The recent headlines in the Russian press were sensational: Members of a reclusive Islamic sect were said to be living in an isolated compound with underground burrows, some as deep as eight stories underground, without electricity or heat.
Reporters have descended on the compound, on the outskirts of the city of Kazan, but have had only limited access and have not been able to confirm all the allegations by Russian officials.
In Pakistan last night, Taliban militants attacked an air base near the capital. The attack came amid reported preparations for a Pakistani military offensive. The target of that offensive: the militants' hideouts along the border with Afghanistan.
NPR's Lauren Frayer reports from Islamabad.
LAUREN FRAYER, BYLINE: Nine Taliban men in army uniforms and suicide belts battled Pakistani troops for more than two hours, killing of security official before being gunned down themselves.
All this summer, All Things Considered is digging into the record collections of listeners' parents to hear about one song introduced by a parent that has stayed with you.
Among the many records Darrin Wolsko spun while donning a red cape around 1985, The Beatles' self-titled release best known as The White Album got the most plays — "to the point where I destroyed the album. I shredded this album to pieces," Wolsko says.
Sometime in the next few months, David Daniel probably will have to stand by and watch as bulldozers knock down his thick forest and dig up the streams he loves.
His East Texas property is one of more than 1,000 in the path of a new pipeline, the southern stretch of what is known as the Keystone XL system.
For years, Daniel has tried to avoid this fate — or at least figure out what risks will come with it. But it has been difficult for him to get straight answers about the tar sands oil the pipeline will carry, and what happens when it spills.
Listen up, baby boomers. The government wants every one of you to get tested for the hepatitis C virus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made a sweeping recommendation official amid growing concern about the estimated 2 million boomers infected with the virus, which can cause cirrhosis and liver cancer. The advice was published in the latest Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Now that Ecuador has said it will give WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange asylum as he seeks to avoid being extradited from Great Britain to Sweden by hiding out in Ecuador's London embassy, news outlets are looking at the complicated legal issues involved in cases such as his.
Here are some things we've found fascinating in the coverage:
If you have ever dreamed of playing big-league baseball, chances are the dream started to fade sometime in high school.
It gradually becomes clear: You won't be starting in Game 7 of the World Series, and tipping your cap after hitting a walk-off homer. So at some point you go from player to fan — watching others chase greatness on the diamond.
But not every baseball dreamer is willing to give up so early. And in Bradenton, Fla., there's a place that lies somewhere between the Little League field and Yankee Stadium.
Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the newly chosen vice presidential running mate for Republican Mitt Romney, was in Ohio on Wednesday to speak at his alma mater.
Ryan graduated from Miami University of Ohio in 1992 with degrees in economics and political science. And his ascension to the GOP ticket thrills Rob Harrelson, a member of the school's College Republicans (as was Ryan, two decades earlier).
The U.S. Women's National Soccer Team is home from the Olympics with gold medals. They got redemption by winning the final over Japan, after losing to Japan in last year's World Cup. But the women's team comes home to an uncertain future. The U.S. Women's Professional Soccer League folded earlier this year, which means there's no top-level league where they can play.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block.
The center of the Syrian capital, Damascus, was shaken today by a bomb attack and clashes between rebels and government troops. At the same time, the U.N. issued a report accusing both sides of war crimes.
A new study shows college graduates have fared much better in the economic recovery than those without a degree. The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce reports that nearly all of the jobs recovered since the economic downturn have required a post-secondary degree. And despite the struggles of many recent graduates, workers with college degrees still enjoy a substantial wage benefit over those with only a high school education.
Maybe it's because there are so few of them, but there is something special about a Scandinavian summer night. And there is no better place to spend one than at Copenhagen's Tivoli Gardens amusement park.
Long before there was Disney, there was Tivoli, the second-oldest amusement park in the world. (The oldest, Dyrehavsbakken, or Deer Park Hill, is also in Denmark.) For nearly 170 years, people have been enjoying the magic of a summer night here.
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's choice of Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate may help energize support from conservative voters who like his tough approach to overhauling the federal budget.
But there's a risk that Ryan may turn off an important voting bloc: senior citizens.
It's been a record hot summer in many cities across the nation. Phoenix is no exception. This Sonoran Desert metropolis already records more days over 100 degrees than any other major U.S. city. Now, climate models predict Phoenix will soon get even hotter.
A hotter future may mean a more volatile environment — and along with it, natural disasters, greater pressure on infrastructure, and an increased physical toll on city residents.
Mitt Romney's new running mate has authored some provocative policy proposals to cut budget deficits and overhaul Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. But Rep. Paul Ryan has also been an advocate for a different course for the central banking system of the United States, the Federal Reserve.
For the past 35 years, the Fed has had a dual mandate from Congress: to set interest rates at levels that will both foster maximum employment and keep prices stable. Put another way, the Fed's goals are to get unemployment as low as possible while keeping inflation in check.
In light of this summer's record high temperatures, we find perspective on really hot temperatures. In an experiment, scientists at Europe's CERN laboratory claim to have achieved the highest temperature ever produced by humans — about 5.5 trillion degrees. Audie Cornish and Melissa Block have more.
For the next several days, All Things Considered is going to take a few minutes to listen to stump speeches on the campaign trail. We'll hear from Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Joe Biden and first, President Obama in Iowa.
Congressman Paul Ryan is well known as a deficit hawk and supporter of small government. His stances on other hot-button issues though — from abortion to gun rights — have received less attention. Melissa Block talks with David Drucker, associate politics editor at Roll Call, about where the presumptive Republican vice presidential nominee stands on the issues that have been less central to his public persona.
After Japan's Fukushima disaster last year, Germany announced a groundbreaking energy plan: It would phase out all of its domestic nuclear power in a decade and make a transition to safer, carbon neutral energy.
The goal is to have solar, wind and other renewables account for nearly 40 percent of the energy for Europe's largest economy in a decade, and 80 percent by 2050.
Actress Julie Delpy first beguiled American audiences in 1995, playing the enigmatic French student in Richard Linklater's film Before Sunrise. Ever since, Delpy has enjoyed life on the Hollywood fringe, preferring indie projects where she can help shape her roles.
She co-wrote the Oscar-nominated script to Linklater's sequel, Before Sunset, and has also begun directing her own projects. For her latest, 2 Days in New York, she directed, produced and helped write the script.
She was about three feet longer than the distance from an NBA free throw line to the basket. She was a bit more than twice the height of many bedroom ceilings. You could park two Smart Cars beside her with a foot or so to spare.
Those are some ways to get a sense of just how big the biggest Burmese python discovered so far in Florida was.
When the Waldo Canyon Fire roared over the hill behind the Mountain Shadows neighborhood in Colorado Springs, Colo., in June, nearly350 homes were destroyed. The blaze reduced this affluent neighborhood at the foot of the mountains to rubble.
C.J. Moore's home on Mirror Lake Court was among the casualties. The inferno was so hot, her stone driveway exploded. Only a few blackened trees sway eerily in the wind where her home used to stand.