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Tents and droves of people cover the Mall at last year's National Book Festival. Christopher Buckley, one of this year's featured authors, describes the event as "sort of a cross between a state fair and a Walter Isaacson Aspen Ideas festival, only without the aspens and bears."

Tents and droves of people cover the Mall at last year's National Book Festival. Christopher Buckley, one of this year's featured authors, describes the event as "sort of a cross between a state fair and a Walter Isaacson Aspen Ideas festival, only without the aspens and bears."

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Say hello, Assad: See the Navy warships off the coast of Syria

The Navy has sent four warships — USS Ramage, USS Mahan, USS Gravely and USS Barry — armed with ballistic missiles into the eastern Mediterranean Sea amid violence in Syria. Navy ships are capable of a variety of military actions, including launching Tomahawk cruise missiles as they did against Libya in 2011.