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!":


Walking Into Syria: A Reporter's Visit To Where Rebels Are 'Running The Show'

Aug 20, 2012
Originally published on August 20, 2012 1:02 pm

Getting into Syria has been a journalistic obsession since anti-regime protests began there in March 2011. The choices have been risky or next to impossible. The Syrian regime has given out few journalists' visas (full disclosure, I got a legal visa to Syria in June). So, for the most part, many journalists have taken the hazardous decision to cross the border illegally, taking risky smuggling routes, to cover a story so dangerous that two of our colleagues, Anthony Shadid of The New York Times and Marie Colvin of The Sunday Times, died in Syria.

Sunday night, I unexpectedly walked into Syria. A Turkish border official happily stamped by passport with a loud thwack and waved me through the border crossing near the Turkish town of Kilis in southern Turkey. I was on my way to cover an Iftar dinner, when Muslims break the fast at sunset during the holy month of Ramadan. The dinner was hosted by a rebel brigade based in the Syrian town of Azaz. Hundreds of displaced families were camped out at the Syrian border control office waiting to break their fast before they crossed into Turkey.

Walking to Syria at sunset, the most striking thing is the new symbols on display. The Syrian revolution flag flutters alongside the distinctive Turkish flag. The rebels of the Free Syrian army took control of three border stations along the Turkish frontier in July. The mile walk to the Syria side was cut short when a car slowed to a halt and three young men in fatigues offered a ride. Unfailingly polite, they proposed a chauffer service to the border post or further into Syria.

I was there to see the Iftar dinner for the familes at the border. The meal was catered by Mohammed Adeeb, who said he had raised the money from wealthy businessmen from Azaz. The organization was impressive. Abeed unloaded a truck filled with boxes of bottled water, cartons of yogurt and a Syrian dish called lahm bajin, which are meat pies. This sunset feast marked the end of Ramadan and, traditionally, the start of a three-day celebration known as Eid El Fitr, but no one was celebrating here. Many of these Syrians had packed in a hurry and headed for the Turkish border before dawn. They were all running from the unpredictable Syrian air force attacks that have flattened apartment buildings and turned neighborhoods into rubble. One father put forward his six year old son, Ahmed, who showed off his cast. "I was afraid. There was shelling," he said in a whisper.

These Syrians hoped to join the more than 70,000 displaced persons who have already crossed into Turkey. Just a few months ago, the trip was as risky as a journalist's journey to Syria, thru smuggling routes to the frontier. Now, the border is open and the displaced can drive, but the camps are so overcrowded that many will sleep at this dusty border post until Turkish authorities can build a new camp. That may take days. The exodus has increased dramatically just in the last month. Turkey announced today that it can handle no more than 100,000 Syrians and proposed a buffer zone inside the country.

That's not likely to stop the flow of frightened Syrians. The rebel brigade from the town of Azaz keeps order here. There is a bus to take the weary passengers to Turkey. I hop on board. There is one stop before we cross. The bus driver, a young man in army fatigues, throws his weapon to a rebel guard at the border in a smooth gesture that has been practiced many times. The rebels are prohibited from taking weapons into Turkey. But in every other way, they are running the show.

(Deborah Amos covers the Middle East for NPR News.)

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit