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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!":


A Song-And-Dance Show About Dark Realities

Aug 16, 2012
Originally published on August 17, 2012 12:53 pm

With Love Songs, his 2007 musical, French writer-director Christophe Honore updated such 1960s bonbons as The Umbrellas of Cherbourg for our age of expanded erotic frankness and possibility. Beloved, Honore's second musical, goes even farther, layering death, AIDS and Sept. 11 among the merry melodies.

This stylish film is enormous fun, whirling and warbling across four decades of amour. But it stumbles a few times in its last half-hour and ultimately seems a little too frisky for the graver issues it addresses.

Like Love Songs, Beloved employs conversational chansons written by Alex Beaupain. Smartly, however, Honore widens the musical universe by including songs — or bits of them — by others. This does more than enlarge the film's musical range. It also suits the internationalist scenario, which includes chapters set in Prague, London and Montreal.

Honore announces his cosmopolitan intentions with a kicky opening sequence, celebrating chic '60s women's footwear to the tune of "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'," sung in French. The montage ends with a Parisian shoe-shop clerk's impulsive appropriation of a pair of red heels.

The thief is Madeleine (Ludivine Sagnier), and her crime will lead to bigger ones. Since she's wearing flashy shoes, Madeleine is mistaken for a hooker, a role she decides to adopt. Her new trade leads to an assignation with a Czech doctor, Jaromil Passer. (His name is a tribute to Czech filmmakers Jaromil Jires and Ivan Passer, and the older version of the character will later be played, slyly, by Czech-American director Milos Forman.)

Madeleine and the younger Jaromil (Rasha Bukvic) marry, move to Prague and have a daughter, Vera. After a few years, Madeleine discovers that her husband is cheating on her (oh, and, by the way, that Russian tanks are chugging into Prague). So Madeleine takes Vera back to Paris and acquires a second husband (Michel Delpech).

Madeleine remains in love with love — and Jaromil — as she ages into a grande dame played by Catherine Deneuve. The Iron Curtain weakens, so Jaromil can return, part-time, to Madeleine's life. Vera grows up to be just as romantically inclined as her mother. But as an adult (played by Chiara Mastroianni, Deneuve's real-life daughter) she's unable to succumb to intimacy — until she meets what is unquestionably the wrong guy.

On a trip to London with her petulant co-worker and sometime lover (Louis Garrel), Vera falls for an American drummer, Henderson (Paul Schneider). They first encounter each other while his band is playing a stark, ethereal version of — what else? — Bo Diddley's "Who Do You Love?" The expat musician finds Vera intriguing, but he's gay.

Vera and Henderson's relationship, like Madeleine and Jaromil's, lingers for years. But Vera will take a lot less pleasure from her not-quite partner than her mom does from hers. Even the two affairs' conclusions, although parallel, are very different in tone.

Honore has been hailed as the heir to the French new wave, and while his work is not as difficult as theirs, it does emulate Godard and Rivette in verve and playfulness. Like those predecessors, Honore smudges the lines between art and life, narrative and theme.

Why, for example, does Beloved take trips to London? Probably because the story was greatly inspired by British music; the soundtrack includes a version of a Kinks song, lyrics borrowed from the Smiths, and tunes by U.K. cult bands the Gist and Everything But the Girl.

Yet Beloved is ultimately very French — and very Honore, with his insistence on passion's unruliness and physicality. In his musicals, songs are tidy and sweet, but love is messy and often bitter.

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