Obama's new appointments due shortly


President Barack Obama is expected to announce his nominees for secretaries of state and defence in the next two weeks, with former Republican senator Chuck Hagel on the short list of potential choices to head the Pentagon, senior administration officials said yesterday.

Mr Hagel, whose appointment would give Obamas reshuffled second-term cabinet a bipartisan cast, met the Democratic president at the White House this week to discuss a post on his national security team. But there was no sign that Mr Obama had decided on the key nominations he will put forth. He is still deliberating whether to unveil his top national security appointments, which is likely to include a new CIA director, in a single package this month or to name them one-by-one. – (Reuters)