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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says she takes responsibility for the security failure at the Benghazi consulate that led to the killing of four Americans in Libya last month.

Hillary Clinton said ensuring the safety of US diplomatic staff overseas was her job, not that of the White House.

Republicans have strongly criticized President Barack Obama over the attack.

And Republican challenger Mitt Romney is likely to raise it again in the second campaign debate with Barack Obama.

It seems Hillary Clinton is trying to draw criticism away from Barack Obama, who needs a strong debate performance if he is to recover his lead in the polls.

In her interviews, Hillary Clinton appeared to acknowledge that she was trying to shield the president.

“What we had to do in the state department was keep focused not on why something happened – that was for the intelligence community to determine – but what was happening and what could happen,” Hillary Clinton said.

“And that’s what I was very much working on, day and night, to try to make sure that we intervened with governments. We did everything we could to keep our people safe, which is my primary responsibility.”

Hillary Clinton said she was focused on tracking down the killers of the US ambassador to Libya and bringing them to justice.

“I don’t think we want to get into any blame game. I think what we want to do is get to the bottom of what happened, figure out what we’re going to do to protect people and prevent it from happening again and then track down whoever did and bring them to justice.”

Last week, a US congressional committee heard US security in Libya was reduced before the attack on the US consulate, even as violence worsened.

Mitt Romney has been making the Benghazi attack the centrepiece of his case against President Obama’s foreign policy, and has accused Vice-President Joe Biden of making misleading statements about the attack.

Mitt Romney said Joe Biden’s statement in the recent vice-presidential debate that the administration was not told about requests for extra security in Libya contradicted the sworn testimony of state department officials.

A congressional panel has already heard there had been repeated requests to the state department for beefed-up security at the diplomatic compound.

In the days after the attack, Barack Obama’s ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, described it as a “spontaneous” assault that arose out of a protest against a US-made amateur video which mocks Islam.

But US officials have since said the government had never concluded the attack was motivated by the film.

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are preparing to face off in their second debate later on Tuesday, at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.

Mitt Romney was widely acknowledged as having the upper hand in the first debate, which was reflected in the opinion polls, with many showing for the first time in the campaign Mitt Romney in the lead.

Ambassador Christopher Stevens died of smoke inhalation when he was trapped alone in the burning consulate building on 11 September. Three other officials were killed, and three wounded.

Earlier this week, the father of Ambassador Christopher Stevens said it would be “abhorrent” to turn his son’s death into a campaign issue.

“Our position is it would be a real shame if this were politicized,” Jan Stevens said.

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Pakistani TV channels are airing an advert showing news clips of President Barack Obama condemning anti-Islam film Innocence of Muslims made in the US.

The advert also features a statement from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a press conference rejecting the amateur film’s message.

Unrest over the film, Innocence of Muslims, has claimed several lives.

Also on Thursday, a protest against the film outside the US embassy which had turned violent ended peacefully.

The adverts seek to emphasize the message reiterated by US officials throughout the crisis: that the “disgusting” film was not made by the US government, but that there is never any justification for violence.

The embassy described the advert as a “public service announcement” and repeated the statements from Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on its Twitter feed.

Protest against anti-Islam film Innocence of Muslims in Pakistan

Protest against anti-Islam film Innocence of Muslims in Pakistan

A caption on the advert, which ends with the seal of the US embassy in Islamabad, reads “Paid Content,” the Associated Press reports.

State department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland confirmed the US spent $70,000 to air the 30-second clip on seven Pakistani TV stations.

She said the US embassy in Pakistan wanted to run the ads because they determined those messages were not reaching enough of the Pakistani public through regular news reporting.

“As you know, after the video came out, there was concern in lots of bodies politic, including Pakistan, as to whether this represented the views of the US government,” Victoria Nuland said.

She said the television spots were the “best way” to reach as many as 90 million Pakistanis.

The low-budget film that sparked the controversy was made in the US and is said to insult the Prophet Muhammad.

Its exact origins are unclear and the alleged producer for the trailer of the film, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, is in hiding.

The Pakistani authorities had earlier called on the army as police struggled to contain the crowd of thousands outside the US embassy in Islamabad with tear gas and live rounds.

Some protesters had said they would not leave the diplomatic enclave until the US embassy was on fire.

Streets leading to the enclave, where most of the embassies are housed, were earlier blocked off with shipping containers in an effort to increase security.

Television pictures showed chaotic scenes as police tried to gain control of the situation.

Protesters burned an effigy of President Obama and threw missiles at the police.

The US state department earlier issued a warning against any non-essential travel to Pakistan.

It also “strongly urged” US citizens in Pakistan to avoid protests and large gatherings.

Anti-US sentiment has been growing since people became aware of the amateur film earlier this month.

