and Elfrida," which ended after about five pages and several deaths. There is the very anti-Elizabeth "History of England." But my personal favorite is "Lady Susan," an epistolary novelette that is like a compulsively readable soap opera about a manipulative sociopath who loves seducing younger (and married) men.

Of course by the time I read these stories I knew that Austen was incredibly funny, (the curates, after all), but it was only after I read her Juvenilia that I realized what a genius Austen was, how critically she engaged with the literature and ideas of her time, and just how deeply and cuttingly her satire ran. She makes merciless fun of romanticism and sensibility (a preoccupation she continues rather more gently in Sense and Sensibility). She derides people born in picturesque locales who either faint or become hysterical. In her brilliant satire "Love and Freindship" (that's how Austen spelled it) the characters often use their delicate feelings as a cover for deep avarice. The protagonists repeatedly steal from their host because when they told him of their troubles, it did not prompt "a single sigh, nor induced him to bestow one curse on our vindictive Stars."

When I first read Jane Austen, I was too inexperienced to realize that the books that I assumed were romances were so much more — incisive, brilliant works of satire that confronted the intellectual pretensions of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. For me, it was an entirely new way of viewing what literature could do.

In one entry, "Plan of a Novel," which outlines the plot of a potential story, Austen describes a clergyman "perfect in character" and his young daughter of "not the least wit" who converse in endless diatribes of "high serious sentiment." Despite the fact that the piece was meant as a particularly sharp satire, this would have made an excellent plot for Barbies.

Even in jest, Austen was able to marry her sophisticated farce to entertainment. Ken really did appreciate it, although he was not particularly expressive in the traditional way.

You Must Read This is produced and edited by Ellen Silva and Rose Friedman with production assistance from Annalisa Quinn.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.