WASHINGTON — The Senate on Thursday voted to end a President Barack Obama-era effort to identify and help struggling schools and students, as President Donald Trump and Republicans work to undo some of his predecessor’s key policies.

Senators voted 50-49 to rescind accountability rules issued in November to help states implement the 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act, a law that addresses school ratings, student report cards and other ways to spot and help troubled schools. Trump is expected to sign the bill into law.

Republicans argued that the regulations were an example of federal overreach and that details of things like report cards should be left to states and local communities.

Democrats defended the rules, saying they provide important safeguards for vulnerable groups of students, such as children with special needs and minorities.

Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, said the regulations violate the main idea of ESSA, which he said was meant to empower states on education matters. The ESSA replaced the President George W. Bush-era No Child Left Behind law.

“People had grown fed up with Washington telling teachers and schools, and superintendents and states, so much about what to do about our children in 100,000 public schools,” Alexander, who sponsored the measure, said.

Senator Patty Murray of Washington, the top Democrat on the panel, urged senators to keep the regulations, saying they protect students’ civil rights.

House passes bill to restrict legal claims against companies

WASHINGTON — The House approved Thursday a bill that would make it harder for individuals or groups to bring legal claims against companies in consumer disputes, employment discrimination cases and other areas.

Lawmakers approved the measure, 220-201. The bill’s prospects are less clear in the Senate.

The legislation is the latest in a flurry of business-friendly moves by Congress and the Trump administration. Changes mandated in the bill could help reduce legal costs for businesses by putting up more hurdles to bringing class-action lawsuits in federal court.

Supporters say the bill is needed to curb abuses in class-action suits that often result in a huge payday for lawyers.

Consumer groups and civil rights advocates said the bill penalizes those who have been mistreated by corporations.

Death toll rises to 33 in fire at youth shelter in Guatemala

SAN JOSE PINULA, Guatemala — A blaze that killed at least 33 girls at a shelter for troubled youths erupted when some of them set fire to mattresses to protest rapes and other mistreatment at the badly overcrowded institution, the parent of one victim said Thursday.

Officials said they are still investigating who started the fire Wednesday at the long-criticized shelter on the outskirts of Guatemala’s capital. The facility houses troubled and abused boys and girls as well as juvenile offenders.

In addition to the dead, several girls were badly burned and were fighting for their lives.

Someone ignited mattresses in a dormitory that held girls who had been caught the day before during a mass breakout attempt, authorities said.

Senate panel advances Trump pick for intelligence director

WASHINGTON — The Senate Intelligence Committee has voted to confirm President Donald Trump’s pick for national intelligence director, advancing his nomination to the Senate floor.

The committee voted 13-2 in favor of former Indiana Sen. Dan Coats to replace James Clapper, who retired at the end of the Obama administration.

Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., the committee chairman, said he’s confident Coats will help the intelligence community face a wide range of challenges. The committee’s top Democrat, Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, said Coats pledged to cooperate with the investigation into Russian activities during the election.

Democratic Sens. Kamala Harris of California and Ron Wyden of Oregon voted against Coats.

Report: Iran successfully tests ballistic missile

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s Revolutionary Guard has successfully tested a ballistic missile, Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency reported Thursday.

The report quotes Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, chief of the Guard’s aerospace division, as saying the missile destroyed a target from a distance of 150 miles. It said the sea-launched ballistic missile dubbed Hormuz 2 was tested last week.

The Hormuz 2 is capable of hitting floating targets with high accuracy within a range of about 180 miles, Fars said. It provided no additional details.

Earlier this month, President Donald Trump imposed new sanctions on entities and individuals who support Iran’s ballistic missile program.

Last month, Iranian media reported the Revolutionary Guard launched several sophisticated rockets during exercises in the country’s central desert.

Suspect held in ax attack at German train station; 7 hurt

BERLIN — A man was arrested after injuring seven people with an ax at the main train station in Duesseldorf, Germany, in what appeared to be a random attack, police said Thursday.

Officers were alerted about an attack shortly before 9 p.m.

“A person, probably armed with an ax, attacked people at random,” police said in a statement.

The suspected attacker was arrested after jumping off an overpass near the train station, the statement said. The 36-year-old man, described as being from “the former Yugoslavia” and living in the nearby city of Wuppertal, suffered serious injuries and was being treated in a hospital.

Police said an ax was recovered and officers were searching the area in and around the station, which was closed for the investigation.

S. Korea leader out: In a unanimous ruling Friday, South Korea’s Constitutional Court formally removed impeached President Park Geun-hye from office over a corruption scandal. It was a stunning fall for Park, the daughter of a dictator who rode a lingering conservative nostalgia for her father to victory in 2012.

Yemen deaths: A U.S.-led raid in Yemen killed up to a dozen civilians, a senior official said Thursday, the most specific admission yet that the January operation resulted in unintended loss of life. Gen. Joseph Votel told lawmakers that a probe concluded that between four and 12 civilians died as a result of U.S. actions.