The US Ambassador to Libya was killed in an attack on the US consulate in Benghazi on 11 September.

The US secretary of state announced on Thursday that she would appoint an independent panel, chaired by a retired diplomat, to investigate the incident.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said earlier in the day, in a statement read to reporters on Air Force One, that it had been “a terrorist attack”.

Protests in countries around the world have since taken place, with tensions further inflamed by the publication by a French magazine of obscene cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad on Wednesday.

The Pakistani government has called a national holiday on Friday to enable people to demonstrate peacefully.

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Monica Lewinsky is reportedly set to write a tell-all book about her affair with former US President Bill Clinton – including her intimate love letters to the ex-president and how he had an insatiable desire for threesomes.

Monica Lewinsky, 39, reportedly wants revenge on Bill Clinton, who she believes escaped unscathed while she has never been able to shake the disgrace of their Oval Office trysts.

Friends claim publishers are scrambling to get their hands on the book, and after holding meetings, the former White House intern has learned she could get as much a $12 million if she recounts every tawdry detail.

While she has not yet secured a book deal, her apparent attempts to cash in on the affair could rattle the Clinton marriage – and wreck Hillary’s bid for the presidency in 2016.

Speaking to the National Enquirer, her friends said the memoir could even spark further health problems for the former president, who has undergone heart surgeries.

“Her book could be more than just revenge, it could kill him!” a source said.

Monica Lewinsky is set to write a tell-all book about her affair with Bill Clinton, including her intimate love letters to him

Monica Lewinsky is set to write a tell-all book about her affair with Bill Clinton, including her intimate love letters to him

Her bids for a book deal will at least shake Bill Clinton – bringing him crashing down from the success he enjoyed after an energetic speech at the Democratic National Convention earlier this month.

“Monica has tried to move forward, but the nightmare of her affair with Bill still haunts her,” a friend told the National Enquirer.

“She’s facing 40 without a man in her life, and seething about the way her reputation was destroyed as the whole world watched.”

The book will also include never-before-seen love letters that Monica Lewinsky wrote to the president – some of which were so intimate she never sent them, another friend added.

They reportedly detail her love for Bill Clinton and how Monica Lewinsky, then just 22, could make him much happier than his wife, Hillary, who the president called a “cold fish”.

Bill Clinton also laughed about his nonexistent sex life with his wife – and said he thought he was not the only one looking for love outside their marriage.

“Monica can describe how Bill went on and on about his insatiable desire for three-way sex, orgies and the use of sex toys of all kinds,” the friend added.

As well as the heartbreak she suffered after her relationship with Bill Clinton, Monica Lewinsky also plans to detail the pain of ending a pregnancy at the height of her liaison with the president, the source said.

Monica Lewinsky was carrying a child fathered by a Pentagon employee called “Thomas”, she revealed in an earlier biography written by Andrew Morton.

“That void has never been filled,” said the friend.

She decided to develop the memoir after her sullied reputation meant she struggled to find work but realized she would get a generous offer for the book.

Monica Lewinsky is also writing it to get revenge on Bill Clinton, now 66, friends said.

“For years, Monica tried to protect Bill out of a misplaced sense of loyalty,” a source told the Enquirer.

“But she no longer feels that way, and her memoir is his worst nightmare.”

During her grand jury testimony against Bill Clinton in 1998, an immunity deal prevented her from exposing intimate details about their affair in the Morton expose that came out that year.

“But that agreement expired in 2001, and when Bill published his autobiography <<My Life>> three years later, Monica felt betrayed by him all over again,” said the source.

In the wake of the scandal, Monica Lewinsky became the centre of a political storm and gave a series of high-profile interviews.

But unable to escape the shake the reputation, she moved to England in 2005 where she earned her master’s degree and worked as a news correspondent for the UK’s Channel Five News.

Though it has been 14 years since Monica Lewinsky claimed she had nine sexual encounters with the president, her presence still looms in the life of Bill Clinton’s post-presidency and Hillary’s political career.

In what was an unfortunate and awkward schedule at the Democratic National Convention in North Carolina earlier this month, Monica Lewinsky’s former rabbi – who publicly condemned Bill Clinton during the sex scandal – gave the benediction minutes after the former President took the stage.

ABC News reported that the awkward pairing was likely overlooked by organizers because Rabbi David Wolpe is such a well-known figure in the Jewish community.

And in July, during a visit to Egypt as U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton was taunted by her husband’s affair by protesters as they chanted “Monica, Monica!”.

 

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Former White House intern Monica Lewinsky has reportedly been meeting with a number of major publishers – who were all asked to sign nondisclosure agreements before seeing her.

An insider familiar with the project said: “I’m sure every major publisher was interested in hearing what she had to say.”

It is unclear who the frontrunners are, according to the New York Post.

