McCain opposes filibuster over Hagel
Several Republican senators — notably John McCain — said Monday that they would oppose a filibuster of former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel's confirmation as secretary of defense, moving the nominee much closer toward approval.
"I just do not believe a filibuster is appropriate, and I would oppose such a move," McCain of Arizona, a key Republican on military issues, told reporters, adding that he would press his colleagues on the matter.
Sens. Richard Burr of North Carolina and Susan Collins of Maine also said Monday that they would reject a filibuster, as did Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri last week.
The Senate Armed Services Committee is expected to send Hagel's confirmation to the full Senate on Thursday, likely along party lines.
Cause sought in bus crash that killed 7
The mountain highway where a tour bus crashed Sunday night, killing at least seven people and injuring dozens more, remained closed Monday as investigators combed the roadway for evidence of what caused the bus to careen out of control.
California Highway Patrol investigators had not yet determined the cause of the crash near Yucaipa, in the foothills about 80 miles east of Los Angeles. But the company that operated the tour bus, Scapadas Magicas, was repeatedly cited in recent years for vehicle maintenance violations, records show.
U.S. unsure of Iran's space flight claim
The United States expressed doubt on Monday about Iran's claim that it safely returned a monkey from space, saying it is questionable that the monkey survived — or if the flight happened at all.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said a lot of questions remained "about whether the monkey that they reportedly sent up into space and reportedly came down was actually the same monkey, whether he survived."
Tehran blames the confusion on Iran's media for initially using a photo of the wrong monkey. Iran says the monkey orbited and returned last week.
Mexico: Mexico's attorney general said Monday that a buildup of gas ignited by a spark from a faulty electrical system caused the explosion at the headquarters of the state-owned oil company, which killed 37 people last week.
Iraq: A suicide bomber struck a group of anti-al-Qaida fighters north of Baghdad on Monday, killing 22 people and wounding 44 in the latest bid to shake confidence in the security forces, officials said.