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New York Times writes this weekend’s magazine cover story on Bill Clinton’s changing role..

In Bill Clinton, Global News, Greatness Award, Politics, Smart Power, United States on May 27, 2009 at 1:33 pm

NY BILL

New York Times White House correspondent Peter Baker writes this weekend’s magazine cover story on Bill Clinton’s changing role, yet still hectic globe-trotting lifestyle, according to an advance copy of the piece.

Following Clinton around the world — whether stopping at a crafts store in Lima or a conference in Davos — Baker notices similarities to his past travels with then first lady Hillary Clinton as a White House correspondent for the Washington Post.

She typically would make a courtesy stop at a palace for a brief meeting with the head of state, but the trips were built around roundtable discussions or visits to far-off villages to explore how people confronted the challenges of their world. That’s what Bill Clinton was doing now. The next day he would wake up in Lima, fly to Barranquilla on Colombia’s northern coast and then to Medellín before settling into a hotel in Cartagena. When I later made the observation to him, he said with a laugh, ‘‘We’ve reversed roles.’’

Baker’s 8,000-plus-word piece isn’t yet online, but is expected to go up ahead of the weekend print date, perhaps later today or tomorrow.


NYT

Hillary Clinton Grants Equal Benefits To Gay Diplomats

In Equal Rights for Gays, Human Rights, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, United States on May 24, 2009 at 9:06 pm

Hillary Gay Rights

“Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will soon announce that gay American diplomats will be given benefits similar to those that their heterosexual counterparts enjoy, U.S. officials said Saturday. In a notice to be sent soon to State Department employees, Clinton says regulations that denied same-sex couples and their families the same rights and privileges that straight diplomats enjoyed are ‘unfair and must end,’ as they harm U.S. diplomacy.

‘Providing training, medical care and other benefits to domestic partners promote the cohesiveness, safety and effectiveness of our posts abroad,’ she says in the message, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press.” The Associated Press/Matthew Lee

The Obama administration has a lot on its plate: Two interminable wars and an economy on the verge of collapse. Perhaps it’s understandable that gay rights wasn’t the first item on Obama’s agenda, however it’s now high time that the president address the issue of the discrimination that gays suffer on a daily basis.

It’s a shame and a disgrace that Obama shares the same Neanderthal approach to same-sex marriage as Miss California Carrie Prejean. Gay rights advocates should stop cutting Obama so much slack, and demand that he come out if favor of gay marriage.

Obama should move quickly and repeal the discriminatory “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy that has resulted in the dismissal from the armed forces of thousands of gifted, intelligent and patriotic gays and lesbians.

But I commend the work done by Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton for extending to gay diplomats the same benefits enjoyed by heterosexual couples.

This change in policy sends a clear message to the world that Secretary of State Clinton believes in equal rights for everyone, including the dedicated diplomats who serve our country abroad.

Hillary Clinton receives award from Hellenic group

In Award, fabulous women, foreign policy, Greece, Politics, United States on May 23, 2009 at 5:29 pm

05/22/2009

Yesterday, among other things, Secretary Clinton, as shown above, attended President Obama's speech on closing the Guantánamo Bay detention facility. (Sitting with her are U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), far left, and CIA Director Leon Panetta.)

Yesterday, among other things, Secretary Clinton, as shown above, attended President Obama's speech on closing the Guantánamo Bay detention facility. (Sitting with her are U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), far left, and CIA Director Leon Panetta.)

another great article by Preeti Aroon:

Today, she moves on to accepting an award from the National Coordinated Effort of Hellenes. One of the main issues the group appears to tackle is the highly sensitive “FYROM”/”Republic of Macedonia” name issue. Greece wants the “Republic of Macedonia” to instead be called the “Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” (or “FYROM” for short). The U.S. State Department currently states on its background note for the country that the “official name” is “Republic of Macedonia.” To people not familiar with the centuries of history behind the name dispute, it might sound like a trivial issue, but actually it’s sensitive enough that it caused rioting last year and is affecting “FYROM”/”Republic of Macedonia”‘s ability to enter NATO and the European Union.

