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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!":


TIFF '12: 'Mr. Pip' And Literary Escape

Sep 11, 2012

[Monkey See will be at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) through the middle of this week. We'll be bringing you our takes on films both large and small, from people both well-known and not.]

If you go into Mr. Pip not knowing much about what to expect, you may find that it feels like two separate movies. In the first, Thomas Watts (Hugh Laurie) becomes the teacher of a tiny school in Bougainville, a province of Papua New Guinea that's in the midst of a rebellion and has, as a result, been blockaded and largely cut off from the rest of the world as fighting continues. Very short on resources and not actually a teacher — and the subject of much discussion as his circumstances have left him as the only white person in the village — Mr. Watts resolves to introduce his class to the novel Great Expectations. A student named Matilda (Xzannjah) becomes particularly fascinated with it, and with the character of Pip, to the point where she begins to imagine herself meeting and talking to him.

These are gorgeous sequences, by the way, in which Matilda's vision of Dickensian England takes some of its cues from the description in the book and draws some from what she knows herself, so her Pip wears the styles of the time in vibrant, unexpected colors. It's a fine, fine piece of costuming work.

For a while, this is the theme: Matilda's literary escape from her very difficult life, assisted by a teacher who encourages her to read, despite the fact that her mother has little use for novels. It threatens to turn into a by-the-numbers inspirational-teacher film here and there, but pulls back just enough, as Matilda's mother insists that the students learn more than just Dickens — which, if you think about it, is pretty sensible of her.

The second half of the film is much, much darker and more brutal, and involves the ways the realities of war are inevitably visited upon Matilda and her village. Her love of Dickens continues to be a comfort to her, but the book also plays a central tragic role in a military leader's conclusion that the village is harboring rebels. (It's a bit convoluted how that happens precisely, but by then, it doesn't matter all that much.)

Based on Lloyd Jones' 2006 novel Mister Pip, the film is unsparing in its treatment of war as a devastating circumstance for those caught in it. Laurie's performance is strong and understated, and Xzannjah plays Matilda with just the right curiosity and spark.

Having said that, I'm never sure what to say about a film that's as hard to watch as this one is in places. I fear that people who don't know much about it going in will believe it to be an inspirational-teacher movie, and while it is that, it's also a devastating, sometimes agonizing story about war. That's not to say don't go see it; it's to say only this: know what you're in for, because what you're in for is difficult.

Matilda ultimately doesn't treasure her ability to escape into Great Expectations because she longs for its beauty and drama, but because Pip's resilience and, as Mr. Watts explains it, his talent for reinvention gives her some measure of hope. That hope is evident in the story, but so is a great deal of pain.

Mr. Pip currently has no U.S. release date.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit