Decision in Minnesota race
The long-running dispute over the Minnesota Senate race between Republican incumbent Norm Coleman and Democrat Al Franken has moved closer to resolution. A panel of three state judges agreed this week to open and count about 400 new absentee ballots—far fewer than the 928 ballots Coleman had sought to count in an effort to close his 225-vote deficit. Analysts said the decision probably sealed Franken’s victory, though Coleman has vowed to appeal.

Loan forgiveness
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has proposed forgiving $831 million in emergency loans to Gulf Coast communities damaged in 2005 by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Many towns in Louisiana and Mississippi have struggled to recover from the storms; FEMA plans to forgive loans to towns whose revenues haven’t met outlays in the years since 2005.