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.


Tyler Perry Takes A Shot At Thriller Territory

Oct 18, 2012
Originally published on October 19, 2012 12:17 pm

A vigilante with the heart of a social worker, the protagonist of Alex Cross wants to nurture and uplift — but also to make the sort of moves that delight a multiplex crowd.

He is, in short, Tyler Perry's alter ego.

Created by thriller writer James Patterson, Cross has been played by Morgan Freeman in two previous movies, Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider. But as this title suggests, Alex Cross starts from zero. Perry's version of the character is near the beginning of his career, yet to experience life-defining events. He also lives in Detroit, not D.C., although a new career at the FBI's national headquarters beckons as the story begins.

A psychologist as well as a detective, Cross is introduced with two scenes. In the first, he tries to convince an innocent young woman wearing a prison jumpsuit that she shouldn't take the rap for someone else. In the second, he demonstrates his powers of observation — and his warm home life — by using meager clues to deduce what his wife (Carmen Ejogo) has been doing.

Both episodes will matter later, but the movie's main event is Cross' pursuit of an unnamed assassin (Matthew Fox) instantly diagnosed by the detective as "a stimulus-seeking sociopathic narcissist." The killer, who enters an illicit boxing match as "The Butcher of Sligo," begins by sadistically torturing and killing a Taiwanese sexpot.

Exactly why is not clear, and won't be even after the anticlimactic wrap-up in which the plot's prime conspirator chattily explains it all. But the high female death toll in this movie suggests that the fairly shallow Seven Psychopaths was actually on to something when it lampooned Hollywood action flicks for introducing female characters just to slaughter them.

The Butcher, who has spy tech worthy of 007, seems to be after Giles Mercier (Jean Reno), a French plutocrat with an inexplicable interest in rebuilding Detroit. Cross and his partner, Tommy (Edward Burns), first tangle with the killer in Mercier's high-tech tower, driving him off.

Out of pique — and because he's a stimulus-seeking sociopathic narcissist — The Butcher retaliates against Alex's and Tommy's loved ones. Now it's personal, and the two cops throw away the rule book to pursue their quarry through Detroit's grandly decaying cityscape. The final battle is staged in the rotting Michigan Theater, a former movie palace now used as a parking garage.

It's a strange sort of film that casts Gallic tough guy Jean Reno as a clean-fingernailed mogul while employing cross-dressing comic Tyler Perry as a guy capable of hand-to-hand combat with someone called The Butcher of Sligo. To play the lean assassin, Fox evidently trained (and dieted) for months. Perry doesn't appear to have made comparable effort. The two men's combat would look hopelessly mismatched, except that director Rob Cohen (The Fast and the Furious) shot and edited it so incoherently; the murky scene's camera movements are more violent than the blows.

Patterson's novels are known for sadistic violence, but Alex Cross managed to get a PG-13 rating by keeping the most disturbing moments off-camera. Rather than watching the assassin sever a victim's fingers, the audience only gets to see a bowl full of the digits and hear Alex and Tommy banter over which of them will fish out a bloody thumb. It's a moment that, like much of this movie, is as goofy as it is gruesome.

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