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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.

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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!":


Why Does Pregnancy Last 9 Months?

Aug 28, 2012
Originally published on August 31, 2012 9:42 am

Babies are lovely but altogether helpless creatures.

Wouldn't it be better if tiny humans were born able to walk, like horses, or generally were readier for the rigors of the world, like, say, chimps?

Among primates, human have the least developed brains at birth, at least when compared to adult human brains. If humans were born as far along on cognitive and neurological scales as rough and ready chimps are, though, human pregnancy would have to last at least twice as long. Eighteen months in the womb, anyone?

The prevailing explanation for why pregnancy doesn't last that long boils down to something called the "obstetrical dilemma." Humans walk upright. And the size and shape of our pelvises are constrained by our bipedal way of getting around in the world. If they got much bigger, mothers wouldn't walk as well. So babies' brains could only get so big and still fit through the birth canal, the conventional wisdom holds.

Now researchers at the University of Rhode Island, Harvard and the University of California, Berkeley, are questioning whether the theory is right. Instead of mechanical limits dictating how big a baby's head can get, they propose it's really about how much energy Mom can spare for the developing fetus.

"Mothers gestate a baby as long as they can metabolically," Holly Dunsworth, an assistant professor of anthropology at University of Rhode Island, tells Shots. She's the lead author of a paper advancing the metabolic hypothesis, an alternative explanation that's laid out in a paper published online by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

She and her colleagues concluded that a human baby born at a chimp's level of development would require the average human birth canal to be about 3 centimeters bigger, an increase of a little more than an inch in diameter.

That's feasible, the researchers say. "We show that's within the range of variation now," Dunsworth says. "Those people with wider birth canals aren't walking any worse."

So what is the limiting factor? Apparently, it's how much energy Mom can divert from her own metabolism to the growth and maintenance of a fetus, the researchers say. We humans are able to crank up our metabolism to about twice its normal level and sustain that turbo mode for quite a while.

In fact, pregnant women's metabolism runs at twice the normal level by about the sixth month. By nine months, as the fetus's energy needs increase, the rate is pushing close to 2.1 times normal. And that's pretty much the limit. "Extending gestation even by a month would likely require metabolic investment beyond the mother's capacity," the researchers write.

What happens instead? Mom gives birth, and baby's growth rate slows (compared to its fetal self). Everybody's happy, though it must be said that there's a lot of coddling and many sleepless nights as the needy baby grows into a toddler.

One paper isn't likely to shove the obstetrical dilemma off the scientific stage overnight. But Dunsworth is confident the metabolic argument will hold up.

"Part of the older story is that the birth canal can't get any bigger," she says. "We've shown there's a much better explanation, and we've shown how hard it is to support the old explanation."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit