US has new Vatican ambassador

.- President George Bush has nominated Florida businessman Laurence Francis Rooney to be the new ambassador to the Vatican, replacing Jim Nicholson. The chairman and chief executive officer of Rooney Holdings Inc., must now be confirmed by the Senate.

The Associated Press reported that Rooney was a major fundraiser for Bush, generating hundreds of thousands of dollars for his two presidential campaigns. He also contributed $250,000 to help underwrite the 2004 inauguration.

Based in Naples, Fla., Rooney Holdings is an investment company that deals with construction and the distribution of building materials.

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