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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

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!":


Texas Senate Candidate Ted Cruz A Rising GOP Star

Aug 28, 2012
Originally published on August 28, 2012 8:52 pm



From NPR News, This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.


And I'm Melissa Block.

As the Republican convention kicks off in Tampa, the party will highlight some of the politicians who could be its future stars. We're going to hear about two of them now who both speak tonight. In a moment, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, tonight's keynote speaker. But first, the Republican Senate candidate Ted Cruz. If he wins in November he'll be the first Hispanic senator from Texas.

From member station KUT in Austin, Ben Philpott reports on Cruz's journey to the convention floor.

BEN PHILPOTT, BYLINE: Rafael Edward Cruz, known as Ted, was actually born in Canada. His father was working in the oil industry in Calgary at the time. Cruz's father was born in Cuba and fought for Fidel Castro during the Revolution. He then turned against Castro and fled to the U.S. before Castro took power. Ted Cruz talks a lot about his father in speeches and on the campaign trail.

RAFAEL EDWARD CRUZ: He was 18 years old and didn't speak a word of English. He had no possessions but he had $100 sowed into his underwear. And he went and got a job as a dishwasher making 50 cents an hour. He worked seven days a week. He paid his way through school. He got a job and then he started a small business in the oil and gas industry.

PHILPOTT: Ted Cruz grew up in Houston. He received his undergraduate degree from Princeton before graduating from Harvard Law School. Cruz dove into politics while working on the 2000 George W. Bush presidential campaign. He began to make a name for himself in Texas as the state's solicitor general, from 2003 to 2008. His time there included arguing for Texas in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Then, in 2011, Cruz launched a bid to win the Republican nomination to replace retiring Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. He told NPR people thought he didn't have a chance.

CRUZ: You know, when we started this campaign a year and a half ago, there wasn't anybody in the state that thought I had a prayer. I was at two percent in the polls. And the margin of error was three percent.

PHILPOTT: But his campaign caught fire in the spring as he railed against President Obama and the Republican establishment that, he said, was just as complicit in raising the debt and limiting freedoms.

CRUZ: All over this country, we are seeing a great awakening where millions of Texans, millions of Americans are standing up and saying we are fed up with the same tired establishment incumbents of both parties and we're looking for new leaders who will stand for principle.

PHILPOTT: Cruz's campaign caught the attention of national conservative activists and Tea Party favorites like South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint and former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. That support helped propel Cruz to a July 31st runoff victory in the GOP Senate primary. Almost immediately, the national party tapped Cruz for a speaking spot at the convention in Tampa.

His dynamic speaking style is expected to fire up the GOP base tonight. But on Sunday, the rising star may have made his first misstep. When speaking at a Faith and Freedom Coalition rally, he told the crowd they have so many things to be thankful for.

CRUZ: So many blessings, including even we can be thankful for Hurricane Isaac.


CRUZ: If nothing else, it kept Joe Biden away.


PHILPOTT: It was a joke about Vice President Biden's canceled trip to Florida, but it's given Democrats campaign fodder as the storm heads in the direction of New Orleans.

For NPR News, I'm Ben Philpott in Austin. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.