"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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The unassuming hero of Jonas Karlsson's clever, Kafkaesque parable is the opposite of a malcontent. Despite scant education, a limited social life, and no prospects for success as it is usually defined, he's that rarity, a most happy fella with an amazing ability to content himself with very little. But one day, returning to his barebones flat from his dead-end, part-time job at a video store, he finds an astronomical bill from an entity called W.R.D. He assumes it's a scam. Actually, it is more sinister-- and it forces him to take a good hard look at his life and values.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Pages

Why It's Good To Be The Incumbent

Jun 11, 2012
Originally published on June 11, 2012 1:33 pm

Two political tried-and-truisms: Sitting presidents are hard to unseat, and history repeats itself.

To the first point: In the past 10 presidential elections with incumbent candidates, the incumbents have won seven times. The only incumbent losers were Gerald Ford in 1976, Jimmy Carter in 1980 and George H.W. Bush in 1992.

"Incumbents have the following advantages," says Allan Lichtman, a presidential historian at American University. "Name recognition; national attention, fundraising and campaign bases; control over the instruments of government; successful campaign experience; a presumption of success; and voters' inertia and risk-aversion."

That's not to say that President Obama will win in a cakewalk come November. But the power of incumbency is something to keep in mind when reading the to-and-fro news stories of the day. Again and again, challengers have taken on champions, only to be swatted down at election time.

And to the second point, here are three contemporary tales of the 2012 contest — and some historical echoes as cautionary reminders:

The Challenger Has Taken The Lead

June 2012: "Republicans now believe Mitt Romney can win, and Democrats believe Obama can lose," according to Mark Halperin in the current Time magazine.

This horse race storyline echoes a story in The Nation in July 2004 that opined: "John Kerry can win, given George W. Bush's incompetence, and White House strategists realize that." Turned out that Bush was competent enough to beat Kerry.

And in August 1996, The New Republic posited: "A [Bob] Dole triumph in November is not so hard to imagine." In reality, Clinton defeated Dole.

The Challenger Is Raising More Money

June 2012: "For the first time this year, Mitt Romney's campaign has bested President Obama's re-election effort in a one-month fundraising period, outraising the Democrats by more than $16 million in May," ABC News reported last week.

A similar CNN story ran in May 2004, noting that "Kerry Outraises Bush Again" and giving Democrats hope that the Massachusetts senator could make a strong showing against Bush. "John Kerry's fundraising receipts surged strongly ahead of President Bush's last month," according to CNN, "with the presumptive Democratic nominee pulling in almost twice what the president raised. At the same time, Bush's campaign is spending money at an unprecedented rate." In the end, Bush bested Kerry.

Polls Show The Race Is Tight

June 2012: "A new national poll from Fox News shows the presidential race locked at 43 percent between President Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney. Obama's approval rating is positive, and he's viewed more favorably than Romney is, but Romney is seen as more equipped to get the economy going again by a 46 percent to 39 percent margin," Talking Points Memo reports.

The story is reminiscent of one that ran in June 2004, when Bloomberg reported that "President George W. Bush and Democratic challenger John Kerry are deadlocked in the race for the White House as polls show neither candidate establishing a clear lead nationally or in the states that both campaigns say may decide the November election."

Of course, there are also news stories today that remind us that sitting presidents can be unseated. As historian Lichtman points out: "Incumbents are difficult, but not impossible, to beat."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.