Seven people, including the son of a Muslim Brotherhood leader, have been arrested in connection with a suicide bomb attack on a police station north of Cairo that killed 16 people last month, the interior minister said. The army-backed government listed the group as a terrorist organization after accusing it of carrying out the attack, one of the worst Egypt has faced since the army deposed Islamist Mohamed Mursi in July following protests against his rule.
According to a Senate Democratic leadership aide, The U.S. Senate has set a Monday vote on President Barack Obama's choice of Janet Yellen to chair the Federal Reserve and replace Ben Bernanke. The Senate is expected to vote at around 5:30 p.m. EST (2230 GMT) Monday on Yellen, who would become the first woman to chair the U.S. central bank. On December 20, the Senate voted 59-34 to move forward with the nomination, indicating she had enough support to win confirmation. Bernanke's second four-year term expires on January 31.
Italian center-left leader Matteo Renzi called on Thursday for swift reform of an electoral system blamed for the country's bouts of political deadlock and said he expected an agreement could be completed within weeks. Renzi is not in the government but as head of the Democratic Party, the biggest party in Prime Minister Enrico Letta's left-right coalition, he will have a decisive role to play in shaping the political agenda. Renzi suggested that moves to fix the economy and political system might lead to an easing of European Union deficit limits that have forced austerity measures on a resentful Italian public already coping with a long recession.
American senators visiting Kabul on Thursday intensified pressure on President Hamid Karzai to sign a long-term security deal with the United States. And responding to a new crisis between the allies this week, they warned the Afghan government away from plans to summarily release dozens of detainees accused of attacking American forces. “If these releases go ahead, it will do irreparable damage to the relationship,” said Senator Lindsey Graham. “There will be a backlash in the U.S. Congress.”