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.

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!":

Donald Trump wrapped up his public tryout of potential vice presidential candidates in Indiana Tuesday night with Gov. Mike Pence giving the final audition.

The Indiana governor's stock as Trump's possible running mate is believed to be on the rise, with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich also atop the list. Sources tell NPR the presumptive GOP presidential nominee is close to making a decision, which he's widely expected to announce by Friday.

Pages

Why Do You Vote?

Jul 13, 2012
Originally published on July 16, 2012 10:24 am

"Your vote matters!" This is a familiar refrain. But does it really?

In an election where there are millions of voters, the chances that your vote will decide the outcome are very small, comparable to winning the lottery. I don't play the lottery. I'd like to win the money, of course. But the chances of winning are tiny. It's a waste of money.

But I vote. Why? Isn't it a waste of time, and maybe even money, too?

"You never know. The election might come down to your vote."

This is true. It's also true that I might win the lottery. That doesn't make it rational for me to pay money for a ticket.

"You have to vote, because if everybody stopped voting, the system would grind to a halt."

Yes. But. I know that millions of people will, as a matter of fact, vote. So I know that my vote is unlikely to count.

If I am a candidate, I'll do everything I can to get my supporters to the polls, especially in battleground states. And if I support a candidate, I'll support his or her efforts to bring out the vote. But why bother to vote myself? My vote won't matter, in all likelihood.

If you are like me, you'll find this line of reasoning persuasive, but also, somehow, outrageous, even offensive.

Let's grant that voting matters. And let's grant that it doesn't matter because your vote, or mine, is likely to make a difference. We are thrown back on the question: Why do you vote? Why does voting matter?

One possibility is that it's not voting as such that matters, but elections, and elections are not one-off acts of casting ballots, but long, drawn-out national discussions about values and choices and commitments. And one might go further and notice that elections can only serve this function against the background of the other institutions that organize our social lives — the courts, political parties, the independent press, interest groups, unions, businesses, and also schools, clubs, and all the rest.

Indeed, it has been remarked (for example by Fareed Zakaria) that you don't institute democracy in a country, in any full-blooded sense, just by giving people the vote. The vote, in the absence of the social institutions that make elections meaningful, can't amount to much more than a kind of complex political lottery.

This is a pretty rosy view. Voting matters because of its place in the setting of a democratic culture.

Even so, the question remains: why do you vote? Is the casting of ballots a ritual? An obligation? An expression of feeling?

But there is also a darker possibility in the vicinity. Perhaps voting is the opiate of our democratic masses? We vote and fool ourselves into thinking we are participating in the broader fabric of the country's political life. We do not so much engage in politics, as we watch it on TV, just as we might watch a sporting event. We cast our ballots the way we text-in our preferences on American Idol.

Another question: how democratic is our political culture, really?


You can keep up with more of what Alva Noë is thinking on Facebook and on Twitter @alvanoe

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