The Senate confirmed scores of administration nominees for top government jobs, clearing a backlog that had been building for months as Republicans vowed to block them in retaliation for President Obama's recess appointments this year of a consumer watchdog and three members of the National Labor Relations Board. The logjam was broken, a GOP source said, after Democrats agreed to confirm Republican nominees and with the understanding that the White House would make no further recess appointments. Nominees were approved across the federal government including for positions at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the Federal Trade Commission, and the State and Treasury departments.
The gunman who shot to death seven people and then died in a standoff with police last week was buried in his hometown of Toulouse despite objections from the mayor. The move came after Algeria, the ancestral home of Mohamed Merah, refused to accept his remains, media reports said.
At least 13 people died during an uprising by armed inmates at a prison in the northern city of San Pedro Sula, one of the victims decapitated and the others killed by a fire started by the rioters, authorities said. Inmates carried the burned bodies from the site of the blaze and set them out in the prison yard. Officials said the disturbance was put down without firing shots. The unrest came six weeks after a fire at another prison in Honduras killed 361 inmates.
West Africa's regional bloc announced it will close all land borders with Mali and freeze the nation's bank account in an effort to force from power mutinous soldiers who seized control in a coup last week. The sanctions by the Economic Community of West African States are likely to strangle impoverished Mali, which imports nearly all of its gasoline. The military junta ousted President Amadou Toumani Toure, one of Africa's senior statesman.
Dick Fedorcio, Scotland Yard's communications chief, resigned, the third senior police figure to lose his job because of Britain's phone hacking scandal. Fedorcio stepped down after he was told that he would face disciplinary proceedings over the hiring of a former executive at Rupert Murdoch's now-defunct News of the World tabloid. The Police Complaints Commission ruled that Fedorcio had to answer questions over the decision to hire Neil Wallis, who was later arrested on suspicion of intercepting voice mails.
A NATO supply convoy was attacked by 70 to 80 Taliban insurgents in western Afghanistan, with 37 dead reported in the firefight and NATO airstrikes that ensued, Afghan officials said. The victims, all Afghans, included seven private security guards with two firms guarding the convoy, according to an official at one of the companies, plus two Afghan army soldiers and numerous Taliban. The attack took place in the Gulistani district of Farah Province.