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.
More than 1 billion people in the world are living with some sort of disability, according to a new international survey. That's about 15 percent of the world's population, or nearly one of every 7 people.
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.