The official schedule for today:

9:30 a.m. Receive Award from the National Coordinated Effort of Hellenes in the Treaty Room.

11:30 a.m. Bilateral with His Excellency Karel De Gucht, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belgium.

Update: When asked about the name issue at the award presentation, Clinton said:

Well, we have been very committed to that. I have spoken out about the need to resolve the name issue in a way that is acceptable to both parties. And Deputy Secretary [James] Steinberg was recently in the region making that case.

We have picked up this issue with a lot of commitment early on in our administration. Obviously, this has to be resolved by the parties themselves, but we are urging that resolution. We think it is in everyone’s best interest. As you said, it would open the way for movement toward another nation joining the European Union, which we think promotes stability in the region, so we are very committed to doing what the United States can to facilitate that.

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

**************************

UPdate: And in true Hillary fashion, she is heading to Greece on Tuesday for speaking in person to all who have a stake in an amicable resolution to this dispute .


U.S. being ‘out-communicated,’ Clinton says. Information is key!

In foreign policy, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, Middle East, the Taliban and al Qaeda on May 23, 2009 at 5:13 pm

Hill in Blues

Secretary Clinton testified yesterday (as seen above) in front of a Senate subcommittee that the United States is “being out-communicated by the Taliban and al Qaeda” and that it needs a “new strategic communication strategy” in order to “do a better job of getting the story of the values, ideals, the results of democracy out to people who are now being fed a steady diet of the [worst] kind of disinformation.”

Al Qaeda’s propagandists produce high-quality videos and elaborate Web sites, which has led U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates to often say, “We’re being out-communicated by a guy in a cave.”

Clinton didn’t provide details about what any “new strategic communication strategy” would involve, but whatever it is, let’s hope it follows sound media ethics. In the past, the United States secretly paid Iraqi newspapers to run articles written by U.S. troops. In 2006, the Defense Department’s inspector general discovered that the Lincoln Group, a private contractor, had paid Iraqi media outlets to run articles without attribution that were favorable to the U.S. military.

It’s doubtful, though, that Clinton would support such tactics. According to a 2008 Washington Post article, when then Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld learned about the Lincoln Group’s “anonymous pay-to-publish program,” he told reporters, “Gee, that’s not what we ought to be doing.”

Clinton, the e-diplomat, has hinted a bit at what her communications strategy would involve. Tuesday, she mentioned reaching out directly to displaced Pakistanis on their cellphones.

In all fairness, FP — the print edition — runs multipage ads from various countries, which are clearly marked as “Special Advertising Supplement.” The May/June issue has supplements from the Dominican Republic, Angola, and Cabinda (an Angolan province).

And speaking of Angola, Clinton has that country on her schedule today:

11:00 a.m. Bilateral with His Excellency Ansuncao Afonso dos Anjos, Minister of External Relations of the Republic of Angola.

11:45 a.m. Meeting with Joint Summit Working Group.

2:00 p.m. Bilateral with His Excellency Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, President of the United Republic of Tanzania.

4:15 p.m. Attend The President’s bilateral with Excellency Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, President of the United Republic of Tanzania.

Photo: TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images

Hillary Clinton asks you to text ‘swat’ to 20222

In foreign policy, Help for Refugees, Pakistan, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on May 23, 2009 at 4:40 pm

05/20/2009

(ht/Preeti Aroon)

Hillary, 21st Century E-diplomat texting to help People in need.

Hillary, 21st Century E-diplomat texting to help People in need.

Secretary Clinton, the e-diplomat, is asking Americans to pick up their cellphones and text “swat” to 20222 to make a $5 donation that will provide (non-governmental subsidized relief) medicine, tents, food, and clothing to the astounding 1.17 million internal refugees who have fled the current fighting in Pakistan (mainly in the Swat Valley). The aid will be provided through the United Nations’ refugee agency.

Clinton made the appeal for donations while announcing that the United States will be providing $110 million in emergency aid to the refugees. Including the 555,000 Pakistanis who were displaced during fighting last August, Pakistan now has nearly 2 million internally displaced people.

You can see photos of what Pakistanis in the Swat Valley are going through in Preeti’s March photo essay: “Pakistan’s New Homeless.”

