The standoff between French police and an al-Qaida linked gunman in Toulouse is over after more than 30 hours. The office of President Nicolas Sarkozy and police officials confirm that Mohammed Merah, the 24-year-old man suspected of killing seven people, is dead. In other headlines, city commissioners in Sanford, Florida, have voted "no confidence" in their police chief Bill Lee; the Republican budget plan has been approved by the Budget Committee; last year's Texas drought was the costliest in state history; and a NASA probe on Mercury has found new evidence of possible ice.