U.S., Mexico OK new border pact

WASHINGTON - The United States and Mexico formalized an agreement yesterday to work together to secure legal travel and trade across the countries' shared border.

The agreement expands a 2007 agreement and formalizes plans announced earlier this year to search vehicles at border crossings for bulk weapons and cash being smuggled from the United States into Mexico, where more than 10,800 people have been killed by drug violence since December 2006.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said the cooperation would include sharing information such as data about stolen cars. Officials have said many of the weapons used in cartel violence in Mexico have come from the United States.

- AP

Double-transplant burn victim dies

PARIS - A burn victim who received a simultaneous partial face and double hand transplant in a French hospital has died, the Paris Public Hospital authority said yesterday.

The man, whose name was not made public, died June 8 after a heart attack during followup surgery to the April 4 transplant. The Public Hospital authority at the time said it was the world's sixth partial face transplant but the first to include hands as well.

The Public Hospital authority had described the recipient as a 30-year-old man who was injured in a 2004 accident.

- AP

Russia vetoes Georgia monitors

UNITED NATIONS - Russia exercised its veto power in the Security Council and brought an end yesterday to the nearly 16-year-old observer mission monitoring a cease-fire between Georgia and its breakaway Abkhazia region.

Russia's veto toppled a Western plan to extend the life of the U.N. mission for a year to work out a compromise. The vote was 10-1 with four abstentions - China, Vietnam, Libya, and Uganda.

After the Georgian-Russian war in the breakaway region of South Ossetia last August, Russia recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Georgia insists that both regions are still part of its territory, but Moscow insists they are not. "We need to get rid of this apparition," Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said after casting the veto.

- AP

Elsewhere:

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown authorized a long-awaited inquiry into the Iraq war but defied requests from families to hold sessions in public. Brown said an examination of mistakes made during and after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion would begin next month.

Air France replaced air-speed monitors on all long-haul Airbus aircraft even though the cause of the Flight 447 disaster remains a mystery. The probe into the disaster that killed 228 people has focused on external speed monitors that may have iced over.