New Crowd in Charge

* Republicans officially took control of the U.S. Congress yesterday and put a surgeon-turned-politician in charge of the Senate.

The 108th Congress began its work by swearing in new leaders. The new Senate majority leader is Bill Frist, Republican from Tennessee. He takes the job that was supposed to go to Trent Lott of Mississippi, who gave up the post of Senate Republican leader last month after criticism about remarks he made that seemed to support racial segregation.

Democrats in the House of Representatives made history as they swore in Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, the first woman to the head a party in either house. The House also elected Republican Dennis Hastert of Illinois to a third term as speaker.

South Dakota's Tom Daschle, who continues his job as Senate Democratic leader, announced yesterday that he will not run for president in 2004.

In all, 11 new senators and 55 new House members took office.

Frist was able to cross off the first task on his to-do list: The Senate passed a five-month extension of the federal unemployment benefits. The House is scheduled to consider the issue today.

Ed-die! Ed-die!

* Former Baltimore Orioles slugger Eddie Murray -- one of only three men to hit 500 homers and collect 3,000 hits -- was elected yesterday to baseball's Hall of Fame.

Murray, a switch-hitting first baseman, played with the Orioles in 1977-1988 and 1996. He finished second to teammate Cal Ripken Jr. in the American League MVP voting in 1983, the last year the Orioles won the World Series. Overall, he played 21 seasons, for five teams, and was an eight-time all-star. His batting totals include 504 homers, 3,255 hits, a .287 average and 19 grand slams.

Also chosen to the Hall of Fame was Gary Carter, an 11-time all-star catcher with the Montreal Expos and New York Mets.

To be elected, players need at least 75 percent of the votes from the Baseball Writers Association of America. Murray, eligible for the first time, was chosen by 85 percent. Carter, in his sixth year on the ballot, got 78 percent.

Induction ceremonies are July 27.

-- From staff and wire reports

Eddie Murray hit his 500th homer with the Orioles in 1996.