Monica Lewinsky moved to England in 2005 where she earned her master’s degree in social psychology.

She then worked as a news correspondent for the UK’s Channel Five News.

Monica Lewinsky may be poised to write a tell-all book

Monica Lewinsky may be poised to write a tell-all book

Monica Lewinsky, 39, has given a number of interviews since the 1998 Bill Clinton scandal erupted but has generally kept under the radar.

Her friends have previously said she is not interested in capitalizing off the scandal, though if these rumors are true, this appears to have changed.

Monica Lewinsky has her own business designing purses, The Real Monica Inc.

Her rep said yesterday: “I cannot comment on anything at this point.”

Though it has been 14 years since it emerged that Bill Clinton had nine separate sexual encounters with his intern at the time, her presence still looms in the life of Clinton post-presidency and in that of his wife Hillary.

In what was an unfortunate and awkward schedule at the DNC in Charlotte last week, Monica Lewinsky’s former rabbi – who publicly condemned Bill Clinton during the sex scandal – gave the benediction minutes after the former President took the stage.

ABC News reported that the awkward pairing was likely overlooked by organizers because Rabbi David Wolpe is such a well-known figure in the Jewish community.

In July during a visit to Egypt as U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton was taunted by her husband’s affair by protesters as they chanted “Monica, Monica”.

Hillary Clinton was subjected to them whilst visiting the Egyptian port city of Alexandria to reopen the US Consulate.

 

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said that the US administration wants to normalize trade relations with Russia this month.

Hillary Clinton said the government was working closely with the US Congress to get the necessary legislation passed.

She was speaking ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) summit in Vladivostok.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has urged a fight against protectionism to turn the global economy around.

And Chinese President Hu Jintao promised his country would try to help the world’s economy by increasing the demand in China for imported goods.

Hillary Clinton speaking ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation APEC summit in Vladivostok

Hillary Clinton speaking ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation APEC summit in Vladivostok

Although Russia is now a member of the World Trade Organisation, there is still a piece of legislation that prevents US companies trading normally with Russia – the 1974 Jackson-Vanik amendment which, although suspended, remains in place.

In her speech to the APEC summit in the Russian port city, Hillary Clinton – who is standing in for President Barack Obama – said she welcomed Russia’s commitment to playing a greater role in the Asia-Pacific region.

She added: “To make sure our companies get to compete here in Russia, we are working closely with the United States Congress to terminate the application to Jackson-Vanik to Russia and grant Russia permanent normalized trade relations.

“We hope that the Congress will act on this important piece of legislation this month.”

However there are concerns in the US Congress about Moscow’s support for Iran and Syria, as well as its broader human rights record, so the timing of a vote on the issue remains unclear.

Vladimir Putin, who is hosting the summit, expressed concern about the world economy, and particularly Europe’s debt crisis.

“The priority goal is to fight protectionism in all its forms. It is important to build bridges not walls,” he said.

President Hu Jintao said: “The world economy today is recovering slowly, and there are still some destabilizing factors and uncertainties.

“The underlying impact of the international financial crisis is far from over.

“We will work to maintain the balance between keeping steady and robust growth, adjusting the economic structure and managing inflation expectations. We will boost domestic demand and maintain steady and robust growth as well as basic price stability.”

Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has left the talks early to return home after her father died.

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China’s President Hu Jintao has promised to maintain economic growth to support a global recovery, at the start of an Asia-Pacific summit in the Russian port city of Vladivostok.

China would pursue steady policies and seek to boost domestic demand, he said.

He was speaking ahead of the start of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) summit.

All countries in the region, he said, shared a responsibility to maintain peace and stability.

“The world economy today is recovering slowly, and there are still some destabilizing factors and uncertainties,” President Hu Jintao told businessmen in a speech before the summit.

“The underlying impact of the international financial crisis is far from over.

“We will work to maintain the balance between keeping steady and robust growth, adjusting the economic structure and managing inflation expectations. We will boost domestic demand and maintain steady and robust growth as well as basic price stability.”

President Hu Jintao has promised to maintain economic growth to support a global recovery, at the start of APEC summit in Vladivostok

President Hu Jintao has promised to maintain economic growth to support a global recovery, at the start of APEC summit in Vladivostok

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has urged countries in the region to lift more barriers to free trade in the Pacific. American officials say they would welcome a more active Russian role in the region.

“Fostering a balanced and stable economy is a challenge too sweeping and complex for countries to approach in isolation,” Hillary Clinton said.

“If we do this right, globalization can become a race to the top, with rising standards of living and more broadly shared prosperity.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is hosting the summit, has expressed concern about the world economy, and particularly Europe’s debt crisis.

“The recovery of the global economy is faltering. We can only overcome negative trends by enhancing the volume of trade… enhancing the flow of capital. It is important to follow the fundamental principles of open markets and free trade,” he said.

