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Mary Schapiro, President-elect Obama's new pick to head the Securities and Exchange Commission as its effectiveness is being questioned, would become the first permanent chairwoman of the agency if confirmed. She served six years as an SEC commissioner and now is the CEO of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the securities and brokerage industry's self-policing organization.

Bernard Madoff, the money manager accused of a $50 billion Ponzi scheme, is free on $10 million bail, but must wear an ankle bracelet to monitor his movements. Congress said it will begin an inquiry in January on the government's failure to detect his alleged fraudulent practices.

To ensure security and response readiness at the presidential inauguration on Jan. 20, 11,000 US troops will work the event, according to Gen. Gene Renuart, who's in charge of domestic defense. Some will provide air defense and medical support.


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