Clashes between renegade Libyan army troops and Islamist-led militias have killed at least 38 people, including civilians, in and around the eastern city of Benghazi. The fighting comes a day after the U.S. temporarily shuttered its embassy in Tripoli and evacuated diplomatic personnel to neighboring Tunisia, citing security concerns.
Congress is set to disband later this week for a summer break stretching past Labor Day. That leaves lawmakers only a few more days to act on an urgent request from President Obama.
The president wants nearly $4 billion in emergency funds to deal with the tens of thousands of children from Central America who've been illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in recent months. The GOP-led House may act on just a fraction of that request, setting up a clash with the Democratic-led Senate.
Chinese often complain that corruption is endemic in every sector of their society. So it may come as no surprise that a government anti-corruption drive has swept up 25,000 officials in the first half of this year.
The drive's victims include everyone from lowly local functionaries to, this month, a young celebrity news anchor named Rui Chenggang.
Authorities showed up at China Central Television headquarters earlier this month, and took away Rui, the 36-year-old news anchor on CCTV's finance channel, watched by millions of viewers.
Dutch experts charged with investigating the downing of a jetliner over eastern Ukraine have cancelled plans to reach the wreckage site amid fighting in the area between government forces and rebels.
NPR's Corey Flintoff reports from Donetsk, that as the fighting continues, "Ukrainian government troops appear to be gaining ground against the pro-Russian paramilitaries who control the wreckage site."
On-air challenge: Today's puzzle is a game of categories based on the word peony. For each category, name something in the category beginning with each of the letters P-E-O-N-Y.
Last week's challenge: Name something in five letters that's nice to have a lot of in the summer. Change the last letter to the following letter of the alphabet. Rearrange the result, and you'll name something else that you probably have a lot of in the summer, but that you probably don't want. What is it? (HINT: the second thing is a form of the first thing.)
It's been 75 years since Batman first swooped onto the scene in 1939. Glen Weldon, author of The Caped Crusade, says it's important to note that for the last three quarters of a century, Batman has been seeking justice, not revenge.
"Once his parents are killed he doesn't seek revenge," Weldon tells NPR's Arun Rath. "That's what distinguishes a superhero from an action movie hero. He doesn't go out for revenge. It's not a vendetta, it's a crusade. He represents the idea of: 'This thing that happened to me? Never again.' "
When the news broke that Thor, the hyper-masculine thunder god, had become a woman, my Twitter feed exploded. It seemed like everybody had something to say."Who will play the female Thor in the movies?" came up a lot. Meanwhile, I first had to figure out who Thor was. To me, stories about superheroes were for nerdy white guys imagining a world where they could lift heavy things and somehow get the girl. In short, boring. I was hopelessly behind the times.
The Inspector Montalbano books, by Italian author Andrea Camilleri, supply everything I need for the beach. A good mystery. An exotic location — in this case, the beaches and piazzas of Sicily. And great writing that wears its fineness lightly, and keeps the pages turning. All with the most charming fuss-bucket of a detective to come along since Hercule Poirot: Inspector Salvo Montalbano.