Rice sworn in as US secretary of state

Condoleezza Rice has been sworn in as the new US Secretary of State, hours after the Senate confirmed her nomination to succeed Colin Powell.

    Rice is the first black woman to head US foreign policy

    White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card, administered the oath of office late on Wednesday, immediately making Rice the new top US diplomat and allowing her to get to work at the Department of State.

    The US Senate voted 85-13 to clear her nomination, with two abstentions. Rice served until now as President George Bush's national security adviser.

    She becomes the first black woman to head US foreign policy.

    The White House said she would report for duty at the State Department on Thursday, and a ceremonial swearing-in would be held later in the week.

    Bush statement

    After the Senate confirmation, Bush said Rice will be "a great secretary of state .. I am honoured to be working with her. And I look forward to spreading freedom and peace".

    But Democratic senators said Rice had repeatedly deceived Congress and was responsible for decisions they said have mired the US in a conflict that has hurt efforts to fight terrorism worldwide.

    Republicans accused Democrats, however, of politicising the confirmation by demanding a full day of Senate floor time in which they blasted Bush's Iraq policies.

    The White House had wanted her to be confirmed quickly last week when Bush was sworn in for a second term.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Meet the deported nurse aiding asylum seekers at US-Mexico border

    Meet the deported nurse helping refugees at the border

    Francisco 'Panchito' Olachea drives a beat-up ambulance around Nogales, taking care of those trying to get to the US.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.