An exterior view of the Office of the National Register for Secret State Information, or ORNISS, which stores confidential information and ensures only authorised people gain access to it, taken in Bucharest on December 8.
That the Central Intelligence Agency had a so-called "black site" in Romania was well known. It was known that it was in one of those secret prisons that intelligence officials conducted harsh interrogations with major Al-Qaida operatives, including Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammad.
Today, the result of a joint investigation with German public television, the AP reports it has found the site where Mohammad was held and interrogated. And it's not where you would think it is. The AP reports on the prison in Bucharest known as "Bright Light":
Newt Gingrich once called himself "the most seriously professorial politician since Woodrow Wilson."
But that was 1995, and the "Contract with America" co-author had just helped to propel Republicans into power in the House for the first time in 40 years, and Gingrich himself into the speaker's role. Even the rarely modest Gingrich had reason to gloat.
Just two years later, of course, he had become the first speaker ever punished by the House for ethics violations, and the end was in sight for both his leadership and congressional career.
Calling someone a "rat" is no compliment, but a new study shows that rats actually are empathetic and will altruistically lend a helping paw to a cage-mate who is stuck in a trap.
Not only will rats frantically work to free their trapped cage-mate, they will do so even when there's a tempting little pile of chocolate chips nearby, the study reveals. Instead of leaving their pal in the trap and selfishly gobbling the candy all by themselves, rats will free their cage-mate and share the chocolate.
Border Patrol agent Michael Wagenen attends a memorial service for slain comrade Brian Terry who was killed during a shootout near the U.S.-Mexico Border last year. His death pushed Congress to investigate "Fast and Furious" when two guns linked to the program were found near Terry's body.
Attorney General Holder got a bruising reception from the Republican-dominated House Judiciary Committee that put the Justice Department on the defensive.
Holder answered questions about the botched gun trafficking operation known as "Fast and Furious" in which federal agents tried to build cases against drug cartels. Instead, they lost track of hundreds of weapons that turned up at crime scenes along the Southwest border.
Christopher Miller samples sediments from an excavation site in South Africa. Archaeologists found layers upon layers of burned bedding material, indicating that the hunter-gatherers who lived here 77,000 years ago stayed for a long time.
Leafy green sedge grass grows outside the Sibudu cave along the uThongathi River in South Africa. The sedge was arranged on the ground and covered with river wild quince leaves, which are known to repel insects.
NPR's Debbie Elliott and Richard Gonzales spent a month on the road across the nation, reporting stories of economic struggle for the NPR series "Hard Times." They heard stories of people and places grappling with economic hardship, and also found a few bright spots along the way.
Delegates from nearly 200 countries gathered for a U.N. climate conference in South Africa have been frustrated by a lack of consensus on how to reduce carbon emissions. Many participants are pointing to major emitters like the U.S. and China for the lack of progress.
After seven seasons, TNT's "The Closer" is coming to a close. Brenda Leigh Johnson has led the major crimes department of the Los Angeles Police Department on the hit show since 2005. Played by Kyra Sedgwick, she catches killers, brings them to often tearful confessions, and gets the case closed.
As the Euro crisis continues, Germany and France have proposed reforms to give European Union leaders more power to demand fiscal discipline from member states. The crisis has raised difficult questions about national sovereignty for many EU member states.