World and Nation

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Four killed at Jewish school in southwestern France

TOULOUSE, France — French authorities were searching Monday for a man suspected in a string of methodical killings that have terrorized this city and the surrounding area in southwestern France, following an attack outside a Jewish school Monday morning that killed four people, including three young children.

It was the third murderous attack on unarmed people in the region in little over a week, and the most deadly attack against Jews in France since a 1982 assault on a Paris kosher restaurant. Police said that the same gun, a .45-caliber automatic pistol, was used in three shootings, the one Monday and two earlier attacks on French paratroopers, and that the modus operandi was the same — a man on a powerful motorbike, also the same in each instance, who shot and then fled.

The local prosecutor, Michel Valet, said a religious instructor, his two children and another child, the daughter of the school’s director, were killed in Monday’s attack and a 17-year-old boy was seriously wounded. The killer “shot at everything he could see, children and adults, and some children were chased into the school,” Valet said.

—Scott Sayare and Steven Erlanger, The New York Times

For 2nd year, a sharp drop in law school entrance tests

Legal diplomas are apparently losing luster.

The organization behind the Law School Admission Test reported that the number of tests it administered this year dropped by more than 16 percent, the largest decline in more than a decade.

The Law School Admission Council reported that the LSAT was given 129,925 times in the 2011-12 academic year. That was well off the 155,050 of the year before and far from the peak of 171,514 in the year before that. In all, the number of test takers has fallen by nearly 25 percent in the last two years.

The decline reflects a spreading view that the legal market in the United States is in terrible shape and will have a hard time absorbing the roughly 45,000 students who are expected to graduate from law school in each of the next three years. And the problem may be deep and systemic. Many lawyers and law professors have argued in recent years that the legal market will either stagnate or shrink as technology allows more low-end legal work to be handled overseas, and as corporations demand more cost-efficient fee arrangements from their firms.

—David Segal, The New York Times

Finance minister takes reins of Greece’s socialist party

ATHENS, Greece — Greece’s finance minister, Evangelos Venizelos, formally assumed the leadership of the beleaguered Socialist Party on Monday, saying he would strive to put the country back on the path to economic recovery and restore the faith of austerity-weary citizens.

“We must rebuild our country, we must provide citizens with the certainty that they will not go through what they have been through again, that the same mistakes will not be made,” Venizelos said after a meeting with George A. Papandreou, the former prime minister and departing chief of the party, which is known as Pasok.

Venizelos, 55, who resigned as finance minister earlier in the day, defended Greece’s place in Europe — a region he described as “colorless, conservative and slow to react” — but added that “only within the context of Europe can Greece find the framework to make progress.”

—Niki Kitsantonis, The New York Times