Solving economic crisis is the biggest challenge: Obama

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Chicago, Nov 8: US President elect Barack Obama in his first press conference at Chicago, said his first and primary concern is to solve the US economic crisis. "We are facing the greatest economic challenge of our lifetime and we are going to have to act swiftly to solve it," Obama said in his first news conference since his election.

Before the press conference, Obama and Biden met with a 17-member council of economic advisers. The Labour Department's monthly jobs report on Friday morning showed that the economy shed 240,000 jobs in October, bringing the year's total job losses to 1.2 mln. The unemployment rate climbed from 6.1 per cent to 6.5 per cent, the highest it has been since March 1994.

Cabinet seats...

Obama is considering a mix of Washington insiders and high-profile business executives to head Cabinet positions.

Names circulating for the treasury secretary position include Timothy Geithner, Summers and Volcker. For secretary of state, Sen. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts, is high on the list, said the source involved in the process. For defense secretary, indications are the current defense chief, Robert Gates, will stay "for a certain period," the source said. Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano is said to be a "very real possibility" for US attorney general, the source said. For secretary of commerce, Leon Panetta, former White House chief of staff in the Clinton administration.

While, Obama on Thursday, Nov 6 named US Rep Rahm Emanuel of Illinois as his chief of staff.

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