USA

In his last publicized overseas trip in office, President Bush arrives in Lima, Peru, on Friday for the annual meeting of leaders from 21 Asia-Pacific countries. The focus is on repairing the world economy. During his eight years in the White House, Bush has visited more than 70 countries during 47 trips.

Rep. Henry Waxman (D) of Calif., a liberal ally of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, will take over chairmanship of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee in January. In an election of House Democrats, he toppled Michigan Rep. John Dingell, the longest-serving member of the House, from the post, 137-122, on Thursday.

Tom Daschle, the former Senate Democratic leader, will be named the new secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, sources confirmed Wednesday. He will help steer the healthcare reforms promised by President-elect Obama. Daschle, of South Dakota, has been a public policy adviser in Washington since losing a reelection bid in 2004.

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The International Space Station celebrated its 10th anniversary Thursday. Upgrades are currently being made by NASA astronauts to the facility, which is about three-quarters complete. The station has traveled 1.3 billion miles.

New runways at three major metropolitan airports opened Thursday: at Chicago's O'Hare, Seattle's Sea-Tac, and Washington's Dulles. Transportation officials said the runways should help alleviate congestion and delays.

Judges for the National Book Award presented the fiction award Wednesday to Peter Matthiessen, the founder of the Paris Review, for "Shadow Country" at a New York banquet. Annette Gordon-Reed won in the nonfiction category for "The Hemingses of Monticello."

Minnesota election workers began a recount of 2.9 million ballots Wednesday to break a virtual tie in the US Senate race between incumbent Norm Coleman (R) and Al Franken (D). The tally is required under state law because Coleman's margin of victory was less than one-half of 1 percent.

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