President Bush nominated US Trade Representative Rob Portman Tuesday to become the new White House budget director and selected his deputy, Susan Schwab, to assume Portman's post. The moves are widely viewed as part of an effort to reenergize the administration. Portman, a longtime friend of the president, is a former Republican congressman from Ohio.

A legal loophole allows the scores of nearly 2 million public schoolchildren on standardized tests to go uncounted, the Associated Press said of a computer analysis it conducted. The omission means that schools aren't accurately painting a picture of academic progress by minority students, as called for by No Child Left Behind legislation, which is linked to federal aid.

Texas utilities urged customers to cut back on electricity use Tuesday in hopes of avoiding outages. Rolling blackouts were necessitated Monday by unseasonable temperatures, which reached a record high of 101 degrees F. in at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport.

New York City's transit union was fined $2.5 million by a state court Monday for going on strike for 60 hours just before Christmas. State law prohibits public employees from striking. The judge gave the union 30 days to comply, but said it could apply for payment schedules.

The Alabama Legislature gave final approval to the Rosa Parks Act, a bill that would grant pardons on request to anyone convicted in the past of breaking Jim Crow segregation laws. Parks was arrested 50 years ago for refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery city bus. The governor must still sign the bill.

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