Hillary Clinton mum on Cabinet speculation
ALBANY, N.Y., Nov. 14 (UPI) -- Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., declined to comment Friday on speculation that she may be President-elect Barack Obama's secretary of state nominee.
"Let me just say I'm not going to speculate or address anything about the president-elect's incoming administration," Clinton said in Albany, N.Y., as a preface to her speech on transit issues. "I'm going to respect his process."
Any inquiries concerning the makeup of Obama's administration "should be directed to his transition team," she said.
Clinton met with Obama Thursday in Chicago, CNN reported. One transition official told the cable news network Clinton was under serious consideration for the post.
Other names being floated as a prospective secretary of state include Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.; New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson; Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb.; and former Sen. Sam Nunn, D-Ga., several media outlets reported.
Obama, McCain to meet in Chicago
CHICAGO, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- U.S. President-elect Barack Obama and his Republican opponent Sen. John McCain meet Monday for the first time since Nov. 4, Obama's transition Web site said.
The two will meet at Obama's transition office in Chicago, the Web site said.
"It's well known that they share an important belief that Americans want and deserve a more effective and efficient government, and will discuss ways to work together to make that a reality," transition spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter said in a statement posted on the Web site.
Obama and McCain will be joined by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., whom Obama named as his chief of staff, Cutter said.
Emergency declared in California wildfire
MONTECITO, Calif., Nov. 14 (UPI) -- California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency in Santa Barbara County Friday as an out-of-control wildfire raged near Montecito.
The wind-driven Tea Fire destroyed more than 100 homes and forced thousands of residents to evacuate their neghborhoods after breaking out shortly after sunset Thursday.
Schwarzenegger said in a written statement that he was making all state resources available to the fire commanders and was requesting assistance from the federal government as well.
The Montecito Fire Department issued a public appeal for county residents to conserve water in order to maintain the levels of critically low reservoirs.
The fire was estimated at 2,500 acres Friday morning and had caused 10 injuries, including smoke inhalation and burns, as it was pushed into residential areas the Los Angeles Times described as having incredible views and stands of trees that include oaks and highly flammable eucalyptus.
Montecito, located a few hours north of Los Angeles, has attracted celebrity homeowners including actors Michael Douglas and Rob Lowe, and talk show host Oprah Winfrey.
British P.M. calls for global stimulus
NEW YORK, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, in the United States for the G20 global financial summit, said Friday he expects the world economy to double in 20 years.
In a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, said that the global economy needs financial stimulus more than interest rate cuts, The Guardian said. He called on governments around the world to work on a coordinated approach to the economic crisis.
"The is no doubt that some countries might have zero inflation next year so there is no point having further cuts without a fiscal stimulus," he said.
Brown also met in New York with Paul Krugman, the Princeton University economist and New York Times columnist who won this year's Nobel Prize in economics, and other leaders in the field, The Daily Telegraph reported.
The economic summit's aim is to begin updating the economic institutions created by the Bretton-Woods agreement immediately after World War II.
Some states fixing economy independently
WASHINGTON, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- Some U.S. states are taking independent action to fix the struggling economy as they await additional federal assistance, experts say.
Sujit CanagaRetna, a Council of State Governments senior fiscal analyst, said states such as Florida, Ohio and Vermont have already implemented plans to aid their own economies while awaiting a national economic stimulus package, Stateline.org said Friday.
"It's clearly unusual and very innovative. It's a great way to get state economies going again," CanagaRetna said.
Stateline.org said similar efforts are also being eyed in California, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin.
Through the use of economic actions such as bonding, those states are implementing stimulus packages that could potentially increase loans and reinvigorate area businesses.
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said such state actions are necessary given the delay in the passage of a second federal stimulus plan.
"We don't have the luxury of waiting for January when I make my budget proposal or hold my State of the State Address," Schwarzenegger said. "We have a dramatic situation here and it takes dramatic solutions and immediate action. We must stop the bleeding."
Flooding, rain impacting 300,000 Kenyans
NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- More than 300,000 people in Kenya have been impacted by landslides and flooding caused by a recent heavy rains, an aid group says.
The Kenya Red Cross Society said since the torrential rains began in parts of the East African country, a large number of residents are desperately in need of help, The Nation said Thursday.
The aid organization said it needs $7.5 million in emergency assistance to help those displaced or affected by the natural disasters.
The secretary general of the organization, Abbas Gullet, said the emergency aid would offer temporary assistance in areas such as healthcare and fresh water.
"Our main objectives are to buy non-food items, improve healthcare, water and sanitation and logistics for three months," the Red Cross official said.
Gullet also warned of the possibility of greater health risks if aid is not readily available in Kenya.
"We have been forced to transport our water treating facility from Garissa to be used in Wajir as all the wells, latrines and bucket toilets are overflowing and a major health calamity is looming," the told the Nation.