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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!":


On Television's Biggest Night, It's Antiheroes And Maggie Smith

Sep 23, 2012
Originally published on September 23, 2012 12:43 pm

Just as you're trying to figure out what to watch during the new television season, they come at you with the Emmy Awards, ready to bestow the big prizes from the last television season. There are some big questions about this year's slate: What happens to Downton Abbey, the swooning British import whose distaste for antiheroes and gore sets it apart from its Outstanding Drama Series rivals? How big a splash will the thriller Homeland make in its first year of eligibility? Can anything shake loose the hold that Modern Family seems to have on Emmy voters' hearts and minds?

It's a big year for women in comedy, too, especially on HBO. Veep and Girls both have multiple nominations, including Outstanding Comedy Series and nods for the lead actresses, Lena Dunham and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. There are a beefed-up seven nominees in the Lead Actress in a Comedy Series race — those two, plus Zooey Deschanel, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Edie Falco, and last year's winner, Melissa McCarthy.

On Sunday's Weekend Edition, I talk to Linda Wertheimer about the state of high-end television as it heads for its biggest night. We chat about the shrinking broadcast drama, the role of blood and guts, and the question of whether there's anything left that's comfortable for families to watch together.

Then Sunday night, starting at 7:30 p.m. ET, I'll be live-blogging the ceremony right back here with my Pop Culture Happy Hour co-conspirator Stephen Thompson, and I encourage you to come and watch with us. The show will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel and would seem to stand a more than reasonable chance of honoring Maggie Smith (Downton's Dowager Countess), so there's a lot to look forward to.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit



It's television big night tonight. The Emmy Awards will be given out in Los Angeles. And among the nominees are perennials like "30 Rock" and "The Daily Show." But there are some new players too, like PBS's "Downton Abbey" led by the great Dame Maggie Smith.


MAGGIE SMITH: (as Countess of Grantham) Would someone please tell me what is going on? Or have we all stepped through the looking glass?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (as character) Your grandmother has as much right to know as anybody else.

SMITH: (as Countess of Grantham) Why don't I find that reassuring?

WERTHEIMER: We're joined by NPR's Linda Holmes. She runs the pop culture blog, Monkey See. Linda, welcome.

LINDA HOLMES, BYLINE: Thank you so much.

WERTHEIMER: Now, what is the big story with the Emmys tonight? What are the big shows?

HOLMES: I think one of the big stories n is that the Outstanding Drama Series category, which has been tilting more and more toward cable, is entirely cable and PBS's this year. PBS had "Downton Abbey," there are then some cable shows. Nothing from commercial broadcast television at all drama among the drama series nominees, which is a blow for them.

WERTHEIMER: So does this mean that TV is finished, over, broadcast TV gone?

HOLMES: I don't think so. Broadcast TV is still pretty strong in comedy. And broadcast TV is still strong in reality. But they have definitely seen some big losses in drama, whereas they used to be dominated by network shows, the big NBC shows - the "E.R" and "Hill Street Blues" and things like that - that whole era. But "The Good Wife," which would have been the broadcast show maybe most likely to get in this year, did not get in this year.

WERTHEIMER: What does this big shift mean for content, do you think? Does it mean that the broadcast networks will have to work harder and catch up?

HOLMES: I think what they're trying to do right now is find a different space for themselves, 'cause a lot of the cable prestige television has a certain niche that it fits into. You get a lot of shows that are centered around sort of middle-aged male antiheroes. And I think one of the things that the broadcast networks are trying to do, they've got shows like "The Good Wife" and "Parenthood," that's where some of their more well-respected stuff is.

So I think they are trying to find another place where maybe there's a little more focus on shows that are about women. There's a little more focus on shows that have perhaps a family focus, something like that.

WERTHEIMER: Relationships. Oh, what do you think about commercial breaks? I mean, speaking personally and for myself, I like watching shows that are not sliced into itty-bitty little pieces.

HOLMES: That's always going to be a big challenge for broadcast network. As long as they're paying for their content with commercial breaks, they're competing with people who aren't. Now, obviously some of the basic cable networks also show commercials; AMC which has "Mad Men" and "Breaking Bad." But certainly the networks, like HBO and Showtime, you know, have the benefit of having no commercial breaks.

And I think it definitely allows you to do different things structurally with episodes. And TV writers will tell you it's different to write an episode when you're not having to write to act breaks that lead into commercials.

WERTHEIMER: Speaking of slicing and dicing, it's interesting to consider the kinds of cable shows that do get a lot of attention; as you said, antiheroes, but that's kind of a subtle way of putting it. I mean there's blood all over the floor in these programs.

HOLMES: There really is, and some of them are fairly well known for it; "Game Of Thrones" and "Breaking Bad" and shows like that, "Boardwalk Empire." But even on a show like "Mad Men," even Mad Men" has a history of running over a foot with a lawnmower. You know, it is a very bloody atmosphere when you're trying to find the really high-end shows. If your taste is not for gore, you're a little challenged in kind of navigating that landscape, if it doesn't happen to be your taste.

WERTHEIMER: Are you telling me that the notion that the family would gather around the television sets, and watch something together, that is also gone? I mean, what do you watch with kids?

HOLMES: You know, it is a little challenging. I think as television has gotten a little more hospitable to adult shows, good shows for adults, it's gotten a little tougher to find things that are good for families. In fact, I think that's one of the things that has driven the popularity of things like "American Idol" and "The Voice," is even though show like that may be very silly, people feel like that's something you can watch with your kids, that's something your family can all watch.

So I think family viewing in some ways has run more towards variety shows and things like that, where people feel a little bit better about sharing the content with kids.

WERTHEIMER: Linda Holmes will be live blogging the Emmys tonight at Thank you.

HOLMES: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.