“The priority goal is to fight protectionism in all its forms. It is important to build bridges not walls.”

Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said she was leaving the talks early to return home after her father died.

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Foreign ministers from the Arab League are due to meet in the Saudi city of Jeddah for talks over Syrian crisis.

The ministers are expected to discuss a new envoy to Syria to replace Kofi Annan, who resigned earlier this month.

The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said the US and Turkey are working together on detailed plans to support the Syrian opposition.

Fighting has continued in the Syrian capital, Damascus, and the second city of Aleppo.

Speaking on a visit to Istanbul, Hillary Clinton said both the US and Turkey were making preparations to respond to the possible collapse of President Bashar al-Assad’s government, the use of chemical weapons and increases in the number of cross-border refugees.

Kofi Annan resigned from his position as UN-Arab League envoy to Syria earlier this month, after his proposed six-point peace plan failed to come into effect and violence escalated.

Foreign ministers from the Arab League are due to meet in the Saudi city of Jeddah for talks over Syrian crisis

Foreign ministers from the Arab League are due to meet in the Saudi city of Jeddah for talks over Syrian crisis

On the agenda for foreign ministers attending Sunday’s emergency meeting in Jeddah will be Kofi Annan’s replacement – tipped by diplomats to be the veteran Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi.

At the table will be envoys from Saudi Arabia and Qatar – leading backers of the rebels in Syria.

The mandate of the United Nations observer mission in Syria – which now comprises some 150 observers – is due to run out in a week’s time.

But UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says there still need to be people on the ground to make impartial assessments of the military situation.

The Security Council will discuss the issue on Thursday, but there is little consensus on the council, with Syrian ally Russia calling for an extension and the US skeptical about prolonging the mission.

Instead, the US is taking steps outside the structures of the UN to support Syrian opposition groups, such as the setting up of the working group with Turkey announced by Hillary Clinton in her meeting with her Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu on Saturday.

“Our number-one goal is to hasten the end of the bloodshed and the Assad regime,” she said.

“Our intelligence services, our military have very important responsibilities and roles to play so we are going to be setting up a working group to do exactly that.”

A “range of contingencies” was discussed, including the possible use of chemical weapons by the Assad government, Hillary Clinton added.

Meanwhile, inside Syria fighting is continuing.

Syrian state TV said authorities were hunting “terrorists” who had set off a bomb in Marjeh, an exclusive district of Damascus near the central bank, and who were “shooting at random to spark panic among citizens”.

At about the same time, another blast went off near Tishrin Stadium close by, reported state news agency Sana.

Hours later, Sana reported that a bus had been attacked in a Damascus suburb, said AP news agency, with six passengers from the central province of Hama killed. It blamed the attack on the “terrorists”.

Violence erupted again between the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) and government forces in the country’s largest city, Aleppo.

Activists said the army pounded areas south-west of Salah al-Din, from which the rebels retreated on Thursday.

Reports from Syria are difficult to confirm because of restrictions on reporters working there.

 

 

Hillary Clinton has arrived in Turkey for talks on the worsening crisis in neighboring Syria.

The US Secretary of State will meet Turkish leaders as well as Syrian opposition activists.

They are expected to discuss preparations for a transition of power in Syria if the government of President Bashar al-Assad falls.

The UN says there has been a surge in the number of civilians fleeing violence in Syria, especially from the northern city of Aleppo.

Turkey, like all of Syria’s neighbors, is dealing with a growing humanitarian crisis as thousands of refugees flood across the border.

Rebels in Aleppo say they are preparing a counter-attack after withdrawing from the strategic south-west district of Salah al-Din under heavy bombardment.

High on the agenda of Hillary Clinton’s talks there is how to best co-ordinate support for the fractured Syrian opposition.

Hillary Clinton has arrived in Turkey for talks on the worsening crisis in neighboring Syria

Hillary Clinton has arrived in Turkey for talks on the worsening crisis in neighboring Syria

US officials say the secretary of state wants to understand Turkey’s position and its concerns as conditions in Syria deteriorate.

Hillary Clinton is also expected to announce more humanitarian aid for those fleeing the violence.

Turkey is currently supporting more than 50,000 Syrian refugees with more arriving every day.

The talks will also focus on plans for what US officials call “the day after Assad”, our correspondent says, taking steps towards a future Syria that Washington hopes will be pluralistic and democratic.

Among US concerns are reports that a growing number of al-Qaeda linked militants are fighting alongside rebels in Syria.

US intelligence officials quoted by AP news agency said at least 200 militants linked to al-Qaeda are already operating in Syria, and their numbers are growing as foreign fighters enter the country.

US officials fear they could establish a presence similar to that in Iraq, which could be hard to defeat if rebels eventually oust President Bashar al-Assad.

Analysts say it could be one reason why Washington has been reluctant to offer military assistance to the anti-Assad insurgency.

Sporadic violence was reported around Syria on Friday.

Journalists from Reuters news agency reported seeing residents fleeing Aleppo with cars packed with possessions, taking advantage of a lull in the fighting.

AFP news agency reported that a bakery in the city’s eastern Tariq al-Bab district had been hit by a shell, killing about 12 people and injuring at least 20.

State news agency Sana also reported that government forces had repelled a rebel attack on Aleppo’s international airport.

The opposition Syrian National Council said part of Aleppo’s 13th-century citadel had been damaged by shelling.

Activists also reported fighting in suburbs of the capital, Damascus.

President Bashar al-Assad is facing down stiff international pressure to step aside despite months of anti-government protests and worsening violence.

Bashar al-Assad has suffered a string of high-status defections, including his former Prime Minister Riad Hijab, who fled to Jordan earlier this week.

 

 

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has arrived in Israel for talks expected to focus on Iran, the peace process and Egypt.

Hillary Clinton will meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as President Shimon Peres and other officials.

She was in Egypt over the weekend, where she met new President Mohammed Mursi.

Hillary Clinton is expected to share her impressions of the new Egypt with Israeli officials.

She will tell officials in Jerusalem that Egypt’s President Mohammed Mursi reiterated in private what he has said in public – that Egypt will abide by all its international agreements.

Those agreements include a peace treaty with Israel.

Israel said to be anxious about the rise of Islamists in neighboring Egypt after the ousting of Hosni Mubarak, who was a long-time American ally.

Hillary Clinton has arrived in Israel for talks expected to focus on Iran, the peace process and Egypt

Hillary Clinton has arrived in Israel for talks expected to focus on Iran, the peace process and Egypt

On her trip to Cairo, Hillary Clinton met President Mohammed Mursi and, separately, the head of Egypt’s top military council, Field Marshal Mohamad Hussein Tantawi.

The president has been in conflict with the military council, which ruled the country after Mubarak was forced out, over parliament’s dissolution.

On Saturday, Hillary Clinton told Mohammed Mursi that the situation required “compromise and real politics” but also voiced support for a “full transition to civilian rule”.

The secretary of state also encouraged Mohammed Mursi to live up to promises to protect the rights of women and minorities, and to preserve the peace treaty with Israel.

In her talks with Field Marshal Mohamad Hussein Tantawi on Sunday Hillary Clinton discussed the transition of power to the newly elected president and stressed the need to protect the rights of all Egyptians, US officials said.

Speaking later at the newly re-opened US consulate in Alexandria, Hillary Clinton said: “I want to be clear that the United States is not in the business, in Egypt, of choosing winners and losers, even if we could, which of course we cannot.”

Hillary Clinton also held meetings with leading women, the Coptic Christian community and young entrepreneurs in Egypt.

She said: “Democracy is not just about reflecting the will of the majority. It is also about protecting the rights of the minority.”

 

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was targeted by protesters who threw tomatoes and their own shoes at her motorcade during a visit to Egypt on Sunday.

Demonstrators also mockingly chanted “Monica, Monica” in reference to Bill Clinton’s extra-marital affair with Monica Lewinsky.

Hillary Clinton was on her first trip to Egypt since the election of the country’s new Islamist President, Mohammed Mursi.

During the protests in Alexandria, a tomato struck an Egyptian official in the face, and shoes and a water bottle landed near the armored cars carrying Hillary Clinton’s aides.

Hillary Clinton was targeted by protesters who threw tomatoes and their own shoes at her motorcade during a visit to Egypt

Hillary Clinton was targeted by protesters who threw tomatoes and their own shoes at her motorcade during a visit to Egypt

A senior State Department official said that neither Hillary Clinton nor her vehicle, which were around the corner from the incident, were struck by any of the projectiles.

As well as the shouts of “Monica”, some demonstrators chanted, “Leave, Clinton”.

The assault on her motorcade came on the day Hillary Clinton spoke at the newly re-opened U.S. consulate in Alexandria, addressing accusations that the U.S., which had long supported former president Hosni Mubarak, was meddling in Egyptian politics.

“I want to be clear that the United States is not in the business, in Egypt, of choosing winners and losers, even if we could, which of course we cannot,” Hillary Clinton said.

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Hillary Clinton has met the head of Egypt’s top military council, Field Marshal Mohamad Hussein Tantawi, on the second day of her visit to the country.

The US Secretary of State discussed the transition of power to newly elected President Mohammed Mursi and stressed the need to protect the rights of all Egyptians, US officials said.

Hillary Clinton met Mohammed Mursi on Saturday.

