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

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!":


'Winter Journal': Paul Auster On Aging, Mortality

Aug 21, 2012
Originally published on August 21, 2012 3:13 pm

"You think it will never happen to you," Paul Auster writes about aging and mortality in Winter Journal, penned during the winter of 2011, when he turned 64. Thirty years ago, Auster followed several volumes of poetry with The Invention of Solitude, an unconventional, profoundly literary meditation on life, death and memory triggered in part by the sudden death of his remote father and in part by the breakup of his first marriage to the short story writer Lydia Davis. Winter Journal, a more relaxed and meanderingly anecdotal read, forms a sort of bookend to that earlier memoir, returning to many of its concerns and offering parallel, though warmer, portraits of his mother, who died in 2002, and his adored second wife, the writer Siri Hustvedt.

In both memoirs, Auster avoids first person narration, stepping outside the interiority of "I" to afford himself the necessary distance to write so personally — referring to himself in the earlier book as "A.," while using the tricky second person "you" in his latest. Second person narration is a writerly ploy that can lend immediacy to prose, drawing in the reader as an accomplice; but even in sure hands, it carries a taint of artificiality.

Auster is an adept storyteller, the advanced guard of the Brooklyn school of literature whose mascot is Jonathan Lethem. Readers of his string of beguiling novels, which include The New York Trilogy, The Brooklyn Follies and Sunset Park, will enjoy picking out the autobiographical roots of some of his fiction. Two particularly resonant tales involve fraught drives with his family's life in his hands: one, a potentially catastrophic car accident in Brooklyn a few months after his mother's sudden death, the other, navigating a ferocious Minnesota snowstorm with his taciturn Norwegian father-in-law riding shotgun and providing moral support.

Citing his polyglot Eastern European Jewish roots, Auster writes, "You would like to know who you are." In the service of self-definition, he deploys a series of engaging lists: catalogues of wounds "caused by an unexpected collision with the world," chronic physical ailments — most notably, a balky stomach and panic attacks — and a life as "a willing slave of Eros," resulting in some "run-ins with the dreaded germs of intimacy." Auster's nostalgic survey of his favorite foods yields an unrepentant smoker's observation that "Ice cream was the tobacco of your youth," while an annotated review of the 21 domiciles he has occupied in his six-plus decades helps us find our chronological bearings. These include several houses near Newark, New Jersey, where he was born in 1947; a series of dark, seedy walkups on Manhattan's Upper West Side during his years studying literature at Columbia University; a string of even tinier garrets during nearly four years in Paris as a struggling poet; and ultimately, a late nineteenth century four-story brownstone in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

What saves all this from unbearable narcissism? Thoughtful ruminations on the nexus between the mundane and the meaningful, the physical and the emotional. Auster not only quotes this lovely bit of advice from 19th century French writer Joseph Joubert, but calls our attention to its wonderful parenthetical qualifier: "One must die lovable (if one can)." Even sweeter is the image of his mother rounding the bases in her den mother's uniform after hitting a home run for his Boy Scout troop — to the everlasting delight of her "flabbergasted," baseball-loving son.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit