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US President-elect Names Staffers, No Decision on Top Diplomat Pick


U.S. President-elect Barack Obama has appointed three new White House advisers, as speculation continues about his choice for secretary of state.

Mr. Obama's transition team Saturday announced the appointments of Valerie Jarett, Phil Schiliro, and Ron Klain to serve on the White House staff.

Meanwhile, Mr. Obama is reportedly considering two of his one-time Democratic rivals for the position of top U.S. diplomat. Democratic officials, speaking anonymously, say the president-elect met this week with Senator Hillary Clinton and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson.

Clinton and Richardson were both candidates for the Democratic nomination to the presidency. Richardson dropped out of the race early, but Clinton fought a long and often bitter contest with Mr. Obama.

Mr. Obama has not yet commented on his pick for secretary of state.

In other news, the president-elect is to meet Monday with Republican Senator John McCain, who lost to Mr. Obama in the presidential election.

Klain, who has worked for Vice President-elect Joseph Biden for years, will serve as the vice president's chief of staff.

Jarett, who has worked in local government in the city of Chicago and in the private sector, will now advise the president on intergovernment relations and act as a public liaison.

And Schiliro, currently working on Mr. Obama's transition team, will become the president's assistant for legislative affairs.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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