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U.S. Senate Confirms Obama's Nominee For UN Ambassador

Samantha Power testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in Washington, D.C., on July 17.
The U.S. Senate has confirmed President Barack Obama's selection for ambassador to the United Nations.

The August 1 vote caps a month in which lawmakers used a bipartisan truce to fill vacancies in the president's second-term administration.

Senators approved Samantha Power for the UN ambassador post by a vote of 87-10.

This puts the former Obama foreign policy adviser and human rights advocate into the job formerly held by Susan Rice, who is now Obama's national security adviser.

The Senate on August 1 also confirmed U.S. Army General Martin Dempsey for another two-year term as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Admiral James Winnefeld as the vice chairman.

Jason Furman, a veteran White House economic official, has been confirmed as chairman of Obama's Council of Economic Advisers.

In other news, Obama has nominated a former assistant defense secretary as secretary of the U.S. Air Force.

The White House said on August 1 that Deborah Lee James is Obama's choice to replace Michael Donley, who retired in June.

If confirmed by the Senate, James would be one of the few women to serve as the senior civilian leader of an armed-services branch in the United States.

She would be the second woman to serve as air force secretary.

Her nomination comes as the military is dealing with sexual-assault scandals, spending cuts, and the withdrawal next year of combat forces from Afghanistan.

James currently works for a defense contractor and has held various posts during a 30-year career in government and the private sector.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, and AFP