Alabama authorities say a home burglary suspect has died after police used a stun gun on the man.  Birmingham police say he resisted officers who found him in a house wrapped in what looked like material from the air conditioner duct work.  The Lewisburg Road homeowner called police Tuesday about glass breaking and someone yelling and growling in his basement.  Police reportedly entered the dwelling and used a stun gun several times on a white suspect before handcuffing him.  Investigators say the man was "extremely irritated" throughout and didn't obey verbal commands.

Montgomery Education Foundation's Brain Forest Summer Learning Academy was spotlighted Wednesday at Carver High School.  The academic-enrichment program is for rising 4th, 5th, and 6th graders in the Montgomery Public School system.  Community Program Director Dillion Nettles, says the program aims to prevent learning loss during summer months.  To find out how your child can participate in next summer's program visit Montgomery-ed.org

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 vegetables 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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'The Sessions': Sex, Comedy And Something More

Oct 19, 2012
Originally published on October 19, 2012 10:53 pm

In 1983, Berkeley poet and journalist Mark O'Brien wrote an article about sexual surrogates — women and men trained to help people with disabilities learn to use their bodies to give themselves and others erotic pleasure.

For O'Brien, the subject wasn't academic. After a bout of childhood polio, he had spent much of his life in an iron lung. He could talk, and tap out words on a typewriter holding a stick in his mouth. He could feel things below the neck. But he couldn't move his muscles.

In an article published in 1990, O'Brien admitted he was jealous of the people he'd interviewed in 1983 — it turns out he was, at the time, a virgin. The second piece was called, "On Seeing a Sex Surrogate," and it's the basis for the movie The Sessions.

Two things sneaked past my defenses against what I snarkily call the disability-of-the-week Oscar-bait picture. The first is that Mark, played by John Hawkes, is almost never seen at anything but a 90-degree angle, sometimes in his iron lung, sometimes on a rolling stretcher — never sitting up. That sidelong vantage creates a kind of distance and keeps the pathos from being in your face. The second is, he's so funny.

Hawkes bears little resemblance here to the meth-fueled uncle he played in Winter's Bone or the Manson-like cult leader in the film Martha Marcy May Marlene. His features are relaxed and his voice has no chest tones; he sounds like David Sedaris crossed with Liberace. He says at one point that he believes in God because he needs someone to blame for what happened to him.

When he asks his priest, Father Brendan, played by William H. Macy, for permission to have sex, he adds that it's urgent because he's nearing his "use-by date." Macy's determined attempt to remain impassive while Mark gives Father Brendan more details than he needs is a thing of beauty.

At heart, The Sessions is a tender sexual coming-of-age movie. Helen Hunt plays the surrogate, Cheryl Cohen-Greene. It's all legal, by the way — even kind of wholesome.

It's good to see Hunt. She was overexposed for a few years, had some bum roles and dropped out for a spell. Seeing her again reminds you how plain-in-a-good-way she can be, her emotions rising up as if by their own power and breaking through her levelheaded demeanor. She makes Cheryl's shedding of her clothes seem at once professional and human, and without a trace of exhibitionism.

The 66-year-old writer-director, Ben Lewin, is best known for TV dramas and comedies in Australia, the U.K. and Hollywood. He takes a simple, matter-of-fact approach that respects the audience — you don't feel him working you over.

At the same time, The Sessions doesn't have the power of the best films of its ilk — among them My Left Foot, with its raging, titanic performance by Daniel Day Lewis. The real O'Brien seen in Jessica Yu's Academy Award-winning 1996 short documentary Breathing Lessons looks considerably more anguished than the O'Brien here — as well as, at 4-foot-7 and 60 pounds, less solid than the tall and still-rangy Hawkes.

But I have a feeling that O'Brien, who died in 1999, would be pleased that his story has been told as a good comedy with tears instead of a weeper with laughs. It fits his naughty-Catholic-boy mischievousness — and his sideways vantage.

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