Mohammed Mursi and the military have been in conflict over parliament’s dissolution.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) shut down the chamber, dominated by Mohammed Mursi’s Islamist allies, before he was formally sworn in last month.

Hillary Clinton has met the head of Egypt's top military council, Field Marshal Mohamad Hussein Tantawi

Hillary Clinton has met the head of Egypt's top military council, Field Marshal Mohamad Hussein Tantawi

It also stripped the new president, elected in the country’s first freely contested leadership vote earlier in June, of many of his powers.

Mohammed Mursi, of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, tried to reinstate parliament by decree last weekend. The Supreme Constitutional Court has said the dissolution is final.

As head of the SCAF, Field Marshal Mohamad Hussein Tantawi became Egypt’s interim ruler after the fall of President Hosni Mubarak in February last year.

Hillary Clinton held talks for more than an hour on Sunday with Field Marshal Mohamad Hussein Tantawi.

A senior US state department official said: “They discussed the political transition and the [military council’s] ongoing dialogue with President Mursi.

“The secretary stressed the importance of protecting the rights of all Egyptians, including women and minorities.”

Field Marshal Mohamad Hussein Tantawi brought up Egypt’s economic needs, while the pair also discussed US aid plans.

After meeting Field Marshal Mohamad Hussein Tantawi and other army leaders, Hillary Clinton will head to Egypt’s second city, Alexandria, a stronghold of the Muslim Brotherhood.

There she will meet leading women, the Coptic Christian community and young entrepreneurs. She is then due to fly on to Israel.

During her meeting with Mohammed Mursi on Saturday, Hillary Clinton said the situation required “compromise and real politics”.

“Democracy is hard,” she said.

She praised Egypt’s military council for its interim leadership, “for representing the Egyptian people in the revolution as compared to what we are seeing in Syria which is the military murdering their own people”.

But she also voiced support for a “full transition to civilian rule”.

The secretary of state also encouraged President Mohammed Mursi to live up to promises to protect the rights of women and minorities, and to preserve the peace treaty with Israel.

The hour-long meeting between President Mohammed Mursi and Hillary Clinton was described by a US official as candid and cordial.

However, on Saturday evening hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside Hillary Clinton’s Cairo hotel, chanting anti-Islamist and anti-US slogans in protest at her visit. Some brandished posters depicting the field marshal.

Another protest outside the US embassy was organized by Coptic Christian youth activists, who chanted: “They both can’t be trusted, not the Americans, not the Brotherhood.”

For all the US fears of an Islamist takeover in recent decades, the governments in Washington and Egypt have now realized they need each other.

Mohammed Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood are particularly keen to avoid the sort of international isolation so damaging to other Islamist governments after they have taken office.

 

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has held her first meeting with new Egypt’s President Mohammed Mursi.

After the talks, Hillary Clinton reaffirmed Washington’s support for a “full transition to civilian rule” in Egypt.

President Mohammed Mursi has become embroiled in a constitutional crisis after trying to reinstate a parliament dissolved by the judiciary and the military.

Hillary Clinton has backed Mohammed Mursi, saying Egyptians should get the government they voted for.

Mohammed Mursi, of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, was elected in June in the country’s first ever freely contested leadership vote.

Hillary Clinton has held her first meeting with new Egypt’s President Mohammed Mursi

Hillary Clinton has held her first meeting with new Egypt’s President Mohammed Mursi

After the meeting in Cairo, Hillary Clinton told reporters: “I have come to Cairo to reaffirm the strong support of the United States for the Egyptian people and their democratic transition.

“We want to be a good partner and we want to support the democracy that has been achieved by the courage and sacrifice of the Egyptian people.”

Not many years ago, one US secretary of state declared that Washington did not speak with the Muslim Brotherhood, and never would.

But the administration of Barack Obama has been quick to engage with the new president – a case of accepting the inevitable and trying to make the best of it.

The US government wants to see Egyptian democracy and human rights being protected.

The Muslim Brotherhood has repeatedly stressed it does not want to be isolated internationally, not least because the country depends so heavily on international trade and tourism.

Mohammed Mursi has tried to defuse the row over parliament – a body he tried to reinstate by decree last weekend.

The chamber was dominated by Mohammed Mursi’s Islamist allies, and was shut down by the military before he took power.

The Supreme Constitutional Court has said the dissolution is final.

Mohammed Mursi has said he is “committed to the rulings of Egyptian judges and very keen to manage state powers and prevent any confrontation”.

Hillary Clinton said she would meet the head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, on Sunday.

He became the country’s interim ruler after the fall of President Hosni Mubarak in February last year.

Asked what she would tell Field Marshal Tantawi, Hillary Clinton said she would make clear the US supports the return of the armed forced “to a purely military role”.

Earlier this week, Hillary Clinton said Egyptians should “get what they protested for and what they voted for, which is a fully-elected government making the decisions for the country going forward”.

