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

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.


Sugar Beet Labor Battles Spill Out Onto The National Stage

Oct 19, 2012

It's not just nutritionists who have a problem with sugar these days, so does organized labor. The AFL-CIO is calling for a boycott of one the country's biggest sugar producers, the American Crystal Sugar Company, based in Moorhead, Minn. American Crystal locked out 1,300 union workers more than a year ago, when those workers rejected the company's offer for a new contract. It has been operating with replacement workers ever since.

The dispute, according to excellent reporting from our colleagues at Minnesota Public Radio, revolves around health coverage and the role of seniority in filling open positions in the company.

There's an odd aspect to this labor dispute. The sugar business, and the sugar beet industry in particular, is as close to a planned economy as you'll find in American agriculture. It's paradoxical to see such a spectacular blowup in an industry that depends on carefully negotiated deals to ensure its own survival.

At the national level, the domestic sugar industry has persuaded the government to put tight restrictions on cheap imports, reserving most of the U.S. sugar market for U.S. producers. Those producers, in turn, tacitly agree not to play hardball with each other. They don't go out and invest in expanding production, because that would drive down sugar prices.

At the local level, meanwhile, about half of U.S. sugar comes from sugar beets, and that side of the industry is dominated by farmer cooperatives. American Crystal, for instance, is owned by sugar beet farmers in the Red River valley of Minnesota and N. Dakota. Every year, the cooperatives decide how many acres each farmer should plant with sugar beets, so as to produce just the right amount: Not too much and not too little.

It's a tidy system, aimed at job security. It makes sure that sugar producers don't have to worry too much about wild swings in the market. Nobody (usually) makes profits that are too outrageous; if they did, new companies might jump into this business and upset the apple cart. When the U.S. government sees a shortage of sugar developing, it lets in more sugar imports to satisfy our cravings and rebuild domestic stocks of sweetness.

I should note, though, that there has been some turmoil in the domestic sugar market lately, because in 2008 a new and unpredictable player arrived on the scene. Mexican sugar producers now can export freely to the U.S. For this planned economy to work, U.S. officials have to know how much sugar to expect from Mexico before they decide how much additional imported sugar, beyond Mexico's, that they should permit to enter the United States. In recent years, Mexican imports were less than expected, prices spiked, and sugar beet producers made out very well.

So what's not to like? Well, big domestic buyers of sugar, such as candy makers, don't like it at all. They'd prefer free markets, letting them import cheap sugar from Brazil.

And now, it seems that there are cracks within the sugar industry, too, as the farmer-owners and workers at American Crystal Sugar fight over how to distribute this system's benefits. In the past, both sides have lobbied in lockstep to defend price supports for sugar. But John Riskey, president of the local union that represents the workers, told Minnesota Public Radio that the union now will switch sides and lobby Congress to end the system that supports sugar prices.

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