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.


On The Trail In Iowa, The 'Death Tax' Gets New Life

Oct 21, 2012

The estate tax — or, as critics like to call it, the "death tax" — is getting some buzz in political stump speeches in Iowa. Several Republican candidates — from presidential nominee Mitt Romney on down the ticket — have been attacking the estate tax as harmful to family farmers who want to pass on land to their children.

Campaigning on a farm in rural Van Meter, Iowa, last week, Romney said, "My own view is we ought to kill the death tax. You paid for that farm once. You shouldn't have to pay for it again."

"Death taxes" also got a mention in a congressional campaign ad airing in Iowa, paid for by the Congressional Leadership Fund superPAC. It targets Democratic Rep. Leonard Boswell, who — because of redistricting — is facing another incumbent, Republican Rep. Tom Latham, in Iowa's 3rd Congressional District. The ad accuses Boswell of voting for "higher death taxes" three times.

Incumbent Republican Rep. Steve King raised the issue in an op-ed this week in The Washington Times, where he called for eliminating the tax. King is in a tough fight to represent Iowa's newly redrawn 4th Congressional District, where he's running against Democrat Christie Vilsack. She's the wife of U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, a former Iowa governor.

King writes: "The death tax hits the farm economy especially hard, as so much of farmers' assets are tied up in their land. With farm values increasing in Iowa and throughout the Midwest while crops struggle under record drought conditions, now is the worst time for farmers to see a death-tax increase looming over the horizon."

Agriculture groups have traditionally lined up behind candidates who say the estate tax is a major concern. The National Cattlemen's Beef Association supports a full repeal.

That's also the position of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, says senior researcher and policy analyst Tim Johnson.

"Estate tax planning for anybody is very costly, and it takes away from money that can be invested back in the farm," Johnson tells Iowa Public Radio. "If a farmer has an issue with trying to pay an estate tax, they may have to start selling land," although he acknowledges that is rare.

So how often do Iowa farms get hit with the estate tax? Not much, according to experts on agricultural law and economics. Neil Harl, an emeritus economics professor at Iowa State University, told the Des Moines Register that the impact is "so small as to not be significant."

Harl says most farmers pass on their land before they die, avoiding estate taxes. Nationwide, he says, fewer than 7,000 estates paid the tax in 2010. Fewer than 1,000 of those were farms. Iowa alone, by comparison, has more than 92,000 farms.

Neil Hamilton, director of the Agricultural Law Center at Drake University in Des Moines, says talk of the "death tax" is overblown.

"It's something that you hear in farm country, particularly during election season," he says. "But I think the reality is that there are very, very few farm families that are negatively impacted by the estate tax, at least in terms of having to pay it."

One of the reasons, he says, is the estate tax exemption of more than $5 million per person in the current tax code. So even if a farm couple die suddenly, without estate planning, they could pass on a $10 million estate to their children tax-free. The caveat, though, is that unless the lame-duck Congress takes action after the election, that exemption will drop to $1 million per person next year.

That's the biggest concern in the short term for the Iowa Farm Bureau's Johnson. He points out that with land valued at $5,000 an acre or more in many areas, it's easier than ever to hit that limit.

"So you're going to see a lot more farmers fall [outside of] that exemption if nothing is done right now," Johnson says.

But Hamilton says that as dry as tax law may be, there's an important distinction to be made between repealing the estate tax and maintaining the current exemption level.

"That's really a different issue," he says. "Repealing the estate tax has a much greater benefit to billionaires than it might to any farm family in Iowa."

Sarah McCammon reports for Iowa Public Radio.

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