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

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!":


Presidential Campaigns Rock The Gamer Vote

Oct 1, 2012
Originally published on October 1, 2012 6:27 pm

Let's say you're pushing 115 mph on the highway, racing neck and neck with a Chevy Camaro — in an online video game, of course.

Right as you're pulling into the lead, you notice a billboard pop up on your TV screen. Early voting has begun? Whoa, keep your eyes on the road!

This is Need for Speed: Carbon, one of 18 games that the Obama campaign advertised in during the 2008 campaign. This year, President Obama is back at it, running ads in Madden NFL 13, on the free online game site, and in mobile games like Tetris.

As political ads ramp up on TV, video games are also seeing a spike in political messages. But it's not just the president who's injecting politics into game consoles.

A spokesperson for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said his campaign has advertised in video games as well, but did not provide any examples or information about the ads.

Video game makers and websites can sell space on their virtual billboards or on banners on the side of the screen. The game is online, so these ads can be updated.

Political advertising only makes up a small percentage of all ads in games, but during an election season, campaigns can grab the eyeballs of video game junkies like Tommy Mullings.

When a big new game title like Madden NFL is about to go on sale, "I'm always waiting at midnight for it, and I'm like one of like a hundred people usually that's sitting in there," Mullings says.

And he'll play that game over and over again, until another big title comes out. For campaigns, Mullings' devotion to a game is very attractive. He'll see that ad again and again the more he plays. So Mullings must see political ads all the time, right?

"I've never seen a political ad or anything," Mullings says.

Thing is, Mullings lives in Maryland. That state has been solid blue since 1992. In 2012, as in 2008, the Obama team's targets are in swing states.

The information that gamers give up when they register for an online service makes them easy targets, says Indiana University's Patrick Walsh, who studies political ads in video games.

"Signing up for any service, they're going to ask you your name, gender, location, address, those types of things," Walsh says. "So you can be really targeted with the technology."

So campaigns that want to reach young males in Ohio might do better buying space in Madden than during The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

"You have someone there that's captive; they're typically not multitasking; they're typically just playing the game," Walsh says. "So they're not on their computer, they're not on their phone, and it's a very desirable demographic."

Nowadays, the average gamer is 30 years old, according to a 2012 study by the Entertainment Software Association.

In-game advertising isn't the only way politics is making it onto game consoles. In late August, Xbox launched its 2012 Election Hub, an interactive platform that lets users learn about the candidates and keep up to date with the race.

Jose Pinero, a senior director at Xbox Entertainment, says presidential debates will be broadcast via the Xbox console, and Xbox users will be able to vote and rate the candidates' performances.

"On your TV screen you will be able to see the debate, and you will be also able to see the opinion trending line, which reflects how the entire population on Xbox is voting at the moment," Pinero says.

Xbox is also hosting voter registration efforts by teaming up with Rock the Vote, an organization that registers young voters.

"When you look at the numbers of people who are using their Xbox consoles or are playing video games, it's huge," says Chrissy Faessen, a spokeswoman for the organization. "And if there's an opportunity for us to reach out to those individuals as well, and make sure they've got the information they need to participate, it's a win-win for everybody,"

The biggest winner might be the video game industry, a multibillion-dollar beast that could pull more voters to the polls.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit