Clinton orders review of American interests in Algeria and region
January 17th, 2013
03:30 PM ET

Clinton orders review of American interests in Algeria and region

By Jill Dougherty

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has asked her staff to review security for American diplomats, businesses and citizens in the entire Maghreb and North Africa region, in response to the hostage-taking in Algeria, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Thursday.

"That goes not only for official American security but also the message is being given to American citizens and American businesses," Nuland told reporters at the State Department.

After last year's deadly attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, President Barack Obama ordered a review of security at all U.S. diplomatic facilities. In addition, an independent review board recommended to Clinton security improvements that she has ordered to be implemented. This new review goes beyond diplomatic facilities.

Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Nuland said, is known for kidnapping and hostage-taking and. "The concern is that groups operating in the region may be trying to do larger scale operations and we want to make sure that any of our citizens and companies operating in the region are reviewing their security practices in light of this."
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January 7th, 2013
01:32 PM ET

Ready to tackle the job: Clinton returns to State

Who says politics and diplomacy aren't contact sports?

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton returned to work Monday and was gifted the proper equipment for her final plays on the job.

Her Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides and staff at the weekly meeting of approximately 75 department managers presented her "a football helmet with a State Department seal, lots of good padding," State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

Reporters were not in the room, but the presentation was described by Nuland at a press briefing Monday afternoon, and the department distributed photos of her opening the gifts.

FULL STORY

Hillary Clinton set to return to work at State Department
January 6th, 2013
10:07 PM ET

Hillary Clinton set to return to work at State Department

By CNN Political Unit

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will return to work Monday for the first time since she was sidelined by illness, a concussion and a blood clot, according to a schedule released by the State Department.

According to the department's weekly schedule, Clinton is slated to attend a meeting with assistant secretaries of state at 9:15 a.m. ET Monday. On Tuesday she'll meet with outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and National Security Adviser Tom Donilon at the White House before attending meetings with ambassadors at the State Department. On Friday Clinton will participate in events surrounding Afghan President Hamid Karzai's visit to Washington.

The secretary was discharged from a New York hospital Wednesday, three days after she was admitted for the treatment of a blood clot in a vein between her skull and brain. Doctors found the clot during a medical test related to a concussion she suffered in December, which she sustained after fainting from dehydration caused by the flu. FULL POST


Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Secretary of State
January 2nd, 2013
07:02 PM ET

Amid confusion, Clinton released from hospital

By Jill Dougherty

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was discharged from a New York hospital on Wednesday, three days after she was admitted for treatment of a blood clot in a vein between her skull and brain, the State Department announced.

"Her medical team advised her that she is making good progress on all fronts, and they are confident she will make a full recovery," Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines said in a statement announcing her release.

Clinton walked out of New York Presbyterian Hospital accompanied by her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and daughter, Chelsea, for a brief period Wednesday afternoon. She had been admitted Sunday, after doctors found the clot during a medical test related to a concussion she suffered in December.

The secretary is being treated with blood thinners to dissolve the clot, which has not resulted in a stroke or any neurological damage. Doctors expect her to make a full recovery.
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Hillary Clinton hospitalized with blood clot
December 31st, 2012
06:00 AM ET

Hillary Clinton hospitalized with blood clot

By Elise Labott

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was treated with blood thinners on Monday at a New York hospital to help dissolve a blood clot in her head and doctors were confident she would make a full recovery.

Clinton was admitted to New York Presbyterian Hospital on Sunday due to the clot that was discovered during a follow-up exam related to a concussion she suffered this month, her spokesman, Philippe Reines, said.

The clot was located in the vein between the brain and and the skull behind Clinton's right ear and did not result in any stroke or neurological damage, her doctors said in a statement.

Clinton was treated with blood thinners to help dissolve the clot and would be released once the medication dose had been established, they said.
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Clinton to testify before House panel in January
December 19th, 2012
06:03 PM ET

Clinton to testify before House panel in January

By CNN's Dana Bash

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will testify in January before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen told CNN on Wednesday.

Clinton was slated to testify on the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya before the panel on Thursday, but canceled her scheduled Capitol Hill appearances after her office acknowledged on Saturday she had recently suffered a concussion and would be working from home this week.

FULL STORY


Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Secretary of State
State Department: Clinton not dodging Benghazi hearings
Secretary Clinton speaks during a news conference during her visit to Northern Ireland on December 7, 2012 just before returning to the United States later that day.
December 18th, 2012
02:39 PM ET

State Department: Clinton not dodging Benghazi hearings

By Adam Levine

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is "on the mend" and working from home, the State Department’s spokeswoman said Tuesday.

Clinton had been recovering from a bout of stomach flu last week when she fainted and ended up with a concussion. Clinton informed the Senate Foreign Relations and House Foreign Affairs committees this weekend that she would be unable to testify at upcoming hearings about the deadly events in Benghazi, Libya, at the advice of her doctors. In her place, deputies Thomas Nides and Bill Burns will testify on Thursday.

Clinton was finishing her cover letter to Congress to accompany the independent Benghazi review that was just completed, as she recuperates at home from her concussion injury and stomach virus, spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters.

The classified version of the independent review is being sent to Congress Tuesday afternoon, and an unclassified version could be released for public consumption as early as Wednesday, the same day that former Ambassador Thomas Pickering and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen, who led the review, brief congressional committees about their findings.
FULL POST

December 17th, 2012
06:39 AM ET

Benghazi attack back in the spotlight

By Elise Labott

After months of accusations and political recriminations, the State Department is getting ready to present the most detailed explanation yet regarding the circumstances surrounding the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Monday, the State Department is expected to get a report on the incident from the independent Advisory Review Board, sources in the State Department told CNN Sunday. The review was ordered by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Congress will receive the report from the board ahead of a classified briefing for members on Wednesday by Thomas Pickering, who led the Advisory Review Board. Retired Adm. Mike Mullen, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who was also on the panel, will be part of the briefing as well.

The State Department is also expected to present recommendations on improving security. That's likely to include an explanation of measures that have already been put in place since the September 11 attack on the consulate, which left four Americans - including U.S. Amb. Chris Stevens - dead.

FULL POST


Filed under: Benghazi • Congress • Diplomacy • Hillary Clinton • Libya • Secretary of State • State Department • Susan Rice
Sizing up Kerry as secretary of state
December 15th, 2012
11:45 PM ET

Sizing up Kerry as secretary of state

From CNN’s Elise Labott and Jill Dougherty

Sen. John Kerry, who sources say has been tapped by President Barack Obama to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, will come to the post with a full plate of foreign policy crises, from the civil war in Syria, to the nuclear antics of North Korea, to a looming showdown with Iran over its nuclear program.

Anybody who follows Clinton would have some pretty big shoes to fill. Clinton was not just the most popular member of the president’s Cabinet for the past four years, she had celebrity status and respect almost everywhere she went around the world.

But as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for almost 30 years, the past four as chairman, Kerry himself is a highly respected figure on the world stage. While Obama is not close to a lot of world leaders, Kerry has deep relationships with many heads of state that he can draw on as the nation’s top diplomat. Sources close to Kerry note that the increasing partisanship on Capitol Hill has disillusioned Kerry and he is ready to leave the Senate.

He is no stranger to diplomacy and has often traveled overseas on behalf of the Obama administration as a diplomatic troubleshooter and to mend frayed relationships. Kerry persuaded Afghan President Hamid Karzai to agree to an election runoff in 2009 and has traveled Pakistan after a series of incidents, including the raid that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

“There are very few people with greater experience over a longer period of time,” notes Nicholas Burns, a former career ambassador who has served every secretary of state since Warren Christopher, and was most recently undersecretary for political affairs under Condoleezza Rice.“He would be a very, very impressive choice."

“You really need someone who is a renaissance person with a tremendous range of skill, both political and substantive, with a deep reservoir of knowledge” Burns said in an interview. “You need someone who can drill several layers deep on foreign policy issues.” FULL POST

December 5th, 2012
06:44 PM ET

Bracing for a chemical weapon attack

Sources tell CNN’s Barbara Starr that the Pentagon and US intelligence services are consulting with Syria's neighbors Turkey, Israel and Jordan about what to do if it looks like Assad is about to launch a chemical attack on his own people.

A senior US official says all the allies are now considering how to keep Syria from putting chemical warheads on its artillery or missiles.

But an airstrike to stop it, could cause havoc if residual chemicals escape.

What if Assad leaves? US officials say they have long been planing for 'the day after Assad" – such as training Jordanian troops to provide security – but for now they just hope Syrians troops will keep those chemical weapons under lock and key.

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