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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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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!":

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Tempest in Tampa: Isaac Tests Mitt Romney's Mettle

Aug 27, 2012
Originally published on August 27, 2012 9:12 am

Political conventions are famed for focusing the nation's attention on one name, but at this year's Republican National Convention here in Tampa, that name is not the nominee's.

The party hopes that by Tuesday, Isaac the soon-to-be-hurricane will have moved far enough away to let Mitt Romney the soon-to-be presidential nominee resume center stage. Beyond that, GOP planners hope the drama of the storm will lure bigger audiences for the convention broadcasts.

Think of this as a form of political perception jujitsu. In the campaign ads and conservative blogs, Romney might ride the storm as a demonstration of his own managerial mastery. The man who saved the Olympics could be cast as the candidate who defied the furies of Nature.

It's a great notion, but bringing it off may prove daunting. The first problem is that Isaac's rain and wind have delayed the proceedings and left literally thousands of journalists with nothing to do. If idle hands are the devil's workshop, a convention city with no convention is a mischief factory for the media.

This is terra incognita for conventioneers and journalists alike. Four years ago in St. Paul, the GOP cut way back on the opening night program in deference to Hurricane Gustav, which was threatening New Orleans. But Gustav was physically a thousand miles away, while Isaac is already drenching Tampa and threatening greater damage to the Gulf Coast nearby.

At a minimum, a hurricane is a huge distraction. It has been the prime topic in town for days, sharing the pre-convention limelight with Ron Paul's big Sunday rally and a smattering of rowdiness from protesters on the left. Romney has been in the news, but not in any dramatic way.

The danger is that Isaac's distraction may continue through Monday and Tuesday and cause more serious disgruntlement, not just among reporters (who are always somewhat disgruntled) but among delegates as well.

Not a few of the state contingents here are still rife with misgivings about Romney. Even after he chose a running mate reliably to his right (Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin), the nominee himself remains "the man from Massachusetts." That seemingly innocuous phrase has become synonymous with liberal Democrats in the last half-century. It carries a subliminal message, even when applied to a Republican.

Message matters in convention politics, now more than ever. There was a time when these quadrennial gatherings made decisions, choosing candidates and policy positions. Now, all the decisions are made well before the first gavel is heard.

The last surviving purpose of the convention is to reach a vast audience and make an impression. The candidate and the party simply cannot afford to squander this unique opportunity — especially given the complex message agenda they come to Tampa to convey.

This week, Romney needs to take charge of the party as a unifying and dynamic leader — fully prepared for the biggest arena in the world. But he also needs to show the voters a more winning personality than he has to date. So he must present himself as larger than life even as he projects warmth and empathy on a personal scale.

This was never going to be easy for Romney. Not many can play both mover-and-shaker and friend-and-neighbor at once. This candidate has often had difficulty handling one or the other.

Perhaps the special circumstances of this week will enable and ennoble him. If so, Republicans may yet have reason to be grateful to Isaac.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.