- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 23, 2001

Bush appoints Powell as FCC chairman

President Bush yesterday picked Michael Powell to take over as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said.

The son of Colin Powell, Mr. Bush's secretary of state, has served on the FCC's board as a commissioner since 1997.

Mr. Powell will take over the chairmanship of the FCC from William Kennard, who was appointed to head the commission by President Clinton in 1997.

Before this appointment to the FCC, Mr. Powell was the chief of staff of the antitrust division at the Department of Justice and worked as a lawyer.

Jackson makes debut since news of affair

CHICAGO The Rev. Jesse Jackson made good on the reversal of his promise to leave public life, going before a cheering audience yesterday to call on President Bush for more public school money and racial preferences.

Mr. Jackson's challenges came days after the former Democratic presidential candidate acknowledged an extramarital affair that produced a child. Mr. Bush called Mr. Jackson after the affair became public to offer support.

At a Chicago luncheon of his group, the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, Mr. Jackson said he was ready to "rebuild a massive coalition of conscience" to end the death penalty and protect abortion.

Asked at a brief news conference afterward if he thought news of his adulterous affair would hurt his ability to lead, Mr. Jackson answered: "No," without elaboration.

Liberian asylum-seeker freed from U.S. jail

PHILADELPHIA A Liberian man detained for six years while he sought asylum in the United States was released yesterday from a Pennsylvania prison.

Jimmy Johnson, said to be one of the longest-held asylum-seekers in the United States, was allowed to leave the York County Prison after an appeals panel halted attempts to deport him.

William F. Schulz, executive director of Amnesty International, applauded the release but called Mr. Johnson's case "perhaps the most egregious example of the flaws in the system." Mr. Johnson was never charged with a crime.

Goldin remains as NASA chief

National Aeronautics and Space Administration Administrator Daniel Goldin is staying at his job through the start of the Bush administration as the White House fills other posts at the U.S. space agency, NASA officials said.

Mr. Goldin "was asked to stay on until the new administration makes some final decisions," said NASA spokesman Glenn Mahone, adding that Mr. Goldin's tenure is "indefinite."

In a letter sent to NASA personnel yesterday, Mr. Goldin said he is "committed to making this transition smooth" and asked employees to help with the change of administration.

The announcement named four persons to acting positions in NASA jobs formerly held by Clinton appointees: Steve Varholy, chief financial officer; Amy Dee Kerwin, associate administrator for legislative affairs; Paula Cleggett, acting associate administrator for public affairs; and Beth McCormick, associate administrator for policy and plans.

Senate panel OKs Martinez nomination

The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Development Committee yesterday approved President Bush's choice for housing secretary, Mel Martinez, sending the nomination to the Senate.

The committee on a unanimous voice vote approved Mr. Martinez, 54, the elected chairman of Orange County, Fla., who would be the first Cuban-American Cabinet secretary.

His nomination to the Department of Housing and Urban Development could go for confirmation by the full Senate today.

With an up-from-the-bootstraps history arriving in the United States at age 15 as a refugee in the 1962 airlift of Cuban children known as Operation Pedro Pan Mr. Martinez breezed through his confirmation hearing.

Mr. Martinez told the Senate panel he would be an activist housing chief who would push to help low-income people move into affordable housing and to buy their own homes.

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