Powell Returns Home After Testing

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Federal Communications Commission chairman Michael Powell, hospitalized twice
this month with an undisclosed illness, returned home Friday to
recuperate after a new round of testing, FCC spokesman David Fiske said.

Powell became ill two weeks ago with a suspected case of food poisoning in
Las Vegas, where he planned to address the Consumer Electronics Association
convention.

He canceled the speech and spent two days in a local hospital before
returning to Washington, D.C.

Powell, still under the weather this week, checked into the Walter Reed Army
Medical Center in Washington, where he underwent a battery of tests.

His return to the hospital caused him to cancel an address to the National
Association of Television Programming Executives' convention in Las Vegas.

Fiske said although he did not know whether doctors had discovered Powell's
ailment, Powell appeared to be on the mend.

'He is feeling better and he is talking to his office,' Fiske added.

Powell, 38, has been FCC chairman for one year.

The agency has rules in place for designating an acting chairman if Powell's
illness were to keep him from performing his duties.

'The commission will, in the case of a vacancy in the office of the chairman
of the commission, or in the absence or inability of the chairman to serve,
temporarily designate one of its members to act as chairman until the cause or
circumstances requiring such designation has been eliminated or corrected,' the
FCC rule says.

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