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.

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What If They Held A Debate And Nobody Won?

Oct 7, 2012
Originally published on October 7, 2012 2:06 pm

For most people reacting to last week's presidential debate, their first thought was probably not about who made the best arguments or told the most truths. Rather it was likely deciding who won.

The answer this time around was unusually definitive: Mitt Romney, by virtually every account and measure.

But in presidential debates — and the vice presidential version, which takes place on Thursday — does there need to be a winner?

Alan Schroeder, a professor at Northeastern University, says that the name "debate" naturally suggests a contest. But Schroeder says that broadcast networks that televised the first debate in 1960 never intended to establish an atmosphere of competition.

"They didn't want to call them debates; they wanted to call them discussions. They didn't want to set it up as a winner-loser scenario, but rather a dialogue and an exchange of ideas," Schroeder says. "But once that word 'debate' got into the ether, that's what everyone got locked into,"

St. Louis University's Diana Carlin studies debates both domestically and internationally, and she says that not all countries are as focused on victory and defeat as the United States.

The Republic of Georgia, Carlin says, doesn't even use the term "debate" for its events.

"They want these to be informative and they don't want the emphasis on the winner and loser," Carlin says. "These are countries that have experienced conflict and they want people to have collaboration."

But Schroeder says that hyper-competitive debates aren't a strictly American phenomenon.

"In Germany, they actually call these things 'duels.' In the promotional material, they even have guns and things." Schroeder says.

Journalists, Schroeder says, are partially to blame for ratcheting up the stakes. The media, he says, prefers clear-cut outcomes.

"I get called by tons of reporters after the debate, and if I say it's a tie, you can hear the disappointment on the other side of the conversation. It's a better conversation if there's a winner and a loser," Schroeder says.

But those reporters may simply know their audience, says University of Houston associate professor Brandon Rottinghaus.

"Debating the specifics of Romney's tax policy or analyzing the ins and outs of the president's health care plan — those are difficult to get people to pay attention to," Rottinghaus says. "But they can pay attention to a very simple matchup which can, in theory, provide a clear winner and clear loser."

Of course, there's no objective measure for winning a debate. But, Carlin says, that doesn't prevent people from declaring one.

"We have a lot of instant feedback now, which becomes a gut decision type of thing, instead of saying after the debate, 'Let's step back and see what was said and call for the evidence,'" Carlin says.

Historically, Schroeder says, most debates have been deemed ties, and voters tend to insist their favorite candidate won no matter what. Still, debates seem to inherently require a winner because, well, the election does.

"The analogy I always use is the job interview. In a job interview, you can have two candidates and have a difficult time, but ultimately you can only give the job to one applicant," Schroeder says. "You're forced to make a choice. The debates are like that."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.