Aside from opening up this feature to zingers, this edition's title is a reference to the new book by NPR Science Correspondent Joe Palca and Science Friday's Flora Lichtman. The authors' book Annoying: the Science of What Bugs Us searches for explanations for why things get under our skin. It explores the psychology, evolutionary biology and anthropology behind things that annoy us.
Disgraced New York Rep. Anthony Weiner no doubt feels the walls closing in on him, what with key fellow Democrats calling for his resignation and his once high-flying Big Apple mayoral ambitions in shambles.
But one thing the married congressman likely won't have to fear in the wake of his sexting scandal is tough love from the secretive House ethics committee.
"They'll take their sweet time and do just about nothing," says Melanie Sloan, who heads Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). "The ethics committee is where ethics investigations go to die."
We have to confess to not knowing that: a) there are 1.2 million feral camels in Australia and that the population is expected to reach 2 million by 2020; and b) that they are major contributors to the emission of greenhouse gases.
Syrian troops and heavy armor encircled a restive northern town on Thursday and hundreds of people fled through a single escape route across the lush Turkish border, sharply escalating the upheaval that threatens Syria's authoritarian regime.
The town of Jisr al-Shughour emptied as its residents crossed olive groves and traveled gravel roads, trying to get away from the tanks and elite forces surrounding them, a resident and activist said. Turkey's foreign minister said more than 2,400 Syrians had crossed the border, which was opened for refugees.
The U.N. nuclear watchdog voted Thursday to report Syria to the U.N. Security Council for violating its safeguard agreements, citing Syria's undeclared construction of a covert nuclear reactor and refusal to supply information.
The move by the International Atomic Energy Agency comes amid political protests in Syria, but Washington and its allies insist the timing of the recommendation has nothing to do with the crackdown on pro-democracy protesters and is separate from an effort by European nations to have the Security Council condemn Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime.
From NPR News, this is All Things Considered, I'm Michele Norris.
MELISSA BLOCK, host:
And I'm Melissa Block.
We go first this hour to Capitol Hill, where CIA Director Leon Panetta appeared at a confirmation hearing for his next likely post, Secretary of Defense. Panetta is expected to sail smoothly through the confirmation process to succeed Robert Gates.