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.

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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!":


Report: If Congress Ignores 'Fiscal Cliff,' Most Americans Will Pay More Taxes

Oct 1, 2012

Unless Congress passes legislation in a lame-duck session, taxes will be higher by a half-trillion dollars next year, costing the average household nearly $3,500 a year, according to a just-released report by the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center.

After studying details of the tax changes now set to take effect for 2013, the researchers were struck by "how big the tax increase is," said Eric Toder, one of those researchers. "It's a huge, huge number."

The report concluded that in 2013, "almost 90 percent of Americans would see their taxes rise."

The tax changes are part of what has come to be known as the "fiscal cliff," a range of temporary tax-break expirations and government-spending cuts. The coming changes are set on auto-pilot; they were put into place by U.S. lawmakers who could not agree on permanent compromises. (Our friends at Planet Money have an explainer.)

Over the past 11 years, starting with President George W. Bush's first term, Congress has passed an array of temporary tax cuts and patches to fix tax code flaws. Last year, Congress also imposed automatic spending cuts that will kick in shortly. Congress is out of session until after the Nov. 6 election, and will deal with the issues in a lame-duck session, starting Nov. 13.

Economists are virtually unanimous in saying that unless Congress changes course before Dec. 31, the country will be driven over an economic "cliff" and into a new recession.

The Tax Policy Center examined just the tax implications (pdf), and found that the coming changes would indeed have a dramatic impact.

"Policymakers are rightly concerned about the potential impact on families and the economy of such a sudden tax increase and are considering proposals to delay, repeal, or offset parts of the cliff," the report said.

At a press briefing this morning, the researchers said Congress appears ready to allow the temporary cut in Social Security payroll taxes to expire. That's because that one "was always intended as a temporary stimulus measure," the report said.

The 2007-2009 recession technically has been over for more than three years, so the justification for saving the average worker about $20 a week has ended. That means everyone earning a paycheck would see their contribution to Social Security revert to where it was before the recession, leaving them with a smaller take-home amount.

And wealthy Americans who own stocks would see very big changes, with their taxes going up 7 percentage points on long-term capital gains, and by more than 20 percentage points on qualified dividends.

"If investors believe it will actually happen, the pending increase in the capital gains tax rate could induce them to sell appreciated stocks, bonds, and other assets before the end of 2012," the report warned.

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