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By Compiled from wire service reports by Robert Kilborn and Kristen Broman-Worthington / December 10, 2002



United Airlines, as expected, filed for bankruptcy protection in federal court in Chicago, seeking time to reorganize its finances while continuing to fly. The world's second-largest carrier lost an estimated $4 billion in the past two years. Its bankruptcy filing is the largest in aviation history.

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President Bush nominated John Snow as the next Treasury secretary, saying the chairman of CSX Corp. "has shown consistent qualities of foresight and integrity and public spirit." An economist and advocate of increased corporate accountability, Snow formerly headed the Business Roundtable, an influential association of chief executives. He also served in the Ford administration. Monday, Bush is expected to tap Stephen Friedman, an ex-chairman of the Goldman Sachs investment bank, as economic-policy coordinator, part of a new team to help win congressional approval of an expected economic-growth plan reportedly worth up to $300 billion.

In talks with strategic potential for both sides, Bush meets Tuesday with Turkish politician Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose Muslim-based party dominates the new coalition government. Bush reportedly wants to use bases in Turkey as staging areas for airstrikes and possible ground assaults in any conflict with Iraq. Erdogan is seeking backing for Turkey's bid to join the European Union, which Bush previously has said he supports.

California's legislature opened a special session to debate $10.2 billion in budget cuts proposed by Gov. Gray Davis (D). The state confronts an estimated $21 billion deficit, with an even larger shortfall projected next year. The proposals would dramatically reduce spending on education, health, and welfare programs and cut some state jobs, without raising taxes.

Holiday travel was becoming easier, with a relaxation of airport security restrictions put in place since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The Transportation Security Administration said it will recheck travelers at randomly selected gates, instead of at every gate, and will allow parking within 300 feet of terminals, as long as the risk of attacks remains at its current level, the middle of a five-point scale.

Bush declared a federal disaster on Guam, after the island was devastated by typhoon Pongsona. Sustained winds above 150 m.p.h. knocked out electricity, water, sewage treatment, and phone service. Gov. Carl Gutierrez said it could take weeks to assess full damage.

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