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.

Pages

When It Comes To Drugs, A 'House' Deeply Divided

Oct 4, 2012

Drug abuse is primarily a medical problem, not a crime against
society. American anti-drug policy is a means of social control that's
rooted in racial and ethnic prejudice. The country's incarceration
industry has become a self-sustaining force, predicated on economics
rather than justice.

None of these arguments, made vigorously in The House I Live In, are novel; some have been advanced for decades, if not longer. But Eugene Jarecki's documentary assembles them deftly, with much help from former crime reporter David Simon, who left the Baltimore Sun to become the auteur of such mean-streets TV dramas as The Wire.

Jarecki, whose previous films include Why We Fight and The Trials of Henry Kissinger, approaches the issue from several angles. Much of the movie is a standard historical documentary, beginning with Richard Nixon's "war on drugs," but later rewinding to recount how such intoxicants as opium and marijuana went from accepted to outlawed.

This back story will not startle anyone old enough to remember the days when Reefer Madness was a regular midnight attraction at art-house cinemas. Drug-culture aficionados (whether users or not) have long known that various now-banned uppers and downers were once legal and even bourgeois. Most fast-food consumers have heard what the first part of Coca-Cola's name originally meant.

The movie also has a personal element, involving the drug-destroyed son of Nannie Jeter, who used to work for the filmmaker's family as a housekeeper. Threaded though the twinned narratives is the commentary of Simon, who calls the treatment of African-American drug users "a holocaust in slow motion."

The emphasis on racial and ethnic persecution explains the movie's title. "The House I Live In" is a musical ode to a discrimination-free USA, co-written in 1943 by Abel Meeropol. (He also composed "Strange Fruit," the anti-lynching song that became one of Billie Holiday's signature numbers.)

Many drug-war veterans and observers, including active and retired police officers, appear on screen. But Jarecki keeps returning to Simon, who calls the U.S. "the jailingest country in the world" and Swift-ishly asks, "Why not just kill the poor?"

Class as well as race identify the people most likely to serve hard time for drugs, often under the "mandatory minimum" sentences that have made operating private penitentiaries a reliable business. Laws that treat crack cocaine more harshly than the powdered variety have overwhelmingly affected black defendants. But the burgeoning appetite for crystal meth has stuffed prisons with poor, mostly rural whites.

The U.S. has spent an estimated $1 trillion warring on drugs since Nixon's presidency, to little effect. Putting nonviolent, nontrafficking dope users in jail seems to serve no purpose. Yet it continues under both Republican and Democratic administrations. The House I Live In shows Nannie Jeter as she hopefully watches Barack Obama's 2008 electoral victory, but doesn't analyze the current president's apparent reluctance to significantly alter anti-drug policies.

Then, too, it's a fact that many Americans seem to want to see dopers go to jail, and not just because their imprisonment boosts the economies of prison-dependent rural towns and counties. The House I Live In doesn't discuss the popularity of harsh anti-drug laws, but support for them surely has something to do with fear of the vicious dealers whose crimes are grist for news coverage, cop shows and such lurid movies as the current End of Watch.

Maybe that's something Jarecki should have asked David Simon about.

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