New U.N. leader
The week's news at a glance.
Security Council members have approved South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon to replace Kofi Annan as U.N. secretary-general. The 15 council members held an unofficial straw poll to choose among the candidates this week; the binding vote will take place next week. Ban is an experienced, cautious diplomat with close ties to the U.S. He is expected to push for the financial and bureaucratic reforms at the U.N. that the U.S. has wanted ever since the oil-for-food scandal, in which U.N. officials colluded in diverting to Saddam Hussein money intended for humanitarian aid. Annan, who has served two five-year terms, will step down at the end of this year.