President Barack Obama's choice to lead the Health and Human Services Department has a history of bucking the insurance industry, which faces the biggest hit under Obama's initial health care reform plan. Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius gets her introduction to the reform debate at a White House summit Obama will call to order on Thursday.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will embark on a wide-ranging African tour next week in a bid to shore up Congo's struggling peacekeeping mission, show support for victims of war in Congo and Rwanda and press for progress on climate change.
Zimbabwe tried to combat the world's highest inflation by widening the use of foreign currency Wednesday, the first act of a coalition government that gave the longtime opposition control of much economic policy.
Foot-stomping music filled the East Room of the White House on Wednesday as first lady Michelle Obama hosted nearly 200 schoolchildren for a Black History Month celebration featuring Sweet Honey in the Rock, an award-winning female a cappella ensemble.
European and Asian markets rose modestly Thursday following the previous session's gains on Wall Street but optimism remained very thin on the ground despite policy measures by governments around the world.