Post-Standard, The (Newspaper) - January 28, 2005, Syracuse, New York Friday, January TOE POST-STANDARD PAGE A-11 I WASHINGTON J. Scott Applewhite The Associated Press SECRETARY OF STATE Condoleezza Rice is welcomed by State Department employees in the lobby of the Harry S. Truman Building in Washington Thursday. Her ceremonial swearing-in will be today; she was sworn in Wednesday night First Day On Job Rice to leave soon for Europe, Middle East The Associated Press Washington Condo- leezza Rice worked the phones on her first day on the job as America's top diplo- mat Thursday, reaching out to European allies and part- ners in the war on terrorism and echoing President Bush's inaugural charge to promote liberty across the globe. "The president has set forth a really bold agenda for American foreign Rice said in a brief address to State Department employees who applauded as she entered the lobby. "I can't think of a better call than to say that America will stand for free- dom and for liberty, that America will stand with those who want their aspirations met for liberty and freedom." Among dozens of phone calls with foreign ministers and heads of government, Rice spoke Thursday with Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Italian Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini. Lavrov congratulated Rice on her confirmation and dis- cussed the upcoming meeting between Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Slovakia, a statement from the Russian foreign ministry said. Pakistan's Foreign Minis- try spokesman Masood Khan said Musharraf also congratu- lated Rice anil tuai me uvu "briefly discussed Pakistan- U.S. relations as well as re- gional and international is- sues of mutual interest." Rice has a heavy task to re- build European and other alli- ances worn thin by interna- Travel pirns Condoieezza Rice will take her first foreign trip as America's top diplomat starting next week. She will travel to: Britain Germany Italy France Belgium Luxembourg Poland Turkey B Israel and the West Bank. Goal: Mending relations with U.S. allies in Europe and assessing prospects for Arab-Israeli negotiations. In France, Rice plans to give her first major speech as secretary of state. President's trip: President Bush plans a trip to Europe later in February. Future Rice trips: Rice and her designated deputy Robert Zoellick plan to visit all the NATO capitals in the next few months. tional opposition to the U.S.- led war in Iraq, and to help guide Middle East peace ef- forts after the death of Pales- tinian leader Yasser Arafat. The war, which has claimed the lives of more than U.S. troops, plus looming diplomatic and security prob- lems in Iran and North Korea also top Rice's agenda. Foreign travel will proba- bly take much of Rice's time for her first year or so in of- her last job mean she needs fewer introductions to inter- national leaders than many new secretaries of state. Rice's large collection of football memorabilia and shelves of her personal books Other appointments Alberto Gonzalcs: Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced Gonzales' attorney general nomination on a partyline, 10-8 vote, sending it to the full Senate where Republicans were expected to use their 55-44 advantage to confirm him there next week at the earliest. Jim Nicholson: He won confirmation as the new secretary of veterans affairs. Michael Leavitt: He won confirmation as the new secretary of health and human services were waiting for her in her new office. In announcing her nomination, Bush joked that Rice's dream job would be commissioner of the National Football League. Bush was to attend Rice's ceremonial swearing-in on today. She assumed her du- ties as the country's 66th sec- retary of state Wednesday night, after a bruising Senate confirmation process. Senate Democrats harshly criticized her performance planning for war as Bush's White House national security adviser, her stance on U.S. torture poli- cies and other topics. Rice has been heavily in- volved in U.S. planning for the Iraqi elections to be held Sunday. She attended a icilgui} uitcuiug Oil uic tions at the White House on Thursday. She planned sever- al television appearances Sunday to discuss the elec- tions, although it is not clear when voting results will be available. Bush proposes S3.2B to fight AIDS worldwide President Bush's new bud- get will ask Congress to provide billion to combat AIDS in Africa and other poor regions, senior administration officials said Thursday. The request would represent the latest portion of Bush's 2003 pledge to provide billion over the next five years to com- bat the disease overseas. Judges doubt task force must release information Judges on a federal appeals court expressed doubts Thursday that the Bush administration could be required to reveal secret details about Vice President Dick Cheney's 2001 energy pol- icy task force and the contacts it had with industry lobbyists. Report: More ATV riders means more deaths More people than ever are being killed and injured on all- terrain vehicles as the number of riders increases, according to government statistics. New estimates from the Con- sumer Product Safety Commis- sion show that 621 people were killed in 2002, the most ever. Figures for 2003 are incomplete. Bush won't appeal ruling over media ownership The Bush administration won't appeal to the Supreme Court to try to revive sweeping changes in media ownership rules tossed by a lower court. The. changes would have al- lowed a company to own TV stations and a newspaper in the same area, and to own more TV and radio stations in a single market. 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