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!":


U.S. Ambassador To Libya, Three Other Americans Killed In Benghazi Attack

Sep 12, 2012
Originally published on September 12, 2012 7:13 pm

Update at 7:02 p.m. ET. The U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other staff members were killed in an attack against the American consulate in Benghazi, last night. The attack happened over an American-produced film that criticized the prophet Muhammad.

Here's the latest on the story:

-- Quoting U.S. officials, the AP reports that the Pentagon is moving two warships toward the Libyan coast. CNN is also reporting the move.

-- The remains of all four Americans killed in Libya have been recovered.

-- American officials are "reluctant to say, at this stage, that this [attack] was planned."

-- The State Department says this was "clearly a complex attack." But it is still not clear what was going on outside the diplomatic compound at the time of the attack.

-- President Obama condemned the attack. "There is absolutely no justification for this senseless violence. None," he said.

-- Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney weighed in, criticizing a statement issued by the State Department calling for calm in both Libya and Egypt and assuring Muslims that the American government condemned the film.

-- The identity of the filmmaker is still largely a mystery.

Our Original Post Continues:

The U.S. ambassador to Libya and three of his staff members were killed in an attack on the American consulate in the country's eastern city of Benghazi, the White House confirmed Wednesday.

The deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens and the other embassy employees came after an angry mob surrounded the Benghazi consulate Tuesday night to protest a film ridiculing Islam's Prophet Muhammad that had been promoted by an extreme anti-Muslim Egyptian Christian campaigner in the United States.

The mob was armed with guns and rocket-propelled grenades, according to The Associated Press, but it was not immediately clear how the ambassador or the others were killed.

President Obama on Wednesday reiterated the U.S. condemnation for the attacks "in the strongest terms" and vowed to "work with the Libyan government to bring the killers to justice."

"There is absolutely no justification for this senseless violence. None," he said.

The president said that the attack "will not break the bonds between the United States and Libya."

The State Department also named Sean Smith, a foreign service information management officer and 21-year diplomatic veteran, as among the dead. Release of the others' names was awaiting notification of their next of kin, the Department said.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday morning that U.S. and Libyan security personnel "battled the attackers together" during the assault.

"This is an attack that should shock the conscience of people of all faiths around the world," she said.

"There is no justification ... violence is no way to honor faith," Clinton said.

The State Department website says that Stevens is the sixth U.S. ambassador to be killed by terrorists since 1968 and the first since 1979.

Stevens and Smith were among a group of embassy employees who had gone to the Benghazi consulate earlier to help evacuate staff there as the building came under attack by the armed mob, the AP reports.

A Foreign Service Veteran

Stevens, 52, was a career diplomat who spoke Arabic and French and was the first U.S. envoy to the Libyan resistance, which overthrew Moammar Gadhafi in 2011. He was named ambassador earlier this year.

NPR's Michele Kelemen says Stevens was well known to journalists covering the region.

"He served in a lot of places in the Middle East," she says.

"This was his second tour in Libya. He played a key role in the uprising there. He was the U.S. envoy to the opposition in Benghazi when the opposition was fighting Col. Moammar Gadhafi," Kelemen says.

NPR's Greg Myre, who was formerly based in Jerusalem, has this personal remembrance of Stevens.

Stepped Up Security

In Egypt, hundreds of people protesting the film breached the walls of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo on Tuesday. The protesters tore down an American flag, replacing it with a black Islamic banner.

In a statement on Tuesday, the president said that he was directing "all necessary resources to support the security of our personnel in Libya, and to increase security at our diplomatic posts around the globe."

NPR's Tom Bowman reports that a contingent of U.S. Marines from the Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team, or FAST, was being dispatched to Benghazi.


In his statement, President Obama said Stevens and the others killed "exemplified America's commitment to freedom, justice, and partnership with nations and people around the globe, and stand in stark contrast to those who callously took their lives."

In the first hours after the embassy attack and before it was learned that Ambassador Stevens had been killed, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney weighed in, criticizing a statement issued by the State Department calling for calm in both Libya and Egypt and assuring Muslims that the American government condemned the film.

Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt responded that he was "shocked" in an email to the AP and that "at a time when the United States of America is confronting the tragic death of our diplomatic officers in Libya, Gov. Romney would choose to launch a political attack."

On Wednesday, Romney stood by his remarks, calling the State Department's early statement "inappropriate and disgraceful."

"It's terrible ... for America to stand in apology for our values," he said.

Romney said that the State Department issued the statement as "our grounds [were] being attacked and being breached." But NPR's Leila Fadel says the U.S. statement was issued at noon in Cairo, long before protesters assaulted the embassy compound there or anyone was killed in Libya.

(NPR's Frank James has a detailed analysis about the campaign fallout on It's All Politics.)

Asked whether he might have spoken too soon about the events in Libya, Romney said: "I don't think we ever hesitate when we see something that is a violation of our principles."

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in apparent reference to Romney's remarks that "it is exactly the wrong time to throw political punches. It is a time to restore calm and proceed wisely."

UPDATE at 1:30 ET:

Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., in a statement on his website, defended Romney's, saying the GOP hopeful "is absolutely right, there is no justification for these deadly attacks and we should never apologize for American freedom.

"It was disheartening to hear the administration condemn Americans engaging in free speech that hurt the feelings of Muslims, while real atrocities have been repeatedly committed by Islamic radicals against women, Christians, and Jews in the Middle East," he said.

Filmmaker In Hiding

The California-based filmmaker Sam Bacile, whose movie sparked the protests, went into hiding Tuesday, according to the AP. The two-hour film has been shown just once, earlier this year in Hollywood, but a 13-minute English-language trailer of the film, Innocence of Muslims, was on YouTube. Bacile describes himself as an Israeli Jew.

Two-Way colleague Eyder Perlata has a detailed take on the film and YouTube trailer that sparked the initial protests.

UPDATE at 12:30 ET:

The remains of all four Americans killed in Libya have been recovered, says NPR's Dina Temple-Raston, who spoke with American officials familiar with the investigation into the events.

The officials said that Ambassador Stevens, who was based in Tripoli, was visiting Benghazi for the opening of an American cultural center there.

Temple-Raston reports that officials confirmed that members of Ansar al-Sharia, a militant group affiliated with Yemen-based Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, were part of the mob that assaulted the Libyan consulate. It was not clear, however, whether the group's involvement went any further. Ansar has denied it was behind the attacks.

UPDATE at 2:05 ET:

Temple-Raston's sources are "reluctant to say, at this stage, that this [attack] was planned."

The officials say there was no specific piece of intelligence suggesting that the consulate would be attacked, but that a pattern observed in recent months suggested the possibility that someone or some group might be waiting for an opportunity to attack a U.S. target.

Update at 4:21 p.m. ET. Premature To Know Motive:

National Security Council spokesman says it is too soon to know what the motive behind the attack was.

"There is a lot of press speculation for who did this and why but at this stage it would be premature to ascribe any motive to this reprehensible act," Tommy Vietor said in a statement. "As the President said, make no mistake, we will work with the Libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit