News In Brief
President-elect George W. Bush made his first cabinet appointment, designating Colin Powell for secretary of State. Bush lauded Powell, the first African- American nominated for the position, as "an American hero, an American example, and a great American story." The ex-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff pledged to shape a bipartisan foreign policy, and said he'd continue diplomatic efforts to end the Middle East conflict. He also vowed to push ahead with plans for a national missile defense system. Analysts predicted he would receive quick confirmation by the Senate.
Before leaving his Texas ranch for Washington, Bush was to announce additional appointments to his staff, including his chief campaign foreign-policy strategist, Condoleeza Rice, as national security adviser. Bush planned to meet with President Clinton and Vice President Gore, as well as congressional leaders from both parties, in his first visit to the capital since the Nov. 7 election.
A Florida circuit judge was expected to allow newspapers to review contested ballots in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties as part of a larger effort by various media organizations to conduct their own recounts in each of the state's 67 counties, executives of The Miami Herald said. Both parties have pledged not to contest the motion filed by the Herald and The Palm Beach Post, but some critics argued against the measure because the newspapers plan to use different criteria in determining the voters' intent.
Salt Lake City officials indicted for their roles in the International Olympic Committee bribery scandal released documents that purport to show Japan paid $100,000 to IOC members for choosing Nagano as the site of the 1998 Winter Games. Tom Welch, Salt Lake City bid chief, accused IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch of leading an effort to sabotage Salt Lake City's competing bid for the '98 Games and said the new information would prove he was innocent of wrongdoing.
American and United Airlines cancelled hundreds of flights out of Chicago's O'Hare Airport as strong new storms battered the Midwest with snow. Authorities across the Mississippi Valley closed highways as driving winds cut visibility there to near zero. In Alabama, meanwhile, a separate storm system unleashed several tornadoes that knocked out power to 43,000 customers and killed at least 12 people.
Data sent back from NASA's Galileo spacecraft indicate a huge salt-water ocean might exist beneath the surface of Jupiter's largest moon, researchers told a weekend geophysicists' conference in San Francisco. They said magnetic readings indicate Ganymede, which is larger than the planets Mercury and Pluto, is the third Jupiter satellite to show evidence of water under its crust. It's widely believed that water is a necessary component of life.
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