USA

President Obama's choice to be America's first chief performance officer withdrew her candidacy Tuesday. At press time, it wasn't known if Nancy Killefer , an executive with consulting giant McKinsey & Co., would cite tax issues (she didn't pay taxes for household help) for pulling out. She is the third Obama appointee whose nomination has been complicated by tax problems.

On Tuesday, Hillary Rodham Clinton's first full day as the new secretary of State, she met with the British and German foreign ministers in Washington to discuss Iran, among other issues. Diplomatic sources also said plans are being made for her first overseas trip in mid-February, to China, Japan, and South Korea.

Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was released early Tuesday morning after completing a 99-day jail term in a downtown facility. His attorney said his client was not bitter and had learned a lot from serving time for his text-messaging sex scandal. On Wednesday, Kilpatrick reportedly has a job interview with an unnamed company in Texas.

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Geologists continue to monitor seismic activity at Alaska's Mount Redoubt around the clock, anticipating the volcano may be nearing an eruption.

Eric Holder, the first black US attorney general, was sworn in Tuesday after easily receiving Senate confirmation. One of his major new responsibilities is to co-chair a task force, with Defense Secretary Robert Gates, that will review terrorism detainee policies.

The Peanut Corp. of America, the company under criminal investigation in conjunction with a national salmonella outbreak traced to its Blakely, Ga., plant, operated an unlicensed facility in Texas for nearly four years, according to health records.

Authorities who broke up a cockfighting ring in central North Carolina said Monday they are checking the immigration status of 73 people charged with cruelty to animals during a weekend raid.

Joseph "Joey the Clown" Lom-bardo, the 80-year-old leader of Chicago's organized crime family, was sentenced to life in federal prison Monday for his alleged role in the 1974 murder of a government witness.

IBM aims to break its own supercomputer speed record, it said Tuesday in announcing work on a computer with the power of 2 million laptops. The house-size "Sequoia" computer should be ready in 2011 to do nuclear test simulations at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.

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