Ten years ago today, as a horrified America struggled to respond to the September 11 attacks, 13 coal miners died in multiple explosions at the Jim Walter Resources coal mine in Brookwood, Alabama.
The overwhelming and justifiable attention to the thousands of deaths in New York, The Pentagon and Pennsylvania 12 days before kept the Jim Walter mine disaster in the shadows. It was the nation's worst mine disaster in nearly two decades and it involved a methane gas explosion, a familiar danger underground.
"I was probably 12 when I trashed my first electric guitar," Diego Stocco says. "I totally disassembled it, and I wasn't able to put it back together."
It wasn't Stocco's first such experience; a year or two earlier, he'd been dismissed from music conservatory after sawing his violin in half.
Youthful rebellion wasn't to blame. Instead, Stocco was indulging a budding curiosity in the more unconventional ways music can be made — one that would lead him to his current occupation as a composer and sound designer with a mad-scientist streak.
In Libya, civilians are fleeing from Sirte, the last major town that is still in the hands of forces loyal to ousted strongman Moammar Gadhafi.
Many say they were cut off from the rest of the country, without electricity and with dwindling food supplies. Some say they knew nothing of the rebel advances in the past month, including the capture of the capital, Tripoli.
They didn't know that they would be emerging into a new country.
A federal loan program to build more fuel-efficient cars became the latest budget flash point, with House Republicans wanting to raid the fund to help pay for FEMA disaster aid. Senate Democrats refused to go along. The standoff comes in a bill that would fund the entire government beyond next week.
Congress is at odds over a measure needed to keep the government operating past the end of the month.
While lawmakers have a week to work out their differences before the government faces another partial shutdown, one agency faces a much earlier deadline.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency will run out of money early next week, putting a halt to projects in communities around the country still struggling to recover from this year's spate of hurricanes, tornadoes and wildfires.
The president of the Palestinian Authority has asked the U.N. to recognize his state. The Israelis say such a move would violate past agreements and are threatening retaliation. U.S. and European diplomats are scrambling to head off what could be a diplomatic train wreck.