tribute to train crash victims: Spain’s royal family and leading politicians attended a somber mass at the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela in homage to the 79 killed and 130 injured in last week’s train crash. The investigation has increasingly focused on why the driver failed to brake in time to stop the train from hurtling into a dangerous curve and slamming into a concrete wall.
Senate OKs Comey as new FBI director
The Senate overwhelmingly confirmed James Comey on Monday to become FBI director, elevating the one-time Justice Department official who defied efforts by President George W. Bush’s White House to renew a program that allowed warrantless eavesdropping. Comey was approved 93-1. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., had been thwarting the vote over his concerns about the FBI’s domestic use of drones. Minutes before a showdown vote that seemed likely to force an end to his delays, Paul announced he would allow a vote on Comey, saying he’d received a letter from the FBI that answered his questions about drones.
Manning verdict to be announced today
A military judge has reached a verdict and will announce it Tuesday afternoon in the high-profile court-martial of Pfc. Bradley Manning, the former Army intelligence analyst whose release of some 700,000 secret documents to WikiLeaks opened a window into American military and diplomatic activities. Manning, who has already confessed to being WikiLeaks’ source for the files, has pleaded guilty to a lesser version of the charges he is facing, which could expose him to up to 20 years in prison. The government, however, decided to press forward with a trial on a more serious version of the charges, including “aiding the enemy” and violations of the Espionage Act, which could result in a life sentence. His court-martial began in early June.
Taliban forces storm prison, free terrorists
Pakistani soldiers and Pakistani Taliban insurgents were locked in a standoff early Tuesday at a fortress-like prison in the northwest city of Dera Ismail Khan, after the insurgents freed several dozen terrorist convicts in a raid marked by two hours of automatic weapons fire and about 60 grenade explosions. Early in the morning, the militants remained inside the prison, along with jail staff and prisoners, with the Pakistani army outside.
Jewel heist is one of biggest in history
A lone jewel thief who struck the lavish Carlton International Hotel in the French Riviera resort town of Cannes made off with $136 million in diamond-encrusted watches and gems, making it one of the biggest jewel heists in history, French authorities reported. Initial estimates of the stolen jewels after the brazen midday theft on Sunday put their value at $53 million.
Trains collide head-on, injuring 35 people
At least 35 people were injured, five of them seriously, in a head-on collision of two trains in western Switzerland late Monday, police said. One person had yet to be recovered from the wreckage. The crash happened near the station of Granges-pres-Marnand on a regional line about 31 miles southwest of the capital, Bern. It came just days after 79 people were killed in a high-speed train derailment in Spain.