This is IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English.
November eleventh is Veterans Day, when Americans honor those who serve
d in the military. Some Americans think the best way to honor the troops in Iraq is to bring them home. Others think more troops should be sent to deal with the violence. But many Americans say that after three-and-a-half years of war, something has to change.
Next week, President Bush plans to meet with members of the Iraq Study Group. This group is led by former Secretary of State James Baker and former Congressman Lee Hamilton. Mister Bush says he expects to receive proposals for "a way forward."
He also announced the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Many Democrats and some Republicans had called for Secretary Rumsfeld to be replaced. The president has chosen former central intelligence director Bob Gates as the new defense secretary. Senate confirmation is needed.
Mister Bush made the announcement Wednesday, a day after Republicans lost midterm elections. He said he recognized that many Americans voted to show their displeasure at the lack of progress in Iraq. But he also said he believed that most Americans and leaders from both parties "understand we cannot accept defeat."
Republicans took a beating in the congressional elections for Mister Bush's last two years in office. He called it a "thumping."
Democrats have not controlled both houses of Congress since nineteen ninety-four.
In the House of Representatives, the job of speaker will go to the current minority leader, Nancy Pelosi of California. She will be the first woman to hold the third-highest office after the president and vice president.
Nancy Pelosi says the Democrats will demand changes on Iraq. She says they will also deal quickly with other problems facing Americans. She promised what she called "the most honest and open Congress in history."
Harry Reid of Nevada is expected to become the majority leader in the Senate.
In the Senate, the Democrats will hold a one-vote majority. And in the House their majority will not be so large as to avoid the need for cooperation with Republicans. And cooperation is what the president and the new Democratic leaders have promised.
The one hundred tenth Congress will open in January. But Mister Bush noted that the existing Congress still has a lot of unfinished business.
In general, voting went smoothly on Election Day, but there were some reports of trouble with electronic voting equipment.
Voter studies by news organizations showed that the Republicans held the support of their conservative base. But they lost votes among Latinos and some other groups. Gains with independents and moderates helped push the Democrats to victory.
In Minnesota, Democrat Keith Ellison was elected the first black congressman from that state. He will be the first Muslim to serve in Congress.
And that's IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English. For a more detailed report on the elections, listen Monday at this time for THIS IS AMERICA. I'm Steve Ember.