IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Monday's Mini-Report

<p>Today's edition of quick hits:* Truly extraordinary: "The spacecraft plunged through Mars' atmosphere, fired up a rocket

Today's edition of quick hits:

* Truly extraordinary: "The [NASA] spacecraft plunged through Mars' atmosphere, fired up a rocket-powered platform and lowered the car-sized, 1-ton Curiosity rover to its landing spot in 96-mile-wide (154-kilometer-wide) Gale Crater. Then the platform flew off to its own crash landing, while Curiosity sent out a text message basically saying, 'I made it!'"

* Huge shake-up in the Assad regime: "Syria's prime minister has fled the country, activists and Syria's official media reported Monday, in what appeared to be the highest level defection from President Bashar al-Assad's government thus far."

* President Obama today ordered American flags to fly at half-staff through the end of the week, honoring the victims of yesterday's shooting in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.

* Secretary of State Hillary Clinton helped oversee an important oil deal between Sudan and South Sudan, but the future of the agreement is unclear.

* Would Obama support an assault-weapons ban? If Congress would pass it, sure.

* Incidentally, the president would support a tax exemption for Olympic athletes, too. (Republicans began pushing this last week, and I still think it's silly.)

* Yes, Fox News really did complain today that American athletes' Olympic uniforms aren't patriotic enough.

* Hey look, Sens. John McCain, Joe Lieberman, and Lindsey Graham want a war with Syria. Who would have guessed?

* Aaron Carroll's annual look at "Adventures in Indiana State Fair Food" is always quite fascinating, in a scary sort of way.

* Oh my: "Former Republican U.S. senator Larry Craig aims to fend off a federal election lawsuit against him by arguing his infamous July 11, 2007, Minneapolis airport bathroom visit that ended in his sex-sting arrest was part of his official Senate business."

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.