Photo (ht/): Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

After meeting and dining yesterday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, shown above, Secretary Clinton devotes herself to humanitarian issues this morning.

In economy, foreign policy, Global News, Humanitarian Aide, Madame Secretary Clinton, Middle East, Peace on May 20, 2009 at 12:21 am

After meeting and dining yesterday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, shown above, Secretary Clinton devotes herself to humanitarian issues this morning.

After meeting and dining yesterday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, shown above, Secretary Clinton devotes herself to humanitarian issues this morning.

9:45 a.m. Meeting with Representatives of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

11:15 a.m. Announcement of Humanitarian Aid to Pakistan, in the Brady Room at the White House

11:50 a.m. Global Press Conference at Foreign Press Center in Washington, DC
To view via web: https://statedept.connectsolutions.com/fpc
Users can log in and select “Enter as a Guest” using their name and affiliation

1:30 p.m. Meeting with former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan

SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON TO DELIVER BARNARD COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS

In commencement, Hillary Clinton on May 18, 2009 at 3:29 pm

PepsiCo CEO, Renowned Art Historian, and Juvenile Justice Attorney to Receive Barnard Medal of Distinction

In September 2008, Barnard hosted then Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton for a press conference on Pay Equity.

In September 2008, Barnard hosted then Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton for a press conference on Pay Equity.

Video Watch the ceremonies streamed live on Monday,
May 18, 2009
» Requires RealPlayer

New York, NY – At Barnard College’s 117th Commencement ceremony on May 18th, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will address approximately 585 members of the Class of 2009 and receive the Barnard Medal of Distinction, the College’s highest honor, alongside three other remarkable women: PepsiCo’s Chief Executive Officer Indra K. Nooyi; Harvard University’s William Dorr Boardman Professor of Fine Arts Irene J. Winter ’60; and former general counsel to the New York City Department of Juvenile Justice Kay C. Murray.

“Secretary Clinton represents everything we embody at Barnard. A lifetime of public service and intellectual excellence have made her one of the most respected women in America, and in the world. She joins an exemplary group of medalists whose careers have shaped opportunities for women in their fields,” said Anna Quindlen ’74, Chair of the Board of Trustees, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, and bestselling author. “It’s our honor to welcome them all.”
Read about and watch the press conference.

WEBCAST

This will be Secretary Clinton’s second visit to Barnard in the past year. In September 2008 then-Senator Clinton held a press conference on campus addressing a U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on pay inequity in the workplace. Barnard President Debora Spar said, “It is a great honor to welcome Secretary Clinton back to Barnard, and a tremendous opportunity for our graduates to hear from a leader with such deep and personal appreciation for the challenges and possibilities facing women today.”

Spar, who will preside over her first Spring Commencement ceremony since assuming leadership of the College in July 2008, will confer the medals, present the degree candidates and address the expected crowd of approximately 5,000 graduates, family members, faculty and staff of Barnard, the most sought after women’s college in the nation.

Medalist Bios

Hillary R. Clinton is the 67th Secretary of State of the United States. Secretary Clinton joined the State Department after nearly four decades in public service as an advocate, attorney, First Lady, and twice-elected Senator of the state of New York. In her historic campaign for the 2008 presidential nomination, she won more primaries and delegates than any other female candidate in American history.

Chair of the board and chief executive officer of PepsiCo Indra K. Nooyi leads one of the world’s largest food and beverage companies, with 2008 annual revenues of more than $43 billion. Her global perspective and commitment to sustainable growth have contributed to making her one of corporate America’s top visionaries. She is consistently named on Forbes magazine’s annual list of the 100 most powerful women in the world.

An art historian and authority on the art and architecture of ancient Mesopotamia, Irene J. Winter is the Boardman Professor of Fine Arts at Harvard University, where she has served on the faculty since 1988. She is widely published on the archaeology of the ancient Near East, and has been active in encouraging U.S. and international efforts to recover and restore looted archaeological materials in Iraq and control the plundering of sites.

