24 January, Washington
A key US Senate committee has narrowly approved Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State after leading Republican Senator Marco Rubio dropped his opposition.
Rubio sparred with Mr Tillerson, the former head of Exxon Mobil, during confirmation hearings, accusing him of being soft on Russia. A full vote will now be held in the Senate, where Republicans dominate.
Tillerson, a 64-year old Texan oilman, knew Russian President Vladimir Putin as a businessman. He was chosen by Donald Trump, who was sworn in as America’s 45th President on Friday.
In its vote, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee split along party lines, with all 11 Republicans voting in favour and all 10 Democrats against.