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.

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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.


Publisher Sues Authors Who Don't Produce Manuscripts

Oct 9, 2012
Originally published on October 9, 2012 11:25 am



A lot of would-be professional writers dream of someday getting a book contract that includes an advance, enough money, paid upfront, to let them quit their day job and write full time.

Of course, those advances do come with an expectation that an author will actually write the book. The Penguin Publishing Group recently filed suit against a dozen authors who failed to produce manuscripts after getting an advances.

NPR's Lynn Neary reports.

LYNN NEARY, BYLINE: Let's face it, writing is hard. Screenwriter Charlie Kaufman famously turned his own writer's block into a movie, "Adaptation," starring Nicholas Cage.


NICHOLAS CAGE: (as Charlie Kaufman) To begin. To begin. How to start. I'm hungry. I should drink coffee. Coffee would help me think. Maybe I should write something first, then reward myself with coffee.

NEARY: Publishers have always known that talented writers can't churn out material like clockwork, says literary agent Miriam Gotteridge. So traditionally the business gave authors a lot of leeway when it came to their contractual obligations.

MIRIAM GOTTERIDGE: We've all heard stories of Ford Maddox Ford, and Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, and how they got advances from their publishers, even though they were probably just, you know, drinking all of the advance money. You know, the industry was about creativity and about producing. The hope was always about who is going to produce the next masterpiece.

NEARY: But the days when Publishers were willing to lose a little money in the hopes of procuring the next masterpiece, may be coming to an end.

ELIZABETH WURTZEL: There's no reason to sue me. There was a reason to say look, we're really serious and we need to talk about this.

NEARY: Elizabeth Wurtzel, best known as the author of "Prozac Nation," is one of a dozen authors being sued by the Penguin Group for failing to deliver their books on time. The advances ranged from $10,000 to $ 81,000. Wurtzel got $33,000 to write a book on helping teenagers cope with depression.

WURTZEL: I think at some point they did send me a letter about this. I mean, I think it's one of those things that I probably should have dealt with and didn't because I'm an author and I'm not good about this stuff.

NEARY: Wurtzel says she started the book and could have finished it but her editor left the company and no one else at Penguin pursued the project. Wurtzel says Penguin is simply trying to make a point with the lawsuit.

WURTZEL: I see that they're trying to act like a real business that doesn't treat authors differently from any other contractor. But having said that, a real business would make a business decision that would say that their relationship with me is of value to them. It should be of value to them

NEARY: It should be of value says Wurtzel because "Prozac Nation" is a bestseller. It's made a lot of money for the company. In fact, she says, Penguin can get the money she owes it from her royalties.

But literary agent Robert Gottlieb says Penguin can afford to take a loss on these advances.

ROBERT GOTTLIEB: The whole notion of suing these authors is so wrong-headed. I'm astounded by it.

NEARY: Ever since news of the lawsuits was first reported on the Smoking Gun website, Gottlieb has been an outspoken critic of Penguin. He says the sums of money involved are not worth a lawsuit.

GOTTLIEB: I would advise any publisher who does this that they're setting themselves up for enormous criticism and risk. I mean, in today's world, it never looks good when you're suing somebody, who earned $20,000 for writing a book over a period of a year or two.

NEARY: For its part, Penguin declined to be interviewed for this story but did release a statement saying it regretted initiating litigation, but did so only after repeated attempts at amicable resolutions were ignored.

Lynn Neary, NPR News, Washington.


MONTAGNE: You're listening to MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.