The world of independent bookstores has a new member: Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tenn., opened its doors on Wednesday. The store has a marquee name behind it — best-selling novelist Ann Patchett, author of Bel Canto and State of Wonder, is the co-owner.
Lawmakers say pizza and french fries deserve to keep their place in school cafeterias. New nutrition standards aimed at putting more fresh and healthy food in front of kids are being revised in a current House agriculture appropriations bill. The latest version says the tomato sauce on a slice of pizza is the equivalent of a vegetable. Critics are likening it to the "ketchup-as-a-vegetable-controversy" during the Reagan administration.
Delegates from across Afghanistan will convene tomorrow in Kabul. The Loya Jirga, or Grand Assembly, will discuss a long term strategic partnership with the United States. The issue is controversial in Afghanistan because it could involve permanent American military bases. The meeting itself is also controversial. President Hamid Karzai says the Loya Jirga will provide him with advice from the public, but his political opponents say Karzai is trying to use the assembly to extend his mandate.