Today's coverage: Sotomayor faces new rules, Shell strikes deal, Globe doesn't

Here are the stories we're covering today:

In world news ...

• We've rounded up global coverage of a mosque bombing in Thailand, where Muslim-Buddhist tensions have flared.

• The US is training Afghan border police along the important Pakistani-Afghan border. P. J. Tobia finds that it's going slowly.

Shell Oil has settled a $15.5-million lawsuit that accused them of complicity in the deaths of Nigerian human rights activists. Scott Baldauf on the hope of both sides for reconciliation.

Peter Ford updates the situation of New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin in quarantine in China.

• US concerns over last year's questionable municipal elections in Nicaragua could become policy. Tim Rogers reports that US officials are considering canceling $64 million in development aid as punishment for Daniel Ortega's governance practices.

• Just as George Mitchell is arriving in Israel today, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's own interior minister is working on expanding settlements. Ilene Prusher looks at whether Netanyahu will be able to exert control over his own government.

Jane Arraf reports that a major insurgent figure has been released by the US to the Iraqis, possibly paving the way for five kidnapped British to be released a year after their capture.

In US news ...

Gail Chaddock reports that the old rules for assessing Supreme Court nominees are gone, with ideology now a reason for rejecting a nominee. Republicans argue Obama himself, during his time on the judiciary committee, set the stage for this.

• When the key union at the Boston Globe spurns the deal set by its publisher, the New York Times, what happens next? Alexandra Marks reports.

• Some banks are begging to be allowed to pay back the government the TARP money they took during last fall's near-meltdown of the financial system. Treasury has announced which banks is has enough confidence in to allow that. Mark Trumbull explains.

• Gasoline prices have been on a steep climb – and a new forecast predicts that they'll keep going up, at least for a little while. But Ron Scherer reports that the peak is still expected to stay below $3 a gallon.

• An annual report compares all school districts based on a common high school graduation-rate formula, and shows national progress between 1996 and 2006. Stacy Khadaroo finds districts that have higher grad rates and improvement rates than would be predicted based on demographic factors.

Dante Chinni looks at how the pattern of closing Chrysler dealerships plays out around the country's "Patchwork Nation" community types.

• Environment editor Judy Lowe asks: How green are subways, trains, and hybrid cars? It depends.

• Recession Road Tripper Bill Glauber finds that Americans still pay tribute to those lost in the Oklahoma City bombing.

And in other news ...

We have posted a report on the Annual Meeting of the Christian Science church, which publishes this newspaper.

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