World

Europe
5:18 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

Raid In Russia Brings Underground Sect To Light

Gumar Ganiyev opens the gates of the compound where members of the Islamic sect he belongs to have lived in seclusion since the early 2000s outside Kazan, capital of the Russian province of Tatarstan, earlier this month.
Nikolay Alexandrov AP

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 6:41 pm

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.

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World
5:18 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

WikiLeaks Founder Caught In Diplomatic Standoff

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 6:19 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Middle East
5:18 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

Attack In Pakistan Puts Government On Defense

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 1:06 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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.

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Africa
11:30 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Growing DRC Tensions Threaten Regional Stability

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is struggling to deal with rebels operating in the eastern part of the country. It's alleged that some rebels are being backed by the Rwandan government. Guest host Jacki Lyden speaks to Reuter's Kinshasa correspondent, Jonny Hogg, about tensions that can threaten regional stability and renew an old rivalry.

Music
11:30 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Underground Iranian Band Steps Out Of The Shadows

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 6:45 pm

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

Recently, a friend handed me an Iranian music CD and said you have to hear this. My friend is an Iranian filmmaker and once, long ago, he took me to an underground jazz concert in Tehran. It was dramatic traveling through back alleys to get to the gig and I did a story on it for NPR then in 1997.

One of the musicians I met that night was a bass player named Marob(ph). Speaking through a translator, he mentioned the freedom music creates, even in an authoritarian society.

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The Picture Show
11:04 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Behind The Curtain Of Communism

An attendant stands near the tracks as a metro train arrives in a subway station in Pyongyang, North Korea on August 20, 2007.
Courtesy of Tomas van Houtryve/VII

I was a few minutes late calling Tomas van Houtryve for our scheduled interview because I couldn't put his book down. I was reading about how he entered North Korea with an illegal American passport and had to concoct an elaborate lie to avoid being detained. I was on the edge of my seat.

That story is just one example of how far van Houtryve (rhymes with "retrieve") journeyed for his new book, Behind the Curtains of 21st Century Communism.

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The Two-Way
10:33 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Cut Diplomatic Ties? Hide Him In A Crate? How Might Assange Standoff End?

Metropolitan Police Officers outside the main door of the Ecuadorian embassy in London. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is inside.
Will Oliver AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 12:27 pm

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:

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The Two-Way
8:51 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Ecuador Gives WikiLeaks' Assange Asylum

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
Kirsty Wigglesworth AP

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 10:39 am

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been granted asylum by Ecuador, Foreign Minister Ricardo PatiƱo just announced in Quito.

Now, the question becomes whether Great Britain will allow Assange to leave Ecuador's embassy in London so that he can travel to the South American nation that is offering him refuge.

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The Two-Way
7:52 am
Thu August 16, 2012

More Carnage In Pakistan: Gunmen Execute About 20 Shiites

Pakistani Air Force personnel guard an air base northwest of Islamabad earlier today. It was attacked Thursday by militants armed with guns, rocket launchers and suicide vests.
Aamir Qureshi AFP/Getty Images

Thursday's attack on a Pakistani air base near Islamabad by heavily armed militants, which security forces were able to repel, has been followed by the news that gunmen executed about 20 Shiite Muslims today in northern Pakistan.

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World
4:38 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Ecuador To Decide On Assange Asylum Request

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 4:53 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

In the latest twist to the WikiLeaks story, its founder Julian Assange has been granted political asylum by the South American nation of Ecuador. Ecuador's foreign minister made the announcement this morning, speaking through a translator.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

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