Kay C. Murray is an attorney and former general counsel to the New York City Department of Juvenile Justice. Honored for her legal work and her tireless commitment to diversity in the public and private sector, she has served as an inspiration and mentor to young women pursuing careers in law. She is a past president of the Columbia Law School Alumni Association and the recipient of the Lawrence A. Wien Prize for Social Responsibility.

Barnard Link

Madame Secretary delivers Commencement speech at NYU graduation

In Global News, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, NYU, Rise Hillary Rise on May 14, 2009 at 3:09 am

NY1’s Michael Scotto filed the following report. (video link below)

http://ny1.com/content/top_stories/98997/secretary-clinton-speaks-at-nyu-graduation/Default.aspx

Hillary Clinton was welcomed like a hometown hero at Yankee Stadium.

The former U.S. Senator who is now the nation’s top diplomat returned to New York to pick up an honorary law degree and address 6,000 NYU graduates and some 20,000 guests.

“Does it get any better than this. A graduation ceremony for one of the great universities in the world in the home of the New York Yankees. Nothing could be better,” said Clinton.

Her speech came just months after she left the Senate for the State Department and less than a year after she ended her bid for the U.S. Presidency. The address was light on politics and heavy on references to her new job. She urged graduates to get involved and tackle the daunting list of challenges facing the world.

“The times you are graduating in are, yes, perhaps more difficult and more daunting, but that is when we really rise together,” said Clinton.

Pleased to have Clinton as their Speaker, many of the graduates welcomed Clinton back to New York.

One student, who was clearly a fan, even decorated his cap with a message for the Secretary of State.

“I’m a Hillary supporter. I supported her in the primaries,” said NYU graduate Randy Lesko.

“I miss her as the Senator, but at the same time she’s picking up a very big role that is also going to help the whole nation,” said NYU graduate Emmanuel Maclord Ansah.

Clinton told students she needs their help, too.

“For those of you who are still looking for jobs, we are hiring a new generation of diplomats,” said Clinton.

It was welcome news for graduates facing an already tough job market.

Remarks with Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov.

In foreign policy, Global News, Russia, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, United States on May 8, 2009 at 10:23 am

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Remarks with Russian Foreign Minister“, posted with vodpod

Remarks With Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov After Their Meeting.
Russia says it’s ready to move forward on NATO ties..

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s envoy to NATO said on Friday Moscow was ready to go ahead with restoring ties with the alliance despite tit-for-tat expulsions of diplomats and controversial military exercises in Georgia.

Dmitry Rogozin suggested the expulsions of two Russians from Brussels and two alliance officials from Moscow, along with the NATO exercises, could be part of a plot to sabotage U.S. President Barack Obama’s policy of improving relations.

“It is time to put a full stop in this story and restore relations as soon as possible,” Rogozin said from Brussels during a video link with Moscow journalists. “We will go ahead with restoring relations.”

The Western alliance froze contacts with Moscow over Russia’s five-day war with Georgia last year and resumed formal talks on April 29, the day NATO informed Moscow it was expelling two Russian diplomats.

The row killed a plan to hold the first ministerial meeting between Moscow and the alliance this month. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov decided against going to Brussels.

Rogozin said Lavrov’s decision to stay away was not fatal for relations with NATO.

“We do not think NATO is lost for us as partner,” he said.

Lavrov met Obama and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington on Thursday. Obama is expected to make his first visit to Russia in July.

Lavrov said after the talks that “artificial obstacles” in the work of Russia and NATO should be removed and business resume as soon as possible.

“We have never said there will be no ministerial meeting,” Rogozin said. “We were talking about our desire to postpone it until a more suitable time.”

“If Lavrov returns from Washington with success — and I have no doubts in this — we will agree on restoring ambassadorial meetings … and set a new date for the ministerial meeting.”

Rogozin blamed the latest problems in Russia’s relations with NATO on forces in the alliance hostile to Russia, pointing a finger at new Eastern European members, former Soviet satellites in the Warsaw Pact.

“We have wonderful relations with some NATO members,” he said. “But there are those who are afraid of getting lost in the Euro-Atlantic structures and seek to remind the world about themselves at any opportunity.”

Unnamed Bush-era officials were also responsible, he added.

