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.


Romney Skirts Drop In Unemployment

Oct 6, 2012
Originally published on October 6, 2012 7:55 pm
Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.



And Mitt Romney a little more than a day to savor his presidential debate win before the September unemployment figures forced him to recalibrate. High unemployment has been Mitt Romney's number one argument for why voters should replace President Obama. Now, the jobless rate is still high, but it is below the important psychological threshold of 8 percent. NPR's Ari Shapiro reports on how the Republican presidential nominee reacted to the news.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: In southern Virginia's coal country, Romney said the new 7.8 percent jobless rate doesn't tell the whole story.

MITT ROMNEY: There were fewer new jobs created this month than last month. And the unemployment rate, as you noted this year has come down very, very slowly but it's come down nonetheless.

SHAPIRO: The number is lower this month, because yesterday the Bureau of Labor Statistics said it underestimated August job creation. Romney claimed the only reason unemployment is dropping is that people have stopped looking for jobs.

ROMNEY: And if you just drop out of the workforce, if you just give up and say, look, I can't go back to work, I'm just going to stay home - if you just drop off altogether, why, you're no longer part of the unemployment statistics, so it looks like unemployment's getting better.

SHAPIRO: Some of the decline in unemployment over the last year is due to people leaving the workforce. But last month's drop was caused by a big increase in jobs. Many of those jobs are part-time. And that trend worries Roscoe Lester. He's a retired maintenance worker from across the border in Tennessee. His friends are getting low-paying jobs with no benefits. And he says it's no way to live.

ROSCOE LESTER: Just 'cause you're working but if you're making half of what you did yesterday, you're still going under, it's just a slower process.

SHAPIRO: Like many voters at this rally, Lester thinks Democratic politicians are manipulating unemployment figures to help President Obama win re-election.

LESTER: The normal person out on the street, like myself or anybody, we have no idea how they play with them numbers. All you have to do is see how they play with the issues and how they spin them, and to say do I think it's a credible number? No.

SHAPIRO: That conspiracy theory is false. But it picked up a lot of steam yesterday. Nancy Lemieux is another Tennessee voter with similar doubts.

NANCY LEMIEUX: I don't believe the numbers, I'm sorry.

SHAPIRO: And so are there any official statistics at all that you would trust to be accurate?

LEMIEUX: Not until after the election.

SHAPIRO: From Virginia, Romney flew to Florida. That state's Republican governor, Rick Scott, tweeted yesterday that Tampa and Miami saw the biggest unemployment drop in the country. Romney touched down at the edge of Tampa Bay for a waterfront rally in St. Petersburg.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Singing) And the rain goes on, I seen sunshine...

SHAPIRO: On a hot swampy evening, people crowded around my microphone to explain why the unemployment numbers could not possibly be accurate. John Minetti is a retired teacher and chef.

JOHN MINETTI: They say there's no way you can fix a baseball game, too, but they did.

SHAPIRO: Wouldn't President Obama have gone for a better number than 7.8 if he could've?

MINETTI: Nah. You don't want to get too greedy.

SHAPIRO: Susan Wright is a third generation Floridian. She doesn't question the unemployment numbers' legitimacy, but she says it sure doesn't feel like the economy's on the mend.

SUSAN WRIGHT: Well, you know, we always had ups and downs and ups and downs. We've just never had a down for so long. And I personally feel like it's going to take somebody new and different to get us up again.

SHAPIRO: As the sun set over the water, Romney took the stage with his wife Ann. He began by talking about the debate and some of the issues most important to Florida - gas prices, health care, and immigration.

ROMNEY: I asked him again why it was when he said that in his first year his highest priority would be to put in place an immigration plan that would solve our immigration problems, why instead he never put in filed a piece of legislation for immigration reform.

SHAPIRO: Actually, immigration did not come up once in the debate. In this Florida speech Romney did not mention the monthly jobs report at all. But he said workers are having a tough time.

ROMNEY: You realize if the number of people in America, the participation of our adults in the workforce were the same as at the time he got elected, why, our unemployment rate would be about 11 percent.

SHAPIRO: That would be true if everyone leaving the workforce dropped out because they were frustrated with their job search. But labor economists point out that many baby boomers are retiring, which also takes many people out of the workforce. Today is a quieter day on the campaign trail for Romney. He has no public events until this evening, when he'll rally supporters in Orlando. Ari Shapiro, NPR News, St. Petersburg, Florida. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.