On a Monday morning, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. The siege of a Kenyan shopping mall was one of several spectacular acts of violence over the weekend. Each act only highlighted a long-running conflict that has continued for years somewhere off in our peripheral vision.
GREENE: The Somali group Al-Shabab claims responsibility for the attack on a mall in Kenya. Gunshots and explosions continued there today, on the third day of the siege.
World leaders are convening in New York this week for the United Nations' General Assembly. And among other things, they're facing some potentially dramatic changes in arms control in the Middle East. Syria might give up it chemical weapons. Iran is signaling that it might negotiate with the West over its nuclear plans. From Jerusalem, NPR's Emily Harris looks at how this might affect Israel and its own weapons programs.
Stephanie Rubin and Ingrid Calvo are two New York-based moms who think American school lunches leave a lot to be desired. So they started a delivery business in Manhattan called Inboxyourmeal com. For $10, they'll deliver healthy, chef-prepared meals to students in their delivery area.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene, good morning. Here is a window into President Obama's agenda right now. He's off to New York today for the annual meeting of the United Nations General Assembly. Meanwhile, the U.S. federal government is heading towards a possible shutdown. And the president is helping the nation heal after another mass shooting.
Let's bring in a familiar voice on Monday mornings. Cokie Roberts, good morning.
As if the battle over the budget as well as the looming fight over the debt ceiling were not enough, there's a Farm Bill. Congress extended the Farm Bill after the fiscal cliff deal in January, but that extension expires at the end of the month. Congress is bitterly divided on food stamps and other issues. But both parties agree on something: The $5 billion-a-year farm subsidy called direct and countercyclical payments must go.
Earlier this month, Jhumpa Lahiri rejected the idea of immigrant fiction. "I don't know what to make of the term," she toldThe New York Times. "All American fiction could be classified as immigrant fiction."
Pregnant women hear a lot about things they should avoid: alcohol, tobacco, chemical exposures, stress. All of those have the potential to affect a developing fetus. And now scientists are beginning to understand why.
One important factor, they say, is something called epigenetics, which involves the mechanisms that turn individual genes on and off in a cell.
John Hewitt is a neuroscientist who studies the biology of intelligence. He's also a parent. Over the years, Hewitt has periodically drawn upon his scientific knowledge in making parenting decisions.
"I'm a father of four children myself and I never worried too much about the environments that I was providing for my children because I thought, well, it would all work out in the end anyway — aren't the genes especially powerful?" Hewitt says.
Bernard Vallius, who heads the group, says it used to be that people ate a sit-down lunch and dinner with family or friends every day. Now people — especially the young and those who live in cities — eat sandwiches or skip lunch altogether and snack, he says.
Sure, Bob Newhart may have won his first Emmy for guest-starring as Professor Proton on the hugely popular show The Big Bang Theory, about four young scientists at Caltech. But behind the scenes is a real-life professor, David Saltzberg of UCLA.
Saltzberg studies high-energy particle physics and high-energy neutrino astronomy, using radio-detection techniques when he's not working as The Big Bang Theory's science consultant.