Hillary Clinton arrived in Egypt from a week-long trip to Asia, and will later visit Israel.

 

 

Controversial author Ed Klein claims Hillary Clinton does have the White House in her sights for 2016 but only “if her health holds out”.

Ed Klein claims the Secretary of State, now 64, is planning to take time off to “get back into shape” but – in comments that are unlikely to be welcomed by Hillary Clinton – remarked that she looks “overweight” and “very tired’.

The author – the man behind books including The Truth About Hillary and a former New York Times editor – says Hillary Clinton will only be able to make a White House bid “if her health holds out” and “that’s a big if, of course”.

In an interview on America’s Fox News Radio, Ed Klein said: “At this very moment that we’re speaking right now… [the Clintons] are already thinking seriously about running in 2016.

“She’ll be 69 years old. And as you know – and I don’t want to sound anti-feminist here – but she’s not looking good these days. She’s looking overweight, and she’s looking very tired.”

Ed Klein added: “And if her health holds out – that’s a big if, of course – if her health holds out, there’s no question in my mind she and Bill – two for the price of one – will run in 2016.”

In May, photos taken of the former First Lady during visits to Bangladesh and India, showed the Secretary of State looking tired and withdrawn – far from the well-coiffed image she has maintained over the past two decades in politics.

The images – in which she was make-up free, casually dressed and wearing glasses – came as she claimed she had no desire to make another bid for the White House because she wanted a rest.

Ed Klein claims Hillary Clinton does have the White House in her sights for 2016 but only if her health holds out

Ed Klein claims Hillary Clinton does have the White House in her sights for 2016 but only if her health holds out

In January, Hillary Clinton announced that she was ready to step off the “high wire” of U.S. politics altogether.

I have made it clear that I will certainly stay on until the president nominates someone and that transition can occur” if Barack Obama is re-elected, she told a town hall meeting.

“But I think after 20 years, and it will be 20 years, of being on the high wire of American politics and all of the challenges that come with that, it would be probably a good idea to just find out how tired I am.”

However, Hillary Clinton took the time to sharply rebuff comments made by her detractors that focused solely on her appearance.

In an interview last month, Hillary Clinton laughed at the attention she had received for her sense of style, especially after the photographs of her make-up-free face.

Hillary Clinton was photographed with an all-natural look at press events held in Bangladesh and India after completing a whirlwind, three-day tour of the region.

She told CNN: “You know, at some point, it’s just not something that deserves a lot of time and attention.”

The Secretary of State added: “I feel so relieved to be at the stage I’m at in my life right now… and if others want to worry about it, I let them do the worrying for a change.

“Because you know, if I want to wear my glasses I’m wearing my glasses. If I want to wear my hair back I’m pulling my hair back.”

Hillary Clinton was referring to the attention she received after a member of staff criticized her frequent use of hair scrunchies.

The Democrat has appeared to make some slight sartorial changes, toning down her once-gaudy colored trouser suits in recent months.

She also became to subject of an Internet meme, Texts From Hillary, which shifted the focus from the Secretary of State’s appearance to her relentless routine of international travel, high-powered meetings and 24/7 attention to her Blackberry.

Hillary Clinton is far from the first high-profile female politician to have attracted comments about her appearance.

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy commented loudly and uncharitably on the quantity of cheese Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel consumed at a dinner, while Sarah Palin, the Republican Party nominee for Vice President in the 2008 presidential election, was criticized for her $150,000 designer wardrobe.

Ed Klein, 75, is a former New York Times magazine editor who has written extensively about the Kennedys and Hillary Clinton.

 

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says Russian policy will contribute to a potential civil war in Syria.

Hillary Clinton’s comments came after Russia and China renewed opposition to tougher UN Security Council action.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has repeated a warning that Syria could be moving towards “catastrophic” civil war, in the wake of the Houla massacre.

Rebel commanders are split on whether to abandon a ceasefire if Syrian forces do not withdraw to barracks.

The FSA’s Colonel Qassim Saadeddine in Homs said that if there was no government response by Friday lunchtime the FSA would consider itself “no longer bound” by the plan.

But the FSA head, General Riyad Asaad, later denied the deadline existed.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says Russian policy will contribute to a potential civil war in Syria

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says Russian policy will contribute to a potential civil war in Syria

Instead, he urged peace envoy Kofi Annan to issue a statement declaring his peace plan to have failed.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has come under intensified pressure to adhere to the ceasefire plan since the Houla massacre, in which more than 100 people – many of them children – died.

Hillary Clinton, speaking on a visit to Denmark, said the case for military intervention was growing stronger every day.

“[The Russians] are telling me they don’t want to see a civil war. I have been telling them their policy is going to help to contribute to a civil war,” she told an audience in Copenhagen.

