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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!":


'Solomon Kane,' Hellbound And Down In Old England

Sep 27, 2012

Published mainly in the pulp magazine Weird Tales — also the preferred outlet for his most famous creation, Conan the Barbarian — the serial adventures of Robert E. Howard's Solomon Kane character provided an early model for the "sword and sorcery" subgenre, that crude yet irresistible fusion of the superpowerful and the supernatural.

A man of extremes, embodying evil and righteousness as circumstances warrant, Kane slashes his way through a barren hellscape, chased by demons sent to claim his condemned soul. He looks pretty badass, too: a pilgrim cloaked in all black, obscuring an arsenal that includes two pistols, a rapier and a short, curved saber for when the action gets up close and personal.

All told, Kane cuts the type of figure that seems certain to electrify sci-fi/fantasy conventions one year and rule Halloween the next, appealing to those who wish Game Of Thrones featured less political intrigue and more decapitations. Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell would have had a blast with this material back in their Evil Dead days, but writer-director Michael J. Bassett attempts to honor Kane by taking his antihero's mission seriously — which here means a rain-soaked spectacle as dreary and joyless as he is. There's nothing wrong with playing the material straight, but pulp exists to arouse the senses, and two hours of po-faced brutality slowly deadens them.

Set a full century before Howard's stories, Solomon Kane opens with a rousing sequence in North Africa in 1600, as Kane (James Purefoy) and his men lay waste to castle guards and plunder a treasure room for a pile of gold coins and icons. But Kane's powers come with a high price: He sold his soul to Satan long ago, and now "the Devil's Reaper" has come to collect. Though he uses his wits to escape damnation for the moment, Kane knows that his evil deeds will not go unpunished.

One year later, Kane is a reformed man hiding out in a monastery in the English countryside, but his commitment to the ascetic life is cut short when dark forces appear again on the horizon. Exiled from the monastery, he hooks up with a family of fellow Puritans — headed by the late Pete Postlethwaite — but they can't shelter him for long, either. An evil sorcerer named Malachi (Jason Flemyng) has set up camp at Kane's ancestral castle and set his bloodthirsty minions loose to raze villages and terrorize the God-fearing innocents. It's up to Kane to reclaim his home, banish the demons from the land and save his tormented soul in the process.

There are no laughs in Solomon Kane; the sole attempt at a joke doesn't score, but it's a bracing reminder that humor exists. Instead, Bassett and Purefoy, his charisma-impaired star, get down to the grim, colorless business of vanquishing evil in a world where it settles like a black fog.

This backdrop is decorated like scenes from Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian, with bodies hanging from trees and the ground smoldering in smoke and ash. In the foreground, Bassett unleashes vaporous CGI demons that snap up mortals as quickly as they can draw breath, carrying them into a vortex of doom.

Bassett tries to add depth by filling in back story about Kane's childhood estrangement from his father (Max von Sydow) and brother (Samuel Roukin), and by giving him a fair maiden (Rachel Hurd-Wood) to rescue from Malachi's grips, but Solomon Kane flattens those conflicts out as thinly as its consideration of good and evil. It grinds along on the dubious strengths of its generic battle sequences and midbudget special effects, whipped up around a stone-faced hero who's part Christ figure, part embodiment of wickedness, all crippling bore. The weight of the world rests far too heavily on his shoulders.

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