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In his last publicized overseas trip in office, President Bush arrives in Lima, Peru, on Friday for the annual meeting of leaders from 21 Asia-Pacific countries. The focus is on repairing the world economy. During his eight years in the White House, Bush has visited more than 70 countries during 47 trips.

Rep. Henry Waxman (D) of Calif., a liberal ally of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, will take over chairmanship of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee in January. In an election of House Democrats, he toppled Michigan Rep. John Dingell, the longest-serving member of the House, from the post, 137-122, on Thursday.

Tom Daschle, the former Senate Democratic leader, will be named the new secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, sources confirmed Wednesday. He will help steer the healthcare reforms promised by President-elect Obama. Daschle, of South Dakota, has been a public policy adviser in Washington since losing a reelection bid in 2004.


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