“A new team is now being formed in the United States … and there are still people appointed by the old administration,” he said. “We admit a possibility that what we see is a plot against Obama in the Euro-Atlantic camp.”

Chelsea Clinton getting married in August

In Global News, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, United States on May 2, 2009 at 2:52 pm

By Marc Larocque, Globe Correspondent

chelseaclinton050209Reports that Chelsea Clinton may get married on the island of Martha’s Vineyard this summer were music to the ears of some business owners on the quiet enclave off the Massachusetts coast.

The rumor alone … is our stimulus package,” said Jeff Kristal, owner of the Clocker House Inn and a selectman in the town of Tisbury. It’s an amazing place to get married. The sheer beauty of the island, the sheer friendliness of the people here, only enhances everyone’s wedding. It’s a magical place.”

Caterer Jaime Hamlin also said the buzz would be a good thing for the Vineyard. A lot of the local businesses will get a huge boom: hotels, restaurants, clothing stores, said Hamlin, a 30-year island resident who said he was hoping to cater the wedding.

The Boston Globe reported in its Names column today, based on sources, that Clinton will wed Marc Mezvinsky at Ted Danson’s home in Chilmark this August and that the ceremony would coincide with a rumored vacation by President Barack Obama on the island.

President Bill Clinton, his wife, Hillary, and their daughter, Chelsea, vacationed numerous times on the island during their White House years, bringing the international spotlight and electrifying a quiet island known for long stretches of empty beaches. The normally sleepy hideaway thrummed as it was crisscrossed with motorcades and its population swelled with the arrival of White House staffers, reporters and TV correspondents, and Secret Service agents.

“Welcome, people in power,” said Hamlin. “Welcome again to the Clintons and welcome to the Obamas. I hope they find it as peaceful and welcoming as we do on the island. Come on down.

Nancy Gardella, executive director of the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber of Commerce said the Clintons “have a wonderful and rich history here on the vineyard.”

“The more the merrier. We welcome everybody,” she said.


CHELSEA’S LIFE IN THE SPOTLIGHT:


Six-year-old Chelsea Clinton is seen here in 1986 with her father, then the governor of Arkansas, after he cast his vote in the Democratic primary in Arkansas's gubernatorial election in Little Rock. Clinton was challenged by former Arkansas Gov. Orval Faubus and W. Dean Goldsby. He prevailed in the primary and was reelected governor in the general election, defeating Frank White.

Six-year-old Chelsea Clinton is seen here in 1986 with her father, then the governor of Arkansas, after he cast his vote in the Democratic primary in Arkansas's gubernatorial election in Little Rock. Clinton was challenged by former Arkansas Gov. Orval Faubus and W. Dean Goldsby. He prevailed in the primary and was reelected governor in the general election, defeating Frank White.

Chelsea Clinton sees her father off on the campaign trail in 1992.

Chelsea Clinton sees her father off on the campaign trail in 1992.

Chelsea Clinton, then 16, with her parents during President Bill Clinton's re-election campaign in 1996. The Clintons took a whistle stop train trip enroute to the Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

Chelsea Clinton, then 16, with her parents during President Bill Clinton's re-election campaign in 1996. The Clintons took a whistle stop train trip enroute to the Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

Former President Bill Clinton and Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., with Chelsea at her graduation from Stanford University June 17, 2001.

Former President Bill Clinton and Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., with Chelsea at her graduation from Stanford University June 17, 2001.

In September 2006, Chelsea Clinton was photographed in New York City with boyfriend Marc Mezvinsky.

In September 2006, Chelsea Clinton was photographed in New York City with boyfriend Marc Mezvinsky.

Chelsea Clinton, then 27, attends a party at the American Museum of Natural History on March 18, 2007 in New York City.

Chelsea Clinton, then 27, attends a party at the American Museum of Natural History on March 18, 2007 in New York City.

Chelsea Clinton is seen here at a February, 2008 campaign event for her mother at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine.

Chelsea Clinton is seen here at a February, 2008 campaign event for her mother at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York with daughter Chelsea in Los Angeles.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York with daughter Chelsea in Los Angeles.