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WASHINGTON: Comey confirmed for FBI

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 after Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) ended delaying tactics that had blocked a vote on the nomination. Paul, mentioned as a possible 2016 GOP presidential candidate, had been thwarting the vote over his concerns about the FBI's domestic use of drones. Paul said he'd received a letter from the FBI that answered his questions.


Spying on reporter denied

A U.S. official said Monday that the National Security Agency did not monitor phone conversations between freelance reporter Jon Stephenson, a New Zealander who was working in Kabul for McClatchy news service and other media outlets, and his Afghan sources, following claims that his reporting was monitored by the U.S. intelligence programs revealed by NSA leaker Edward Snowden on behalf of New Zealand's military. Officials in the intelligence community said if any surveillance was done, it was likely that his phone calls were caught up by standard military intelligence monitoring of communications in war zones.


ILLINOIS: Jetliner's tires blow out

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Two tires of an American Airlines jet popped when the aircraft landed Monday at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago. American spokeswoman Mary Frances Fagan said no one none was injured when the two left main tires blew on a jet from Reno, Nev., that carried 137 passengers and five crew members.


MAINE: Attacked by polar bear

A Maine man dragged from his tent and attacked by a polar bear in Canada has a broken jaw and neck injuries but is improving in a Montreal hospital, his wife said. A bear that crossed an electric fence designed to protect members of his group attacked Matthew Dyer on Wednesday in Torngat Mountains National Park in northern Labrador. His colleagues, firing flares, drove the bear away. A helicopter took Dyer to a trauma center. He was transferred to Montreal General Hospital, his wife, Jeanne Wells, said.

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