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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!":


Some Black Leaders Say Dream Realized, Focus Now On Work

Sep 4, 2012
Originally published on September 4, 2012 6:27 pm

Over the past four years, the presidential narrative has shifted for African-Americans like Louisiana state Rep. Patricia Haynes Smith of Baton Rouge.

"I'm 66 years old," said Smith, at an event Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C., for black state legislators here for the Democratic National Convention. "And before 2008, I didn't think I'd live to see a dream come true."

Barack Obama's election as president four years ago was an enormous milestone in the nation's often halting march toward equality, and a realized American dream for many African-Americans. This time, it feels different, said Smith and others we interviewed at the legislators' wine and hors d'oeuvres gathering in the city's Harvey B. Gantt Center, named for the man who became the city's first African-American mayor in 1983.

In 2008, Obama felt like theirs, said Smith, a convention delegate, who was sporting an "Obama Y'all" button. "Now, he's not there just for people who look like me — he's for all Americans, from all walks of life, all shapes, colors and sizes," she said.

In two days, Obama will again accept his party's nomination.

"It does feel different for me," said Smith. "This time my biggest concern is making sure we get voters out."

Her comments echoed an overarching theme we heard from others at the event: Obama is also president for Americans they felt were not reflected at last week's largely white Republican National Convention, including advocates for women's reproductive rights, Latinos fighting for immigration reform and the DREAM Act, and gay rights activists.

"We've lived the dream, now we have to do the work," said Marcus Wheeler, 36, a NASA engineer and Florida convention delegate. "I would have the same expectation for any president that I have for him."

"People of any color want to go to work, want good jobs," he said. "We need to keep the ball rolling."

This how Oregon state Rep. Lew Frederick, 60, of Portland, characterized conversations among African-Americans at this convention: "Race, culture, economic status and gender are issues now fueling a lot of the discussion here."

That doesn't mean that Obama's race isn't still in play in this campaign, and some expressed frustration at what they see as GOP efforts to portray the president as somehow not American.

"What's the slogan they're using — 'Take Our Country Back'?" said Dianne Hart, 57, of Tampa, Fla. "From what? A black man?"

"I know racism; I've lived through it," said Hart, president of the Hillsborough, Fla., County Democratic black caucus. "It is alive and well."

Voter ID efforts and the characterization of Obama's tweaking of welfare work programs to accommodate requests from governors — both Democrats and Republicans — are manifest of a tone, an atmosphere that state Rep. Darryl Owens, 74, of Louisville, Ky., says has driven race relations backward since Obama's election.

"Many people thought the country was changing, and changing too fast," he said of Obama's election four years ago. "We're seeing a lot of white middle-class people voting against their own self-interest because they feel the nation has changed too much — an African-American in the White House, gay marriage."

But for Greenville, S.C., County Councilwoman Xanthene Norris, 83, this year is still filled with hope.

"We have struggled through the years," said Norris. "We are supporting President Obama not because he's a black president, but because he's a great president."

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