Ban Ki-moon, speaking at a conference in Turkey, said UN monitors had not been sent to Syria “just to bear witness to the slaughter of innocents”.

“We are not there to play the role of passive observer to unspeakable atrocities,” he said.

“The massacre of civilians of the sort seen last weekend could plunge Syria into catastrophic civil war – a civil war from which the country would never recover.”

Colonel Qassim Saadeddine’s ultimatum, citing the Houla massacre, was given in a video released online, in which he said the government had to “implement an immediate ceasefire, withdraw its troops, tanks and artillery from Syrian cities and villages”.

“It should also allow immediate humanitarian aid to all affected areas and free all detainees… The regime should also enter into a real and serious negotiation through the United Nations to hand over power to the Syrian people,” he went on.

But General Riyad Asaad, speaking to al-Jazeera by phone from Turkey, insisted the FSA was “committed to the Kofi Annan plan and committed to international resolutions and implementing this plan”.

“There is no deadline; however, we hope that Kofi Annan will issue a statement to announce the failure of this plan,” he said.

The UN Human Rights Council will hold a special session on Syria on Friday looking into the killings, officials said.

As many as 15,000 people have been killed since the revolt against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad began in March of last year.

 

Bill Clinton branded President Barack Obama as an “amateur” and urged his wife Hillary to run against him in 2012 U.S. presidential election, claims a new book,

According to Edward Klein’s new biography of Barack Obama called The Amateur, Bill Clinton tore into the president and branded him “incompetent” and that he “did not know how to be President”.

He also urged Hillary Clinton to quit her job as U.S. Secretary of State and challenge Barack Obama for the Democratic ticket as she knew how to do a better job of it.

The extraordinary claims – which have been strongly denied by Bill Clinton – came after he finally gave Barack Obama his backing and put their past differences behind them.

The two had clashed during Hillary Clinton’s failed bid for the Presidency in 2008, which she lost to Barack Obama.

According to Edward Klein’s book, however, enmity runs even deeper than it had been thought.

During a gathering at Bill Clinton’s home in Chappaqua, New York last August he supposedly told his wife: “The economy’s a mess, it’s dead flat. America has lost its Triple-A rating . . .

“You know better than Obama does. “

According to Edward Klein’s new biography of Barack Obama called The Amateur, Bill Clinton tore into the president and branded him “incompetent” and that he “did not know how to be President”

According to Edward Klein’s new biography of Barack Obama called The Amateur, Bill Clinton tore into the president and branded him “incompetent” and that he “did not know how to be President”

Bill Clinton supposedly claimed to have “no relationship” with President Barack Obama and spoke more often to his own successor George W. Bush.

He is said to have told his wife: “Barack Obama is an amateur.

“The country needs you! The country needs us!”

It would be highly unusual for somebody from within a serving president’s party to challenge him in the primaries.

The last time it happened was in 1980 when Ted Kennedy challenged Jimmy Carter for the Democratic nomination, though he lost, as did Carter in the election to Ronald Reagan.

According to the book, Bill Clinton’s tirade did not end there amid protestations from Hillary Clinton that she did not want to risk her legacy from her current post as U.S. Secretary of State.

Hillary Clinton, 64, also supposedly emphasized that she could run in 2016, but Bill Clinton, 65, who has been become a vegan out of concerns for his health, said it could be too late.

Bill Clinton shouted: “I know you’re young enough! That’s not what I’m worried about. I’m worried that I’m not young enough.

“I’m the highest-ranking member in Obama’s Cabinet. I eat breakfast with the guy every Thursday morning.”

Hillary Clinton is said to have responded: “What about loyalty, Bill? What about loyalty?”

Bill Clinton said back: “Loyalty is a joke, loyalty doesn’t exist in politics.”

Things remained heated when the Clintons’ daughter Chelsea walked in on the conversation and told her mother she “deserved” to be President.

Bill Clinton even offered to commission polls to see how she fared against Barack Obama, the book says, but she told him: “Go ahead and knock yourself out.”

He finally buried the hatchet with Barack Obama recently and appeared in a presidential campaign advert for him during which he praised him for hunting down Osama bin Laden.

Bill Clinton has also appeared at rallies with the President with relations appearing cordial and good humored.

Hillary Clinton has long been touted as presidential candidate in the 2016 elections.

She is currently enjoying a surge in her popularity fuelled by photos of her dancing and drinking a beer in Columbia which showed her having fun.

Bill Clinton’s spokesman Matt McKenna branded Edward Klein “a known liar” and that the claims were “totally and completely false”.

White House spokesman Eric Schultz said: “Nobody in their right mind would believe the nonsense in this one, especially since both Secretary Clinton and President Clinton have been loyal and supportive of the president at every turn.”