Without naming names, the White House said it would work "as quickly as possible" to select a new candidate for Homeland Security secretary following Bernard Kerik's sudden decision to withdraw his nomination. Speculation centered on Asa Hutchinson, the department's undersecretary for border and transportation security, US Sen. Joe Lieberman (D) of Connecticut, and Homeland Security adviser Fran Townsend. Kerik, the former New York City police commissioner, bowed out within days of being nominated after word leaked that he hadn't paid all required taxes for his family's nanny/housekeeper and that the woman may have been in the country illegally.
With little hope of finding any further surviving crew members of a wrecked cargo ship in the frigid waters off Alaska's Aleutian Islands, authorities involved in rescue and recovery efforts decided to focus on cleanup of spilled fuel oil from the vessel, an official said Saturday. Twenty other members of the Malyasian-flagged Selendang Ayu's crew were rescued as well as the crew of a Coast Guard helicopter that crashed in attempting a rescue. The ship ran into a storm last Tuesday.
Former Vermont governor and presidential candidate Howard Dean emerged over the weekend as a candidate to lead the Democratic National Committee. Dean was among eight men who made speeches before state party leaders at a Saturday forum in Orlando, Fla., that sets the stage for a February meeting to elect a new chairman. Current leader Terry McAuliffe is stepping down.
A team of doctors at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., declared President Bush "fit for duty" Saturday after he completed his annual physical exam.
NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe has applied for the post of chancellor at Louisiana State University and may announce his future plans as early as Monday, the Houston Chronicle reported.
Quarterback Matt Leinart of the University of Southern California was named this season's top college football player at Saturday night's Heisman Trophy ceremony in New York. In voting largely by the media, the junior beat out Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson and Peterson's teammate, quarterback Jason White, who won the Hesiman last year. Their undefeated teams meet in the Orange Bowl, with a national title on the line.