3 NATO troops reported killed in Afghanistan
Three members of the U.S.-led military coalition were killed Wednesday in Afghanistan, NATO said. The coalition said two died in a roadside bombing in southern Afghanistan where foreign forces are trying to hold the ground they seized from Taliban insurgents in major offensives over the past year. Another died in a noncombat-related incident in eastern Afghanistan, the volatile second front of the nearly decade-long war. No other details were disclosed, pending notification of their relatives. So far this year, 328 foreign troops have been killed in Afghanistan.
72 charged in child sex abuse inquiry
Seventy-two people have been charged with participating in an international child pornography network that prosecutors say used an online bulletin board called Dreamboard to trade tens of thousands of images and videos of sexually abused children. Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Wednesday a 20-month law enforcement effort called Operation Delego targeted more than 600 Dreamboard members around the world for allegedly participating in the private, members-only Internet club.
NRA sues over bulk gun sales rule
The National Rifle Association on Wednesday filed a lawsuit challenging a regulation requiring gun merchants along the border with Mexico to report bulk sales of certain semiautomatic rifles. The NRA contends the Obama administration exceeded its powers by imposing the rule last month without congressional permission. The lawsuit, filed in the name of two firearms dealers in Arizona, asks the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to bar enforcement of the rule by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Senate blocks appointments
The Senate did not formally go into recess when it adjourned for more than a month, a procedural move that prevents President Barack Obama from temporarily appointing the head of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. In addition to that vacant director position, Obama would like to install nominees to head the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and numerous department and federal judicial posts.
Army to hire more abuse counselors
The Army is increasing its staff of 400 substance abuse counselors by 130 to help the rising number of troops with alcohol problems. Officials posted the job openings this week. The number of troops abusing alcohol has roughly doubled in the last five years, said Dr. Les McFarling, head of the Army's substance program. Some 13,000 soldiers were treated for substance abuse last year; 11,100 for alcohol abuse.