"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.

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!":

Donald Trump wrapped up his public tryout of potential vice presidential candidates in Indiana Tuesday night with Gov. Mike Pence giving the final audition.

The Indiana governor's stock as Trump's possible running mate is believed to be on the rise, with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich also atop the list. Sources tell NPR the presumptive GOP presidential nominee is close to making a decision, which he's widely expected to announce by Friday.

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

The unassuming hero of Jonas Karlsson's clever, Kafkaesque parable is the opposite of a malcontent. Despite scant education, a limited social life, and no prospects for success as it is usually defined, he's that rarity, a most happy fella with an amazing ability to content himself with very little. But one day, returning to his barebones flat from his dead-end, part-time job at a video store, he finds an astronomical bill from an entity called W.R.D. He assumes it's a scam. Actually, it is more sinister-- and it forces him to take a good hard look at his life and values.

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


'To Rome': Allen, Fiddling Again With Familiar Ideas

Jun 21, 2012

Woody Allen's slack new movie, To Rome with Love, comes fortified with a fine bit of nonsense involving a shower, a loofah and a nervous Italian tenor who's terrified of performing in public.

Allen repeats the joke at well-spaced intervals, and he's right to: It represents what's best in his comedy, a goofball grace note in which he invites us to join in his delight in the sublime absurdity of artistic endeavor. Around my local screening room, it seemed that just about everyone obliged.

Jerry (Allen, playing his customary hand-wringing worrywart) is an opera director chafing at retirement and still yearning for the smash hit that eluded him during an avant-garde career. Seizing the day, Jerry throws himself into an ill-considered adventure that threatens to derail his life, to say nothing of the equilibrium of those around him.

As his acid-tongued wife (Judy Davis) correctly observes, for Jerry, retirement signifies death. The parallels with Allen's one-movie-a-year fecundity may be obvious, and certainly it's an achievement for a man nearing 80 to stay busy in a business that has its eyes locked on the tot-to-tween markets.

But when it's not being goofy, To Rome with Love feels thin and lazy, another collection of familiar ensemble skits carelessly strung together in a cross-generational contemplation of the Big Issues that have plagued Allen's life and fed his art. (Or maybe it's the other way around, but who can tell the difference?)

As ever, the setting is golden: the Eternal City, as seen through the eyes of Americans rich enough to stay in plush hotels with easy access to scenic ruins overflowing with the lessons of history. (If only anyone were listening.)

In town to meet the fiance of his daughter (an underused Alison Pill), Jerry maneuvers her shy future father-in-law, Giancarlo (the sporting Italian tenor Fabio Armiliato, in his first movie role) into taking his mellifluous voice public.

Across town, without noticeable transition, dwells Giancarlo's obverse, a talentless office drone (Roberto Benigni,) whose accidental, unearned celebrity upends his humdrum but contented life.

Meanwhile, the usual hapless Americans abroad set about wrecking their lives for love, or something like it. An unlikely oracle, Alec Baldwin is modestly wry and funny as a visiting architect reliving a long-ago doomed romance through the infatuation of a young student (Jesse Eisenberg, replicating Allen's speech tics without strain) with the pretentiously arty best friend (an uncharacteristically irritating Ellen Page) of his stable girlfriend (Greta Gerwig).

Allen counterpoints this threesome, who could use more sense and less adventure, with a fuddy-duddy young Roman couple who could use a lot more fun before they settle into premature connubial boredom.

Which brings us, drearily, to the statutory good-hearted hooker. The world's most beautiful woman, Penelope Cruz brings a warm practicality and zany brio to the role. But Woody, enough with the bubbly whores, OK?

To Rome with Love plows the usual terrain of life and death, art and junk, the cost-benefit matrix of fame, the double edge of romantic love. "Go ahead," Baldwin tells Eisenberg as he gears up to destroy himself, "walk into the propeller."

Someone's been saying that in every Allen movie since Alvy Singer told us we "need the eggs" in Annie Hall. There's nothing wrong with tilling the same patch of soil again and again, of course, if you can find something fresh to say about it.

But To Rome with Love is no Annie Hall, and it lacks even the fluid rhythms of Midnight in Paris. Allen's observations on celebrity are almost as banal as the trappings of fame themselves, and who else could get away with "Volare" over his opening sequence? The neurotic ambivalence that energized his work for so long grows stale, and perhaps he knows it.

Many years ago a British interviewer asked Allen how his 23 years in psychoanalysis were going. After a long pause, the director replied, "Slowly." There's a line in To Rome with Love that makes it clear the director looks back on his treatment as a waste of time, personally and artistically. Perhaps, finally, it is.

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