IN THE NEWS #460 - Bush Cabinet

By Paul Thompson

This is Steve Ember with the VOA Special English program IN THE NEWS.

President-elect George W. Bush has nominated retired General Colin Powell to be Secretary of State in the new administration. Mr. Bush will be sworn in as president January twentieth.

Colin Powell is the first African American to be named Secretary of State. He was born in New York City in Nineteen-Thirty-Seven. His parents came to the United States from Jamaica. General Powell attended City College of New York. He became an officer in the United States Army when he graduated from college.

On October First Nineteen-Eighty-Nine, General Powell became the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Department of Defense. He served as the top military adviser to President George Bush, the president-elect's father, during the Persian Gulf War. He also served as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for President Clinton. General Powell retired from the Army in Nineteen-Ninety-Three.

General Powell refused calls to become a candidate for President in Nineteen-Ninety-Six. Instead, he became the head of an organization called America's Promise. America's Promise works to improve the lives of poor children.

Most experts agree that General Powell will be a powerful Secretary of State. They say he will bring new ideas and clear leadership to American foreign policy.

General Powell spoke to reporters soon after his nomination. He talked about the need to strengthen democracy and free-market economies around the world. General Powell said the new Bush Administration would move ahead with a national missile-defense program. And he promised that the United States would work to strengthen all alliances.

President-elect Bush also named Stanford University Professor Condoleezza Rice as National Security Advisor. She will work with General Powell. She is the first woman and second African American to be named National Security Advisor.

Condoleezza Rice was born in the southern state of Alabama forty-six years ago. She is an expert in international policy and the former Soviet Union. She has been a professor at Stanford University since Nineteen-Eighty-One. Miss Rice served as a top expert about the Soviet Union for President George Bush. Many experts say that she will work well with General Powell to plan America's future foreign policy.

President-elect Bush also has made other appointments. He named business leader Paul H. O'Neill to be his Secretary of the Treasury. He asked Mizz Ann Veneman to be Agriculture Secretary. He also nominated Mel Martinez as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

The Senate must confirm Mr. Bush's nominations before they can begin their duties in the new administration.

This VOA Special English program IN THE NEWS was written by Paul Thompson. This is Steve Ember.

Voice of America Special English