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.

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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!":


Stocks Get Bounce From Europe; Focus Turns To Jobs

Sep 6, 2012
Originally published on September 6, 2012 6:32 pm

As the political conventions wrap up, talking points concerning the economy may seem locked into place: Growth is continuing, but at a slow pace.

Don't be fooled.

There's still plenty of time for big surprises, and Thursday provided a stunning example. Stock prices shot to highs not seen in years.

"September and October tend to be very volatile months," says Stanley J.G. Crouch, chief investment officer of Aegis Capital Corp., a money management firm.

After the European Central Bank announced an aggressive plan to deal with the eurozone debt crisis, U.S. stocks started climbing, and climbing some more. The Dow Jones industrial average ended the day up 245 points at 13,292, the highest close since before the Great Recession began in late 2007.

The euphoria on Wall Street grew out of events in Germany, where the ECB said it would continue to hold down interest rates and launch a program to buy European government bonds. Stocks in European and U.S. markets took off.

The reaction reflected relief. Investors now are more hopeful that European officials can hammer out a permanent solution to the complicated debt troubles that have been weighing down their governments.

Crouch said events in Europe are important to U.S. investors because any banking crisis over there could roil financial markets here.

"Ever since we went to a global economy, there really is no separation in terms of national borders," he said. "The world financial markets are inextricably linked."

But investors should hold on to their hats; this month's ride could turn bumpy at any moment. In fact, Friday morning could bring a new jolt when the U.S. Labor Department releases its monthly unemployment report at 8:30.

Most economists have been predicting that employers added just 125,000 jobs in August and that the unemployment rate held at about July's 8.3 percent level.

But those forecasts could turn out to be wrong. Thursday actually brought some signs there could be a surprise on the upside. Payroll processor ADP said private employers added 201,000 jobs in August, and outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas said layoffs hit a 20-month low last month. Those two new indicators could signal a stronger-than-expected jobs report on Friday.

Here's where things really get weird. If the jobs report were to come in really strong, say, 250,000 jobs, it might discourage policymakers at the Federal Reserve from doing more to stimulate growth. Many stock investors would be disappointed if Fed officials were to take stimulus off the table. That disappointment could actually hurt the stock market.

In any case, the Fed's intentions will be revealed when policymakers hold a meeting Tuesday and Wednesday to vote on what to do next. And back in Europe, a German court is expected to issue a key ruling on the constitutionality of debt-bailout actions.

With such big uncertainties hanging above, some Wall Street analysts say they would not be surprised if the stock market would see a downward "correction" of as much as 10 percent in coming weeks.

Those very gloomy predictions may be colored by September's bad reputation. Analysts refer to the "September effect," noting that over the past four decades, September has come in as the worst month for stock performance.

It was especially bad in the presidential election cycle of 2008. The Dow took some terrifying drops that September, ending the month down 6 percent. That October was brutal too as the global financial crisis deepened.

But Nariman Behravesh, chief economist for IHS Global Insight, a forecasting firm, said that September isn't always a tough month. In fact, in September 2010, the stock market shot up.

Assuming Europe can indeed avoid an implosion, this autumn may actually turn out to be a balmy period, at least in terms of the economy. "Profits are still decent and a lot of companies are making good money," Behravesh said. "The United States is still a safe haven."

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