Lawmaker bows outas nominee for judge
WASHINGTON -- California Rep. Christopher Cox asked President Bush on Friday not to nominate him for a federal judgeship, saying the Democratic takeover of the Senate made it unlikely he could get approved without a long battle.
The conservative Cox was widely expected to be among Bush's first nominees for the U.S. Court of Appeals but California's two Democratic senators, Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, had threatened to use their home-state veto -- called a blue slip -- to block him.
Under Senate tradition, having two senators from a candidate's home state oppose a nomination would make it almost impossible to be considered.
Feinstein recently agreed to let his nomination go through, Cox said, but with Democrats in control, it would be unlikely that Boxer's objections could be overruled without a long battle.
Catholic archbishopplans to get married
NEW YORK -- A Roman Catholic archbishop will be married in a group wedding performed by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, who arranged the marriage for the clergyman, Moon's organization said Friday.
Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, 70, will be married in a ceremony Sunday at the New York Hilton, according to the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, the central group in Moon's movement.
The bride, chosen for him this week by Moon, is Sung Ryae (Anna) Soon, 43, a physician from Korea, said the Rev. Phillip Schanker, a federation spokesman. He said the newlyweds plan to move to Africa.
Milingo has long been at odds with the Catholic hierarchy, although he remains based in Rome and still carries his title.
The archbishop is in New York City but will be unavailable to speak about breaking his celibacy vows until after Sunday's group nuptials for some 60 couples, Schanker said.
Milingo will then issue a statement making clear that "he's not leaving the church or disassociating from the Catholic tradition," Schanker said. Moon does not require those he marries to be followers of his religion.
U.S. files chargesagainst fugitive official
MEXICO CITY -- Mexican agents bundled a former governor in a bulletproof vest and flew him to a top-security prison Friday as federal prosecutors in New York unsealed charges accusing him of helping smuggle 200 tons of cocaine into the United States.
Mario Villanueva, who also faces charges in Mexico, was arrested Thursday night in Cancun, a beach resort in Quintana Roo state where he had been governor until March 1999. He went into hiding two weeks before his term ended.
Early Friday, a small army of federal agents flew him to Mexico's highest-security prison in Almoloya just west of Mexico City. A spokesman for Mexico's attorney general's office said a defiant Villanueva had to be pushed onto the plane.
In Mexico, Villanueva awaits charges that he used his office to protect members of the ruthless Juarez drug-smuggling organization during his 1993-99 administration.
Powell in Africa
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- Secretary of State Colin Powell promised strong U.S. support for African democracies Friday but cautioned that the United States "cannot make peace among Africans."
Powell faced his most critical audience yet as he outlined U.S. policy toward the continent. He encountered heckling and tough questions on Iraq and Cuba at a university appearance. After the speech, demonstrators prevented his motorcade from leaving the site for a while.
While praising many African leaders, Powell issued unusually direct criticism of President Robert Mugabe of neighboring Zimbabwe, saying Mugabe, in office since 1980, seems "determined to remain in power" long past when new elections should have been held.
"The true test of a democracy is not the first election," Powell said at the University of the Witwatersrand. "Democracy takes root when leaders step down peacefully, when they are voted out of office or when their terms expire."
Powell told his university audience that, as the first black secretary of state, "I will enthusiastically engage with Africa on behalf of the American people."