Morning Edition for Monday, September 23, 2013

Obama Comforts Families Of Navy Yard Shooting

President Obama spoke at a memorial service Sunday for the victims of last week's shooting at the Washington Navy Yard. The president and first lady also met with families of the dead. Twelve people were killed in addition to the gunman, who died in a shootout with police.

A Check On The Global Economy With IMF Head Lagarde

David Greene talks to IMF chief Christine Lagarde, who has advocated for what some people have labeled "harsh" austerity measures that forced struggling European nations to slash government payrolls and reduce public services.

'Rush' Gets Points For Style, Doesn't Win Our Hearts

Formula 1 racing is having its moment in the sun on American movie screens. The new movie Rush attempts to combine Hollywood style with an independent film's sensibility. Rush is directed by Ron Howard.

Germany's Chancellor Leads Conservative Party To Victory

Official election results confirm that German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives have won — but they finished short of an absolute majority. The likeliest outcome is a Merkel-led coalition with the Social Democrats.
Pregnant women are told don't drink, don't smoke, don't stress out. But it hasn't been clear how those choices may affect a fetus. By studying how genes are turned on and off, scientists say they are getting closer to understanding what experiences in the womb really affect a child's health.

Smart Teenage Brains May Get Some Extra Learning Time

It used to be that neuroscientists thought smart people were all alike. But now they think that some very smart people retain the ability to learn rapidly, like a child, well into adolescence. That means they have a longer period of time to learn from their environment — and maybe learn Chinese.

'House Of Cards' Wins Emmy's Director Award

The video streaming service Netflix claimed a victory at the Emmy Awards Sunday night as David Fincher took the Best Director prize for his work on the political drama House of Cards. It was the first time an online video distributor won in a major category.

Wonder Bread To Reappear On Grocers' Shelves

After a 10 month hiatus, Wonder Bread is back and it could be on store shelves in some areas on Monday. Production of the bread stopped when Hostess went out of business.
The French bakers' lobby has launched a campaign to keep bread on people's minds. Their slogan, which is plastered on billboards and inscribed on bread bags, is "Cou cou, tu as pris le pain?" which translates roughly as, "Hi there, did ya pick up the bread?"

Moms Sell Healthy Lunches For Kids At School

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.

Budget Debate To Hit High Drama This Week

President Obama heads to New York on Monday for the annual meeting of the U.N. General Assembly. The international meeting comes as, back in Washington, the U.S. Congress is once again heading into a possible government shutdown over spending priorities.

Most Agree 'Welfare For Farmers' Has To Go

The farm bill which Congress is bitterly divided over is set to expire at the end of this month. Included in it is the $5 billion a year subsidy called Direct and Counter-cyclical Payment Program. It shells out money to farmers and land owners regardless of need or loss.

Small Screen Stars Honored At Emmy Awards

Breaking Bad, AMC's soon-to-end tale of Walter White's descent into depravity, won the Emmy Award for best drama. Also, ABC's madcap Modern Family won its fourth Emmy Award in a row as best comedy series.
NPR's Neda Ulaby talks to David Saltzberg, the scientist who makes sure that all those equations splashed all over CBS's hugely popular The Big Bang Theory make sense. He also helps create realistic dialogue, and he even wrote a joke once.
The Little Mermaid Second Screen Live has opened in select theaters across the country. Children are encouraged to bring their iPad to the theater, and during the movie they become part of the story, play games and compete with the audience."

Pakistan, Iraq See Uptick In Suicide Bombings

To try to understand what's behind the rise in gruesome attacks, Steve Inskeep talks to Vali Nasr, who is the dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He has served as a senior adviser to the U.S. special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.
World leaders meeting at the United Nations in New York this week face potentially dramatic changes to arms control in the Middle East. Syria may give up chemical weapons. Iran is signaling it could negotiate with the West over its nuclear plans. How might this affect Israel, and its own weapons programs?
India's politics and history play a central role in Jhumpa Lahiri's The Lowland. In the Booker Prize-nominated novel, an Indian radical is killed, and his wife and brother start over in America. Lahiri tells NPR's Lynn Neary that the story is inspired by true events, but very unlike her own life.

Pirate Gathering In Virginia Doesn't Come Close To Record

Thousands of scallywags in costume turned up at The Mariners' Museum in Newport News, Va. They wanted to break the Guinness record for largest pirate gathering. They fell short and may try again next year.

Banned Books Week Highlights What's Taken Out At Schools

This week, booksellers and writers highlight works removed from schools and libraries. Among the banned books is Toni Morrison's Beloved which gets removed for explicit content. Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is targeted for racial issues.
Find an archived Episode: