In the spring of 1930, a biologist named Israel Aharoni ventured into Syria on a mission. He was searching for a rare golden mammal.
Its name in Arabic translates roughly as "Mr. Saddlebags." Thanks to Aharoni, the little rodent with the big cheeks can now be found in many grade-school classrooms, running on a little wheel in a little cage.
For the moment, the budget debate is all over but the shouting. After lawmakers reached an eleventh-hour deal Friday night, President Barack Obama signed a temporary spending bill into place Saturday to keep the lights on at government agencies while Congress prepares the final budget for a vote this week.
While this round of the budget fight is over, the bigger battle between Congressional Democrats and Republicans is just beginning. Host Liane Hansen discusses the political implications of the federal budget deal with NPR National Political Correspondent Mara Liasson.