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 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.


Unemployment Numbers Are Kept Under Guard

Oct 6, 2012
Originally published on October 6, 2012 6:44 pm



And undoubtedly, the president and Governor Romney were up early Friday morning reading and eagerly awaiting the unemployment numbers. Almost immediately after they were announced, theories began to circulate that maybe, just maybe, the Bureau of Labor Statistics was cooking the books to help the president's re-election.

Back in August, Caitlin Kenney of NPR's Planet Money team went to investigate just why those numbers are such a closely held secret.

CAITLIN KENNEY, BYLINE: When these numbers come out, they move financial markets. Mike Shea works on Wall Street at Direct Access Partners. His company trades for big pension funds, hedge funds and mutual funds. He says on the morning of a release, everyone in his office is staring at their computer screens, waiting for the numbers to appear.

MIKE SHEA: I will be watching as closely as I can. I will be - as a client of mine says, we will be aggressively watching.

KENNEY: Shea says after the numbers appear, billions of dollars are traded in just the first 30 minutes. There's so much at stake. Just imagine if you knew what the numbers were going to be before the official release, before anyone else.

SHEA: Look, if the market's going to go down 2 percent in 10 seconds, and you sell before everybody else does, then you've just made a lot of money.

KENNEY: How much money could you make?

SHEA: I guess it would depend on how much money that you could put to work. If you had millions or billions, I suppose you could make millions or billions.

KENNEY: The Bureau of Labor Statistics knows this, so they do everything possible to keep these numbers locked up until the official release. Their security precautions are clear from the moment you set foot inside their office. I came here to talk to a BLS economist named Megan Barker, but when I asked to see her office...

MEGAN BARKER: I can't let someone who doesn't have the right clearance in.

KENNEY: What if I didn't have the microphone, could I go in?



KENNEY: And it's not just me who can't go in. Karen Kosanovich, her co-worker, another economist, it's a no-go for her too.

KAREN KOSANOVICH: I'm not allowed in Megan's office suite at this moment.

BARKER: Even with 1,500 people in here, not everyone has access to our suite. And even people within our suite, don't have access to certain parts of our suite. So that's just the first level of defense.

KENNEY: Did you catch that? The first level of defense. The ladies explained to me that Megan's office suite is under lockdown. Unless you have related work inside, there's no getting in. It's not just Megan's office. The maintenance crew doesn't collect trash in the days leading up to a release. The IT department is also kept away. Computer problems? Tough luck. So what exactly is going on in there that's so top secret?

Inside, economists are sifting through data from thousands of employers and people around the country. Each month, the BLS surveys about 140,000 businesses and government agencies. But don't even think about asking these economists who's on the list. Is the BLS in it? I mean, are you part of the data?

BARKER: Can I say that?

KOSANOVICH: Who is and who isn't in the survey is not something we can comment on.

KENNEY: Megan Barker's office puts out the numbers that tell us how many jobs the U.S. economy added or lost in the previous months. This is a number that Wall Street is watching really closely. She and a handful of other people know it by Tuesday, but they're under strict rules not to tell anyone.

BARKER: We keep it very secret. I know my parents ask me every Tuesday, so what do you think? I'm like, well, what do you think? So, I mean, I even have to be secretive with my parents.

KENNEY: Megan and her colleagues have to keep this secret until 8:30 a.m. on the day of the release. Journalists who stand by at the Labor Department can get the numbers a half hour early, but they can't talk about them until precisely 8:30 a.m., even if it means sitting there for several long seconds of dead air.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Well, CNBC's Hampton Pearson joins us now from the Labor Department with the numbers. Mr. Hampton.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: Four, three, two, one.

HAMPTON PEARSON: Up 200,000. December non-foreign payrolls increased by 200,000 jobs.

KENNEY: That was CBNC's Hampton Pearson covering December's release, and that was a Labor Department employee you heard in the background. He was counting down the seconds until Hampton Pearson was allowed to speak. Caitlin Kenney, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.