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

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.


Why Public Pensions Are About To Look Less Healthy

Jul 23, 2012
Originally published on July 24, 2012 5:26 pm

On Friday, Planet Money's Caitlin Kenney told Morning Edition listeners how public pension plans are going to look a lot less healthy very soon. A new study shows just how bad they might look, even as it offers some caveats to its own results.

Public pension systems, of course, are hurting in many states and cities. Some haven't been funded sufficiently to provide promised retirement benefits to teachers, firefighters or other public-sector workers. Poor investment returns have taken their toll across the board. Benefits are being curbed in some places because the costs of these pensions compete with other priorities like schools, parks, transportation and public safety.

The new problems come from the green eyeshade crowd — the Government Accounting Standards Board. Under new rules from the board, state and local governments will have to change how they present the financial health of their pension plans to the public. Although the changes are dramatic at first glance, there are some important caveats.

The overall picture is scary. Under the old rules, plans reported having, on average, 76 percent of the assets they would need to pay promised benefits to every retiree and employee from now until the last one dies.

The new rules would slash that figure dramatically — to an estimated 57 percent, according to a report from Boston College's Center for Retirement Research, which used 2010 data (the most recent broadly available). As the chart below shows, the impact of the change varies enormously. But bottom line: very few retirement systems would look healthier.

Pension administrators have taken issue with the Center's estimates. Matt Smith, the actuary from Washington State, says he disagrees with the report's projections for his state's pension funds. Smith says the study ignores recent benefit reductions, made some assumptions on only a few years' data, and doesn't use 2011 investment returns. He and his staff are currently preparing figures that he says will better reflect the impact of the accounting changes.

Now, these rules don't change by a penny how much money the plans have, or how much they must pay in benefits. They still have the same pools of investments to pay the same IOUs to retirees, on the same schedule.

What will be different is the picture that's presented of how plans are doing.

Today, public pension plans are allowed to smooth out the ups and downs of their investment returns. Losses from the financial crisis of 2008 aren't reflected in many plans, but neither are most gains from 2010, an up year in the stock market. The idea is that pension plans must look far into the future so short-term ups and downs are less important. At the same time this smoothing can mask serious problems for years.

The new rules would stop the smoothing. Instead, pension funds would have to show gains and losses each year. That could mean big swings in a plan's heath from year to year, especially for plans heavily invested in stocks, hedge funds or other unpredictable investments. In many ways, it's a more precise presentation. And for employees with pensions at stake, it may be a stomach churning one.

There are other changes. Many plans will have to be more conservative in setting the number they use to figure out what their pension IOUs are worth in today's terms — the discount rate (a concept covered in detail by our show Friday). That change, too, will make plans look more fragile.

The new rules are controversial, for both technical and public-policy reasons. The accounting standard-setters explicitly warn that the new rules aren't meant to be used to decide how much governments should contribute to their plans. But pension advocates worry that's just what will happen.

Plan administrators say the new rules also don't adequately take into account the fact that pension plans have decades to make good on their promises, meaning year-to-year fluctuations shouldn't play such a big role in the accounting.

Either way, the new numbers are likely to make an unpleasant splash for governments and their employees alike.

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